Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tough Day

I have spoken before on here about my son's speech issues and how recently he has been stuttering. Things had gotten much better over the last couple of weeks and some days he is perfectly fine. It really seems to depend on the day and on what kind of emotional state he is in. Things took a turn for the worse again when my mom left to go to Carmel last week, but overall we had been doing much better.

In fact last week as we were leaving speech therapy he was walking silently next to me, holding my hand and kicking rocks as we walked back to the car. He seemed to be thinking about something. He sorta stopped and looked up at me and said, "Not too many bumpy words today Mommy. I do good."

My heart almost broke in half.

My sweet little dude has to worry about "bumpy words." He knows so much more than I give him credit for.

I hugged him and told him that, yes, he did great that day. And made sure he knew that Mommy will always love him. Bumpy words and all. That image of him looking up at me and telling me that has stuck with me. And tonight I couldn't get it out of my mind.

He was trying to tell us something at dinner tonight. It was something about a book and about the earth (he is learning about planets at school and LOVES it) and about Hawaii. How it all related to each other...I have no idea. And he couldn't get out what he wanted to get out. And again, my heart almost broke in half.

You see tonight I could see it on his face. I could read the frustration. And I think tonight might have been the first time that no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't get it out. He wasn't stuttering per se. He wasn't getting stuck on one word. He couldn't even get the sound out. He was making faces and contorting his little face to try and get it out. And he couldn't. I think the concept he was trying to explain was more advanced and he didn't even know which words to use to get it out. And that coupled with the frustration of not being able to get out the words he knew he did want to use made it just too much. And he gave up. My boy gave up. And I will never know exactly what he was trying to tell me.

It is something small, but really, it is so much bigger than that.

And after he couldn't get out that concept he moved on to talk about something else. And that something else he went to right after being stuck was when he "was sad." When he was sad because Mommy was in the hospital and not at home with him.

Just put a dagger through my heart. Kill me now.

Five minutes later he was fine. He was having his skittles for dessert and talking fine and wanting to watch "the dancing show" so he could "shake his bon bon." And he did just that. He had a smile on his face and he danced and he shook his little butt and had a great rest of the evening.

I, however, have not recovered yet. When he was reading a book with my step dad and I was nursing the baby I lost it. I cried and cried. And then I pulled it together before he came back into the room. And I held it together until I went to sing him sunshine before he went to sleep. I barely made it through the song and was able to scoot out the door before the tears fell again.

It just isn't fair. This little boy of mine just can't catch a goddamned break. Poor little dude is smaller than all the other kids and now he can't talk so good. And it breaks my heart.

They don't tell you about this kind of stuff in Parenting 101.

Friday, June 26, 2009

"G" She's Cute...

Here's a picture of the little Peanut right after her bath sporting her super-eco-friendly g diapers. Let's not comment on the rolls that seem to hang over said g diapers because, after all, she is a little girl and we don't want to get her started worrying about her figure at such a young age...

I don't use the g diapers all the time. I use them about a third of the time. I use them during the day when I am home with her. I usually use them until she has a monster poop that soils either the rubber liner inside, or the cute little pants themselves. I have only two pairs of the little pants and no extra rubber liners so I am limited. But damn, they sure are cute. And each time I use one of these I am using one less disposable, so that is a good thing...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Whose Idea Was This?

I was sitting at my desk lamenting about the fact that no matter what I do, I can't seem to get any substantial work done while at home. I guess you could blame it on the 9 week old child that seems to need A LOT of attention. No matter what I do, that child does not want to sleep during the day anywhere except with me. I can put her down in her bassinet and she will fall asleep. But she will inevitably wake up within 15 minutes of being put there. She lasts even less when put in her crib (unfortunately thus far she seems to hate that thing...) However as soon as I get her from either of those places she proceeds to fall into a deep sleep while laying ON me. Great. She will also nap if I take her into my room and lay down with her and nurse her and then lay there with her. She will nap for 3 hours that way. But as soon as I try and sneak away from the bed? She wakes up.

So I was sitting at my desk being cranky about the fact that I can't seem to put her down long enough to get any work done. Of course while I was doing this I was reading blogs. I was reading Amalah's Bounce Back column that follows her hysterical Pregnancy Calendar that I read the entire time I was pregnant. I was reading an entry that talked about getting back into shape after having a baby. It said something about how amusing it was that you can get all sorts of cheap jog strollers on craigs.list and e.bay because people have good intentions and then decide that it just plain isn't worth the effort. Or they realize that it is still jogging even with the pimp stroller and therefore it just sucks.

