Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pardon the dust...
I've finally had some creative brain activity to start making some changes to the blog. I'm very attached to the history here, so the URL will stay the same. Hopefully I can get what I want out of my brain this weekend so everyone can update their blog rolls on Monday.

***Edited to add***
If you have me linked on your blog roll & you're not on mine, let me know & I'll get you added. I know there a few of you out there & I tried to find them on my site counter, but couldn't.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Changing of the guards
Shortly after I joined our local MOMS Club chapter, I was asked to serve on the executive board as the Membership Vice President. It's been a whole lot of fun helping to make sure we have a successful club, staying in the loop & even dealing with drama like The Playgroup Nazi (ok, that wasn't "fun"). The term is ending next month, so there is going to be a change in all of the positions. Now instead of being the Membership Vice President, massage friend & I were asked to go on to be Co-Presidents of The Club.

Photographer friend is currently Co-President with another mom & they've had a difficult time dealing with the bumps that have gone on over the last year. Both of them can't wait to get out of the position. It kind of makes me nervous because the Co-Presidents take the brunt for enforcing rules & regulations - sometimes people get their panties in a wad over it, but massage friend & I work really well together, have the same views & philosophies & we aren't going to take any guff from people who have "issues". I think we'll be able to handle anything that comes our way & I'm looking forward to continuing to serve in a leadership position for our chapter.

Next month we train our replacements, appoint people to coordinator positions & begin our 2008-2009 term. I'm sure there will be all sorts of adventures to come with this!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

As if
As if it isn't hard enough finding a swimming suit when you're not pregnant, maternity suits are HORRIBLE to look for. This afternoon with Logan in tow, we went all over town looking for a swimming suit for me because it's finally nice enough to start hanging out by the pool. I was hoping I would find one today so we could go swimming before Logan's nap, but that wasn't happening.

I tried a few different stores, one had absolutely nothing for pregnant women & their plus size suits would have never fit me (I don't know why I thought that might be an option), the other had 3 different styles for maternity wear & I tried on larger sizes of a regular cut tankini (not long enough). By the end of the afternoon I was disappointed & thoroughly discouraged. I'm going to have to drive to the next town over to look & see what they have. UGH.

The silver lining of today was that Logan was a PERFECT shopping companion. His behavior has been fantastic over the last couple of days with very little screaming & temper tantrums. It's been awesome! So, while there was a little whining here & there - we did have to leave one store (but we were leaving anyway) & this was the most mild of tantrums - he just wanted to sit on time out to take a break, it was very tolerable & under control. His manners were spot on, saying please & thank you. I almost wondered if he had been abducted by aliens during the night. He enjoyed shopping with me & picking out his new car for being good & I certainly enjoyed being with a super cute, nice, well-behaved little guy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Turn that frown upside down
This afternoon after Logan woke up from his nap he ran outside to play, chase Buddha (who has lost a considerable amount of weight & no longer fits the "land walrus" nick-name), eat snacks & scream as loud as he could. We've been having a lot of stormy weather lately & not too long after he had gone out, thunder started rolling.

"Scared! Scared!", Logan came whimpering inside. I don't know where he got this, if it's innate to be scared of thunder or if it was something he learned in school, but it seemed like a learned reaction more so than a genuine fear. I reassured him that it would be OK, telling him it was just thunder & lightning. Boy, when he heard "lightning", everything changed - thanks to his Cars obsession, especially anything "Lightning McQueen" related.

So, we've been sitting on the couch watching some cartoons (because it's now too crappy to play outside) & every time lighting strikes & thunder rolls, he smiles a big smile & looks outside. This was an easy fear to conquer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's just odd
You know what's strange? Hearing your kid refer to you by your first name. It's just odd. Bill was cooking dinner while I was upstairs cleaning Logan's bathroom. He had a question about the rice or something like that & was yelling my name up the stairs. Logan was right beside him yelling "Krisin! Krisin!" We laughed about it for a while, but Logan kept repeating it for the rest of the night. He was having a serious conversation on Bill's cell phone (with the key pad locked) about something - Cars underwear was mentioned - & he kept acting like he was talking to me, referring to me by my first name. After a while, it started to feel wrong. Bill piped up saying, "he is not going to refer to me as 'Bill' - ever".

This isn't all bad though because it is important for him to know our names other than "Mommy" & "Daddy". God forbid he ever needs help from someone, a police office, fireman, etc, & they ask him what our names are. I don't think mommy & daddy are going to cut it in that situation.

I'll have to get this on video in the next few days. He's been referring to himself as "Logan" occasionally & even tried to say "Bill" even though it sounds kind of weird. He's really been talking up a storm lately & I absolutely HAVE to get this recorded for many laughs when Logan is older.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Day 1
Well, this is going swimmingly. Swimmingly in pee, that is. While Logan is excited to use the potty & actually sits there for a short while (reading magazines, just like Dad!) he has yet to actually pee in the potty. I would ask him if he needed to use the potty about every 30 minutes & he would sit on there. After nothing happening, I would get him off & he would go play. A few minutes later, we would come waddling back in, whimpering about his wet pants & pee in his shoes.

We ran out of underwear & resorted to naked time.

That didn't help too much either. He still peed puddles on the floor. Granted, the good news was that he either peed himself while outside or while standing on the hardwood floors, thankfully saving our carpets & furniture, but he never told me that he had to go when he really had to go. He would just tell me at random times.

So, I'm not sure how this is working out.

