Thursday, July 31, 2008

Something to laugh about
In the mess that was yesterday, there was something particularly funny that happened that I still can get a good chuckle over, even thinking about it now. I guess it's these small moments that I need to pay attention to to make sure I don't go absolutely insane.

Before my OB appointment, I stopped by home to grab a quick bite to eat. Bill brought home some home-made toffee from work that someone dropped by. It was delicious. So, of course I had to have some with my lunch! I leave for my appointment, which is only a 5 minute drive away.

I check-in at the front desk & the receptionist has a slice of chocolate cake sitting right next to her. It's taking a while to get me check-in, so I make some small talk with her. "You know, it's not very nice to have chocolate just laying around when you see pregnant women all day long". We laughed & joked about it. She gave me my stickers for the sample cup & I was called back.

I went into the bathroom, looked in the mirror & I had chocolate on my face from when I ate the toffee at home. So, here I am talking about chocolate with the front desk receptionist & I have it all over my face & nobody said anything.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How do you make lemon aid out of this?
I was going to write about something completely different today. Actually, I've been working on Logan's two & a half year development update (rather than going monthly after he turned two). But what do you know, something happens today that trumps the development post.

I. Am. Stressed. There is no doubt about it & I have NO CLUE how to relax. There is so much crap going on right now; Bill & I heading back to marriage counseling again (which is a good thing, but still stressful nonetheless), Logan testing the limits & being a typical two year old, normal daily worries of a stay-at-home-mom (finances & paying for preschool-prep classes), threats of pre-term labor, I mean - the list is never ending. I had an OB appointment this afternoon & now I have more to stress about.

The appointment started as usual, pee in the cup & get my blood pressure checked. My OB came in & we talked about the night in labor & delivery, that stress is what brought me there & everything that's going on. I sat there & cried & cried in the exam room. I swear, I have the best OB in the world because she is such a good listener & a very compassionate person. She said that I needed some more "me-time" since I'm not able to workout at this point. She told me to call her if I needed anything (although I don't know what that would be). After her listening to me cry for a while, I got on the table to get measured & listened to the heart beat.

Carter's heart beat was at 135bpm, but I was measuring small at 28 weeks, not 32. She said that he could be in a weird position, but she ordered an ultrasound & follow-up appointment for next week. The big worry is that amniotic fluid is low, which really scares me. I cried some more, she gave me a huge hug & said that we would know more after the ultrasound.

And! On top of all of this, the in-laws are back in town this week & were over tonight for dinner with Grandpa L pulling more of his smoking around Logan stunts. I don't know how much more of this I can take. I think my "me-time" needs to be a vacation or something. If we had the cash, I would spend an entire day at the spa getting everything I want. THAT would be some me-time!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Get your DVR's ready
It's taken an entire year, but the TV show that photographer friend applied for & let me tag along with is finally airing on Thursday night. It's seriously going to be the funniest night ever because it's just going to be painful to watch. After filming, we were talking about how we were going to have to dull our embarrassment with wine, but that's not happening now! Maybe chocolate will suffice.

So, Thursday night we'll be at her house for the viewing party with a ton of other people laughing at us because we are clearly not professional actors (yes, this show is lightly scripted) & eating good food. If you want to be one of the millions of people across the country making fun of us, leave a comment leaving your email or email me with your info (my address is in the profile) & I'll make sure you get the details when I email friends & family about it tomorrow night.

*Erin & Dawn, I think I have the wrong email addresses for you two*

Monday, July 28, 2008

The fire is burning now!
Nesting is in full swing since the labor & delivery scare last week. Realizing that I have five weeks that Carter needs to stay in until the Doctors won't stop contractions totally lit a fire under my rear. This weekend I bought his baby calender, wooden letters to paint for his room, stars for the walls & I've begun to wash all of his clothes & blankets.

Tonight I'm buying totes to organize all of Logan's hand-me-downs & start getting the closet organized. I got the infant car seat out of the garage & I'm going to have Bill install that as soon as I clean out the car. This weekend I'll have him pull out the swing & get the crib put together. He also needs to get on top of Aunt Ju-Ju who still has our pack & play that I plan on using as a bassinet like we did for Logan.

Other than buying some newborn clothes, we haven't done anything to prepare for his arrival yet. I'm going to get a Moby Wrap & I'm sure I'll have more clothes to wash after the baby shower next month (I'm hoping for more diapers than clothes at this point). We've decided on a stars & moon theme for his room, with a touch of Good Night Moon in there, so it should be pretty cute. I'll take pictures once that gets completed.

I feel like I have so much to do. Do I sound like a frantic pregnant mom yet?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

32 weeks pregnant
It's been a few weeks since I last took some belly shots & I figured I should get some regardless of how tired I am. I have five more weeks to keep this kid in until it's OK for him to come out. I haven't washed any of his clothes, put up his crib, had our pack & play returned from Aunt Ju-Ju (who used it for Cousin B) or pretty much anything important for his arrival. I'm starting to freak out about it because I've wanted to do these things for months but Bill keeps thinking we still have time. I don't think so anymore & hopefully we can get things done in the next week.

Yes, you're getting a partial butt/hip flash. Whatever.

Friday, July 25, 2008

On my soapbox
It's been a while since I've written a personal, non-deleted, introspective post. I think it's about time for one. This has been on my mind all week & it's only driving me crazy because the person who needs to hear it, doesn't care to listen in the least bit. Or really, doesn't care at all. So, what's better than blogging about it if I'm not going to be heard. This is something we all know, maybe we share the same feelings, maybe we don't, but it's going to be said anyway.

