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Oops, I did it again.

I’ve had several people ask me if I’m okay after that last post. I am, really. I was just having a super-craptastic day and needed to write something. Maudlin, much?

Of course, there could be a tiny reason why I’m a bit easily pushed down into the depths, thinking the world just might end.

And it may have just a wee, teeny bit to do with hormones.

Lots

and

lots

of

hormones.

Oops, we did it again.

It has been really tough not talking about this. I have been so very sick, averse to a lot of foods and just plain miserable. And happy. But oh how I wanted to share my woes over feeling so sick that I have been taking a nap almost every day at the same time as my son.

Or how utterly exhausted I have been. All. The. Time.

Or how my husband is thinking about banning me from drinking merlot ever again. (But that’s a different story.)

Last week, about Thursday or Friday my belly POPPED. It’s a little hard to hide the news now. And Friday night, I went to Mamafest here in San Diego and ran into a bunch of ladies I knew. During the course of conversations, the news slipped. Oops.

That’s really okay, though. I’d already had my first appointment, seen that tiny little being, and heard a heartbeat. It’s real.

Oh boy. I’m going to be a mom to two littles, exactly 3 years apart. And I do mean exactly as this wee one is due a week after his/her brother’s birthday.

We’re calling this baby 3.0, because the boy was jokingly referred to as 2.0 on our shower cake last time AND this kid will be the third. So there you go.

The holidays are going to be busy this year, y’all. I can’t wait.

Up Chuck!

One of the golden rules of babyhood. Never, ever, hold them over your head just after they’ve eaten.

Our son couldn’t have been more than four or five months old at the time. Daddy was playing with him, as he does. It’s so awesome to watch — a father with his child. He would hold him in the air, coo at him, then hold him close.

But one night it was a little closer to mealtime than was, well, safe. Daddy held the boy up above him, and the boy belched. And spit up.

Right into Daddy’s eyes and mouth. Ugh.

I cringe and laugh simultaneously every time I remember that. Maybe partially in relief that it wasn’t me. Ah, parenthood.

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Transitions… and good customer service

The boy has been using sippy cups for a while now. We tend to use the non-spill versions since he’s in a mode where he likes to pretend he’s an Olympian discus thrower. My floors are constantly in a state of disarray with bits and pieces of food that sacrificed themselves to the whims of my toddler baby. You can’t step very far without crushing a cheerio or a piece of toast under your feet. That’s okay, they’re easily vacuumed. But the smooshy vegetables and ice-cold watermelon are a little much on my bare feet in the middle of the night. Let’s just say it’s hard to distinguish them from cat vomit in the dark.

So we bought some sippy cups that, while they are somewhat bottle-sized, have soft spouts and one of the two has handles. They’re called transitions, as in the transition from bottle to sippy. My child likes to bite and chew. So a soft spout is perfect for him. Give him one of the hard spouts and he turns away. (He already has an opinion on just about everything. I am in so much trouble later.)

Unfortunately, the soft plastic of the spouts tend to get a little gunky, no matter how diligent I am at cleaning them. Milk just tends to get goopy and icky. Add to that the chewing and chewing my son tends to do, and the sippy spout is to the point where I can’t use it – he has chewed extra holes in it.

Enter complications. The boy loves these cups. I’ve tried several other kinds. Doc Brown, some other Gerbers, and more. He tries them and then refuses. Doesn’t want them. Unfortunately, when I went back to the store to find them, they were gone. From everywhere. Gerber stopped selling them. In desperation, I started searching the web, even going to Gerber’s own site. No transitions cups. So I emailed them and asked what I could do.

And this is where Gerber went from good to great. They emailed me back within a few days and let me know where I could get replacement spouts and valves, the cost and how to order them. And then they sent me a couple of sets at no charge, thus saving much crying and wailing and knashing of teeth. We get to continue using the cups, which were serving their purpose just fine, but without the wear and tear from my sons very pointy – and well-practiced – teeth.

