Tuesday, May 27, 2008

it's a good thing he is so cute

Gabriel is a really great baby. He is incredibly sweet and generous with hugs and kisses. He plays by himself without a problem for short periods of time during the day and doesn't throw many tantrums. He sits in his high chair for up to an hour at dinnertime, happily eating all different types of foods, including meat, vegetables, pasta, fish, fruit, plain yogurt, jars of leftover baby food, chicken, cereal, and whatever random food I put in front of him. He sleeps 13-14 hours a night and takes a 2 and a half to 3 hour nap in the afternoons. He is easygoing and curious and kind to other children. He is gorgeous and wonderful and I love him to death. He's really amazing- I am very lucky.

But oh my GOD, he is so crazy, ridiculously, absurdly, busy. He never ever ever NEVER stops. I know lots of parents say their children are full of energy, but I swear to you, you've probably never experienced a child like Gabe. I go to the bathroom and in the 30 seconds I'm gone, he's dragged the potted plant down off of the ledge and stomped through the dirt. He's scattered the dog food around the kitchen and splashed around in the water bowl. He's dragged a chair away from the table and climbed onto the dining room table and thrown everything off of it. He pulls his play table across the room, climbs onto the table to reach the high shelves, and flings books off the bookshelf gleefully. He opens dresser drawers and pulls all the clothes out. He empties the pantry of all its food in no time at all. He's learned to open doors. He's working on outsmarting the child locks. He can destroy a room in 27.6 seconds.

At play dates, he refuses to be confined by the toys in a playroom. Instead, he'll sneak into the hallway to open all your desk drawers, or take everything out of your kitchen cabinets. He'll find all of your non-toy implements and endeavor to discover totally inappropriate ways to use them. At the playground, he puts other children to shame in the number of times he can go down a slide, run around the play structure and climb back up, all while other kids are still climbing up the stairs. While other children sit quietly in music class, he climbs under the tables and behind the barricades to reach the shelves where he can climb. He spends half the class trying to climb over the baby gate. If he can get into the bathroom, he'll open the toilet and throw things inside of it and flush it faster than you can run across the room. At the park, he will determinedly run away from me and never look back. I have watched him get a full football field's length away without ever checking to see if I am coming. He is daring and brave and very independent. It also doesn't help that at almost 17 months, Gabe is impressively coordinated (although clearly not from my side of the family). He kicks balls, throws over and underhanded, climbs up everything skillfully and easily, runs up and down hills without stumbling. His pediatrician said that at 15 months, he probably had the gross motor skills of a 2 year old. What that really means for me, though, is that he has the ability to get in even more trouble, even faster.

He is exhausting. My in-laws, who would never utter a negative word against any of their grandchildren describe him as relentless. My father in law thinks that Gabe is Josh's revenge for how bad Josh was in his childhood. My parents cautioned me never to take my eyes off of him, because he can accomplish a great deal in a second. My friends admit that he is nonstop action, although they're quick to follow up with other kind words about him. I think he must sleep so well at night and during naps because he wears himself out the rest of the time.

I wouldn't trade him for the world, but there are days when I wish he would sit quietly for 5 minutes. There are days when I wish he was just a little less curious, maybe a little less active. At the same time, though, he is outrageously cute. I've never laughed more in a day than I do now, as I watch him flit from activity to activity, putting buckets on his head, and daddy's shoes on his feet, and chasing the dogs to feed them his play kitchen food. Life is very fun these days. Busy, but very fun.

Really, though, I think I can only handle one Gabe. My one wish (besides being healthy) is that his sibling has other gifts besides having the energy of a jackrabbit. I'm buoyed by hearing people's stories about how different their children are, and I hope this next one is equally amazing, just a tiny bit less crazy. I can hope, right? Please tell me there's hope. My sanity needs it.

Ignore her... Is this the face of a troublemaker?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

maybe I'll make it after all

I woke up today and felt... human.

For the first time in many many weeks.

I'm still queasy, but queasy is nothing compared to what I've been for quite some time. I would be freaking out about it, but we just had an ultrasound yesterday and a scan with the doppler, and 002 is in there, waving his or her little arms and legs at me. The heartbeat was 190, nice and strong, and much faster than Gabe's has ever been. Who knows what that means, but the OB said it sounded like a girl's heartbeat to her. I say those are all old wives' tales. I guess we'll find out in December!

We've pretty much decided that we won't be finding out what the sex of this baby is until the birth. The real reason is that we just don't care whether this is a girl or a boy, and we loved not knowing with Gabe, so we figure we'll keep the tradition. I'm excited for either option. It would be great to have a girl, just because I'd love to have a daughter, but it would also be great to have another boy because they'll be close in age. I think Gabe would love a brother, plus, I have SO MANY cute baby boy clothes that I desperately want to use again. We'd love to have a third child, as long as this one isn't any more of a hellion than Gabriel, so I'm not that worried either way.

