Friday, February 26, 2010

This and That

There wasn't a HUGE event happening this week and nothing crazy notable happened, but I still wanted to remember a few things that went on. Much easier to do in list form.

  • Brenden is doing wonderful with his potty training. We still have accidents, of course, but they are pretty rare. He's also doing great at night, usually waking up once between 4:30 am and 5:30 am for a quick trip and then sleeping until after 7 am. He loves to flush and tells the contents "bye!" He also has no problem using public restrooms as long as we take one shoe off and take one leg all the way out. (REMEMBER THIS, MOM! No more pee on the jeans, thank you very much.)
  • He's obsessed with Diego, which isn't so bad. He's learning about new animals and maybe he'll pick up some Spanish, too. He has a Spider Man watch which is now his direct line to Diego. If you've ever seen the show, Diego has a watch that his sister calls him on so that's where he got that. He's also a huge fan of Rescue Pack, Diego's helpful backpack, and has decided his little bag is now his personal Rescue Pack. Hopefully he doesn't expect it to turn into a raft or bicycle or something. He would be a little disappointed. He spends most of his time in the car calling Diego to "help him" I haven't figured that part out.
  • Riley is doing a ton better; finally wagging his tail and playing. The vet thinks that some laser treatment would do him good but I don't know much about it, yet. We're going to see how he does now that his pain medication is gone. Either way we have to get his skin problems under control. It's getting pretty annoying to all of us.
  • Brenden has learned his last name and middle names, although he won't say his full name. The best part is hearing him say his middle names. "Micheal David!" complete with finger point, exactly like I say when he's in trouble. Hilarious!
  • He's speaking much more clearly, although he still gets excited and resorts to babbling. He's a big fan of saying he's "tall" or telling me when something is "empty". His new phrase in the last few days has been, "Think, think, think. I have an idea!" He'll tap his temple with his index finger and then make the sign for having an idea. Oh my gosh, so funny. For some random reason he's also extremely fond of falling down or saying someone else has fallen down. The Olympics has given him a lot of chances to use that phrase. He's become a ham in front of the mirror which makes washing his hands a chore. I think we may need to cover it up for awhile.
  • Apparently I've grown quite a bit in the last 2 weeks. Yesterday alone I heard the phrases "Wow! You're really looking pregnant!" and "You're really taking shape!" Um...may as well just say what you're thinking..."What's up, fatty!" I know that no one means anything rude. And seriously, I'm getting big. She sticks straight out in front, is a lot lower than Brenden ever was, and likes to lodge her feet and hands into my spine and push her back out. Not only does it cause me to look bigger, if not completely misshapen, but it also huuuuurts. I'm already losing sleep because of it so I'm ready to be done. Sigh...
  • The best moment this week was watching him stretch and dance with the advanced girls at the dance studio. He actually did a few of the things right and made sure to tell the girls "Good job!" when they went to get a drink of water. He's going to be so sad when we aren't going back every week!
So those are my "things to remember" for this week. I know I'll appreciate it later since my brain retains information for about 10 minutes, if that. Yay for preggo brain!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

120 Miles

120 miles...that's how far I drove yesterday to get to Bartlesville and back. That's how far we made it in the car with no accidents. That was one of the most nerve wracking drives I have had in a long time. Not nearly as bad as when Brenden had the most horrendous diaper rash EVER during our trip to Colorado, but it was scary in its own way. The Unknown! I don't do well with The Unknown, especially by myself. How would he do? Would I be able to get to a bathroom in time if he needed it? How would he do at his grandma's house, telling someone that was not Tim or me that he needed to go?

The trip there was...interesting. About halfway there he told me he needed to go, which just so happened so be right past the midway bathroom stop. I had our extra potty in the back of the car in case we needed it and I decided I should stop on the side of the road and let him try. Unfortunately Brenden was much more interested in the passing cars and, even though he said he needed to, would not go. He was also cold, which doesn't really help things. After about 5 minutes I put him back in his carseat and not long after he told me he had to go again. I pulled off where I thought there was a bathroom only to see that the gas station must have closed down years ago. Back to trying the potty in the back of the car, which I'm not sure will ever work.