Then I thought to myself, hey...I have a fancy BOB jog stroller...I am just sitting here on my ass...the baby is probably big enough to fit in there by now...I should get out and exercise since it is CLEAR that I am not going to get any work done here anyway...

Thus began the project that was doomed to fail. I pulled the stroller out from my garage and checked it out. Seemed like with the 5 point harness and a blanket I could keep The Girl from falling out. Plus, it wasn't like I was actually going to jog anyway... So I threw her in there, put her small diaper bag underneath the stroller, grabbed my phone and keys and a bottle of water and headed out.

I was strolling down my street calling my friends on my phone bragging to them that I was actually out walking with my daughter and how cool was I for being so proactive and trying to work off some of the baby flab...when I realized that the ride was a little bumpy. Now those of you who have the BOB jog stroller should know that when you are just walking it is truly one of the smoothest rides out there. Huh. That's weird, I thought to myself. Then I glanced down and looked at the tires. Flat. Totally flat. Both of the back ones. Shit. But of course by this point I was quite a ways away from my house. So I decided to just go the short route instead of the long one and head back.

Then as I am walking away, bumping at each little bump with my flat tires I thought to myself, damn...it sure is hot out here. What the hell time is it anyway? It was like 1:15pm. And it was almost 90 degrees outside. Of course I pick the hottest time of the hottest day in June to take my sorry self outside on a walk. What an ass! Then of course my daughter decides that this isn't the best idea either and she starts crying. Can't say as though I blame her. So we went home. And about a block from my house I stepped in gum. Nice, warm gum that had been getting sufficiently hot and sticky in the hot sun. Great.

I will take that as a sign that the universe does not yet want me to exercise. The universe wanted me to go back inside the house and take a two hour nap on my bed with my baby. So that is exactly what I did. But here is photo proof of the attempt...

PS--Please note that I have a fancy new header on my blog courtesy of Calliope. If you're reading this on a reader, please click through and have a look at the lovely new header. She drew the pic of my kids and me by herself. And I really like the colors and the fancy rainbow colors swirling through it alluding to my little gay self. Thanks so much Cali! I love it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On My Own

This is the first week since the baby has been born that I have been totally on my own. My cousin is no longer coming down to help out with work, and my mom and step dad have been in Carmel on a little much-deserved getaway. So it has just been me and the kids so far this week.
The things I have done well with: The Boy has successfully gotten to school every day. He is getting there a little later than he usually does, but he is making it to school. This is a good thing.

Both children have been bathed on their appropriate days (they each get a bath every other day and I rotate the days so that each day is a bath day for one of them) and are not stinky, scary children.

I have successfully kept everyone fed. Dinnertime is a scary time and without my Mommy here to help out I was worried that The Boy and I would not ever get a real meal. But I did well. I even managed to get us somewhat healthy meals. On Monday night we had pork tenderloin with broccoli and fresh fruit and last night we had a Chinese chicken salad with fresh fruit. And going along with that, The Boy got his medicine and vitamins each night. AND the kitchen got cleaned up and dishes all done both nights. So mealtime has been much better than I had anticipated.

The house does not look like a disaster area. Everything has been cleaned up and kept in order and I have even managed to do about three or four loads of laundry during the last couple of days.

The girl has been kept alive and kicking. Really all this requires is my boob every two to three hours during the day and making sure to get enough sleep so that I don't accidentally forget about her. But her diapers have been changed, she's gone through approximately two to three outfits a day and she is snoozing next to me in the bassinet as I type, so I think I did good with her.

The only thing I would say that I didn't do so great on is working. It is tough to get any work done with all of the above activities. On Monday I was able to bill for about three or four hours of work (my grandmother had to come over to watch The Girl while I went out to a client for the first time since I had the baby), which is decent, but certainly not a full day. Yesterday I was only able to bill for about 2 hours total. I didn't have anyone come over to watch the baby and then in the afternoon I was exhausted after a particularly crappy night with the baby the night before. So instead of focusing on work, I blatantly focused on getting a good nap. Priorities, I guess. :)

Overall I think we did pretty good on our own. My mom is coming back today and will pick The Boy up from school and bring him to me and probably give him a bath. But they have dinner plans so we are on our own for dinner again. But I can handle it. We are slowly getting into a routine. It is tough and exhausting, but I can handle my two kids on my own. I am getting to the point where I am actually looking forward to going back to work Monday through Thursday and getting into a routine. It is hard trying to do it all; Mommy to a newborn, and also trying to be efficient and get some work done during the day. It's tough to have to switch back and forth between those two roles. But we are finding our way. And it is a wonderful journey to have to go on.

