Thursday, December 30, 2010

On The Sixth Day Of Christmas... Bubba is doing the dishes that won't fit in the dishwasher.

This is an undertaking of epic proportions.

We bought a portable dishwasher for our apartment for our first anniversary, and we like joke that it was one of the things that saved our marriage (that first bit of married life was a hard bit for us - we had never lived in the same city/state/country before getting married!) (That makes us sound like a mail-order couple or something. We just lived far apart.). You see, we had this agreement that I would cook dinner and he would do the dishes after. Ideal, if you ask me. I love cooking, and I hate the soaking scraping wiping aftermath. But. The Bubba is an engineer of the very first anal-retentivest nature. He starts the dishes by sorting. Each dish will be lined up according to color and then size and then shape and then amount of washing attention needed. And only then will the washing begin. Oh and the stacking/drying process! Whole 'nother bag.

Not that I'm complaining. I'm so totally okay with the fact that he has a different way of doing things. It just means that I won't see him until 10pm. And it doesn't mean I can't make fun, right? Because really, without taking the piss, where would marriages be, I ask you.

Next time I'll tell you about how he alphabetizes the garbage.

(Can you tell that the Bubba's on furlough this week? We've been spending lots of quality time together.)

We took the Christmas tree down this week and most of the decorations. We left up the little artificial tree for the Epiphany. I think I'll do a king's cake with Lucy this year. Although, every year I say I want to do a king's cake just like every year I want to throw a beaujolais nouveau party and it is never done. I have found in my vast experience with myself that I am fabulous at coming up with fun ideas and just very very poor at finding the motivation to execute them. Lazy.

I saw the midwife today. It was glucose test week, that most looked-forward to of all weeks. Mmmm, delicious. The midwives in my practice must have all been on vacation this week because the office was echoey-empty and the only midwife there was one I hadn't met before and didn't particularly, um, love. But whatever. I don't have to take her home to live with me, right? She was very smart and efficient. She was not a good listener, though. The whole time I kept wondering if I was maybe the only patient in all day because she seemed to just be waiting for her turn to talk the whole time (and not about my baby. About Christmas with her granddaughter including every gift she bought and why.). She didn't even bother with the frivolity of introducing herself when she came in. It was just weird because all the other midwives in the practice are basically on my running list of acceptable sister-wives.

My weight gain in the last six weeks surprised me. After being so focused on the numbers on the scale going down after Lucy's birth, it's so hard to be excited about them creeping (or in my case jumping) up. But this midwife did win points by telling me that Bidou seems to be a big baby, and since I came to the appointment with my pre-pregnancy jeans on with a hair band through the button hole, she said not to worry too much about it and just to be sure I was eating smart. (So I came home and ate fatty-fat-fat-sausage stuffing and Christmas candy to celebrate, of course.)

Bidou's heartbeat was at 148, and he's measuring "at least" two weeks big. I explained to the midwife that I have a long, skinny husband, and all the evidence I have heretofore collected says that we make long, skinny babies.

That reminds me. Bidou does this thing lately where he will curl up in only one side of my tummy. My stomach will have a huge right side and then a hollow little slope down the left side and then he'll do this roll-jump thing to take up his whole space again. It's like he's practicing his hunker-spring Crouching Dragon moves. Super weird. That and this kick-punch-punch thing he does I find really exciting. It's like he's a little human in there or something.

We shall see! Sooner rather than later, too. I start seeing the midwives every 4 weeks now that I'm starting my third trimester!

Dun dun duuuuuuuun. The end is near. And yet. So. Very. Far.

We're to the very complainy part of pregnancy. The part where I get heartburn from just looking at food. The part where I'm finding it increasingly hard to fall asleep at night and then sleep through the night. Oh, and my stomach and small intestine and such that's all smashing up into my ribcage gives me the worst crampy, charley-horsey feelings in my left ribs after I eat and/or when I'm lying on my left side. The lower back aches and the sacrum aches and the shooting pains that go from the lower back down the butt cheeks to the knees. All of those nice things.

And on that note, I bid you goodnight. It's almost 9pm after all. I've got my eye on my jammies and bed and my book (The City and The City by Mieville. Anyone reading that? It's really a trip.).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So That Was Christmas...

I have been seriously lacking in the blogging inspiration department. I think this little boy fetus started living off of my brain cells and the two that I have left to rub together just don't make any sparks. He better be wicked smaht, this kid.

He better have a huge 'fro of hair too, because I've had really bad heartburn already and I have three more months to go. This kid might get more "Do you realize what you put me through?" lectures than Lucy ever does. Start pitying him now.

But! I digress. I sat down to tell you about our Christmas.

You're on tenterhooks, I know.

Bubba and Lucy's stockings and the mitten Advent calendar I made this year.

It was just the Bubba and Lucy and me for Christmas this year. And we're the adults in charge of "making" Christmas. Except we're lazy. There's something weird about Christmas when it doesn't feel very Christmassy. Obviously like we're missing something, but also a little bit like we're getting away with something. We don't have to do anything if we don't want to. It's a strange mixture of regret and freedom.

We did get a real tree this year! Smells so good!

The Bubba and I talked this year about what kind of traditions we should get it together enough to provide for Lucy. And pretty much we didn't come up with much this year. Good thing Lu doesn't care yet. But we did decide to be a "Christmas Eve Family," I think. His family read the Christmas story and opened gifts on the eve which left Christmas day to small stocking gifts, church, and big family meals. In my family, we opened gifts Christmas day and it was always a struggle with logistics of opening, church, meal, etc.

First present of the year, cutest pattern evah!
Lucy's version: "Roodaaaf the raindeeeer wif a reeeed nooose!"
in some ambiguous tune.

The Bubba had the 24th off work and after a hearty Bubba-made breakfast of egg nog waffles, we all retired to the living room to sit around the tree, us with our coffee, Lucy with her choo-choo trains. Since we had plans for that night, and since Lucy kept asking if it was "Christmastime yet" while predatorily eyeing the brightly wrapped gifts under the tree, we told her she could open one gift while we were sitting around sipping coffee and feeling full and merry. She was thrilled. She grabbed a gift and shook it saying "What IS it? It's a SURPRISE! FOR ME!" And jumped up and down. If I could bottle up that joy I wouldn't hesitate. It was so magical. I don't even remember what she opened first, but she played quietly with it for an hour or two and the Bubba and I tucked into our trashy vacation novels on the couch and everyone was happy.

Art supplies! SCORE!

After that hour or two, Lucy suggested "Can we open ANOTHUH pwesent? How 'bout THIS pwetty pwesent suhpwise for ME?" and we were soft with the contentment that sugary food and caffeine and a lazy morning reading can bring and acquiesced. And so the tone was set for our Christmas Eve day. Every few hours Lucy would pick a gift to open and then she would disappear to play with it. She had a blast, no one was overwhelmed, it was no less than ideal.

Christmas Eve evening, we went for dinner at some dear friends' and had a delicious meal of broiled mussels and braised beef ribs and carrots and potatoes and cappuccino cheesecake. Our friends have a daughter exactly a year younger than Lucy, so they had fun chasing and stealing toys from each other for a couple hours while we enjoyed our meal.

