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Struck out Swinging

April 30th, 2010

Today was not one of my more triumphant days as a mother.   Bitterly magnifying the defeat is the fact that it should have been a day when I was a Hero.   But sometimes even the best player strikes out, right??

I got tickets to take the boys to “A Day Out With Thomas” at our local city railroad museum.   He was only in town for a few days, and I jumped at buying the tickets when they went on sale.   Kenny is starting to  outgrow Thomas a little, but Cooper is a fanatic, and I thought that it would be the perfect Last Hurrah before baby #3 comes our way.  

We even started the day off great.   Casey stayed home for a bit this morning and we went for a walk to the corner coffee shop for croissants and bagels.   We sat by the docks and fed the ducks our crumbs, then headed home to get ready to meet Thomas.   But the crankiness set in even before we got in the car.   Cooper didn’t get enough sleep the night before and by our 10 am departure time, he was whining that he was hungry, and of course pooped on our way out the door.   At least, that’s what I thought I smelled.   After hurriedly changing his diaper as he stood in the doorway, I realized that it wasn’t his own poop I smelled,  but the Dudley poop that was all over the bottoms, and tops, of his shoes.   Ugh.   I was not able to mask my disgust as I yanked them off and threw them out the back door.   He was a little mollified and his whining ceased, at least for a few minutes.

As we walked into the museum, we got an immediate glimpse of Thomas before he left with a string of coaches.   “Thomas!!” squealed Cooper, and a huge grin broke out on his face.   “Hey, that’s not Annie and Clarabel!” shouted Kenny, and indeed, he was right.   Instead of the sleek wooden coaches we expected, he was tugging, in fact, dingy old retired MARC commuter trains.   Hm.   I thought about the extra dough I’d shelled out to ensure a ride on the train…

We walked into chaos, crowds of preschoolers and toddlers vying  for glimpses of displays and exhibits.   The lines were deep for the promised face painting and balloon animals.   We stood in line for nearly 20 minutes hoping for a character balloon, Cooper squirming and trying to get out of the stroller, when I gently asked Kenny if it was ok if we moved on to something else instead.   He was a great sport, as I know that he wanted some sort of souvenir from the day.   As we walked around it became apparent that though the event planners had organized activities both for Kenny and Cooper’s age groups, none of it was close to each other.   There were even moonbounces for both sizes of kids (and rigid signs and attendants to enforce them), but they were far enough apart that I couldn’t let Kenny get in one and go with Cooper to the other because I couldn’t see them both.   We settled for the concession stand and then sat in some seats to watch the end of a magic show for a few minutes before the train we were   booked on left.  

By the time we got on the train (even dingier inside than out), Cooper had had enough and was ready for a nap.   Kenny was excited, though and perked up and watched in rapture as we pulled out of the station.   The ride was 20 minutes.   10 minutes each way through a string of industrial buildings and housing projects.   I’m totally serious.   Kenny looked out the window and kept asking, “What are we passing?”     I wasn’t sure how to explain, but I couldn’t have anyway, because at that point Cooper started to wail.   Kenny and I tried to keep up a fun conversation, but it was tough.

When we pulled back into the station, I hesitantly told Kenny that we needed to leave soon.   He looked sorely disappointed, as was I.   I was mad at myself for not leaving Cooper with a babysitter.       Actually, Cooper would have had a great time if it was all about him; there were plently of things for his level that would have ensured a fum and memorable experience.   And Kenny would have had a fantastic time, if I’d been able to pay more attention to him and stand in lines with him and talk excitedly about all of it with him.   As it was, we were all frustrated as we walked back to the car.   Cooper fell asleep 9 seconds after being strapped in.   Kenny chatted with his gramma on my cell phone all the way home, talking about everything except Thomas.

Needless to say, the afternoon got rougher from there.   Kenny was tired and disappointed, Cooper was tired and needing to be entertained, and I was tired and in need of some rest.   For some reason, I was determined not to give into TV, though we would have been better off if I had.   Instead, Kenny asked if we could do an art project together, and I said yes, knowing that it would be hard to fend Cooper off the art supplies.   More frustration.   More tears.   From all of us.

