Monday, March 30, 2009

Heading Toward the Twos

E's officially eighteen months as of today. A few months ago at his well check, the doctor suggested picking five rules and sticking to them. He said we wouldn't have the energy to consistently enforce more than five. I thought it was good advice, but couldn't come up with the five. We didn't have any rules yet, other than not going in the street. E didn't seem to understand enough to follow rules or deliberately act out. He was still a baby in many ways. But suddenly, we're in new territory. It's happened gradually, really, but this past week seems to have introduced a new era of intentional boundary pushing. We find ourselves enforcing lots of boundaries, over and over and over and over again. Many of the rules involve throwing, which results in the item being taken away: cups, food, blocks, puzzle pieces. Also: no pulling cds from the shelves and throwing them on the floor (this has been the biggie lately, and it's not like we can take the cd towers away). No standing on the couch downstairs (not safe with the wood floor); couches are for sitting. No standing in the high chair. No opening the dishwasher and climbing in (we haven't found a lock that works on ours). No climbing out of the bathtub during bath. I'm sure there are others I'm leaving out. Every time I look away, he's running for the cds, etc. Of course, this is his job right now, and ours is to be consistent. But wow. I can see why the doc advised a limit of five rules. How to keep it to five, though?

We've also seen the emergence of tantrums--real tantrums that involve collapsing on the ground and kicking and screaming and rolling around. But they're not as crazy as they could be or will be. There's definitely still room to grow there. But the poor guy, he gets so upset over the tiniest things. Sometimes my heart breaks for him and sometimes I have to turn away so he doesn't see me laughing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Quick Post on a Sunday Evening

Visited Nana yesterday in Wimberley. She's not doing great: she took a fall several weeks ago and fractured her hip (prescription: rest, ugh), but she's still in so much pain, she thinks she may have broken it. Hopefully she'll find out more this week. I was so glad to see her, and she gave us a wonderful gift while we were there--the first piece of pottery she every bought. It's beautiful.

It seems I've turned a corner in terms of feeling crappy. This is the fifth day in a row I've felt better. Ah! It's nice. It seems a little early to be feeling better, even though I know everyone's different, but I've worried a bit--surprise. I felt just crappy enough later today, though, to set my mind at ease (irrational, I know). I expect everything is fine. After all, I'm about to start week twelve (at last!), and my shape has started to change (why do I find that so shocking?). Good things.

I don't think I'll blog in much detail about this pregnancy, at least not in terms of physical sensations and changes. I'm keeping a little written journal about that stuff.

We interviewed an evening/weekend sitter today and it went well. The plan is to work up to my friend's wedding weekend at the beginning of June. E needs to feel comfortable with the sitter caring for him that weekend, especially since she'll be putting him to bed two (possibly three) nights in a row. Uncharted territory. So we're going to have this sitter come multiple times over the next two months, starting next Sunday. She was highly recommended to us, and has been a nanny for seven years, working with all ages. I can't tell you how relieved I am to have found someone. Also, it will be great for me and TJ, albeit expensive, since we hardly ever go out together.

Okay, time for cereal and an early bedtime. I have a longer post percolating, but who knows when I'll have time to write it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Another Day Down (and it included a three-hour naptime!)

After work today, TJ took E to play outside, then made him dinner and fed him (while I got takeout for us), and then insisted on bathing him AND putting him to bed, not to mention picking up the toys downstairs. I was so grateful, especially because today was extra rough in terms of queasiness. I wish I had food cravings that I could indulge, but literally everything repulses me and nothing is satisfying. It's strange to look at macaroni and cheese and want to barf. Time to go read Agatha Christie.

Boobies and a List of Words

E and I are pretty well adjusted now to not breastfeeding, I think, and it feels good. But he's a bit obsessed with my breasts. This had actually started before we weaned. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he's into bodies in general. He knows where his penis is and can say penis ("puh-puh"), and likes to play with it. He also likes TJ to pull up his shirt so he can see his hairy belly and touch his nipples. He doesn't say "boobies" when he sees TJ's bare chest, so he must know there's a difference. Several times a day, he pulls my shirt up and demands to see my boobs. (He also tries to pull down my pants!) He smiles lovingly when he sees the boobies, touches them gently, and then lays his head down on my belly or chest. It is so. very. sweet. He doesn't try to nurse, he just touches them and nuzzles me and says something that sounds a little like "boobuh" or sometimes just "boouh."