Smoking is one of the most selfish habits anyone can have.

There is absolutely no reason to do it, no reason to start, no valid reason to keep doing it. Personally, I find it disgusting, but there are so many other reasons why I hate the habit (& no, I have never smoked a cigarette in my life). It's mainly because it effects everyone around them, as much as the smoker may deny. They refuse to believe how much their habit hurts the ones they love the most (or are supposed to), far beyond the physical damage. There is so much emotional damage that comes along with it.

Kids from a very early age are taught that smoking is bad & to never start. They hear this in school, in church & sometimes at home. We see the commercials out there now about how smoking causes cancer & many other health problems. It's undeniable how much they slowly kill a person, when the warning is right there on the box. Kids take this warning to heart. They love their parents & other family members & knowing that smoking kills, they want to make them stop. For those that missed Oprah's Stop Smoking episode, there's the daughter of a smoking couple practically begging her parents to quit. It's heart breaking.

I know how that little kid feels, knowing that her parents are doing something "bad" that will kill them. This kind of knowledge & guilt that's put on their shoulders is more than unfair, it's cruel. It's callous. It's damaging, not only in the physical sense, but the emotional as well. If you want to mentally torture your kids? Keep smoking, even when the beg you to stop. And don't believe that you can hide it from them. They will find out. They aren't stupid.

As the years go by & the smoker continues their addictive habit, they get in way over their heads to the point where it's almost impossible to stop. It's been said that smoking is just as addictive as heroin. Why on Earth would someone start doing something that is so difficult to stop? Especially today! With everything we know! It still boggles my mind. But, because it's so difficult to stop, the physical damage to the smoker continues to progress. What happens to the family if (or more like when) the smoker develops diseases like emphysema or cancer? It's one of the most horrific times in a family members life, creating so much suffering equal to the physical suffering of the diseased smoker.

I've worked in a cancer clinic many years ago, where the majority of the patients were lung cancer patients. They would come in for chemo & with their oxygen tank in tow, hang out in the courtyard & light up again. It was the epitome of addiction. They were dying & couldn't stop (or hated themselves so much that they didn't want to). On more than one occasion, a cancer patient who also had emphysema, with their greenish-gray skin color, would stop breathing right before my eyes. Have you ever witnessed someone suffocating right in front of you? It's traumatic. The extreme fear in their eyes is something that would deter anyone from starting the deadly habit. Calling 9-1-1 to get them to the hospital ASAP before you witness their immanent death is something that no family member should have to experience.

Then there's the "C" word. Cancer. We live in a society where everything "causes" cancer. The sun, the air we breath, the products we use on our skin & the food we eat. But, without a shadow of a doubt we DO KNOW that smoking causes cancer. If you don't believe that, then Lord help you, because you're going to need it. As well as having worked in a cancer clinic, I've had family die from cancer. While not suffering from lung cancer, the result is the same. A slow & painful death. I vividly remember the last days of a passing loved one on morphine to stop the pain, calling to make sure they could say their good-byes regularly because nobody knew when the day would come, albeit soon. It was gut wrenchingly difficult, to say the least. Knowing that the risk of this being your future is very, very likely, I still don't know why a person would make the choice to smoke.

I wish more smokers would think about The Big Picture. Rather than thinking about how "cool" they are, or how much of a stress reliever it is for them, being selfish to the nth degree, I wish they would think about how their family is suffering from it or will suffer greatly in the near future. How much stress it causes them. How many tears would be shed from the results of their habits, how many sleepless nights there will be worrying about medical bills & everything else that comes along with illness.

There is no valid reason to start, no good reason to keep doing it & no sane reason to ever pick it up again.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mr. Independent
It's always been important to me as a mother to teach Logan how to be independent. I've wanted him to be able to rely on himself at a very early age, even if it's only starting with the simplest of tasks. Now being pregnant with Carter, I am so glad we've been raising Logan this way because it makes our life so much easier.

Logan is doing exceptionally well with "chores", like putting his dishes in the sink when he's finished, cleaning up his toys (sort of), putting his shoes on & getting into his car seat on his own. He's even getting better about going to bed & taking a nap without the major hysterics that we've been through before. He's so proud of himself, always exclaiming "by myself!", after accomplishing something on his own. He's growing up so fast.

In the next month I'm going to figure out what else he could do on his own. Maybe getting his own snacks & drinks from the refrigerator & working with him more on getting himself dressed (we'll see how this goes). By him being So Big, it will certainly make the transition to a two kid family a little bit easier. Plus, it makes Logan feel so good about himself. Now if he would only potty train, we would be set!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One rough night
Yesterday was a very, very stressful day. Remember when I mentioned that Bill was in the running for The Biggest Jerk of a Husband award? We'll he's officially won that title & the stress from it sent me into preterm labor. I got to hang out in labor & delivery for a few hours late in the evening.

I found out about more of Bill's shenanigans around 3 or 4pm, which was the straw that broke the camels back for me. I'll probably go into more detail about all of this either later in the week or sometime next week - but for now - let's just say it's stressful. I kept my cool, no crying, no yelling or screaming - maybe some hyperventilating, but that was it. I went on with my day taking Logan to the grocery store about an hour later.