Here is a picture of "Big Brother" and "Little Sister" that I gave to my Dad for Father's Day. I am broke right now so I threw a white blanket over the bean bag and put the kids on there and snapped away trying to get a decent picture. Of course all the pictures where The Boy looked good, The Girl didn't and all the pictures where she looked cute, he looked like a moron. So this was the best option and the one we went with...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Two Months Old

My little Peanut is two months old. I can't believe it. In some ways it feels like she has been here forever and in other ways it feels like she just came home from the hospital yesterday.

I would say that going from month one to month two has been quite challenging. Overall I think the 6 week mark is one of the toughest of the newborn phase. They are no longer just sleeping balls of babyness that wake up to eat and then go right back to sleep. But they also can't yet focus on anything or really do anything that hold their attention. Plus, if you have a colicky baby, supposedly they peak at 6 weeks.

We are lucky in that she isn't a colicky girl. But that doesn't mean she isn't fussy. Her fussy time is usually around 6:00pm until midnight. I swear she has a sensor that knows exactly when it is that I pick up my fork to eat dinner. Every single night. That is when she usually starts her "fussy time."

Look at how cute and SLEEPY she was at this time last month:

Such a sweet bundle... However this is how she spent a good portion of her last month:
Charming isn't she? But seriously...she IS fussy but the good news is that she can always be calmed down. I have never had a situation where I am walking a screaming child around the house trying to figure out how to make her stop crying. I can (so far) always make her stop. Little Peanut LOVES to be held. If she is being held, generally she is fine. Sit with her in the rocking chair? Even better. Loves it. And isn't partial to who is holding her either. Any warm body with do. But at the end of the day when all those warm bodies go home and it is just me, The Boy and her...well that's when things get a little rocky.

I think that pretty much every single night when I am putting The Boy to bed, she is screaming. I brush his teeth and read his books and sing him his songs...all with a background noise of child screaming. Like dinner time, I swear she knows. And as soon as I come out there and pick her up, she is fine.

But to combat the fussiness, we have also in the past couple of weeks developed our smile. So freaking cute I could die. She puts that smile on, and I will give her the world. And have you seen the size of those cheeks? Seriously...when she manages to heft those chunky cheeks in the upward direction to give you a smile, well it is the most beautiful sight in the world. She has also started to make this adorable grunting noise when she is sitting on my lap ready to eat. She sees that boob and focuses in on it and makes the cutest noises waiting for the luscious treat to be put into her mouth. And she does like to eat. Yes she does. In fact that is one of the first things people say when they see her. Something along the lines of, "Wow. That baby doesn't skip many meals, does she?" I don't know what they mean. I think she is perfectly petite... Check out those cheeks for yourself...
I seriously munch on those cheeks all day long. I mean how can you not? Look at them. They are practically begging to be eaten...NOM NOM NOM...

She has also gotten much better at sleeping lately. For a while it was a completely different situation every single night. Some nights she ended up in the bassinet, while other nights she was in her crib, or in the swing, or in bed with me...I never knew what was going to happen. I just took it night by night and whatever ended up working was where she ended up.

Lately we seem to be getting into a routine. (Knock on wood...please don't make this go away since I mentioned it...). I take her back to her room around 10:00pm and change her diaper, put her in her sleep sack and then nurse her. After that I take her into her room and turn on the white noise machine and rock her in my arms for about 5 - 10 minutes or until I can tell she is good and tired. Then I put her in the swing and shut the door (monitor on, of course). She will sleep anywhere between 5 to 7 hours usually. Then she gets up and nurses and goes back to sleep for another three hours or so in bed with me. For 8 weeks old, I think this is pretty fabulous. Of course now that I detailed it, all will change tonight and we will start something new. Such is the life with a new baby.

Today was her 2 month appointment and she got 4 shots. It is going to be a long night and long day tomorrow my poor Peanut. But other than that, she was deemed "perfect." Here are her stats: She weighs 11 pounds 10 ounces, which is between the 50th and 75th percentile. She is 22 inches long, which is in the 50th percentile. Her head is 39 centimeters long which is the 50th percentile. She she is pretty standard. Right down the middle on everything.

I cannot imagine my life without her. She was meant to be a part of our little family. She is a great baby who makes my life so much more complete than I ever thought possible. I honestly am enjoying every day I get to spend with her. I love you my little Peanut. Happy two month birthday!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Girl's Newest Friends!

I would like to officially welcome the newest members of The Girl's inner circle.  As I have mentioned before on my blog, two of my best friends were also pregnant at the same time that I was pregnant.  One of them is officially no longer pregnant!

