Thursday, August 25, 2011

Growing Pains. Mine.

Five years ago...

I was visiting family in Texas when I realized something was... off.

I didn't want to go out with my cousins (and they're a super fun bunch), had a hard time staying awake, just didn't feel like myself.  I thought I was getting sick and it took me a couple of days to realize that I didn't feel sick. Just sooooo tired.

On the drive home, I slept.  The WHOLE way home.  I slept for three. days.  Only waking up when we needed to eat or when we stopped for the bathroom. 

I think it was around the second day that I figured there wasn't anything wrong.  Just... something new.

And as soon as I got home, John went out to pick up a pregnancy test (because it's his job to pick up anything remotely personal and/or embarrassing *ahem* suppositories *ahem*) and the next morning when I woke up I took the test.  I waited for all of 2 seconds before the lines appeared. 

It was Positive.

I called John into the bathroom and showed him the stick and started to laugh.  Part excitement, part nerves, part "what on earth have we gotten into".  But mostly excitement.  (Okay, excitement with a dash of nerves.)

Doctor visits and tests, the ultrasound, baby showers.  Everything was so new and exciting and I couldn't wait.

Couldn't wait to hold my precious baby girl.

Labor and delivery (during which John enjoyed watching some kind of sport on TV and took video of the parking lot from our window... as if I weren't laying on the hospital bed IN PAIN) took forever and nothing was happening.

Delivery didn't go quite as planned so instead of welcoming Katie into the world to the sounds of sports fans cheering and soft lighting, her welcome was a quiet, cold, bright white room (there's just no ambiance in these operating rooms.  Ugh.).  She gave a cry as the doctor pulled her out of my c-section incision and I learned that the ultrasound had been right (whew, yay for the already painted pink room), we were finally Parents of a Baby Girl.

The nurse held her over me and I kissed her fuzzy head.  (My first moment with her and I wasn't at all icked out by the "residue" I'm sure was still on her, even though the nurses had wiped her off.  Really.  Not at all.  If "at all" = a little tiny bit.)

My parents were the first to hold her in the recovery room.  Katie was beautiful (even with the rakish scar over her left eyebrow - casulaty of the surgery) and quiet.  Content being held and cuddled.

A day or so after Katie was born, we noticed her eyes rolling oddly.  It just happened once or twice.  When we mentioned it to the nurse, just in passing, she quickly took Katie to the neonatal unit so they could observe her.  I guess menangitis was mentioned.  After 3 spinal taps (they had to repeat the test because it didn't work the first times.  Please note that we don't discuss this around Katie.  Ever.  That girl has a memory like an elephant.) and a brain scan (is that what it's called when they attach all of those sensors to the head?), Katie was declared healthy.  We were so relieved.  (What an understatement that is... I can't even think of words to describe how fortunate we felt the day we left the hospital with a healthy baby.)

She was picked up and cuddled pretty much from day one.  If she was fussy, sleeping, alert, drowsy, we were holding her.  She was the sweetest armful.

She never had colic, though there was that one night she cried and cried.  I held her, rocked her, danced with her, and still she fussed and cried.  John held her, rocked her, danced with her, and still she fussed and cried.  We didn't know what to do.  Finally, I think she wore herself out.  I remember her in her swing, fast asleep while me and John laid on the floor in the dining room, exhausted and afraid to move in case she woke up!

Doctor visits, shots, growth charts.  Birthdays, holidays, family events.  Such a joy for us to watch her grow.

Finally this week I took her to her appointments with the doctor and dentist, trying to fit them in before school started.  Surprise (or not really)!  She's a healthy 5-year-old. 

  Vaccinations? Check!
      Eyes and ears tested? Check!
        Cavity free? Check!

Knows her phone number, address, and full name?  Check, check, and check!

Proud mommy that her Katie managed the dental x-rays? Check.

Adult molars coming in? ... Ummmm, what?! *sigh* Check.

Mixed in with all of the excitement of getting supplies, a backpack, writing all of the school events on our calendar, is a little bit of sadness that we can't go back in time.

She'll never again fit snugly in my arms, never again have that baby smell, never again be that tiny.

Soon she'll march off to Kindergarden and make new friends, learn new things, explore more of the world, and do it all without us right next to her.  She handled preschool like a pro so this should be easy peasy... for her.  For me?  I'm not sure.

She's already going to her first "school friend" birthday party this weekend... I'm going with her, of course, because, well, she's still only 5 (even if it sometimes seems like she's 35).  They're going to some really cool play center.  I plan on wearing comfy clothes though in case I have to crawl through the tunnels.  You know.  In case it looks fun.  I'm sure she'll have a great time, and I'll get to watch her with the other kids.

