Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday morning, Patrick took the day off of work and the three of us headed to the Children's Farm for their Pumpkin Patch.  Our trip began with a hay ride, and included a giant slide, stacks of hay to climb, dried corn to play in, a maze (which Miles LOVED), and a zillion other things.  Not to mention, of course, the pumpkins.

For some reason, the blog decided to upload the pictures in reverse order, so I guess if you want a true accounting of the order of our trip, you could start from the bottom and work your way up. :)

In any case, it was an incredibly fun time, and well worth the time and money.  We will most likely go back again next year.

Waiting for the hay ride with his new pumpkin.

Watching the golf balls go down the ramps.

Daddy had to help him reach the top of the ramps.

Running out of the tunnel.

Climbing stacks of hay with Daddy.

"Ta-da!  I tall!"

Magnetic fishing with Daddy.

Taking a train ride.

One last time on the big slide.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Litany of Cuteness

Because I have a lot of cute things to tell you about, and no time for separate posts. :)

  • At lunch on Sunday, Patrick was telling Miles to blow on his chicken fingers to cool them.  Being Patrick, he started explaining that blowing on your food works because of something called forced convection, a physics concept.  Last night at dinner, Miles was blowing on his food.  Patrick said, "That's called forced convection."  Matter-of-factly, Miles said, "I know.  I use physics."
  • Every morning for weeks, Miles has woken up and asked for a popsicle for breakfast.  When I tell him no popsicles for breakfast, he sighs deeply and says, "Fine.  Chocolate cereal?" 
  • Miles adores giving kisses, but recently, instead of puckering, he makes a fish face and says, "Mmmmmmmm" (until he gets to you) "Waa!"
  • Last night at bedtime, I asked Miles if he wanted a baby brother or a baby sister - a girl baby or a boy baby.  He replied, "A girl baby brother that can stop a train."  Um, right. . .
  • Miles considers all juice to be "apple juice" and will ask for it as such.  Except this morning when it was actually regular apple juice.  Then, he asked specifically for "fruit juice."
  • His favorite new game is to sneak up behind the cat, then jump, throw his arms up and yell, "KITTY!" at the top of his voice.  Then, he giggles and says, "I scare kitty!"  For her part, Nikko is being really good and not clawing him to pieces.
  • Speaking of the cat, yesterday, she was sitting on the back of the couch and saw an inviting pile of blankets and pillows.  Being a cat, she oozed down, trying to land in the softness.  Instead, gravity took over and she fell face first into the pillow, scaring herself, then quickly learned that claws do little good in reverse, as she tried to move back up.  Of course, she looked highly offended when we laughed.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


First off, I promise I will post ultrasound pictures at some point.  I'm just lazy and haven't scanned them in, yet.  I promise, though, it looks like a shadowy, more-or-less baby-shaped entity.  :)

Anyhow, we've shown Miles the pictures, and he now understands that it's a picture of a baby.  The first time I showed it to him, I said, "What's that?" and he said, ". . .Whas dat?"  Once I pointed out the nose, belly, and hand, he kinda got it.  Now, when I show him the picture, he says, "Baby!"

Once that was established, I told him, "That's the baby in Mommy's belly!"  To which he responded, "No. Silly!" And giggled.  Because the idea of a baby in Mommy's belly was ridiculous.  We repeated that particular conversation for over a week.

Yesterday, he finally accepted that the baby was in Mommy's belly, so I moved on to the next topic.  "You're going to be a big brother!"  "Big Brother?!?" he said, proudly, sitting up straight and tall.  "Yes!" I said, excited, "You'll be a big brother and help me with the baby.  You'll help me get bottles, and throw away diapers, and get the pacifier.  You'll be a great big brother!"  He looked at me skeptically, then grinned and said, disbelieving, "Noooo."

Later, I asked him if he wanted a baby brother or a baby sister.  He thought for a minute, considering the options, then replied, "A baby."  I tried rephrasing the question, asking if he wanted a girl baby or a boy baby.  He again replied, "A baby."  :)

Even later, we were reading a book, and he was being silly.  He put the book on his head and said, "Is on my head!"  Then, repeated the game with, "Is on my eyes!  Is on my nose!  Is on my tummy!  Is on my baby!"  I laughed and explained that only Mommy had a baby in her belly.  He raised an eyebrow, Spock-like, and said, "Nooo."

In the end, I'm not sure if he really gets it at all, but it certainly is making for some cute conversations. :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Today, I am the Mom I want to be

Lately, I have had quite a few days where I just don't feel like I'm succeeding.  I am not the mom I want to be. Fun activities are far too easy to put aside for another tv show. We don't bake.  Science experiments get planned, then forgotten.  Learning games often stress me out until I give up, certain that I will make him hate learning (and me) if I continue.  Anxiety makes everything overwhelming.  And the first trimester of pregnancy means that if I'm not panicked, I'm exhausted.  For almost three months, now, I have had more bad days than good.

