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Lost in Translation

February 25th, 2008

Kenny speaks incredibly well, as I have written often of on this blog.   But I can’t resist recording some of his adorably-odd pronunciations of words that he likes to use.   After all, the mommy-blog is really part journal and part glorified baby-book right?   A record of our lives that we will (hopefully) one day read over and laugh together…

Here are some favorites… First,  the added syllables:   choc-o-late, base-a-ment, brace-o-let, es-co-late-er and Chris-a-miss…

…Then the re-arranged consonants:   lellow (yellow), waler (water), malkt (milk), bookt (book), fumb (thumb)…

The best are the all-out invented words: “five-teen” and “eleven-teen” are too hysterical to correct, though my favorite will always be “Unders.”

These are made all the more comic by his perfect pronunciation of harder words: edamame, alligator, umbrella, Kristjana, encyclopedia and quadruple.  

He is also starting to seek out the words he hears that he doesn’t know or understand.   He’ll stop me mid-sentence (usually mid-sentence to someone other than him) and repeat a word I’ve said and say, “What’s that word say?”    Or if he hears a word he knows, but in a context he doesn’t, he’ll interrupt to ask  what I’m talking about.   Earlier today I was talking about buying a present for a baby shower, and he said, “Mama, who’s in the shower right now?   Are they getting  a present?”  

He’s a little sponge, this kid.  

Par for the Course

February 24th, 2008

I had such an easy, text-book perfect pregnancy with Kenny, I had a hard time believing women who told me that they “hated being pregnant.”   I loved every minute of it, and often secretly thought that those with pregnancy gripes were just not taking good care of themselves.


This one has been a little tougher, and now I publicly beg pardon for my earlier arrogance.

I just experienced two days of the worst, most ripping pain since actual labor.   It started a half day after a visit to a chiropractor.   He adjusted my tailbone, and though I felt immediate relief, the pain soon crept in.   Then it was a searing heat from my right cheek (the rear one, kids) to mid thigh.   Then it got to where walking was agony, and lying down was worse.   When I was lying down, I actually couldn’t garner the strength to roll over, nor lift a leg, but had to push myself off the bed and tumble to the floor.   I couldn’t get up from a sitting position without my knees buckling and my pulse racing.   I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital.

Then, as quickly as it caught me, the pain was gone today.   No rhyme or reason.   No “aftershocks.”   I’m as healthy as a horse once again.


Sciatic nerve?   Loosening pelvis?   Who knows.

But aside from my near-crippling weekend, I am rounding into week 22 in good stride.   I have gained a good amount of weight (15 pounds now), I’ve been exercising and eating well (though in huge quantities), and staying as rested as I can.   Only now I’m crossing my fingers that the last 48 hours of insanity were a fluke and not due to return…

Express Yourself

February 20th, 2008

First off, Kenny was back to his happy, jolly, exuberant self today.   He laughed and sang and ran around like a monkey – no sign of yesterday’s melancholy and no mention of wanting to go home.   But I am grateful that he is learning to express himself and share how he’s feeling.   I want him to be comfortable doing that, and I hope that he will more and more.

 One thing that he is never shy about expressing, is his bowl habits.   He talks about that all the time.   He has gotten into a pattern of pooping right before he takes his nap.   Sometimes in the potty, but most often in his diaper after doing nothing on the potty for ten minutes. It’s when I give up and put him in his bed that he lets it all go and calls out the door, “Mama!   I pooped!”

He tells me when he’s struggling.   He’ll ask for some water or apple juice and say, “I drink this and it helps me poop!”   When they’re hard, he’ll say, “I did a golf ball poop!”   When he goes more than the normal amount, “I did a dinosaur poop!”   He likes to be descriptive.

Tonight after we put him to bed, he called out to Casey, “I haven’t had any poops come out today.”   Casey went back in there and he said, “I need a little privacy.”   Thirty seconds later, “Dada!   The poops came out!   They were golf balls!”

Did I ever think I would be spending my evening free time writing an epistle of my son’s poop chronicles?

A Little Homesick…

February 19th, 2008

Today made a week since we left home for sunny skies and warm afternoons.   My in-laws (at whose home we are staying) arrived on Sunday evening and we are having lots of fun.   Funny, though, in spite of his adoration of his  grandparents, Kenny got bitten by the homesick bug today big time.

