Friday, December 04, 2009

Pregnancy Update - 16 weeks

Since I haven't been documenting this pregnancy anywhere else, I guess my blog is as good a place as any. I have my checkup this afternoon, but don't expect anything newsy to come of it.

At this point, the nausea seems to have mostly subsided at long last. After 10 weeks of feeling my stomach in my throat, this is such a welcome change! Afternoons are still rough, but feel more like heartburn than true "morning" sickness (stupid label! I feel the best in the morning, and get worse throughout the day). I get intensely sleepy at times, but haven't been taking lunchtime naps in my car every day. Just every few days. Eating protein continues to be a challenge, although fried eggs at 11pm go down real easy. Thanksgiving brought me the knowledge that a) turkey is bad and b) all other carbs are good. A dinner of garlic mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, potatoes au gratin, cornbread stuffing and a vegetable to balance out the meal is delicious. On really bad days, which aren't too uncommon, the only viable dinner option is a yogurt. Fillip has been extremely understanding on those evenings when he made a delicious dinner, only to have me reject it for a carton of yogurt. I'm showing as much now as I was at about 6 mos with Hayden, which seems really silly. Especially, since the part bulging the most just beneath my chest is all those organs being pushed up. My uterus is still below my belly button.

One thing I've noticed is that I'm not moving around nearly enough. I spend 2-3 hours a day driving to and from work. Then I sit for 8-9 hours at work. I might go across the street to grab lunch, but even if I take a full hour, I just go sit and read. Part of this is that it is dark by the time I get home, so I'm not comfortable going for a walk. However, I'm already getting restless legs at night and at work. Last night we took a walk as a family after dinner. The boys certainly needed to burn off some energy and I needed to move around. Fillip just needed to chaperone. :) It was really nice, and I told him we will be doing this more often. Next week I intend to get a gym bag together and start going again at lunchtime. There is a gym bag in my desk, but those gym clothes would laugh at me if I tried to squeeze into them. Also, looser, bigger clothes would simply be much more considerate to all the other gym members. If I don't need to nap anymore, I can get my butt moving.

I'm not quite sure, but I think I'm feeling the baby move around. It seems so silly that I was absolutely positive in the 1st two pregnancies, but not quite sure in this one. My only theory is that I didn't pinpoint the sensation until it was strong enough to be unmistakably the baby. I've been feeling little mysterious bubblings now for about 3 weeks. They are getting a little more consistent, and a little stronger. Also, sometimes it is a little more deliberate feeling, rather than that fleeting feeling of gas. This pregnancy has been hardest by far to this point, and I'm looking forward to these enjoyable later trimesters. We have absolutely no potential names on the table as of yet, although we know what initials we will be using. We'll get there.

I think that's about it. Pretty uneventful and mundane. I'm definitely happy about that.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Mystery solved. Problem not resolved.

Recently, I have been wondering how our two elderly cats can pack away the amount of food that they do. I fill their bowl when I go to bed, then they beg for more in the morning as if they are ravenous. Additionally, there is always a huge mess in front of the bowls, and the water dish is full of dirt each morning. The cats are hardly getting fat. In fact, they are more lean than I'd like them to be.

The last few days in our house have been quite challenging. I got sick Monday night, and Logan got sick Wednesday morning, just after midnight. Needless to say, I haven't been getting enough rest to get through a regular day, nevermind recover from this bug. I thought last night I might actually catch up on some sleep. Unfortunately, the insomnia set in as it often does, and I ended up on the couch around 2am. This might be a good thing, given how things progressed.