Kenny had t-ball practice tonight after dinner and by the time he and Casey got home, he was a veritable puddle.   Casey was exhausted from a week of post-surgery travel.   I snuck downstairs and ate a giant piece of chocolate cake, standing in the kitchen, wishing for a glass of wine instead.   Oh, the agony of defeat.

Crying Wolf

April 29th, 2010

Yesterday I was just about 90% sure that I was in labor.   At 10 am I started having contractions that felt like the worst period ever, and they were radiating through my back and down my legs.   I could barely walk or talk at all during them.   I tried all the things that I supposed to help you decide if it’s “really labor” like: drinking a ton of water; laying down for an hour on my left side; going for a walk; changing positions frequently… and on and on.   I would have gone to the hospital, except that Casey was out of town on a business trip and I spent the bulk of the evening playing out various logistic options in my head of how to handle things.  

So I decided to get the boys down to bed early and get all the necessities in order.   I did all the laundry, packed a hospital bag, washed my hair, shaved my legs and finally gave myself a manicure and pedicure.   Somewhere between the hot shower and the giant bowl of ice cream I ate while I painted my toenails, the contractions stopped.

Ok.   Good.   Hubby out of town, here alone, no more labor.   But   bad.   Nearly 11 hours of consistent pain, and you mean I’m not really having his baby?!?     How unfair is that?   I sulked through the end of my sundae and went to bed.   Only to wake up at 1 with another round of contractions that lasted until 3.   Great.   Thanks.   This is really fun.

Today I was fine – just a few normal Braxton Hicks to contend with.   I took the boys to the park, then later on a long walk to the library and to our favorite ice cream shop.   But sitting on the bench with our cones in hand, the awful contractions started again and I wondered how I was going to manage the two block walk home.   Then, miracle of miracles, Casey sent me a text saying that he was coming home tonight instead of tomorrow.   Whew.

So now I sit on my couch and the contractions haven’t stopped, nor have they gotten worse or closer together or anything text-booky like that.   Casey looked at me and said, “You know, if you’re going to have the baby tonight, that would really work out well for me.   I mean, don’t take it the wrong way, but you either need to have it tonight or wait until the end of next week, if you’re not going to make it to the 14th…”   Fortunately for him, I do understand and I’m not offended… (I love you, honey!)

Seriously, though, my thinking at the moment is more along the lines of, “Ok, if I’m going to spend hours and hours in this kind of pain, shouldn’t I have something to show for it?”   I just want justice, that’s all.  

When I was pregnant with Kenny, I went to the hospital twice in “false labor.”   Is there anything more humiliating than being sent home, still in pain, and told, “You’ll know when it’s really labor…”   Talk about feeling like a chump.   With Cooper, I never went in before my scheduled section (which was two days before my due date), but I did have a night where I paced the floor for 8 hours, timing contractions and pretty sure I was going to have a home birth before they stopped uneventfully at sunrise.  

Who are all these people I read about who simply go into labor, go to the hospital and have a baby?   Why is my body so hell-bent on playing tricks on me?

Tell me your story.   I want to hear some good labor (or even better, false labor) stories from you readers out there.   No, “my doctor stripped my membranes at 38 weeks because he was going to Cancun and wanted me to deliver early”   or “I requested to be induced early because I really wanted my baby to be a Capricorn.”   I want to hear some good gory and triumphant stories.   As for me, I’m going to get my affairs in order.

kenny 4-10

Contact Sports

April 27th, 2010

Yes, Cooper’s hair still sticks straight up…

apr 10 001

He’s had at least a dozen haircuts in his 22 months of life, and no matter the length, he always looks a little like he’s just stuck his pinkie into an electric socket.

