Archive | January 2010

Oh – the itching….

Forgive me, I know. I know that I’m blessed and so incredibly fortunate to be pregnant – and I truly can’t wait to hold this baby in my arms, entirely for her own sake, and not just because when I can hold her, I won’t be pregnant any more. I even like a lot of being pregnant – I like having a big ole belly, I like the extra attention, the smiles from strangers. I love feeling her move – and I flat out adore babies, so I’m very excited about having another one.

But OH MY GOSH – this itching is making me crazy. I thought it was just dry skin at first, but I’m lotioning (is that a verb?) like mad and it makes no difference. I’m taking benedryl – which just makes me delightfully sleepy, and doesn’t help with the itch at all. I’m sitting here at the computer, shifting and moving and trying desperately not to scratch, because once I start, I can’t stop – and then scratch like a lunatic until I cry. It’s ugly.

I’m waiting to hear back on bloodwork to rule out some sort of liver disorder that results in too much bile and the main symptom is crazy itching. It’s super rare, and my doctor told me that I probably don’t have it, and even if I do, worst case scenario, they’ll just induce me early because carrying the baby to term would be dangerous. He also recommended that I take benedryl at night especially to help me sleep, and try to avoid googling to get more information because I’ll just scare the hell out myself. (I googled like mad all day yesterday and am sufficiently freaked out.)

In other news… all is well here. Sam is still not nursing and I’m getting used to it. He asks once in a while, but mostly when he’s half asleep or just waking up. He’s definitely a boob man though – he likes to lay on them for pillows, and kiss my shirt goodnight. To him, a breast is no more private or special than my arm (which he also likes to kiss). Jessie and I are going to finish up Harry Potter tonight – and I’m so excited about it. I was afraid she’d lose interest, but she asked for it every night, and talks about it all the time. This has really inspired her to really like reading – she liked it before, but this is the first “grown up” book she’s read, or rather, that we’ve read to her. I like to think it’s the first of many… if I can get my kids to love reading, I know that I’ll feel like I’ve done my job :-)

Just another day in paradise

Much to discuss – overwhelming itching and fatigue, freaking myself out about rare liver disorder that will result in delivery of baby four weeks early. Not that I have this – but there’s nothing like the internet for self diagnosis…

I was on my way to the doctor’s today (for bloodwork to rule out rare and complicated liver disorder) and was listening to the radio – and started crying, listening to my favorite Phil Vassar song. My musical tastes stopped developing right around the same time Jess was born (coincidence? I think not) and that song always makes me smile. It does not generally reduce me to tears – but mix in a little pregnancy hormones, plus lack of sleep, and it’s all me, sobbing my way down Main Street, trying to find the right street for the hospital…

Because this – more than anything – is my song.

Just Another Day In Paradise lyrics

The kids screaming, phone ringing
Dog barking at the mailman bringing
That stack of bills – overdue
Good morning baby, how are you?
Got a half hour, quick shower
Take a drink of milk but the milk’s gone sour
My funny face makes you laugh
Twist the top on and I put it back
There goes the washing machine
Baby, don’t kick it.I promise I’ll fix it
Long about a million other things

Well, it’s ok. It’s so nice
It’s just another day in paradise
Well, there’s no place thatI’d rather be
Well, it’s two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
And I ask the lord every night
For just another day in paradise

Friday, you’re late
Guess we’ll never make our dinner date
At the restaurant you start to cry
Baby, we’ll just improvise
Well, plan B looks like
Dominoes’ pizza in the candle light
Then we’ll tippy toe to our room
Make a little love that’s overdue
But somebody had a bad dream
Mama and daddy
Can me and my teddy
Come in to sleep in between?
Yeah it’s ok. It’s so nice.
It’s just another day in paradise.
Well, there’s no place that
I’d rather be

Well, it’s two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
And I ask the lord every night
For just another day in paradise

Well, it’s ok. It’s so nice.
It’s just another day in paradise.
Well, there’s no place that
I’d rather be
Two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
And I ask the lord every night
For just another day in paradise
For just another day in paradise

Well, it’s the kids screaming.
The phone ringing
Just another day
Well, it’s Friday. You’re late
Oh yeah, it’s just another day in paradise

Bedtime routine

I know I’ve posted on this before – but I’m still confused by Sam’s bedtime routine. I’ve tried to be more consistent with it, but it’s strictly for my own comfort, because he certainly doesn’t need any help with it. He just goes until he’s done, then lays down and sleeps for 12 hours.

Jessie, to this day, still requires a routine. Teeth, pee it out, stories, and even then, it’s difficult for her to fall asleep. I can relate to that – because I do the same thing. I have to read myself to sleep, literally until my eyelids are too heavy and then I have to coax myself to sleep. I need total darkness, no noise. Marc, on the other hand, simply decides to go to sleep, and does. Bright daylight, television on, kids screaming – doesn’t matter, he decides to go to sleep and is asleep minutes later.

