Saturday, May 19, 2012

Seattle and other randomness

I haven't been very consistent about blogging lately.  I haven't really been very consistent about much of anything lately, other than wasting time.  I'm supremely excellent at wasting time.

In any case, since the last time I posted we have:
  • visited a farm of sorts
  • played soccer
  • had a 30 week baby check up
  • have made progress on the nursery
  • celebrated Mother's Day
  • driven to Seattle
  • visited with old friends (and Ben made new friends)
  • had major melt downs
  • suffered a set back in potty training (my fault)
  • spent over 12 hours in the car driving home from Seattle
So here is my all inclusive wrap up of what we've been doing since then.

Pretty much every one who reads my blog (as far as I know) is my friend on Facebook, so some of these pictures might be familiar.

A few Saturday's ago, we went with my mommy group to visit a little farm here in Boise.  The nicest man, Andre, opened it up to us to feed & pet his horses, goats, sheep, ponies, chickens & pigs (I think that's everything).  Ben was not super excited to feed any of those animals.  He discovered a barn cat which was pretty much his favorite thing.  Then we let him into the area with the chickens and he thought it was incredibly fun to chase after them.

Later that day, we had another event with the mommy group, a trial class of Pee Wee soccer.  Ben had a great time, but also a hard time - which was our fault.  Not knowing what to expect, we just told him he was going to play soccer.  He got his hands on a ball and didn't want to let go.  At this age, it's not really "playing soccer" - it's learning through games.  So they'd set up cones that the coaches wanted the kids to kick over using only their feet (a concept Ben still struggles with) to find a prize underneath.  The prize is then thrown into a little goal.  Then they were to stand the cones back up, again using only their feet.  Another was to chase down thrown hula hoops.  Another was to build a tower out of cones and a ball and then kick the ball over.  Ben was less interested in the games and more interested in running around, holding the ball.

A few days later, I went in for my 30 week OB check up.  I gained 4 pounds since the last check up where I had lost the 2 I'd gained.  My blood pressure remains fantastic and the baby's heart sounds great.  I think I have one more "every two week" appointment (on Tuesday) before I go to every week til I pop.  I think.  Everything seems to be cooking just fine - the only problems I'm experiencing is this stupid sciatic.  I'm going to a chiropractor weekly and had a prenatal massage.  While both feel great at the time I do them, I'm not feeling any lasting relief as far as my sciatic goes.  It hurts all the way down to my calf, which really sucks.  As a result of my sciatic hurting, I'm standing weird and holding my body at an odd position, which makes my back ache.  Thank goodness we're almost done with this...

We've made some progress on the baby room - quite a bit as far as clearing out goes.  The closet is completely done.  All our clothes were sorted through one final time and anything that doesn't currently fit got bagged up and taken down to the Youth Ranch for donation.  The rest of the items were sorted through and either set aside for our garage sale, moved some where else in the house or just thrown away.  I hoard a lot of gift bags and tissue paper.  That supply got severely downsized.  There's still a lot of work to be done in there but we're making progress, which is good.

Speaking of the garage sale, we've set a date.  We were hoping to have it in May so we only had to pay for one month's rental on the storage locker we had to take out when my granny moved to assisted living earlier in the month (basically anything she didn't take with her to assisted living became my property - I can either keep it or sell it).  Between general laziness and procrastination on clearing out our own clutter and random, spur of the moment trips out of town, we haven't made great progress.  While we were out of town, our HOA sent out a newsletter indicating there had been interest in a community garage sale.  I called to see what plans had been made and it turns out, I was the first person to call.  So I got to choose the date.  Lucky me!  We're doing it June 9th, so I better be ready by then!!

Mother's Day came and went.  :)  It was no special affair at our house, but I received some lovely gifts from my boys (two new hydrangea plants... maybe these won't die this time..., a gift card to Barnes & Noble, breakfast in bed).  We drove out to the cemetery to leave flowers for my mom and had a BBQ dinner at my dad's house.  It was a lovely day.

Saturday before Mother's Day, Nick was advised by his work that he was expected in Seattle on Monday.  Seriously.  What.  Ever.  I looked at the calendar, looked at the bank account and said "I'm coming".  Forget this staying home by myself with no help crap.  That's not the deal I signed up for.  So Monday morning we took Nick off to the airport and Ben & I began our lovely journey across the ugly nothingness of Oregon and Washington (seriously - for me, that trip doesn't even begin to get pretty until you're almost there).  We didn't do too badly.  We got lunch before we headed out, we stopped a few times for potty breaks and Ben had a good 2 hour nap (after having a 20 minute tantrum in the backseat).  NO accidents on the way there - yay!!  We got there about 8:00ish, had some dinner and went to bed.  Ben didn't sleep very well - it took him forever to fall asleep (not til after 11:00) and then he was up at the crack of dawn.  Made for a crabby boy.

