Sunday, September 18, 2011

Conversations with a Preschooler

Scene: We're driving down a crowded, commercial street and we pass a Taco Bell.

Ben: That's where we buy bells!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thirty weeks and counting...

I had a doctor's appointment last week and the pregnancy is going very well. All my tests are coming back saying I'm healthy, which is reassuring. I feel like I'm more nervous about the tests this time around because I know in more detail all the things that can go wrong. I'm also more nervous about labor and delivery. Last time it was a vague, unknown fear. This time I know exactly how painful it will be. It takes a lot more bravery to get pregnant a second time.

My doctor did say I'm measuring a little big for how far along I am. For those not "in the know," at this point in pregnancy they actually use a tiny tape measure on your stomach to see how big you are. At my previous appointment I was measuring spot on, so in three weeks the baby had a growth spurt. If we're still big at my next appointment I'll go in for another ultrasound. This is a little scary to me, because I don't think I ever measured "big" with Ben and he was 8 pounds 11 ounces. How much of a behemoth am I growing this time?! I assume if they determine that the baby's big I might be having him before the projected due date. I'd really rather not have a ton of medical intervention (induction, c-section). I want to see what it's like to go into labor on my own. But I also don't want a 10 pound baby. Whose vagina just tensed up a little? I can't be the only one.

I'm definitely in the third trimester now, meaning I'm starting to get really uncomfortable. Sleeping has been a problem lately and my back is not my friend. Also, the baby has settled into a comfy little position on my bladder, which basically means I feel like I have to pee all the time. Every time I tell someone I'm due around Thanksgiving they say, "Oh, that's soon!" But 2+ months is NOT soon to a pregnant woman. Especially the LAST 2+ months.

I'm also getting to that point where I'm DONE. I still have 10 weeks to go, but I'm completely over being pregnant. Poor Heath, the next 10 weeks aren't going to be fun for him, either, because I'm going to be a grouchy, complaining blob. Then again, he gets the exact same outcome as I do (a new son) without all the physical labor, so I don't feel too bad for him. (And right now he's thinking to himself, "Yeah, I know.")

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another year, another party

Since Ben's birthday is right around Labor Day (his actual birth day was the day after Labor Day, which was a little disappointing) his birthday parties will probably always be before or after the real day. So on Sunday we had his party at one of his favorite places - the train store. It was wonderful. We had the max number of kids they allow - 16 - but it went so smoothly. They have a person dedicated to running your party, so even with a bunch of 2-5 year olds hitting a pinata it never felt out of control. Of course, I think most of the kids were a little perplexed at getting to hit something with a bat indoors.

The candy rush

They even set up and cleaned up all the plates, cups, juice and cupcakes, even though we provided them. It was awesome, and exactly what I wanted at six and a half months pregnant - to do as little work as possible!

Enjoying delicious cupcakes which I painstakingly bought at a bakery
L-R: Amelia, Logan, Ben, Elena, Luke and Colin

The kids had a blast playing at the ginormous train table they have for parties.

And Ben got to add his hand print to the hundreds already up on the wall.

It was great and I know Ben had a good time. We probably won't do another blow out party like that again for a while. Between taking him to Chuck E. Cheese on his actual birthday and the party, we spent quite a bit of money this year... But I see it as the last hurrah for him as an only child. And it's really fun to make your kid so happy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Doctor visit

We took Ben to the doctor for his three year check up on Tuesday. I was excited, because now the only times we see his doctor are at his yearly check ups and when he's sick. We love his doctor because he's a laid back guy who makes us feel secure in our parenting and he genuinely seems to love interacting with Ben and with us. So I'm excited that in a few months we're going to start seeing him a lot more again, and he seemed excited about our impending baby. He even said we seemed like a family that needed a lot of boys. Not exactly sure why, but whatever. And he's on call on Thanksgiving, so we don't have to worry about him being out of town when the baby's born!

Ben's doing very well and he didn't even need any shots! I'm always amazed by what a good patient he is. He sits up there and lets the doctor examine him without a fuss. It's awesome. It gives me hope that his first dentist appointment in a month will go well. He's growing at a consistent rate, which means he's still in the 90th percentile for height and weight. He's just a big guy. Currently he's 37 pounds and 39 inches, which means by next summer he may be tall enough (42 inches) to go on some amusement park rides. He won't even be four! That blows my mind.

I feel very lucky that we have a healthy little boy and am hoping for the same with the next one.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I'll be a millionaire!

So, I've written about how Ben's being a bit of a brat lately. However, he was wonderful on his birthday. Apparently all you have to do to have a happy three year old all day is give him treats, take him to his favorite places and shower him with attention and gifts. How come nobody's figured this out? I think I'm going to write a parenting book!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Three years and counting...

Dear Ben,

Today you turn three! I've actually been thinking of you as three for a while, because your communication skills have blossomed this year. Your speech is becoming clearer and it's no longer rote memorization and parroting. You're coming up with ideas all on your own. Just recently you've started telling little stories. They usually start from something that really happened, or an idea we were discussing, but then they meander and grow into strange and wonderful places. I love listening to your stories and look forward to many more.

 One year old

This was a big year for milestones. Over the winter we put away your crib and now you're in a big boy bed. I had no idea what to expect from that transition, but you took to the bed like you'd been sleeping in it your entire life. It didn't phase you at all and it has made traveling infinitely easier. No more dragging around the annoying pack 'n play. It also makes it a lot easier for you to stall at bed time, but you're slowly getting better about that.

In the spring we tackled potty training. This one hasn't gone quite as smoothly as sleeping in a big boy bed, but we've left the diapers behind with no looking back. We still have occasional accidents, but it's not as big a deal as I feared it would be.

Of course, just recently you had a huge milestone and that's starting preschool. You're such a social, curious, active boy I knew you'd love school, and I was right. You talked about it for months beforehand and even though I could tell you were a little nervous to actually begin, you haven't had a sad day since you started. I hope this lays the foundation for a great school career and fosters a love of learning.

 Two years old

The biggest milestone, though, was started this year but won't end until next year. Right now I'm six months pregnant with your little brother. So far you're a great big brother. You hug and kiss my stomach and sometimes sing to your baby brother. It's so sweet to watch. You talk about the baby in your belly and the baby in Daddy's belly and how they'll all come to live in our house. Obviously you don't know the realities of having a baby around 24/7, but almost all your friends have gotten siblings in the last year, so you've seen babies in all stages of development. I'm so excited for you to have a brother, Ben. At first it won't be very exciting for you, but I'm sure after a while you'll realize how he can be used to your advantage. You definitely got that trait from your Daddy. Adding another person to our family is very nerve wracking, but in the past you've done a whole lot better with big transitions than I have. Hopefully that trend will continue. But no matter what, you're the person who made me into a mother and that's a specialness that will never change.

So far every year of your life has been better than the last and the third year was no exception. However, I'm nervous about the upcoming year. You're showing signs of three year old independence, which is good when you want to do things yourself like clean up or get into the car, but not so good when you put your stubborn foot down and won't move, figuratively and literally. Between that and the transition into a four person family, I'm bracing myself for a difficult year ahead. Even if it is hard, I know there will be bright spots and hopefully I can treasure those as they happen (and remember them amidst the screaming). Just this morning when you asked for waffles I told you there were only two left, so you could have both. But you insisted on sharing, so we both had one waffle. It was so generous of you and it gives me hope that we'll get through the fourth year intact. I love you, my sweet boy.

 Three years old