2010 party outfit of choice

We've obviously been talking a lot about Baby Jesus around here with Lucy and trying to explain in two-year-old terms what Christmas is. It's really something to witness her grappling with some great big concepts. The other day in the car, Lucy said, "Baby Jesus was born?" And we said "Yep, isn't that AWESOME? He came to show us how to love each other!" And she was quiet for a second and added "Baby Jesus is coming in the springtime?" And were said "Um, no, that's Baby Brother that's coming in the spring." Ah, the literal mind of a two-year old processing concepts that she can not see or fully grasp.

We went to 10 am Mass Christmas morning and were happy to see the addition of Baby Jesus to the manger scene. After that we were the laziest bumps on logs that you ever would hope to meet. Lucy and I took a nap and the Bubba read his book. After our snooze, we took care of the two gifts Lucy still had to unwrap under the tree that we hadn't gotten to yet.

Get this: WE DIDN'T EVEN MAKE A CHRISTMAS DINNER. I had a nice roasting chicken in the fridge and ingredients for our favorite stuffing, potatoes, green beans, broccoli, etc. But we had leftover this and that scrounging around in the fridge and cabinets for something to throw together. LAZY! We ended up with leftover mussels over pasta with a sauce of garlic and heavy cream. It was altogether delicious and took 20 minutes of our attention.

One can never have too much orange in one's wardrobe, don't you agree?

And that was our Christmas.


(Now to wean the girl off of Christmas Carols...)

Monday, December 13, 2010

New Day

Today we went to the zoo. I had sugar cookie batter chilled and cookie cutters at the ready, but then I looked out the window. It's warmish and sunny! A last minute change of plans, and we were watching the orangutan eating broccoli and kale for lunch.

Go me! Being Flexible and Fun Mom!

I let Lucy do whatever she wanted and take however long she wanted to take doing it. She picked up a stick and poked it in every hole and crevice in the whole zoo. She climbed up on some slimy wet wood fences to see the elephants. She knocked on the window of the meerkats. She got filthy. I chose not to care. Now she's in her bed humming Silent Night while she winds down for a snooze, which I find to be beyond precious.

I need more mornings like this.

And to think! It's a choice I make! Silly me, getting all caught up in the What I Want instead of the What I Need To Do. Some days I don't like my job. It's thankless. It's challenging physically and emotionally. A lot of times it's boring and repetitive and messy and frustrating. That makes me crabby. But! That's when I take for granted how lucky I am to have a kid who is growing and learning and how I get to be an integral part of that process every day. And when her (many, diverse) needs are met, she's actually pretty great.

I read this post today too. It's amazing. I'm going to try not raising my voice. Really try. The rest of Advent, I'm going to focus on choosing Joy. That means (among other things) making sure my job is done well. And that means making sure my girl's needs are my first priority instead of a crabby afterthought. It helps to have some focus.

We all work a little better like that.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crabby Christmasy Smorgasbord

Oh! Um, hi. It's been a while. I don't even know where to start, it's been so long.

I spent a week (or more, it may or may not be ongoing!) in a super crabby, emotional funk. Partly brought on by the stay-at-home weather, partly by the boundary-testing toddler, but mostly the combination of the two. I've been a little more tired lately at week 23+, and a little less agile. Pair that with a toddler who constantly dares me to react to her purposeful naughtiness just is a shit storm if you'll pardon my French.

Award winning parenting going on up in here, in other words.

Lucy is more of a challenge than she ever has been. I'll tell her one thing, and she'll look me in the eye and do the exact opposite. And then she'll either run away (because she knows I'm not as quick anymore!) or just stand there and face off with me. I'm running out of threatening faces. I think she might have spent most of the day in Time Out yesterday. Which also bites, because she SEEMS to get time out. She treats it right, she doesn't like it, she SEEMS to understand the lesson and straighten up afterward. But at the same time, it's like she doesn't CARE right now. Like Time Out is worth kicking her toy across the room or ripping the ornament off the tree or throwing Mama's perfume in the hamper. Sigh.

I just hate days that seem to jump from one form of discipline to another instead of enjoying whatever the day brings. I just really hope this phase passes quickly.

The only thing that seems to save both of our sanities is an Art Project. Ever since the Thankful Tree, Lucy asks to do an art project every single day. I'm totally ok with this. I'm all for it, actually, but after two weeks I'm kinda running thin on ideas! We did a gingerbread house,
made ornaments, colored countless pictures, decorated construction paper Christmas trees, made cookies, meticulously filled the Advent calendar, colored more pictures, made a hand-print wreath. I have learned that I was not really cut out for pre-school project-ing. The messes! Our dining table has been a repository for the random miscellany of these projects lately, and I am so tired I just shove it to one side and slide our chairs closer together to eat dinner at the other end.

In other news, I'm about done with the Christmas shopping! The godchildren are all taken care of, and so is Lucy's name exchange cousin. The Bubba already got his gift from me and Lucy - a new winter coat (he looks like a grown-up with appropriate winter attire!), and I have a couple things to slip into his stocking too.

Lucy, though, I don't know about. I have some little things to put in her stocking too, a little puzzle, some warm socks, beads to string on a necklace, bubble bath. But I can't pull the trigger on an actual gift for her. We wanted to get her a CD player for her play space so I wouldn't have to live through her playlist on the kitchen radio any more. But I can't find one that I like - slash - am willing to pay the price they're asking for it. I mean, I like this mp3 player, but... I don't know. So now I'm kinda wondering if we should just wait and not get her anything. Maybe pick up something in the after Christmas sales? But how can we not have a gift from Mommy and Daddy for my baby to open under the tree? (Truth is, she'll be happy as happy with the wrapped bottle of bubble bath as with anything else.) Whatever. She's naughty and I'm ambivalent. Obviously I need the Bubba to make this call.
(Do you have ideas for me? What are you buying for the 2 year olds in your life?)

And then me. You know, I loooove Christmas. I love twinkling lights and the hopeful anticipation of the season. I love thinking of the perfect gifts to wrap and then watching other people's joy in opening them. But I don't love getting presents. Like, at all. The Bubba keeps asking me what I want for Christmas, and the absolute truth is that I don't want a single thing. Weird, right? But I never know what I want to ask for, and the idea of a thing is always so much awesomer than the thing itself for me. Sure, I wouldn't mind having a stand mixer or some fancy softy-soft jammies or a new sewing machine. But really? I don't NEED those things, and that gives me Gift Guilt. And the guilt is worse than the happiness at having a new THING. Don't like.

Um anyway, I think I just put a damper on my already stupid crabby post. So maybe I should just hang up the keyboard now.

I'm contemplating going to the pool with Lucy tomorrow. So, you know, there's that. I'll just go ahead and try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snow Days

Things we've been doing to combat Snopocolypse 2010 Cabin Fever:

1) We've been doing art projects:

The idea of the Thankful Tree has been making its way around my group of internet mommy friends, and I thought Lucy might be able to understand it a little bit. I figured it was at least worth a try. I needn't have worried. Lucy came up with a huge list of things that she's thankful for including:
(her friend) Frances
Chocolate cookies
Our family

She had So. Much. Fun. coloring and cutting and pasting and listing and drawing and tracing. I was thinking it was a good 45 minute project. Lucy made it last almost twice that with her intricate tracing of all the letters I made and trying to cut leaves out with her zebra striped safety scissors.

When we hung it on the wall, the first thing she wanted to do was show grandma. And then the second thing she wanted to do was call daddy and ask him to come home and see this "beautiful, beautiful art project" and play with her. It seems she's growing out of the terrible part of the Twos a little bit and I'm loving this thoughtful, sweet, imaginative girl that's developing.