It is only the first day & we decided that since the weather was crappy & we had no clean underwear for him (we really need to go buy a huge pack of Cars underwear rather than just two pair), it was back to diapers until us parents were better prepared. I'm going to make a trip to the store tomorrow for a bulk set of underwear & start looking for the "potty training in a day" & other potty training books recommended by some of the playgroup moms. We don't have any real plans for tomorrow, so we'll try again.

Another good sign is that while Logan really doesn't like wet pants (or pee on his leg), he is still enthusiastic about using the potty & keeps trying. He's been asking me about it all day today (still nothing going on other than asking). As long as it's something that he's asking me for rather than me telling him he has to do, I think we'll have a good shot at this. I just hope he's physically ready for it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Today's the day!
We are officially starting potty training. Last weekend we bought Logan some Cars underwear & a couple of padded potty seats (we decided we didn't like the small potty seats for cleaning reasons & they didn't seem to fit Logan anyway). I didn't push the issue, but he wanted to try out the potty a few times. He had fun sitting on there even though nothing "productive" happened. All week long he would tell me he needed to go potty, so we would go & get him on here. Again, nothing happened, but I was happy with the fact that he was telling us he wanted to use it.

Well, we have a long weekend & a two week break from school. On top of that, Logan's been asking to use the potty on a regular basis. It's pretty clear that he's ready. This morning I told him he was wearing his Cars underwear & not a diaper, so he needed to tell me when he had to go potty. He was excited & ran outside to play. Just as I was about to go out & ask him if he needed to go potty, he comes waddling in, "Pee! Pee! Pee in pants!" I sat him on the potty while I changed his shorts & underwear, wiping him down & cleaning his shoes (sandals, really). Again, I told him that he was wearing underwear & needed to go pee in the potty. He seemed pretty bothered that he wet his pants, so hopefully this is a good sign.

At first, I wasn't holding my breath that this would work out too well. But now, with his continued interest, I think it just might. It's easier since he's the one telling me he has to go & we're not involved in some kind of power struggle (which I thought potty training would bring out). As great as it would be to not have to change anymore diapers until Carter is born, I'm not in any rush. I think this helps a whole lot too.

So, here we go! Or, um - he here goes!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thank our lucky stars
I check the weather reports regularly because I organize the Walking Group for our Club. We were supposed to walk this morning but it was canceled due to predicted rain & thunderstorms. Logan & I went about our business as usual, dropping him off at his preschool prep class while I ran a few errands around town.

While shopping for some clothes for Logan & a gift for a baby welcome we're going to tomorrow morning, it started to rain. It got pretty heavy, but it was nothing that was out of control. It was almost time to pick Logan up from school, so I headed on back. About a block away from his school while stopped at a stop light, the rain turned from a heavy beat down to hail. Again, nothing out of control, but definitely out of the usual.

A friend from The Club who's also in our playgroup was getting out of her car at the same time I was & we ran into the school together under her umbrella, laughing about how crazy the weather was getting & that here we were, two pregnant women running to get out of the rain. We met our kids with big hugs & gathered our belongings while trying to wrangle the boys who would rather run around in the gymnasium than hold our hands. Right before we were ready to leave, the teachers told us that we had to take cover in the bathrooms due to a severe tornado warning.

All of the parents looked at each other with confusion because the part of Colorado we live in is not prone to tornadoes, even though we do get warnings occasionally. We're not on the far eastern plains nor do we see them often like people who live in say, Kansas. But reluctantly a small group of us gathered in the bathroom while about half of the parents decided to just drive home. While huddled in the bathroom, the teachers plugged in a radio, brought out a tote full of toys for the kids & parents connected to the internet from their phones.

Soon, parents were reading the warnings out loud. "Severe tornado warning from 12-12:15pm. Life threatening conditions, tornado moving northeast 8 miles from our town". We all just kind of stood there listening to the reports, almost in denial while the kids played with the toys, clueless to the danger that was moving around outside. As soon as it was reported that the tornado was moving northeast away from us, we left to load the kids up in our cars.

It had stopped raining & everything seemed to be fine. While driving away, I called Bill at work to tell him about our bathroom hangout time. He read some more of the weather reports to me as I saw fast moving, low, dark, ominous clouds over the east side of town - right where we live. Bill told me to just drive home, don't stop & he would find a ride home from a co-worker. Still not thinking we were in imminent danger because the tornado was outside of our town in a neighboring county, I wasn't freaked out too much, even though I was driving in the direction of the heart of the storm.

As I was driving east towards the house, I had to pull over a few times because of ambulances speeding to get to the other side of the freeway where the tornado hit. That's when it hit me. We could very well have this, if not another tornado blow right over us. My stomach dropped & I drove as fast as I legally could to get us to safety.

We got home, I closed up the house & got lunch ready for Logan while I turned on the news. Reports of the tornado hitting a town just southeast of us - a 10 or 15 minute drive away - were on every channel. The damage was devastating. Houses were gone, trains, cars & semi's turned over, power lines down & reports of three deaths with hundreds injured. People lost their homes, pets & everything they owned. The Red Cross is in action helping displaced families & emergency services from a few counties are joining forces to handle the aftermath. This is the worst tornado reported in Colorado since the 1050's with winds of 136-200 mph. It tracked 28 miles from 11:25-12:00pm, stopping just miles, literally a few MILES away from our home. Since the tornado hit, there have been another seven tornado cells in the county just south of us.