Thank you, Gerber. You went above and beyond, and I really appreciate it. It didn’t cost you much, yet you made this mommy very happy.

I don’t think my family is complete

J and I have had many discussions recently about our family. I want another baby. He’s on the fence about it. That decision was almost made for us recently, as I’m pretty sure I was briefly pregnant. Just long enough to start feeling it, knowing something’s different. Just enough to adjust mentally to the possibility, and start getting used to it. Just long enough to start thinking about how our lives could change, and what we’d need to do.

And then? Nothing. A very late, odd period. Not the usual (I will spare you the details of how it wasn’t the same). So while it’s not 100% certain, and there’s no way now to really confirm it, my body was telling me something.

And I believed it. And I wanted it so badly. I did. Still do. I was left with the feeling that our family is not yet complete. We still have someone else to meet.

But nothing’s ever simple. I had a lot of problems last time. It was not easy. Not for me, and not for J. He had to worry about losing me. I don’t really think that was an issue, but that does not mean that fear was not real. And if I get pregnant again, that fear comes back.

I had excellent care. My doctors were fabulous, keeping good tabs on both me and the baby. When my blood pressure went up just a little bit, they made me go in for monitoring. When the baby was stuck in the birth canal and not making any progress, they went in to get him before he or I went into distress. The surgery was a little rough, but I was fine. Tired, but fine.

Every pregnancy is different. There are no guarantees. The next one could be easier. Textbook, even. My chances of diabetes again, though, are pretty good. So we don’t know. No one ever does, do they?

The question is – are we willing to take that risk?

How do you process something like this, anyway?

If you follow me on Twitter, you saw a lot of posts about the F-18 crash in my neighborhood yesterday.

Let me start by saying that the kiddo and I had left our house about a 1/2 hour before. I wasn’t headed anywhere in particular, just getting out of the house with the boy. Mondays are my day off so it’s perfect for a short jaunt. We wound up meeting my husband at Costco and doing a little last-minute shopping before we head to visit family for the holidays.

When we got back into our cars, we heard the news on the radio. My heart froze for a minute. Would we come back to a home? Maybe that sounds a little melodramatic, but that’s what goes through your head at first when you don’t know exactly what happened nor where. We knew it was our neighborhood, which really isn’t that big.

As we heard more, we figured out it was just down the road a bit. Less than a mile. Really not that far at all, considering the size of San Diego.

More details poured in over the afternoon, and I found myself unable to break away from the news. I needed to know more. Was it someone we knew? A classmate of our daughter? Eventually they started giving the house address. A wave of relief swept over me and then I immediately felt bad.

Some man went to work one day, and before lunch his whole world was gone. Wife, two kids, and the grandmother. The entire house. Instantly gone. No warning. No way of preventing. Just gone.

Let me stop here for a moment. I believe that the pilot truly did everything he could to avoid hitting the homes. He was headed for a canyon, trying to make it there. He stayed in the plane until it was seconds from the ground. What more could he have done? I think he’ll be beating himself up enough as it is. I think the calls for the military to leave Miramar are ridiculous. I don’t feel like saying more on that topic right now.

I cannot imagine losing my whole family in one swoop. It makes me sick just thinking about it. How would you go on? My heart goes out to that poor family. It’s awful.

I couldn’t get to sleep last night for quite a while. I couldn’t get my brain to quiet down, to stop thinking about this. You try to protect your family the best you can. But you can’t control everything. I want to, dammit, but you can’t. And that’s what keeps me awake. The things you absolutely can’t plan for.

I have to distract myself, think about other things like fluffy bunnies and kittens. And puppies. Because if I don’t, I’ll think too much about what I would do if I lost my baby. Or my husband. It could easily drive you crazy. If I lost them both at once, I think you’d have to cart me off to the looney bin. Seriously. I don’t think I could handle it.