Today Cooper and Kenny were wrestling… something that I, having no brothers, really don’t get, but Casey assures me that they will do this until one of them graduates high school and moves out.   At this stage, the wrestling usually ends with someone in tears – either Cooper has gotten squished or knocked into a piece of furniture, or Kenny has gotten a fist in the eyeball.   (Did I mention Cooper’s right hook?)   But today was one that I hope I don’t see again: Cooper had Kenny pinned to the ground (Kenny actually laid down and said, “Cooper, come get me!!”) and Kenny tried to throw him off by lifting his hips.   Instead of going to one side or the other, Cooper was pitched forward and his forehead came down with a sickening smack right against Kenny’s front teeth.  

I was literally on the floor next to them and the sound made me nauseous.   There was a moment of silence and then the pair of them starting wailing at full volume.   Ah… now here was the dilemma… which one do I pick up and hug first???   Fortunately, they fell on either side of me, and I scooped on in each arm and held them tight until they’d calmed down enough for me to inspect the damage.   Cooper stopped crying first, but his wound was the most visibly painful.   Kenny swore up and down that his teeth were swelling too much for him to close his mouth, but I couldn’t see a scratch on him.  

They soon moved on to other antics…

apr 10 012

I’m still recovering.

Voila

April 24th, 2010

Found camera.   Found cord.   Go Owlz!

kenny closeup

 

kenny running

… Now I just need to start taking some pictures!   We haven’t used the camera since January….

A Pound of Flesh

April 23rd, 2010

Ok, not quite a pound… I spent  nine hours today  sitting in a hospital waiting room where Casey faced the day with a gallbladder removal.   The surgery was a success and relatively uneventful, save for a little extra nausea on his part post-op.   Whew.   It’s like deja vu from April 2007 when I had my own gallbladderout.   Except that this time  I was  the one twiddling my thumbs and waiting for the pager to go off and someone to tell me that my sweetie is ok.

I will be back at the hospital again at exactly the same time three weeks from today for my c-section.   How’s that for funny?   Everyone I’ve run into here this morning has asked me, “So, are you having this baby today?” and let me tell you how silly I feel saying, “not quite yet!” knowing that I still have three whole weeks to go.   I’m short and small-boned, so yes, I look like I swallowed an enormous  beach ball.   And I also look like I should definitely be giving birth any minute… Not to mention that for some reason the ol’ Braxton Hicks Bombers started at 8 am and haven’t stopped all day.   If they weren’t so darn irregular, I’d entertain the idea of an early birth.   But I don’t think today is my lucky day…

My parents had the boys for the morning, and it was like Disney Land for them… a two-hour jaunt to the city playground, slices from the local pizzeria at the docks for lunch and non-stop playtime into the afternoon.   For some reason, though, a mere two hours after my parents left, they both turned into supreme Grumpy Pants.   It was probably just me… I’ve been up since 4:30 after all and I’m not nearly as fun as Grammie and Grampy, apparently.   Not to mention that I’ve been trying to keep the noise down for Casey (which totally backfired, of course) and keep tabs on him, as he’s still pretty groggy.

On the slate tomorrow: Find the cord that will let me download the  trizillion pictures I’ve taken on my iPhone onto this computer so that I can post some here and get some printed out!     And Kenny has his 2nd T-Ball game at 9 in the morning.     Casey will still be in bed, but we will carry on.   Kenny is a little nervous, as Coach Daddy will not be there, but he’s excited nonetheless.   If still a little confused of what he’s supposed to be  doing at first base, when their are no outs in Junior T-Ball.

Even Mommy Gets the Boo-Hoos

April 19th, 2010

Mondays are never the easiest day of the week.   There’s always too much to do, and everyone is always bummed to see the weekend come to an end.   Kenny and Cooper seem to consistently get what I call “The Monday Boo-Hoos” the moment they realize that Casey is actually going to work.   Couple that with the occasional Mondays that he travels, and we have Boo-Hoo City.

Today was no exception, and when I was feeding Kenny lunch before pre-school and he said that he was too tired to eat, I brushed him off and sassed back, “Well, if you’re too tired to eat, you’re too tired to go to school and you’re definitely too tired to go to Kaitie’s birthday party tonight!’   He sniffled and choked down his grilled cheese and said, “Ok, I’ll be fine…” and thus we left the house.