My girlfriend C and I have been friends for several years.  I have such fond memories of going on nightly walks together WAY back when I was trying to conceive The Boy.  If you recall, I tried for 3 years to get pregnant before actually conceiving The Boy.  She and I used to walk every single night and I would lament to her night after night about my IUI's and the meds I was on, and how bummed I would be every single cycle when it didn't work.  She was always so supportive and wonderful to me during those times.

Then I finally got pregnant with The Boy and he arrived and she came over on a regular basis to visit us and dubbed him "Chubs" and loved him dearly.  She continues to call him "Chubs" even though he is definitely NOT a Chubs anymore.  Shortly after that she married her longtime love (who happens to be FABULOUS) and after some time they decided that they wanted to have a child of their own.  In a cruel twist of fate, she found out that she too suffered from that evil curse of infertility.  Our talks turned to her treatments and I was able to support her in her endeavors and promise her that she would have an outcome similar to mine.

When I got pregnant with The Girl I was very worried about telling her about it since I knew she was still struggling to get pregnant and here I was being GREEDY with my two kids.  She was completely loving and supportive about my pregnancy as usual.  I was THRILLED when she discovered a few months later that she was also pregnant.  We were both even more thrilled when she found out she was expecting twins a couple of months after that.

She was 9 weeks behind me during our pregnancies and I am proud to say that she won the prize for the bigger belly given that she had TWO of them in there.  She was put on bed rest at 28 weeks (I was put on bed rest at 29 weeks) for a shortened cervix and we were all secretly worried that her babies would come too soon.

But she is a rock star (as is her husband who did everything so she could be on bed rest effectively) and made it to 36 1/2 weeks.  She delivered on Sunday in the early, early morning.  God love her she pushed both of those babies out!  I have gotten her permission and am proud to introduce to you Baby A who weighs 5 lbs 6 oz and (I am withholding the actual names to attempt to give her a little bit of privacy...) who looks just like her husband...

And Baby B, who weighed 5 lbs 7 oz and who looks just like her!
I truly could not be happier for the their entire little family.  They are amongst the most wonderful people I know and they all worked SO hard for this and they are here and perfect and healthy.  Congrats to you all!  I love you all and can't wait for our kids to play together.  Our dreams have finally been fulfilled...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Keepin' It Real

Sometimes being a single parent is hard.  Most of the time when I write on here I tend to talk about my kids and what is going on with them.  I stay away from myself and how things are going for me.  Truthfully?  Overall they are good.  Damn good.  It isn't like I didn't know what I was getting into when I decided to have a second child while single.  And for the most part I don't like to talk about the tough moments because I feel like the obvious reaction would be that I asked for this.  I knew how tough it would be and I proceeded anyway.  So shut it with the complaints.  And I can certainly see that point of view.  So I feel like I need to state that in no way am I seeking sympathy or someone to "feel sorry for what I am going through" because I did ask for this.  And I knew there would be tough moments.  And guess what?  There are.

Today has been one of the tough ones.  In general weekends are hard.  Everyone else is with their spouse or significant other one weekends.  And there is no work so the days are long.  Most of the days I really relish in the time that I get to spend with my kids.  But let's be real.  Kids aren't precious ALL the time.  And some days they are especially NOT precious.  And when they are having one of those days it can seem like forever to spend with just them.  No other adults to talk to.  No one else to bounce things off of.  No one to tag team and say, "Can you just deal with them for 15 minutes while I make dinner?"  No one to look over at and roll your eyes in a certain understanding of just how horrendous they are acting.  Just me.  I am only one person.  And on some days that just doesn't seem like enough.

The Girl is absolutely charming when other people are around.  Want to know why?  Because when there are other people around she is always being held.  And when she is being held?  Utterly sweet.  Cutest thing you have ever seen in your life.  Opens those bright eyes and gives smiles and just is the best little bundle of joy you have ever experienced.  But put her down?  Not so much.  I am not exaggerating when I say that if she is awake, and not being held, she is crying.  No, scratch that.  She is screaming.  It isn't a colicky cry...as soon as you pick her up she is fine.  So it isn't that horrific crying where you can't get them to stop and you are losing your mind.  Nope, not that at all.  There is a cure for the crying.  Pick her up.  But seriously people...I cannot hold a baby all day long.  I just can't.  I can't even wear her in the papoose or the bjorn all day long.  There are certain times a day when you must put her down.  Say when you are making a bed.  Or when you are loading a dishwasher.  Or making dinner.  Or when you must use the restroom.  Or when, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, your back is going to break in half and you simply must not be holding a god damned baby all the freaking time!

