Archives for August 2015

Here We Go Again!

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Doing her best “So Big!”

I’m sure that when I was airing my grievances about parenting a toddler a couple of weeks ago, many of you thought, “this chick is so done with kids.”

Well, surprise, surprise!

We excited to announce that B’s (only!) baby brother or sister will arrive on or around February 22, 2016 (I finally have a chance at my Pisces baby!)

Before our trip to Ireland, we decided that we would start trying for another little one upon our return. Well, we got back from  on Memorial Day weekend and just a couple of weeks later (on Father’s Day, incidently), I was trying to control my squirming toddler while the cashier at CVS rang up my preganancy test and gave me sympathetic looks. An hour later, I was standing in the bathroom, staring at those two blue lines.

I was shocked.

Obviously, I know how babies are made. But, with B, it took exactly one year from the day we threw caution to the wind to the day that I found out that she was on her way. So, I was expecting to wait around for awhile this time, too.

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During the days that followed, I would get slightly teary when I would cuddle with B, mourning the fact that she would be my one and only for just a few short months more. As I would drift off to sleep, I would jolt myself awake with panicked thoughts about how we could rearrange B’s room to accommodate both a toddler bed and a crib. I couldn’t help but think that we maybe we had decided to quickly that becoming family of five was a good idea.

But, then, I had my first doctor’s appointment in the middle of July. I saw that tiny blob on the screen and, of course, I was in love.

This pregnancy has been a bit different than the first time around in other ways, too. I feel gigantic already, and I am thanking my lucky stars that I won’t be at my largest in the heat of the summer like I was last time around. I am exhausted of course, which is compounded by the fact that I spend most of my free time chasing a toddler around. I miss the days of my first pregnancy when I could take a three hour nap after work, without a tiny human pulling my hair and chanting “Up, up.” With B, I only had a couple of weeks where I had horrendous all day nausea, but this time around I have felt terrible from 5 p.m. onward every single day since week 6. I would much rather have the former–intense, but short-lived! I don’t really have any food cravings or aversions at the moment, but as soon as I finish one snack, I’m hungry for something else!

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I have heard many moms say that they were less worried, and sometimes forgot that they were pregnant. I don’t find this to be true in my case, because I’m just a chronic worrier. I find myself Googling the same things that I did the first time around (“chances of miscarriage at five/six/seven, etc. weeks” still turns up exactly the same search results as it did more than two years ago) plus some new ones (a frequent search is “toddler jumped on my stomach while I was pregnant”). But, remembering how much time I wasted on WebMD last time around, I let myself wander down the rabbit hole for ten minutes and then force myself to move on to something else. I would consider that progress.

B has chosen to deal with the situation by ignoring the fact that anything is happening. When I show her the ultrasound photos she just says “all done” and pushes them away. I point to my belly and tell her that her baby brother or sister is in there, and she toddles off to get one of her Little People babies, as if to say, “No thanks! I already have one!”

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I’m getting a what?

Yeah…we’ll keep working on it!

Life with a Toddler

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Definitely plotting something

I have mentioned before that the toddler stage has definitely not been my favorite. I didn’t realize it when in I was deep in the fog of new parenthood, but infants are so much easier. After awhile, you can get them to eat, sleep and poop on a schedule. You can strap them into their car seats and they will gladly fall asleep or stare off into space while you enjoy a meal. If they are fussy, you can usually calm them down by rocking them for a while or making a few funny faces.

Toddlers are a completely different breed. Their lack of impulse control, propensity to become overstimulated by circumstances that are completely mundane to grown-ups, limited communication and inability to listen to reason make them pretty much impossible. I’m pretty sure that the first toddler tantrum was what finally snapped me out of my new parenthood fog and brought back vivid memories of the good old days. Suddenly, I remembered exactly what my life was like before this screaming little terror took it over. Spoiler alert: it was awesome.

Also, if there are any soon-to-be parents out there, be forewarned that the term “terrible twos” is a misnomer. The demon behavior starts almost immediately after they turn one. Get your wine glasses ready now.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many days when B is completely adorable and we have the best time together. But some days, she is completely insane. I realize that it’s not her fault, for all the reasons I mentioned above…but some days she drives us completely insane as well.

