Monday, March 30, 2009

It's not all whining...sometimes he's pretty cute, too.

Despite all the whining and defiance and being contrary over nothing on a daily basis, I must admit that I still enjoy this age. J is my constant companion, my little buddy. I've had days where, if it wasn't for the fact that he's just under 3 years old, I would describe him as my best friend. What would I do without him? What did we do before we had him? Was life really that interesting? I doubt it.

I've been working extremely hard lately, coming home super late most days and even going to the clinic on my days off. (This is mostly due to my colleague being on maternity leave and me being the only doctor for the last 6 weeks. Just an aside - I thought I wanted to open my own clinic within the next couple of years, but I think that will have to wait. Running a single-doctor practice is a bit much with small kids at home. But anyway.) Last week, like clockwork, I started to develop my usual hellish seasonal allergies, with the added bonus of being pregnant and not being able to take any of the "good" allergy stuff. So yesterday I was laying on the bed with a monster sinus headache, unable to breath through my nose, and generally miserable. J must have been able to tell I was under the weather because he climbed up on the bed with me and started trying to cheer me up.

"Let's play hide and seek!" he whispered, pulling the covers up over us. "You hafta be quiet so Daddy can't find us." Then he started jumping around and shrieking and jerking the covers around on me, having a leeeetle too much fun with the whole "hiding from Daddy" thing.

"J!" I hissed. "Mommy doesn't feel good! STOP JUMPING AROUND ON THE BED. You're supposed to be hiding, anyway. How exactly does one hide making this much noise?"

At this he surprisingly calmed down and curled up next to me, with his little head inches from mine on the pillow. "You don't feel good?" he said. "You sick?" And apparently inspiration struck because he hopped off the bed and ran into his room. A few minutes later he came running back with his Favorite Item of All Time, his green blankie that has been his constant companion literally since he came home from the hospital, and who is simply called "Blanket."

"Here, Mommy," he whispered. "I brought you Blanket. I take care of you." Then he covered me up with Blanket and laid down next to me again, and started scratching my back. Ah, that kid. In our house "scratch my back" is the ultimate affection, worth more to me than a foot rub or a hot bath. "Look, Mommy, I scratch you back. You get better." Then he snuggled in and told me, "Let's take a nap a-gether (together)." Then, bless his little heart, he started singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." When he was done I asked him for a kiss, and he happily obliged with a smack on my cheek. I love his little kisses, especially now that he's learned how to do it right and not slobber all over my face. Those little lips! So precious. He's going to be a serious heartbreaker someday.

Then, right before I drifted off (into what was unfortunately only a 20 minute power nap because I got called in to work to see about a patient - on a Sunday no less), J threw his arm over me and said, "You the best."

"I'm the best?" I said, having never heard him say this particular phrase before.

" the best Mommy I have." And then we fell asleep.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mr. Whiny McWhinerson

Well, the title says it all. As J quickly approaches three, he's becoming a Master Whiner. He's been whining about everything. He whines from the minute he opens his eyes in the morning ("I wanna watch TV. Turn on the Teeee-veeeee. I want some milk. NO! I don't want milk! I want apple juuuuuuuice.") He whines while we're getting ready for daycare. He whines in the car about the music selection. ("I don't like that one, Mommy! Turn on the other one. The other ooooooone. The ooooooother oooooone. I don't like this one.....") He whines as soon as he gets in the car after daycare about dinner. He whines at the dinner table about which bowl he's eating out of it in an especially cranky voice, the Witching Hour voice which is a combination of tired + hungry + needing attention from parents after daycare all day + being almost 3. He whines about taking a bath, then he whines about getting out of the tub. He whines about Mimi licking him too much and pretty much everything Yoda does for some reason ("Noooooo, Yoda's walking on the staaaaaairs! Noooo Yoda! He's laying on the cooooooouch.") Then he whines about me not getting in his bed with him and basically whines himself to sleep.

Can you tell we've been listening to alot of whining this weekend? J has even been spending time on the Timeout Rug just because he wouldn't stop whining. And you know what he does while he's over there? You guessed it. He whines about how he doesn't want to sit on the rug. Lord help me, I almost miss the tantrums - at least those were few and far between and pretty much over within 10 minutes. Something tells me the whining is just getting started.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Semi-wordless Monday -- which do I miss more, caffeine or wine? Depends on the time of day.

People: What have you been up to, lately? Your blog has been kind of sucky. You seem a little, I don't know, preoccupied.

Me: What have I been up to? Oh, nothing, really. Just bein' fertile.

Taken on 1/18/09, two days after I wrote about The Most Recent Miscarriage. Taken, I might add, in a Target bathroom, where I was kind of hyperventilating/freaking out/elated/confused. The first of seven (yes, seven) pregnancy tests taken over the course of 48 hours until my dr. could get me in.

Taken this morning, at 12 weeks, 3 days. The requisite "Skeletor" shot. Amazing. It's still in there. The heart is still beating. God is good.

More of this morning's amazingness. I had a dream that it's another boy, but they will neither confirm nor deny until my next ultrasound in 6 weeks. I get to have lots of ultrasounds because I'm special. "Special" = enough miscarriages to be considered "high risk."