Casey left for work and my in-laws left to do a couple of hours worth of  errands, and Kenny and Dudley and I  were left to a quiet house and a gorgeous day outside.   But something was giving my little guy the blues.   First, he  wanted to get back  into bed after breakfast and read books.   I happily obliged, as I’m so tired these days with my expanding belly.   But then I realized that he really didn’t want to get out.   I asked him if he wanted to go out side and play, and he said, “I want to go home to my house.”  

I didn’t think too much of it until an hour later when he said  it again and started to cry.   I asked him if he missed his room, and he sniffed and said, “I want to go home right now.   I want to drive back home.”   We talked a little about how we were just going to be here for a couple of weeks while Daddy did some work, and how nice it was that we could go to the beach and be warm outside and on and on.   But he didn’t really cheer at all.   It’s funny, because it’s not like he has a ton of toys at home, or a really special room or anything like that.   Maybe it’s the familiarity of his own bed and room that he misses?   Maybe he misses our daily rhythms at home?   We brought his favorite books and toys and stuffed animals.   We brought Dudley.   We’re here.   What can it be?

Later, we took Dudley on a pre-lunch walk.   After a while he said again,  “I want to go home.”   I thought he meant back to the house, and said, “We’ll be there in just a second!”   “I want to be home in our house in Maryland.   I don’t want to go to Papa  and Gramma’s house.   I want my house.”   Then he started crying a little again.

I  can’t tell you what an ache it’s caused in  my heart.   To me and Casey,  this is a dream opportunity – to escape the bitter cold for a few weeks and live in the sunshine state.   But I guess  for the little guy, there’s  just no place like home.  

Animal Kingdom, Continued…

February 17th, 2008

As if the alligators, cranes and herons were not enough, today on our morning walk, Casey, Kenny, Dudley and I saw a panther.   Yes, a real, live, Florida Panther, crossed the street not more than 2o feet away from us.   He was the same color as Dudley, but significantly larger, and was terrifying and beautiful all at once.

Later, my mother-in-law confirmed that this panther has indeed been spotted several times in the neighborhood.   I also learned that they are an endangered species and there are less than 80 currently living in the wild in Florida.

My MIL also told me that there is an armadillo living in the tree just outside the lanai, but assured me that though he is big and ugly, he moves very slowly.   Unfortunately, armadillos are prey to panthers, and I am sincerely hoping that our panther sighting was a solitary event.   Kenny was charmed by the giant “kitty cat” who crossed our path, but Casey and I are a little dubious.   For now, I’ll take the bunnies and squirrels and giant sand hill cranes.

Alligators, Herons and Cranes… Oh My!

February 15th, 2008

Down in Florida we are staying at Casey’s parent’s house.   It is in a golf course neighborhood and boasts dozens of lakes and a huge array of wildlife.   Today on our walk, we saw a blue heron – a perfect twin of the one that inhabits our dock in the summer, two sand cranes that were taller than I am (and they were close enough to be sure of that!) who were meandering across the road at a turtle’s pace, and one enormous, I kid you not, alligator not more than 20 feet from us, sunning himself on the lakeside.   He was at least seven feet long, and the looks of him sent chills down my spine.   Fortunately, he blended into the grass well enough that Dudley was too distracted by the ducks and snowy egrets to notice him.   Kenny was a little confused, as he looked a little like a big ugly log with legs.

I took pictures with my phone, but none turned out too well.   Looks like tomorrow I’m going to have to take the camera with us on our walk.   And stop making fun of all the senior citizens with the bird-watching hats and binoculars…

Mystery Baby

February 13th, 2008

I just realized that with all the hustle of this last minute trip south, I completely forgot to mention that I had the big 20 Week Ultrasound last Friday….

And we found out that we are having…. A Baby!   That’s right, at the last minute, Casey and I agreed that we wanted to be surprised again, so we asked the sonogram tech not to tell us the sex of this little mystery kid.   We are at peace, though most of our friends are sorely disappointed that we are not only not spilling the beans, but we don’t even know whether or not this bean even has beans.   If that makes any sense.