While at the store, I had been getting the crazy braxton hicks contractions again. I always get them at the store (or when I'm doing anything physical) so I didn't think too much of it. It was when we got home that I started to worry. I noticed them becoming more frequent & more intense. I kept a close eye on them for a couple more hours while drinking water & laying on my left side. By the time Logan was in bed, I started recording the count. It was more than 6 contractions in an hour. I called my OB.

The on-call nurse had me try again, on my left side drinking 10-12 ounces of water every 10 minutes. If I continued to get more than 6 contractions in an hour, then I had to call back & the nurse would let labor & delivery know I was on my way. Here's what went down in that hour:

9:30 - 12 ounces of water
9:37 - contraction
9:40 - 12 ounces of water
9:42 - contraction
9:43 - small, light kick
9:44 - larger, stronger kicks (thank God)
9:48 - contraction
9:50 - 12 ounces of water
9:53 - small light kicks
9:55 - hiccups, more kicks
9:57 - contraction
9:59 - contraction
10:00 - 12 ounces of water
10:02 - contraction
10:05 - very small movement
10:10 - contraction

At this point, I called the on-call nurse because I had 7 contraction in 30 minutes. She called labor & delivery to let them know I was coming, we woke Logan up & took him over to photographer friends house & were on our way. I wanted to drive myself since Bill was the whole reason for this situation, but he wouldn't let me (I still think he should have stayed home with Logan, especially since he was telling me I was fine & that I didn't need to go - dumb ass).

I got to the ER (the after hours entrance) & they wheeled me into labor & delivery. I got hooked up to all of the monitors to see how Carter was doing. The good news was that his heart rate was strong & that he was doing OK. That was my biggest concern, because I know that so many contractions can be stressful on the baby. But, I was contracting too often & too intense. I was indeed in preterm labor. And of course, I'm sobbing pretty much the whole time we're there.

The on call Doctor came in & ordered a test (kind of like a papsmear, but I forget what it was called) & then checked my cervix. It was still closed & high - so that was good. While we waited for the test results, he ordered a shot of terbutaline & started an IV. If the terbutaline didn't slow things down, they were going to add magnesium to the solution.

A side effect to the shot is increased heart rate & jitters. We'll for me, it was more like lower body convulsions. I was shaking just like when I was in labor with Logan. It started to make me sick & thankfully, I had some emergency zofran in the car (I wasn't about to pay the hospital for the name brand version). We hung out in the hospital for a while, watching something about buffalo in Yellowstone park while we waited for the contractions to slow down. The nurses would come in & out & check on the contractions. One of them said that I had a pretty irritable uterus.
Even though I was still getting some strong contractions, the test came back OK, meaning that I wasn't going to have the baby anytime too soon. The medication had slowed things down to a controllable level & then they gave me Ambien for the ride home so I could get some much needed rest that night.

First, let me say that I never take any sleeping pills other than occasionally Unisom because the thought of it just weirds me out. Well, my opinion hasn't changed since the Ambien experience last night. It was just strange & I'm sure I could have pretty much passed out on the floor while walking through the door. But, boy! Did I get a good night's sleep!

So, this morning I feel like I've been run over by a truck. I'm so tired & I don't have anything in me. Logan missed school this morning & we've just been hanging out out home. I have a client coming over to train, but I'm not canceling because she's the house cleaner too. I desperately need her help right now. Especially since I'm taking care of Logan all day & Bill is coming home late because of disc golf leagues (yeah, another notch towards Biggest Jerk of a Husband OF THE YEAR).

Monday, July 21, 2008

What we did on the hottest day of the year
This weekend flew by fast & it was because we were busy having fun. On Saturday morning, we decided that it was time for us to make a trip down to Denver to go to the zoo. We hadn't been since Logan was 3 months old & we lived closer. It was about time we make the short road trip.

We don't go down to Denver often because both Bill & I hate it. Of all of the places we've lived across the western US (Salt Lake, Grand Forks, Vegas, Portland, Denver & now our small town), Denver is our least favorite. We've lived in our small town for almost two years now & this was the first time we had been down there since the move.

Logan was great on the car ride down, talking about all of the things he saw out of the window - my favorite being "cars go 'round & 'round" because he sounds so cute when he says it. We got to the zoo & he was really excited, especially to see monkeys. We brought the stroller along with even though we knew Logan wouldn't want to ride, but rather run around like a wild animal himself - which he did. But he was still under control & more or less, well behaved.

It was the hottest day of the year & we were still out there walking around, including my almost 8 month pregnant self. Near the end of the morning, Logan was starting to slow down quite a bit, trailing behind & looking exhausted. Though, he refused to ride in the stroller to take a break. We had to force him to sit down to rest & take a ride for fear of him getting heat exhaustion or getting dehydrated.

He loved seeing the big turtles, the bird exhibit that we walked through, petting the goats with Bill & of course, the monkeys. Even though it was hot, we had a good time. I did feel pretty bad when we left though because Logan had been asking to go on the train ride & I told him that if he was really, really good, then it would be his special treat. We'll he was pretty good, good enough that it warranted a train ride, but he was in the stroller & if we got him out there was no getting him back in for the walk back to the car. We didn't mention the train & as we were leaving the zoo, he remembered & started asking about it. I had to tell him it was broken & we would ride the train at the park by our house later (I felt so bad about this). He was even good enough to accept this answer & not throw a massive tantrum about it.
So, after the long car ride home (& a stop to Bill's favorite fast food place - which he was more excited about than the zoo) we came back & crashed. Well, except for Logan. He was still going strong for the rest of the day. He played in his room for a couple of hours while I took some down time to rest & Bill napped & he was still pretty good - just playing & singing loudly.

