Wednesday, February 22, 2012

18 & 19 Weeks:

No picture & no post last week. But that's okay, it's pretty much the same as this week, so far.

I am
: 19 weeks, 2 days at time of posting
Baby is: approximately 6" crown to rump and about 8 & 1/2 ounces. This is roughly the size of a heirloom tomato.
Total weight gain: 1 pound (as far as I know)
Maternity Clothes: lovin' 'em and not lookin' back
Sleep: still not so fabulous. tossing and turning a lot.
Cravings: Nothing! :)
Best moment this week: no puking!
Worst moment this week: leg cramps. I remembered getting cramps. I forgot they were the kind that would seize my leg, start to release as is if done and then cramp back up again. for about 10 minutes. A.W.F.U.L.
Movement: some but not a whole lot
Gender: 9 days (but who's counting?!?)
Labor signs: nope!
Belly button in or out? still in!
What I miss: sleeping.
Milestones: no pukies! that's good enough for me!

Taking pictures was really hard this time. I got irritated and gave up, so this is what you get:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dear Ben,

Dear Ben,

I figure I owe you a letter talking about how wonderful you've been, since I've posted a few now about how much you make me want to pull out my hair. :)

I've just put you down to bed and I'm so loving the way today was. You see, your daddy is out of town for most of this week. We dropped him off at the airport Monday morning and I was dreading being a single parent with you, based on some of your moods lately. I was terrified you would be a pill and make my life awful, but you've been exactly the opposite.

It's only Tuesday but this week has been so wonderful so far. Our last few grocery shopping trips have been horrid. I was preparing myself for another awful trip, thinking you'd be so upset that daddy was gone that it would spoil your mood for the day. Quite the opposite. You didn't seem that upset that we left daddy behind (I bet you'll cry next week, though, if this goes like it did last time). You did wonderfully at the store. You did wonderfully all day.

Today was also wonderful. You got up at about 6:30 and I could hear you in there just jabbering. At about 7:00 you got up to play with the trucks in your bed and read your book and you started calling for me. I came in, gave you hugs and told you I needed to have a shower and asked if you minded playing in your bed until I was done. You told me that was fine and it was. I was able to shower, dress & dry my hair before you wanted out (and more milk).

We played and ate breakfast and hit a tiny snag when you thought it was more fun to disobey rather than listen (and I'm sure it was, for you). I was worried about getting you dressed, teeth brushed and out the door to the dentist without incident but again, you did just great. You were wonderful at the dentist. Last time we went, you did not want to sit in the chair. You did not want the dentist to look in your mouth. You cried and arched and were not having any of it. Considering that and your current temperament, I was prepared for the worst.

You, my wonderfully delightful little boy, blew my socks off. You cheerfully climbed up in the chair. You showed the hygienist your "new" book (it's not at all new, so I'm not sure why you said that) and were a little wary of the chair going down but were soon won over by the movie playing on the TV in the ceiling. You wanted nothing to do with the headphones. You opened your mouth like a big boy when she asked and let her count all your little teeth. She showed you her polisher and you allowed her to do your front two teeth. You especially enjoyed the water. :)

While we waited for the dentist to come in, you brushed the teeth on the monster waiting in the chair, we looked at the Legos and the magazines. You started get to bored and wanted to go back up front to look at the fish (why do dentist offices always seem to have fish tanks?). When Dr. Higer came in, you again climbed up in the chair with no problems, let her lean the chair back and look at your teeth. She brushed a little, complimented you on your behavior and said you were better than some of her 5 year olds. Quite the compliment!! Then we got our new toothbrush, our flossing pick and were allowed to pick out a prize from the prize drawer.

After that, we stopped through Starbucks and got your favorite fruit pouch as a prize for being awesome and came home to play, eat lunch, play and have a nap. Your naps have changed a bit. It used to be a struggle to get you to stay up til 12:30 but now you don't seem to fall asleep til after 1:30 and sleep usually until 3:30 or 4:00. Makes trying to do anything in the afternoon hard, but I'd rather have no plans in the afternoon than no napping.

We played again, ate dinner, went to the craft store, talked to daddy... when it was time for bed, you decided no bath tonight but used the potty, brushed your teeth & washed your face with no problems (well, you didn't really want to wash your face, but I made you). :)

I love you bub. I'm so glad we're having a nice week. Your mommy needed her sweet Ben back while daddy has been gone. I sure hope he sticks around the next two weeks!!!