After giving up on that idea I just decided to drive as quickly (and safely) as I could to the gas station I knew was still there. I was so happy that we had made it there and that Brenden was still dry that it took me a second to realize that they had a sign on the window. "No Public Restrooms" Are. You. KIDDING. ME? I wasn't about to get back in the car without at least begging first. Thankfully, they took mercy on me and my poor toddler's tiny bladder and let me use the bathroom that should still be available to customers. What gas station doesn't allow customers to use their bathroom? Sheesh.

Eventually we made it to the dance studio, dry and clean and happy. Brenden tried to play with a couple of older boys, one of which almost got a momma smack down from me for being a rude little punk, but we won't talk about that. It makes my blood boil to even think about. And the fact that he told me that my child was "weird" and "crazy"? Yeah...he best be nice next time. ANYWAY...

Grandma came and got Brenden and an hour later I got a phone call to assure me that he was doing just fine and that he had no problem telling her when he needed to go. Yay!!! Of course that call came while I was interviewing my replacement at the dance studio, who starts today, but she understood. On that note, I cannot explain how happy I am that we have someone that will be able to take over my job and that I think she'll work out perfectly. Shelly and I could barely contain our giddiness!

The drive home was almost exactly like the drive to Bartlesville, only this time I didn't stop when he said he needed to go. I asked if he could wait and he said yes, so I kept driving. Fifteen long minutes later we pulled into the garage, he was still dry, and his daddy rushed him to the bathroom. Success!

No accidents all day! A replacement for me at the studio that should have no problems picking things up quickly! I didn't lose my mind!

Now if we could only figure out his night time routine life would be perfect.

I'm a big boy now!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday. Monday. Monday.

Mondays...everyone's favorite day of the week. After a weekend of being obsessed with my son's bodily functions I was not exactly looking forward the beginning of the week. Being at home, alone, with a toddler that is barely starting to get the whole "going in the potty" concept is not my idea of fun. We also had soccer tonight, which would be the first time we had to deal with being out of the house without the security of diapers. On top of that, Riley, our 10 year old West Highland Terrier, acted very strange all weekend long. He was lethargic, wouldn't eat or drink, and wouldn't go outside. A trip to the vet was obviously necessary. Monday was looking to be rough.

We didn't make it through the night with no accidents. Around 4 am Brenden woke up crying and Tim found him very wet. Thankfully, the pad that we put underneath him worked very well and it was a quick clean up. He was not happy to be awake in the middle of the night and not an hour later he said he needed to go but didn't actually have to. I think he was just nervous about being wet again and was scared to go back to sleep without trying. He eventually fell back asleep and stayed asleep until 7:55 am. I am still shocked that he slept that long since I thought for sure he would be up early from now on. He was completely dry and happy to sleep in I guess! I tried to get him to go to the bathroom but he refused and I decided to trust him.

I think I'll trust him from now on. He told me EVERY SINGLE TIME he had to go to the bathroom, including the usually difficult #2. He also made it all the way through soccer with no problems. An entire day with no accidents. Whoo hoo!

And now...I will brag. Because that's what parents do, right? Brag when their kids do amazing things? (Or at least things that we find amazing.)

We left soccer and headed home, happy to have made it through that hour with no accidents. Then, five minutes from home we hear, "I need to potty." I think our hearts both stopped. So I said something I thought I wouldn't say for a little while longer. "Brenden, can you hold it until we get home?" Of course he said "Okay, mommy" because he's pretty agreeable most days. I kept repeating "We're almost home. Don't potty yet! Wait until we get home, okay?" He kept saying he would but really, how much can you trust a 2 year old? And it was so hard to ask him to wait when he had done so well all day.