Growing up faster than I want.

And I guess that's okay.  Because she's growing up to be more than I ever could have hoped for on that day 5 years ago when I felt the doctor pull her out of me and announce,

"It's a girl".

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Animals are...

Tonight we had chicken and corn on the cob.  It was really good (if I do say so myself, even though I didn't make it... thanks grocery store for your half price Monday chicken!).

While we were eating and John and I were talking, I was listening to the kids (because it's always important to listen to the kids... you never know when they'll plan something you will need to nip in the bud).  I overheard something... interesting.

Katie was trying to share some facts of life with Jake.

Jakey, do you know what animals are for?  Do you know Jakey?

Do you know?

(My ears perked up and I wondered what she would say.  I'm glad I listened.)

Animals are for eating. Animals are meat.  (Not too bad, right?)

Yes Jakey,  Jesus made animals for us to eat.  (Still... um, oooookay.)

We kill them and eat them... chickens, cows, lambs, sheep, bunnies...  (Whoa... where did that come from!?)

Did you know that?

(Then I remembered a little conversation we had one evening while we watched that Jamie Oliver show.  The episode where they showed a cow with all of the cuts of meat outlined with paint on his fuzzy cow body.  We might* have talked about the fact that the steak we love to eat... used to walk around.)

I'm a little glad Jake wasn't paying too much attention to his big sis.  He wasn't eating his chicken before her speech anyway so no harm done.

Now they're in Katie's room. I've heard "Jake, sit on the rug! Good dog." and "Jake, it's time for independent reading."

Makes me happy to see them play so nicely.

Oh, on an unrelated note... I just realized how odd it is that we call Jacob "Mr. Pants"... he doesn't ever want to wear pants and yet this seems to have become one of his nicknames.

*Yes. There was a cow with spray paint.  But Jamie Oliver himself pulled out a water hose and washed the cow down at the end of the show.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just call me Barbie!

Jake watched Toy Story 3 last night on Netflix.  He loves the entire Toy Story empire and I think he loves Buzz, Woody, and Jessie more than any of his other toys (but not more than he loves wearing boots.  He really loves wearing boots. Especially Katie's pink princess ones).

The other night we were cuddling on the couch and it was just us.

Katie was asleep which is good because if Katie and Jake both wanted to cuddle we would have had a fight over which side each kid got to sit on, then Jake would have tried to push Katie over more so he could claim more lap space, then Katie would push back, then there would be crying.  Yes, speaking from experience here.  I shudder to think about a year or two from now when three kids are pushing and shoving to get a spot on my lap.

To hopefully strengthen the brother/sister bond, I tell the kids often that they will always be brothers and sister and that they will be best friends forever and ever.  It doesn't hurt to start that talk early.

So the other night I told Jacob that Katie and Jack would be his best friends forever.  I tried to put it in terms he would understand so I said they would be his best friends like SpongeBob and Patrick.  He gasped in awe with wide eyes.  And like Buzz, Woody, and Jessie.  He said WOOOOWWWWW, again with the wide eyes. 

Then I asked him who he would be... Buzz or Woody. 

He picked Buzz. 

Buzz is totally his favorite which means Buzz goes EVERYWHERE with him... even though he's hard plastic, weighs a couple of pounds, and makes loud noises if you accidentally hit one of his buttons as you're trying to sneak into the bedroom to cover a kid up with his (also Toy Story themed) blanket.

Then... he said,
"Jakey Buzz, Jack Woody, Katie Jessie, Mama Barbie, Dada Ken."

And I melted.  Mama Barbie.

I don't think he sees gray hair, flabby arms, fluffy tummy... he just sees mommy.  And I guess that to him, mommy means fruit snacks and pudding cups, jokes and laughing, hugs and tickles... oh, and time outs.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

She's a maniac, maniac on the floooorrrrr...

Okay, so I'm not really dancing like I've never danced before... but I am back to the 30 Day Shred.  In all it's sweaty, scary glory.

Yep. I started the Dancing with the Stars workout the day I got the okay from my doc to resume normal activities and did that for about a week (with the hope that it would get my body used to... well... moving...) and then I switched to the shred.  I found my abs again. (Sure, they're buried under a thick layer of fat, but they are there.) Plus, the kids think it's the funnest thing EVER.  Jake finally stopped trying to climb onto my back during the push-ups and has started stealing my weights for his own workout.  Katie grabs the soup cans to use as her weights (and she gets a couple for me when Jake has mine). And we're all tired when it's over.