2) We've been braving the cold and playing in the snow!

If Lucy could just be outside poking things with a stick for the rest of her life, she'd die a happy girl.

Also, when the heck is the last time I had to scrape a walkway or driveway? I was living in the Midwest Tundra, I'm sure. Hard work, that. The mailman better be appreciative that he won't slip and break his neck on MY sidewalk.

Of all the snow in the yard, she found this little patch of snow and ice in our alleyway more interesting. I think maybe it had to do with the leaves frozen in a layer of ice. Either way, I was hopping from foot to foot impatient to get back in the warmth while she was obliviously involved with whatever exploring she was doing.

And to the explorer is sure to come new discoveries: her first taste of hot chocolate and marshmallows. As you can tell, she was thrilled in a WHY-have-you-never-given-me-this-BEFORE?! sort of way.

The snow should disappear tomorrow with 40 degree temps and some rain. As much of a pain it is to get snow in Seattle, I'm glad we took advantage of the winter-ness of it. It sure does feel like the holidays. Next up! Thanksgiving tomorrow with friends and a nice long weekend of relaxing. Heaven.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Things of Note

1) Yesterday, the Bubba suggested spur-of-the-moment that we take a family photo on our front steps. 13 minutes later I was ordering our Christmas cards with that picture on it. It was that easy this year. Everyone was looking at the camera AND smiling, the background was normal, we looked like we were together... In short, the stars were aligned.

2) I had another midwife checkup today. Bidou's heart rate is in the 150s, I'm measuring at least a week big, but from the ultrasound and other measurements he seems to be a big, long baby. The midwife was very glad that I had done research on EIFs and didn't get stuck in freak-out mode (this is a different midwife from the one I had the original conversation with). She said she HATES telling people about them when everything else is normal because they are not an indication of anything. And she also said she's seen a lot of these in her time as a midwife. So that's encouraging too.

3) It's snowing. We beat Wisconsin for snowfall so far this year.

Lucy is in absolute awe. She'll say "There are SNOWFLAKES, Mommy! They're BLOWING! They're COLD on my hands!" And she spent a good part of the morning just putting her boot prints in the accumulation. It's so fun to see this through her eyes now that she can really understand and experience it this year. Plus it's starting to feel a whole lot more like the holidays are moments away with snow outside the window.

Those are about the only fun parts, though. Seattle drivers turn PSYCHO with the littlest hint of a snow cloud on the horizon. Plus, the roads are starting to get slushy-ish and it's supposed to get much colder, which doesn't bode well for a city with two (brand new! As of last Snowpocolypse!) salt trucks and a handful of plows. Needless to say, I got all my errands done early and will be riding out the rest of the day in front of my fireplace with a cup of tea and my toddler and a book. Hopefully the Bubba will be able to get home from work on some snow-routed bus...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This Time Around

I've decided it would be much more convenient if the human gestational period was about 25 weeks. That sounds like just enough time to get adequately uncomfortable, and yet not really enough time to wish for sweet sweet Death the way I'm imagining I will for the entire third trimester.

I loved every second of being pregnant with Lucy. The first little whispers of movement, even the great big belly-morphing movements at the end. I was never sick with Lu, never felt more tired than I could handle, never really had much to complain about. I felt beautiful, radiant even. Oh, I complained. Don't get me wrong there. I just feel like I was so in awe of the whole process and so filled with joy with the prospect of starting a family that I secretly relished even the discomfort at the end. I wasn't too disappointed even when my due date came and went and I still had to wait. It was exciting anticipation.

This pregnancy is different. I was so sick. I was (am?) so tired. I have to take care of an energetic toddler while being sick and tired. And now I'm big enough that I'm starting to feel uncomfortable when I stand. Or sit. Or lay down with a frillion pillows. And I know I have so much longer to go! Bidou has filled out all the extra flabby tummy skin Lucy left behind, and my stretch marks are remembering their ginormous blossoming proportions and waking from their saggy naps. My belly button is even starting to feel weird with some of the innie creeping outie (this never happened with Lucy, but I'm about 20lbs lighter at this point, maybe that matters?). And then there are other weirdnesses that are new to me: the super dry skin, the melasma only on the left side of my forehead, the charley horse-like round ligament pain in my stomach as Bidou grows and grows.

But! I'm still loving the baby acrobatics. That part will never not be magical. I have a little human under my skin. A boy human! Who is trying to run and jump and play even though he doesn't know how.

I'm more comfortable with the idea of having a baby this time around. I can imagine how the spring will be and I can plan for taking care of an infant. I know how it works, now. I love this little baby fiercely already, like I didn't know was possible before Lucy. He is already the fourth equal part of my family.

It would just be so convenient for me if the required cooking time for a baby were just a wee bit shorter.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Other Things

Thank all of you for your kind words for us. It feels a little like we're putting on a brave face, but really, we're choosing not to worry. As my mama reminded me, God never gives us more than we can handle - and he's never let me down yet. So there's that.

Is it too late to post pictures of Halloween? I'm going to pretend it wasn't over two weeks ago and that it's not too late. Especially because I'm pretty sure you need to see pics of a two-year-old Wookie.

Practicing her Wookie speak "Wrrrrraaaaaahhhh"
We taught her to say that instead of "Trick-or-Treat."
Two-year-olds can be so much fun like that.

Action shot - If only she had a blaster or a cross bow...
But no, she was just running through crunchy leaves.

The post-Trick-or-Treating comparing/eating of the booty!
I had a much easier time giving Lu a snack pack of fruit snacks
than a fun-sized Snickers. That said, Mama likes the Snickers.
Everybody wins. (Also, aren't JacknMollyMoo the CUTEST?)

Costume idea shamelessly stolen from my friend Shelby
who also swallowed a Jack-o-lantern this year.
(Side note: I can't believe that was only two weeks ago;
Bidou must have grown, because I'm pretty sure I'm twice that now.)

Oh, did I tell you that the Bubba was Princess Leia? No? That's because I DIDN'T GET A PICTURE OF IT. I made him a "hair" hat to wear, and I have to say it was quite amusing. Alas, no evidence has survived because he wasn't a huge fan of "being the joke." Whatever.

A fun time was had by all.

I'm already brainstorming next year's costume's theme!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happiness Hiccup

The ultrasound on Monday showed a bright spot on Bidou's little heart. I knew this. I saw it and I wondered what it was. But of course, in the emotional There's-My-Baby moment, I didn't ask the tech. I'm not sure she could even (legally) tell me.

I finally got a hold of the midwife yesterday and asked all about it and she broke the news that because of this spot, our risk of Bidou having Down Syndrome just skyrocketed.

My voice got nice and even, and I asked lots of relevant questions about other risks and markers that may have been present. (Such detailed questions, in fact, that the midwife asked if I worked in the medical field!) I was very calm and rational until I hung up the phone. If you've ever been pregnant or even been in the same room as a pregnant woman, you'll know that my next reaction, as soon as the phone call was disconnected, was Full-On Freak Out including sobbing, unintelligible phone conversations with the Bubba at work ("Lizzie, I can't understand you. Take a breath."). These are not the things an already emotionally charged lady wants to hear.

My perfect little baby might not be perfect.