Five very loooooong minutes later we made it home. I had my seatbelt off, the garage door open, and Brenden out of his carseat in record time. I don't think my big booty has moved that quickly in a while! And somehow, to my complete surprise, my 4 day potty trained little boy made it to the potty. I Not even a dribble! What's next kiddo? Algebra? Solving global warming? I'm pretty sure after this you can do ANYTHING. :)

What was up with Riley you ask? The poor guy has a disk in his back that is bulging and causing him a lot of pain. We're pretty sure our very "loving" little boy decided to show his affection by jumping or falling on Riley's back. I know he's just trying to play and doesn't realize that he's actually bigger than our 20 lb dog. He's crazy about our dogs, in a good way, and we just need to teach him that petting and hugging are the only way to love on them.

The vet gave us treats that will help with his joints and some anti-inflammatory medication. Both have already made a huge difference. He's eating and drinking again and seems much more like himself. He also has skin issues, which is something that comes with his breed. He obsessively scratches his back on the bottom of our coffee table which also irritates that disk. Once we get the inflammation down we're going to focus on his skin.

Funny moment of the day: The vet offering Riley one of his new treats and Brenden, who was not the biggest fan of the vet because he thought he was "hurting" Riley during the exam, decided he wanted one, too. "I have one?" he kept repeating. "Sorry, buddy. Those are just for dogs," the vet very nicely explained. What do you do when you're told only dogs get something? act like a dog! Brenden started panting and barking, looking hopefully from the vet, to the nurse, to me. We all died laughing but poor Brenden didn't get his treat. He sure tried, though! And he gave the vet and his nurse a good story for the day.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Potty Time!

With only 9 weeks (or less!) until Lauren gets here we were getting a little worried about this whole potty training thing. I really don't want two kids in diapers and the thought of having an infant and trying to potty train Brenden scares me to death.

Not long ago I ran across a conversation on Facebook between my friend Heather G. and my other friend Heather M. (My brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl, anyone?) Heather M. had mentioned that she potty trained her son, Brody, who is 3 days younger than Brenden, using the 3 Day Potty Training method. I checked it out, talked to Tim, and decided it was worth a shot. Not only had it worked for a friend, but having never potty trained a toddler before, we were having trouble sifting through all the different trains of thought.

We had to wait a few weeks until we had a weekend free and I tried my best to hype up throwing away the diapers to Brenden. I have no idea if that helped, but I do know that he was super excited to get his hands on the potty candy that has been sitting on the counter since Christmas.

Day 1

I enjoyed the final morning of sleeping in until 8:30 am. I knew that once he had to start getting up to go that sleeping in was not going to happen. Our first order of business, throwing away the diapers! I didn't think Brenden would enjoy that as much as he did, but he happily chunked a few in the trash and danced off to drink his milk.

I waited, and waited, and WAITED for the first accident to happen. That's one of the main points of this training method, to embrace the accidents as learning experiences. No yelling, no getting upset...just a calm setting where the child figures out how to know when they feel the urge to go. And boy, those accidents happened. Eventually, after rushing back to the bathroom when I noticed he had started going, he peed in the potty and wow...he was proud! He pumped his fists and yelled, "I did it! Potty candy!" Of course we called his dad and his grandmas and bragged like crazy.

Eventually the most amazing thing happened...he told me BEFORE he had an accident. And that same time he also managed to poop in the potty, something that I was nervous about. I had heard so many horror stories of kids that were afraid of it or refused to even try. I was relieved to find out that he wasn't going to have that problem.

My biggest fear was how he would do at night. Another important part of this method is potty training them during the day and at night at the same time. I had no idea how that would work out and I don't think I slept at all. Much to my surprise, after an accident at 8:45 pm, Brenden stayed dry all night.

Day 2

Saturdays are my day to sleep in (Thank you, Tim!) so Tim was on potty duty by himself for awhile. It ended up being longer than just that morning. My soon to be sister-in-law invited me to go wedding dress shopping with her and Tim was nice enough to say that was okay even though we had agreed to both stay home. While I was gone Brenden had a couple more accidents but eventually he told Tim, twice, before he had to go! He went back and forth between telling us and forgetting but since it was only the second day I counted it as a success.

