Thursday, February 28, 2013

1 to 2

Obviously I'm spending a lot of time right now thinking about what it will be like add a baby to the family. I have one of the below pictures framed and hanging on our gallery wall; it keeps catching my eye as I remember what it was like going from one kid to two. It's kind of hard to believe these two babies are the same two kids that are home sick from school today, taking turns performing circus feats.

We are not amused.

Awww, he's giving her a pacifier (no he's not,
he's ripping it out of her mouth)
Fast-forward almost four years...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Brain Dump

* Sometimes I really wish I had a friend who was a developmental psychologist. I feel like there are so many things that happen as your kids grow and develop that would be so much easier to tolerate if you could understand the root cause.

* B has another ear infection (second in two months). I'm sort of glad because it explains her absolutely hideous behavior for the last week or so. I have to say, it is so nice that she is old enough now to tell me that her ear hurts and I can just take her to the doctor and deal with it. Not looking forward to the diagnosis guessing-game with Baby3.

* The only two things I am currently craving are things I cannot locate for purchase (Haagen-Dazs five-ingredient lemon flavor and Dreyer's/Edy's Swiss orange sherbet with dark chocolate chunks). Also kind of strange is that I am not an ice cream person per se when not pregnant.

* It was 38 degrees and the sunshine was warm yesterday. It boosted my mood an incredible amount. I didn't think I was still subject to SAD while on an SSRI but apparently that is false thinking. I literally cannot wait for spring to arrive.

* I've been shopping the sales for baby boy clothing. While I absolutely don't feel like I have to have all new stuff for this babe (hooray for friends offering hand-me-downs!) it makes me really happy to see piles of fresh white onesies awaiting a little squishy body (hooray for summer babies!)

* C is asthmatic and the most recent plague we all passed around triggered a bad response for him. There was a night last week I genuinely lay awake wondering if I needed to call an ambulance. With small kids at home and a partner that would potentially not be able to drive themselves to medical help, that becomes a real possibility. I'm pretty glad it didn't become necessary.

* I hosted a group of my MOMS Club friends over here to watch the Oscars. It was a lovely evening and I am so, so grateful to have found this group of friends. There are so many things that will be different about having a new baby this time around, and that incredible support network will be among the most significant.

* I am in the process of observing each of the three first-grade classes and teachers to help me in planning for Pacey's next school year. I visited the first class yesterday morning and it gave me SO much to think about. I feel so much better prepared to make decisions about his placement now, and was viewing the classroom with much more "what can this environment offer Pacey to aid in his education" and much less "can he hack it here" than last year. The credit is all his...he's really shown me this year that he has a place in the general education classroom (for now - I am aware that we will need to evaluate that each and every year) and that he really does learn a lot from his peers.

* First-graders are hilarious. It was so much fun watching them in action, and I learned a lot about that particular age group. There is a still a HUGE variation in size of the kids which I like. Pacey is still on the small side and I like that he won't stick out because of it. It was also really really good for me to see that the abilities and learning curve vary so much just within the typically-developing population. It's really easy to get locked into thinking that Pacey (or others with diagnosed learning disabilities) are the only kids who struggle with a normal curriculum. Not true.

* After the morning routine, about 40% of the kids in the class I observed left for pull-out time with various therapists, etc. I found that astonishing, but also reassuring. Pacey will continue to work one-on-one with his speech therapist next year, as well as having individual learning time/small group work  with his special education teacher and I love knowing that there are so many other kids getting additional help too. It also seems to reinforce the district's focus on inclusion while still meeting individual needs.

* I doubt I'll ever stop appreciating teachers for what they do. I have no idea how they accomplish what they need to without losing their cool or their sanity.

* Yesterday Brighton was watching me struggle to extract something from an overly full closet and asked me, in a patronizing tone, "Are you sure you know what you're doing, Mom?" Seriously, are we there already?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

18 Weeks

Mid-winter. Mid-pregnancy. BLAHHHHH. I'm physically feeling pretty good, which has the unfortunate effect of making me really miss drinking wine now (didn't feel like it before). We're just on the other side of yet another gross cold and I am really hoping for a few weeks of health now. We could all use it. Hell, we could all use a beach vacation but since that's not happening I'll settle for not sounding like we have family-wide tuberculosis.