10 days til we know if it's baby brother or baby sister in mommy's tummy!!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dear Ben,

Dear Ben,

At this moment, you are blissfully napping in your room. Safe and secure in your bed, covered by a beloved blanket, watched over by your favorite bear and surrounded (I'm sure) by a scatter of trucks. There is nothing more perfect that watching you sleep. I don't get to do it often (it seems if I'm in your room longer than a minute while you're sleeping, you sense me and wake up), but I love to watch your sweet face sleep.

We're having a rough week, kiddo. Today at Tumble Time... ugh. We started out so well. We really did. You participated well, you listened, you played, we had one tiny attitude adjustment where I reminded you that while we were there to have fun, we also had to listen. You sat on the rainbow mat (almost) the entire time (other kids got up to play and the temptation to join them was too great, but once I corrected you, you sat and watched with no other problems). I was SO proud of how well you were doing and really looking forward to telling daddy all about it (and I did, but then I also had to say the other that happened). Free play was going well until. Until. You chose not to listen. You chose to screech "no!" at me and refuse to listen. I was finally able to reach you and took you to the steps for what I thought was going to be another small attitude adjustment. Instead, you were angry and tore a chunk of hair out of my head. Then you kicked me. After that, we left.

Yesterday was horrific. Absolutely the worst day of my mommy life. I don't even want to talk about it and had a hard time telling daddy. Monday was yucky too.

You're just in a mood, kiddo and I wish I knew what to do. I'm trying oh so very hard to be fair, firm and consistent. I'm trying oh so very hard not to raise my voice, not to grab you up too roughly, not to get angry. You know all of mommy's buttons and you push them with glee.

Daddy thinks you might be so crabtastic because some of your teeth are having a hard time poking through. I think you're working on your second set of molars and there's a tooth in the front that simply won't come out. You have a dentist appointment on Wednesday and hopefully we can get some relief tips.

Starting tomorrow, we're going to try out a new sticker chart. At the end of the day, before you go to bed, we'll review your behavior for the day. If we had a good day with no hitting/kicking/pinching/biting/hair pulling - a sticker goes on the chart. If you have several days in a row filled with stickers, you get to choose a prize. I'm hoping that if I show you how we'll reward good behavior, the desire to stop bad behavior will kick in.

Mommy's getting worn out. This whole week (month, year), I've really been questioning my decision to stay home with you. I'm super nervous and scared about what we'll do when baby brother or sister comes home from the hospital. Some times you act out of anger - you're mad that I took something away or asked you to stop doing something, etc. I want you to understand that it's OKAY to be mad. We ALL get mad. I want you to understand that even though it's OKAY to be mad, it's NOT okay to hit/kick/bite/pinch/pull hair. Some times, though, I'm baffled by why you act out. Last night, for example, you asked me to come in your room and play cars - so I did. We played for several minutes before you came over to me and started hitting and pinching, for no reason that I can find.

I feel that there's something huge I'm missing or not doing that would make life easier for us both. I don't know what it is. I spend lots of time with you playing cars, doing craft projects, playing chase, reading, singing and cuddling. I give you lots of alone time, to play independently and grow your own imagination. We go outside to explore often. I give you an outlet once a week at Tumble Time to play with friends and get your energy out in fun ways we can't do at home.

I've been considering putting you in a day care for a few hours a week, a few days a week. Maybe the socialization with other kids and being forced to listen to some one other that mommy & daddy would help you. Maybe giving mommy some time on her own to run errands, do chores or simply be by myself would help me. Maybe the combo would be super beneficial to us both.

I love you to bits and pieces, baby boy. Even when I really don't like you, I really DO love you.

Hugs & kisses,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Reality Check, Disappointment, Frustration and Ramblings...

It's time to get real again with my house and what's not working for me. I read this fantastic post this morning (here - go read it. I'll wait til you come back). I was so jealous. Then I LOL'd pretty hard and felt better about myself. I read this after I had a crying pity party because I seem to have a two year old who's having a hard time being 2 and is often quite difficult (he screamed through Winco because I had the audacity to take a phone call from my brother) and then I came home to what you see below and so I cried. I'm pregnant. Random emotions are allowed and encouraged.

