Monday, September 29, 2008

20 months going on 4 years old

Gabe's cuteness these days is staggering. He is sweet and helpful and charming and chatty and scrumptious. My parents and I spend every two seconds exclaiming over something else he said or did. He imitates everything you say, and combines 2 or 3 or even 4 words together to make mini sentences. "Mama go cahhhr, Gabe get down walk, bye choo choo, Nonna help Gabe, I sit chair," and so on. He narrates everything we do, and has definite opinions about the state of the world. He says 'no' firmly with a shake of his head and he cannot be persuaded otherwise, no matter how many different ways I present the same question. His 'yesh' is the same way. A sweet nod and a smile if he likes your offer. He answers me in Spanish or English and seems to understand almost everything we say.

He loves cars and diggers and trains and trucks. I've taken him on miniature trains at amusement parks or to stand on the subway overpass and he can barely contain his excitement. While we drive, he points out every digger or 'bire (fire) truck' or car. His newest interest is dinosaurs and the dinosaurs seem to engage in serious battles where one dinosaur bites the head or tail of the other one. Then they call out "help" (which is his favorite request from any one of us) to one of their other dinosaur buddies and they get rescued.

He separately identifies baseballs, soccer balls, footballs, basketballs and golf balls. He will also correctly identify the sport from its various paraphernalia, such as a goal net for soccer or a bat for baseball or a helmet for football. He also, to my chagrin and his father's pride, can recognize the Red Sox or Patriots logos as their respective sports. He kicks hard and throws harder and swings a golf club with follow through and occasionally even hits a baseball with the baseball bat if I lob it at him slow enough. He imitates the professional athletes on television, so he lifts his leg when he pitches and lines up the soccer ball before he kicks it. I remind myself regularly that he is only 20 months old, because he seems so much bigger than that.

Everyone tells me that he will seem huge when this baby arrives, but that seems impossible because he is already huge. He is barely a baby and so much little boy all at once. I can't look at him without smiling, even when he has thrown his 79th piece of food on the floor. Today he angrily threw my cell phone onto the public bathroom floor and when I admonished him, he sheepishly looked up at me through his long eyelashes and said "soyry Mama". And then my heart broke just a tiny bit. Maybe if I box him up he'll stay this size forever?

** (He's actually 21 months now, but I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm seeing double!

This Saturday is a huge church tag sale that we've attended for the last two years, and we're making serious plans to attend this one. We have secured the aunt to babysit for Gabe, we are arriving early, and we are coming prepared with lists of items we need to purchase.

This year, you see, we are in need of a serious item- a double stroller.

I've mentioned before that Gabe is a really active kid, and I've done a few outings without a stroller in malls or short walks, but I still think we're going to need a double stroller to get us through the first 6 months to a year with the new baby. In the first few months, I hope to wear the baby while we're walking, but if this one grows at the rate of his or her big brother, that is going to be a short-lived plan.

So... advice please!

I am pretty flexible on what I'm looking for in a double stroller, so I'd love all suggestions. I just want it to be easy to push. I don't jog, but I do walk for longish periods of time. It would be nice if the stroller had bigger wheels since certain neighbors don't clear their sidewalks of snow when they are supposed to, but I guess I could push my single stroller that has bigger wheels on those days and hope the baby doesn't weigh that much.

I'm planning on going in with a list of double strollers, Josh and I will split up, and we'll try to find one of our top choices. Right now, I'm thinking about one of the Maclarens, or Mountain Buggy, or the Bob Duallie, or the Phil and Ted's. All completely different choices, so I can use all the advice I can get.

We're also looking for lots of "dino, dino, dino" toys, but that is a whole other story. Feel free to also give advice on dinosaurs, though, if you're so inclined.

Update: Nothing, nil, nada. We couldn't find anything worth the money, and then I found out that a fantastic baby store was having a sidewalk sale and all their store model strollers were on super clearance, but of course we got there late because we were at the other sale and missed all the good deals. I'm so mad about it!

Anyway, I'm on the hunt on Craigslist and Ebay and hope I can find something decent sometime soon. At least I found a fabulous sling (this one), and maybe that'll get me through the first couple of winter months until I figure out this whole stroller thing. Ugh.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

someone owes this baby a pony

Guess whose placenta moved a whopping 4 cm?

Guess whose baby is head down?

Guess who is cleared for a vaginal birth?

Guess who is so happy she cried hot fat tears in the doctor's office?