We met my high school friend, Jamie, and her daughter Allie at the Woodland Park Zoo and had a fairly good time.  Ben got too absorbed in what he was looking at to realize he had to pee and I forgot to prompt him (because I've gotten used to him asking me to go) and peed his pants in front of the meerkat exhibit.  Whoops.  I got him cleaned up and we wandered around some more before stopping for lunch.  Ben had a small attitude tantrum and earned himself a time out in the stroller, where apparently he wet his pants again.  Sigh.  At that point, I was out of clean pants for him.  So he got to ride back to the hotel in just his underpants (why I packed 2 pairs of underwear but only 1 pair of pants, I have no idea).

Ben & Allie at the zoo - he really liked her... she wasn't too sure about him ;)
Later that night, we met our friends George & Ashley and their kids George & Abby for dinner at our favorite Greek restaurant, Spiro's Greek Island (yummm).  After dinner (a particularly rowdy one, Ben refused to sit at the table and spent the meal basically running amok.  I've never seen him act that way at a restaurant before.), we took the kids to a park to let off some steam and then back to the hotel for bed time.

Didn't you know I had two kids?
at the park by the restaurant in Kent

The next day, I met up with Jamie & Allie again to go through Ikea.  IKEA!!  :)  I wish we had one.  I bought some things but didn't go overboard (even though I totally wanted to).  Mostly I just got some organizational bins for Ben's room and Junior's room.  Then I drove to Federal Way and visited my old work and had lunch with Ashley.  After Ben's failed nap (he fell asleep in the car on the way back to Bellevue and wouldn't go back down once we got to the hotel), we met up with George & Ashley & crew again, this time grabbing pizza's and heading to a park to let the kids play.

Thursday we dropped Nick at work and headed out.  That.  Was.  Awful.  Ben peed at the hotel and then again at the gas station.  40 minutes later, he said he had to pee again, so I got off at the next exit and pulled into a gas station, only to discover he'd wet his pants.  So I put him in a diaper, cleaned up the car seat as best I could and told him that the diaper was only in case he had another accident but he should still let me know if he had to pee.  Half hour later, he was crying that he had to poop.... so I get pulled off again (amidst construction over I-90) and he refused to pee OR poop.  Ugh, child.  So we got back on the road where he fell asleep and napped for an hour... waking up to poop in his diaper.  So I pulled off, got him cleaned up, got us lunch and stopped to let Ben run around and then headed back out.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  It took us over 12 hours to do an 8 hour drive.  No joke.

Anyway, he was a trooper despite the poor sleep and bad attitude that came with it.  Lots of hitting, tantrums and general nastiness.  I think we're done with traveling til well after the baby comes.  I'm pretty sure Ben is picking up that things are changing and some of his behavior is a result of that.  We've had some potty accidents since we've been back, where Ben will just pee where he's standing and then tell us about it.  So we're doing some re-training on the potty and some attitude re-training.

Maybe if I blogged more often, I wouldn't have to post such novels....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Today I was not a great mom.
I wouldn't say I was a bad mom, but not a super good one, either.
Today was filled with lots of frustrations, temper tantrums, destructive behavior, deliberate disobedience and general nastiness.
Actually, it wasn't that different than yesterday.  Which, sadly, was not that different than Monday.

Before we left for our trip, I felt we had made some fairly good progress with Ben.  Hitting was decreasing.  Moods were improving.  General cooperation was better.  My mood was better.

After we got home from our trip, his behavior plummeted.  I don't know if it's recovering from being on vacation and doing fun & exciting things every day.  I don't know if it's the hand, foot & mouth he caught the week after we got back.  I don't know if he's picking up on the changes that are coming around the house.  I don't know if it's simply because he's nearly 2 & 1/2.

What I do know is that today I reached my limit.  Today I snapped a lot.  Today I spanked his bottom (it didn't help - other than to make me feel awful).  Today we've had way too many time outs.  Today we probably should not have finished out Tumble Time.  Today has been filled with anger, frustration and tears (both his and mine).

During his nap, I decided to tackle reading a book a friend lent me probably two months ago.  I'm not that far in - I let it get pushed to the back burner when his mood was improving and it wasn't as crucial to me to read it right away.  Too bad for me, because I could have used that wisdom today.  I opened to where I left off and this is the paragraph that was waiting for me:

There is no more ineffective method of controlling human beings (of all ages) than the use of irritation and anger.  Nevertheless, most adults rely primarily on their own emotional response to secure the cooperation of children.  One teacher said on a national television program, "I like being a professional educator, but I hate the daily task of teaching.  My children are so unruly that I have to stay mad at them all the time just to control the classroom."  How utterly frustrating to be required to be mean and angry as part of a routine assignment, year in and year out.  Yet many teachers (and parents) know of no other way to lead children.  Believe me, it is exhausting and it doesn't work!

