Monday, November 28, 2011

Decking the halls

We went and cut down our Christmas tree this weekend, like we do every year after Thanksgiving, and I gotta say, it really isn't the same without snow.  Last year we pulled Gus around in a sled, all bundled up and adorable, and we threw snowballs at Bella and we frolicked and it was all very pretty. 

This year was certainly fun, but not nearly as picturesque, as our surroundings essentially amounted to brown, dead November.  But that's okay.  Snow may be awesome, but so is not dealing with the additional traffic headaches and the shoveling and the slushy goopy sidewalks.  So for as long as nature will allow it this winter, I'm cool with no snow.

So no winter wonderland, and my camera died pretty much upon our arrival.  This is literally all I got.

And from my cell phone camera, here's Gus "helping" my dad load up the trees.


Such a fun day though, and we picked out a real beauty.  It can actually be pretty stressful, wandering around trying to really visualize how certain trees will work (read: fit) in our small home.  (This year I think we actually did it... we didn't underestimate the size of the tree and end up with something that takes up our entire dining room!)  And then there is some added stress when you throw into the mix a toddler and a dangerously encroaching nap time.  One moment he'd be having a blast, running around wildly and fully enjoying the open space, and then all of a sudden he'd appear at my feet, pulling at my pant leg with snot running down his face, whining, "Carry you mommy, carry you!"

His misuse of pronouns never fails to make me giggle, but it really does make sense.  He's such a sponge these days, basically repeating everything we say, so since it's common for me to ask him things like, "Do you want mommy to carry you?" or "Do you want me to help you?", it only makes sense that when in need of help, he (quite adorably) exclaims, "Help you!  Help you!"

Yesterday was spent getting the tree up. 


It really is quite the process isn't it?  Especially when you do the real tree thing, because there's just oh so much more cleaning and sweeping and vacuuming of needles involved, not to mention the trimming and the sticky sap and inspecting it from multiple angles and messing with the tree stand to make the darn thing straight.  But really, that's only the beginning.

Dan took what felt like 7 hours to get the lights on the tree.  We switch off, every other year, because we both hate that part equally, and I was thankful to be off the hook this year.  Anyway, he is very particular, as only an engineer could be, but he does beautiful work. 

And our house is feeling mighty festive today, I've been reveling in it, seriously soaking up the holiday spirit, trying to drink it in and savor it like a really incredible cup of coffee.  I love this time of year.

Charming.  This year, I'm getting Gus a stocking with his name on it.

Just look at those chubby little fingers of Gus's from two years ago.  Oh I really can't wait to taste this new baby's chubby little fingers. 

I love this little kitschy Scandinavian skier guy my mother-in-law gave Gus last year. 

It's true what they say about kids making Christmas and other holidays about 1 gazillion times better than they are without (not to mention 1 gazillion times more work, yes that too).  It really was so much fun pulling out some of the ornaments Gus has been given over the last few years, remembering the times we've spent as a family in the past two years.  Awesome stuff I tell you.  Truly awesome, heart-kablooey, sappy stuff.  

This was a fun surprise, something I had completely forgotten about, but was reminded of as we pulled all of our holiday stuff out of big blue tubs.  Gus was given a Little People nativity set last year by his godparents, and it's pretty adorable.  However he refuses to keep the little angel on the top of the stable where she belongs, and tears her off and casts her aside as soon as he sees that we've placed her there.  He does what he wants, people.

Of course we also have our boring (really I love it), breakable, grown-up nativity scene set out as well.  It, however, doesn't require batteries or play "O Little Town of Bethlehem".

Birds at the top of our tree.  We attempted a new star year after year and it just never worked.  How do people use those heavy star tree-toppers?  Those mothers always just ended up causing our tree to precariously bend and nearly tip over.  Whatever.  These birds just clip on and I find them delightful. 

We have no holiday decor in our bedroom, but look!  I made our bed today.  So I guess I'm just looking for a high-five for that effort.  ;)  And I really love this funky quilt we pulled out of the cedar closet when it started to get colder this fall.  Made up bed equals me feeling all domesticated.

Gus just came and asked me for blueberries, and about a half hour ago he pointed up to the Bose sound dock thing and asked for us to turn on "the songs".  So cool.  I just have to say, I'm having so much fun being this kid's mom, and being around for all these little subtle moments of growing and learning and communicating.  Just thinking about how different he is and how many new things he's doing from even just a month ago, it's pretty mind-blowing.  Makes up for those times when I'm super frustrated with his constant hanging on me, clutching my hair, climbing all over me asking for hugs at the dinner table. 

Yeah, that's motherhood for you.  One second reveling in your kid's awesomeness, and the next begging him to please just stop hanging on you, feeling claustrophobic, overwhelmed, and stretched thin.  It's all worth it.  Every second. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ramblings of a lunatic

I am determined to get something written here, because it is so NOT Halloween anymore, and that picture of me as a ninja just needs to go away.  (Note to self: also change Facebook profile picture asap.  Duh.)