Me at 18 weeks:
I tried to smile but I am so not feeling it today
Pacey at 18 weeks:

A surprise air hockey prodigy
And Brighton at 18 weeks:

Sometimes this daughter couldn't be less like me
(oh, and I think we've settled on a name but with the gender already confirmed and the birth date to be set at my next appointment, we have to keep SOMETHING as a surprise)

Sunday, February 17, 2013


I earned my good wife points again today and trekked the kids out to visit C in his ice house. In case you ever wondered, pulling 75 pounds of kid across a frozen lake in a sled (with several inches of new snow) is hard work. At least now I can tell my OB I've been exercising ;)

It's not like I love getting out there, but it is worth it for how happy it makes all three of my family members.

Friday, February 15, 2013

"Middle" Child

Chris has been gone this week, having flown out to Honduras first thing Tuesday morning. I'm not sure if it's just cabin fever or if the kids could sense that the Parental Team was a man down, but they have been squirrelly, to say the least. The timing has been unfortunately coincidental with the first week I've felt *truly* pregnant. I have yet another cold and have been fighting the 2 pm coma that creeps up daily. Ironically, of course, I can fall asleep within 45 seconds of sitting down in the afternoon, but when I turn the lights out at night I'm tossing and turning for hours.

Anyway, long-winded and whiny way of saying it hasn't been our smoothest week ever. One thing that has become abundantly clear to me is how much I have come to depend on Brighton to be my "easy" child. In general, she wants to be helpful to me. She is reliably safe in a variety of situations and can be trusted to stick by me while I manage Pacey - who is still SO far off being trusted with his own safety. Often I can ask the kids to do something and while Pacey will initially refuse, when he sees Brighton complying he will follow suit.

After speech therapy one afternoon this week, Pacey took off running down the sidewalk in the parking lot. Generally I can tell Brighton to go wait for me by the car and know that she is safe while I retrieve Pacey before he can run into the parking lot. This time, however, she decided to do a runner as well and there I was, feeling less than sprightly and chasing both kids (laughing hysterically) along an icy sidewalk in the fading light.

It made me mad. Really, really mad. Mad that I didn't feel physically in control of the situation, mad that I didn't have a foolproof method for getting them to stop when asked, and honestly? I was mad that Brighton decided to join the naughty ranks instead of helping me out. I'm ashamed to say I sort of felt betrayed.

I just sometimes forget that she is only THREE YEARS OLD. While I have never explicitly said anything to her about needing to rely on her because I can't on Pacey, I think she sort of gets that. But it's not her job, you know? I never want her to feel like Pacey is her responsibility...I hope she naturally develops a sense of protectiveness and a desire to stay connected with him as they grow into adults, but I do not want to place undue pressure on her to be more mature for my benefit. She needs the space to make her own mistakes and test her own boundaries too.

It's funny to think of her as being my middle child. In many ways I predict she will have more characteristics of a typical oldest child than a middle one. It doesn't much matter either way, but I think about it because I am a middle child and I find birth order - and other intervening circumstances - to be really interesting.


By way of a couple lighter updates, I got Pacey's report card and he is either Achieving or Partially Achieving everything a kindergartener is expected to at this point in the year. I can't even describe how proud this makes me, and how grateful I am for everyone who is helping him to be successful at school.  I was volunteering in his class this morning and it was his turn to be the Student Teacher (talk about the days of week, weather, call on kids to answer questions, etc) and it was truly touching to see what a part of his classroom community he is. Although I don't believe any of his classmates know that he has Down syndrome by name, I see them reaching out to help him with tasks and looking out for him.

Doing the daily calendar work
Brighton continues to gestate along with me. She is learning that one has to adjust one's wardrobe to accomodate a growing baby (in her case it's more about choosing a top that doesn't let her baby fall out...thankfully something I haven't had to worry about). I took her shopping with me for maternity clothes the other day and she spotted the prosthetic belly in the dressing room for women not showing yet. Naturally she had to try that on and it was every bit as funny as you imagine.

