Friday, September 30, 2011

Oh what a difference (a pregnancy update)

Rick, my belly, and me at a wedding in Maine

Everyone tells you how different the second pregnancy is from the first, but you don't know how true that is until it happens!  Seriously, it's a totally different ball game.  I'm no longer pouring over my pregnancy books, reading about what's going on with baby2.0 at every stage.  Heck, I can hardly even remember what week I'm at, let alone pay attention to baby's size relative to fruits and vegetable (last I checked she was the size of an eggplant).  I've barely thought about the nursery except to wonder where the heck we're going to put the furniture that's currently occupying the room, and whether or not Rick and I should move into the room that we slated for the nursery (since that's where the attic door is) and give our room to baby2.0.  I did buy a print to hang on the wall when I was in Bemidji, so I guess that's a start on the decorating front.  I have vague memories of talking to Dashiell in utero starting at around 5 months.  Baby2.0 hears me talk constantly, though not actually to her.  She may be born thinking her name is Dashiell.  Oh and names?  Yeah, not so much.  I have one name in mind but Rick and I haven't sat down and decided whether or not it's The One.

This past week I finally hit the nesting stage and have started organizing our whole house, and may even get around to sorting through baby clothes this weekend (and probably next).  However, thinking about all that needs to get done is pretty daunting, and trying to make time to do it during Dashiell's naps or while he's watching a movie is difficult.

Physically this is a completely different pregnancy, too.  I'm definitely carrying lower this time, and whether that's because it's a second pregnancy or a because I'm carrying a girl is anyone's guess.  I'm much more tired, though I did experience a good month or two of renewed energy.  Which, by the way, has already completely disappeared, and did not overlap at all with my current nesting phase.  Naps are more frequent, as is going to bed earlier than usual.  I can't say if this is because I'm older, because I'm running after a 3-year-old, or because this particular pregnancy is just wearing me out more.  Probably a little bit of everything.  I'm also crankier this time around - poor Dashiell and Rick have both been subject to my increased moodiness (sorry guys!).  I definitely started showing earlier this pregnancy, but I showed pretty early with Dashiell, too.  I was big with him, and I've been big with baby2.0.  But as Rick pointed out I'm still at that point where everything except my belly has pretty much stayed the same as it was before I got pregnant, so really it is ALL belly.  Among the decidedly good differences between the two pregnancies is that this time I'm not congested, haven't been experiencing hip pain when I sleep (yet - *knock on wood*), and I only get heartburn occasionally (it was relentless with Dashiell - I think it started right at the end of the 1st trimester and lasted until the minute I gave birth). 

Dash seems to be pretty excited about having a baby sister soon, which was fueled by a recently acquired book, "Hello Baby", that my cousin Sherry sent to us (thanks Sherry!).  And he LOVES "tickling the baby", which essentially means that he's constantly poking my belly.  I keep telling him that his little sister will get him back soon enough, but that only makes him want to do it more. 

So that's the Baby2.0 Update!  I'll be back to my regular Dashiell postings next time, I'm sure. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mr. Perfectionist

Oh Dash, I'm so sorry you inherited my obsessive perfectionism in all things creative.  It's the main reason I never pursued becoming a "real" artist, and why I fear going back to design school - I know how crazy I get and how much time it takes me to revise and revise and revise every design, and how it kills me when I can't get a project exactly right.  I hope that you can figure out how to constructively work with this perfectionism and not just give up (like mommy), or get pissed off (like daddy, who is also a perfectionist when he's working on his various projects).

Why am I worried about this?
Dashiell is obsessed with painting pictures of Tyler Park.  It's awesome, really, but in order for him to get one picture he was happy with this last time he attempted it, he had to re-start his project 6 times!  It was almost 7 because one of the purple rocks at the bottom of the final picture had bled into the black road, but thankfully he was able to correct it by dabbing away the offending purple (I had to help with that) and painting extra black onto the road.

