Birthday Girl

Evelyn

Today is the day I’ve been dreading since I first found out I was pregnant back in August of 2007.  Evie turns one year old today (one minute ago, to be exact, at 12:29pm).  She’s no longer an infant.  She’s growing up before my very eyes and today is just a physical celebration of that.

Falling in love

Celebration?  That seems like a strange word to use about a day that I have wanted to deny.  It’s not that I don’t want her to have a happy birthday or that I don’t want to watch her grow and learn new things.  It’s just that she is my last.  My baby.  No more babies after her.  And I will no longer have a newborn baby to cradle.  That, to me, is very sad.

Crybaby

But I don’t want to focus on that today.  Being out of town, visiting the in laws in Elko, helps.  It’s distracting and that’s what I need so that I don’t get too melancholy.

Smiles

She is getting so big and doing so many new things all the time.  She won’t walk, but she’s playing around with pulling up (she grabs onto something with her hands and then “hangs” there, unsure what to do with her legs).  She doesn’t crawl but she commandos and will sometimes get up on her knees and rock back and forth.  She doesn’t speak but she has words… something that amazes us since neither of the boys ever said a word before their first birthdays.  She still nurses several times a day (and night!) and won’t have a thing to do with bottles or sippy cups.  But she has a wonderful appetiete and eats anything and everything she can get her hands on.  Table food is awesome, in her book!

Girly Girl

She’s prone to crying if she feels she has been wronged, most often via Liam.  And it doesn’t matter if it’s an accident (Liam tripping over her on his way across the room) or on purpose (slapping her on the head when he’s feeling angstful), she will crumble in a pile of sobs and tears.  She also has a big smile and a happy temprament.  She wakes up in the morning with a big smile on her face.  She takes wonderful naps and is happy to go to bed at night (if only she would stay there!).  She loves her family and friends but has a special fondness for her mama.   I’m hoping she’ll be a mama’s girl for years to come.

Sober

She completes our family.  It’s been a crazy year and this next year promises only to be even crazier.  But I couldn’t imagine our lives without her in it.  Yes, I’m sad not to be having any more babies.  But I’m so happy that my baby is her.

1981

Happy Bithday, Evelyn!  Mama loves you SO much!

Pretty Girl B&W

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Delay

I feel a day late and a dollar short today.  I’m drinking a Rockstar (Juiced, with mango, orange and passionfruit to be exact!) hoping that it’ll give me the kick in the pants that I’m needing.  My mood seems pretty stable today (honestly, from day to day, I cannot tell if I’ll have an “on” day or an “off” day until I’m having it) so that’s a good thing.  But I am getting sick.  I’ve been anticipating this.  Liam had a fever last weekend and was under the weather.  Before that, Harry had a slight cold.  I was worried that Evie would get it but so far so good.  Better me than her, right?  I just hope that I don’t give it to her.  Right now it’s a sore tickle in my throat, a tickle in my nose that makes me sneeze, a headache and a general feeling of uckiness.  Bah.

Still, slow as I’m feeling today I do have two niggling little worries pecking at the rear of my mind. First is Liam.  His speech delay.  We’re canceling with his speech therapist again so that’ll be two weeks in a row that we’ve begged off.  Not good.  But this month is just insanity around here.  Kile is uber-busy at work and I just don’t feel as if I could handle both children at that appointment by myself.  I need Kile there.  Plus, I feel like butt.  What I would like is if we get could get in with Early Intervention and find a program that would come to the house and work with him.  That would be ideal.  But dragging the entire family out and across town every week to pay a copay and watch a lady try to get Liam to say “milk” for an hour just ain’t cutting it.  I’m sorry, but NO.  I can do that at home.