So there are several times a day when I must put her down.  And as soon as I do she starts crying.  And then screaming.  And when you are alone all day long and this routine starts at 9:00am and goes until midnight, you start to lose your mind a little bit.  And then there is a three year old little boy who would really like to have some time with his Mommy without this other little person always present and even though he's just asking you to read a book you want to scream at him, "I can't right now!!  Don't you hear that screaming?  I have to go deal with your sister."  But instead of saying that you smile at him and tell him that you would love to read a book with him and you will get to him as soon as possible and then you walk off and feel like the shittiest parent in the entire world because there just isn't enough of you to go around.  And how is it that the older one, the one who understands and who ends up getting the short end of the stick most of the time is the one who always gets slighted?  So you decide, screw it, and you let the little one cry and you go and read a book to the older one.  Only you can't just sit down and relax and read the book because the other one is SCREAMING in the other room and holy shit, don't they use an infant crying as a form of torture, because after a while it seriously makes you LOSE YOUR MIND!!!

It is a horrible circle that goes round and round.  And god forbid the older one isn't acting like the perfect angel that he is.  God forbid he is trying to push your buttons just a little bit because maybe he is feeling a little sensitive because he isn't seeing as much of Mommy lately.  And maybe you completely sense this and understand it and KNOW that he is right.  And maybe you really want to fix that and give your older boy some undivided attention that he so deserves and so you swear to yourself that the next time the little one falls asleep you are going to ignore the dishes and the laundry and  you will spend some one on one time with him.  So you do and he ends up acting like a total punk and acting up where you spend your time disciplining him and wondering why it is that you are getting this "quality time" when really you could put on a movie and get the laundry done because she only sleeps for such a short period of time and you know your time is ticking away...

It is days like this when I wish there were another adult here for me to talk to.  Not necessarily someone to deal with the situation.  Not necessarily someone who would take over while I locked myself in my bedroom and ate Sees Candies (although that does sound lovely), but just someone who was over the age of three.  Just someone who I could have a conversation with.  Just someone who would talk to me about life, or about a program on TV, or about anything that didn't have to do with children.  I miss that.  

For the most part this is a pretty sweet ride that I am on.  I love my kids and I am blessed to get to spend so much time with them.  And they are only little once.  And truthfully, I am not sure how much time I would have to give to another adult in my life.  But I would be remiss if I didn't mention the days like today.  The long, long days where you spend hours upon hours thinking that there just isn't enough of you to go around.  These are the days that are tough.  And now...my daughter has decided that the...(glances over at nearby clock) 22 minutes she has been asleep in her swing have been quite enough thank you very much.  She is screaming and needs to be picked up.  Fortunately it is late and The Boy is in bed.  Maybe at some point in the near future I will be too.  :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Update on The Boy

With all this talk of the baby, I feel as though The Boy isn't getting the "air time" that he deserves.  So this post is all about updating you all on what is going on with him.

First of all we recently had a "weigh in" appointment with his gastro doctor.  It didn't go great but it wasn't horrible either.  Of course he hadn't gained any weight since she last saw him (about three or four months prior) and was still weighing in at around 27 pounds.  This is still under the 5th percentile on "the chart" and cause for concern.  She recommended that I meet (again) with the nutritionist and wants him to start back on the appetite stimulating medicine.  So that's what we are doing.  I put him back on the meds and have an appointment scheduled with the nutritionist.  

I have to say that I am not expecting anything new in that appointment.  There are only so many things they can tell me.  "Put butter on everything."  "Drown all foods in ranch dressing..."  "Eggs, cheese, fat-heavy meats..."  I have heard it all before.  I have tried it all before.  The Boy is only going to eat what he is going to eat.  And really the issue isn't that he won't eat a variety of foods.  The issue is the amount.  He takes three bites and deems himself full.  That's the problem.  So the trick is to make those three bites as FULL of calories as they can possibly be.  I do my best, I really do.  But the kid likes foods that are good for him and therefore not so full of calories.  He LOVES a bowl of salad.  A little iceberg lettuce with some dressing and he will go to town.  So he gets Caesar dressing, or full fat ranch.  He loves grapes and strawberries and apples and blueberries...but those aren't so full of fat.  He loves hummus and carrots and I try and "convince" him that it tastes better to eat his hummus with pretzels rather than carrots.  He loves chicken but GOD FORBID it be some sort of a "nugget."  It can't have any breading on it whatsoever.  Must just be the white part of the middle of a breast or he won't touch it.  I've tried getting him to eat the thigh meat which is a little fattier--no go.  He also likes fish, but only mahi mahi, or salmon, and again, must be just the plain fish.  No fish sticks here.  I could go on, but really, the kid does eat a lot of different foods.  He just doesn't eat enough of them.