She's totally craving pizza

She discovered dresses aren't good for baby-retention

16 week picture - a little late as I'm 17 weeks
 And finally, I've had to take our dog Huff to the vet a couple of times lately to address a urination problem (ugh). Both times I've needed to drop him off for several hours so they could get a urine sample and do some other tests and I've been surprised at how distressing the kids have found it. They clearly still think about Simon and the fact that he went to the doctor and didn't come home. Brighton got especially upset the second time we had to drop him off and cried when she talked about how she would miss him and was worried that he would miss us. I took them both with me to pick him up the second time, and they both greeted him with HUGE hugs and told him how worried they had been. It's really touching to see and makes it worth the hassles that come along with an aging, farty, snoring dog a bit easier to accept. 
This love seat is utilized almost exclusively by Huff,
making it the world's most expensive dog bed

Thursday, February 7, 2013

15 Weeks Also

Apparently her baby (a girl, natch) is also coming in the summer. It's been a week now and she keeps her "baby" (a soft little My First Dolly) under her shirt at all times except when I insist on babysitting - you know, so she can take a bath and go to school. I'm very curious to see how long this keeps up. Age three, you slay me.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Walking on Water

My husband has fully embraced his Minnesota Winter persona as an ice fisherman. I bought him pretty much all the gear he needed to go out on his own for Christmas and he's been heading out on a lake about a mile from our house most weekends for several hours. I'm happy he has this outlet, and last weekend when the temperatures soared into the 20s I decided I'd take the kids out to see what their dad disappears to do on weekend days.

It's quite a trip to walk out onto what you know full well is a body of water. I really have to work to not think about that fact or I get awfully nervous. As you can see from the pictures it was quite a day, weather-wise...snowing hard and the wind blowing it basically sideways.

I can say with all honesty that once I got out there, I confirmed my suspicion that there are very few activities I would like do less than spend an afternoon ice fishing. Still, the kids got a kick out of seeing the ice house and we got a chance to work off some cabin fever energy while the risk of frostbite was lower.
Heading out onto the lake - looks pretty grim, eh?
Checking out the ice house

Yes, my husband is wearing just a hoodie. In a blizzard.

This child loves to be out in the snow
Snow "angels"

When you think about it, what's not to like about sitting out where no one
can reach you, listening to music and sipping Coors Light?
Warming up after with ice cream cones....the kids are
half Alaskan after all

Sunday, February 3, 2013

15 Weeks

I will start blogging something other than these weekly updates again soon....

Perfect camera-holding position to hide double chin


- The pregnancy dreams have started. Vivid, heart-pounding nightmares, sometimes more than one a night. UGH. Last night's involved a great white shark.

- I think I've felt movement a couple of times in the last week, usually when I'm laying down in the evening. I felt each of the other two move fairly early on in the pregnancies, but it's a little frustrating until it gets more regular.

- I've officially been pregnant half the length of Pacey's entire gestation. As much as I don't love being pregnant, I am NOT ready to be halfway done!

- Tiiiiiiiiiiiired. I'm going to ask my OB to make sure she tests me for anemia at my next visit this week. I seem to recall I got anemic with Pacey and I just feel like the fatigue should be easing off a little bit by now. I'm sleeping well at night, despite the nightmares, but around 1:30 - 2:00 in the afternoon I feel deliriously sleepy.

- Maternity jeans are happening. I always forget just how much more comfortable it is to have the stretchy waistband.

- I had my first ever prenatal massage today, which I enjoyed immensely (despite not being able to lay on my stomach). I also had a facial which I did not enjoy as much. The treatment was a bit intense and my skin still feels a little burny. I also did not like my aesthetician...Her: What is your current skin care routine? Me: A, B and C. Her: I really don't recommend A, B or C. I do, however, recommend the pricey cosmeceutical line we use here at the spa (shocker, I know). HOWEVER. Two hours of pampering and therefore not attending to anyone else's needs this morning was quite heavenly.