Monday, June 30, 2008

What's going on?

Such a simple question. I ask it to my friends all of the time. But I am having one of those moments that when asked, I just want to respond, "What isn't going on?" :)

While last Monday's good "boy news" was thrilling, Tuesday's visit with the OB, combined with the shot, made me very anxious about everything. Then I had a deadline to meet on Wednesday and ended up loosing my entire draft. Then I attempted to travel to Michigan only to miss my connecting flight- arriving at 1 am. Everyone has those rough weeks where you just feel drained.

I felt drained.

That being said, traveled to Michigan this past weekend to spend time with Sam's parents. It was so good to see them! We had a really good time just relaxing, eating and enjoying Seren. So nice to see her with her grandparents.

This doesn't need to be said but sometimes it just hits you smack in the forehead: I really love Seren. She is a complete trip! She tells jokes and just laughs. She also throws fits and gets so angry at the "injustices of the world" such as shoes having to be put on or seat belts needing to be clicked. She is completely two and has my entire heart wrapped around her finger.

We got home Sunday. Sam did errands; I put Seren down for nap.

Then the lawn mower broke.
Then the washing machine broke.
Then we both freaked out.

Currently, HALF of our backyard is mowed.

We also spent a good 35 minutes bailing water out of our washing machine. It doesn't drain. So we had to take the water out ourselves.

Sam starts his new job today. As expected, it is suddenly upon us. I am so excited for him and know that it is going to be so good for him and for our family. But it is hard. And he is under pressure to do it all. We will need about six months to adjust to both working. By then, we'll be all good to go.

And then the new baby will arrive! :)

Send some good Karma to Sam to today! I can't wait to hear how his day was!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good News

It has been a busy, stressful week for our family. It is only Wednesday morning. Being a high-risk pregnancy carries with it some really good stuff- careful monitoring- but some challenges too. We had a 16 week ultrasound on Monday. The good news?


And all looks good. Cervix is good. Sam and I just stared at that screen. Wow! A son! Amazing.

I also had to have a follow up with the normal OBGYN which frustrated me on many levels. It never ceases to amaze me how challenging it is to get good care. But that is a rant for another time. I am trying to stay positive. But I am very nervous about all of this. I am thrilled with the opportunity to become a mother again but scared out of my mind about pre-term labor, hospitalization, etc. I feel like some of that anxiety is not making me happy about being pregnant. I wonder if I am just too scared to do this!

I got my first big shot of progesterone last night. It went ok. I was nervous about that too. It didn't hurt going in but wow, today it is sore!

I am going to do my best to not freak out about every little twinge/pang. That normally would be so easy for me. But when all of the doctors repetitively say, "If you feel anything odd, call us" it makes me doubt what is normal. Hopefully in a few weeks, I'll start feeling the baby BOY and will get some reassurance of what is normal and not normal.

I have to find someway to manage the stress and enjoy the growing babe. (Yoga, prayer, journaling, other?) We feel so blessed by the opportunity to love another little one. In time, I'm sure more peace will come to all three of us.

We told Seren she was having a baby brother. Her reaction was simply to repeat "brother" which is basically what was going through my mind when we saw the ultrasound image. "Boy, boy, boy".

We have 1001 pink items. I think he could get used to wearing pink, don't you? :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cherishing Routine

I am a routine person. I like structure. I like plans. I like lists. I enjoy having a predictable life. Boring? Perhaps. Me? Absolutely.

Parenting a toddler fits pretty well with this mentality. That being said, for a few months, I felt like I was in the middle of the movie "Ground Hog Day". But I love routine.

With Sam's new job starting and a new baby on the way, I feel like the rug is about to be pulled out from beneath me. And I worry that somehow Seren is sensing the shift.

After over a year of her going to bed at 8 and waking up at 6 or 6:30, now she is going to bed at 8:30 and waking up at 5:30. This, in my opinion, is WAY too little sleep for a two year old. We have been busy during the nights- buying the car, seeing child care providers, etc. So we have been putting her down late. And the sun doesn't help us. So I have been working each night this week to get her back to sleep by 8. For some reason, the late bedtime really upsets me. I worry it makes her cranky, that she isn't getting what she needs and frankly, that it pushes us all back on "our" time together. 8:30 to 5:30am? At age two? What do other moms of two year olds have to say about this? Is a lack of sleep making her grumpy or is she just testy because she has got the whole "two year old thing" going on?