We are SO LUCKY that we narrowly escaped the danger & devastation of this storm. I have a lump in my throat just thinking about what could have happened to us.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I feel bigger than I look
Yesterday was the first time I felt uncomfortably pregnant. Heart burn, walking with a slight waddle, excessively tired & a belly in the way. Yesterday, I looked pregnant - not just fat. Then I take some pictures this afternoon & although I have more of a belly than the previous weeks, it's nothing that should slow me down. I guess I just feel bigger than I look & I have an amazing shrinking & growing stomach.

Logan was not able to join me in this picture series because he was refusing to nap & slamming his door a million times (bribes weren't working today). The smile on my face is that of a crazy mom about to snap. It's a good thing I feel more pregnant than I look because it stops me from running up the stairs to yell at him. I'm too tired to do anything & this makes it easier to ignore him, even though I'm sure he's about to bust a hole in the door. At this point - I don't care anymore. Whatever. He better be thanking his little brother for saving his butt.

What do you know?! I'm wearing something other than workout clothes!

See it now?

22 weeks pregnant

Monday, May 19, 2008

The year I take it seriously
I've always loved to garden. Mostly because I just love flowers. When Bill & I first moved into our new apartment as a newly engaged couple, I was quick to start a container garden for the front porch - that swiftly died. And I replaced it several times in the three or four years we lived there. I spent countless amounts of money on roses that shriveled up & died weeks later (mostly because I never watered them).

When we moved to Portland, I wanted a garden but knew that I wouldn't have the time to even plant one let alone take care of it. Same thing when we moved to Colorado, plus we knew that we weren't going to spend much time in the rental house that we lived in & it seemed silly to pretty someone else's house up. We're almost sure we're going to be in this house for a long time (or so we hope), I have the time to at least water a few plants, so rather than getting me a bouquet of flowers for Mother's Day Bill suggested we plant a garden in the front yard. I thought it was a great idea.

After years of experience in killing off beautiful flowers, I decided to change my ways to save us some time, energy & hard earned cash. I am taking gardening seriously. Big time. I've spent the last two days researching what flowers would grow well in our climate and how to grow a long lasting garden that produces color all year round. I've learned how to mix annuals with perennials, match soil, sun & watering needs & organize bloom times. I measured our flower beds & drew diagrams. I've planned out what flowers will go where according to color & size. I've put a lot of thought & energy into this garden compared to my old ways of just walking into a nursery & picking out everything that caught my eye.

This weekend we stopped by the nursery to pick up the carefully-chosen flowers. Bill dug up one of the three flower beds that we're working on & I planted all of the flowers. Logan had a really fun time looking at worms & other random bugs that we found, playing in the dirt, helping Bill shovel with his little sandbox shovel & playing catch & soccer with one of the neighbor boys that came over to keep us company (which I thought was pretty funny).

This is a work in progress & will probably take us about a month to complete. Not only are we planting three flower beds, but Bill is going to trim down the bush by the front window & we're probably going to replace the brick boarders for the flower beds. Here's some before & in-progress pictures...

Our front yard before gardening

The first flowerbed to work on

Looks more like a "weed bed" than a flower bed

All cleaned up with space to grow

Columbine, Day lilies & Petunias

So, it looks a little sparse, off center & shallow. The weeds were thick & deep, taking a lot of soil with them when Bill dug it out. If we had known, we would have added more soil to raise the bed. We also had to work around the tree roots, thus why it's slightly off center. As time goes on this summer it should hopefully grow & fill in. One mistake I often made was crowding planters so that the plants couldn't grow properly. I'm practicing patience here & realizing that gardening isn't about instant gratification.

Hopefully this garden will grow well (it better with all of the planning I put into it) & we should be able to get to the next flower bed in about two weeks.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Is it such a bad thing?
Bribery is a part of our social life whether we like it or not. Want to get into that high end restaurant without a reservation? It's going to take some cash. How about getting through the door to the hottest nightspot in town? The bouncer won't let you through just on your good looks - it's going to take some green. From the blue collar worker to the politician, bribes are made everywhere & it all starts when they are two years old.

I've found that bribery is a major motivator for Logan. If we want him to be on his best behavior while doing our weekly grocery shopping, we entice him with the reward of a new matchbox car. We're thinking about starting his potty training next week with the hopes that candy bribes will get the job done. Tonight, Bill is working late & then staying out with his friends, so it was all up to me to get Logan to bed - which is usually the biggest power struggle of the day. Not tonight, thanks to the promise of a Sponge Bob band-aid if he cooperated nicely. Which he did. I pretty much have to bribe him to be good, but is this such a bad thing?

I don't want to have to do this for everything. Ideally, I want Logan to act civilized because that is what he's supposed to do. But what is the difference between bribing & rewarding for good behavior? Isn't putting a Sponge Bob band-aid on an imaginary owie a much better & stress-free solution than temper tantrums, screams & the slamming of doors? Or is this just the cowards way of avoiding conflict with a strong willed toddler?

Whatever it is, it's working for now. I think we can spring the $5 for a matchbox car, box of Sponge Bob band-aids & black licorice (yuck!) to make for an easy, scream-free week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Keeping my fingers, eyes & legs crossed
At this point, I'm holding my breath until I turn blue. I want this deal to work out so bad, it's unbelievable. For about a month, I've been trying to work on a barter - training for house cleaning. The house work is overwhelming, although since a meltdown about it, Bill has been really good about helping me out more. But, we still need more help. He's at work & the last thing he needs to do is clean the house when he comes home. Add a messy two year old on top of that & you have a recipe for a constantly messy, stressful, frustrating situation.