Sam is like Marc. He just hangs out with us until he’s done, and then lays down and within minutes, is snoring. And I keep thinking that I’m somehow neglecting him. Despite the fact that he doesn’t require, or want, for that matter, any more involvement on my part. Stories are okay, if he’s in the mood, lullabies do nothing for him. He just dances around, and then lays down and sleeps. Even as a baby, he was always super easy to put down for a nap. He’s the only kid I’ve ever known to freely acknowlege that he wanted to sleep, and then he’d go to sleep. It’s not something to fight for him, it’s just a simple fact of life. When he’s tired, he sleeps. It’s not that mysterious, but I’m still baffled by it.

Itchy, so very itchy…

Wow – I really wish there was another adult here, because I really need to slather my back in lotion and quite honestly, I don’t think Sam’s up to the task…

Had a delightful birthday – my wonderful husband actually planned a surprise party for Sunday and all of my favorite family and friends bounced in and woke me up from my nap on Sunday afternoon :-). I had no idea, but it was wonderful. Then we went out to dinner, just the two of us, and had so much fun. Sometimes, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Marc and I are married, and have a unique relationship independent of being Mommy and Daddy. So it was especially nice to go out to dinner, just by ourselves and sort of reaquaint ourselves with that.

Seriously – I’m ready to jump out of my skin, I’m so freaking itchy. I just lotioned everything I can reach and am still so uncomfortable I can’t sit still. I’m wearing actual clothes, maternity jeans, a camisole and pretty top – and I’m usually in comfy cotton pants and big t-shirts. I tried to get dressed like a big girl – but the plain grubby cotton stuff is what’s most comfortable…

Pregnancy update

Would you believe that I’m seven months pregnant? According to the Baby Book by the Sears, anyway. I was thinking six, but nope – turns out I’m officially seven months along, and delighted about it.

I cried yesterday afternoon, on Marc’s shoulders… sobbing that I just didn’t want to be pregnant anymore. I was tired of feeling sick all the time, tired of hobbling around, moaning in pain because of the sciatica. I’ve outgrown a lot of my favorite maternity clothes already, and everything hurts – I’m emotional as can be, prone to tears at random times. No energy… winter is not a fun time for me to be pregnant. I really think if I could get outside and be more active, it’d be better, but it’s so icy out there, I’m afraid of falling and hurting myself. It’s hard, because everytime I feel sorry for myself about suffering thru all the aches and pains of pregnancy, I then yell at myself for not feeling grateful, especially where one of my favorite people in the world is trying so hard to get pregnant – and would kill to be where I am. Then I feel crappy, sick, sore, and guilty. It’s a vicious cycle. But I realized yesterday that even though I’m so happy about this baby, and so excited about her arrival – that doesn’t mean that this pregnancy is blissful, and it’s okay to occasionally feel sorry for myself. It doesn’t mean that I’m ungrateful or unaware of how incredibly blessed and lucky I am. It just means that sometimes, pregnancy is wicked freaking hard. And being sore and sick and tired and achy for months on end is enough to drive anyone a little over the edge at times.

Today’s much better though, I’m starting to feel a real sense of impatience. I’m READY for the baby… I’m eager to have her HERE. I keep picturing her here with us, curled up in my arms nursing while I’m reading, or sitting with Sam.

Speaking of Sam… I’m doing a LOT of prep work to get him ready for the new baby. I got the books by the Sears, What Baby Needs and something else, something about what happens when Mommy is pregnant. He’s pretty freaked out at the prospect of me being in the hospital for a couple of days, this really bothers him, but I keep talking about it in the most positive of terms. I’m also mildly concerned that he’s going to be really freaked out at the time and care that a baby is going to demand from me – he’s been my baby for a long time, and pushing him out of that spot might be rough. But I think he’s mostly ready. It helps a lot that this is my third, and I’ve been thru this before. My greatest fear, when I was pregnant with Sam, was that Jessie was going to be miserable, feel as though we’d ruined her life and feel unloved and pushed aside. And really – she handled it so well that I’m a lot more optimistic about how Sam’s going to handle this one. It helps a lot that he’s given up nursing on his own, I feel as though that’s a real sign that he’s not a baby anymore and will deal with having a new little one with no problem. With any luck.

Friday freakout

I do this every Friday – plan a thousand things and then don’t have the desire to do any of it. Kept Jess home today to bring her to the dentist, which is so NOT fun for me. I’m terrified of the dentist, really, and keeping that fear from her, and watching her lay there and sob while they hurt her again and again (she got a cavity filled) is incredibly difficult.