Kinda small but that date is 9/28/09.

Happily sleeping away in his big boy racecar bed, blissfully unaware that in 6 short months life as His Highness knows it will be changed forever. Sorry, kid.

I'm not brave enough to post "belly pics" just yet. Any tummy that you see at this point was there well before I got pregnant again. Let's wait until maternity fat can be distinguished from fat fat, shall we?

Monday, March 9, 2009

The interesting mind of my almost-3-year-old. Interesting to me, anyway.

As J quickly (waaaay too quickly) approaches three, he is becoming more and more like a "real" person to me. Not that he hasn't always been real, but for me the first couple of years of parenting were alot of me interpreting what I thought he was thinking, or wanting, or needing. In many ways, when they're babies, you see your kid as an extension of yourself, and it takes time for you to start understanding them as their own person with their own thoughts and opinions. Time, and the development of usable language skills.

Lately I've found myself fascinated by the things J has to say. Not just the major existential type things like "We saw God at church," but the little, throw-away things. Every day he seems to pick up on more and more of everyday life, with or without my help. For instance, today in the car we ran through Starbucks and got our Mommy's Day Off Usual: a grande soy chai latte for me, and a Horizon organic chocolate milkbox for him. After awhile I noticed that J was being unusually quiet, so I turned around and saw him intently trying to peel off a little square of cellophane on the bottom of the box. "What are you doing, sweetie?" I asked. "I have to remove this piece of plastic," he replied. Okay, first of all, "remove?" And then I started thinking, How does he know that's plastic? How does he know the word 'plastic'? It's not like we say that word alot in daily conversation. I definitely didn't make any special effort to teach him the word 'plastic.'

Or how a commercial came on for a Polly Pocket or Barbie or some such nonsense toy that makes me glad I have a little boy, and after the commercial was over J said, "I don't want that, that's for girls." Really? How does he know that some toys are for boys, and some are for girls? It's not like he has a sister or has been exposed to "girly" toys (there's only one girl at his little daycare, believe it or not). I've certainly never told him that he couldn't have a toy because it was "for girls." Is it just that there were only girls in the commercial? Or does he intuitively understand that if the toy is pink/lavender/yellow with fairy wings that boys are not the intended audience?

It sounds a little crazy but these are the things that fascinate me about watching this kid grow up. His little brain is forming right before my eyes, and he absorbs everything -- the things I tell him, the things he hears/sees at daycare, the background chatter of the TV and movies we watch, things I don't even know about that are forming his view of the world. It's so cool! For nerds like me, anyway LOL.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We've gotta get out of here.

Vegas, that is. June marks five years in Sin City, and since we just bought a house here a year ago I guess it'll be at least a few more years before we leave. It's not really that bad, but we're starting to feel the effects of being so far away from family. Last week I spent the weekend in Denver with my sisters and aunts and cousins, and this weekend my mom was in town from Alaska. It was almost like old times, only it required plane trips and money and hotels and lots of text messaging.

Don't get me wrong -- I have a good circle of friends here in Vegas. J knows lots of people. But, it's not the same. J doesn't talk about our friends the way he talks about his family, even though he only sees the fam a few times a year. This morning he woke up looking for Granny (my mom insists on being called Granny), and then he solemnly told me, "Granny got on the plane and went to Laska. I wanna go too." Other times he'll randomly ask, "Amember when Auntie B was here? And we ate a turkey?" or point out to me that his Elmo jacket came from Auntie B and his Walkin' Talkin' Lightning McQueen came from Auntie D. Somehow he knows that those names are a little more special--more important--to Mommy than those of our Vegas friends.

When we first moved to Vegas, it was just me, TH, and Yoda. We had a great time. Lots of hanging out on the Strip at nightclubs, sleeping in until 11am on our days off, eating at cool restaurants. It really was a grown-up's playground. At first, it was kind of cool to be away from family for awhile, just the two of us against the world. Of course having J changed things a little bit. Suddenly we realized that we didn't know anyone with kids. We didn't know anyone who had experience looking for daycares or preschools in this area. After the first ten days when my mom and sisters came to visit, we had no help. None. I called my twin sister EVERY DAY for the first six weeks to talk/complain/freak out about the baby. I'm sure she got sick of it, and on many occasions, she would say, "If you still lived here I could just come over and show you how I do it" or "It's too bad you're so far away, it sounds like you need a break from the baby and I would come get him in a heartbeat."

Now that J is older, it's not the help that I miss so much (although that would be nice) but the feeling that he knows his family. He's missing out on alot of the things that were great about my own childhood -- hanging out with cousins, spending the night at Grandma's, going on family trips, barbecues, Christmas dinners, etc. And we're missing out on them. When I saw my niece and nephew last week I couldn't believe these were the same kids. I was there when they were both born, yet in the past five years I've only seen them...maybe 5 or 6 times. In person, anyway.

What to do, what to do....we're at a crossroads, where we've put down enough roots that leaving Vegas won't exactly be simple, but the older we get and the older J gets the passing of time becomes more acute and we have conversation after conversation about how we can get back to Denver. The reality? We probably can't get out of here for at least 3 more years. Thank God for email, phones, and blogs.