I didn't sleep well, again. I think this time it was more because I could hear him every time he even shifted on his sheets and I woke up thinking he needed to get up. Around 1 am he woke up, although I don't think he was completely awake. I ran in to see him sitting up and when prompted he said he had to go potty. We ran to the bathroom and sure enough, he went! He didn't wake us up again until 6:30 am, automatically saying he needed to potty. Tim took him in there and again, he went! He wasn't very happy about laying back down but we didn't want to get him used to getting up so early. I ended up having to lay in bed with him and he stayed that way until 7:30 am. Again, he said he had to potty and again he wasn't lying! An entire night staying dry and clean...the best Valentine's Day present EVER!

Day 3

We're on day 3 now and just 5 minutes ago he finally told us he needed to potty. He didn't make it all the way to the bathroom but he did tell us and we are very proud of his progress! I know that we'll have setbacks. I know he'll regress when the baby gets here. I'm just glad that we are well on our way to having a potty trained toddler and that it didn't involve any screaming or tantrums.

One completely unexpected side effect is how easy nap time and bed time has been the past 2 days. After "trying" to go to the bathroom before we laid him down he crawled into bed without any fuss. I'm not sure how long that will last or if it really has anything to do with potty training but I'm going to enjoy what I can! (Especially since sleep isn't something I'm enjoying much of right now.)

So a big congratulations to our big boy Brenden! We are so very proud!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tough Guy

Every parent knows that your child has different kinds of cries. Brenden has several. There's the "I'm crying to get attention/what I want/because I'm not happy with your decision" which sounds so fake that I'm sure anyone could pick it out. There's his "I just had a terrible dream and I'm really scared" cry that we only hear at night. He has a tantrum throwing cry that is ridiculously loud and sounds like he's screaming so hard that he's going to make himself sick. There was even one morning that he woke up and started crying and I immediately thought, "He's going to throw up." Sure enough, he did. Thank goodness we made it to the bathroom. Not sure how I knew he was going to be sick, it was just the very first thought I had as I ran as fast I as I could to his room.

He's added a new cry recently and I'm not sure why, but it bothers me more than any of the others. He falls down...a LOT. He's had many run-ins with stairs, the edge of the fireplace, the back of chairs, our hardwood name it, he's probably hit his head on it. I can't keep track of how many times a day he runs up to me saying, 'My toe hurts!" after he's stubbed them or "My knee hurts!" from hitting it on who knows what. This new cry, which I've only noticed twice, comes out when he's hurt himself but really doesn't want to cry. It's like he's trying to suck it up and be strong but just can't hold the cries in. His eyes fill up with tears, his breath starts catching, and he starts saying, "I'm okay! I'm fine!" over and over. Eventually he can't help it and he starts crying, because when your arms go out from under you and your chin bounces off the hardwood, it HURTS. Shoot...I'D CRY.

Where did this idea of being "tough" come from??? We never make fun of his crying, even when we know he's whining to try to get his way. I get really mad when someone whines back at him or fake cries when he's upset because I very clearly remember how that felt and I hated it. We do tell him, "Crying will not get you what you want" but I didn't think that he would take that to mean he shouldn't cry if he's hurt. He's only 2! The "I'm tough" shouldn't kick in for a little while, right? Like, when he's at least in preschool or something?

Maybe I'm reading too much into it. Maybe he just wants to keep playing and not have to slow down to cry. Still, it hurts me to see him in pain, whether he cries or not, but to watch him try to suck it up...that really kills me.

He's already growing up too fast. I can already see how his poor little heart is going to be hurt by mean kids, like the not so nice older boy at the dance studio that says some of the rudest things to him because Brenden wants to sit by him or the little kids yesterday that Brenden waved at in the car that shot him dirty looks. How am I supposed to help him handle what's coming if I can't stand to see him just trying not to cry? Growing stinks for all of us!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Okay really...this pregnancy can slow down now. It seems like yesterday we were flying to Chicago and I was scared to death of getting sick on the plane. It felt like it took forever to get to the 2nd trimester, to get past the insane exhaustion and morning (ALL DAY) sickness. The 20 week ultrasound could not have come fast enough. I swear, those days were the longest ever. But feels like the days and weeks are slipping past me double time.