From the very beginning, I put this little baby boy in God's hands. Before he was even a thought, we knew we would love and cherish him as the gift he is no matter what. The Bubba reminded me that just as this baby is a gift to us, he would also be lucky to have informed parents willing to love and take care of him no matter what.

After the initial Freak Out, I put on my research pants and got to work. I have (accidental, maybe not-so-authorized) access to the research databases at a university, so I put on some Sesame Street to babysit Lucy and started wading through documents thick with jargon. The bright spot is called an echogenic intracardial focus or a calcuim deposit in the muscle tissue of the heart. It is considered a "soft" marker for chromosomal aneuploidy, specifically DS. And that's probably why the tech took a thousand million pictures of Bidou's EVERYTHING after seeing that. I'm so thankful she was thorough.

The thing is, though, Bidou has no other markers for DS. No nuchal thickening. No Hyperechogenic Bowel. No shortened femur or humerus (Bidou was measuring 20w4d in fact, when I was only 19w at the time). Nothing else. And I'm not considered in a risky age group (yet).

When all of these things are considered, according to all the most current research that I read, echogenic intracardial focus is considered a normal developmental variation.

Now, I understand the medical field's CYA policies quite well. I also understand that I need to be informed about everything that happens with me and my baby for my own sake and safety. But I'm not sure not giving ALL the information about something is helpful. For example, my midwife did tell me that the EIF would not in any way interfere with the development or general health of bidou and that it isn't even anything that she felt like she needed to follow up on. Which is consistent with the research I read. Evidently they're either present or not and go away at some point after the baby's born. But an EIF does not increase our risk of DS by as much as she said. Not even close. According to the vast majority of everything that I've read, an isolated EIF (with no other markers or indicators) is not only not correlated, but not even ASSOCIATED with an increased risk of chromosomal aneuploidy.

Seriously. How frustrating. I feel like at the very least she could have told me that the research is not conclusive instead of convincing me that our risk just went through the roof.

I spent a very emotional afternoon worrying and fretting and crying when I didn't need to. At least I can be thankful that I'm the kind of person that spends an afternoon crying and frantically doing the research and not the type that spends the next four months fretting about the health of my baby.

All of that said, Bidou still has an EIF. And it probably means nothing. But a couple extra prayers, couldn't hurt, if you're the praying type.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's A.....

People, I totally forgot how emotional ultrasounds can be. I started bawling basically the moment my back hit the table. My tech was adorable, though, and awesome and I loved her. It's funny how immediately close you get to techs and nurses in situations like ultrasounds. Thank goodness for the really great ones.

The Bubba took today off and we lined up a baby sitter for Lucy so that we could go to the ultrasound together and then maybe out to brunch. Which sounds like heaven, right? But kids, they ruin everything, don't they? Poor Lucy is sick with a killer cold and it was a pretty hard night last night so Daddy stayed home to play nurse and I put on my Big Girl Pants and went to the appointment all by my onsies.

Which ended up being fine, because it was wasn't overwhelming for me. It was perfect. This perfect healthy baby was opening and closing its hands and flipping around and stretching simultaneously right inside me and right in front of me and it seemed so magical in the quiet dark of the ultrasound room. I was a little sad not to be able to share it with the Bubba, but it was a very intimate experience. A baby. That wasn't Lucy. Right here.

The ultrasound took a really long time because this baby was so very interested in getting a thumb into its mouth that it couldn't be bothered to be still enough for the tech to measure things like the head and heart. But watching that arm working toward the face, and watching that mouth work around that thumb. That was amazing.

And then I got to come home to my (Big) Little and my Love and share all the good news. The healthy baby, the great Battle To Get The Thumb, the sweetness of the stretching and moving and kicking. The positive outlook on life:

Thumbs up!

Oh, and there were hilarious surprise crotch shots with every other flip because evidently this kid couldn't resist mooning the ultrasound wand. Sounds about right for the progeny of me and my Bubba.

So, everyone, meet my SON. (I started crying again just typing that.) You were all so right! How did you know?! I myself was blown away.

He finally got that thumb!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's Your Guess?

I'm waiting on some photos to be able to show you Lucy in her Wookie-ness on Halloween (you could see one here) - maybe tomorrow.

So! Instead let's play a round of What's Your Guess? (I am not above copying R and Jess.)

Our "big" ultrasound is Monday morning and I am so excited. I feel like I'm way more excited to find out this time than I was last time. I guess I just really want to know if Lucy's going to have a brother or a sister. On the one hand, we have all kinds of girl stuff, and we wouldn't have to buy anything new! On the other hand, it'd be fun to have a boy around too! Lucy could have a sister to steal clothes and makeup! Or a brother to monkey around with! I have to know! Also, we haven't had an ultrasound yet - just doppler heart beats - so I'm just really looking forward to SEEING this active little soccer player.

Ok, so here's some info upon which to base your guesses:

Old wives' tales say that if you're carrying high it's a girl, low it's a boy. It seems to me I'm big in the middle-ish-to-lowish general area.
17ish weeks

Old wives will say that a fetal heart rate above 140 means girl, below means boy. My midwife tells me Bidou's heartrate is on the low side of 140.

Old wives' tales say that morning sickness means a girl because of the double-up on female hormones. I was SO SO SICK from about week 5-9 with Bidou. But I was never sick a single day with Lucy.

Old wives will say that craving sweet means a girl, savory means a boy. I have never wanted more spinach-feta salad or apples before in my life. Oh and potato chips. Normally I don't even LIKE potato chips.

Old wives' tales say that if the husband gains weight, a girl is on the way. Um, have any of you ever seen my husband? The Bubba can merely *think* about going for a run and drop 15 pounds that no one knew were extra. I don't think the man is capable of gaining any sort of substantial weight.

Old wives will say that if a mom has better skin during pregnancy, a boy is cooking, but if mom gets acne it's a girl. I've had no trouble with acne at all. I can't remember for sure if I did with Lucy or not, but I don't think so.

And what about the Chinese birth calendar? That says this baby is a boy. It predicted a girl when I was pregnant with Lucy.

Oh! And one more thing in the interest of full disclosure. The Bubba's brothers tend to be girl-daddies on the whole. Of his four brothers that have - or are soon to have - a total of nine kids, only two are boys.

So what do you think? Monday night will be the Big Reveal!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lesson Learned

You guys, I was *that* mom today. The one people shake their heads at and wonder what I think I'm doing.

We were at a store this morning stocking up on things to put in our Rainy Day Activity Box. We got construction paper, watercolors, glitter. I've bookmarked some cute holiday crafts that we can do and send to the Grandmas and hopefully keep the lion-in-a-cage pacing that Lucy does when we're not Doing Something to a minimum.

We went by the Halloween clearance stuff and I picked out some things for my student tonight, and Lucy saw one of those M&M characters personal fans and fell instantly in love. And at more than half off, I thought, "That is worth every penny for the ALL DAY distraction it is sure to bring." So we made our purchases and made our way to the grocery store for our Real Errand.

Blue M&M: the culprit

Lucy rode in a "beep beep"at the grocery store - you know, those little car carts - and was blowing her fan on everything and "making it windy!" and generally having a wonderful time of it.

Then I heard "Uh, oh... It's stuck, Mommy." I thought maybe it jammed or she put it in the steering wheel or something so I pulled over to help dislodge the new toy. But no. It wasn't so easy. She. Put. It. In. Her. HAIR.


