Monday, January 21, 2013

Bug Update

Next in line on the update list is Bug.

Bug is going to be 5 in just a few months. FIVE!!! That's supposed to be one of our big, birthday party years (since we don't do parties every year). But I am going to be -hugely- pregnant on his birthday. Like, ready to  pop any day pregnant. I'm really thinking that I will do all the planning, but the hubs is going to have to actually execute the party.

We'll probably have to do a super hero theme for Bug's party. Avengers would be ideal. Bug is absolutely obsessed with Iron Man. He has assigned the whole family their very own heroes from the Avengers. The Hubby is Captain America. I am Black Widow. Bug is Iron Man. Gizmo is the Hulk. Occasionally, he assigned other family members to fill the remaining slots. But really, as long as we have Iron Man, nothing else matters!

Bug is also quite skilled at working the Xbox. He and Gizmo play games together (which always leads to arguments). And most of the time, they are better than I am! And Bug also loves watching movies on Netflix. (The kids are getting way more screen time than they should, because this pregnancy is kicking my butt, and it's cold outside!) I take a secret pleasure in the fact that Bug not only enjoys Power Rangers and super heroes, but he also loves watching Strawberry Shortcake and all the Tinker Bell movies. I am so proud that his wide interest has broken past the typical gender norms! I hope it lasts.

Bug took so long before he actually started talking, that even though he has been talking for quite a while now, I still am amazed at the things he says. He is hilarious! Most of the time it is completely unintentional. He often reminds me that he is a "growing man". And I always crack up when he uses the word "fragile". Also when he says "girl", because he has a hard time pronouncing the word. It usually ends up sounding like "gorl".

Because Bug is a couple of years older than he was during my last pregnancy, he is showing a definite increase in understanding about pregnancy. I have pulled out a few of my pregnancy books to show him pictures that will help him understand what is going on inside me. He likes to try to feel the baby kick (but he usually gets bored before he actually gets to feel anything....which is actually much the same for the Hubs!) He -really- wants a little sister. He always tells me that he hopes the baby will be a "gorl baby". And he doesn't hesitate to tell others that I am having a girl. But we really have no idea what we are having yet, so I always have to make sure that people know that we really don't know! There have been a couple of times where I have watched a birth video online, and Bug comes up to see what I'm watching. He usually asks questions about the noises being made. I explain the birth process as best as I can, and make sure to point out how happy the mommy is after the baby is born, and that she isn't hurt. He's going to be a great big brother...not that he isn't already, I just think he will be a bigger help and much more interested and loving toward the new baby than with Gizmo!

I keep reminding myself that Bug is going to be eligible for Kindergarten this fall. I have been really waffling back and forth between home school and public school. I love the idea of home schooling, but I worry that Bug won't pay as much attention to his learning at home. Or maybe that -I- won't pay as much attention to his learning! We sometimes like to practice his alphabet and numbers, but he doesn't have much interest in them. And when he is interested in learning about them, his attention span is not nearly long enough! He has enjoyed learning how to write things, though. I will write out letters or words, and he will copy them. Or he will write out a bunch of letters that he remembers, and tell me what he thinks it says. I'm guessing that the interest will develop just as it should for him.

I have started to implement some different discipline techniques with Bug. I admit to being way less gentle as a parent than I wish. But I have found that I am able to use motivations other than spanking and yelling with Bug. He responds incredibly well to being grounded from things that he enjoys. I am so glad to be able to move away from the more violent forms of punishment. They have always made me feel so guilty afterwards, but I always struggled with eliminating them from my parenting. So I am beyond glad that Bug is starting to respond to more mild forms of punishment. (Although, I still end up yelling a lot. I'll just keep trying to cut out that bad habit!)

I love my boys! I have admitted to -not- enjoying the toddler stage. at. all. Give me a newborn any day! Now that Bug is preschool aged and moving into just plain old "young child" age, I am finding that this stage is pretty fun! (Now, I just have to survive the toddler stage for the rest of my kids....and hope that the teenage years aren't really all the comparable!)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Gizmo Update

Ok....second post within the week. I'm getting better already!

I felt like I should do a series of updates on each of the boys, since my last post was all about me and my whiny pregnancies. (Seriously, the hubs told me that I focused on everything that has been going wrong. To which I say, "Well, duh! That's what happens when you combine depression with the first half of pregnancy, and put it all on a blog with the word 'lamentations' in the title!" But, I'll try to do a little better now.)

I chose to do Gizmo first, because he's going to be the poor, poor middle child soon.

Gizmo turned 2 back in August. OOOOH.....two! He reminds me a lot of Bug at the same age, mainly because he also likes to run around naked-butt. You'd think potty training would be going better. Oh well. He often strips himself. Then he will actually put his clothes in the hamper...diaper and all, sometimes. Just a couple of weeks ago, I missed a diaper while sorting the clothes for washing, and it ended up in the machine. Of course, I had no idea until I opened the lid and found that all my clothes had magically turned into high-tech water crystals! Luckily, my parents were in town visiting, and my mom was able to help me laugh about the whole thing. I'm sure that if I had found that mess alone, I would have crumpled into a sobbing heap of misery on the floor. We shook out all the clothes, making a huge mess. Put all the clothes in the dryer. Ran an empty wash cycle to clear out the washing machine. Cleaned up the floor (made jokes about diaper filling snowballs). Then I'm pretty sure we had hot chocolate. And I didn't rewash that came out of the dryer looking just fine. I'm a lazy mom.