It's been so stressful because it's been the last priority on my to-do list. With training clients, all of the activities that we do & pregnancy exhaustion at the end of the day, cleaning is not something I strive to do on a daily basis. It's something I know I need to do & I just get this nagging feeling about it all the time. It weighs heavily on me & it shouldn't. I know I need help. I need help so much that if we could I would just outright hire someone to come in, but what do you know, our insurance company is eating up every last cent for pregnancy, labor & delivery costs. It's not in the budget & with the rising cost of gas, groceries & daily living, I don't see it fitting in anytime soon.

This is why bartering is so great. I can train someone in exchange for cleaning my house, all the while keeping our savings & our budget in tact. Nobody has been really serious about it until now. I've sent out a ton of emails & even had something worked out with the owner of a cleaning company to only be no-showed (twice!). Today a potential house cleaner actually showed up, on time, with a lot of questions to an interview we scheduled. It seems very likely this will work.

We hit it off well, she seems like a nice person who takes commitments seriously (both cleaning & fitness). She's taking her time to make the decision, which I really appreciate. So, I'm waiting to hear if she's game. I'll know in a couple of days. Until then I'm holding my breath until I turn blue & keeping my fingers, eyes & legs crossed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ode to Zofran

Zofran, oh Zofran, you saved my life
You help me function as a mother and wife

You keep food in me whether healthy or junk
I'm thankful you stop my heave and upchuck

There were dark days, I didn't think you'd come through
Or the times you made it impossible to poo

Many weeks of hell, I wanted to cry
Pounding headaches and a mouth so dry

I'm off my couch enjoying the day
Although insurance makes it impossible to pay

I often forget that I need little white pills
Then I wake up green about the gills

We'll be together for a few more months
While I continue to feed my baby bump

So, thanks again my anti-emetic friend
Without you I'm sure my life would've end

Monday, May 12, 2008

What would you do?
This is a tricky situation. I don't want to be the over-reactive parent, but I do want to make sure my child is safe at all times, especially from violent kids or bullies. However, I can't always have my eye on him & at times I have to trust that other people will keep him safe. Sometimes, other people aren't always going to protect him as well as I would.

This is the first time I've ever questioned the short term daycare situations that we use & I'm not sure when to make an issue of it. Logan goes to the gym childcare 2-4 times a week for about 2 hours at a time. He loves it there, always asking to go & talking about basketball & soccer. I've never even thought twice about it because he was always happy & rarely ever cried. This made working out so easy because it was "fun time" for both of us.

Yesterday morning after photographer friend & I finished our workout, we went to pick up our kids from the Kids Club. I saw Logan coming to the gate, red & blotchy with tears on his cheeks. "Why is he all red?", I asked one of the daycare attendants. "Oh, he was crying", she said & left it at that. Then as he came over to give me a hug, I saw red scratch marks around his neck & collar bones. "Why is he all scratched up? It looks like he's been strangled", I asked the same attendant. She didn't know what happened & asked another girl working in there with her. "What happened to Logan?", she asked her. "Oh, there was a sharing issue", the other girl stated & pretty much left it at that. Not knowing what to do from there, we got our kids ready to go as Little M was telling us that Logan got strangled. He seemed fine other than the scratch marks on his neck.

On the drive home I kept thinking about what probably happened. Now, I know Logan is not perfect (the last few temper-tantrum posts make that clear) but I do know that he is on his best behavior while in other people's care. He's also very good at sharing. This isn't to say that he wouldn't take a toy from another kid, but I know he wouldn't fight over it. Outside of the time-out temper-tantrums at home, he is not a violent boy. He has never ever hit anyone in playgroup & when he's hit by someone else, he is quick to give them a hug & forgiving them when they are still learning to say "I'm sorry". He really is a very sweet boy.

So, drawing my own conclusion because the Kids Club attendants didn't give much information to the situation, I'm pretty sure one of two things happened. Either another kid was playing with a toy & Logan took it from them then this kid got pissed & strangled him or Logan was playing with something & this kid attacked him while trying to take it away. Either way, Logan was violently attacked while I wasn't there to protect him. From there, one of the attendants probably broke up the fight & that was it. There isn't any type of discipline (time-outs) & if I didn't get details when I asked, I know for sure the parent of the violent child is completely clueless to the incident.

How do I make sure this doesn't happen again? I know I can't trust that it won't & that there will be times when Logan gets into fights. When do I teach him about self-defense & that it's OK to push a kid off of him if he's getting hit? Certainly a two year old can't differentiate between protecting himself & being a bully. How do I make sure he's just not standing there getting pummeled by some horrible brat?

Since this is the first time this type of incident has ever presented itself, I'm not sure what to do from here. If this happens again (& I'm sure it will) I should know what to do to make sure Logan is safe - or at least not getting the crap beat out of him while I'm not there to talk some sense into the child or their parent.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"Happy Day!"
This morning for Mother's Day I slept in & had some quiet time to myself while I got showered & ready for the day. Truthfully, Bill does this for me every morning, which is greatly appreciated. While I was in the shower Bill spent the morning teaching Logan how to say "Happy Mother's Day". I guess they had been rehearsing it for quite a while & when he thought Logan got it down, they both came into the bathroom to wish me a happy Mother's Day.