And it was so tangled that I had to ask a store employee for a pair of scissors to CUT IT OUT. Talk about worst case scenario. The motherly employee was looking at me like, "Did you actually give a two-year-old this FAN to play with?" And, insult to injury and all that, Lucy has a brand new inch-long patch in smack in the middle of her beautiful hair. Totally sucktastic.

(and this is just the part that stands up)

Humble pie was on sale today.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Obligatory Fall Pumpkin-ness

We have three big pumpkins growing in our garden. We went to a pumpkin patch anyway and paid the obligatory entrance fee to let Lucy play in some dried corn and throw a fit about wanting to ride and then not wanting to ride in a "hay wagon" after having waited in a line of super rude MyChildrenAreTheOnlyPeopleWhoCountHere mothers. It's for the experience, you know.
The thrill of the experience.

Truth be told, though, Lucy had a great time running around and she picked out her very own pumpkin

and tried to put it in the wheelbarrow herself,

and she got to pick out a tiny little pumpkin-gourd for Bidou, and we got to visit with friends we don't see very often. So I suppose I should stop being so cynical and say that it was a fine day out.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Mondays

LAZY. I've been lazy about everything lately.

We're still living around boxes. But things are MOSTLY in their right place. I mean, we have clothes and bed sheets and kitchen stuff and towels, and, you know, the necessities. But the artwork is all leaning against walls, and Lucy's room - well, I won't even go there. Her toys can stay in boxes forever as far as I'm concerned. Easy enough pick-up.

I haven't been writing anything. Mostly because I don't want to look at the most superlatively boring chronology of my laziness. We eat! We sleep! We do laundry! Sometimes we bathe! Who cares?! I need to find some sort of routine here. At the old house we could walk to coffee and to the library. Living here requires a little more planning for outings, and I just need to figure some things out. Like story time at our new library branch. Or something.

And I'm still pregnant, somehow. I think the baby's having a growth spurt the last couple of days. I'm starving and tired and then there's the other weird stuff. You know, like I've started getting these weird charlie-horses in my left middle abdominal muscle. Or the stretchy-ouchie-crampy feelings of the belly growing.

Lucy's been fun lately. I mean, now that she's sleeping through the night (mostly) and not viciously acting out at every single opportunity. (She's still so definitely Two, though, oh my goodness, she's Two. Pushing, testing, trying, pressing.) She's becoming so human saying things and thinking things that the Bubba and I didn't directly put in her head. Yesterday I asked if she'd like to paint her little pumpkin she said "Oh, Mom! That'd be GREAT!" Or today we were driving home and she saw some graffiti on a stop sign and she said "OH NO! What happened there?! We only color on paper. That's too bad."

The rain and wind have started in. Welcome, Seattle winter. And if "they" are to be believed, it's supposed to be a really wet one. For this week at least I've got some distraction. I've finally decided on a blankey pattern for Bidou, I have a pile of mending projects to do, and I have to finish up making our halloween costumes. And for the rest of it, well, that getting-out-of-the-house routine will evolve.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Photos: New Everything

All the new things we're enjoying:

Lucy got a new play rug for her new room. Just in case you were wondering, she LOVES it. She will talk over lunch for complete paragraphs about where the red truck made its deliveries today and whether the yellow sports car got to watch the football game at the stadium.

And so far we haven't had a bit of trouble with her going to sleep with toys in her bedroom. In the old house, I had to clear out her room before laying her down. I don't know if it's new routine or whatever, but I'll totally take it. My living space isn't cluttered with plastic primary colors, and my girl is not distracted. Win win.

Lucy's showing off the new pumpkins growing in our new garden. Oh, man, I love this garden. Onions and beans and pumpkins and yellow squashes and tomatoes and berries. It's awesome and I hope I don't screw it up with my brown thumb.

This is our new go-to walk spot. It's a couple blocks away and it's the view over the Golden Gardens bluffs. We may not have the canal close anymore, but we do have the sound! And we can still see sailboats and barges and birds and the mountains. It'll do.

Sailboat parking. Lucy kept asking "But what are those sailboats DOING, Mom?" she didn't like the explanation that they were parked there. Then once I told her they were having a meeting. She stopped asking.

Me and my girl enjoying a nice walk in the sun. I balanced the camera on a bench and put the timer on. I'd get Lucy to stand in the right spot and then I'd run like a mad pregnant lady to join the picture. I think I took about five out takes before I realized that there were men in a work truck eating lunch at the curb and making hysterical fun of me. That's when I decided that one of those five photos was just fine.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

In ... Sort of.

This week has seemed so long that the toils of moving last weekend are in the very distant past of my memory.

Monday I had another midwife appointment and got to hear Bidou's heartbeat again. Everything looks good and healthy. And I still LOVE my midwifes and want to bring them all home with me to live on a commune. They're that awesome. It helped a little that she said "Your weight looks really good!" which, frankly, might be the first time anyone in the medical profession has ever said that. But it's true for me that I'm not gaining NEARLY as much with Bidou as I did with Lucy. I'm sure the fact that I'm in generally much better shape factors in, but really, I just don't have the time to sit and stuff my face like I want to/would do if Lucy wasn't around. That said, I'm 15.5 weeks and have gained 5lbs. Let's keep on this trajectory, shall we, Bidou? Keep asking for more apples and being ambivalent about the ice cream, mmmmmmkay?

I don't even know what happened the rest of the days that have gone by. So I guess that means that's when I busted my butt unpacking a bunch of boxes. I also started making nutritious food a priority again. We've been living on pizza and takeout and cold cut sandwiches and peanut butter. This week, I have been cooking healthy things again: spicy peanut sauce on soba, curry with chickpeas and spinach. Even without my measuring cups (I can't find them. Who packed this house up, anyway?). Tonight I can't decide whether I want to do the step-intensive lasagna, or the cutting/prep-intensive stew. A nap sounds better than both, really.

Speaking of sleep, we haven't been getting much around here lately. Lucy's transition to the new house is (I believe) complete, now. She woke up with a nasty cold on Monday morning and HOO BOY the combination has been a battle. It's hard to classify when she's acting out because she doesn't feel well, and when it's because she's out of her routine. And then I don't know whether to introduce an Activity like the Let's Put Clothes Away In Drawers to help her with the transition or if it's going to backfire and overwhelm her under-the-weather self which inspires even more vicious behavior on her part. Conversely, do I medicate her when I should be finding books for her to unpack? It's always a crap shoot. And I'm about 65-35 on the losing side of the bets. At least she's started sleeping mostly through the night again and not waking up and freaking the freak out over every new noise. Mostly.

So, we're in. We're in this new house, and we're enjoying the new space. The living areas are just so *livable* and the bedrooms are comfy and we have no share-the-walls-or-floor neighbors to worry about when Lucy gets a stroke of Must Play the Piano and Sing right when she wakes up at 6:30. We love the yard and walking the neighborhood. It's grand, really.

Even despite the boxes yet to be unpacked.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Too Bad I Can't Just Have A Stiff Drink and Spare You This Post

It’s later than I usually write. Well, that’s not to say it’s late. Maybe what I mean is that I’m tireder than I usually write. Which ends up being Whinewhinewhine, woeisme, lifeishard, wahwahwah, whinewhinewhine. Either way, what I basically mean is that nothing I say should be taken seriously and you all should just put on your fake smiles and nod and pat my arm and leave it at that.