Me me me me me me me me me me. So we went out for sushi to celebrate where Gabe consumed copious amounts of seaweed salad, chicken katsu, edamame, and broiled eel. And I thanked my lucky stars for a beautiful boy, another beautiful babe on the way, and hopefully an easy last couple of months of this pregnancy. Thanks for all your prayers and positive thoughts. The baby has his or her head wedged between the placenta and the cervix, so maybe I also have him or her to thank for tugging on that umbilical cord and moving that placenta out of the way. Who knows, but we'll definitely be celebrating in this household for quite some time.

Monday, September 22, 2008

more little boy than toddler

Do you remember what today is?

Today was Gabe's first official day of "SCHOOL"! (Otherwise know as the toddler program in my neighborhood)

I didn't mention anything to him about today's big event until a couple of days ago when I started telling him that he was going to go to school soon, what the teacher's name is, what he would be doing, and what he would have for snacks, etc. I was a tiny bit nervous, not because Gabe is a clingy child, because he falls far more on the too independent for his own good side, but because the past two and a half weeks have been out of control.

First, we were in California where between jet lag and general upheaval, his bedtimes and naptimes fluctuated wildly. Then last Wednesday we flew to Atlanta where I was the Matron of Honor at my friend's wedding and Gabe watched more television in the span of 3 days and slept stranger hours than he had in his entire life. Between helping my friend put together her favors and centerpieces (!!!) and running random errands for her, poor Gabe ate horrible junk food at strange times, took naps in the car or far too late, and was going to bed at 1am and waking up a number of times a night to call for me. It was a bit of a nightmare.

Thankfully, Josh arrived in Atlanta on Friday night and he helped me get Gabe under some semblance of a schedule again while I was able to devout myself entirely to the wedding festivities all day on Saturday. Last night we flew home to Boston, had Gabe bathed and in bed by 8:45pm and we kept all fingers and toes crossed that this morning would go well. He did wake up twice during the night to ask for us, but this morning he woke up at 8:15am, happy as a clam and shockingly excited to go to school (although who knows what he thought 'school' actually was).

We dressed, packed our new backpack with a change of clothes and diapers, took our all important picture and walked the 4 blocks to the toddler program, while I told him all the exciting things he would be doing during the day.

By the time we arrived, he was ready. We walked inside, he walked over to the teacher, gave her an unsolicited hug, and settled in with a "choo choo" and a truck. I sat there nervously for a few minutes, unsure of whether I should leave or not, and finally decided to give him a quick kiss and run out the door. So I leaned over, told him that Mama was leaving now, gave him a kiss, and started edging toward the door. He looked over at me, looked back at the trucks, and called "buh-bye Mama" over his shoulder as I walked out the door.

And that was it.

He apparently played the entire time, never asked for me, ate his snack and lunch with no problem, and didn't want to leave when I came back. I came back early, just in case, and the teacher told me that he was definitely fine to stay for the entire time on Wednesday.

I, on the other hand, had tons of plans for my first stretch of free time and ended up taking care of the flat tire I discovered when I backed the car out of the driveway. Fun fun fun. Turns out I had TWO nails in my tire, plus the tires are going bald, so I have a service appointment Wednesday to hopefully take care of everything. Phew.

All in all, a successful day. I'm ecstatic that Gabe did so well, and I'm hoping this keeps up over the days to come. Most of all, I'm so stinking grateful to be home and for all this traveling to be over. I'm having tons of pressure and what I assume are braxton hicks contractions, and I take this as a sign that I need to slow down.

Next up, Halloween decorating. What? You're surprised? Josh is lucky I didn't start decorating before Labor Day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

maybe low cut shirts will distract everyone

My stomach has finally exploded to achieve it's full 6 and a half months pregnant potential. I'm enjoying the fully pregnant look and finally fitting into my maternity clothes.

Unfortunately for me, it seems that my ass is expanding to counter balance the large belly. The scale isn't showing the pounds changing, but I see it as I look in the mirror every morning.

The cupcakes could also possibly not be helping, but I'm not yet ready to give those up.

Monday, September 08, 2008

smokin' hot

California is very, very, VERY hot. Especially when you're pregnant. It is definitely too hot to take your child to Fairytale Town and the Zoo and Funderland and chase after him in the 100+ degree heat. Once you have soaked through all your clothes due to the copious amounts of sweat, you may actually start to feel a little lightheaded and have to retire to the car. It is too hot to take him to the park, too hot to take walks, too hot even to drive places because that means returning to your boiling hot car and waiting for it to cool down.

I feel terribly guilty because I know it is getting colder in Boston as I type and I should be taking advantage of these last days of summer, but I'm just too hot to deal. I end up throwing Gabe in the backyard and watching him through the sliding glass doors from the comfort of the air conditioned kitchen. That's not neglect, right?