Since we had an extra 15 minutes, we stopped to purchase a gift for said party and just before I was ready to hit the checkout line, Kenny whispered, “Mama?   I have to poop.”   “You’re kidding me,” I said, less than kindly, “Are you really sure?”   His little mouth started to quiver and I herded him and Cooper to the not-remotely-clean restroom in the store.   When he finished, we had barely a second to spare to get him to school on time.   I was so hurried to get him in his classroom, I kissed the top of his head and said, “See you at 3!” and hustled out the door with Cooper, to try and get him home for a much-needed nap.

Two and a half hours later we returned to pick him up, and there was Casey at the door to surprise him.   Cooper ran into his arms in the hallway, but Kenny didn’t even react when we entered the classroom.   “I’m really, really tired,” he mumbled and big tears started to fill his eyes.   I felt his forehead and there was no mistaking a fever.   Ten minutes later we were in the pediatrician’s office with a diagnosis of Strep and a prescription.   We kissed Casey goodbye, and the poor little guy cried all the way home, he was so achy and feverish and sad that Casey wouldn’t be there for bedtime tonight.

We parked the car at home and I strapped them both in the double stroller to walk down to the pharmacy.   One of the coolest things about living in town?   I can walk to everything.   One of the uncool things?   I have to walk, as there  is often no parking near where I need to go.   By the time we got the Rx,  Kenny was pale and the next thing I knew, he started to projectile vomit all over himself as we walked down Main Street.   He was mortified, and started to sob as he looked down at his clothes and the stroller.     We managed to get home and I stripped him down in the driveway and carried him upstairs to wash him up and get him some clean clothes.  

I directed Kenny and Cooper into my room, where I promised that they could watch a movie in my bed while we ate dinner.   I’d just washed my linens, and they sat watching me in the floor as I made the bed.   Just as we were getting settled onto fresh-out-of-the-dryer clean sheets, Dudley came tearing in and jumped on the bed and wiped his ass on the white top sheet, soiling it with a horrific streak.   I screamed at Dudley in disgust, hauling him off the bed and slapping his backside.   In his  surprise and confusion, he ran into the guest room and jumped on the bed, then into Kenny and Cooper’s room and did the same.   I charged after him with a hormone and stress-induced howl that scared him enough that he finally tore downstairs and hid behind the couch.  

Unfortunately, my shrieks also terrified the boys, and when I turned to see them, Kenny was crying and Cooper was wailing at the sight of their usually-nice Mommy in a rage.   I dropped down to their level and took them both in my arms, crying now myself.   “I’m so sorry,” I whispered, and I held them both for a long time.   I was so ashamed.   I was still boiling-mad at Dudley, but I was even more sorry that my little guys witnessed me lose it so terribly.   After we all calmed down, I stripped the bed (again) and spread out a picnic blanket over the mattress.   We turned on the movie and snuggled in with our now cold pizza.   Cooper squished so close to me I though he might be somewhat absorbed by osmosis at some point.   And Kenny kept close enough that I could rub his head the whole time.

As I put them to bed, I thought about  how much I loved them and how horrible I felt  that I’d scared them by  yelling  at our stupid dog.   The  good news is that since Kenny’s contagious, we  can truly take a “sick day” tomorrow and do nothing but play all day together, just the three of us.    How can there be any Boo-Hoos over that?   Now if only someone could invent  a toilet  paper for dogs…

Mommy(blog)

April 18th, 2010

Last night Casey looked at me and my giant almost 36-week0sized belly and said, “You know, even if you don’t want to, you should try to blog a little, at least in these last few weeks of pregnancy.   You don’t want to lose these memories…”

And he’s right.

First, there is really no reason that I stopped blogging.   I guess I just got wicked busy, and after days turned into weeks, it was a relief not to add the days’ extractions onto the computer before falling exhausted into bed.     I decided not to feel guilty about it (even though I was missing out on the “baby book” aspect of some of Cooper’s most charming times of   life) and to be honest, kind-of even forgot about it, except when my mother asked me continually if I was ever going to blog again.  