Now I’m home, with fifteen minutes to kill before I have to go pick up Marc, then go get the other girls from school, come back home, cook dinner, clean the house and have a lovely Shabbat dinner.

I’m super tired – which is pretty normal for me these days. I’ve been dealing with a couple of garden variety pregnancy complaints, sciatica, leg cramps, general nausea and fatigue. Kids are both well, Jess is LOVING her day off from school. I could have sent her this morning and dropped her off afterwards, but life is short, and why not give her a day off once in a while? She’s been doing so well on our new program in the mornings, she hasn’t asked to stay home in weeks.

Sam’s thriving as well. Not potty trained at all, but that doesn’t bother me, honestly. I think I’m just used to changing diapers, and he’s got NO desire to start using the potty. Jessie didn’t train until a couple of months after Sam was born, so the thought of having two in diapers is no big deal to me. I’m starting to sense a little more peer pressure on this one – now that he’s done nursing, the only thing left to yell at me about is potty training. Oh, and the co-sleeping thing, but I keep that pretty well under wraps :-). He’ll grow up soon enough, using the potty and sleeping in his own bed, so I’m just trying to enjoy this time while it lasts.

Quality time with Jess and why I feel guilty about Sam

Yesterday was observation day at dance class. Jessie has been going to dance class since she was two, and every year, one day in January, they let parents/grandparents in to watch their kids’ class. My friend Sara took Sam home with her yesterday afternoon, so it was just me and Jess (and my in-laws) and it was wonderful. She’s so gorgeous and so grown up, I still catch my breath sometimes with utter amazement that I’m lucky enough to have her. I cry every year at observation day, and yesterday was no exception. She’s so perfect, so uniquely Jessie, and I fall a little bit more in love with her every time I watch her dance. The baby girl bounced along with her, she was so active! Especially during the tap shoe portion of the class, it was like she was bopping along with her big sister :-)
After we got home (I took her to McDonalds for dinner, alone time with Mommy and fast food – special treat :-), I started the going to bed ritual. She likes to have some time putting the babies to bed (she has thirteen or so dolls that all require a great deal of attention) and then we do jammies, teeth, a chapter from Harry Potter, and then she reads herself to sleep.
Sam, meanwhile, has no bedtime routine whatsoever. He just rocks and rolls until he crashes. I feel as though he’s getting the shaft as the second child – I was much more structured with Jess at that age. Most nights, we do teeth, but not last night. Marc is more involved in Sam’s bedtime routine (a hold over from me desperately trying to wean him) and he’s completely fine with it as it is. Sam goes to sleep when he’s tired. And until then, he’s up partying like a rock star. Last night, he spent a half hour rearranging his stuffed animals (or as we call them, his people) behind and on top of me while I moaned on the couch (I was SO ITCHY), and then laid down and fell asleep.
He sleeps great thru the night (far better than Jessie did at that age, or now, come to think of it). Sam’s been great at sleeping from the very beginning. When he’s tired, he just goes to sleep. I don’t know why I think it’s so amazing, it makes sense, but Jess was never like that, and I’m not like that. Falling asleep is a PROCESS for both of us – Jessie, even as a baby, used to fight sleep. She’d cry herself to sleep, every night, in my arms, until she’d finally consent to nurse. And she really seemed to thrive under a routine, it calmed her down and got her in a good sleeping place, and even then, at least half the time, she’d still fight falling asleep. Whereas Sam, he’s just a different kid. He goes to sleep when he’s tired. Doesn’t matter what’s going on, he’ll conk out on the chair, on the couch, even on the floor sometimes.
I think I feel guilty because Jessie’s bedtime has always been so much work. It was parenting, it was something I had to participate in, I felt like I was being a good mom by putting my child to bed with snuggles and songs and love. Sam’s bedtime, especially now that he’s not nursing, requires nothing from me, and any attempt to insert myself into the process is pointless. I tried to read to him last night and he COULD NOT SIT STILL. He was just bouncy, had no interest in the book (that he’d picked out) and just wanted to boogie. Left to his own devices, he just goes until he’s done, and then lays down and sleeps. He doesn’t like lullabies, he’ll snuggle, sure, but doesn’t really need it, and while I can occasionally coax him to sit and read, it’s not something he wants or will even sit still for consistently.
Marc says I’m creating a problem where one doesn’t exist. Sam’s perfectly content, getting plenty of sleep, has all the attention he wants or needs, and I shouldn’t feel guilty because he can put himself to sleep when he’s tired. After all, isn’t that a good thing? Going to sleep when he’s tired. He doesn’t fight it, he doesn’t need to be coaxed down to sleep, he’s more than content to just crash when he’s ready. Having a child that just doesn’t seem to need the nighttime parenting isn’t necessarily something to worry about, right? It’s not like he’s in preschool and NEEDS to wake up at a certain time, and there are mornings when he’ll sleep in until nine or nine thirty. If he needs the sleep, he finds a way to get it. And he’d just as soon do it without my involvement.
Maybe it’s just me – I suppose I shouldn’t feel guilty, like I’m giving him less of me, because he could have it if he wanted it. I would love to snuggle him to sleep, with lullabies and stories… and I shouldn’t complain – because for three and a half years, he needed me to nurse him to sleep. He’s outgrown me, and that need. That’s a good thing, right? I’m thrilled about not nursing him, but feel bad that he’s outgrown the need for me at bed. I’d feel better if he had transitioned to needing stories and songs – instead he skipped that and moved directly to “don’t bother me, Mama, I’m going to sleep when I’m ready.” If it’s not broke, don’t fix it – at least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself…