He is still drinking Pediasure and there is some question as to whether that is making his appetite smaller during meals.  But he does not get pediasure at all during the day.  He gets it first thing when he wakes up in the morning and then again right before bed.  So in theory, this shouldn't be effecting his meals during the day.  And he needs that nourishment that is provided by the Pediasure.  He needs the vitamins and minerals that he gets from that.  So we limit him to two a day (one in the morning and one at night) and move forward.  The Boy LOVES his "milk" and would much prefer to drink that than to eat.  He asks for milk all day long and is instead offered a snack.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Moving on...let's talk about the stuttering.  This has been a really tough thing for me to handle as a Mom.  Not only because it was (in theory) my late pregnancy and the birth of The Girl that "caused" it, but because it breaks my heart.  I haven't written much about it here because it is such raw emotion for me that I find it hard to express in words.  Hearing your child struggle to get out the simplest of sentences or requests is, in a word, horrible.  There are times when he will get stuck on a word for a good 15 seconds and will end up putting his eyes down at the floor and whispering, "I can't say it Mommy."  Cue the tears.  Of course as a parent you worry about other kids making fun of your child.  My poor little boy has bright red hair, pasty white skin, is about the size of a very small two year old, and now can't talk pretty.  If that isn't a recipe for kids to make fun of him, I don't know what is.  But so far this doesn't seem to be happening.  We have talked at length with his teacher at school and she is handling the situation great and she tells me that so far, none of the kids have said anything to him.  He hasn't mentioned anything either so hopefully that is all true.

The way we are supposed to handle it is to slow down the speed of our own speaking.  His speech therapists call it "turtle talk."  We talk slow like turtles.  When we talk like this, he will start to mimic our speech and talk slower himself.  We are never supposed to tell him to slow down, or to try again, or god forbid, jump in and finish what he is trying to say for him.  We keep eye contact with him and let him know we are listening and that we have all day long to hear him say what he needs to say if that's what it takes.  When it first started happening we were not to speak of it at all and simply slow our own speech down to try and help.  Since he has now acknowledged the problem on his own ("I can't say it Mommy") we can talk about it.  If he tells me he can't say something I say to him, "Let's try it again in turtle speech."  And so far, he can always get it out when he does that.  Or if he is getting stuck while speaking we can let him finish and then say, "You know what?  That word was kind of bumpy.  Let's try that again in turtle talk."  We are also doing about 3 periods of about half an hour each where we talk very slowly and read books or do some other mellow activity with him.  I should mention that it is damn hard as an adult to slow down your speech.  It seems unnatural and is really tough to do on a regular basis.

The hardest thing for me with the stuttering is just that my sweet little boy doesn't talk to me as much.  He used to chat about his day and tell funny stories and make up little songs.  He doesn't do that anymore.  He uses the bare minimum of words to get his point across and doesn't say much else.  He grunts and he makes unintelligible sounds and hums a lot now, but not so much with the words.  I miss hearing what is going on in his little mind.  I miss our conversations.  I breaks my heart.  I can only hope that all the things we are doing will help him get through this quickly.

With that said, I will say that things have turned around a little in the last week or so.  He seems to be doing much better and talking more.  Maybe we have turned the corner?  Not sure, but I will keep doing whatever I need to do to get him through this.  And he is still in speech therapy.  Although his therapy that is through his school district (the free one) has stopped for the summer (great timing, right?) so he is only in his private therapy once a week.  And remember back when I blogged about my fight with the insurance company to pay for his therapy?  Yeah, well I lost.  They will not cover ANY of his speech therapy.  And his private therapy costs $70 a week.  For one half an hour appointment.  It is killing me financially.  But I will continue to do it because he needs it.  He probably needs more than once a week right now, but I just can't make it happen financially.  Damn insurance company.

With everything that was said above I need to point out that emotionally this kid is fine.  He has no idea he is too small.  He doesn't even seem to be too bothered by his stuttering.  He is happy and funny and sweet and LOVES his new little sister.  He is the same perfect little boy that he has always been.  I don't want to give off the impression of a little boy who is bogged down with all of his difficulties because fortunately, he doesn't seem to be aware of them.  They weigh on MY mind as his mother, but part of my job is to not let him see that.  My job is to make sure he understands that he is the best kid out there and there is not a damn thing wrong with him and that he is perfect exactly the way that he is.  So far, he seems to be buying it.  He thinks he is hysterical and funny and perfect and sweet.  And you know what?  He's right.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Smiling Girl

My baby girl is 7 weeks old today and it is official.  There's no denying it anymore.  She is officially smiling.  And even better...I caught it on film for all of you to enjoy!  Behold the cuteness!!