I'm really glad he had a good time & that he was such a good kiddo.

Friday, July 18, 2008

What kind of bug did you find?!
This morning we were getting ready to head out of the door to go to a baby shower for one of the moms in our playgroup & I stopped in my tracks just as I was about to grab the present. There was a HUGE bug on Logan's sippy cup. I'm not a fan of bugs (lucky me, raising two boys!) & this particular one grossed me out so much that I got goose bumps from it. One perk to having a boy that likes bugs is that he is eager to help remove them from the house. We were running out of time & were late for the shower, so we left the bug where it was & decided to take care of it after we got home.

We came home & couldn't find it.

This was not a small bug & not something that could just "disappear". It was all I could do to get Logan to nap after him repeating "Can't find it! Where!?". When we picked Bill up from work, I told Logan to tell Daddy what kind of bug we found in the house this morning so he could help him find it. Logan still has a little bit of trouble with pronunciation (like any two year old) & after hearing him say what kind of bug was in the house, we couldn't stop laughing & I just about drove off the road. "This is something I HAVE to get on video!", I giggled.

After dinner, I found the bug, Bill caught it & both he & Logan took it outside. Bill preferred that he be a good example to Logan by showing him that we can let bugs run free rather than squishing them with our shoes (this was after Bill killed a yellow jacket with his shoe & Logan proceeded to take the shoe & go after every bee he could find). The whole time the battery for the camera was charging.

Logan got to bed & Bill left to go play some disc golf while it was still light out. Logan wasn't going to bed & the battery was charged, so I got some quick video of him talking about what kind of bug we had in the house today. If you need a translation as to what's so funny about what he's saying, let me know & I'll get it in the comments.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

3D disappointment
Yesterday afternoon we had our appointment for my 3D ultrasound that was a complimentary gift from my OB's office (otherwise we would have never paid to have one done). I was pretty excited about it because it was a chance to see who Carter was going to look like. Plus, ultrasounds are kind of fun when you know that everything is alright.

This time I made sure to chug a liter of water before the appointment so that this didn't become a repeat of the 20 week ultrasound, complete with digging into my pubic bone. When we got to the office my bladder was so full that if I sneezed, I would have lost it all. I'm not kidding, either. Logan hung out with Bill while I was on the exam table, playing with his cars, stickers & flash cards. The technician was having a difficult time getting a good picture of Carter because he was in the pike position with both his hands AND his feet in his face (with his head down). She kept poking at him with the ultrasound wand trying to get him to move. "How many women have peed on your table?", I asked her. "Two. In 25 years", she replied. "Well, if we keep poking at him like this it's going to be three", I laughed. There was no moving the kid so she had me take a break & empty my bladder. Afterward I ate some food & drank some juice to get him to move some more.

We tried again with me on my side & although this time Carter got his hands & feet out of his face, he turned & hid in the placenta. She even resorted to pushing on my belly with both of her hands (it didn't hurt, but she did use some pressure to move him). We didn't get any clear pictures of him & the ones we did get were of his chin, a profile & maybe some other random parts of his face. He was/is as stubborn as both Logan & myself. That ought to make for some exciting times, huh! Although, the pictures that we did get & the glimpses that I saw on the screen, Carter seems to look more like me than Bill.

The funniest part of the whole experience was when Logan was watching the screen & said, "Monkey! Scary monkey!". "No, that's your little brother", Bill told him. I had to laugh & it was hard to stop. Good thing I had an empty bladder!

I'm glad we didn't have to pay for this because it was a complete waste of time. The technician did everything she could (& more than I thought was required) to get us some pictures. It's just the way things work out sometimes. It's not all bad though, we'll meet Carter soon enough (9 weeks & counting!).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Better late than never
I'm a tad bit behind on posting some of the belly shots. I'm 30 weeks & have yet to post weeks 28 & 29 - until now!

28 weeks & a new hair cut

Looking & feeling pregnant now

Carter is all up in my rib cage here & the day I had to get my ribs popped back into place

Funky belly button shape


Monday, July 14, 2008

There's a first time for everything
I've mentioned before how my workouts have sucked because I've had to stop doing everything other than walking due to a ridiculous amount of braxton hicks contractions. While these contractions are generally normal, I was getting boarder line abnormal amounts (4-5 in an hour). So, I had to use my better judgment & take it down a notch for a while (actually, do practically nothing). This has been excruciatingly difficult for me on so many levels.

This last stretch of pregnancy messes with my head - big time. I know I'm supposed to get bigger & I'm supposed to gain weight. I'm not gaining an abnormal amount of weight & the last time I checked, I'm actually 10 pounds up from pre-pregnancy weight (up 30 pounds from my lowest when I was dying from hyperemesis). But, seeing my body change (specifically my butt & legs) really bothers me & I try not to even look at them. Not working out causes me a little more stress than usual, since it's a HUGE stress reliever for me & not being able to control these body changes is just irritating. In reality I know I don't look like it, but I feel like a whale waddling around.