In fact, when we were first married, the Bubba and I had a no-talking policy twice a day. Between the time he got home from work and had something to eat and after 10pm. Anything that was said between those fateful hours was bound to end up some sort of squabble and maybe even escalate into a fight. No fun.

(Ok, ready with that fake smile and arm pat?)

You know what else is no fun? Moving. Trying to move with my family is absolutely INSUFFERABLE.

I hate that we’re going to have to do this at least once more in the foreseeable future when (IF) we (EVER) find a house we want to buy. … But look at me borrowing trouble again, and getting stressed about some future event that might not happen for ages! I mean really, I have enough to be stressed about right now.

First, there’s the certain shorty who thinks that the world revolves around her. She doesn’t think that I should dare turn my back on her to do something like empty cupboards into a box. A box. I mean, come on. Everyone KNOWS boxes are for dumping things OUT of. And climbing into. And pushing around on the carpet.

Then there’s the fetus, that selfish thing that ALSO thinks that the world revolves around him/her. And his/her sole purpose right now is to leave me enough energy to know what I should be doing and walk around looking at those things and at the same time suck my energy so that I really don’t want to DO any of those things, or (more likely) I do half of one thing before I’m exhausted and frustrated and ready to give up.

These siblings are already working together to break my sanity.

And then! Then there’s the Bubba. Oh, the Bubba. The Bubba is just something else when it comes to moving. I don’t know anyone else in the history of humankind who can seriously take fifteen thousand hours to pack one single solitary box. No joke. When I check on him, he’ll be standing perfectly still staring down into the box. When I’m all “WTH, worker bee??” He’ll sheepishly say, “Oh, I got distracted reading this,” indicating an article in a week-old newspaper that he’s currently using to wrap glassware.


And then there’s the “Did you get anything done today?” when the Bubba gets home from work. Tonight he called to say he was on his way home, I suggested we pick him up because we were going to the new house. So I threw a bunch of random stuff that I could grab into the back of the car without much thought as to how it was presented. “Nice packing job, Liz.” was all that was said, thick with sarcasm, as he unloaded. (To the Bubba’s credit, it turned out that I smashed one stroller, one golf bag, one open box with stuff overflowing - and by overflowing I mean falling out all over - and well, another open box with stuff overflowing, and then our yoga mats in there. Random AND messy.)

I’m being sensitive. I’m stressed and tired and worried and tired and pregnant and tired. I get to be sensitive and frustrated. Sometimes I don’t think we’ll ever get done because all that gets done is what I do. So then I want to just check out and leave everything to the Bubba, and good luck to you, Fine Sir. But then I know that we’ll get done, and I just need to go to bed (which, if I'm being honest, is the answer to quite a few issues).

This too shall pass.

Two More Days

So the official move is on Saturday morning. It's finally in sight, and I can't wait until it's over. I have been s-l-o-w-l-y making my way through the house and sorting and purging and organizing. And then I got tired of that. And lately I've been organizing/packing maybe one box a day if I'm lucky.

But! I did get the kitchen cabinets at the new place scrubbed and contact papered and whatnot. That takes some time out of the just-moved in schedule. And it also guarantees that I won't have to clean this house and THEN go over and clean the new house one right after the other. Ugh.

I've also been making a trip over to the new place every day with odd-shaped stuff. Pedestal fans and diaper pails and that awkward little table. That sort of thing. Hopefully, then, when we get the truck, it'll just be boxes and furniture in, and boxes and furniture out. Followed by a brisk, satisfied hands-brushing-off.

Only two more days of limbo.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

She Likes the Standards

Much-needed distraction from packing/organizing:


Lucy, just in case you were wondering, I am saving this in a very safe place for your wedding highlights video.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Let's Take a Moment For Some Whine

It's a done deal. We're moving to Ballard. In a week.

This house is so cute. It's in a super quiet neighborhood about 5 blocks away from the elementary school playground, three blocks from the bus the Bubba will take to work, or only 7.5 miles from downtown on his bike. It's close to Golden Garden bluffs and beach.

It's a two bedroom, which is what we're in now, but it's so much nicer. The living space is better laid out with big windows NONE of which look into neighbors' windows. I know! I didn't think it was possible in the city either! It has a full livable basement with an extra bedroom and bathroom down there (Family! Friends! Come visit! We finally have room for you!), and a huge play space. I imagine ride-on toys going around in circles and two Littles down there fighting over the bouncy balls! The fully fenced backyard is one-third patio complete with a wood-burning chiminea, one-third fruit and vegetable garden (Artichokes! Berries! Sour cherry tree!), and one-third grass. Lucy LOVES it. So do I.

First, before any of that can be enjoyed, is the purgatory.

I have been working on sorting and packing for (ONLY) three days, and I'm so exhausted I could barely drag my pregnant self out of bed this morning. Right now, Lucy is parked in front of Sesame Street and I am staring blankly into the abyss that is our "pantry" - really it's a Let's Throw Whatever Worthless Junk In Here That We Don't Know What To Do With room. I spent all day packing and organizing it yesterday, and you really wouldn't be able to tell just by looking. Is there anything more disheartening?

I've already taken an entire trunk load of stuff to the Goodwill and there's a new pile started. Every time I get caught with a "Oh, but this is great because...." I repeat my battle cry: "RUTHLESS! MERCILESS!" and in the Out pile it goes. The Bubba drew the line at the crystal champagne toasting flutes from our wedding. Me: But we've NEVER USED THEM. Bubba: But they're SPECIAL. Me: Whatever (hoarder).

My dining room table is covered with random crap I'm not sure what to do with, I have a stack of boxes started by the piano, and another in the corner of the bedroom. The only thing keeping me going is the fact that we signed a lease. We're moving. It's a reality, so deal with it, Lizzie. But really I'd like to curl in a ball and say, "But I'm too TIRED."

And then Lucy. She's generally done very well so far this week. She is a big fan of putting stuff in boxes and dumping it out. Especially the clean laundry I haven't folded for the last three days. (I knew there was a reason I wasn't doing that chore.) She goes between filling her own boxes and screaming at me to push her around in an empty tupperware bin.

I'm overwhelmed with this job. The pregnancy hormones make me weepy and give me an awesome Can't-Do-It! attitude. But! You eat the elephant one bite at a time, right? As soon as I get through this "pantry" maybe I'll feel better. Ugh. WHO NEEDS A RAT'S NEST OF EIGHTEEN EXTENSION CORDS?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is There Anything That Trumps A Good Poop Story?

We've been looking to move to a different rental house since baby number two moved from Category: Idea to Category: Imminent. We don't have a lot of space in our house. I mean, it's technically fine, but I'm ready for better, you know?

So we've been scouring Craig's List, and we've been intermittently looking at rental houses for a couple of months. To put it mildly, none of these places have spoken to us. I love our neighborhood now. We can walk to the library, to the organic grocery, to two different parks, the Bubba bikes to work, we're a block away from throwing rocks into the ship canal. Really, it's ideal SAHM territory.

I almost had to resign myself to living in a far north Seattle suburb where we'd have to drive because the places in our (modest, one income!) price range. It turned out that we were looking either at real rat-holes or at far away.

But this is all a different post entirely. Let's get to the poop, shall we?