(and please ignore the fact that The Boy doesn't have on any pants...thanks!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Donor Daddy Visits

The Boy's known donor came into town for a visit this week.  He moved out of state about a year ago and comes into town periodically.  Generally when he is in town he stops by the see The Boy.

A little background...we have had a bit of a rocky relationship in the past.  Donor Daddy offered to be a known donor to The Ex and I way back when...  We discussed everything prior to doing any inseminations and all three of us felt comfortable with the situation when we finally got to the point of trying to get pregnant.  I got pregnant the first month we tried (I had previously been trying to get pregnant with frozen sperm for THREE LONG YEARS with no success).

Initially things were okay.  Then it got a little weird.  When The Ex left me, donor Daddy felt like he needed to step in and be that "parent" to The Boy.  I felt threatened and pulled away.  It's a long story but basically it was tough for all of us.  Donor Daddy didn't expect to have the feelings he did (he is a single guy with no kids of his own) and was overwhelmed with the emotion of having a son that he wasn't "allowed" to raise.  I felt like he was going back on all that we had talked about and was constantly paranoid that he would sue for custody and therefore always was "on guard."  This went on like this for quite a while.  If I am being honest, I was very relieved when he moved out of state.

Since then things have gotten much better.  I should also mention that I have NEVER told him that he couldn't see his son.  Not once.  However there were many times when a visit was schedule and he just wouldn't show up, or he would call an hour late and tell me he wasn't in the "right frame of mind" to see The Boy.  Overall I would say that he has probably seen his son maybe 10 to 20 times in his entire life.  But he is a good guy.  He gave me the greatest gift anyone could give.  My precious boy.  And there is no doubt that he loves his son and wants what is best for him.  He wants so much to be a good Dad to his son and struggles with wanting to do that but also giving me the boundaries that he knows The Ex and I need.  It is a sticky situation with a lot of emotion on all sides.  No matter what, I just want what is best for my boy.

I have always liked the idea of a known donor because I think every kid, no matter what, will always come to a point in their life where they want to know where they came from.  I want to be able to give my kids as much information where that is concerned as I can.  And even through all the emotional stuff that went on between donor Daddy and myself, the only thing I have ever wanted was for him to not hurt or disappoint our son and hopefully be there one day when he has questions.  I am confident that he will be that person.

That being said, the last time he was in town he was upset with me because I wasn't referring to him as "Daddy" to The Boy.  I was calling him by his name.  He sorta got in my face about it and I got right back in his and told him why.  The Boy was only two.  He is in school and he hears about a Mommy and a Daddy everyday.  I didn't want him to have an association with "Daddy" and have it be a negative one.  He knows his friends have Daddy's.  He knows they come home from work at the end of the day and take them out to play.  I didn't want him to feel bad that he never sees his.  Plus, like I said, he was only two years old.  It would be hard to explain the dynamics of the situation to him.  "You have two Mommies and yes, you do have a Daddy, but he isn't really your parent, because see he was very generous and wanted Mom and Mommy to be able to have you and raise you but we had this agreement..."  You get my drift.  

Every time Donor Daddy comes into town he usually brings something for The Boy.  Last time he was in town he brought him a stuffed Rhino.  When we were moving The Boy from the nursery into his big boy room we moved the rhino with it.  At that point I told him it was from his Daddy (he was over three years old at this point).  He stopped dead in his tracks and looked at me.  "My Daddy?" he asked.  

"Yup.  Your Daddy."  

"Where is he?"

"He lives in another state."

"Oh.  Okay."

And that was it.  No more mention of it.  But about a week later he started playing with the rhino and wanting to sleep with it.  Then he started telling anyone who would listen that his rhino was from his Daddy.  It was kind of sweet actually.  It was like he had been let into this club that all the other kids belonged to.  He had a Daddy and although he couldn't verbalize exactly what was going on in his little head, it seemed to be quite important to him.  Since then I have been telling him about his Daddy when he brings it up.  I don't make a big issue out of it, but he knows who he is and he knows that he lives somewhere else.  

That brings us to today.  Today was the first day that Donor Daddy visited and was actually known as the Daddy.  When he walked in and said hi to The Boy, The Boy said, "My Daddy is here."  Donor Daddy swelled up with tears and just looked over at me and mouthed "Thank you."  The Boy was thrilled to see him and referred to him as Daddy several times and spent the evening playing with him and showing him his new big boy room and introducing him to his sister.  And I can't deny the physical similarities between the two of them.  For the very first time since I conceived The Boy, I was genuinely happy with the decision I had made.  The Boy has a Daddy and can know who he is and talk to him and ask questions and be a part of his life.  But he seems to understand that "Daddy" just comes for visits and to play and the The Ex and I are the primary parents in his life.  The Ex came over tonight as well and The Boy was very clear with knowing we were his parents but that Daddy was there to visit and to play.