It's a catch 22 as well, because I'm also taking advantage of eating the foods that I normally don't. When I'm not pregnant, we don't have ice cream, potato chips, marshmallows & other junk foods in the house. No, I'm the Nutrition Nazi except when I'm expecting, because I know there's nothing I can do for the body changes. I give in. Which doesn't help.

After our workout yesterday morning (more like her workout & I just trained), photographer friend mentioned that we should do an aqua aerobics class. I've trained people in the pool many times, but I myself have never actually taken a class. Until today. As much as I'm uncomfortable with the body changes, I don't mind being in a bikini top & board shorts (talk about mixed feelings, huh?), so I decided to give the class a shot.

Holy crap, did this class ever kick my pregnant butt. I was able to do almost all of the exercises with the exception of the ones that require you to bring your legs up to your chest - yeah, that's not happening here - & I got a pretty good cardio workout because the Carter Belly was supported in the water rather than me having to hold it in place & walk slowly on the treadmill. I felt muscles working that I haven't been able to work in a long time, specifically my back & hip muscles, which is really important right now. And to top it all off, while I did get a few contractions, they weren't bad at all. Nothing like from the other totally lame workouts I was having to resort to.

I never thought I would do aqua aerobics classes, but that has totally changed. I have 10 weeks (or a few less) to do this at least once a week. That's plenty of time to slow down the fat cow feelings & actually get physically moving enough for labor to be relatively easy (or so I hope).

Friday, July 11, 2008

Laughing so hard that my cheeks hurt
It's amazing what having a great group of friends can do for ones attitude & demeanor. After a week with the in-laws, Bill being on the fast track to winning the Biggest Jerk of a Husband award, Logan not listening to anything I say & my ribs being stretched out of socket by Carter, I was in dire need of a night out for some fun. I needed to relax & refocus. I am incredibly lucky that I have friends that I can call up for the re-charge that I so desperately needed.

A little more than a week ago, four other friends of mine (in The Club, of course) decided that it was time for us to get out for our own Moms Night Out. We go every month with the rest of The Club & there's usually a big turnout with at least 12 other people there, so conversation is somewhat difficult since you're limited to the people you're seated next to. When we do our "unofficial" Moms Night out, it's just a few of us that get along fabulously together & we tend to get a little more rowdy than we do with the bigger group (I guess because we're that comfortable with each other).

We usually go to the same place for mexican food & margarita's. Being pregnant, I offered to be the designated driver so everyone could relax to the nth degree. They all graciously paid for my dinner & chipped in for gas. We were there for three hours sitting out on the patio, laughing hysterically & being "those" people - the ones that look like they are having way too much fun. And we were.

I laughed so hard that my face literally hurt. I don't think any of us had had that much fun in a very long time. We stayed until the kitchen closed & they were stacking up the chairs around us, all while still laughing & getting into trouble like a bunch of college girls. It was a time that we all left motherhood at home with our families & enjoyed being just "us"; not worrying about bedtime battles, what to make for dinner, the dishes in the sink & the laundry piling up in the closet, the husbands & their comments. There wasn't a care in the world all around our table. It was everything that we needed.

This morning I felt like a completely different person than I had been over the last week. I felt like my old self, even a little better. Sure, Bill still is a running candidate for his award, my ribs are still stretched wider than a football field & Logan still isn't listening to a word that comes out of my mouth, but I could smile again & had an amazing amount of patience with Logan. Even though he had to sit on timeout this morning & I had to drag him up the stairs for nap time, I didn't get to the point where I wanted to rip my hair out - not even close.

I am so fortunate to have the group of friends that I do & that I can take these little breaks away from home that not only help me become a better mother, but also a better person. Friendship, laughter & fun do wonders for the soul.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ahhh.....getting back to normal (for about three weeks anyway, then we do this all over again). There were no visits on Tuesday because of the way our schedule is & I guess lunch didn't work with them. We were supposed to go out for lunch after playgroup this morning on Bill's lunch hour, but he couldn't get them to commit to any specific time, so no lunch. Then they were supposed to come over tonight after their dinner with friends. They came 15 minutes before Logan was going to get ready for a bath & stayed for no longer than 1 minute & 30 seconds. That is not an exaggeration at all. They came in the door, said good-bye, gave a couple of hugs & were out. I found this odd, especially since Bill had let them know way in advance what time Logan gets ready for bed (& they know his bedtime is 8:00 anyway, this is nothing new). Bill doesn't see it that way. I think it's an interesting interaction nonetheless & think they are upset that we are trying to keep Logan on his routines & schedules (while still including them), basically that our world doesn't stop just because they are visiting. But, that's just my feeling about it...

To summarize this visit, it consisted of Aunt Ju-Ju being upset that we were trying to work with all schedules - not just hers, Grandpa L ignoring or disrespecting our parenting/disciplining of Logan & Grandma L being fake (no surprise there) - by giving me hugs that had no feeling (likewise. I'd rather not have a hug, thanks). I felt the same way as I did last time, being there but not really being "there". I still don't want to share anything about the pregnancy with them & we didn't talk too much about it. We never showed them Carter's ultrasounds & I don't think we mentioned the 3D ultrasound we're getting next week (Bill might have, but I don't know).

I hate the general feeling when they visit, it's not fun or relaxing. This visit I also noticed something that changes in me (other than being just irritable) that I don't like & I'm not comfortable feeling. I become incredibly judgmental when they are here - but I am also successful at keeping my mouth shut about it until we are at home alone. I'm noticing how different Aunt Ju-Ju & I are as mothers & of course, I see many faults in their style as I'm sure they see the same in ours. I would NEVER say anything to them about it, so it's one of those feelings that stays inside, arm in arm with the feeling of dislike & guardedness.