Speaking of speech, the speech therapist at Harry’s school wants to work with him too.  He’s got a slight impediment that should have resolved itself by now but hasn’t.  I spoke to her on the phone and told her that, yes, by all means, work with him!  But she needs me or Kile to go down to the school in person during school hours to speak with her, possibly fill out some forms.  As you can imagine, this hasn’t happened yet?  Why?  Because it’s AUGUST and Kile is busy and I have two small children at home.  Harry takes the bus for this very reason because I can’t leave the house.  I read a phrase on Baby Bunching yesterday that describes it exactly.  I’m in the Nap Trap.   The Nap Trap happens when one or more child is sleeping virtually all day long, trapping you in the house.  She mentioned coming in before school starts at 9 or after it gets out at 3:30.  Well, at 9, Evie is in the middle of her morning nap and at 3:30, both Evie and Liam are taking their afternoon naps.  And, I’m sorry, but I don’t mess with the naps.  You mess with the nap, you throw off the ENTIRE day.  With Kile working late because he is UBER-busy at work, I’m not going to throw off my day.  YOU CAN’T MAKE ME DO IT.

So in the meantime, I look like a neglectful parent because I haven’t come in yet to sign some stupid paper.  So sue me.

Then there’s Evie.  Because my life isn’t complete until I have something to fret about concerning all of my children, right?  For the most part, she’s just perfect.  And, as far as I know, she IS perfect.  I don’t even know if this is something I should be concerned about or not.  But she turned 5 months old yesterday (sob) and she has yet to really laugh.  Sure, she has done a low chuckle, she has squealed with delight and she smiles at us almost constantly.  But no baby belly laughs.  Don’t they usually laugh by now?  Should I worry about this?  I want to hear her laugh.  But nothing I do seems to do the trick.  Ideas?  Suggestions?  Feel free to tell me I’m a worrisome nitwit.

So there’s my Thursday.  Full of child-related fretting and a few sneezes and blinding headaches thrown in for shits and giggles.  Don’t you wish you had my life??

My Girl

It was a year ago, give or take a couple days, that I found out I was pregnant.  By total surprise.  After I had written myself off as an infertile mess.  Huh.  Then, just before New Years, I was surprised yet again to find out I was going to be having a girl.

I’d gotten rather used to having boys.  I sort of just expected that I would have boys.  That was the “default answer” and I was pretty okay with that.  There’s something so sweet about boys.  I’ve always said (and still do) that if I had to have children of only one gender, that I would rather have all boys than all girls.  I think, honestly, that it would be easier.  Girls, particularly more than one girl at a time, freak me out.  There’s a sort of “pack” thing that goes on with girls and I would fear for my sanity especially during the teenage years.

Not that boys aren’t a challenge.  But I’ve always felt that I could probably handle boys a lot easier than I could girls.  And at least I wouldn’t have to explain what a “period” is to a boy, right?

All of this said, I am really enjoying having a daughter.  I am truly amazed that it is a little different.  For me, at least.  She seems to have a different sort of temperment than either of the boys ever had.  Which isn’t to say she is a perfect angel.  Because she can be a needy, clingy, sharp (OMG the fingernails) little creature.  But, oh my stars, I just love her to death.  And I spend a lot of time looking into her eyes and trying to imagine the girl and woman she will become.  I’m truly humbled by her.

Evelyn
Taken with my cellphone after a nursing session in the van, she was interested in anything other than eating.

Evie rocks the saucer
She has learned about the joy that is the ‘saucer this last week.


Liam tries to show Evie how to play with his old ‘saucer.

Reach out
Evie tries to grab the camera from me.

Lacey
The lace on this dress just KILLS me.  I love it so much.

Snoozing
Taking a wee snooze on the boppy.

Pretty Girl
OMG, that’s it.  I want to eat her.

Adorable
I want to hold onto these days forever.

I'm so not ready for this

What is with these children thinking they can just go ahead and grow up right under my nose?  Frankly, I’m getting tired of it.  Every time I turn around, someone is having a birthday or surpassing some milestone or something and I’m going to start feeling Winnie the Pooh here soon.  You know, like how Christopher Robin grew up and outgrew him?  Isn’t that how the story went?  ANYHOW.

So here’s Evie doing something that I’m SURE she’s far too young for but that her pediatrician actually said was a good idea to introduce: eating rice cereal.

First Cereal
She’s not quite sure what we’re trying to accomplish here

Not so sure about this
Okay, that was weird.

Another Bite
A little more interested now…

She likes it!
Hey, that isn’t half bad!

So eating rice cereal has proved to be a sucess, so far.  Of course, we haven’t been at all consistant about feeding it to her.  OOPS.  Doesn’t help that I’m not all that excited to be getting into this particular stage.  But it is something we need to start making more time for.