Today is a good day.

This morning, I woke after a good night's sleep, to a calm, happy child and a clean house (thank God for Stacey, who cleaned it last night).  I made my to-do list, careful to keep it short.  Three things. That was manageable. Laundry, Grocery Shopping, and Getting ready for tonight's performance.  Goals within the realm of possibility.

I sipped my coffee and made a shopping list. I threw in a load of laundry, while Miles played trains in the next room, and folded the clothes I had left sitting in the dryer.  Within minutes, Miles and I moved upstairs to put the clothes away, and I was struck with the urge to clean my dresser to make room for my maternity pants, and my winter clothes.  Miles was still happily playing quietly, so I took the opportunity to tidy up my bedroom a bit, finding homes for things that (I hate to admit) had been on the floor for weeks.  The tidying done, I got dressed, and got Miles ready for the day.  I switched over the laundry and threw in another load, then bundled Miles into the car to go grocery shopping.  It was 10:30, and I'd already done more than I accomplish in a full day, usually.

Our car rides tend to be quiet affairs - Miles loves to stare out the window, and I am generally happy to just listen to music and drive.  Today, however, I left the radio off, and we chatted the whole way, mostly about nonsense.  Miles asked for a story, and I began The Bremen Town Musicians.  It was one of my favorite stories as a kid, but as I began to tell it, I realized I remembered the beginning and the end, but none of the middle.  So, I made it up as I went, and was surprised to find that Miles loved it.  We made animal noises at the top of our voices, and giggled.

At the store, Miles helped by jealously guarding the list, and occasionally allowing me a peek at it.  We talked about every item we picked up, and he insisted on putting everything in the cart.  I realized how rare it is for us to just chat in the grocery store.  I'm usually so anxious that he's going to have a meltdown that I inevitably cause one.  Today, we were relaxed, and the time flew - even the long wait at the checkout went quickly.

As we loaded the car with our things, Miles very clearly asked, "Mommy, eat at Donald's?"  Given the morning we'd had so far, I was in no mood to deny him anything.  I wasn't ready for the fun to end.

We sat in a booth and giggled over his Scooby Doo bucket.  We prayed over our food, and teased each other, pretending to steal french fries and chicken nuggets from one another.  At one point, he leaned over and whispered, "Psst.  Mommy.  Guess what?"  "What?" I asked.  "Love ooo!" he whispered, and gave me a kiss.  And my heart promptly melted into my shoes.

We chatted the whole way home, and he helped me carry in the groceries, before rubbing his eyes and asking for "Nap."  I tucked him in, kissed his cheek, and sang to him, watching his eyes grow heavy.  Holding my hand, he whispered, "Love ooo, Mommy," and drifted off.

And in that moment, I knew that today, above all days, I am the Mommy he deserves.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Friday, I had my 12-week ultrasound (though, really? I'm 13 weeks pregnant already).  It went beautifully.  The doctor and his assistant-lady were super sweet and kind.  See, this ultrasound is technically a screening for trisomy 13, 18, and 21 (21 being Down's Syndrome).  We won't mind if the baby has Down's, but it will change the way we plan for it, and that's why chose to do the testing.  At least, that's the logical, medical reason.

Honestly?  A big part of me just wanted to see the baby again. :)

Anyhow, preparing for the appointment, I thought back to my 12-week ultrasound with Miles.  And I laughed.  Because that was our first clue at the child he would become, and we were so completely clueless. We thought it was cute and funny how he bounced around so much that they couldn't get the measurements they needed for a full 45 minutes.  In fact, we loved it because it meant we got to watch our baby a little longer.  We had no idea that the frenetic energy he displayed that day would be so indicative of his personality - always on the go, never stopping, never even slowing down.

This ultrasound could not have been more different.

Right away, we saw Baby, relaxing, stretched out, almost lounging.  As the doctor began to get the measurements he needed, I watched and waited for Baby to start bouncing, or responding.  At one point, Baby began to roll a bit to one side, and I thought, "Here it comes!"  But, no.  It was just a stretch, and Baby quickly returned to it's lounging position.  A few minutes in, Baby's foot kicked four or five times, lazily, and once, toward the end, Baby's hand raised and waved, as if to say, "Hi, Mom and Dad.  It's cool in here.  Peace."  Other than that, Baby just laid there, quiet and chill.  And within ten minutes, it was all over, having gone as smoothly as possible.

Patrick and I talked on the way home, wondering if this, too, may be indicative of Baby's personality.  If so, the laid-back calm will be a welcome balance to Miles and his wild tornado-like qualities.  Also?  It means that once again, everything will be new.  And that alone makes it exciting.

Oh, and we found out that we have a really low chance of having a child with Down's.  So, yay for that, too!