I've been feeling pretty guilty lately, and I hate to even write this down for 002 to read one day, but being this sick all the time has made it hard for me to be very excited about this pregnancy. There have been so many days when I can't even get up off the bathroom floor or pick myself up off the couch without wanting to cry. I've felt so sick, that when I went into this week's doctor's appointment, I was convinced something would be wrong. I kept imagining what I would do when I found out that the vomiting had been a sign of something terrible, and thinking those thoughts definitely does not make the all-the-freaking-time-sickness any easier to bear.

I felt sick with Gabe, but it wasn't this kind of all-encompassing, wanting to gouge my eyes out, sobbing against the toilet, type of sickness. I was tired of being sick, but I could still feel so much excitement for our first pregnancy. This time, I'm so frustrated and exhausted from the nausea, I have moments where I'm convinced that there isn't a baby in there, but instead a parasite that is killing me slowly.

I feel terrible writing this down, because I don't want to seem ungrateful. I am grateful. I am excited. I keep picking up my ultrasound pictures with the bean with the gigantic head and the little arms and legs and I think I finally believe that there is a baby. I can't believe there might be another baby as amazing as Gabe in my life in a few short months. Josh and I can't wait. It's just hard. Some days are harder than others, and today, waking up to a world with no gagging has allowed me to admit that it is surprisingly harder than I'd imagined.

Friday, May 16, 2008

makes you wonder about our home's construction, huh?

I came home tonight, at 8:15 pm, which is pretty close to Gabe's bedtime, to discover that I was locked out of the house.

You see, I left this afternoon through the garage because the stroller was in the garage and I needed to put it in the car. I checked and double checked that I had the front door key before I closed the garage door and snuck out underneath, because, come on, I'm no idiot. I failed to check, however, that I'd removed the FREAKING CHAIN from the front door.

So I get home late, laden with bags, and a cranky child, and dogs barking crazily inside, and horrific morning sickness, and crazy pregnancy hormones, and discover that we're locked out because the safety chain lock thing is keeping us out. The garage door opener is sitting in Josh's locked car at the Boston airport, while Josh is in Seattle with the keys to his car.

What to do? With my cranky toddler in tow, I find a stick in the backyard to see if I can somehow fashion a hook to push the inside chain off the track to let us in. Shockingly, my stick idea doesn't work although I made a valiant attempt and skinned half of my hand off while trying. Then, I try my keys in the side and back doors, even though I KNOW they don't open those doors because we specifically fashioned the door locks that way. I look around for an open window, even though I don't have a ladder to access the windows, but whatever, I'm not thinking straight at this point. I called Josh in Seattle, but another big shock, he can't really help from 3,000 miles away. In fact, he told me he was busy in a meeting but would "try to brainstorm in the meantime". Gee, thanks.

I return to the front door, examine the situation again, and decide on the most logical thing my pregnant brain can come up with. I'll kick down the door. KICK DOWN THE DOOR. And do you know what? I actually did it. I kicked our front door hard enough and long enough that I took the entire molding off the door, where the chain was attached, off the wall. Yup.

And then I calmly took the rather large piece of molding, with chain still attached, and large nails sticking out, and placed it on the dining room table for Josh to deal with. I vacuumed up the chunks of paint and wall that littered my entryway, dressed my child for bed, put him down, and ate a cupcake, because damn it, I needed one.

Never in this whole situation did it occur to me to ask the neighbor for a bolt cutter to cut through the chain, or even to go to the hardware store to buy a bolt cutter to cut through the chain. Nope. The logical thing to me was to kick down the door. Not call a locksmith, or the fire department, or whomever you call in situations like these. I kick down doors. With toddlers watching, because I like to set good examples.

It is any wonder that he keeps kicking the dogs? Also, please send more cupcakes. I'm going to need them tomorrow when Josh sees the front door.

tao of fertility

On the baby-making bandwagon? Thinking about it in the near future? Check out the Pumpkin Products blog for information about The Tao of Fertility, a book about Chinese medicine and infertility.

Plus, I'm giving away a free copy!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I throw up in the downstairs bathroom, just in case

A few weeks ago, we had a warm day and after the endless winter we've been enduring around here, we opened the windows to enjoy the fresh air during the night. In the morning, I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face and encountered these beasts roaming around my bathroom:

4 were running around in the tub and tile around the shower, 3 were running around the rest of the bathroom, and one on the ceiling. As I was doing a final sweep of the room, I saw the piece de resistance. The MOTHER OF ALL ANTS was lounging about, of all places, on my towel. The towel with which I dry my body. The towel with which I was about to wipe my face. MY CLEAN FLUFFY WHITE TOWEL.