Around 3am, just as I was finally, blessedly dozing off, I heard one of the cats growl, obviously protesting that we had a visitor at the cat bowl. This has happened before, so I turned on the light expecting to shoe away one of the neighbor cats. I even considered the possibility that an opossum had come in for a snack, as I could hear claws tapping as our visitor walked on the wood floor. Imagine my shock when the light went on and I was staring at a racoon. A really big racoon. This guy must have been a good 30-40lbs, and I don't even know how he fits through our cat door. However, he obviously has no problem, and was quite comfortable being there.
When he saw me start to slowly walk toward him, he casually turned around and went back outside. I figured he now knows somebody is up, and wouldn't return. How wrong I was. Not even 10 minutes later he was back, snacking away. At this point I was very concerned. He was outside my bedroom door, so I couldn't go get Fillip. I didn't want to yell to wake Fillip because I didn't want to scare the raccoon. I've heard these animals can be vicious, so wanted to ensure it didn't feel threatened or trapped. Had Fillip walked up behind it, I was terrified it would attack. The kids room was behind me with the door open, and I just kept hoping Logan didn't wake up sick and come out. After all, he had been doing that regularly for 2 nights. So, I slowly started toward the raccoon kind of waving a pillow and telling him "out! Go out!" When I was about 15 ft away, he again casually departed. At this point I closed the kids' bedroom door, and set the cat door to "out only." I didn't want my cats trapped inside if they needed to go out, but I definitely didn't want the raccoon back in! With a sigh of relief and exhaustion, I snuggled back into the couch to finally, possibly get some much needed sleep.
He was back in 5 minutes. Somehow, he has no problem coming through a locked catdoor. I simply couldn't believe it! So, we started the routine all over again. This time though, he was much more brazen. As I slowly advanced on him, with only my pillow for protection, he paused and backed about a foot away from the food bowl. Then, to my amazement, he reached out both paws, scooped up two fistfuls of food, and dropped it on the floor in front of him. Without taking his eyes off of me, he slowly snacked on his little pile, as if mindlessly eating popcorn while engrossed in a movie. I really wasn't sure I could get him to go. However, I must have still been enough of an unknown, and he did reluctantly abandon his little stash and head out.
At this point I barricaded the catdoor, so there was no way he could return. I was pretty skittish the rest of the night. At one point I could hear something walking toward me on the couch and had convinced myself it was back, and angry. I jumped up onto the couch, peeking around the corner to defend myself against our nighttime marauder, when all I saw was our 3 lb cat. Hardly a threat. I fell back asleep around 4:30am-5am. It wasn't until Logan got up at 5:30am needing my help that I understood the potential for disaster. After all, he would move right through the house, not realizing a potentially vicious critter was outside our bedroom, taking advantage of easily attained grub. The catdoor will obviously be sealed tight and barricaded at night going forward. As for our cats, we haven't yet resolved how to give them in and out access. I'm still amazed by how brazen and comfortable this not so little guy was. It does explain how we are going through massive quantities for catfood, and finding a scattered mess each morning, with hungry cats. At least I can anticipate saving money on catfood, now that I know I was supporting at least one extra hungry critter!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday, Logan.

What can I say about this guy?

He is a wiry little bundle of energy, always on the go. He is silly, creative, hysterically funny and so endearing with those bright blue eyes and endlessly expressive face. He is the most stubborn one among us, yet I suspect his sense of goodness and compassion run equally deep. He will try any food offered and rarely dislikes any of it. His lack of g's and k's remains sweetly him. He loves to help with housework, yardwork, cooking and breaking things. He is the shadowy figure of my pre-dawn dreams, wandering in for a morning "snuddle." He is a child who will seek physical contact at any given time, even if that simply means quietly brushing his little fingers across the inside of my hand as we shop for groceries. He is a boy who this week helped his friend's "baby sister" feel comfortable as she began preschool at his school, choosing to sit by her side, protectively watching her nap while his friends went to play. He is heartbroken that his brother is moving on to a new school, yet elated that he has moved into the big boy Purple Room at long last. He giggles in his sleep. He is the one who will ask if someone is ok, when something is not, give kisses when you need them least and most, and make a grand show of throwing all his Candyland cards in the air in a dramatic fit of temper upon losing the game, replete with stomping, throwing himself on his bed and sobbing pathetically. He is a shining light of happiness in our world.

Happy birthday, my irresistable Logan.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cherry Blossoms


Last summer, I had the good fortune of being unemployed, with plenty of spare time to go walking at the nearby lake. As the beautiful cherry blossoms bloomed throughout the park, I kept thinking that I needed to bring my camera and get some pictures of the kids. Well, I put it off so long that I didn't get even one picture. Today, I remedied that. Fillip told me early in the day he was picking up some extra work and wouldn't be home for dinner. I decided the kids and I would ride/skate to the park for a picnic. On the way to pick them up I stopped at the grocery store to grab some corned beef, peppered turkey, various cheese, some grapes and bottled water. We got home, got our gear and headed out- the boys on bikes and me with a balance-altering backpack.
It was a little tricky keeping my balance on skates (yes, quads..anyone who knows me knows it is Old School all the way when it comes to my skates) with a backpack filled with a sheet to sit on, dinner, and water all pulling this way and that every time I turned around to check on the mini cyclists behind me. Not to mention, trying to get all three of us quickly across a major street without anyone falling, stopping, and trying to convey that staying between the lines of the crosswalk is a much better idea than going diagonal across the intersection.