I did appreciate all the kind emails checking up on me and encouraging me.   And there were many nights that I almost started to write something down from the day, but it seemed so odd to just jump back in after my extended absence.   And so much has happened!

We moved to the Historic District of our local city.     From isolated, expansive waterfront to in-town life, we are still getting used to the joys and pains.   Joys, like seeing friends daily, family walks and trips to the coffee shops and ice cream parlors that dot our bricked sidewalks, half the time  as before spent driving in the car, and all the energy that small-town life has to offer.   Pains, like Dudley’s lack of a dog door or big yard to run in, and his psychotic barking at every single person who walks by our house all day long… though we just got this anti-bark device that’s working pretty well…   The boys miss their giant bedroom and big yard with the swingset, but they’ve come to love our long walks around town and the city playground.   And our house has this awesome glassed-in front porch that overlooks the street which we turned into a playroom.   Talk about never feeling lonely!

Kenny has started his first sport: Junior T-Ball.   It’s a riot to watch and he is loving every moment of it.   Cooper is, too, and is totally convinced that he’s a member of the team, even though he can’t figure out why we never let him on the field.   Casey is the coach of Kenny’s team, and we had his first game this weekend.   It was a tie, of course, as it turns out that in Junior T-Ball, everyone gets a single on any hit, and there are no outs.   Kenny was mighty disappointed by this second fact, as he was playing first base, and got three players out.   At one point, he turned to the opposing coach, who was at first base to cheer his runners, and said, “If I get the ball and get to the base first, the runner is supposed to be out!”   The coach had the decency to look uncomfortable and mumble, “Uh huh.”   We explained to Kenny that T-Ball is a little different that baseball, which he knows the rules of already, and he looked at us like we were crazy.   Oh well… at least he has fun wrestling with his equally-adorable teammates in the dugout…

Cooper talks like a three-year-old.   I am totally not exaggerating.   Everyone who is around him is amazed by what comes out of his mouth.   “What you doin’ there, Dada?” “You like a bite ‘a my apple, Mama?”   “Lay down next to me, please!”   “We making samwiches for lunch!”   “Der’s ‘Tarbucks, Mama!   You wanna coffee?     I wanna choc-late milk!   An’ a muffin!”   “Can I have a juice, please?”   “Mama!   Kenny has it!   He has my ball! You get it ‘a him an’ give it to me!!”   The kid is only 21 months and we can carry on a conversation.     And he can throw a ball!   Really hard, as in, if he gets his hands on a baseball, it’s best to duck.   He’s 30 pounds, too, and his 2-T tee-shirts barely cover his belly button.   And his hair still sticks up.   I should post some pictures…

(Ah, pictures have become as scarce as blog-posts.   I haven’t seen our camera since the move and though I am constantly snapping shots on my iPhone, I haven’t managed to download any yet, so they are pretty useless…)

Oh yeah, and I’m almost 36 weeks pregnant.   I have a c-section scheduled for May14th… not soon enough, though with all I still need to do to get ready, I’d better get crackin’.   I have been having very consistent Braxton Hicks contractions since I was 18 weeks, and I told my OB that I’ve gotten so used to them that I’ll have no idea if I actually go into labor.   They are not the friendly BH contractions, either… they are the double-you-over, make you gasp for breath and start timing kind.   There have been four separate occasions now where they lasted more than two hours, at regular intervals, and I was convinced that I was going to have to go to the hospital.   Each time, though, just as I was reaching for the phone, they disappeared.   Today was another bad stretch, and I actually spent about 5 hours in bed this afternoon.   I’ve started to hope that I do really have this baby early.   I’m not sure I can take another 4 weeks of this!

Ok… that’s long enough for now.   Do I even still have any readers out there?   it doesn’t matter… this documentary is for me and the kids, anyway.   No guarantees that I’ll be able to write much regularly, though I do hope that I can, at least through this mystery-baby’s birth.   It is a precious time.

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