Like someone who has had too much to drink, she is prone to frequent stumbling and violent outbursts that include throwing things. She laughs and cries at random, often inappropriate times. She will dance around with plastic containers on her head. She an fall dead asleep, anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

Like a senior citizen, B lacks any kind of filter. She has no problem telling me that I am fat, for example. Okay, so she hasn’t actually said this to me, but the way that she squeezes by belly and laughs certainly implies it. Like someone in the advanced stages of senility, she has hidden my cell phone in the oven of her play kitchen and I have found her toy keys in my refrigerator. I have to repeat everything I say at least fifty times because she never seems to hear me the first time around.

Like a puppy, she is prone to accidents and has ruined every nice thing that we own. She craves attention for showing off her tricks, all the time. On the plus side, she can now sometimes be bribed with snacks.

Although I can’t say that I have ever encountered a terrorist or a hostage-taker in person, I’m pretty sure that I have read enough books and seen enough movies to know that B is just like them, too. She is full of demands and she will resort to torture, such as biting, pinching and hitting when she isn’t obeyed. She has perfected the art of hanging onto legs and wrapping her  arms around necks to trap her victims.

Like a mental patient, she dances to music that only they can hear and talks to people that only they can see. I have seen her go from all-out mania to crippling depression in a matter of minutes. Her ability to listen to the same story, sing the same song and eat the same food over and over again could easily be mistaken for OCD.

Fortunately, nature knows what it’s doing, so it also equipped this little monster with the ability to look at me with wide eyes, pull me into a hug, and whisper the word “love” in my ear. Those fleeting moments are probably what keeps us parents from abandoning our toddlers on busy street corners, with signs around their necks that says “free to good home.” Those are the moments I try to remember when I’ve had to peel a screaming little person off the world’s largest rubber duck or been the target of a 6 a.m. kitchen floor meltdown because I gave said little person Honey Nut Cheerios instead of the regular variety.

It’s either that, or I open the liquor cabinet and drink all of its contents in one sitting. But, I’m pretty sure that dealing with a tiny, drunk, senior citizen, while nursing a hangover is the worst idea ever.

Little B: 23 Months

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The countdown to two continues! Here is our second to last monthly round-up of all that’s new in Little B’s world!

Personality

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How you doin’?

Oh, some days are difficult. Let’s just say she’s…spirited. She loves jumping on the furniture, yelling and expressing her very strong opinions about what she likes and doesn’t like.

Milestones

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Baby’s first sleepover

B spent her first night away from us with a sleepover at Granny’s while Chester and I went to one of my work-related events. She had a great time going to Saturday mass, blowing bubbles with the neighbors on the step after 8 p.m. and watching Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire on TV before bed. It was so strange to come home to an empty house that night! I had grand plans of sleeping late the next day, but of course that didn’t happen since I have apparently become automatically programmed to wake up before 6 a.m. since becoming a parent.

Saying

Lots and lots of new words, everyday! We definitely need to be mindful of what we say, since she seems to have added “damn” to her vocabulary. She also has an adorable habit of adding an “s” to and exaggerating some words (for example, “puppieshhhh” when she means puppies or “pleashhhe” when she says please). She is also recognizing many letters of the alphabet (aside from her long-time favorite “B.”) and “sings” lots of songs. The two of us have been doing a mean duet on “You Are My Sunshine.”

Favorite things

Her Alpha-Pup toy—we play with this every single morning.

Least favorite things

Lately, it’s a challenge to convince her to get dressed most mornings.

Favorite Books

You Are My I Love You

Fun experiences

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She met Clifford, one of her favorite book/TV characters, at the Please Touch Museum. She was so excited as we waited in line, but I was unsure of how she would react once she was up close and personal with the big red dog. I needn’t have worried about a meltdown as she ran right up to him and gave him a weird hug/belly grab before posing for a few photos.

We can’t wait to celebrate the big “2” at the end of the month!