Here might be some shocking news for you: I'm a huge time waster. I'm pretty sure I've been this way my whole life. If I can put it off til the last possible minute, I will. If I can avoid it, I will. If I can put on blinders and pretend it's not there, I will. I do this in a lot of aspects of my life: problems I don't want to deal with, emotions I don't want to feel, etc. I married a man remarkably similar to me in this respect. Between the two of us, a lot of stuff gets left undone. It's just a fact of our lives. I don't say this to point fingers or be mean or anything like that - it's just the honest truth. Nick & I are procrastinators and we border on down right lazy for some things.

When I read this list (from the link I provided above), I was so jealous and excited at the same time. Jealous because I want ALL of that for myself and excited because I thought she was going to show me the plan on how to do it. Her list was:
  • I've compiled and categorized enough healthy, inexpensive and easy recipes that I have a 90 day dinner menu (complete with theme nights like pasta Monday and slow-coooker Thursday) and I have the grocery lists to match.
  • There is nothing in my house that we don't use. I've ferociously weeded out the clutter and sent it packing via Craig's List or Goodwill.
  • Everything I didn't get rid of is now beautifully organized into colorfully labeled containers. If you're ever visiting and you need something, just ask me - I totally know where it all is.
  • I now have a weekly schedule with time carved out for blogging, housework, play dates, park time, library time, and other activities we've been wanting to try but never got around to.
  • For those days we stay home, we've got a dependable routine that the kids can rely on. It includes stuff like art time, outside time, story time and bath time.
  • Remember when I told you C isn't really down with napping anymore and I was worried about ever getting anything done again? I completely solved that problem by putting together some genius quiet time kits (one for each day of the week so he doesn't get bored). They're crammed with busy bags, audio books, and learning activities he can do independently.
  • I finally got our budget down to a science using a combination of the cash envelope system and We're saving tons! (and while I was at it I updated our wills, life insurance, and retirement planning).
  • Thanks to evernote and some other handy apps, I will never again miss an appointment or birthday. (If something does somehow sneak by me, I have a birthday closet with pre-bought gifts and cards - thanks to the new budget and organization I now have the space and money for it.)
  • I also joined a gym and started exercising regularly (part of the new weekly schedule). The kids love playing at the drop off center while I'm burning calories.
  • I went through all 2,000 of my digital photos, edited them, imported them to yearly photobooks and backed them all up online. I've also caught up on my personal blog and am regularly contributing to it.
  • Last but not least, the hubs and I have a set-in-stone date night that we never miss and we've recently instituted family game night.

(List copied from Modern Parents Messy Kids)

I took a look around my house and well, here's where I get real and show you exactly what's staring at my back right now. I'm not ashamed to share these with you. I'm annoyed at myself that I let it get this way, but my house also spends a fair amount of time not looking this way:

  1. Pile o' clutter from grocery shopping this morning
  2. Pile o' dishes waiting to go into the dishwasher
  3. Pile o' books waiting to be given to some one else to read
  4. Pile o' Ben's crud
  5. Pile o' crud to throw away (my husband is super good at taking stuff allllllll the way to the sink, but not to the trash can below)
  6. Ben's toys waiting to be put away
  7. Random dishtowel. Why on the floor? Because that's where Ben likes it.

Moving to the left, and here's a shot of the dining room in it's current state (because why clean the mess when you can blog the mess and share with random people?)

  1. Left over lunch mess to clean up & put away
  2. Ben's entertainment from this morning...
  3. continued from #2 above
  4. Nick's sock. Good place for it, eh?

Now, if I turned around, this is the look down the hall towards my room & the guest bath...

  1. Ben's trike. That he will not ride. He likes to push it around instead. This is where it ended up last time he played with it.
  2. My old sneakers. Why are they in the hall? Cuz I'm lazy, just like my family.
  3. Ben's snow boots. Why are they in the hall? Because that's where I tossed them after I found them buried half way down in Ben's hamper.
  4. Tiny, furry, house destroyer #1
  5. Ahhh, nothing like a fine sheen of dust to really class a place up.
  6. If I had thought to do a #6 when I was editing the photo, I would have tagged the photo wall as #6. Updating these pictures has been in my to do list for over a year now.

