Monday, January 23, 2012

Today: An Attempt at Silver Linings

Monday morning is theoretically my one "morning off" a week. Will goes to his preschool, Finn goes to his toddler group, and I have roughly 2.5 hours in which to...check the clock and make sure I'm not going to be late for pickup, to be honest. But I also manage to get a few chores around the house done, which makes Monday's nap time a little bit less task-oriented. I've only had a couple of these free periods in the last two months due to various holidays, but today I had one and I...went to the dentist.

I don't mind going to the dentist, but you should know that my teeth are not the greatest. Both my parents have mouths replete with fillings, and I have some of those genes. I also eat more sugary stuff than I should, but Dave can attest that I really do brush my teeth and floss religiously, and I dutifully schedule my six-month cleanings (even when it sucks up my tiny piece of free time).

However, since I became pregnant with Will, my teeth have been in some sort of super-revolt. Pregnant women are known to have more sensitive gums and softer teeth, and I'm certainly not the exception to that rule. With each pregnancy I've gained a couple new pieces of silver. All this to say, at today's appointment, I had three cavities. THREE. 

Silver (no pun intended) lining: My dentist is a two-minute drive from my home; I really like the staff there; if I'm going to have a medical problem, at least it's this one.

When Will started going to preschool in the fall, he happily trotted off to hang out with his friends and teachers, nine days out of ten. When I remarked on it, the director warned me that often the kids who have no transition issues in September pull them out in January instead. I inwardly scoffed. I should have listened to the woman with twenty-five years of experience.

Since Christmas break ended, Will's been crying and saying "I'm nervous" maybe two mornings a week. His teachers send me pictures a few minutes later of him happily playing, and the most irritating part is when I come to pick him up after lunch he crows about how wonderful preschool is. Today when I picked him up, three hours after leaving him tearful at my departure, he literally said to me, "I want to stay at preschool forever. I was just nervous for a second, and then I wasn't anymore!" So I replied, "OK, can you remember that tomorrow morning please?" He agreed, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Silver lining: Per the director's warning, it's normal; at least he's doing it later in the year when I know how much he actually enjoys it, so I'm not second-guessing the preschool itself.

At the end of this long day, I was leaving the Y with Susan, rounding up our various children and winter gear, and I couldn't find Finn's boots. I asked him if he'd been playing with them, we all scoured the family gym, and they were nowhere to be found. Somebody took home (I'm assuming and hoping accidentally) my son's bright blue moon boots. His only pair of winter boots. I'm trying to think positively, that of course the parent who mistakenly put those boots on her kid or didn't notice when the kid put them on will realize and bring them back ASAP. Because if I have to buy a second pair of winter boots so my kid can wear them for maybe another month and then grow out  of them forever--I don't know what I'll do.

Silver lining: Oh, gosh, this is going to be a stretch. Okay, how about: It's been a mild winter, so maybe we can get away without replacement boots? I don't know.

Finally, I'm thirty-two weeks along, and I'm finally resigned to the fact that no part of this pregnancy is going to be enjoyable. Even the baby's movements, which of course I love to see and feel, are actually painful. There are knees and elbows stabbing at my belly button and larger body parts jumping on my bladder. My stomach is so compressed that eating is rarely fun and often uncomfortable in the evening hours. I no longer hit a wall of fatigue at four p.m.; now I wake up exhausted and just plod through the day as best I can.

Silver lining: Labor and the newborn phase are no longer sources of anxiety, but pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. At least in my mind. And don't you dare try to take that away from me!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Celebrating Finny's Second Birthday

People sometimes lament winter birthdays, or try to commiserate with me that Finn was born "so close to Christmas." I do understand the December birthday problem (hi, Susan!), but I love that Finn is a mid-January baby, and here's why:
  • Celebrating his birthday alleviates the post-Christmas blahs
  • His date doesn't land amongst a bevy of other birthdays (as Will's does), so we're not squeezing it into a party-packed schedule
  • The party gives us and our guests something to do and something to look forward to when the weather is inhospitable
  • Smack-dab-in-the-middle-of-winter timing takes away the decision about an outdoor vs. indoor party; whatever we do (last year it was at My Gym, this year we had a musician at our home) has to be inside, and that makes the planning a bit easier
That brings me to today, when we had our kid extravaganza with musician Stacey Peasley providing the entertainment. Finn and Will were a bit overwhelmed at the start, but once the pizza arrived they'd gotten their bearings, and by cake time, predictably, they were ready to party.