But, the good news is that the black cloud of doom is moving along, life & normal, comfortable feelings begin in the morning. And I'm going out with friends for dinner tomorrow night, so it's a good way to have some fun & relax a little more.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The blog of doom
I kind of feel like that's what it's come to & what it will be like until Friday or so, when the in-laws leave & I can get back to my normal self. Even though we aren't visiting with them today, I am a total grump & not a super nice person to be around.

I'm tired from waking up at 4:30 this morning to find a text message from my client that I was going to train at 6:00 saying that she has insomnia, a sick kid & a headache, so she canceled. Then Tuesdays are our super busy days anyway with school & a Monthly Meeting right afterward. I've had a headache all morning & I've been uncomfortable with normal pregnancy aches (mostly burning sternum - like it's on FIRE). I've also had borderline abnormal pregnancy symptoms that are kind of making me a little edgy. I've been getting a ridiculous amount of braxton hicks contractions, mostly at night, but pretty much every time I move. I haven't been writing times down, but I would say it's about 4-5 in an hour a few times a day if not more & I should make an appointment with my OB if I'm getting 6 or more an hour. And no, drinking a glass of cold water & laying on my left side doesn't stop the frequency, maybe just the contraction itself - which makes me wonder if I'm headed to bed rest if this is something to be concerned about.

I'm mentally drained from the visit already & will have to endure another one at the end of the month when they drive back through at the end of their road trip. I don't like how I feel when they are here, in general & about myself - I'm just not "me" (more on this later). I would love to take a nap, but Logan has been up in his room for the last hour yelling to himself (having some sort of loud conversation) & not laying down for his own nap.

And to top it all off, we don't have anything decent to eat in the house. Talk about a great way to make a pregnant woman irritable. Blah.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Type A vs Type B
Well, well, well. It looks like "planning & organization" is the family drama topic of this visit. And you know why? It's because we're finally putting our foot down & not following along with all of this crazy "fly by the seat of our pants" nonsense & it's driving Aunt Ju-Ju nuts.

So after our 4th of July celebration, Bill & I talked about how we should have stuck with our original plan & he said that he would talk to his family about making more concrete plans. We left Aunt Ju-Ju's house without knowing what we were going to do the next day, leaving it at "we'll call you in the morning".

Yesterday morning, we thought that everyone might come over here to hang out since we have more space, more toys & most importantly, central air. 10:00AM rolls around & we still have no idea what we're doing. Bill asks me if I'm going to shower that morning & I say yes (thinking that they will either come over here to play or we might go out for lunch first). After getting out of the shower, Bill tells me that they are coming over to swim in our pool. If I had known this ahead of time, I would not have made the effort to shower & get ready since I would have to do it twice. Doing this while pregnant is a pain in the butt. We had been talking about planning & communication for days if not weeks now. I felt my blood boiling & I just lost it.

"WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR YOUR FAMILY TO MAKE PLANS? Why can't anyone figure out an activity & time & stick to it???!!! WHAT IS SO DIFFICULT ABOUT BEING EVEN SLIGHTLY ORGANIZED!?".

In the middle of this, I leave stomping upstairs to get my swimming suit on & get things packed for the pool while Bill hangs out downstairs with Logan. Soon, Bill comes up & tells me that we're now going to lunch first & meeting in about an hour, then they will come over to swim. Again, I freak out. I was over this crap & couldn't take it anymore. After yelling at Bill to tell his family to get their shit together, I get re-dressed & he takes Logan to get ready. The funniest part was after Bill got Logan ready for the day, the two of them come into the bathroom where Bill asks if Logan looks presentable (you know how Dads get kids 'ready') & Logan chimes in with "Daddy big trouble". We all have a cute family hug & get on with the morning.

We meet the Grandparents at the restaurant & what do you know, Aunt Ju-Ju & clan aren't there. Whatever. So, we end up eating & then coming back to our place to play - no swimming. Logan has fun with a new car they bought for him, jumping off the couch for what seemed like hours & playing with his toys. It was pretty chill. When he went down for his nap, Bill went with the Grandparents to drive around town looking at houses up on the market (their house isn't even up for sale yet - this is SO another post for another day). Bill comes back with them, Logan wakes up, plays some more & we actually make some plans for the next day. I was kind of shocked, but relieved.

Right before they left, Logan was acting up & after his attitude & hitting me in the face, was marched right into time-out. I stood in the kitchen while he screamed & cried. He is supposed to be in time-out for almost three minutes. It's not that long & his time doesn't start until he stops freaking out (which wasn't going to be long in this particular situation). Well, apparently the Grandparents can't wait that long & Grandpa L goes right over & picks up Logan out of time out asking him for a hug. Logan does nothing but sniffle & look at me because he clearly understands that he is still in trouble & his time-out isn't over. We haven't had "the talk & apology" yet, which is the time-out finale.

I'm standing there pissed at what he's doing & tell him, "He's not doing anything because he knows he's still in trouble. His time-out isn't over yet". Grandpa L flat out ignores me. After giving Logan a hug without getting one back, they walk out of the door & I sit down with Logan & talk about his time-out. I decide right there that that was the Grandparent's last chance. If they pull anymore stunts like that, disrespecting our parenting in such a blatant way, I would not be as nice & a hell of a lot more blunt in speaking with them about it.