In unrelated news, Jake got stung by a bee on Thursday night. On his elbow and his pinky finger. John said he ran up the steps to the deck crying "bee! bee!"  Poor kid.  He's fine now but he really wanted mama so I got to hold him and cuddle.

John mowed the lawn today and found a wasp nest right by where Jake was playing.  So maybe a wasp.  It's gone now so that's a relief.

He also went to Grammy and Grampy's to help with their new deck and Grammy stopped by to see the kiddos while the men went to get some more wood boards, thinking they would be gone for at least an hour (because that's what happened on Friday). They were done about 15 minutes after she got here so it was a very short visit.  So we got together this evening for dinner.  I had pizzas (Digiourno, YUM) and Grammy brought jello salad, watermelon, and cookies!

Grammy and Grampy asked Katie if she wanted to go to Sunday school tomorrow and she answered yes right away.  She chose a dress for Sunday and got her jammies, then brought her dress back to her room to switch it for another.  Jake rushed to put on the shoes he had been wearing all day (Katie's size 10 purple jelly sandals) and he was ready to go too.  Except he wasn't going.  It was the fastest good-bye we have EVER had with Grammy and Grampy.  Usually there are a lot of good-bye's and waves but tonight there was a big hustle!

So, after some cuddling with Jake and a workout, here I am.  I'm about to fed Jack and go to bed.

Sunday will be very quiet (I think... unless I just jinxed it) and I plan to make a chicken back or something chicken-y for dinner.  I'm hungry now just thinking about it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I guess Jake is a little afraid of sharks. I think that's a good thing.

There are very few things I can say I "win" when it comes to the kids. Netflix? I don't usually get to watch what I want, unless I want to also listen to Katie and Jacob complaining that they want to watch PRINCESSES (Katie) and BUZZ WOODY! (Jake). So usually when they need a break from each other, I'll put BUZZ WOODY on the laptop and find something Katie will deign to watch on the big TV. Because princess shows aren't really flooding the Netflix.  (Off topic, is anyone else shocked and a little annoyed that they raised their prices SO MUCH at the same time???)

And I guess now I can say I win at sharks.

     I'll explain.

Usually our dinners out are not relaxing (unless Jake is asleep) but I think I've found the key.


                   Yes, sharks.

Now, for some of you with kids who sit quietly and never try to run away from mommy (this was totally Katie. Quiet kid, good listener. NOT a runner... I could take her ANYwhere and 99.9% of the time, when we returned home I didn't have to change clothes because I was sweaty from chasing after her or holding onto her while dodging a flailing fist or because my pants were dirty from shoe scuffs because I had to carry her, kicking, back to our table) this might seem... harsh.

Don't judge.

            And if you do want to judge, don't tell me.

Oh!  Better yet, email me.  We'll go to dinner together.  And I'll pretend that Jake is your kid when he takes off for the kitchen or the table across the dining room.


So we're out to dinner last week with grandma and grandpa and Jake decides he doesn't want to sit. I had to hold him as he wriggled and kicked... he was a menace. To my legs and stomach.

So I told him that there were sharks on the floor and if he got down from his seat, the sharks would chew off his legs.

Aaaand now that I'm reading this, it does sound just a little scary.  (But I still gave Katie the "don't you dare" look when she started to tell Jake that Mommy was just kidding.)

Jake didn't get down off that seat the rest of the time we were there.  I was about to fall on the floor in shock a little surprised.

I should have known that he would start to talk... loudly... at some point once his plans for a little jog were foiled.  (An inside voice is also something we work on.)

Sooo, I might have told him that he was being noisy and that other people want to eat and talk and he was being a little too disruptive... and that if he didn't quiet things down, there were bumblebees that would come and sting him. And then he would puff up and fall on the floor and the sharks would get him.

Not my finest moment as mommy.  But it worked.

                                   And now I'm wondering if this will work in other situations.

Like... learning to hold hands while crossing the street, or staying in the driveway when we're playing outside.

And if he ends up afraid of sharks, well, all the better!  I mean, they could chew off a limb so a little healthy fear is a good thing, I think.  It's a lot more respectable than a fear of dolls and clowns.  (Not that I have those fears.  I'm just saying...)

I would welcome a little advice because I think a) Katie will spill the beans about sharks and how they need water to survive or b) Jake will will learn it on his own from some kids show and we're back to square one...

What do you do to keep your little runner by your side and well behaved at restaurants and on walks?