Overall, I am just so happy with how it has all gone down.  Like I alluded to above (the full story would be WAY too long for this blog post), this has been a long and bumpy road.  But tonight I finally feel at peace.  I am no longer threatened in any way and I think that Donor Daddy finally feels like he has been given the place in his son's life that he has always desired.  And most importantly of all, I think The Boy will have the best of both worlds.  He knows that he has two Mommy's who are his parents.  But when the other kids ask him about his Daddy he doesn't have to say, "I don't have one."  He can say he has one and he lives far away.  And he can know who he is and have him be a part of his life if he desires.  I try so hard to do right by this sticky situation that has resulted in these two amazing kids of mine.  I just want what's best for them and for them to always know how much they were wanted and how many people around them love them.  I think we are on the right track.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's Officially Over

I just got back from my 6 week follow up appointment.  There's something about that appointment that is just so...FINAL.  I mean, that's it.  I no longer see those people.  These women that I saw every three days for so many months and who helped me through one of the toughest times of my life, I no longer go and see them.  That's it.  You're good.  See you in a year.  I'm a little bit sad.  I feel used and left behind...  :)

But seriously, even if I didn't have a little mini-crush on nurse fabulous, it is kinda weird to just be done.  I know, I know...I had the damn baby.  That was their entire point in my life, but still.  Okay, I will get over it.  But I would like to go on record as saying that I will miss my OB's office and all the fabulous people there who took such good care of me and had a HUGE part in getting my daughter here healthy.  So thanks.

In terms of my body and such, things are back to normal.  Uterus was where it was supposed to be (which I had to find out through a very unfortunate pelvic exam...).  And fortunately the ONE thing I am apparently good at with pregnancy is getting back to "normal" afterwards.  I hesitated to post about this because there are lots of women who will probably hate me, but I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight when The Girl was about 3 weeks old (but in my defense I only gained about 20 pounds total).  I have been back in all of my old clothes for about 2 weeks probably.  In fact last weekend I completely went through my wardrobe and purged all things maternity.  And man, did that feel good.  As history shows, I am not good at pregnancy and I am thrilled to be done with it.  And take those damn clothes with you!  Bring back my jeans.  Bring back my regular clothes.  Thank the lord that is over.

The one lovely thing that stayed with me after having this baby was the high blood pressure.  It went back down after The Boy was born, but not so much this time.  It isn't horrifically high, but it is high enough that they want me to stay on medication.  Which does NOT thrill me.  I was so happy to be off of all medications (I was on anti depressants prior to getting pregnant with The Girl) and I really wanted to rock that feeling for a while.  But it was not in the cards.  Apparently being medication free isn't better when there is a possibility of having a stroke and dying with young children.  So I am on the damn blood pressure medication.  I have only been taking it once a day instead of twice a day like when I was pregnant and I was told today that I need to up it back up to twice a day.  I batted my eyelashes and tried to look cute and begged and pleaded, but they didn't so much care.  Take the damn pills.  Twice a day. 

Fine.  You win.  I will take the damn pills.

My friend sent me pictures today from my shower/brunch with good friends.  It was bizarre to see myself so huge and pregnant.  It took me back to see those pics.  Those pictures were taken during the roughest weekend of that entire end-of-pregnancy drama.  And it sure made me happy to be sitting where I am sitting now.  I have a healthy daughter who is 6 weeks old.  And even though she has been a crying fool lately, it is still one thousand times better than where I was back then.

So thank you 6 week follow up for the finality.  Thank you for reminding me that I don't ever want to go through that again.  And thank you for letting me say goodbye to the women who took such great care of me, and who I genuinely like.  And thank you for allowing the best possible outcome of a healthy little girl.  The last 10 months were quite a journey.  And I am glad to be done with it and moving on to the next journey of raising two young kids by myself.

Here's a flashback photo of me right before I gave birth:

And here's a photo of the lovely outcome.  My mother told me that the last pictures I posted of her (you know the one in the "cutielicious" onesie with the white skirt?) made her look HUGE and ROUND and very unattractive.  She said I should screen the photos before I put them out there for the world to see.  So I tried to scroll through all of my pics of her to find one that was flattering to her.  It's hard to take a flattering picture of a newborn baby.  But I decided that given the nature of this post and that I am comparing this picture to the picture of her still inside my belly, I would go au natural and give you a bath shot.  I think it's only appropriate...