Last Sunday we went to see a house that was old, old, old. The owner was asking $1300/mo. I'll add that the house is smallish (less than 1000 sq.ft?), is on a busy street, with single-paned painted-shut windows, is one house away from a Plaid Pantry stop-n-shop type convenience store and is just around the corner from a huge Goodwill store. Not really cute neighborhood realty here.

After looking in the first couple of rooms, we ended up just sticking around and asking questions to be polite to the owner who was very nice, but kept saying stuff like "I know the carpet is totally gross, but I don't have plans to replace it right now." I mean, really awesome.

Lucy, of course, chooses this particular moment to stop in her running-around tracks and shout "GOTTA GO POTTY!" I turned to the owner, asked if he'd mind if she used the bathroom and scurried off down the hall.

The bathroom was a veritable pit. I'm pretty sure I've used porta-potties in which I've been more confident touching things. I'm not sure when the last time it was cleaned. The bathtub and toilet had grime up and down the sides of them, and honestly, I just stopped looking around.

I plopped Lucy down on the toilet and she went about her grunting and red-facing until she exclaimed "Yay! Poopoos in the potty!" and hopped down from the toilet seat expecting exuberant laud and applause. Except! She jumped off the pot before, um, the ship actually left the port, shall we say? And all of a sudden there was turd smeared all over the seat and the front of the toilet.

I wanted so, so badly to just leave it. We could just run out! We'd never see this guy again! And really, I almost did, but I thought that might be a tad obvious. Well, obvious - slash - MEAN.

You will be happy to know I swallowed down my barf and reached for the wipes I still keep in my purse. I was chanting the whole time "Please, God, let this flush. Please, please, God," since I was depositing wad after wad of toilet paper and un-flushable wipes. I got Lucy's butt clean (with her joyfully oblivious to all of this, bending with her hands on the FLOOR for a butt-wipe. Really I don't know what was worse, the toilet or the floor. Oh gag. Both.), I got the front of the toilet wiped off, the toilet flushed, and I didn't puke! WIN! I turned to the sink and there was no soap. No towel. No nothing. Thank God for purse-sized hand sanitizer is all I have to say. I bathed us both in sanitizer and we left that house post-haste.

(Side note: I am so not looking forward to road trips with 7-11 toilet trips with kids. SO GROSS. How did you deal, Mom?)

Oh, but isn't Karma a funny thing?! I cleaned that guy's toilet, and then directly after, I'm pretty sure we found our perfect house! So maybe I should thank Lucy?


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Questions Answered

Inquiring minds want to know:
  • I am 12 weeks along give-r-take.
  • We are calling this baby Bidou in utero (just like we called Lu Baby Tad). Bidou is slang for a chubby belly in French.
  • Baby Bidou is due April 4th (evidently we like repeating birthdays – Lucy was almost born on 8/8, Bidou comes around 4/4… Maybe it’ll make remembering their birthdays easier when I’m senile.)
  • I have switched from by OB (who was fine but maybe not AWESOME) to a group of midwives in the area. So far? LOVE. They are completely laid back and chill and Your Body Knows What It’s Doing So Don’t Worry So Much and the complete opposite of my old OB group.
  • I would maybe have waiting a little longer before announcing the news to the whole Hoi Polloi, but I couldn’t hide my already huge belly from my co-workers anymore and I figure if my work peeps know, my support peeps should surely know too.
  • Part of the Laid Back Midwives deal means that I didn’t get an ultrasound at my first visit, and opted out of the silly screenings and whatnot that we're not at risk for and therefore I am (pretend) nervous that there’s two babies up in here. (There is really no chance that there are two. Unless I just jinxed myself.) Mostly just because I’d like to have an excuse for how positively enormous I already am. 12 weeks. Maternity pants. Come on. (FYI I've gained 2 pounds. I blame the lack of running mileage and not the behbeh, but you never know...)
In case you don't believe me: photographic evidence.
    • Lucy really doesn’t have any idea what’s going on pregnancy-wise, but she’s a pleaser. She likes to be funny and she likes the reactions when she tells people what they want to hear. At two years old, she’s already a flatterer and a feeler. So, I’m pretty sure she asks about her baby sister because she knows it makes us smile and laugh and give her smooches.
    • A big package of maternity clothes that I ordered came yesterday. God bless yoga pants! These should get me through the next sixish months. I'm 3 sizes smaller than with Lucy, so my clothes from Lucy's pregnancy are swimming on me. And besides that, I think I wore the same thing every single day from May to August with Lucy and was so sick of those three things that I just got rid of them. So! Replacements! Hooray!
    Anything else you need to know?

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    You Take the Good, You Take the Bad

    Things that have been (mildly) bumming me out lately:
    • I'm TIRED
    • We're looking to move and can't find *just* the right house. Frustrating.
    • It doesn't matter how much I get done in the day, there's always more laundry to fold or dishes in the sink or toys to pick up or papers to shred or beds to make or messes to mop up or children to bathe.
    • Every anecdote that I have to share has to do with bodily functions lately - they all seem to start with "When Lucy pooped the other day..." - and I should no longer be allowed be a member of grown-up society.
    • I can't wear any of my normal clothes anymore. Pants are too tight, shirts are too short. Welcome, maternity wear! I wouldn't have minded a couple more weeks of feeling athletic and skinny from my half marathons.
    But! Let's not dwell!

    Things that have been making me happy:
    • Lucy's new go-to catch phrase is "Oh, that's GREAT!" Said with great enthusiasm. She also loves the phrase "Comfy-cozy."
    • The morning sickness nausea has passed and I have no food aversions that I can think of. Mmmmmm food. I'm back to making dinner every night, which makes everyone happy.
    • Peach cobbler. People, I'm pretty sure the gods invented this dessert specifically to make me happy.
    • Every time Lucy sees my belly, she asks when Baby Sister is coming (she's TOTALLY convinced she's getting a sister)
    • I thought of awesome/funny/useful/perfect gifts to send to my Irish friend for her wedding. Don't you LOVE it when you put the pressure on yourself to find something perfect and then you DO? Win.
    • Lucy can write her name at 25 months. MENSA, baby!

    • I still run three times a week or so. My mileage has dropped from 25-30 miles per week to about 9-10, and my splits have dropped from 9min/mi to 11 or 12! Ha! It still feels good, though, so I've got that going for me.
    • I'm designing my Bubba a sweater for Christmas. I figure it's not too soon to start, factoring in screw-ups and rip-backs that are imminent.
    Did I forget anything?

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Just Like That

    Once upon a time in July 2010, I was suspicious.

    One day, a 10-mile bike ride made me too tired to do speed work on the track after. Ok, that can be explained away – that’s a lot of activity, you know? But then the next day, a four-mile run felt like the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my whole life. Add that to the sleepy factor. I had just been so TIRED. Like waking up tired. Which leads to crabbing at Lucy whether or not she deserves it.

    And then – and this was the clincher – I fell asleep on the couch in full sun reading her a book. That doesn’t happen. I usually have a really hard time napping during the day. Even when Lucy was a newborn and I was so exhausted I couldn’t see straight. Even then. But here I was, waking up with sunburn on my neck and drool on my chin and Lucy the Angel Child playing quietly with her trains.

    I put it all together, and though, ooooooh. I see what’s going on here. And I peed on a stick.

    And lo.

    There were two lines.

    (2nd pregnancy = already huge!)

    In the spring, we will be a family of four.