Happy Wednesday

All is delightful in my world at the moment. A little nausea, but the baby girl is bopping around in there. I think it’s honestly making the nausea worse, but I always like to feel her move, so I’m not complaining. Actually, I am – but not in a real way, more commenting.

Stayed up late last night watching the election. I love elections. Just flat out love them. I like the race up to it, I like voting, I like watching the returns. And felt extra special last night because we live in Massachusetts and got to vote in such an important election. The kids, Marc, and I all went to vote together, and then came home. I started to get the kids ready for bed, read Jess a little more of Harry Potter (she’s loving that) and then we all sat in the living room and watched the results come in. I love thinking of the kids having those memories growing up – that voting is important, taking an interest in your country’s government is an obligation and how lucky they are to be able to have the right to vote.

In other news… not too much going on. We’ve got birthdays coming up soon – my mother’s is on Sunday, mine is on Monday and my baby girl will turn seven on Feb. 7. This Saturday, Jessie, Mom and I are heading out for our day of indulgence – every year, we go out for mani/pedis and lunch to celebrate our birthdays together :-). Can’t wait…

Robert Parker has died…

I love to read. Love it. I have the best memories of my second grade teacher, who used to let me go to the school library when I finished in class early and take out more books. I used to read while walking home from school, it was my go to leisure activity. I’m the oldest of four, and learned early that by picking up a book, I could take myself out of whatever family crisis I was going thru (and with my family – there was always one), and it’s still the easiest, fastest way for me to calm down. I always have at least two or three books that I’m reading (right now I’m working on Blessings of a Skinned Knee and Nuture Shock, both fascinating, and finished up the Harry Potter series last night).

I found the Spenser novels at a yard sale, someone was selling old paperbacks for ten cents, when I was in high school. I LOVED them. Quick, easy reads, well written, great character development – I bought probably ten or fifteen of them, and then went out and found the rest of the series. I followed Spenser from that point on, and was still eagerly waiting for the next installment. I loved his Sunny Randall series, the Jesse Stone series. I’m so sad about his death. He’s one of the authors that I’ll reread again and again, so incredibly talented…

nighttime parenting

First, let me say that, for the record, when one of my kids is puking in the middle of the night – I want my husband beside me. He’s freaking fabulous with puke. We have a system, a routine, a carefully choreographed dance that we’ve worked over the past seven years of dealing with nighttime pukers and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But other than that, really, I’d rather he just pretend to sleep thru it.

Sam had a rough night last night – for no specific reason, he just did. He doesn’t usually wake up in the middle of the night, he’s, for example, more consistent about sleeping thru the night than his almost seven year old sister. But last night, he woke up and was crying and crying. He was very upset, about a whole host of different issues (because when you’re three and a half, there are lots of things that bother you, apparently). He wanted to nurse, he was upset about not getting play time in with Daddy earlier, he wanted his big sister Sarah, he was just upset. It was one in the morning, and he was up and crying.

I like nighttime parenting. I like the intimacy of it, I like snuggling with my kids and making it all better. I love holding a sleeping baby/child, and I like being able to make it all better with a kiss. Sometimes it takes a little while, like it did last night, but I don’t mind. Especially with Sam, because it’s so rare for him to wake up. I figure sometimes he just needs a little extra love and am content to work my way thru it until he calms down enough to go to sleep.

Marc, however, is not a nighttime parenting guy. This is fine, and may well be his adaptation to having children with me. Because again – I prefer to do it alone. Last night, I had to talk him out of taking a sobbing three year old out into a snow storm to cry in the car so he didn’t wake everyone up. Having learned thru years of experience that a crying child in the middle of the night wakes nobody (everyone pretty much just sleeps thru it), I knew this was a dramatic overreaction designed to make a somewhat tough situation a thousand times worse.

I love my husband more than anything – and honestly believe that my children are infinitely blessed to have him for a Daddy – but he’s really crappy at middle of the night non-vomit induced waking.

I’m groggy and slightly cranky this morning. Still sore after the weekend’s adventures, and yearning for early bedtime tonight.