It was so peaceful and beautiful at the lake tonight. It really couldn't have been more perfect. The sunset was stunning, going from a soft amber and powder blue to brilliant fushia and orange. It seemed as if the sky wanted to make the sunset so spectacular that we would want today to never end for all its beauty. It was a relaxing dinner with the boys picking at the items I had brought, no pressure to finish a "meal" and me watching them eat more than anyone would ever expect. Hayden made an interesting comment at one point about a man we saw coming into the park in a wheelchair with his dog. The dog was in a bright yellow crossing guard vest, and the man was in a red velvet gown. Hayden passed him by and said "Sometimes as people get older, they really seem younger." He has no idea how true that can be. Such an old soul, that one.
As I tucked Logan in for bed, I got a quiet "tank you fowah taytind me on a pitnit, Mommy." (Read: Thank you for taking me on a picnic, Mommy.) Oh, we will definitely be doing this again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hayden's Pirate Party in Pictures

Hayden had quite a birthday party. He wanted a pirate theme, and we went all out. The kids got to do a treasure hunt, bust open a pinata, have some cake, and have more candy than any parent will ever forgive us for. They walked away with bags full of booty that included swords, eye patches, compasses, tattoos, stickers, jewelry, coins, and a bunch of other really cheap stuff from my favorite party supply website. Although our timing was off, Hayden and the other kids seemed to have a fantastic time. Momma and Papa pirate were absolutely beat by the end.

Argghhh Matey! Captain Hayden keeps the guests in line.
Who doesn't have a friend paint an awesome mural in the backyard the night before a party?And builds a ship.... I just like this picture.
Walking the plank.

The birthday boy on a treasure hunt.
Pillaging and plundering after the treasure hunt.
This is a picture of the kids with the pinatas a couple days before the party, but it gives you an idea of how freakin' huge they were.

The cake

I think they got enough candy.......even if they had to scuffle over it.

Finally, present time! It's fun when your big brother gets a new guitar!
Tired Mom and Dad.
Tired and ready for bed- nothing like beginning a new story when you get Charlotte's Web for your birthday. Oh, and those glasses have got to go. I look like I turned twice my age.

Happy birthday, Captain Hayden.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Hayden's 5th Birthday

What I can I say about my sweet Hayden? He is such a precious kid. He has a sensitive soul, and truly wants to make others feel good. He is generous with compliments, and most of the time willing to consider other opinions. He has an amazing intelligence that even his teacher seems a bit surprised by. He is now reading and constantly sounding out words wherever we are. He makes "good" mistakes, in that he is thinking about the phonic rules he knows, and applies them. It's not his fault English is quirky. He also does arithmetic, applying simple addition and subtraction to more abstract situations than his school worksheets. He seems to enjoy academic work more than anything, and talks about that much more than playtime at school. He absolutely adores his teacher, and I am wondering how he will do transitioning to the next class this month.

Yesterday was his very first T-ball game. It was so cute! He seemed to really enjoy himself, and like soccer, is eager to listen to the coaches and take their suggestions. He does tend to lose focus frequently, but we are hoping team sports will help him with that. One thing Fillip noticed during the game, is that Hayden was constantly watching for where Logan was. Those two are so connected and they need to know what the other one is doing at all times. It is sweet, although we need to let him know we've got Logan covered. Keep your eye on the ball, kid.

At home Hayden waffles between petulant child, and old soul. He is certainly charming, and very affectionate. Typically, he will be very helpful even without being asked. However, when he is tired or just not in the mood, he acts like a resentful teenager, put out at having to contribute in any way. Fortunately, it isn't the majority of the time. Often, Hayden's helpfulness is hampered by Logan's "little brother-ness." It's hard to make your bed when your little brother has his butt in your face. (Yes, we are working on that.)

Hayden retains his analytical and mechanical tendencies, which are offset by Logan's creativity. They want to be together all the time, even when they are driving each other crazy. Hayden wants to be in charge of Logan at all times, correcting his pronunciation, enforcing rules, and being "the leader." Unfortunately for Hayden, Logan doesn't always appreciate these efforts, and they tend to scuffle when Logan exerts his independence. Over the last couple months, they have been getting along well, and rarely do more than a little squabbling.He love to be silly, making up words and changing lyrics to songs. He has come up with some intensely irritating noices, and takes great joy in doing them over and over again.

Hayden tends to be quite emotionally sensitive with his own emotions, and in reading ours. He gets his feelings easily hurt, or gets very angry when he feels things are unfair. However, he also tells us he loves us, laughs easily, and is pretty good about clarifying when he isn't sure if we are mad. It often looks like he is absorbing his emotions, not bringing them to our attention when he is worried about something. However, he is able to express himself quite well when we talk together, and realizes he can express whatever is bothering him. He remembers every little detail, often amazing people with the trivial facts he will come up with months after seeing someone. Getting in trouble is a big deal to him, and he is generally really good. When he does get time out, he is truly outraged, but it is very easy to get a point across with him. He learns rules well, and generally doesn't try to break them. Sometimes, though, he does forget what they are.

He loves to snuggle when he goes to bed, and have a quiet chat before falling asleep. I love to snuggle him back, and remind him of how very much he is loved. He is a true joy every day.