For being three I think he does a very good job with his representation - the purple blobs are the big rocks he likes to climb on, the purple streak is the walking path through the park, the green is the grass, the green blob with the black streak is his favorite tree, and the black streak at the bottom is Westford Ave.  We were playing in the park earlier that day and he counted all the bigger rocks at the Westford Ave. side of the park so he could add them into his next masterpiece, and mentioned added the road too.  Then that afternoon he set off to work!  But he would start a painting, then determine it was "not right", and ask for a new sheet of paper so he could start over.  Knowing how that kind of thing drives me crazy too, I indulged him instead of trying to talk him into settling for a picture that might not be up to his high standards (though I did try a bit with the one that's in the middle of the top row - it showed a lot of promise!).  I should probably figure out how to get him to let go a little and realize the beauty in imperfection.  Which I have mentioned to him, but it's a hard concept to get when you're three-years-old.  Or thirty-eight-years-old.  Yeah, we're both going to have to work on that...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My big preschooler!!

I can't believe it's already time for Dashiell to start preschool!!  I'm so excited for him!  Though like many moms sending their kids out of the house (even for just a couple of hours a week), I am admittedly feeling a bit melancholy about it.  Once again, I worry.  Will he like the other kids in the class?  Will they like him?  Will his teacher think he's just as amazing as we do?  Will he love school as much as I think he will? 

But once again, I know that there is nothing to worry about. He's a smart kid, and this kind of structured-play learning environment will be wonderful for him, I know.  Plus he loves meeting and playing with new kids, and it would be awesome for him to make friends that aren't just "mom and dad's friends' kids".

AND, his teacher seems pretty awesome.  She sent this note last week about how excited she was to have him in her class:
Isn't that the cutest?  I pointed out the funny face that she drew to Dash, and later he said something about her having a funny face. I corrected him and said that she drew a funny face, not that she had a funny face, so today he told her he liked the funny face on the postcard and she said she drew a funny face because she had a funny face!  So I guess he was right!  Ha!

Today's first session was merely a meet and greet, so all the parents got to meet all the other parents and all the kids in the class, and we checked out the class room and the creative room (which is by far my favorite room!) and the playground.
(Do you know how hard it is to get a picture of your child on a playground that doesn't have other kids in it?  It's almost impossible!)

He will only be in school two days a week, which seems like plenty for now.  Thursday is D's first day there without us.  I hope he understands that we won't be joining him every day!  Today he barely acknowledged us, so I think he'll be okay.  And I think the fact that Rick will be dropping him off (not me) will help decrease the amount of tears.  He might still get a little sad, but I predict that the sadness won't last long.

Good luck little D!  I'm so proud of you!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Quick update on my babysitter worries from the other day - everything worked out fine!  Yesterday morning I talked to Dash about the babysitter coming to visit and play with him, and he kind of freaked out a bit - did the whole "no mommy!  Don't go!" thing while clinging onto me, and I thought for sure we were doomed.  But then, I came up with a plan!  I sent Rick out for to buy D a new Play-Doh toy that he could play with only after Allison arrived.  And it worked!  He was so excited to see her, and they played with the Play-Doh breakfast maker for one and a half hours after we left!  She said he got a little sad at bedtime when he realized we weren't there to put him to bed, but he rallied.  And before we left I had a talk with him about getting his diaper changed, and told Allison to ask him to "pee on demand" before bed, and that seemed to work, too.  AND this morning he said he would like her to come back and play with him!  Woo-hoo!

And the best part?  We had the best time at the wedding!  I'd have to say it was probably the second most fun wedding I've been to (the first being Rick and mine, of course!).  The location was awesome (The Museum of Industry in Waltham very cool!), the ceremony was beautiful, the band was great, the food was amazing, and most importantly, the bride and groom were ecstatically happy and are just so obviously meant for each other. 

It was and excellent night all around! 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Babysitter worries

So I was going to combine this post with the birthday post for Rick (especially since I don't have any appropriate photos to go with it) but it didn't fit.  However I just need to get all my concerns out here since they're on my mind.

Tomorrow (Saturday) we are going to the wedding of Rick's cousin Chris and his wonderful fiancee Timna.  It should be a beautiful wedding and a lot of fun - we'll know a good portion of the people attending, which always makes for a good time.  The issue: no kids are invited.  Which I COMPLETELY, 100% understand - we didn't invite kids to our wedding either other than my niece and nephew who were in the wedding.