And that bring me to one of my banes of existence. Our front living room. The prior owners had this set up as a media room. In the 4 & 1/2 years we've lived here, this has been our hodpodge room. Right now it's in transition. I want to make a play room for the kiddos slash craft space for me in there, so let's take a gander at the current sight that greets me when I go that way:

  1. An old toy of Ben's I'm trying in vain to sell on Craigslist.
  2. Our ripped up chaise that's too big for our living room and only gets used by tiny, furry, house destroying (and furniture destroying) pets that take their claws out on it.
  3. More scatter of Ben's toys. The stroller is usually pushed against the wall - I shoved it out of the way when I was measuring the room.
  4. My sad, neglected craft desk. I haven't sat there since like... November.

And one more view of sad room:

  1. Ahhh our beautiful shaggy paint line (left the tape up too long) that's been that way since we painted. Like 3 years ago.
  2. Pile 'o crap. Dad's pictures, granny's pictures, my randoms I don't know what to do with.
  3. Oh, look. It's the tiny, furry, house destroyer again. Any one wanna cat?!?!? Or two??
  4. My paper hoarding storage.

Those shelves are in the process of being cleaned off. All my books got moved into my room (where I read most often) and I'm in the process of playing around with this:

A to scale version of that room so I can play with furniture layout and try to get the best flow. It's intimidating and looking at it hurts my head.

So I look at my mess and I look at what I want to be doing with my life and I get frustrated and overwhelmed. I have a crappy routine. I do our laundry & grocery shopping on Monday's, Ben's laundry on Tuesday's, Tumble Time on Wednesday's, we try to hit the library on Thursday's and that's it. I attempt to clean the kitchen at least once every day and pick up all of Ben's toys that have migrated out of his room through out the day before he goes to bed. The rest of the house work seems to get fit in when 1) it's so foul I can't stand it anymore or 2) I happen to think about it.

I want a more defined routine. And you know what? I make them. ALL THE TIME. And then before I know it, it's been 3 months since that routine and I'm not following it since 3 days into it, so I come up with another one. None of them seem to last.

What the crap am I going to do with myself when I have a toddler AND a new born? Aside from losing what's left of my mind anyway....

Oh and my MA-JAH disappointment. Nick has been asked to travel to Seattle for work the next two weeks. I. Can't. Go. UGH! I looked at tickets for me & Ben to fly. Almost $700 for the two of us. Nope, not doing it. I thought about driving. I could totally do that. Nick doesn't want me to (and I can't blame him), so more than likely, Ben & I won't be going. I have been dying to get back to Seattle for 3 years. Right now, it's looking like it's not going to happen for me this time. If I wasn't planning a trip to Florida in a few months, I'd totally go. But I have other things I need to spend my tax money on and UGH I HATE BEING GROWN UP SOME TIMES!

End rant.

And end random post about my dirty house and how lazy I am. You're welcome.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

17 Weeks.

Since I had Ben, I have seen so many clever and fun ways to document your pregnancy. I wish I had done more of this the first time around, but I guess I'll make up for it now. I stole most of this questionnaire from another blog, Shannon over at Shannanigans. I don't know if I'll remember to update it every week (and it doesn't look like she did either), but maybe once we get a little further along.

In any case, here are how things are cooking this time around:

I am: 17 weeks, 3 days at time of posting
Baby is: approximately 5" crown to rump and about 5 ounces. This is roughly the size of a turnip. I don't have any turnips, so I demonstrated (below) with a can of soup. :)
Total weight gain: 1 pound
Maternity Clothes: broke out the stretchy waist jeans last week
Sleep: not so great. it's not necessarily getting up to pee, I'm just not super comfortable. This does not look great for the future...
Cravings: Spaghetti, but that's died off some. I can't really think of anything I'm always wanting to have.
Best moment this week: Starting to feel some movement!
Worst moment this week: I vomited twice. Ugh. The problem is, I wake up at like 3:00 or 4:00 raging hungry. By the time I finally get out of bed around 7:00ish, my body is in a panic for food. If I don't feed it ASAP, oh man.
Movement: starting to feel some flutters. I don't really remember Ben at this stage, but I want to say this baby isn't as active.
Gender: too soon to tell. 3 more weeks!
Labor signs: nope! (and thank goodness!)
Belly button in or out? it's in. It never popped with Ben so I don't imagine it will this time, either.
What I miss: Nothing really, just still questioning my sanity at having a 2 & 1/2 year old and a newborn...
Milestones: felt movement!

And here is some photographic evidence that I am indeed, not just uber fat. There's a tiny person in there, wreaking havoc.