"Tell Mommy, Logan", Bill urged him. "Grrrrrr", he growled. "Say Happy Mother's Day", he tried again. A few more growls came out & in true boy fashion, Logan growled "Mother's Day". I had to laugh. It was too cute. After I got out of the shower, Logan was running around the bathroom "Happy Day! Happy Day!"

Logan & I went to the gym as usual for Sunday morning & came home to go out for lunch with Bill. Logan was exceptionally good & ate all of his lunch. Truly, the best Mother's Day gift ever. I would take a well behaved two year old over a vase of roses any day. My present is two-part; Bill & I went out for dinner on Friday night & I ate sushi to my hearts content (pregnancy-safe sushi, of course). We also stopped by Ben & Jerry's for sundaes. Next weekend we're going to plant flowers in the front yard together (because this weekend was supposed to be kind of crappy weather - but it's not really. Oh well).

I know many people think of Mother's Day as a "hallmark holiday". For the most part it is - the cost of roses goes up, stores are packed with a variety of cards, people search high & low for gifts to give, but really - it's only a bothersome, meaningless holiday to those who are not mothers. Being a mom is by far the most difficult journey I've ever taken in my life. I've never cried so much, had less sleep or spent so much time & energy to make sure Logan is healthy & happy. It's been utterly energy zapping, gray hair inducing & wrinkle causing, all the while being the most fulfilling, happy & exciting time in my life. It's a very yin & yang experience.

So while many people don't want anything on Mother's Day - I do. It means a lot to me that my family at some point in the year recognizes everything I do for us. It's not easy & the one day that I get a special thanks is really nice. Because after today, we go back to 364 days of just doing it.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Officially pregnant
I cannot even begin to express how important yesterday's ultrasound was to me. I finally feel like I'm out of pregnancy limbo, that it's "real" & more significantly, we're waiting for Carter not "the baby". As each minute of the day passes, I am increasingly more excited (not that I wasn't before).

Now I feel pregnant. I feel like we can start getting Carter's room ready (while getting Logan's decorated as well since it's been bare ever since we've moved), we can start looking for newborn clothes & the small odds & ends that we'll need to get to be ready for him, which honestly isn't much. The knots in my stomach from before the ultrasound have now turned into butterflies of anticipation.

To each their own, but I really don't understand how parents, especially mothers, can go on in a pregnancy wanting to be surprised. To me, the difference in knowing is like night & day. I couldn't imagine not knowing. Thank God I was born in this century where routine ultrasounds are available & finding out the gender is common.

What's also beginning to sink in is that I'm the mother of two boys. I was not really hoping for one specific gender, only a healthy baby, but having another boy is almost a relief (almost). I kind of feel like I know what I'm doing & getting myself into. But that's also the other half the the almost, I know what I'm getting myself into. I've been mentally preparing this pregnancy to expect an equally rambunctious, messy, loud, active, tornado of a kid as Logan is. Which is bittersweet. It will be amazingly fun (boy scouts, soccer practice, etc) but it will not be easy (trips to the ER for stitches, broken bones, bringing snakes & bugs into the house). I'm envisioning Double Trouble.

I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune in a couple of months when I'm big, swollen, hot & uncomfortable at the end of the pregnancy, but really - this is when it gets to be fun for me. I'm no longer sick, bedridden, anxious & "stuck". I am so freaking excited I can barely stand it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

It's a...
This afternoon was the 20 week ultrasound & I had been nervous all day. The nightmares really did a number on me & I was a little anxious to go to the appointment. I got a backpack full of snacks, coloring books, stickers & a few surprise new toys (2 cars & 2 dinosaurs) together for Logan during the appointment. We picked up Bill from work & Logan fell asleep in the car on the way there.

We checked in & were seen pretty much right away. Logan was great, sitting there quietly with Bill as the technician was taking pictures of the baby & explaining what she saw. He ate his bee crackers & played with stickers despite not having a nap. I was really proud of him. The beginning of the appointment was a little rough because I could feel my heart racing, my blood pressure rising & having a mini-panic attack. The technician started to get pictures of the profile where we could clearly see the baby. Being the cry-baby that I am during appointments like this, tears just streamed down my cheeks as I smiled at Bill & Logan who were smiling back at me.

Everything looked great, although at the time the baby was breech & we couldn't check for gender or see the tailbone (which is important). Apparently I didn't drink enough water before hand (even though it felt like I was going to pee myself on the table) & some things were difficult to see. But, just as we were about to call it quits & come back for another ultrasound in the next week, the baby turned.

I saw as clear as day before the technician said anything. "Oh! It's a boy! You don't have to even say anything because there's no question about it", I said. By the look on the technicians face, it seemed as though I stole a bit of her thunder as I'm sure this is a big positive part of her job. "You see that, huh. Yep, it's a boy. No denying it for sure", she replied.

She was able to get pictures of everything she needed to & it all looked great. We gathered our things (spilling Logan's sippy cup of water all over the floor) & did a follow up with my OB afterward who also confirmed that the baby looked good. She answered a few questions that I had (more zofran refills, why is my hair falling out already, I have pain in the same spot I had the sonogram checking on the breast lump - which now I need to have another to double check). By this point Logan was getting restless & asking to go home. But still, he was doing really well.

While waiting for the Doctor to come in the exam room, Bill was telling me that he was getting congratulatory text messages from his coworkers all welcoming "Hank" to the family. Over the last few weeks Bill has been insisting on naming our baby Hank if we were having a boy (this is a post for another day). However, we both looked at each other & quickly agreed on Carter Liam. We even pinky swore on it so it's a done deal.