Logically I know that not having Dashiell with us will be a good thing, and will make it a lot easier for us to have fun while there.  But I'm nervous.  This will be the first time Dashiell will be left alone with a babysitter who isn't a family member.  We did a test run with our babysitter a couple of weeks ago, just so Dash could get to know her and get used to her, and it went okay.  D was a little sad that I wasn't around, but the babysitter did a fine job.  But it was only for about an hour and a half in the middle of the day.  No meals were eaten, no trying to get him to bed, no challenges - it was simply a meet and greet playtime.  This time around it will be for probably 6+ hours.  We're keeping dinner simple by leaving money for pizza, so that shouldn't be too difficult.  But bedtime.  Oh, bedtime.  Our little man seriously takes about an hour or sometimes two to fall asleep, and he often requires multiple diaper changes after we put him to bed (and yes, he is still in diapers - frustrating as it is, he's a stubborn little guy and he refuses to use the potty).  And then there is the question of using his diapers and letting someone who isn't a family member change him.  The last couple of times I took him to the daycare at the gym he ended up peeing in his diaper and getting soooo upset that I wasn't there to change him.  Didn't tell the babysitters that he was wet, just cried, and cried, and cried, until I got done with my workout and was able to take care of the situation.  Will he be reluctant to go when the babysitter is taking care of him at home? Will he try to hold it until we get back?  I mean, the kid can hold it for hours on end during the day without any problems, but this will be right before bed, which is a different story.

I know I need to stop worrying.  What's weird is that I'm really only worried about these little stupid things that aren't going to cause long-term damage to my boy.  Safety issues?  I've barely thought about them - in fact it wasn't until last weekend when one of our friends asked if our babysitter knew CPR that it even occurred to me that I should have asked!  I did make a list of D's allergies and what to do to treat them, but since he's never had a serious reaction I'm pretty confident that we aren't going to get a call from the babysitter in the middle of the ceremony telling us he went into anaphylactic shock and is on his way to the ER.  It hasn't happened yet, and the chance of it happening while we're gone is close to none.

So why can't I just let go of this concern?  Dashiell will be fine, I know, and in a few years I'll look back and wonder what I was even worried about.  But right at this moment, I can't help but fret.  Sigh.

Happy Birthday Rick!

This week we celebrated my awesome husband Rick's birthday!  Twice!  His actual birthday was Wednesday, but since he works 24 shifts on Wednesdays we celebrate first on Tuesday as our family of three (soon to be four!) with a small cake and gifts:

Then again on Thursday at Rick's parents' house with a much bigger crowd and a much bigger cake!
So here's a quick Happy Birthday to the best husband and daddy any family could ever hope for!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Photos from a long-ago photo shoot!

Way back in March, when Dashiell was not yet 3, my good friend Meghan Moore of Megpix Photography threw a "photo party" at our house.  She set up a portable studio and I invited a bunch of our friends and family over.  For 3 hours one Sunday morning our house was filled with families, photo-taking, food and fun!  It was awesome - she's a very personable photographer who likes to get her subjects moving, laughing, and having a good time.  She gave us the CD of our photo shoot, which I promptly misplaced.  Until yesterday! So now I'm finally sharing them with you.
The above pictures I like to refer to as "Dashiell and the Ladies" - just a few of his adorable friends (including his second cousin in the red).  He was having such a great time playing with them! 

We tried to get a good family photo, however D was a bit too, well, silly to get one "good" shot.  However, I have to share this series of photos because of the story they tell.  Let me preface this by mentioning that Dashiell was in a particularly licky phase when this happened.

First, the cheesy grin:
My own grin is pretty cheese-tastic, too.  So I go to kiss my little guy and then...
He goes in for the lick!  Gross!
He seems pretty proud of himself, though.  I, however, am still unimpressed.
But we recover, and Dash mischievously grins at the camera.
I just think that series of shots is just too funny.  What a silly kid!

Despite our lack of a good family photo, we were at least able to get a good picture of Rick and I together!
Yes we're on the ugly orange chair, and we both have goofy smiles, but it's very "us".

The photo party was tons of fun - the only thing we'd do differently next time would be to use a wider backdrop.  And maybe invest in a chair cover for old orangey.