Gizmo's vocabulary has just exploded in the past few months! He and Bug always have adorable little know, before they end up fighting. Gizmo is constantly asking "Why, Mommy?" Which turns into the verbal equivalent of a Matryoshka doll, with me answering each "why" and having him again ask "why".

"Please get off the counter, Gizmo."
"Why, Mommy?"
"Because, you always grab a knife when you're up there, and I don't want you to have a knife!"
"Why, Mommy?"
"Because, knives are sharp. And I don't want you to hurt yourself."
"Why, Mommy?"
"Because, I love you, and it would make me sad to see you get hurt. [Plus, I don't want to have to take care of any ridiculously self-inflicted wounds!]"
"Why, Mommy?"
"Why, Mommy?"

Obviously, he is just helping me develop my logic skills.

Blessedly, Gizmo has started sleeping in his own bed throughout the whole night! We had a few setbacks, with the usual winter illnesses running their courses. And he always seems to wake up between 6-7am, which stinks. But at least he isn't digging his feet into my thighs anymore. And I'm getting a nice break before sharing with the new baby in a few months!

Gizmo is pretty physical, stubborn, and has a bit of a violent streak. I don't know whether to blame that on him being a redhead...or him being a toddler. Gizmo hits, pinches, scratches, bites, spits and kicks. Bug wasn't nearly so bad. Of course, Bug didn't have to compete with a brother, so that might have something to do with it. It's distressing, as a parent, though! I hope he doesn't act as poorly during disagreements in the church nursery as he does at home!

Regardless of his bad behavior, Gizmo can be a pretty cool kid! He plays video games better than I do. And he likes to sing and dance. Plus, he is sooo daggone cute. And he definitely uses that to his advantage...the little stinker!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Making it through the first half of pregnancy 3.0

My sister is going to be living Gangnam Style in just a couple weeks. Apparently, her moving to South Korea means that I have to start updating my blog more often than every four months. And here I was thinking I didn't have to look up all those resolution articles on exactly how many days it takes to build a habit, because I wasn't planning on any official resolutions this year. But, dangit, I love my family....and if they beg me to write more gripes about my life because they are going to be living on the other side of the planet....I guess I'll put in a little more effort.

First off, an update on my pregnancy is in order. I basically have been feeling like a glorified slug with bad hips. About a month before I got pregnant, I started treating myself for depression with naturopathic suppliments. It was going great! Really great! The two weeks post conception, pre positive pregnancy test, I exercised every. Single. Day. And I had been carefully weighing and measuring my food intake. I was determined to get healthy. But I wasn't losing weight and I was constantly dead tired! Then I found out I was pregnant and it made a bit of sense. And I went off my supplements (just one, actually, that is counter-indicated during pregnancy, but I guess that one was the only one doing jack squat.)

Then my body decided to really welcome me into the first trimester, with 24/7 nausea and a complete inability to ever feel really awake. And the depression was back. The horrible pregnancy nightmares were back. And my hair started falling out. (Which, the hubs tells me that I was just noticing it more because it was getting longer....but I'm not so sure that's 100% true.)

I never threw up during the first trimester, which I am sure plenty of women would envy. But morning sickness sucks no matter what. And I felt like it was worse and longer lasting than I had experienced with my previous two pregnancies. Which is discouraging.

Then the nausea started disappating, and I thought that the second trimester would bring with it rainbows and butterflies, like pretty much every pregnancy book suggests. Not so. My fatigue hasn't lessened at all. My appetite is wishy washy at best. And my Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) is near unbearable. And, of course, the heartburn. Plus, it took a lot longer than I thought it should to feel the baby move.

I didn't feel sure and consistant movement until 19 weeks, which is nearly a month later than I felt movement with my first pregnancy! That was so discouraging! Add that together with my depression/anxiety and the lack of formal maternity care, and at 18 weeks I was a complete and total basketcase. I was totally convinced that I had experienced a silent miscarriage and was carrying around a dead fetus. (I want to briefly apologize if this seems insensitive, and extend my love to any women who have actually experienced a late silent miscarriage. Even though it wasn't my reality, my brain was making it seem so, and it was terrifyingly horrible.) A couple days after my biggest breakdown, I started feeling movement. And it was a sweet relief, even through all the other complaints of pregnancy.

So, in other pregnancy related news, I am doing my own prenatal care in preparation for an unassisted home birth. Midwife attended home births are, unfortunately, not legal in North Carolina at this time. I know the thought of an unattended birth is alarming to many, but I am comfortable with the decision. We have a sympathetic family doctor who I can go to, if I decide I want any formal medical advice or attention. But for now I feel like the pregnancy is progressing without the need of any special attention.

Hopefully, in the days and weeks to come, I will be able to continue updating on life and family and motherhood....for Korea.