Besides that, the visit is good. I am fulfilling my destiny as a pregnant woman and sleeping 10 hours at night and taking 2 hour naps in the afternoon. Every other second of my awake time is spent eating. I wish I were exaggerating, but alas, I am not. Add to that the fact that I am too hot to exercise at all, and Josh might have to roll my inflated booty off the plane in 2 weeks.

Gabe is loving his grandparents and gets incredibly upset when they leave for work or go to the bathroom. He stands at my dad's door screaming his name in the morning until he gets up to play with him. It is fun to see, and I'm glad he is enjoying them so much.

I had a pang of sadness this morning when I realized that he was missing his first day of school because we are here, but hopefully he won't be left out too much from all the social cliques of the toddlers. Toddlers don't have social cliques, right? I'm telling myself that he is also missing all of the crying and separation anxiety from the first few days and he'll be able to glide right in when we are back in two weeks.

I'm off to search for a nearby pool, because that might be the only thing I can tolerate in this heat. I'll apologize in advance for anyone who has to see my rapidly expanding body in a bathing suit. Ugh.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

lap child on a plane might be a problem when your lap is seriously diminished

Things are looking up these days on the patience front. This may or may not have to do with the fact that I went away on a girls' weekend for the first time ever since Gabe was born. My inlaws graciously volunteered their house in Sarasota, Florida for my law school friend's bachelorette party, and last weekend we all headed down there for a fun-filled weekend of partying and sunshine.


Hurricane Gustav decided to make his presence known from the moment we touched down until the moment we took off. Monday afternoon, however, as I boarded the plane, was gloriously sunny and warm. Every other day, however, the windows inside the house were dripping with condensation because of the sheer quantity of monsoon type rain and winds and mugginess outside. My inlaws' ceiling actually started leaking in the breakfast area and I had to make a very unpleasant call to them on Sunday evening to let them know that I was afraid the roof was caving in on us.

Still, it was nice to be responsible for myself for a change, and not to have to deal with the ever-changing demands of a tiny person. Except for the one housed inside me, I mean. That person was well taken care of with chocolate chip cookies and ice cream and pizza. Isn't that what you eat on vacation? That same little person woke me up in the middle of the night on each night we were in Florida with acidy-burning-my-throat-alive acid reflux, so perhaps he or she was less than grateful for my food choices. I even called my mom at 3 am just to ask her what I could possible do with home remedies to make it stop, since I had no medicine in the house.

The little break was good for my spirit, because I've come back refreshed and missing Gabe and Josh desperately. It also helps that I've acquired that much desired spurt of nesting/cleaning/decluttering energy promised in the second trimester. I feel good, mostly, I have tons of energy, and I'm excited and happy for this baby to arrive. I've spent hours during naptime scouring the internet for ideas on Gabe's big boy room, and throwing out things we've kept in storage for 6 years of marriage. I think the charities I've been calling for pick-ups must be wondering where on earth we've been keeping this much junk. Just yesterday morning, I threw out 10 years worth of college twin sheets and blankets and old clothes and microwaves and law school textbooks (because honestly, what was I doing with my constitutional law text?) and plates and mugs and magnets. My front yard looked like a garage sale, minus the organized tables. I have things listed on Craigslist and Ebay and I'm taking any reasonable offer for people to haul away my stuff.

The guest room or Gabe's future room is a veritable disaster of books and papers and pictures that need to find a home in the very near future. Plus, to make matters even more crazy, I'm leaving TOMORROW for California for 2 weeks, then flying straight to Atlanta where I'm the matron of honor in my friend's wedding, then back to Boston, and the next day Gabe starts school at his new toddler program. Phew. I'm tired just writing it all down, much less living it.

I'm keeping my eyes on the prize, though. Once September 21st hits, there will be no more traveling, no more craziness, and I can focus on my new obsession- picking bedding for Gabe's new room. Do you have any idea how much a pregnant woman can obsess over whether a toddler or twin bed is better? Or whether the alphabet or trucks is more appealing with a toddler? Blue or red duvet? Blue or green or yellow walls? Is two rooms in the house painted yellow too much? What about rugs? Seriously, this is what keeps me up at night.

I suspect I'm avoiding considering the whole placenta thing too, and every time I go to the bathroom I nervously eye the toilet paper, just waiting for a speck of blood to appear and my whole world to come crashing down. I'm in a rush to get the house in order because I know that at any moment I might have to go on bed rest and that is terrifying. Terrifying. So I avoid the thoughts and focus on September 23rd, when we'll have the ultrasound that will tell us what is likely to happen come December. Keep up your placenta moving thoughts. Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I have been feeling more kicks in the cervical region and I hope that is a harbinger of good things to come. I hope my placenta is a mover and a shaker, that's for sure.