But the important part of the sonogram went terrific… all looks well so far.   “Baboo” – which is what we call this little goat – is kicking more every day and I am settling into the “comfortable” part of the pregnancy.   I’m still as tired as if I were running ten miles every day, but for now, the nausea is completely gone, the indigestion is at bay, the headaches and metallic taste on my tongue have disappeared, and I’m looking pregnant enough that I’ve passed the just-looking-a-little-fat phase.

As for our drive to Florida, we did fairly well.   Dudley loves car rides and was a dream passenger.   Kenny was so thrilled to be allowed to watch as many DVDs as he wanted, that he was pretty chipper, up until those last twenty minutes or so.   Casey insisted on chivalry ruling the day, so he drove the whole time, and I survived by shifting around as much as possible, and holding my prego-bladder for record-breaking stretches of time.   I only had about an hour last night, right before we stopped to sleep, where I was having some bad pains – not unlike Braxton-Hicks contractions, though I know it’s still too early for that.   I think is was the lack of circulation and the inability to stretch that did it.

Last night’s hotel stop is it’s own story.   By the time we put in 600 miles and hit the Savannah area, pickins’ were slim.   Most every place we stopped at was booked, or wouldn’t take Dudley (it’s hard to fib that he’s a 20-pounder when the guy at the reception desk can clearly see his enormous head popping out of the back window), and our only option was a dinky motel with a tiny room and a single king-sized bed.   Casey and Kenny and I have shared big beds before, but Dudley wasn’t about to lay his canine hiney on that musty floor, and insisted on spooning with the rest of us.   For awhile, it was Casey spooning Kenny, spooning Dudley, spooning me.   Then we shifted to Kenny with his entire body wrapped around Casey’s head and Dudley with his torso on my legs, his legs hanging off the bed, and his head tucked into my thighs.   Needless to say, when the sun came up, we were eager to get back on the road.   We arrived in southern Florida at about 4 today – all in all the driving took about 16 hours.  

Once we broke through the Florida state line, the sun finally came out and the temperature hit 76 degrees.   We called our house-sitter and learned that the mercury at home had only hit 37.   I think we may stay awhile…  

Rollin’, Rollin, Rollin’…

February 12th, 2008

We are packing up the car and driving south for a few weeks.   We just can’t take the cold anymore.

Ok, that’s not the whole story, but we are going to re-locate to Florida for a couple of weeks; Casey is able to work from there for a while, so we are jumping at the opportunity for warm air and sunshine.    The last two winters we have been in Arizona,and  we have escaped these bone-chilling eastern seaboard months.   I know it’s nothing like living in New England, but we’re wimps.

We are actually driving down so that we can take Dudley with us.   He has made an all but 100% recovery from the mysterious infection that got him a week ago.   His left eye is officially a “resolving hemorrhage” and his right eye is only plagued by a small film of proteins that will dissolve themselves in a few weeks.   His lethargy has improved – he is once again counter-surfing and running rolls of toilet paper through the house.   I never thought I’d been so glad to see his giant head licking the edges of the frying pan in the sink.

Kenny is napping better, too.   I have been much more firm in my naptime routine, and it’s worked!   Thank goodness.   Now if only we can figure out how to get him to nap through a 15 hour car ride… ha ha…   Thanks for all the advice and tips on naptime discipline!

Unders, and Other Wonders

February 6th, 2008

The last few days, as Kenny’s gotten over the stomach bug that ailed him, I’ve put underwear on him instead of diapers for the afternoons.   He  has responded with pride and enthusiasm, and  has been  quite disappointed when today we left the house and I put the old Pullups back on.   He hasn’t even had any real accidents – just a dribble here and there.  

But the best part of it, is the lingo he’s adopted in his new Big Boy role.   Though I have only referred to the new clothing as “underwear,” Kenny has taken to calling them “Unders.”   As in, “I want to wear my Unders in the car!   I won’t pee-pee in ’em!”   and “Mommy, I have to potty or so I don’t get my Unders dirty.”

As I’ve become more serious about potty training, I am forced to admit the obvious: it’s really me and Casey, the Parents, that need to be potty trained.   We need to spend a couple of days at home all day, faithfully taking him to the commode, and not relying on the convenience of diapers, which are in reality, so much easier.