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Just Another Day

    The Seattle Public Library had some pretty severe budget cuts in the last years, so every year all the libraries/websites/everything is shut down for a week or so around Labor Day. For our family? This is an extraordinarily long week.

    The fast was broken yesterday, though, and we celebrated by spending basically all afternoon walking to the library, sitting and reading books and coloring pictures and playing with hand puppets and wooden puzzles, and walking home. It was an afternoon very well spent.

    I was a little surprised, though, with how many parents dump their kids in the children's section and take off. As I was reading books quietly to Lucy, I attracted a small crowd of pre-schoolers and started to get very annoyed that I was basically free child care for their parents. Lucy echoed my feelings when a kid tried to push in front of her to see the picture on the book I was holding and Lucy said "This MY mommy. Go YOU mommy read to you." That's pretty much when we stopped reading and moved on to puzzles.

    Lucy is aware of traffic signals, stop on red and all that. On our walk, I was explaining the Walk/Don't Walk signals. She watched them like a hawk and then would flip out when the Don't Walk started blinking yelling at random strangers, "NOT SAFE PEOPLE! NOT SAFE! DON'T CROSS!"

    There's also an intersection between the library and home with a turn arrow. Stopped for the arrow was a cab with its windows down. As we were waiting to cross, the arrow turned green, but the cab seemed to be waiting for us to cross. The car behind him honked it's horn, and Lucy hollered at the cab driver, "GREEN MEANS GO, PEOPLE!" (The funny thing is, this honestly isn't something she hears me or the Bubba say.) I wasn't sure whether to be embarrassed or proud...

    You can't accuse my kid of being shy or getting pushed around. She's nobody's fool.

    Monday, September 6, 2010

    Potty Talk

    Tuesday afternoon last week, I asked Lucy, as I routinely have been, if she wanted to wear a diaper or Big Girl Pants. She chose Big Girl Pants. There were a couple of fits and starts as we figured out how we each were approaching this Big New Thing, but in the end? This was the easiest transition we've ever had.

    Getting rid of the Nuk? Bad. New car? Bad. Big girl bed? Bad. But as a very wise friend once told me, when the kid is ready to do something on his own accord, the transition is a breeze. I'll be the very first one to admit that waiting for a kid to have her OWN idea about doing something you want her to do basically amounts to torture. But it sure it nice once it happens.

    And thank God, right? I mean, really, it's about time some part of this parenting gig offered me some sort of instant gratification. I'm even more thankful knowing that some people end up cleaning poop off their floors for a week or two before things finally click for the little ones. Lucy had one pee accident on the floor all week. And. That. Was. IT.

    We finally got the big bad Number Two in the potty by Friday (twice, even!), and by then we were golden. Well, except that when Daddy came home Friday night into Saturday there were an unprecedented number of wet pants incidents. It was just enough of a change to throw Lu off her game for a minute. But! The potty prevailed! And! I never had to clean poo off the floor or out of undies! Bonus!

    I was so sure of things that we went out to church Sunday with Big Girl Pants on. I had to swallow some embarrassment as I ran out with a "GOTTA GO POTTY!" kid in the middle of the sermon, but you have to pay the piper somewhere along the way, right? And I'll take that over an accident to clean up, any day.

    So, I'm pretty confident in saying that we're good here. I still carry around wipes and a diaper and a change of clothes with me when we go out, but so far so good! The only thing I regret is having had to spend the last nice week of summer weather cloistered in our house/yard close to the toilet. But ohmygoodness, it was so worth it.

    See? Even Sonya Lee has to potty sometimes

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    Out of Practice

    My mom came to visit for a couple weeks and all I did was sit around and relax. Oh, I'm not complaining! It was delicious.

    But I didn't blog. Not that you were on tenterhooks - or even noticed, right?

    Well, even so, I will entertain the idea that you are mildly interested in whatever's going on simply because you're still here and haven't clicked away yet...


    Highlights from the visit:
    • I had a partner with whom to drive around and check out houses. WAY more fun with someone else. And Lucy got into it too: "Let's look at houses! That one's CUTE! Nice FLOWERS!" (Also, when did my child turn into a thirty-year-old realtor? I should give her some pumps and a string of pearls and put her to work.)
    • Lucy was basically spoiled rotten with attention and ice cream and whatever else her little heart desired.
    • The Bubba and I ran a 10k race in Snoqualmie and Lucy stayed home with Grandma. It was so nice. Lucy got some time with just Grammie, and the Bubba and I had a whole morning to have a fun race and the way there and back to talk and be friends.
    • I did some creative meal planning, and Llama played and entertained the needy Lu-Beast that emerges from 4:30-7, so we had awesome home made meals every single day. Like koefte in home made pitas with a side of tabbouleh. My mouth is still watering.
    • I took a nap almost every single day.
    • I now have to get Lucy an iPhone
    • We bought more Big Girl Unders and Lucy's a little more interested in potty training. I'm ALMOST ready to make the time commitment. Maybe tomorrow.
    • I got to go shopping and get haircuts relax and drink lemonade and laugh and have a marvelous time with my mommy.

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    No Shirts

    Yesterday as I was putting away groceries and getting ready to make dinner, I opened the fridge to find something and swore under my breath. As you do, you know. I'm not even very sure why I did. Probably something absolutely vital to dinner that was the only ingredient I'd failed to buy at the grocery store. That happens more than I'd like to admit.

    Later in the dinner preparation, I opened the fridge again, and Lucy was right behind me. She peeked around me at the shelves lined with newly purchased food and said very quietly something that sounded an awful lot like a curse. I was surprised, half because I wasn't sure she was anywhere around when I swore just before, and half because she was mimicking me so exactly down to the tone and volume of my voice!

    I looked at her and said, "What? What did you say?" figuring that this was a good opportunity to explain that we don't say that word and Mommy was sorry and won't do it again. But then she looked up at me and she said "No shirts. No shirts inna fridge."

    "Ah. Ah yes... Well. There are no shirts in the fridge, you're right."

    And just like that I'm off the hook. Just because she misunderstood.

    Time to take careful watch over my mouth, though. Next time I'm sure I won't be so lucky. That girl doesn't miss much.

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    Friday Photos: Birthday Recap

    Lucy was so thrilled with everything about her birthday party, I'm so glad I went ahead and threw one. I wasn't going to. I mean, I was weighing the work-to-benefit ratio and it almost tipped in the favor of too much bother. Especially since the Bubba was out of town the week prior to the party. But then I came to my senses. Friends coming over and sharing food and fun is NEVER too much of a bother! And Lucy's expression the whole day was something like this:

    or this:

    She was so excited to see all her little friends come over, and she had no idea there would be cupcakes or presents, so she was beside herself with excitement. It was definitely worth it.

    Lucy asked for elephants and sprinkles. The cupcakes are just yellow cake with buttercream frosting, and the elephants (which Lucy "helped" me cut out) are these. Very yummy.

    The next exciting thing is Grandma's visit next week! For the last, oh, 4 days or so, every morning Lucy makes a "train" with the dining room chairs and "rides to the airport to get Grandma."

    "Choo, choo!"
    (The dress is the "door to keep people safe.")

    Next up? Lucy has her 3 year appointment this afternoon - I'll let you know how that goes. Then, a relaxing weekend, dim sum on Sunday with these girls (Eeeeee!) and getting ready for Grandma to come on Tuesday morning! Ready.....GO!