So snakes & snails & puppy dog's tails for sure. Our house is all boy. We're so excited & can't wait to welcome Carter to the family at the end of September!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Pregnancy Nightmares
I've always had vivid dreams, often waking up to remember crazy adventures in dreamland or being weirded out by strange reoccurring dreams (like the one where I pull all of my teeth out by hand). I had nightmares, but they weren't frequent. Until I first became pregnant.

When I was pregnant with Logan, I had horrible nightmares. I would frequently wake up in the middle of the night sinking into the bed & pulling the covers over my head with a cold chill running down my spine & the pit of my stomach dropping. These nightmares were always gory with headless zombies & the like. The only comfort I found in this was that I would wake up knowing they were fictional experiences, as horrible as I felt upon waking. Although almost everything gave me nightmares, I made sure to limit my TV viewing to non-violent programs (except for CSI: Las Vegas. I still love that show).

Pregnancy in general has permanently altered my brain, because the nightmares never stopped even after Logan was born. They may have decreased in frequency, but not disappeared all together. To this day, I cannot watch a horror movie or I will have nightmares (how childish is that?). Bill has a few episodes of Ghost Hunters on the DVR that I was going to watch the other night & actually started until he stopped me & I thought the same thing - better not or I will regret it.

This pregnancy is a little different in the way that the content of my nightmares is now more realistic than fictional. When I once dreamed of ghosts & goblins, I now dream of car accidents, kidnapings, house fires, home invasions, a cheating/lying husband & other realistic tragedies. Mainly death. These I can't shake because there is an actual chance of them happening, unlike being woken up by the living dead. The most common nightmare I'm having now is that something is wrong with the baby.

Tomorrow afternoon is my 20 week ultrasound where we FINALLY get to see our new family member & figure out a name. For me, the pregnancy will officially feel "real" even though HG, a slowly growing belly & baby kicks have been going on for a while. Logan is coming with us so he can see the baby too. My nightmare is that we find something wrong on the ultrasound or even that the baby is no longer with us. The dream is so unbelievably real, it makes me numb. What makes this nightmare even more unbearable is that we experience this tragedy as a family in the moment, including Logan. I wake up feeling torn. What if there is something wrong? Do I want Logan there? But if everything is OK, I don't want him to miss out on this special family moment. I don't know - it just tears at my soul.

It's hard to escape this reality because it happens. People have miscarriages or stillborn births. I see the threads on parenting boards & blog posts linked around for support. I'm even stupid enough to open threads or follow links to read the stories. Bill has been getting "mad" at me for it (more like scolding me about it).

With Logan's 20 week ultrasound, I don't even think I was that worried about something being wrong regardless if I was a neurotic first time soon-to-be mom. I was just excited to know what we were having. I had seen him on ultrasound at 9 weeks, so the reality had already sunk in. This time I haven't thought about tomorrow too much because for one, I try to not think about it because of the nightmares & also, because I don't have time to constantly think about it being busy with Logan & life. It didn't really hit me that the ultrasound is tomorrow until last night.

I may be in for a long night of either no sleep due to excitement or unease because of nightmares. My stomach is in knots just even thinking about it.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I just look fat
I have a weird body shape where my hips are higher than average & my waist is pretty short. There's not much distance between my ribcage & my hipbones. This odd shape only gets worse during pregnancy. I feel both my hips AND my ribcage widening. I think my kids are confusing my diaphragm for my uterus. Just like with Logan, I'm carrying high so it doesn't look like I'm pregnant, I just look fat.

At least with this pregnancy, I don't really care so much about the body changes & I'm not bursting into tears when I see my butt in the mirror (even though it's not a pleasant site right now). I pretty much shrug my shoulders & tell myself that I guess I'll have some work to do in the gym after the baby is born. It's not a shocker. At least I know what I'm doing & it isn't going to take too long to get back into shape.

19 weeks pregnant

20 weeks pregnant

27 months old & 20 weeks pregnant
This kid is all about hugging pictures - I love it!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Field trip to the Butterfly Pavilion
Today a few of us from The Club drove into the city for a field trip to the Butterfly Pavilion with the kids. It's basically an insect zoo thats also serves as a small children's museum. This is the perfect day for a boy to be a boy, looking at gross bugs & climbing all over things, with friends no less.
We got there shortly after they opened, only to realize that we possibly chose the wrong day to come. It was packed with school field trips, tons of different schools, with bratty, rude children that needed to learn some serious manners. Now, I get on Logan about behaving in public & learning his manners, but he's two. Not eight. An eight year old has the mental capability to know that shoving little kids away from exhibits, hip checking parents with strollers out of the way or giving parents dirty looks because they are making sure their little ones don't get bullied by them is wrong. Our toddlers were plowed into many times & unfortunately the teachers & parents tagging along didn't care at all. So much for controlling the class outside of the classroom.

