Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bits and Pieces: July

Clare has been two for almost two months now. I wouldn't say she's hit the terrible twos, but oh my God there are days. She's even been punished a few times. I gave her a time out once, and she hated it. Since then, the threat of a time out is usually enough to get her moving. Because usually her biggest offense is that she is not listening.

Other than that, though, Clare is doing pretty great. She is talking in complete sentences most of the time. In fact, she narrates everything that is going on. She also repeats everything I say, just with "Mommy" in front of it to make it clear who said it. She loves to sing, and sings along with lots of different songs. Her favorites are the ABCs and the Wheels on the Bus. For some reason when she sings the ABCs she develops a cockney accent a la Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins around the letter J. I don't know why.

We started potty training, sort of. She actually went number two in the potty a few weeks ago, but when the water splashed her behind, she became hysterical and has refused to sit on the potty ever since. I don't want to force her, so I think we'll put potty training on hold for a little while. And as I've been told by over sharing waitresses, Clare will probably completely regress when the baby comes, so what is the point in potty training now, right?

She still loves reading, and now reads books to herself. She has memorized a collection of Winnie the Pooh books that I have read to her several times, and she'll sit in bed and read them out loud. She usually gets the words right, complete with a loud "the end" .

After swimming lessons, Clare and I will sometimes lay in my bed and rest. She gets pretty worn out at the pool (although she loves it, and refuses to get out even when it is so cold that her lips are turning blue), so we need a little quiet time. She usually either commands me to put my "eyes down" or "eyes up" and for some reason I find that to be incredibly cute. I am trying to enjoy all of our snuggles together, even though soon Clare won't be able to sit on my lap. I am glad we've had this summer together, before the changes that fall will bring. Despite the occasional time out, Clare is, at least in my opinion, a pretty awesome kid.


When we were in Evansville over the Fourth of July, we took Clare to the parade. She hated it. We had to leave and go to the coffee shop. It was really loud, and Clare just does not like loud noises. I hope she outgrows this fear soon.

With Grandma Jo, before the parade of terror began.
With Baba Ralph and Daddy - showing off Daddy's medal from that morning's race. He came in third!
She did enjoy playing in the yard and roasting marshmallows that night, however. I think she was really more interested in eating the marshmallows than roasting them, but who isn't?

We also went to the zoo with Uncle Robby, Aunt Andri, and Grandma Jo. Clare had a blast, so at least she is over her fear of animals, at least when they are in cages. She still doesn't love dogs.

Ben took Clare to his uncle's cabin for the day a few weeks ago. The picture below would lead you to believe she liked riding on the boat. She did not. It was also TOO LOUD.

She had fun with her cousin Gavin, though. And yes, I purposely packed a Packers sweatshirt for her. Ben got me back by hanging the Vikings schedule on our fridge.

Hope everyone has a great rest of summer!

Friday, July 26, 2013


Our house is finally starting to feel like home. Are there still boxes to unpack? Yes. Are there still pictures to hang? Most definitely. However, there are also toys on the floor, dishes in the cupboard, and clothes in the closet. It is starting to feel like a place where we are living, not just staying for awhile.

Our first dinner in our new house.
Before we moved in, I spent several hours cleaning. I was upstairs, looking at the closed door to Clare's room. I had a sudden flash of my future - Clare closing the door against me, her dad, her sibling, the world. Writing her blog, talking on her phone, or maybe laughing at how dated the words "blog" and "phone" are, even though her lame mother insists on continuing to use them.

New furniture, old $20 coffee table.
Despite our house coming together, our yard has not. Ben insisted on buying a push reel lawn mower, but he has only used it once because he only cuts the grass once every three weeks or so. He ends up having to rent an gas-powered mower to cut through the jungle of our yard. Our new neighbors are very nice, but I am sure they are cringing at the sight of our lawn.

In the midst of unpacking, Clare found room for her shopping cart.
We decided to put new counter tops in the kitchen. We debated whether to do it now or later, and whether to go with the stylish black counters or get what we liked. We decided to get what we liked, and enjoy them for as long as we live in the house rather than waiting and living with the horrible counters that were here when we moved in.

We were without a kitchen for some time, but it was worth it when the counters were finally in.

Oh, and this happened:

Clare is now sleeping in a twin bed. We put her on the mattress for her nap on move in day, and that night she informed us in no uncertain terms that she would no longer be sleeping in her crib. She wanted to sleep in the twin bed. I was thrilled - we were hoping to make this transition before the baby came, so all the better that it happened in June. The crib is set up in the baby's room, and Clare has only asked to sleep in it once. I reminded her of her bed in her room, and she thought about it for a few minutes. Then she nodded, pointed at the crib, and said, "Baby's." YES.

On the day of my cleaning spree, I looked out the side window in our bedroom. Our house neighbors a school, and the playground is across a large expanse of black top next to the house. I imagined one day calling out of that window for the kids to come home, dinner is ready. Yes, this house definitely feels like our home.

Clare watching the kids at the school, filled with envy.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Week 30

I've had a lot of people ask me when I am due, and when I tell them the date (October 2), their eyes immediately look at my stomach and then back at me, with some disbelief. I don't think I am that big, but it is all just right out in front. On the bright side, the receptionist at my clinic told me I didn't look pregnant until I turned to the side, so I felt good about that.