In the meantime, I’ll be over in the corner rocking and sucking my thumb.  Until the little men in the white coats show up, that is.

Give me a sign

One thing I neglected to mention in my last post about the weekend was our futile search for some sort of baby sign language DVD.   Why the sudden interest?  Last week, amidst my own personal breakdown, Liam had an evaluation from the speech therapist to see if he needed therapy.  At two, he probably has less than 20 words that he uses and he does virtually no two word combinations (the only one being “wa-shat?”).  It’s nothing majorly concerning and I’m not worried.  His pediatrician isn’t really worried either, but referred us out anyhow just to be on the safe side.

I’m not sure why we’re not doing Early Intervention or something would require less piling of the kids in cars and driving clear across town every week, but… whatever.  The gal was nice and Liam took to her right away.  And his stubborness to speak on command became clear right away (as did his nearly non-existant attention span).  But before our hour was up, she got him to two things: ask for an M&M (personal favorite) by going “mmm” and to make the sign for “more”.  And… well, WOW.  Kile and I are both sold.

Of course, finding a baby sign language DVD has proven much more difficult than I would have expected.  We did find a board book at Babies R Us that has illustrations of babies doing the signs.  This will give us some general signs that we can start teaching him.  Also, we discovered last night that Evie LOVES THIS BOOK.  I was looking at it while she was in my arms and when she saw what I was looking at, she about threw herself forward and out of my arms towards the book.  Her eyes were wide as saucers and she started to breathe very excitedly.  Of course, it was the pictures she was jazzed about.  But it made me realize, “Hey, just we can do this whole signing thing with her too!”

Very exciting.

I never would have imagined that Liam would grasp on so quickly to the notion of signing.  He, since yesterday, has already learned the sign for “hug” (he would request them continually after that, which was so adorable I think I died and am dead right now) and I plan to go over more of them this afternoon if I get a chance.  I really would like a DVD though, that we can look at together.  Mostly because that’s an easier format for us both to look at in case I might be tied down nursing Evie or somesuch.

So does anyone have any good recommendations?  What DVDs or VHS movies have worked for you?  Where did you find them to buy them because so far we’re coming up blank there too.  Any and all information will be greatly appreciated!  (We’re total newbies, can you tell?)

Concentration? What's that?

I have zero concentration this week.  I have about a bazillion things buzzing around my head but I feel like I’ve been unable to concentrate on any one thing at any one time.  Even now, I’ve gone and laid Evie down up in her crib in her room (with the monitor within arms reach of me down here, of course) and Liam is distracted by “Jack’s Big Music Show” (LOVE) and a pile of plastic blocks.  But do you think I can concentrate long enough to gather my thoughts into a cohesive post?

NOPE!

I feel like I’ve been pulled into a million different directions lately.  A little piece of me is needed here, a little piece over there and another piece needs to be thinking about that over there too.  Nothing has my full attention and that is worrisome to me.  I’m scattered, is what it is.  I’d quite simply forgotten what it was like to feel this way.  Friggin’ thyroid.

Here’s just a little sampling of what is buzzing around in that empty cranial cavity at the moment:

  • I’m trying to make an appointment with a new doctor.  Our new primary care physician on our new insurance has a web-based appointment maker thingie.  I filled it out yesterday but haven’t heard back yet.  I hope they haven’t tried to call because our landline is at the mercy of two very f’d up phones that can’t hold a charge for more than two minutes and the charging stations are nowhere NEAR where I sit and nurse Evie.  So if they’ve called, chances are I’ve missed it.
  • You’d think, then, that I would check voicemail to see.  But I haven’t.  I should probably do that.
  • Speaking of phones, I won one.  You know, nothing much. 😉  Those that follow me on Twitter probably saw me lose my freakin’ gourd over it last week.  The only thing is that since we’re already AT&T customers, I need to wait until the end of August to renew my contract in order to get the reduced cost.  I think.  I’m still rather confused by the whole thing, to be honest.  But very excited to get my hands on it.
  • Evie is sleeping in her crib RIGHT NOW.  That freaks me out.  She didn’t sleep in there very long last night.  Only an hour or two and was in bed with us by the time we went to bed but STILL.  Baby steps.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m not too excited to get this particular milestone achieved just yet.  She’s only 4 months old!  SHE MAH BAYBEE!!!
  • I’ve discovered Rockstar in the last week or so and I really kinda like it.  MUST GET MORE.  May just be the only thing to punch through my Thyroid Fog right now.
  • Still haven’t seen “Dark Knight”.  Am pretty sad about that.  Hoping to remedy this little problem at the drive-in this weekend.
  • Am so glad that Noggin’s monthly theme will switch in a couple days.  Am rather tired of the “Are we there yet?” song.  Actually, I think I was tired of it after the first day, to be honest.
  • Where was I?
  • My anniversary is this month!  TEN YEARS, yo.  Do we have any plans made?  NOPE.  Not that I know of, at least.  Crap.  Should really start thinking about this.  Anyone want to take bets on if I can get a DSLR or laptop out of this?  (That hysterical laughter you’re hearing is my husband.  He thinks I’m SUCH a kidder!)
  • Liam goes in for a speech therapy evaluation tomorrow.  I haven’t really mentioned much about that, have I?  I don’t know why we’re not doing Early Intervention or if Nevada even DOES Early Intervention.  So in lieu of that, we have to journey clear across town to see this therapist.  And pay a standard office visit copay to boot.  Oh well.  It’s for the Good of the Child, which you can’t ever really bargain away, can you?

I’m sure I’ve got more.  But my brain keeps slipping away and thinking of stupid things like, “Should I do diaper laundry before or after lunch? This evening?  How about a shower?  Should I try to take one today?  Oh!  Don’t forget to Evie’s prescriptions filled at the grocery store!  When should I go to the grocery store?  Tomorrow?  Yeah, right, as if I’d go by myself.  Dang, when’s lunch?”

So… yeah.  Sorry about that, folks.  I’ll try harder to whip my lazy brain into shape for tomorrow’s post.  In the meantime, feel free to read yesterday’s post which I have on good authority is a pretty good one.

So I'll talk about this instead

I don’t want to talk about the topic that is currently buzzing around my head because it’s full of venom and I could potentially get myself into deep blog-trouble here.  Not too deep, because I know you guys (my peeps!) would pull me back out, but I would hover very dangerously close to being an unkind blog and I don’t really want to go that way. Not right now at least.  Maybe tomorrow.

I also don’t want to talk about how even though I appreciate every one of your comments on last night’s post, I STILL have not called a doctor (I have to find a new one, which is providing to be a lion’s share of the problem here) and made an appointment and now it’s too late in the day and MEH, I almost even don’t care anymore which means, of course THE THYROID IS WINNING.

Ahem.

So instead, I will talk about my husband’s latest post about Evie sleeping in her own crib.  Now, I fully recognize that he’s trying to engage me with his inflammatory language about me making excuses and wah wah wah (I don’t do that, do I?).   But I want the Internets to know that I did have some good excuses for why we didn’t start putting Evie in her crib over the weekend.  Kile’s parents were visiting and were staying in that room so it would have been a little CROWDED and I’m sure they wouldn’t have cared for me stomping in there at 3am to fetch a crying baby, right?  That’s also my reason for not putting her in there last week after we got home from my parents’ house and before his parents came.  I figured why start something we can’t continue with consistency, right?

You’re on my side, RIGHT?

ANYHOW.  The point of this whole vignette is that Kile put Evie in her crib last night shortly after 9:30 and she stayed there until after 2:30 this morning.  Even then, I’m not sure she wouldn’t have just gone back to sleep but I just wanted to go in and get her anyhow.  Because as nice as it was not to have her toes stabbing into my stretch marks and being squeezed out to the edge of our enormous bed, I wasn’t sleeping all that great without her there.  I think I was listening for her on the monitor.  Plainly put?  I missed her.

I put her up there for her afternoon nap but she didn’t stay in there.  I put her down about 12:30 and she would sleep and then wake up and cry a little and fall right back to sleep like a minute later.  At about ten after 2, she seemed to be awake and crying more so I went in and got her.  I nursed her in my bed and she fell back asleep (yanking me in after her, like she often will do).  She slept up in our bed until about 4:30.  WOW.  Girl got her nap ON today!