After they left to go to Aunt Ju-Ju's house, Bill tells me what had happened in the car while looking at houses. I guess while driving around, Bill told the Grandparents that we need to make more solid plans so we know what were doing & so we can get Logan ready for whatever it is. Apparently they agreed. Then Aunt Ju-Ju called & Bill said that he had to let her have it over the phone. She asked what they were doing & got upset because she wanted to come over to swim. "Well, we were going to do that at 11:30 like we talked about, but you weren't there. It's 2:00 right now & Logan is sleeping. 5:00 is too late for us". I don't know what else was said since Bill isn't that great about relaying conversations, but I guess she pulled an attitude & "punished" us with "Fine, then we're going over to Uncle J's cousin's house to swim". More power to ya...

The next morning (this morning), I took Logan to the gym to workout with photographer friend at 9:00 while the family came over to our house for breakfast at 10:00. We would be back at 11:00 & planned on going swimming for the morning. Aunt Ju-Ju & family were running late & still weren't there when Logan & I got back. We waited for about another hour. I told Bill that we either stay home or leave now because Logan's lunch & nap time are quickly approaching. We get our things together & head on over to the pool while the Grandparents hang back at the house waiting for the rest of the family. Bill gives me the scoop that Aunt Ju-Ju & Uncle J were fighting about something & that's what was holding them up. Great.

On the way over to the pool, we see them drive down the street. We all finally get there & have about 30 minutes of swimming before Logan is asking (whining) to go home for lunch & watch Sponge Bob. He's flat out exhausted when this happens, so I get him out & get him home while everyone else stays to swim.

Bill comes back home & puts Logan down for his nap. We talk in the kitchen, about Grandpa L's time-out incident, about Aunt Ju-Ju's flakiness & he chuckles that all of the drama is on them (it always is, but somehow in the past I was always made out to be the bad guy). We talk about how even though this is a crazy kind of visit, it's relatively less stressful than it sounds & it's because Bill & I are finally 100% on the same page & I know he has my back (even though I'll probably have to be the one to speak up about something first, which is fine).

The rest of the day goes on as normal with a steak dinner at Aunt Ju-Ju's & a cake to celebrate Grandma L's retirement (there will be more on this later as this post is already a novel). Logan & Cousin B have a really good time playing again, running around & being cute. Bill took tomorrow off so he has a four day weekend & I guess we're spending most of the day with all of them again tomorrow. This is the longest weekend in the world....

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Independence Day 2008
Yesterday was a relatively fun day, pretty low-key & mostly mosquito-bite free. The in-laws are in town now & we all got together for some 4th of July festivities that was pretty entertaining, thanks to Logan & Cousin B having the time of their lives.

A few weeks ago Bill & I had talked about packing a picnic dinner & some toys to take to City Park to enjoy the firework display much like we did last year. Bill's family is TERRIBLE at both planning & communication, so we agreed to make a plan & invite them to come along. If they came, great, if not, then we would meet up with them some other time. The big thing is that plans with them (specifically Aunt Ju-Ju) never follow through & Logan is left disappointed. There's been more than one occasion where we've told Logan we were going to play over at Cousin B's house only to find out that plans have been canceled (for whatever reason) & then we have to break the news to him that we in fact are no longer going. We can't even tell him we're going until we get him in the car seat & are on the drive over. So, we decided to take matters into our own hands & do the planning & inviting, knowing that we are good at keeping our word & schedule.

Somehow those plans got changed. Imagine that.

We had a relaxing morning just hanging out at the house & Bill had been on & off the phone with his family since Grandma & Grandpa L were driving from out-of-state & would arrive later that evening. Aunt Ju-Ju had made arrangements for all of us to watch the fireworks at one of her friends' very expensive (non-childproofed nor friendly) downtown loft since they were out of town. It was proposed that we do this so we could "avoid the crowds & mosquitoes". Well, I was looking forward to having a family picnic in the park where Logan & Cousin B could run to their hearts content, play with balls & throw frisbees, not worry about spilling food or getting messy & be right there in the heart of the action to watch the fireworks with the city symphony & all. I didn't mind that the entire town would be there. It was fun last year & I thought it would be fun this year, too. I guess I was the only one.

So, we ate dinner at home & met over at Aunt Ju-Ju's house for a little bit while we waited for Grandma & Grandpa L to arrive. Logan played with bubbles out in the front yard & watched Bill & Uncle J throw a frisbee back & forth in the middle of the street (because their yard isn't big enough). Logan wanted to go out in the street to play with them (great example, huh!) & they threw it to him on the sidewalk a few times. Logan also got to ride Cousin B's big wheel while he was napping inside.

The Grandparents arrived, Aunt Ju-Ju woke up Cousin B from his nap & we got the kids in the wagon for a walk over to the loft. It was a short walk about three blocks away. The kids had fun riding in the wagon & Logan was talking up a storm. We got to the loft (which was very nice) & saw that we would have a nice view of the fireworks. Right away the kids found a skateboard & longboard & tried to ride them around in the kitchen. We eventually had to go put them in another room since they were slamming them into the walls.