I am a firm believer in routine and we stick to it like you wouldn't believe but Seren's internal alarm clock continues to wake her (us) up at 5:30. We tried an AC to drum out the noise, darkening the windows with blankets to block the light and still, 5:30! I would be almost ok with 5:30 if she was going to bed earlier. My parents had me in bed at 8 until I was at least 9 or 10.

Oh well. I'll continue to work on this. All of parenting is a work in progress.

Sam starts his new job on the 30th of June. For the sake of my own record keeping, I wanted to write down our current routine because it all is about to change! He'll work from 12-9 and I have to make dinner (gasp!). :) [[Boring post to follow unless you like structure as much as I do.]]

5:30-6:00 Seren gets up. Dad and Mom trade on who gets up with her. Whoever greets the lark changes her and reads to her.

6:15 Mom in the shower, Dad continues reading. Mom and Seren play while Mom gets ready.

7:00 Mom and Seren go downstairs for Breakfast. Dad checks internet, jumps in shower.

7:30 Mom helps Seren with her hair while watching videos of sesame street on You Tube.

7:45 Mom leaves for work. Dad dresses(wrangles) Seren in her clothes and they have fun! They go to music class weekly, go to a local class called "Baby Bop", play outside, go hiking, visit museums, do playdoh, laundry and groceries.

2:00-4:30 Seren naps, Dad catches his breath, looks for job (DONE), fixes the house (never done), relaxes.

5:15-5:45 Mom returns from work. Daddy has started dinner. Dad's off Seren duty but on cooking duty. Mom and Seren go upstairs to change out of work clothes, play, go for a walk.

6:30 Dinner as a family.

7:15 Mom bathes Seren. Everynight. Recently, I have had to set a kitchen timer with "two more minutes" to get Seren OUT of the tub.

7:30 Tiding up the room, reading begins. Seren chooses books from the "library".

8-8:30 Mom finishes reading two books, sings three songs, has Seren turn the light out, first with Ducky, then by herself. Seren needs her white blanket over her feet and three books tucked in. Baa-baa the sheep also has to be present.

8 or 8:30 Mom does dishes and cleans the house.

Another day is done! With Sam out of the house in a few weeks until 9 or 9:30, we will miss our time together! And as my belly grows I wonder how I'll do the lifting of the toddler. But single moms do this all of the time and plenty of families work shift work or odd hours or have busy travel schedules. So we'll be fine. But I did mention I like predictability, right?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Elusive Three Little Words

I think it is every parent's dream to hear those three little words come from the mouth of your child(ren). There is something so life affirming about it! While you deep down KNOW they love you, it helps to hear it! Especially when you have your months of dealing with puking, not sleeping, and diaper changes gone bad.

We tell Seren we love her all of the time. At night, I must mention it, oh, 1000 times. She hugs us and kisses us good night. She blows kisses to me at the window when I leave in the morning.

But the "I love you Momma"?

No where to be found.

Guess who gets all of the sugar?

Moo-moo, the stuffed cow puppet.

Yesterday morning, Sam and I were barely awake. It was 5:30, afterall! (The 5:30 kick that started in May, has continued). We said our good mornings to her and said we loved her. Her response was the same: smile and say nothing.

I put her down on the floor so she could play. She took one look at Moo-moo and says in a crystal clear voice, "I love you, Moo-moo."

Hmph! Enough said.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Car!

Yeah! We got a new (to us) car yesterday! I am mostly just relieved. I hate the car buying experience! There are too many choices and there is too much stress. And in the end, despite the research you do, you feel like you are getting screwed. Ya know?

Sam and I have both been driving 1995s. So turning in our 13 year old car for a two year old car feels like quite the upgrade! Poor Sam has been a stay at home dad for two years in a two door Monte Carlo- with no a/c and no radio. I give him lots of credit.

Our new Mazda5 sport meets our budget, is good for the enviornment (seats are made of soy products, leaves a smaller eco footprint, etc), is totally practical which just about drives every decision in my life and is well...NEW!

I am actually too scared to drive it to work because my commute into NJ is crazy. But I'll get over that soon, I'm sure.

Despite the fact that technically it is a mini-van, and yes that means we have joined the "parents" group officially, it is a "mini-mini-van". I look forward to driving it for years to come and bringing home our baby in it! It is so cute! We feel very, very blessed! Now we just have to hope and pray that MY old car passes inspection this year! (Fingers crossed!!)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Puff the Magic Wagon?

Last week, having long tired of singing her the two, same, familiar songs to bed, I decided to spice it up and threw in "Puff The Magic Dragon."

The word "dragon" had no meaning to Seren. So she corrected me, "Wagon, Momma, wagon".