We’ll see what happens tonight.  I think I’ll let Kile lay her down again, since that seemed to work well.  I won’t deny that it freaked me out having her up there in her crib all alone.  Where I couldn’t see her.  Even now, I’m gazing at her in her bouncer seat (where’s avidly playing with her own fingers) and I just want to snatch her up and cover her in kisses.

So yeah.  That’s what I’m talking about instead of the other things on my mind.  Anyone else have any good stories of moving their babies to their cribs that can bolster my fragile mommy ego?

Different Kids, Different Mom

Seriously, you could probably write a book about how much stuff they never tell you before having kids.  Or about how they tried to tell all this stuff before you had kids, but you never listened.  Or you listened but you didn’t believe them because you were going to be different!  You’re SPECIAL, damnit.  Ahem.  Something like that.

Anyhow, my point here is that I was never told just how different a mom that I would be to each of my children.  Oh sure, I heard all the talk about how “each child is different”.  And I beleived it because I grew up in a family of five children.  But I guess I never stopped to realize that you are a different mom to each child.  Or is that just me?  Becuase I SWEAR, I never expected to feel so differently each and every time.

There are basics in place, of course.  I’m a pretty laid back mom (NO WAY, you’re KIDDING… ) and generally don’t get too worked up over things.  My kids, more often than not, might have a smear or two on their faces.  My house tends to look a little “rough around the edges” by the end of the day.  I encourage all of them to be able to play on their own without me, though at Liam’s age, I do join in from time to time.  I also don’t put up with much nonsense and demand respectful behavior and adherence to the rules and regulations (be they what they are) around the house.

But as for how I relate to each child?  It has literally amazed me at how differently I interact with each one.  With Harry, he was my first.  We had a very close relationship for the first six years of his life.  As a baby and toddler, though, I think I spent more time worrying about things and focusing on the little things that just aren’t really worth worrying about.  I don’t think I enjoyed the small moments with him as much as I could have.  I was too busy thinking about what I should be doing and what milestones he should be achieving.  I’m pretty sure all first time moms do this.

With Liam, he was our Golden Child.  The miracle baby at the end of a long line of infertility and loss.  I was older than when I’d had Harry.  And with Liam, I have been more patient, and perhaps more indulgent.  Those early days and months were almost literally spent staring into his eyes and just basking in the glow.  The milestones came and went and I noticed but didn’t really care, you know what I mean?  Liam is my monkey boy and as he grows and more of his personality shows, I’m just charmed by him.  To him, I’m a soft lap to cuddle in.  And can I help it if I find it adorable that he calls everyone “mama”?  Even Harry is “mama”.  Kile will try to prompt him to call him “papa” and Liam will actually argue, “No… mama!”

And it’s different with Evie too.  I honestly never thought I’d get to have a little girl.  I figured I would have all boys and that would be that.  So she’s a surprise to me, every day.  And with her, I have yet another special kind of relationship.  We’ll often escape the cacophony of the boys playing to go change a diaper and while I’m cleaning her up, we’ll smile at each other in a way that says, “I’m on your side, sister.”  She doesn’t like loud noises or being handled roughly.  She loves to be sung to and told she’s a multitude of wonderful things (such as being smart, being a big girl, being pretty, etc and so forth).  She loves to study pictures and faces and does so with a sober, serious look on her face.  She is very tactile and tends to “paw” a lot with her hands, generally at my chest or my hands or a blanket (whatever is handy).  I take a delicate hand with her that I never had to have with her brothers.  She is vastly more talkative at this age and I find myself responding to her coos with delight.  It remains to be seen if she’ll be interested in the boy’s toys and playing in the dirt, but for now she’s my girly girl.  And I will admit to treating her as such.

Leave it to these tiny terrors to put our world on it’s ear, huh?  Being a mom at home (or at work, for that matter) isn’t easy and it’s a lot of work to deal with this rigamarole day in and day out.  But stopping to notice the differences and embrace them?  Well that’s just awesome.

And when Harry gets home?  I’m totally going to cheer him on while he plays a rousing round or two of Mario Kart.  Because he is plain awesome at Mario Kart.

It's days like this…

It’s days like this that make a person realize why stay at home parents aren’t paid for what they do.