You would think this would be a great thing! I should be happy that the time is going by so quickly, that all the pains of pregnancy, the back pain, the heartburn, the hips that just don't seem to work anymore, is all coming to an end. Somehow, I'm not. It's not that I WANT to be uncomfortable. I'm actually very ready to be done with all of that. The problem is...I don't feel ready.

10 weeks. I only have 10 weeks left of what I'm realizing is the "easy" task of watching one child every day. And that's if I make it to my due date! It could be less! Obviously, any 2 year old is sure to be challenging. But I KNOW this 2 year old. I know what makes him happy, how he works, his schedule. I don't know this little person that is currently wedged between my hip bones and using my belly button as a target for her kicks and punches.

It's not just the unknown territory of being a mother of two that scares's what I know is coming. Most importantly, the PAIN. Labor was scary. It was painful. Yes, it was worth it, but that doesn't mean I'm looking forward to it. If I could get the epidural now I just might. I've already informed the nurse that I want it as soon as possible, not just for the pain, but because my labor progressed so quickly after it was in place.

My other concern - the consuming, overwhelming, life draining beginning that Brenden and I endured together. I was a mess. I was sad. I cried a lot. And it didn't go away in a few weeks. I'm hoping being better prepared, knowing the signs and how to ask for help, will get me through it. This time I'm not going to push my self so hard on breastfeeding. I'm not going to beat myself up if it doesn't work out. (And Tim won't, either. Not that he was mean to me or anything, but I think he'll be the first to hand me a bottle and tell me it's okay.)

So time, please slow down a bit. I need these last few weeks to wrap my head around things, to get her room finished, to remind myself that I should try to savor this time. Savor the moments with my first born, wonderful kiddo. To marvel at my big old belly and the fact that I'm growing another person in there. To just RELAX. Because, from what I understand, relaxing is not something I'm going to get to do ever again once Lauren is here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

One of THOSE days (and it's not even over)

I know everyone has those days....where everything just doesn't seem to go as planned and every little annoyance builds up until you want to put your fingers in your ears, squint your eyes shut really tight, and squeal until tomorrow. Today just happened to be one of them for me...and it's not even over. (And yes, I know it could be worse, much worse. I know that things could be REALLY bad. But it still gave me a headache and you know, it's my blog so I get to complain if I wanna. Right?)

Brenden woke up at 7:40 am...which isn't bad. (it's not 5:45 am!) It's still at least an hour earlier than he had been waking up and it makes me nervous. I'm really enjoying sleeping until 8:30 am, thank you! Normally Tim would be long gone; he either goes to work out or run and then goes to work. Today he had to take the dogs to the groomer and she doesn't do early drop offs so he didn't leave until 7:45 am. Just long enough for Brenden to be super happy to see his dad and then be crushed when he left. Tim taking the dogs with him made Brenden's mood that much worse. All day long he was upset, running through the house, looking out the back window, trying to find them. This is why I don't take the dogs anymore. Brenden thinks we're giving them away.

The good thing about an earlier wake up is an earlier nap time and I took advantage of that completely. I don't always nap when he naps anymore, I think it's bad to get my body used to that since it probably won't be an option when Lauren is here. It was nice today and I'm glad I did it. My mood would probably be a million times worse right now if I hadn't. I was a little nervous though since the crib was scheduled to be delivered, any time between 8 am and 2:30 pm. They really narrow it down, don't they?

So at 2:30 pm, when the crib was obviously not at my house yet but the dogs were ready to be picked up, I called the warehouse back. The lady I spoke with told me I wasn't listed as a delivery today but that I could talk to some dude named Gordon who, apparently, runs everything. Gordon claimed he had just called me and left a message saying the crib wasn't even at the warehouse yet, which is impossible since the number they have for us doesn't have an answering machine. (I made sure to mention that to him) He's lucky I wasn't too keyed up yet because, since it was 2:30 pm and the stupid crib wasn't even at the warehouse yet, how in the world were they planning on delivering it that day? And why would they not CALL ME to let me know it would have to be rescheduled?!? I'm supposed to sit here all day and wait for these people I guess.