We are cuddling more in the rocking chair, which I love. Sometimes when he wakes up from his nap, he'll sleep on me in the chair for a half hour more, and I get to snuggle him and doze a little. I was cherishing this last week, thinking about how that kind of thing won't be possible as often once we have another baby. Right? Then I was thinking about the new baby and about how different his or her first year will be compared to E's--when I was able to focus on him completely. More on this later, I'm sure.

I meant to say before that the preschool issue I mentioned earlier has been resolved, as much as it can be. I'm incredibly relieved, though I still regret that the situation even exists in its current state. But there's nothing I can do about it now. It is what it is, and I have learned from it.

I wanted to start a list of the words that E's saying (boring to anyone but me, I'm sure). A few of these words sound precisely the way anyone would say them, but most are approximations, or just sounds that we know represent certain words. The only sound that's completely unrelated to the word it stands for is "dog," which comes out as "koh." But it's not vocalized, it's just a kinda gutteral noise, like a sound effect. Hard to explain. In any case, here are the words he has so far:

Squeaky (Kiki)
Daddy, Dat, Dada

Of course, he understands a lot more than he can say. When we're reading, if you ask him, he can point out the fish, bird, elephant, camel, monkey, flamingo, barnyard animals, and various items in his book of colors (like the brown gingerbread man).

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I have a blog over at Wordpress that I've been trying to get set up for months. At some point I'll make the switch. I'm thinking I should make it a less personal blog, a way for family and friends (more than the few who know about this one) to check in when they're so inclined. TJ suggested this, since I spend so much time emailing and trying to keep up with people. It's getting harder and harder, and I don't imagine I'll have much time for it at all come next fall. I'm just not sure an impersonal blog is my style. I don't know if I could do it. I already feel limited on here for a few reasons, and my family doesn't even know about this blog. Hmmm. It wouldn't be an outlet the way it is now, but maybe that's okay. In any case, I'm excited about the switch over to Wordpress.

This weekend was awash. We had a lot on our list, and none of it got done. TJ was at SXSW all day Friday and got home that night. He knew he was coming down with a cold beforehand, and declared himself officially sick by the time we went to bed. I took care of E most of Saturday and today, feeling super crappy, as usual, myself. TJ did do the bath and bedtime routines. Still, it's amazing to me the way men just stop everything when they're sick. I feel sorry for my poor sickie and have taken care of him and gone grocery shopping and gotten E out of the house so he could rest, but part of me is a *tad* bitter, given that I've felt sick for the past two months. Today TJ said innocently, "Are you ever going to wear your contacts again?" WHAT?!?! Are we on the same planet?!

Really, this is not to say that I don't have sympathy for his cold (he was shivering in bed next to me last night and it was sad), or that I don't appreciate all the wonderful things he does. I do! He's amazing. But . . . the gender differences are stunning sometimes. Don't get me started on the cat litter . . .
I don't know what we'd do without the sand and water table we got recently. Thank God for it. We spend hours outside each day and E always ends up filthy and absolutely soaked.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I mentioned a couple of posts ago that E's been hard to satisfy lately. Duh, he's teething again. All he's got are canines left until the two-year molars. We've had a nice respite from hardcore teething and had forgotten how completely it transforms him. He's been up the past two nights, and on Motrin, and the drool is spilling from his mouth. When he's awake he's clingy and demanding and quick to scream. It's exhausting. He did great at co-op this morning, though. The mom on duty mentioned how sweet and even-tempered he was, and I was all, "Say what?"

This morning he was up at 4:30 and didn't go back down until I forced a brief nap on him at 7:30. TJ was out at a work thing last night, so he was out of commission this morning, and I wasn't amused. I have a UTI right now, and the medication I just started is giving me diarrhea and making me more intensely nauseous than I am anyway. I can't wait to crawl into bed tonight.

But can I just say that we got some new shorts for E recently, and they are so cute I can hardly stand it? He's wearing the khaki ones today. I almost fainted from the cuteness earlier.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weaned, Apparently

So, we've been nursing twice a day (morning and bedtime) for quite awhile. This week, starting Monday, we dropped the morning feeding, and E didn't seem to care at all. I figured we'd see how things went and then in a month (or two? I wasn't sure) we'd drop the last feeding and be completely weaned. I've found that nursing while pregnant is uncomfortable/painful, which is partly what prompted me to move forward on the whole weaning thing.

Then at bedtime on Wednesday, right after we started nursing, E bit me. Hard. I started yelling "ow, ow, ow" at the top of my lungs. I put my finger in his mouth, but it did no good. He was smiling with the nipple pinned between his teeth. He finally released and we sat there for a minute. He was saying "kitty" and was completely unfazed. I could just imagine him doing it again, and I was too terrified to risk it. I decided to see if he'd let me rock him instead. I was sure he wouldn't, but I thought if he had to ask for the boob he'd be less likely to bite when he got it. He's hardly ever bitten me before.