So I have to force my mind to other things. Think about what I do have, And remember how fleeting life truly is. It makes all the little irritations just drift away. Because in the end? It’s all just small stuff.

I hug my little boy a little closer, remind myself to be kinder to my husband, and enjoy what we do have. And be extremely freaking grateful for it. Extremely.

One year ago today

One year ago, I met a boy. He has taken over much of my life in this past year. But that’s not his fault. He had to rely on me for just about everything. It’s just the way of things.

Today, we celebrate the birth of our son, the great Boobah. He has changed so much over the past year. It really is amazing how fast the milestones fly at you. I can’t even keep up. But I love it.

Being a mom is hard. It’s getting up and caring for your child even when you’re feeling under the weather and they are fine. It’s pulling yourself out of bed at 5 when you really want to sleep until 7. Or 10. It’s making sure they’re fed before you are, because you can wait a 1/2 hour to eat, but your child doesn’t yet understand how to wait. It’s wiping tears, runny noses, kissing bruises, padding corners, washing bottles, and changing a heck of a lot of diapers.

It’s a freaking tough job. I do love it. Even as I wish for just a little time to myself to read, take a bath, take a nap, catch up on email, watch a little TV, or browse a shop. Even as I drag myself out of bed at 3 am to find a lost binkie. And especially when I get soaked from bathtub splashing.

Deep down, I always hoped I would get to be a mom. My parents are the most wonderful examples of love and caring, and I wanted to pass that along. I hoped that there would be someone to look at all of the pictures and hear all of the stories and just want to know where we came from. And a bit of what our lives were like. I want to leave a mark. We do that, in some small way, through our children.

But I never knew if I would get the chance. Hey, life happens and sometimes that chance can pass us by. I was lucky, though. It didn’t pass by. And here we are. My son is one year old. We survived with him only getting dropped on his head once! Or was it twice? (Oh, hai, CPS – just kidding!)

I’m still trying to find a way to balance being a mom with still being me. I’ve always found it easier to worry about everyone else ahead of myself. Maybe I’ll figure it out. Maybe it’ll continue to be a battle. Who knows?

I love that little guy of mine. And while I’m in no hurry for him to get bigger, I’m really looking forward to the adventures we’ll share.

‘MA!’ means come get me now woman

Our son’s crib is in our room. Not just because I want him close so I don’t have to stumble through the house when he cries, but out of necessity. We live in a one bedroom place, so he’s either in our room or the middle of the living room. Not a lot of choices.

We arranged things to where he’s on my side of the bed, at a slight angle. Our bedroom is a jungle of furniture: bed, dressers, desk, sidetable, baby bed. Yeah, it’s a lot of stuff. I have a nightstand next to me, and his crib is on the other side.

Did I mention the kid can now stand up and reach outside of the crib? And that the nearest thing is my nightstand? Did I also mention said nightstand is now CLEAR? Um, yeah.

This morning, he stood in his crib, looking around, babbling, and waiting for his dear, precious mother to WAKE THE HECK UP ALREADY. He’ll usually entertain himself for a bit before he decides he needs a new diaper.

And today, he woke me up by yelling at me. Ma! Momomom. Ma! I rolled over and looked at him and was greeted with a most adorable and huge grin. How could I resist that? The crying? Eh, roll over and go back to sleep. But “ma” and a smile? Up in an instant.

He is crawling so fast now. Zips everywhere. We have a couple of laundry baskets as barriers between the living room and kitchen and barring the hallway to the bathroom and bedroom. He can’t move them YET, but he can stand up and hold on to them, which he loves to do. And he can finally sit back down from standing, which results in a lot less crying and frustration. From both of us. Also, he can move sideways while holding on to things. The coffee table, the couch, the rocking chair. It’s all so fast.

And last night? He got off of the couch. BY HIMSELF.

He was sitting with daddy, decided he wanted down, turned around, and put his legs off of the couch. We watched as he slowly lowered himself down. We cheered him a bit and then he took off. Wow.