Thanks to our friends for celebrating with us and helping the whole morning run smoothly. We had so much fun, and Finny's a lucky man for having all these wonderful people in his life. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Third Baby, Third Trimester

Notes from the Seven-Month Mark:

1) My hair gets so greasy, so fast. Well: at the root it gets greasy and the ends remain dry for days on end. This has always been the way with my pregnant scalp, and it's not making any exceptions for baby number three. The tricks I use (sporadically) to ameliorate the situation are:

  • shower in the evening, brush my hair, air-dry it a little, sleep on it; then in the morning, straighten it with my flat iron (and some Fekkai Glossing Creme); lasts through the following evening
  • shower without washing hair; rub baby powder into roots prior to showering so the humid bathroom doesn't grease up my scalp even more
(Oh yes, I have many exciting things to talk about here in the third trimester. Many.)

2) The body pillow (Snoogle, for those in the know) has been invaluable for months now. I even use it in tandem with a king-sized pillow these days, which is basically like using two body pillows. 

3) I'd heard of sciatic nerve pain in pregnancy before, but never experienced it until this time around. It's neither constant nor unbearable, but when it twinges I definitely notice and strongly dislike it. 

4) It's been hard to eat in the evening for a long time now. Not that I don't crave dinner and dessert, I do--I just have no room left in this incredibly high (and low, and protruding) belly of mine. 

5) Along the same lines, I get pain in the muscle right under my ribcage maybe every other day. It's clearly muscle soreness, but I don't know if it's caused by all the organs pressing up against my diaphragm or by the straining that goes on when I go about my normal mom-of-two duties and/or exercise for any length of time. I hope it's the former, because I need those ab muscles intact once this baby's out!

6) All of a sudden, my mental state has gone from "Wow, I can't believe I'm already 30 weeks pregnant--time is flying!" to "HOW CAN I HAVE TWO MORE MONTHS OF THIS TOTAL BODY EXHAUSTION?!" 

7) It's time to post a boy-or-girl poll to the right ---------------------------------------->

I don't know how to help you make your prediction. This baby's heart rate has been measured between the 140s and the 160s, just like both his/her brothers. I carried RIDICULOUSLY differently with Will and with Finn-you can witness my belly at seven months with each pregnancy in chronological order below--but clearly that wasn't an indicator of male vs. female.

7ish months pregnant with William

7 months pregnant with Finn

7 months pregnant with Baby #3

8) Ooh, one more thing. As athletic as Will and Finn were in utero, their little brother or sister wins that contest hands-down. Whether boy or girl, this baby will definitely be able to hold his/her own. I suppose I'm just not destined for a sit-and-play kid, although it would be a nice change of (literal) pace.

Happy voting!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finny Turns Two

I wrote a few months ago about Finny's language explosion, and he has simultaneously (as often happens, it seems) had a personality explosion. In terms of giant I-am-a-human leaps, this has definitely been my favorite with both boys. The almost-two and the true-two phase were so much fun with Will, and it's the same with Finn. Time moves too quickly in a lot of ways; I love the part-baby, part-preschooler combo. He is snuggly, cheerful, affectionate, easily amused, and picking up (and spitting back out) new concepts every day.

Finny is his own person, make no mistake. (Not that you ever could, if you've met the boy.) He is stubborn--not for stubborn's sake, but because he really, truly KNOWS what he wants, and convincing him to accept substitutes is getting tougher by the day. This made nap time, coinciding with emerging molars, a particularly difficult part of our day for about a month there, and we're only just (and barely) recovering.