What has even been happening, to excuse such an absence?  Well, I think we can sum it up.

I am getting huge, that's what's happening. 

33 weeks

I am 33 weeks pregnant as of... yesterday, and I am really starting to remember what the end of a pregnancy is like.  I'm fine, really, feeling just fine, but it does start to wear on you by this point in the process.  The sleeping thing is ok, I am finally for the first time in two years not getting up for Gus in the middle of the night, like, AT ALL, so that is wonderful, but of course I have replaced those wake-ups with those that are a result of needing to pee every two hours or so, or turn over onto my other side to give the sore hip I have been sleeping on a little break.

Whatever, it's not that bad at all, I just, somehow, sort of forgot about this 3rd trimester crap!

Oh, by the way I don't want anyone to get the crazy idea that Gus actually sleeps through the night at 27 months old, so I should clarify my above statement, and say that though I personally am not getting up and dealing with him, someone (Dan) is.

That crazy little boy of ours, he is actually sleeping so much better than he ever was back in the day when it was all I could really talk or think about because I was so sleep deprived.  He only wakes up once or maybe twice a night, and if one of us just climbs into bed to snuggle with him (bringing with us some milk and/or a pacifier) he for the most part goes right back to sleep.  Which means mom or dad falls right back asleep upstairs, and then zombifies back down to our bedroom a few hours later when he or she wakes up with a toddler's foot in their face.  This we can handle though, because EVERYONE GETS TO SLEEP.  That is key, we can handle a little bit of "musical beds" if we all GET TO SLEEP.

Anyway, clearly I needed to stop going up there in the middle of the night, because in, ohhhh, about 7 weeks I will have someone even more needy to care for at all hours of the night.  And even up until last week, Gus would get RAGING MAD when it was daddy who came upstairs in the middle of the night.  I could hear the hysterics through the monitor and it really is somewhat funny because seriously child?  Is that drama necessary? 

On one particular occasion while listening in from downstairs, I could tell that he was seeing that it was daddy because he instantly started banging ferociously on the gate in his doorway, and then I could hear Dan's hushed voice, "It's ok, shhhh, Gus you have to move and let me in...", and then a loud screech and what constituted him lurching out of Dan's grasp and throwing himself to the floor to the tune of a big ole pumpkin noggin hitting the hardwood floor.  Tears.  Hysterics.  "Mommy!  Mommy!"

Oh buddy.  Such drama.  It is so unnecessary.

But like most parenting challenges, we just needed to be consistent for more than a few days, because he hasn't really gotten pissed over the last week, and actually calls out for "Daddy" rather than "Mommy" some of the time.  Major progress I tell you!  And this is a key hurdle we would like to get through before the baby comes, because I don't want Gus associating the new baby with his mom abandoning him.  It cannot be that little baby's fault that I'm no longer available for him in the middle of the night, even though, well... it really is the baby's fault.  Gus cannot know that, we don't need to give him any extra ammunition for resenting the little guy.

Oh one really frustrating pregnancy development over the last month is that my midwives are no longer going to be able to deliver at the hospital we had planned on having this baby at.  Some big political something happened with the clinic they are currently associated with, and the hospital itself, and as of Jan 1 they are out, and moving to another hospital that is much further away from home. 

So we had to choose between the following crappy options:
  1. Switch to an OB that delivers at our hospital.  New clinic, new provider, but same hospital.
  2. Find a midwife at another hospital that is closer than the one our midwives are going to.  New clinic, new provider, new hospital, but at least it's still the midwifery model of care that is important to us. 
  3. Follow our midwives to this new hospital.  
  4. Unassisted home birth.  
We chose option 3.  Truthfully, at this point a home birth truly sounds the most appealing, even though I'm sure half my friends and family would think I'm crazy to even consider it an option, but I'm being honest here.  When I think about all the logistics that go into having a baby at the hospital... getting someone to take Gus on a moment's notice, packing bags for everyone, getting to the hospital in enough time to not have this baby in the car, and spending two days away from home.  Ugh. 

But I would want a midwife there, which means I'd have to find a home birth midwife this late in the game.  No.  Just, not going to happen.    

So option 3.  The idea of completely switching to a new birth team was really stressing me out.  We are just going to have to be smarter about things this time and get our asses to the hospital.  Goodness, just thinking about last time, laboring by myself in the back of our car, fully effaced and dilated, basically trying to hold that kid in.  Yeah, and that was a 5 minute ride to the hospital. 

This time, we listen to and trust my body and our instincts.  If contractions come on that strong and that fast right away again, then we leave RIGHT AWAY.

Well after we call my parents to come get our two year old!  Goodness.

Anyway.  Clearly I'm trying to come to grips with the fact that this is all something I need to start thinking about, but also, quite clearly, I haven't really done the appropriate thinking yet.  It's all just coming out as word vomit here.

First step.  Set up a tour of our new hospital.  Stat.  Yes, that's a good first step.