So now she INSISTS on me singing "Puff The Magic Wagon". When I try to change it back to the actual song, "Puff the Magic Dragon," she corrects me yet again, "No Momma, DADA sing that." (That's Dad's song)

Anyone got any good lyrics?

All I have so far (and I haven't thought about it too much yet is)" Puff the magic wagon, rolled out to sea..."

Anyone? Anyone?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


In the modern world, our lives are full of choices. From the simple: which bottle of wine do I choose? Paper or plastic? To the complex: which neighborhood do we live in? Which job do we take? Sam and I, we both agree, are horrible decision makers. Before we had kids, we would grocery shop together and I would find Sam, in the middle of an aisle, scratching his head over which hair care product he should buy. Did he want his hair to be vibrant? Have lift? It would take him forever. In America, we have to make a lot of choices. Because there IS choice. When Sam and I tried to pick a place to get married, we visited 18 locations. 18! Because there is always the sense that maybe you haven't found the perfect place. Or the best priced place. Or the place that would make others feel comfortable. We most likely would not have gone to at least 2/3rd of those places but we had to see. Just in case.

Seren too is overwhelmed by choice. Every time she goes down for nap or to sleep at night, we let her choose two or three books that we read together. We have done this for many months. Usually, she picks from her favorites. But in the last week, when asked to pick a book, it has become a long, drawn out, painful affair. Everything looks good! I mean when you've got Dr. Suess and Curious George and stories about animals, how are you to choose? The most frustrating part for me, is that her books are high up on a shelf (these are the "good books" that we don't let her access too frequently). So in order to look at her choices, you have to hoist her up. Mommy ain't that strong to begin with. Pregnant Mommy? She don't play that. So, every night for the past few days has had me hoisting my indecisive child up on my hip encouraging her to "Choose, honey." Then later, "Just choose one, honey." Then later, "Seren, choose a book or Mommy is choosing it." I was clearly getting frustrated.

The reality is that Seren is two years old. The whole world is exciting! How can she possibly choose? I learned the lesson a long time ago when babysitting. A adult can't ask, "What do you want for dinner?" unless you have every possible meal option under the sun in your fridge. You simply ask, "Chicken or fish, kiddo?" Because you like either answer. The kid gets his/her say and everyone is happy. And so it was with the books.

I came up with the "game" of library. Everynight, as she puts on her pjs (another lesson in patience), I pick four stories for the library. I place them at her level on a bookshelf. She then runs and gets her "library stool" and chooses two books. "Seren choose! Take two out of library!" I wish I could say that I've cut the choosing time in half but Seren really enjoys making an "informed" decision. But it works! Her stress is gone and so is mine. Win! Win!

And so with the background of being overwhelmed by choice, Sam and I are having to make some challenging choices recently. The best news is that after nearly 8 months of job searching and about 4 years of soul searching, Sam landed a job. Yahoo! Sam hasn't worked full time for over 7 years due to grad school and then being a Stay At Home Dad. This time in our lives has been incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding. We are both financially relieved (esp with number two on the way) and both very anxious. Our carefully balanced routine and roles will be flipped on its head with the start of this new job and the addition of a newborn. (More on this later) But what it also means is that we need to choose a childcare provider for Seren. And we need to get a new car. All in less than three weeks.

In my opinion, there is nothing more stressful then deciding who should help raise/care for your child. It isn't as much about logistics and cost as it is about that gut response. We visited one place last night- and my heart, within two minutes, said "NO". Fortunately, last Friday, we found a woman which made my heart say "Yes". And Sam agreed. But there is that sense that maybe we haven't found the right person. Last night I dreamt Seren, under this new person's eye, got hit by a car in the street. So yeah, we are real relaxed around here.

I guess my main point is that choice is hard. And we all just have to do our best to make the most informed decision we can. But as I was telling good friend on the phone this morning, "We really like this child care person. I think we are going to go with her. But maybe we should visit three more..." She reminded me, "Meg, let's not make this into the search for the wedding location."

She is right. Sometimes I complicate my already complicated life by trying to find something just a bit better. Or holding on for a more perfect job. It isn't that the child care decision isn't worth holding out for- it is. But when we both like it, Seren loved her and it works with our schedule, we should go with it. We are going to go with our gut on this one and hope for the best. Just like Seren can only hope each night she picks the perfect story. Afterall, some choices are more important than others.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

And now a message from Seren

(Do you get it?)

We are 14 weeks on Friday! We are due in early December. We hope to make it until mid or late November! Wish us luck! We are so excited!