This is an excerpt from Dr. James Dobson's "The Strong-Willed Child: Birth Through Adolescence"

Holy cow, could that have been more appropriate for my day?  All day I felt angry and mean and frustrated.  I'm sure Ben felt those things as well, so it's a vicious cycle perpetuated by one another.  It is exhausting and it doesn't work.

I tell ya... there is absolutely nothing harder that I have ever done in my life than being the parent of a 2 year old.  It's a daily struggle because every day is different.  I thought having a newborn was work.  Getting up at all hours of the night, dealing with new feelings and emotions over having something be so utterly dependent on you... that's not work.  

It's hard, but there's only a few things a newborn needs.  He either needs to be changed, to be fed, to be burped, or to sleep.  

Yeah, those things might come at 2 and at 3 and at 4 in the morning, but it's not really work.  It's just hard.  

Being the parent of a 2 year old is also hard and it's also work.  

Some days I'm exhausted.  

And some days I snap.

Friday, May 4, 2012

30 Weeks.

No photo today.  The camera is in the car with Nick at work and I didn't feel like doing a crappy cell pic. 

I am: 29 weeks, 4 days
Baby is: according to Babycenter, he should weigh about the same as a butternut squash (2 1/2 lbs) and is about 15 inches from head to heel
Total weight gain: According to my last OB appointment, I was down the 2 pounds I had gained.  Then I got sick.  So I'm guessing I lost more weight...
Maternity Clothes: yep.  I bought 2 new pairs of pants to take with me to Florida and I only end up wearing one of them. 
Sleep: depends on the night.  my body enjoys this game: wake up with excruciating cramps in my left leg.  exit bed to stand on said leg in an attempt to alleviate the pain.  bladder says "oh.. hey... since you're up, I have to pee".  Then mouth says "well, you know... since you're up... I'm thirsty"... but thankfully that doesn't happen every night.
Cravings: milkshakes.  I've been getting fairly consistent heartburn after pretty much everything I eat (or if I wait too long between meals) and milkshakes sound good to put out the fire in my throat.
Best moment this week: discovering Sonic will mix milkshake flavors.  chocolate banana - yay!
Worst moment this week: I was super sick over the weekend.  pretty much tossed my cookies all day on Friday and half the morning on Sunday.
Movement: extreme amounts.  this kid is making up for all the times I said "he's so quiet - that must mean he's a good sleeper"
Gender: boy
Labor signs: thought I was having Braxton Hicks on Friday but I really think it was my stomach warning me of the upcoming gastrointestinal theatrics
Belly button in or out? still in, but oddly enough - the scar from my gall bladder surgery has moved.  it used to be right in my belly button, now it's like an inch above it. 
What I miss: having energy.
Milestones: we've entered the 3rd tri since my last baby update post.  I passed my glucose test - yay!  I'm starting, slowly but surely, to do some work on the guest room/nursery.  oh and we picked a name.  well, the first name anyway.  we aren't 100% on the middle.  I think we'll keep it a surprise for now. ;)  oh and I picked a theme for the nursery.  The nursery that's still a disaster area.

Here's my list of plans that I need to do - this seems as good a place as any to keep track of what I need to do:

  1. clean out closet
    1. hanging clothes to charity or master closet
    2. sort through extra blankets - move those we're keeping to hall linen closet, rest to yard sale pile
    3. sort through games - keep only those we actually play, rest to yard sale pile
    4. find a new home for out of season household decor (garage?)
    5. old TV to charity
    6. box of misc glassware - sort what to keep (and move to new home - hutch?) and what to sell
    7. wrapping paper, gift bags, bows & tissue paper - need a new home (move to hall closet)
    8. other misc crap - sort through what to keep (and figure out where to store) and what to get rid of (trash vs yard sale)
  2.  clean out dresser - misc wrapping paraphernalia
    1. once empty, move to master bath
  3. card table - clear off, fold up and move to garage
  4. rocker - decide if going to recover or get rid of. 
  5. trunk - sort through items and move to living room
  6. curtains - yard sale
  7. b and w photos on wall - take down, possibly re-frame and move to another wall in the house
  8. other decoration tchotchkes on the walls - remove, decide what to repurpose and what to sell
  9. nightstand:
  10. the Madras bedding from PBK that I heart
    1. lamp - yard sale
    2. small hat box - yard sale
    3. stain to use in nursery
  11. get twin bed from dad's house for guest bed
  12. sell wicker headboard (list on Craigslist)
  13. queen mattress/box springs - sell (listed on Craigslist)
  14. Paint (one of the blues from paint chip - chair rail or wainscoting/board & batten?)
  15. clean carpets (or remove and replace with snap together laminate flooring)
  16. assemble crib
  17. sort through Ben's old clothes/toys and put away
  18. find and purchase changing table/dresser
  19. make or order bedding (PBK's Madras bedding)
  20. get crib mattress and bumper
  21. fill room up with other adorable baby gear
  22. bring home baby and be done with this planning nonsense :)
whew.  that's a lot.  I can do it.  I already did one thing. :)