Friday, October 19, 2012


It's no secret that the last couple of months have been a little hectic.  Rehearsals twice a week, Festival on the weekends, and trying not to stay in bed all day from pregnancy exhaustion.  Lots of good things have come from it, and I don't regret the decisions I made in any way.  But I am tired, weary from the pace, and ready for a break.

Last night, we opened our Halloween show, and it went beautifully.  We were lucky to perform for a very enthusiastic and friendly audience, who really wanted to support us in every way.  It was filled with family and friends who have become family, all smiling, laughing, and generally having a good time.

Since Patrick and I are both in the show, Miles stayed with Aunt Ninell last night, and because she is a saint beyond measure, she offered to keep him overnight.  Patrick had already taken today off to deal with the show and his sister's wedding, which is tomorrow.  So, of course, we slept in, and relished the extra hours of rest.

Now, we sit here, in warm, comfortable silence.  The clicking of my keyboard is the only sound.  Neither of us has given up on the pajamas quite yet, and for all the world, this feels like the early days of our marriage.  Quiet.  Peaceful.  Low-key.

Except now, there is a small part in each of us that aches for our little boy to be here, too.  We have really spent so little time together as a family lately that these few precious hours are bittersweet.  It is lovely to be well-rested, and as parents, the silence is always welcome.  But there is also a twinge of sadness in the peace.  And it is in this moment that we realize how ready we really are for this show to be over.  To settle into the steady routine of winter.  It is time, for us at least, to welcome our boring little life back.

And so, we count down the days until November.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Light at the end of the Tunnel

Sunday is the last day of Festival.

Two weeks from Sunday, the Halloween show will close.

Next week is officially the end of my first trimester, and I will be having an ultrasound that Friday.

In other words, if I can survive the next two weeks, life should get a lot quieter, and a fair margin easier.

November, I am so ready to see you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Day in the Life of Us. . .

The television is on right now.  Again.  Still.  In fact, the television is on way more than I'd like to admit lately.  I am tired - beyond tired.  I am exhausted, mentally, physically, emotionally.  If I can manage to drag my butt out of bed in the morning, I call it a success.  If I can manage to get the kid breakfast and juice, woo-hoo!  And if I can manage to choke down some cereal to prevent the Return of the Nausea, it's time to party.  And by party, I mean sleep.  But, since I have a three-year-old tornado-boy, I can't sleep.  So, I turn on the television and vegetate in the chair, trying to figure out things like "Is Sir Toppam Hat's first name Toppam?  If so, why does one of the characters call him Bertram from time to time?  And either way, who the hell named their kid Toppam?  Or Bertram?  And why doesn't Lady Hat have a first name?  The dude gets two first names, but his wife doesn't even warrant one?"  And so on.  Because I have seen entirely too much Thomas the Tank Engine recently.

At some point, I have to pause in my pondering of children's tv shows because Miles craps his pants, and I have to clean him up, and clean out his underwear, and reassure him that I don't hate him.  The kid has this complex that if I tell him 'poop goes in the toilet', he hears, "You pooped your pants, so I will never love you again."  So, I gag as I clean up poop, and then I cuddle a sobbing toddler for half an hour until he figures out we're okay.

Eventually, he decides he's bored of sad, and pushes himself out of my lap - using every elbow, knee, and other pointy bit he has.  As a side note?  This kid seems to have twice as many angles as other kids.  And they always end up in my gut.  Repeatedly.  Sigh.

Lunchtime always comes, somehow, and I fight the battle of "What will you eat today?"  The conversation goes something like this:

Me: Do you want soup?
Miles: No.  No soup.
Me: Rice?
Miles: No rice.
Me: Chicken nuggets?
Miles: No chicken chunks. [He insists on calling them chicken chunks, which makes me think of puke, every time.  Gross.]
Me: Pancakes?
Miles: No.
[Repeat, ad nauseum]
Me: What do you want to eat?
Miles: Ummmm. . .  SOUP!

So, I make him soup, and he eats two bites and declares it 'Yucky' and decides he wants fruit snacks for lunch.  Cue tantrums, as I try to convince him to eat the soup first.  Repeat.  Meanwhile, I'm looking for toothpicks to prop my eyes open. . .

Then, comes my favorite time of day: Naptime.  Through LOOOOOOONG months of arguing, fussing, yelling, sobbing, fighting, screaming, and general horribleness, Miles now lays down quietly, asks for a song (or more often "No sing, Mommy.  No sing."), and I tuck him in and go to bed myself.  The only complaint I have is that naptime is never long enough.  As soon as I shut my eyes, Miles is bouncing on the bed, full of energy to start again.

I drag myself out of bed again, and we go straight to the television again, so I can continue pondering the intricacies of the Island of Sodor, and try to wake my brain enough to function.

All I can say is: Thank God for Netflix.  Sigh.