The Baby: Is nearly 3 pounds, the size of a large cabbage. Speaking of cabbage, I tried to make coleslaw from the cabbage we received as part of our CSA, and it did not turn out at all. I hate it when that happens. Ben still gamely ate it, though, like he does every recipe I make that doesn't turn out. Luckily, there aren't that many of them. 

Weight gain: About 16 pounds, same as last time I updated here.

I’m Feeling: My back really, really hurts. And it is not pregnancy pain, it is an injury of some kind. I thought it was just a strained muscle, but it keeps getting worse. I am hoping for a call back from my doctor tomorrow with a referral to a physical therapist. Otherwise I feel fine, though. Just tired, but what. is. new.

Cravings/Aversions: Ice cream! I want all of it.

What I'm enjoying: Clare started swimming lessons this week, and it has been really fun. She loves being in the water, and so do I. We practice floating and jumping in and blowing bubbles. She cried today when it was time to go home. 

What I'm worrying about: I had my glucose screening and failed. I had to go back for the 3 hour test, which was not a huge treat. (Although I did get to sit and read magazines for 3 hours, so despite having my blood drawn four times and having to drink the drink again, I guess it wasn't the worst thing ever.) Anyway, I spent the next few days worrying while I waited for my results. I looked up all sorts of information about gestational diabetes. This turned out to be a huge waste of time because I passed.

A more current worry, or thought: labor.  More specifically, do I want to try to do any thing differently this time. I am seriously considering a water birth, which Ben thinks is crazy, but he doesn't get a say. My midwife actually suggested it as a way to avoid medication. I am torn as to whether I want to do that, or just say screw it, get the epidural, and hope for the best.

Movement: We're at that stage where the baby is rolling in there. We see an elbow or a knee here and there. It is kind of awesome.

Clare: My midwife made some suggestions on how to handle Clare's visit to the hospital to meet the baby. Her thoughts: Clare should give the baby a present, the baby should give Clare a present, the baby should be in the nursery when Clare gets there and then we should all go get the baby together, and her visit should be short. Any advice from those who've done this before would be appreciated! I want to make Clare as much a part of this whole thing as possible.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Not Helpful

Last weekend, I went to dinner with some of my best girlfriends. When the waitress came to our table, she noticed that another friend and I are pregnant, and we told her we are both having our second child. She turned to my friend Chelsea and said "Have you told them?" I know what we were all thinking, "Told them what?"

"Oh, that is it's own special kind of hell," the waitress said.


"The other day, I found my child smearing the contents of his diaper on his brother," she helpfully added. "I am excited for you, but worried for you, too."

She later came back to our table to tell us the tale of her friend, who has a 2-year-old daughter. This daughter was the only child and grandchild, and when the new baby came "it did not go well. At. All. The daughter completely regressed and is having all sorts of problems." (Why yes, Clare is the only child and grandchild.)

Now, this was at a nice restaurant. Not Perkins. (Not that there is anything wrong with Perkins.) She spent a long time at our table talking about this. I don't know about you, but I do not find this kind of thing helpful. At all.

I am well aware that having a second child is going to be challenging. It is going to change everything. I know this. But having someone who doesn't even know me go on and on about how terrible it is going to be, while I am trying to enjoy a nice dinner with my girlfriends no less, is incredibly irritating.

I try really hard not to give unsolicited advice to other moms or moms-to-be. I hope I would never do anything like this. Because really. Shut up.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Week 28

Hello third trimester. Nice to see you. I think. I don't know. I am going back and forth between excitement and terror. Also, I don't want summer to end. It seems like every year EVERY WEEKEND ends up booked, and the summer just flies by.

The Baby: Is about 2 and 1/4 pounds and 15 inches long. The size of an eggplant. Also: it could survive if it was born now, but it would have a lot of problems. Don't even think about it, baby.

Weight gain: About 16 pounds. 

I’m Feeling: It seems like a switch was flipped as soon as I entered the third trimester. I am suddenly much more tired (although hot weather doesn't help), and I strained a muscle in my back. Goodbye, comfortable, energy-filled second trimester, I guess.

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing in particular.

What I'm enjoying: Doing summery things. Clare and I are at my parents' house in Evansville right now, and they live in the country. We've had fires and roasted marshmallows, gone to the zoo, taken walks in the beautiful southern Wisconsin countryside, and tonight my mom and I are going to an outdoor concert in downtown Madison. 

What I'm worrying about: I had a dream the other night that Ben and I both went to work, and when I called him at 5:30 he asked me where Clare was. I told him I thought he had taken her to daycare, but it turned out we left her at home by herself all day. Do you think that was an anxiety dream or what? I also panicked this morning when I decided it had been too long since I felt the baby move. I poked and prodded and it still didn't move. It must have been sleeping, because yeah. It is fine. I have ALSO been worrying because I have my glucose screening next week, which is a bit later than they usually do it. The doctor said it was fine, though, so it must be fine. Bah.

Movement: Other than this morning, there is lots of it.

Clare: She knows there is a baby in Mommy's tummy. She points to it when asked. She also has been claiming she wants a little sister, but I am pretty sure she has no idea what a sister is. She has been having a blast seeing so many family members lately, though, and that won't change - we are going to be regularly seeing my entire family until September.

Clare checking out Mommy's belly.