Lo and behold, he put his head down and I rocked him like we usually do after nursing. I held him close, and I couldn't believe what was happening, that he was going to bed without nursing, and with no warning. The fact that it followed the biting made it even more upsetting somehow. I started crying, silently, so that hopefully he wouldn't know something was up. When I put him down, he was awake but sleepy, and didn't protest at all. He went down like any other night. I cried and cried, not really knowing why, but sensing that something big had happened.

We haven't nursed since then, which at this point I think means we're weaned. I hate that the biting incident was our last time. I wish I'd pushed it on him after that, so that we ended with a good memory. (There was a moment today when we could've nursed, but I felt like it had already been too long.) I kept thinking he would ask for it, and I decided to wait for him to initiate, but he didn't. I even put him to bed myself those first four nights. I have to believe that he was more than ready to wean, and perhaps so was my body: It's been six days on one side and five on the other, and my breasts are as deflated as ever.

I've been weepy off and on the past few days, missing the snuggle time with my boy. He's not a big cuddlebug otherwise. We'll find our way, though, I know . . . transitions are just hard. I feel like one of those annoyingly needy mothers right now, whose desperation ends up forcing their children to push them away to keep from being smothered. I can already see glimpses of how that dynamic develops over time. I vow here and now never to become one of those moms. It better not be one of those things that sneaks up on you. I will not do that to my children.

I should mention that TJ put E down last night for the first time (with me here, anyway), and it went off without a hitch. It was liberating! So there is something to celebrate in this change. And I have so many beautiful memories of nursing E, I can't even begin to count them. One day soon, I'll be able to think about them without crying.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

First Trip to the Zoo

Here's E getting his mind blown at the San Antonio Zoo. He was looking at an enclosure chock full of flamingos walking delicately around on their improbably long, thin legs. It was a freaky sight to see, even for a grown person. This was the week TJ was out of town. E and I went to San Antonio for two nights and one day, and my dad took the day off to spend with us. (Thank God.) The first night we were there, E woke up at 3:30 and I never got him back down. The second night, he was up at 2:30 and then for good at 5:30. I'm so glad we went, even though I was painfully exhausted and sick by the time we left. E had a blast.

Sidenote: This trip made me realize that the days of the Pack-n-Play are over. We're getting a portable crib to keep at my parents' house from now on. The new baby (knock on wood) can use it next, and I expect my dad and Gwen will have other grandkids someday who can use it as well.

Long Time No Blog

I don't think I've ever gone this long without blogging. Sorry. There are several reasons. One of them has to do with fatigue, which leads me to some news that I've decided to go ahead and post on here: I'm pregnant! We're winding up the ninth week. I've had two ultrasounds so far, one just this past Thursday, and everything looks good, so fingers crossed that the next month continues to go smoothly.

I've been much sicker this time. No puking, but nauseous and grossed out by most food. And just so, so tired. The week before last was incredibly difficult. TJ was gone all week, E didn't sleep well and was up at 5:30 almost every day, and I had my first encounter with hives. It was miserable. This past week was much better, and I slowly started to catch up on housework and emails, though I've realized that I just can't spend as much time online as I have in the past. I also finally got two nights of good sleep. I haven't been sleeping well, in part because of some problems I'm having with a couple of close friends. It's been extremely upsetting, especially a situation surrounding E's preschool enrollment in the fall. I don't know what's going to happen with that, and it's been stressful. There are very few good two-day toddler programs in Austin, and while we have a spot in one, the issues with my friends have necessitated (in my opinion, anyway) trying to find another preschool, which looks to be a losing battle. I'm at a loss. E has to be enrolled somewhere in the fall, for his sake as much as mine.

Speaking of E, he's a little pistol these days. He's saying lots of new words, and he's doing a good bit of screaming and whining as well. It's been hard to satisfy him lately. We've been working on getting him to stop throwing his food and cups. It feels like our efforts are utterly futile, but I guess he'll get it over time. He's been dancing more than ever (he loves his little musical table), and is obsessed with climbing on anything and everything. As usual, he would spend all day outside if he could, with as many balls as he can carry. We just got a sand and water table for him, and I can't wait to set it up in our otherwise barren backyard. The past few days have been cold and rainy here, which has been wonderful overall, but hard for little guys who get bored cooped up inside. I can't believe he'll be eighteen months old in two weeks. That seems like such a milestone.

And speaking of milestones, it appears that E is now weaned. I'm going to write a separate post on this . . .