These ants were huge. Large, very very large. I'd say the length of my thumb nail. And they weren't bashful. Even when I turned on the shower to flush them down the drain, even when I approached them with a wad of toilet paper to smoosh them, they didn't back down. Now, we don't have ants like these in California, or at least I've never seen them. We have small, respectable little ants that eat your food or break into your house in teams to steal your sugar, but we don't have these monstrosities.

I took immediate action. We closed all the windows, taped off the bathroom vent with saran wrap to make sure they weren't coming in another way, and I searched the rest of the house to see if we had any intruders. We had a few. Two in the downstairs bathroom that were huddling near the sink, one hanging out near the coffee maker, one running around on the ceiling of the kitchen, and one brave sucker on the couch where I enjoy my breakfast. Thank goodness I saw him before he came too close to me, or we'd have had some serious pesticide bombings in that living room.

Closing the windows and saran wrapping the vent made a big difference. We didn't have any invasions that even closely resembled that day when the whole family came in at once. I've decided, however, that these ants are engaged in intimidation tactics. I'm not joking.

The ants are coming in one by one, through some secret entrances that I haven't discovered yet. They appear out of the blue in the middle of my shower, hanging out on Gabe's body wash. One comes running out of my medicine cabinet in the middle of my nightly routine. Worst of all, yesterday, one was hanging out on the toilet paper. I repeat, the toilet paper, with which I wipe my girly bits. Now tell me what that is, if it isn't intimidation.

I initially panicked, thinking these were carpenter ants that were consuming our house shingle by shingle, but according to my neighbors, these ants have been around for 30 years, breaking into the houses every Spring and slowly trickling away as the Summer begins. I forced Josh to go buy a tree cutter and remove every branch that was within ant jumping distance of the house, and we're sleeping with windows shut until we come to some sort of truce. I'm reluctant to put out ant poison, although I did break down and buy it, because of the many small people in this house who I'd like to protect from unnecessary poisons.

So for now, I'm checking the toilet paper 3 times before I use it, I keep my towels in our bedroom, and I find myself creeping around our bathroom terrified of running into another one of those guys. I know they can't hurt me, but there is something about their enormous beady bodies that creeps me the frick out. Really. I'm not normally a person prone to running screaming from a bug, and I've been known to kill spiders more often than my husband (especially after the whole bullet ant incident*), but I have serious issues with these ants.

I wonder if I can come up with some form of warning system. Maybe I should leave a pile of their murdered compatriots to encourage them to find another home?


*By the way, that entry still makes me laugh out loud, 3 years later.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

the gauntlet has been thrown

The grandparents have expressed concerns that when 002 arrives, I'll be even worse at sharing photos with the family than I already am. I'm pleased to report, however, that I may have discovered a solution to my laziness!

Check out the review blog, Kinzin or Parent Bloggers to find out how I can continue being disorganized and put in no effort, but still meet the needs of all the grandparents!

Monday, May 05, 2008


Thanks for the congrats! We're still reeling from the news over here. Or at least, I am. Josh seems to have taken it in stride, even though I'm completely in shock.

The nausea has taken a turn for the worst over here, and last night I started actually throwing up. Gabe is sick with a cold, and he woke up at 2am crying for us. I made it down the stairs and into the kitchen to put together a cup of milk for him, and as I pulled the gallon of milk from the fridge, I realized that I was going to throw up right that instant. I had to scream for Josh from my huddled position on the bathroom floor, so he could take over with Gabe. It was pretty bad. Up until then, I've been crippled with a nausea that keeps me prone on the couch, but no actual throwing up. Not anymore, I guess.

I'm trying anything and everything, wrist bands, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, lemonade, chips, ice cubes, water with lemon (gag), juice, sports drinks, cereal, milk, popsicles, ice cream, but nothing works. Nothing. I guess I'd forgotten just how awful morning sickness is, not to mention that this time around just seems to be substantially more vicious than it was with Gabe. Sleeping is the only time when I'm not nauseous, so I find myself wanting to linger in bed for as long as possible every day.

The due date for 002 (get it? because it snuck in?) is December 19th, so the babes will be almost exactly 2 years apart. I may just end up with a Christmas baby this time around, since I was late with Gabe and I don't have high hopes for this one coming any earlier. First things first, though, I'm just trying to survive this first trimester and hoping the nausea will pass soon. I'm praying the nausea will pass soon, because I can barely take care of myself these days, much less Gabe too.

Thank goodness Gabe is especially cute these days. It makes it easier to keep smiling.