April 2009

The King and His Throne

by Tim on April 29, 2009

Tonight, the J-Man achieved one of the most celebrated milestones in a person’s life. As with many of his grand accomplishments, he did it while he was completely distraught about something else. And honestly, we’re not sure what it was about other than he was probably completely exhausted, which is oddly enough another condition that sometimes brings about these mighty deeds. Regardless, today we celebrate!

He peed on a potty!!!!!!!

Woo hoo!!

Now, we aren’t actually potty training. (We’re waiting for a while after the baby is born.) This whole thing started because every night he would pee on his bath mat after he got out of the tub, and we were tired of washing towels and such every five minutes. So, we figured, what the heck? Why not pull out the toddler potty that was doing little else besides serving as a room ornament (and contemplating another life as a flower planter, perhaps) and sit him on it while we dried him off? Consider it part of the preliminary potty process (say that five times fast) and the rest laundry preservation.

After about four nights of sitting on it (which he did without much consternation surprisingly, though me humming the magic song helped a lot) and doing nothing, tonight after pretty much inconsolable tears throughout bath time, he stood up from his throne and bawled on my shoulder. Then Mary said, “He peed!”

So there we were cheering and practically crying with joy while the J-Man was crying apocalyptic tears of woe on my shoulder about some unknown evil that had nothing to do with the potty. But like with many things around here, we don’t care how it happens; we just celebrate when it does.

Yay, J-Man!

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We’re back! Kinda.

by Tim on April 28, 2009

If you visited the site this morning (and probably late last night), you likely noticed that the whole site had imploded. We were moved to a new server, and in the process something broke. I still haven’t figured out what it was as in the midst of my own troubleshooting, it just started working again. I’d like to claim credit for that, but not sure I can.

Anyway, you may find that some things are borked around here today. Sorry about that. This affected some of my other sites too, so it’s been a fun morning…

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Happy Birthday, Samuel Morse!

by Tim on April 27, 2009

[No, you silly people. We did not name our kid Samuel Morse, and no the baby hasn't arrived yet...]

I think the blogosphere should take a couple of minutes on April 27 and observe the birthday of Samuel Morse, creator of the telegraph system and Morse code – pretty much the Adam and Eve of blogging and Twitter and all that. Heck, Twitter is essentially an out-of-control virus of telegrams, but I digress.

What did the first telegram say 165 years ago?

“What hath God wrought”

Indeed this is something we’re still trying to figure out. But without all that, we would never have been able to have all you cool readers and our community of friends and supporters out there! So, thanks Sam!

But we’re still not naming our kid after you.

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In Which I Disappoint

by Mary on April 25, 2009

No, I have not yet had the baby.

Yes, I am tired of being pregnant now.

No, I am not having twins (thanks Dillard’s saleslady).

Yes, I do realize I have a BIG BELLY (thank you, nurse at my OB’s office). Your comment of “you can’t even tell you’re pregnant from behind” only partially made up for that remark.

No, I’ve actually lost 15 lbs since the beginning of the pregnancy.

Yes, my bags are as packed as they can be.

No, I don’t think you can ever feel prepared.

Yes, the new recliner did arrive, but I don’t think I’m going to get to sit in it.

No, we don’t think the J-man has a clue about any of this.

Yes, we think he’ll be a wonderful big brother once he realizes this “new baby thing” is here to stay.

NO, YOU MAY NOT TOUCH MY BELLY!

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Not just another walk in the park

by Tim on April 24, 2009

Today we went to a park with the J-Man’s classmates and their families. It was an absolutely beautiful day here, and there were a lot of other families there soaking it in with us. The J-Man loved the swinging – as always – but he really didn’t care one whit that he needed to share the swing with other kids. I took him out of the swing, and the rest of the couple of hours we were there went completely downhill from there.

None of the other playground equipment (and there’s a lot of cool stuff there) mattered to him; the paved nature trail had zero appeal; I could barely get him to sit on the bench and eat anything. He walked with one of the teachers along the trail for a few minutes, but after that, it was seemed pretty much like one unending melodrama with some occasional fits thrown in for good measure. If I wasn’t holding or carrying him, he kept whining and crying and even sometimes screaming while trying to climb all over me.

If this were a one-time thing, I could deal with that. But nearly every time we go on anything resembling a ‘play date’, it goes down like this. He’s big, he’s strong, and when he’s singularly focused on something, he’s almost immovable. When he’s in social situations, all that gets amplified 10 times. Overall, it’s getting bit by bit easier to reel him back in when he’s overloaded, but in situations like today, once he’s lost, he’s pretty much gone, and it feels like the battle for survival is on.

It’s not any one single event like today that gets me; it’s the cumulative effect of them over the weeks and months. It makes me viscerally aware of how hard things are for him. I know that sounds ridiculous given our daily lives and our constant awareness of where his challenges are. But after a while, you get into a groove, you have a great week of progress, you start feeling on top of things, and then you get one of these giant reality checks.

We got home, decompressed a little bit, I ate, and then I took the car keys and told Mary I was going to run errands, despite the fact she wasn’t officially off work for two more hours. Yeah, I was a total, selfish ass. But I felt like if I didn’t get out of the house by myself right then, I was going to completely fall apart.