I’ve thought a lot about how different we are than our own parent’s generation lately.   My mom didn’t work outside the home, and she was really “home all day”with us.   When we were Kenny’s age, she probably didn’t run errands four different times a week, or take us to the mall just to get out, or run around like crazy to  play dates  and activities and various appointments.   Oh, I’m sure we had a social life; it was just most likely with our neighbors, and we walked to their houses.   And I know that she got groceries and the like, but it was probably a once-a-week outing, not a compulsive daily ritual to get in the car.  

With Kenny sick earlier this week, we stayed exactly in our four walls for two straight days – an anomaly to be sure.   And I realized how different the dynamic is when you really do “stay home” with your kids.   Suddenly there are no battles getting dressed, wearing “unders” and potty training is fun, and there is more time for stories and coloring and playing silly games.   At one point, we sat on the couch for nearly an hour and read books.   Then we moved on to play blocks in the floor for another hour.   Because of the often and impending vomit, I wasn’t getting up trying to squeeze in chores, or looking at the clock getting mentally ready to go somewhere.

I’m not saying that I am suddenly going to stay home all day from now on – the reality is that we have commitments and places to go, and the bigger reality is that we don’t have any playmates in the neighborhood, so if we want any kind of social life, we’ve got to get in the car.     But these sick days have been a good reminder that life isn’t so bad with a little less motoring around and a little more snuggling in.


As for Dudley, we have been to a second round of vet visits, and he is doing much better, though we still haven’t gotten to the bottom of what’s going on.   They have ruled out quite a bit, but have gotten no closer to a true diagnosis.   Stay tuned.

Tired of Playing Second Fiddle…

February 3rd, 2008

… Dudley decided that it was high time for him to have a little attention, too.

Now for those who have read this blog for awhile, you know that when Dudley wants attention, he does not  waste time with mild symptoms, but rather required trips to the emergency room for stomach surgery, or the like.   On Wednesday night, my sweet large gray dog started an odd “squint” with watery eyes and rapid blinking.   Casey took him to the vet who sent him to the doggie ER for a glaucoma test.   Apparently in dogs, glaucoma strikes rapidly and can cause complete blindness in 24 hours if not treated.  

The glaucoma test was negative, but we were told to follow up with a canine opthamologist in the morning.   So Thursday morning found Kenny and Dudley and I in a 6 by 8 foot room for AN HOUR AND A HALF as the opthamologist ran every ocular test there in on the Duds.   Her findings were odd and inconclusive – hemorrhaging in the iris, swelling   and white blood cells floating in front of the pupil.   There was also a pressure in his eyes that while not ranking high enough for glaucoma, indicated that there was a threat of “secondary glaucoma” which is glaucoma that is caused by something else: infection, parasite, immune response or certain types of cancer.     So she took five vials of blood from my not-so-little guys arm and sent them off to the lab.   She also handed us five prescriptions, three of them eye drops, to cover the bases until the results came back.

Has anyone out there tried to put eye drops in a weimaraner before???   Impossible, right?   Well, the clearest indication I have that something is really wrong with Dudley is that he is not only letting me put these three different drops in each eye twice a day, but he is laying on the couch, groaning when he moves and not jumping after me when he hears the word “walk.”   I am starting to get worried.   Our follow-up with the eye doc is Tuesday, but I’ve left messages with her and our regular vet for tomorrow morning.   He is definitely not himself.   He has symptoms of various ailments (according to the webMD for dogs), but I don’t want to freak myself out by continuing to read any further.

Oh – Did I mention that Kenny has spent the evening throwing up?   He’s sleeping now (after changing his bed and pajamas four times), and the big question tomorrow will be, which doctor gets a visit first?   Hopefully Kenny won’t need to go – he has no fever, and this came up so quickly it has to be a 24 hour thing.   Or something he ate.   Washing the various chunks off his pjs and sheets this evening – which included samples from everything he’s eaten today, I started to panic to think of the crazy things my prego-tummy has craved today and the buffet of foods that could possibly by re-appearing if I catch whatever he’s got.

So here I sit, rubbing Dudley’s head between typing, eating my fourth rice krispie treat (why did I make them?   I need to start making broccoli casserole and compelling myself to eat that when I have the munchies), wondering what tomorrow will bring.


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