Other than that, Logan was in heaven. He was so excited to see different kinds of bugs, fish & sea life (starfish, snails, etc.), butterflies & turtles. We walked into the butterfly conservatory where there were hundreds of butterflies fluttering all around. They landed on your head, flew by your nose - there was always one if not 20 right in sight. Logan was a little taken aback by so many butterflies, but soon warmed up to the wonder of it all. One landed on my hand & for the rest of the trip he tried so hard to hold out his hand & stay still hoping one would land on him. It was too cute for words.
We spent quite a while there, eating our packed lunches and enjoying some more less-crowed time after the school field trips left. We even went back to the butterfly conservatory one more time for a less chaotic experience. Soon, all of our toddlers were tired & ready to go home. Logan did really well on the trip, only having two minor tantrums - one before lunch & one in the parking lot going home (because he didn't want to hold my hand). It was surprisingly stress free & a really fun experience for the two of us (even with me repeating "don't touch that" a million times in the gift shop).
This is definitely something we'll have to come back & do again sometime soon with Bill. Maybe later this summer when it's too hot to play outside & the zoo is out of the question. And that time I'll make sure to get video of Logan & the butterflies, even though the pictures came out pretty cute (that was a miracle).

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A few things
On a lighter note, because the last two posts make it seem like Logan's a demon child & he's really not (just at the moment)...

We received a package from UPS the other day. It wasn't for us & after living here for about 3 months, we've still been getting these packages (5 to be exact). Anyway, I brought the box in & Logan instantly called it the "secret box". Another prime example of him remembering his cartoons because there is a Sponge Bob episode about a secret box. I had to laugh.

We've been adding a little variety to our snacks this last week & bought Logan some banana chips. He calls them "monkey crackers".

We went out for dinner tonight & Bill let Logan have a few sips of his Coke because he was getting antsy waiting for dinner. The carbonation feels really funny to him & the faces that he makes after every sip is priceless. His eyes get really wide & he gets a whole body shiver. Ice cream does the same thing because it's so cold. We had some pretty good laughs tonight.

Friday, May 02, 2008

A week in the life
I've been meaning to do this anyway, but in light of the sleep & behavioral issues going on & comments asking about specific routines & techniques, I think this detailed schedule may help someone pinpoint where we're off track, or maybe I'll have an epiphany while writing it out & come up with some hair brained solution (most of this is probably going to be me putting it all out there to see what I can find - a little mental dumpage, if you will). All in all, it couldn't hurt!

So here it goes. What our life is typically like every week-


  • 6-7am: Wake up
  • 6:30-7:30am: Breakfast with morning cartoons
  • 7:30-7:45am: Drive Bill to work
  • 8-9 or 10: Prep time at home (packing snacks, getting ready for the day). Logan is usually outside playing in the sandbox now that the weather is nice.
  • 9 or 10-12pm: Whatever Club activity is going on (meeting/playgroup, walking group/park day, special trip, etc. with snacks included)
  • 12:30-1:30pm: Lunch & down time at home
  • 1 or 2-3 or 4: Nap time (if at all depending on Logan)
  • 4-4:45pm: Outside play & snacks if awake
  • 4:45pm: Leave to pick up Bill from work
  • 5:30-6:30pm: Dinner prep while Logan plays with Bill, usually outside now
  • 6-6:30pm: Dinner
  • 6:30 or 7pm: Downtime before bed (usually cartoon time)
  • 7-7:30pm: Bath time
  • 8pm: Bedtime (if he actually goes down. This could take up to 2 more hours for him to finally go to sleep).
  • 5:45am: I leave to train a client in their home
  • 6am: Logan wakes up
  • 6-7:15am: Breakfast & morning cartoons
  • 7:30am: Drive Bill to work
  • 8-8:30: Prep for the day (make snacks, etc).
  • 9-10am: Preschool prep class (typically - this month it's at a later time)
  • 10-12pm: Whatever Club activity is going on (meetings, walking group/park day, etc) if nothing is going on then we go to the gym
  • 12:30-1pm: Lunch
  • 1 or 2-3 or 4: Nap time (if it happens)
  • *see Monday for rest of the day
  • 6am: Logan wakes up
  • 6-7:30am: Breakfast & morning cartoons
  • 7:45am: Drive Bill to work
  • 8 or 8:15-9:30am: Meet photographer friend to train at the gym while Logan goes to the Kids Club
  • 10-11:30 or 12pm: Playgroup
  • 12:30-1pm: Lunch
  • 1-4pm: Nap time if it happens
  • 4:45: Leave to pick up Bill from work
  • 5-6pm: Grocery shopping
  • *see the previous days for the rest of the schedule
  • 6am: Logan wakes up
  • 6-7:30am: Breakfast & morning cartoons
  • 7:30am: Leave to drive Bill to work
  • 8-8:30am: Daily prep
  • 9-10am: Preschool prep class
  • 10-12pm: Whatever is on The Club calender or workout at the gym
  • 12:30-1pm: Lunch
  • *see previous days for rest of schedule
  • 5:45am: I leave to train a client in their home
  • 6am: Logan wakes up
  • 6-7:30: Breakfast & morning cartoons
  • 7:30am: Drive Bill to work
  • 8-8:30 or 9am: Daily prep
  • 9 or 10-12pm: Whatever is on the schedule for The Club (usually walking group with park play afterward)
  • 12:30-1pm: Lunch
  • *see above
  • 6am: Logan wakes up
  • 7-9: Lounge around the house, eat breakfast
  • 9-12: Rotate taking care of Logan while the other person takes a nap or do whatever we're doing for the weekend (yard projects, park play, etc)
  • 12-1pm: Lunch
  • *see above
  • 6am: Logan wakes up
  • 6-9am: Breakfast & morning cartoons or outdoor play
  • 9-11am: Workout with photographer friend while Logan goes to the Kids Club
  • 11-1pm: Shopping, lunch, whatever
  • 1-2pm: Nap
  • *see above

Temper tantrums happen all day long; when he wakes up, during breakfast, leaving the house, leaving activities, at the store, in the car, leaving the gym, during lunch, when he's told to come inside, during nap time, when leaving to pick Bill up from work, before dinner, during dinner, before bed, during bath time, while getting him ready for bed & during bed time until he falls asleep. On our worst days - it looks exactly like this. On our best days it could be two or three tantrums, but never a tantrum-free day.