The most fun part of the evening was when the family was playing blowing on the Wii while the kids ran around screaming & laughing when each person came up to bowl. They were so excited, chasing each other from one end of the loft to the other & being loud little monkeys (thankfully the lofts are sound-proofed). The played with motorcycles & cars (that we had to continually tell them not to put on the expensive coffee table), but mostly ran around like crazy hooligans. It was hilarious.

When it was time for the fireworks, we all went out on the balcony where we had a nice, distant (but not too distant) view. Logan was fascinated with them, naming colors & just wouldn't stop talking -mostly excited gibberish. It was like his brain was going faster than his mouth. I loved it & so did he. He also saw every single plane that flew by & made sure to announce it to everyone. We must have seen at least six or seven. If it weren't for Logan's constant talking, it would have been a very quiet firework viewing (kind of boring, if you ask me).

After the show was over, we packed everything up, made sure to get the smooshed raisins out of the rug & headed on back to Aunt Ju-Ju's. We didn't stay & visit since it was 10:00 & way past Logan's bedtime. We said our good-bye's & drove home, passing the crowds of cars leaving the City Park celebration.

So, we didn't have a horrible time, although it could have been more fun & kid-friendly. The thing that irked me was that our plans changed because it wasn't what Aunt Ju-Ju wanted to do (we always do what she wants). I'll totally agree that the mosquitoes are bad this year, but for cryin' out loud - that's what bug spray & citronella is for. I was just thinking like a mom, planning a fun time at the park for the kids. I hope we can go with this idea next year.

The in-laws will be here for a few more days, so I'm sure that's all that will be on the blog until they leave. Good times people, good times.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

All caught up
This morning Logan had his re-evaluation with the speech therapist. Back in March I took him in & we discovered that he was three to five months behind on expressive language skills (something that I had been talking to his pediatrician about at every appointment that language development skills were being tracked). We were given some homework & pretty much advised to force him to talk. We noticed a difference within a week.

I've been looking forward to this appointment for a while because I was very interested in how Logan has progressed in three months. Since we saw some improvements within a short amount of time & within the last 2 weeks or so, he's been speaking in sentences (if only a select few) I knew it was going to be good news.

We got to the clinic & while I waited in the waiting room, Logan played with all of the toys that they have out for the kids. He even made a couple of friends while sharing toys. We were called back & when we got into the evaluation room, Logan got right back into playing with toys & talking up a storm. While the therapist & Logan played, I went back over the sheet that first showed he had a vocabulary of 127 words when he was supposed to have 200 or so. I circled the rest of the words he's gained since then. It was almost every word on the sheet. She & Logan continued to play with the farm animals & he was having such a good time. He talked about the spider & even things I didn't know he understood, like how chickens lay eggs (where on Earth did he get that? School? Because I don't think we even mention the word 'egg' in our house other than Easter). They talked about what sounds the animals made, what colors they were, drove tractors around the floor & Logan loved to pick up a toy & ask her "Iss?" (meaning, 'what's this'?).

I told her how in the last week or so Logan has begun to put complex sentences together, like on Sunday he said (very clearly), "But I just want it!", in the whiniest tone ever. He's also said that "ambulance takes hurt people to the Doctor", after I told him so one evening while going to pick up Bill from work & we saw an ambulance at a stop light.

The catch 22 is that I'm still the only one who can understand about 80-90% of what he says, but I guess that's typical. Everyone else should be able to understand about 50% of what he says. So, I have to stay on top of my game & make sure he talks & responds even though I clearly know what he's saying & what he needs. That's pretty much what got us in this speech development situation in the first place.

After all was said & done, Logan passed with flying colors. The speech pathologist said that he was all caught up & didn't need to come back. If we notice issued with pronunciation around three to four years old, then we might, but she highly doubts that we will. I was so happy that Logan had done so well & that he's right on track where he needs to be.

When we got home for lunch, I got some video of Logan having a conversation. It's pretty funny because he wasn't being that cooperative, so most of what he's saying is "no" (go figure). There's a Part 1 & Part 2.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Just not feeling it
My workouts in the gym suck. As in non-existent. Sure, I still walk for 45-60 minutes two to four times a week, but weight lifting? Forget about it. I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm tired & weak from losing 20 pounds of muscle that I won't get back until I start lifting again after Carter is born. So, I see no point. I'm not maintaining what muscle & strength I have left because I'm pretty much going to have to start from scratch. Besides that, I'm having braxton hicks contractions up the wazoo and although they aren't uncomfortable, they happen often & I'm using my better judgment & taking it easy this last trimester.

My clients that I train can tell that I'm working out vicariously through them (especially photographer friend), which sure is getting them accelerated results. Nobody is doing easy workouts at this point & I just hang back & count the days until I can get back into it. When designing their routines, I often add in exercises that I know are very challenging & give you a great rush of adrenaline after the set (or at least for me). They may hate me now, but by God, after the summer is over they will all be looking awesome (regardless if they eat right because the workouts are that intense).

On the flip side, I have to keep reminding myself to enjoy these last three months of hot fudge sundaes, marshmallows & eating whatever I want while parking my butt on the couch. While mentally uncomfortable for me, it's one of the last time's in my life that this lifestyle will be acceptable. Live it while I can, is often in the back of my mind. I'm not on track to gain 70 pounds or something crazy like that (I'm actually only 10 pounds up from pre-pregnancy weight, or I was at my last OB appointment - even though this really doesn't mean anything), so it's not like I'm going balls to the wall & eating everything in sight.

It's a very confusing situation for me to be in & I'm trying to work with it...