Tomorrow is his first birthday. Last year at this time, well, it’s a blur. I was at the hospital, in labor. I had pitocin, and I believe they’d already put in the epidural as well. I don’t even remember when my water broke, but I know I was lying in bed and felt it happen. Did I mention I went to the hospital the day before Thanksgiving, in the morning, to get monitored and THEY KEPT ME? And I didn’t get to leave until almost a week later.

I guess I never really told the whole birth story. I may just have to do that in honor of the kiddo’s first year here. And it will be told often, because mommy didn’t get to have Thanksgiving (actually, I didn’t get to eat for almost 30 hours and I was begging for some food) thanks to a certain little rug rat.

So, maybe some more tomorrow, after we go to Balboa Park. I think we’ll forgo chocolate cake for some brownies or something like that. Haven’t decided yet. No party, just hanging with the boys. I can’t wait.

we have liftoff

Yesterday marked the beginning of the kiddo pulling himself into a standing position. Before, it was just to the knees. Now it’s standing and wobbling. A lot of wobbling.

It’s funny, actually. He’ll crawl over to the couch, end table, or even his playpen, and pull himself up. And he’ll stand there for a bit, babbling and looking for things to grab or knock over.

But today. Today the shrieking started. He gets in that upright position and then has absolutely no idea what to do. He wants out of it, you can tell. Yet he doesn’t want to fall on his bum (even though he has, and it was fine). A couple of times I have pulled him away to sit him down on the floor. It isn’t terribly long before he’s in the same position. That’s okay. I know he’s learning to balance better. Another time I tried to get him to move sideways while holding on, so he could scoot over to me. He mostly just lifted his feet and put them down again. But once I grabbed his hands, he walked/wobbled his way over to me. more…

Eleven months – already?

Dear Boobah,

Here we are at 11 months, just as mama turns 35. She really wanted to have a baby before 35, and we just made it. For whatever reason, this is a harder birthday for mama, much harder than 25 or 30. She thinks it feels too close to 40, and her time for making a decision about your siblings is quickly running out. She’s not sure how she feels about that. She and daddy are talking, but having you was pretty rough on mama’s health and daddy’s not sure he wants mama to risk her health again.

Don’t worry, baby, you were totally worth it and mama wouldn’t change a thing. Except the gestational diabetes. She would’ve preferred not to deal with that part. But she did, for you.

And here you are, so close to a year old. Mama can’t believe how quickly we got here. You are growing and developing like crazy. Lots of babbling, although no real discernable words. You say ‘dada’ ‘guhguh’ ‘mama’ and even something that sounds like ‘woah’ – but none of them have any meaning that we can tell. You’re still working on adding a variety of sounds. That’s okay – your speech is developing and it’s possible that mama just isn’t realizing that you associate those sounds or words with people or objects.

In the meantime, you’re crawling all over and getting faster by the day. You can pull yourself up onto your knees, and can stand when we prop you up and let you hold onto a table, your playpen, the couch, or our legs. You climb all over us when we hold you, and are rarely still. more…

Grandparents, prepare thyselves

Tomorrow the boobah and I leave to go see my parents. We’re flying. Again. This kid has been on a plane more times already than I was my first 24 years of life.

But since we’re down to one breastfeeding session a day, that won’t be a big issue. But we will be traveling during naptimes and feeding times, which could get really ugly.

I’m trying to figure out what will work for a decent meal on the plane. And hope that he’ll get to sleep a little before we take off so he won’t be completely crabby while we sit on the runway.

My husband keeps telling me that traveling isn’t that bad. And it’s not, yet it is. It stresses me out. Always has. Add to that my worries about keeping the kid safe, fed, and mostly happy, and I’m stressed to the max. I hate traveling solo with the kid. I do.

Yet I do it anyway, because how else are his grandparents going to get to see him? more…