“And why is that?” you ask.

And I answer: Because, there isn’t enough money IN THE WORLD to make up for all the shit we have to put up with.

It really hasn’t been a bad day in the classical sense of the term.  But, it’s been a DAY.  The sort that you rather hope ends with an alcoholic beverage and perhaps a neckrub sometime before your head hits the pillow and you are able to embrace blessed, blessed oblivion.

Liam had his 2 year old well-check appointment with the pediatrician this morning.  And, amazingly enough, I was able to get myself and the two wee ones out the door with little difficulty.  Huzzah!  Of course, I noticed a shimmy as I drove down the road (we have a slow leak on one of our tires and it needs to be aired up from time to time), plus the van needed gas.  I tend to see 1/4 of a tank as being empty and it was 1/4 of a tank.  But… no time to fill it.

Bah.

The appointment went well enough.  Liam is still our puny runt.  We got a sheet of paper with suggestions for feeding picky eaters.  The doctor approved our giving him pedia-sure and suggested that on the days we didn’t give him that, that he had some sort of multi-vitamin.  And to keep trying to get him to eat fruits and vegetables.  Especially vegetables.

The big thing was his speech.  No big surprise to us, he has a delay.  Harry did too, at the same age, and it hasn’t hurt him much.  Still, we don’t see any reason to turn down speech therapy because it couldn’t possibly hurt and could only help.  However, it would mean more driving around for me (figures we don’t have anyone around here that comes to the home, right?).  I’ll do what I have to do.

I don’t believe that this means he’ll be behind all his life or anything.  I really have no other reason to be concerned.  I know he’s a clever boy.  He just isn’t where his peers are verbally yet.  And hopefully, this will help him get there.  No pressure.  I’m not worried.

After the appointment, we were all starved for lunch.  We headed to the university to eat there, as is the custom.  Lunch was good and I had food that was decidedly unhealthy for me.  It was delicious.  But then it was time to go home.

So many things went wrong from there.  Liam fell asleep in the van, which as you mothers of toddlers know, that just completely fux’s with the whole nap schedule.  Evie screamed in the van at first, before settling down.  She commenced screaming again as soon as we got home.  I carried Liam in, still sleeping, and put him up in his crib.  Back downstairs, I let the dogs out and noticed that Beetoe (I could call her something really, really bad right here and not have a lick of guilt) had torn through a bag of garbage and strewn it everywhere.

I then fetched Evie out of her seat and set her on the changing table.  She had just had a monstrous poop and the clean up was about as much fun as you’d expect.  Meanwhile, I can hear Beetoe losing her shit out on the back step because, “OMG, I’m OUTSIDE.  And it’s above 70 degrees!!!  I’M DYING!!!”  Evie doesn’t settle down as I clean her up, and instead ramps up her displeasure.  My blood pressure starts to do scary things.

I set her in the bouncer seat so I can clean up the mess Beetoe made.  Of course, Evie is still going thermonuclear and Beetoe is now flinging herself uselessly at the sliding door.  Everything gets cleaned up, the dogs get let in and I pick up Evie.  Seems all is right with the world, right?

I settle her down and we go upstairs to lay down.  Which, you know, sorta works for a while.  But Evie starts to get restless and as we STILL have no monitor, I’m reluctant to leave her upstairs unmonitored so I bring her downstairs.  She falls asleep in her bouncer.  I had opened Liam’s bedroom door in the hopes that some of the cool air coming from the a/c unit in our bedroom would waft into his room which gets really hot in the afternoon.

This worked against me because he woke up.  I then made the collossal mistake of handing him his sippy cup.  This only made him mad because he recognized I was putting him off.  I came downstairs and sorted through the clean cloth diapers that came out of the dryer that morning, listening to Liam cry.  I start to think that the door being opened is making him upset.  So what do I do?  I go up and close it.  Which pissed him off again, but then he was already pissed.

Now, he has been crying and sleeping in 5 minute intervals.  It occurs to me that perhaps his leg is bothering him where they gave him his shot.  Perhaps I should have given him some Motrin before laying him down.  Which, you know, I WOULD HAVE, had he not fallen asleep in the van on the way home.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So there you have it.  That’s my day so far.