Discipline techniques are numerous; time-out in the time-out spot by the back door for 2 minutes or until he calms down (this is consistent wherever we go be it playgroup or shopping), grounding to his room for 30 minutes or more if he's being violent or after a serious infraction, counting to 3 before time-outs, repeating myself before counting to 3, ignoring small tantrums that only make him escalate into massive rages, attempting to communicate before a tantrum ensues which only makes him escalate into massive rages, yelling because I have run out of patience & options, spanking when he kicks me in the stomach or throws something at me, attempts to break something (like his bedroom door or window) or is blatantly being disobedient while being disciplined.

Major power struggles happen often; meal times, when safety is concerned (needing to hold my hand in a parking lot), when he needs a diaper change or getting ready for the day, nap times, bed time. He often goes to bed without dinner due to his refusing to eat what we've made, or sits in a dirty diaper for an extended period of time because he won't cooperate with diaper changes. Forcing these issues leads to major battles & meltdowns (from both of us). Other than safety situations, I often end up relinquishing control & let him run the show (not forcing him to eat, letting his diaper bother him enough until he comes to me to let me know, letting him play in his room for a few hours while he does not sleep), unless again he's being destructive - slamming his bedroom door, etc. Then this behavior is not ignored.

If we cut out activities on the schedule & stay home during the day, it's worse because Logan gets bored & watches too much TV. He doesn't want me to read to him or put puzzles together, he wants to do it himself. Play-doh, coloring & crafts take only a few minutes out of the day. Besides, Logan needs more physical activities than most kids (winter was a prime example of too much TV & boredom).

We did cut out swimming lessons that we were going to twice a week but other than that, I don't see us as over scheduled or very inconsistent in our daily routines. Actually, after typing this out we seem to be pretty consistent with out activities & time schedules. Wake times, lunches, nap times (attempted), dinners, bed times (attempted) - all are at the same time every day. Even our activities, although varied, are at the same times every week. Our busiest time of the day is only for about 3-4 hours in the morning & we're always home in time for lunch, staying home for the rest of the day until we have to leave to go pick up Bill from work.

This is why I'm feeling hopeless. I feel like I've tried everything & I can't think of anything we haven't tried (with the exception of taking away his currency - cars, TV, outside time. I'm not sure how this is different than time-out). I've even considered medical conditions (Asperger's was a thought until I really looked into it - it's a definite no). In this aspect, the only thing I haven't tried 100% is the Feingold Diet. I think this might be worth a shot...maybe.

I think I've just about purged & rambled on about everything that we do, have done & the few we haven't tried. I think I'm going to sleep on it. I hope this detailed information sparks someones insight into what might be the issue. Lord knows I don't know where to go from here. The next step is calling his pediatrician for resources.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Catching up
Clearly, No-Naps is not working out. Which brings me right back to square one. No-Naps, strict routines, relaxed routines, early bedtime, late bedtime, restricted nap lengths, sleep as long as you want nap lengths...we've done it all.

With strict daily schedules (which is what we've been doing since the day Logan was born) worked out great until toddlerhood, where it became a power struggle. The more I tried to take control of a situation with the "I'm the Mom & what I say goes & you have no pull in the situation" kind of attitude, the more Logan resisted & the more frustrated we were with each other.

Then we tried relaxed routines, where I gave up the control & tried working together more, offering options & choices. Offering choices of two, talking about consequences, letting Logan make personal choices (Dora or Blues Clues? Applesauce or yogurt? The gym or the park?). While it worked out occasionally, he frequently responded with yelling "NO!", temper tantrums ensued & there was no reasoning with him.

Early bedtimes resulted in another power struggle over actually getting to bed & if he did sleep, it resulted in an even earlier wake time (4:30-6:00am). Late bedtimes yielded similar results - early wake time (you would logically think it would be later wake time).

Sleep as long as you want resulted in late bedtimes, which produced more bedtime battles. Restricted nap length resulted in increased temper tantrums due to being overtired (& being two). No-Naps has left him flat out tired, often crashing on the couch, the car (during every car ride) & today, has resulted in a 10:30am nap that is still in progress.

This morning while getting ready, Logan got into trouble (surprise) & he ate most of the grapes that we just bought yesterday at the store, while the rest were squished onto the newly mopped floor (this is why I don't even bother cleaning anymore). I sent him to his room for time-out. He ended up crawling into bed & promptly passing out. I tired to wake him up to get ready to go to school, but he was out cold. I even trimmed his fingernails while he slept, which I've NEVER been able to do before. The boy is more than tired, which might explain why he woke up at 6:30 this morning in the most terrible mood ever. Bill even thought this was unusual (I told him this is typical & goes on all day long - he just never gets to deal with it as frequently).

Needless to say, he missed school today. I'm just going to let him sleep as long as he will. It's catch up day today. Hopefully this will get him back on track. Where do we go from here? I have no idea, but I guess I'll figure something out.