Finn also has a big brother, and so all that (mostly) charming behavior is offered up to Will as well. I present a few anecdotes from the last couple of weeks as evidence:

Leaving Will at preschool: "I want see Will." [Then again, with a mournful tone]: "I want see Willllllllll!"

Picking Will up at preschool: "I so happy see you, Will!"

After stubbing his foot while wrestling with his brother: "Kiss it, Will!" [extends foot to Will and points] "Right there!"

(For the record, Will did kiss it, and then asked "Does that feel better, Finny?")

Finn is extremely curious these days. He wants to know "Where you going, Daddy?" and "What you doing?" The other day he asked me about a woman reading her book at the bagel store: "What that doing?" Thankfully nobody gets too offended when a little kid refers to a person as "that."

Before I became a parent, there was no way I could understand that some things are just ingrained in a kid. I'm always extremely hesitant to label my kids or pronounce them "this way" or "that kind," because God knows a toddler's traits, talents and preferences can turn out to mean absolutely nothing.

Despite that caveat, I have to say I'll be REALLY surprised if Finn doesn't end up enjoying sports. It's not something we've even particularly encouraged in him--it's more like, if he sees a ball, he goes...are you going to tar and feather me if I use the word "ballistic"? Okay, then, he goes nuts. He also has extremely good aim, and pulls back his arm before throwing quite naturally. Again, I'm not saying he's the next fifth-round-NFL-draft-pick-gone-Superbowl-champ-QB, but that intersection of ability and interest is so prominent, I'd have to go out of my way to ignore it.

I mean, the kid grabbed my chunky oval sunglasses case on a recent morning and cried "I play football!" before winding up to hurl it in the direction of the nearest wide receiver our living room wall, so, like I said: hard to ignore.*

Finn is also remarkably unself-conscious. He wants what he wants, when he wants it, and he's not (AT ALL) afraid to say "No!" or just run laughing in the opposite direction. Most of the time, Finn seems to look at life as one huge, hilarious game. And then there are his staredown moments--he looks witheringly at you (especially if you're a stranger) and waits until you've proven yourself to him before giving you a glimpse of that mini-dimple or a burst of throaty laughter with his head thrown back. If you're one of Finn's inner circle, though, he's happy to maul you--lovingly--and hug your neck tightly, tackling you with kisses.

Today he got the hang of this birthday thing after waking up from his nap. "Mo' presents?" he'd ask after each was unwrapped.

 Here's Finn throwing his basketball to his football figurines, saying "Catch football!"

Will handled the role of Big Brother on a Birthday--and this was the first time Finn was actually getting stuff that Will wanted, no less--with admirable aplomb. He "helped" Finny open presents

 and truly helped him finish his dinner.

He picks up on everything--one night Dave asked him what he did at his toddler program and he talked about playing with his friends. Dave said, "Daddy didn't do any playing at work today." And Finn replied: "Yeah. Check email." He also recites "Phone, wallet, keys" and checks his pockets before we head out the door in the morning--just like Daddy! And he is bent on doing things all by himself ("I DO IT!"), including of course those things he's not quite ready loading the dishwasher, complete with knives. Which brings us to...

...A new habit Finn's developed is to go into a full pout when we say no--especially if it's a loud, sharp "NO." The lower lip extends and the hazel eyes go misty, and although we have no problem sticking to our guns, Dave and I talk behind Finn's back about how sweet it is. It's also a good opportunity for us to encourage him to use his words, and as Dave points out, as soon as he gets out an "I'm sad!" the pout tends to dissipate. But sometimes he still needs to cuddle with his head on my shoulder (and I love that).

At Finn's two-year appointment he measured 35 inches and 34 pounds...I think? I remembered the percentiles more accurately (72nd in height, 98th in weight) because they told me those after he got his shot (which went surprisingly well, but I was apprehensive). He's learning to count; he's got maybe 75% of the alphabet song down. If you ask him a "Why?" question he always starts his answer with "'Cuz..." and he pretends that all books are titled "Finn Noon!"

He's a rough-and-tumble goofball, and he's the perfect fourth piece to our family. 

I can't believe we ever lived without him. 

Happy second birthday, Finny Finn! We love you immeasurably.