After calling to complain to Tim I set off to get the dogs. The ATM we always use would not read my card, no matter how I begged and pleaded and held my breath. My first thought was that my card was messed up but after driving out of the way to find another ATM I figured out it was just the stupid machine. (Why did I need the ATM? Our groomer only takes cash or cards. Just a slight pain in the neck.)

Eventually I made it to the veterinarian, which holds both the vet and the dog groomer. After driving around the building twice (Tim told me it was in the back but I guess he didn't hear me when he said I wanted to go to the VET first not the GROOMER) I found it. I had to pick up cat food for our one-kidney-cat Maverick (special kidney friendly stuff I guess) and they had ordered the wrong size bag. The teeny tiny bag. I KNOW they can get the bigger bag and when I asked for that the next time she told me she wasn't sure that was possible. Oh really? What did we get LAST time chica? SHEESH. Then her big old dog decided to growl at my son and I about lost it. Maybe he should at least be a leash???

I figured I would drop the food in the back of the car and then walk through the vet to get the dogs. The seriously annoying nice lady told me "no way" to walking that way...she must not have kids or know how getting them in and out of the car can be a bit of a chore, especially for a woman who is 29 weeks pregnant with a kid that weighs 36 lbs. Off I went to wrangle my kid into the car and try to find the back door to the stupid groomer.

I'm not sure what else is back there but there were a TON of cars lined up in the parking lot, all blocking my way to where I needed to go. This is about where I threw my phone. Does that make any rational sense? No. But that's how I was feeling. I was annoyed and my heartburn was starting and I had a kid in the back seat screaming, "Romeo! Riley! ROMEO! RILEY!" over and over.

Eventually I got the dogs and we made it home. Nothing else happened on the way, Brenden was content to hold the ends of the leashes and talk to the dogs like he hadn't seen them in 4 years, and I sat down to type this post and get it out of my head. Right now Brenden is running back and forth between throwing a ball for Romeo, jumping on his bean bag, and terrorizing Riley with that toy that pops when you push it.

At least the dogs look spiffy...for about 5 more minutes. Our backyard is doing a great impression of a swamp after all the snow melted today so our very white dogs will be back to not so white pretty quick.

"I haven't seen you in SO LONG!"

"Ball? Ball? Ball?"

"Um...I'm not so sure about what you're holding there. Why is it flashing?"

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lauren - in All her 3d/4d Glory

We finally made it to our 3d/4d ultrasound! It's been rescheduled at least 3 times...once by me and twice by the office we went to. After I totally screwed up the last time, which was a gender check, and showed up the day AFTER my scheduled appointment, thinking that they were the ones that had the day wrong (they still fit me in...bless them) I made sure to call to double check that today was actually the day. I drank my water, sipped on my pop to "wake the baby up", and hurried on over to see her face.

No, we didn't have this many ultrasounds with Brenden. We had one ultrasound to find out he was a boy and that was it. My doctor only ordered 2 this time, the first to check my due date at 9 weeks and the second at 20 weeks to check on her growth. I've had 2 extra done at Servant Medical Imaging as a part of a package; one to double check her gender and this one, mostly done in 3d/4d, to look at her features. This was something extra we decided to do when we found out we had a ton of money left in our flex plan, although it was really cool and totally worth it.

I knew her arm would be near her face...she's been that way since forever. Okay, at least since the 9 week ultrasound when we saw her little bitty arms rubbing at, what I'm assuming was, her eyes. I even warned the lady performing our ultrasound today that we knew she'd be that way. Luckily we got a few good pictures anyway.

The best moment was when Tim leaned down and told her to move her hand. She leaned her head back and looked like she was laughing at him. Already showing her rebellious side! But we got to see her smile! :)

So here you go...her pictures! As soon as her room is ready...I'm ready to meet her in person! (the crib comes tomorrow...whoo hoo!)

Profile...she's looking left.

Happy baby.

This is when she laughed at was awesome. :)

The video of her laughing at Tim.
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