Friday, February 06, 2009

When mechanical tendencies and creativity collide

Morning Jammie Jam

We aren't exactly morning people. Logan is. Therefore, Hayden (kinda) is. Now that the kids are older, we are more lax on getting up weekend mornings. Really, there are plenty of healthy snacks they can get, two rooms full of fun toys they are allowed to play with, and they know where to find us if they need their butt wiped. We tend to get up every 20-30 minutes from 6am-8:30am making sure they are fine, aren't beating each other up, and not flooding the bathroom under the guise of watering the plant. (Think quick- how long does it take a 2 year old to flood the bathroom? Less time than it takes to think of an answer! Just turn the faucet slightly over the sink counter, and put it on full blast. Ask me how I know that...)

A couple weeks ago I was quite surprised at what I found them doing, or rather where I found them. When I first got up to say good morning, I didn't see them. Then, I heard giggles and heard them call out to me. I looked up, and saw two grinning faces in the cabinets ABOVE their closet. They had moved the bunk ladder to the tall chest of drawers. The chest stands in front of the closet. With that set up it was easy to build a little nest of pillows, blankets, stuffed animals and toys up by the ceiling in the cubbies. What really amuses me is that since Fillip said they were allowed to do that, they haven't done it since. He took all the fun out of it, I guess.

However, it seems that those bins of toys, games, puzzles, books and a room full of off limits electronics like a tv, computer, etc.. just doesn't cut it. Saturday morning they decided to play Swimming Pool. This is how it went- they took their mattress off the bed, stripped the sheets off and made that the pool. They would jump from the actual bed to the mattress on the floor to go "swimming." I just have to assume they were jumping only from the bottom bunk, not doing an Olympic high dive event from the top, but honestly I didn't ask.

See, there was a second element to the game. They know that a pool needs a fence with a gate. A locking gate that must be unlocked to go swimming. So far, it sounds like a little harmless mischief with a well embedded focus on safety, right? Well, not so much. The way they would "unlock" the "pool gate" was to remove a screw from the bunk bed frame. Again, and again, and again.... Hayden somehow knew which of the three different allen wrenches to grab from the counter. Logan just grabbed a sharp knife to use as a wrench, which I didn't know was in the drawer. (He knew because he had spotted it a few days earlier helping Hayden set the table. Again...good values gone terribly wrong!) Anyway, when Fillip went into their room about 20 minutes after I had gone in, the bunk beds were listing to the side, with just one central screw barely holding it together.

I'm not sure the swimming lessons we signed up for will help here.

How could these two do anything wrong?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


After a very soggy day (not the weather outside, just the effects of a head cold and my emotions) I think that I have indelibly engraved the momentous occasion of the inauguration on the memory of everyone in this house.

I watched the swearing in and President Obama's (joy!) speech live on the internet from my desk. Although I was obligated to be there, I truly wished I was home on the couch watching such a significant, wonderful moment with Fillip and the kids. I read the speech again and again, getting teary each time. Because the sound quality on my desk was terrible, and people did interrupt me, I didn't initially hear the impact of President Obama's (joy!) delivery. On my way to pick up the kids, I got misty all over again hearing the speech rebroadcast on NPR.

As I walked into the school, I told the boys to quickly grab their stuff because President Obama's :) speech was on and I wanted them to hear it. They excitedly told me that they saw him on tv today! in the purple room! all three classes were there and he is our new President! I fell in love with the school all over again for this. Nonetheless, I still hurried them out to the car to hear the end of the speech, arriving home with tears streaming down my face with happiness at what our country has achieved by electing this particular man, and hope for what good things are to come by having collectively made this choice.
Before bedtime, I had the kids watch the swearing in again so I could instill in them once more how important that moment was, and share the feeling of hope that I have for the years to come. They were so excited to say that they saw that same thing today! Then, they were especially interested to know where the President lives and that he has two daughters. They now want to go there to meet the whole family, and were duely impressed by the pictures I took myself of that grand house when I was ten years old.

My childhood is peppered with fleeting memories of such significant moments, such as the day President Reagan was elected, and the tragedy of the Challenger Shuttle. They may not remember everything they saw today, will understand the significance even less, but hopefully they do remember the feeling of anticipation, joy and importance of welcoming our new President.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Just popping in for a minute...

Oh, hello there! Are you still here? How nice of you to stay!

Obviously, with weeks of e-silence on my blog, I've been occupied with other things. I could go on and on about busy holidays, rushed last minute shopping, haggling with downtown wholesale vendors, and eating delicious bacon wrapped hotdogs from a streetcart with the money I saved haggling. However, I just don't have it in me to wax poetically these days. Suffice it to say - holidays were good. Glad to get back to routine. So, I am here for just a moment to relate one tidbit.


We took his training wheels off yesterday and he took off like he's been riding independently for years. Getting started from a stopped position is a challenge, but he definitely has the balance once he gets started. Although Filllip and I have discussed at length where each of the kids' characteristics come from, I can say definitively- he gets this from his Dad.

I'm so proud of my little boy!!!