I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out what my own personal meltdown was about. This is about all I could come up with – I want one, normal, somewhat calm play date where I can spend more than 10% of my time sitting down and watching him play from a bench while he explores the different playground equipment and can play for a few minutes at a time on his own. I could talk to other parents for a couple of minutes without having to be holding him while I do that. The rest of the time I’d be overjoyed to guide him through the various parts of the playground and explore them with him.

I guess in other words, I want a ‘normal’ day at the park like the other parents get. It’s selfish, unfair, and short-sighted on my part and completely missing the larger point of life, but for the moment, I don’t really care.

Right now, these sorts of outings just feel like physically-exhausting ju-jitsu. Some combination of him yanking on my arm or some wrong move on my part pulled something way out in my left shoulder. If I turn it wrong, it feels like someone is stabbing me. Really, this is probably just the latest of a half-dozen other times I’ve pulled that same part of my shoulder over the last couple of months. It’s starting to become like the ‘magic thumb’, my now almost unsprainable right thumb after having been injured so many times.

I know my nearly unbroken string of 18-hour days going for weeks now has left my body susceptible to these sorts of things. But I realize I also tend to avoid these sorts of social/play opportunities because they end up being so physically – and of course, mentally and emotionally – hard for me.

And I know all this is really about my own personal and emotional stuff, and it’s something we as parents have to be aware of and taking steps to work through, which I am. This is a marathon, and marathoners know about taking care of their bodies and minds and pacing themselves through the miles. I’m completely aware that I’m terrible at that, but that’s an issue for another day.

To keep with the running metaphor, I’m pretty much in a constant state of bonk these days. I realize we have a lot going on and a baby due any minute – enough to peg out anyone’s engine – but like we do with the J-Man, sometimes you have to sense how things are starting to go out of control and take steps to calm life down before everything melts.

The old saying “it’s a walk in the park” is meant to express that something is both easy to do and has an assured outcome. If there’s a metaphor farther away from what today felt like, it’s hard to imagine what it might be.

I’ll do my self-indulgent, pity thing a while longer and move on. Writing this out helps. I still do dream of one of those walks in the park, though.

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In Celebration of the Woo

by Mary on April 21, 2009

I have had 2 sessions with the “specialist chiropractor” – she uses the Webster Technique to turn breech babies. The first one was on Saturday (she came in on her day off for a new patient!), and the second one was yesterday morning. Neither of us thought the baby had done anything except bend from side to side.

When I was there on Saturday, she was looking at my belly (to be able to hit the right spots working on my ligaments), and she leaned in really close while Tim was out of the room chasing J-man, and very softly and gently asked me if I had had the fingerprint bruises on my belly BEFORE I had the version attempt. For me, it was a wake-up call to remember that pregnancy is a dangerous time in many relationships. I hadn’t even THOUGHT about the fact that she probably does see women who are being abused during pregnancy. In my case, it was funny, because Tim is probably the most gentle man in the entire world… but it’s truly sad that she sees enough of it that she thought to ask.

Had an OB appointment yesterday afternoon, and she was running late. (This is one of my favorite OBs, partly because she delivered the J-man, partly because she never tries to make me feel stupid, and partly because she doesn’t give me shit about my weight. Tim thinks she’s a ditz.) We sat there for over an HOUR waiting for her, and every 15 minutes I had to go potty, because, you know, I am 38 weeks pregnant. One of the lab techs told me I would have the baby within a couple of days because when she had started going to the bathroom every 15 minutes, her baby had arrived within 2 days. I was all, “Yeah, but he’s breech, and you know I don’t seem to be able to go into labor on my own anyway. Plus, I had a bottle of water on the way over.”

So we saw the doctor, and she listened for the heartbeat, and all that was good… and she said, “Do you want to go ahead and schedule the c-section?” She could tell immediately I wasn’t into having the c-section (she GASPED when she saw my bruise from the version attempt), and asked if I thought he had turned. I told her no, that even though I was going to the Woo Chiro, I didn’t think the Bean had turned. She sort of rolled her eyes about the Woo Chiro (and so did we) but went out and asked for the ultrasound machine anyway.

She gelled up the belly, and started looking around, and looked worried. I panicked because even though we had just heard the heartbeat, you never want the OB to look worried. All of a sudden, she lifted up the ultrasound controller thingy, and set it right below where the big-ass bruise is… and said, “You’re not going to believe this. He’s head down!”

ALL HAIL THE POWER OF THE WOO!

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“Will be able to match colors in 4 out of 5 observations” – um, check!

April 18, 2009

The title describes one of his IEP goals for this year. I think he’s a bit beyond having mastered this. He’s close to a color matching black belt these days. The middle stack of blocks is a pretty common pattern for him in his little construction projects. He layers the colors together, and it seems […]

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Getting into the Woo now

April 17, 2009

So, I had the version (the baby flip) attempt on Thursday. Notice that I say “attempt.” It was amazingly more painful than I had read it would be, although those articles tend to be written by men – the same men who describe labor pain as “bad cramps.” I am pretty bruised feeling all over […]

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