Monday, December 29, 2008

Conversations and Phrases Heard Oft Over the Last Week

1. Me: Finn, you are being very naughty.
Finn: No, Mommy, YOU naughty!

Oh, the sass, already. My mom would tell you that I have it coming after years of giving her lip.

2. As M. or I attempt to survive yet another playing of Frosty the Snowman by singing along:
Finn: No, Mommy (or Daddy), no!! No singing! (This kid is the polar opposite of normal little ones, that are supposed to love the sound of their parents singing no matter how awful their voices are. He WILL NOT let us sing!)
Me: OK, YOU sing then, Finn.
Finn: No, Mommy, YOU sing.
Me: OK. (Ha, ha, I won! Resume singing Frosty. Again. Did I really win?)

3. Mommy, I want to open more presents (said with the cutest emphasis on the "s's" in presents that you will ever hear).

But none of that clothing crap, toys only, got it? (OK, so I added that last sentence for dramatic effect and it is not an actual quote, but given the disdain Finn showed for any boxes that were unwrapped to reveal clothes, you can bet he was thinking it.) (Note to all family members that gave Finn said clothes, they were much appreciated by his mother and father. And fear not, Gentle Readers, Finn received plenty o' toys, too.)

4. Said this morning, by a child who was CLEARLY not fully awake yet, because otherwise he would have remembered the 9 and a half hours we JUST spent in the car YESTERDAY with a really crabby 2-year-old, leaving all of us suffering from some mild post traumatic stress disorder:
Mommy, I want go to Grammy's house now.

The last week has been consumed by planning and packing for a long car trip, one very easy car trip up north, lots of fun in the snow for Finn, plenty of relatives to create chaos and shower Finn with attention, lots of presents and cookies (for all three of us), not-so-great sleep (again, for all three of us), and a decidedly less easy going car ride back home. Much fun was had by all, and it's a bit of a let down to be back at work already today.

If I can motivate myself enough (see above re: still recovering from lack of sleep and long car rides), I will get some pictures on to my computer and share them with you. Much cuteness all around.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flashback Friday

For a lack of anything more significant to post about, I thought I would delve into some of the old pictures I have of Finn on my computer for a little walk down memory lane. These pictures are all from December 2006, when Finn was just 2 months old. Oh, he was so tiny! And hairy! :-)

Here he is on his very first day at daycare - my first day back to work. December 18, 2006. Just shy of 2 months old - yikes! What was I thinking? This next time around I'm taking my full 3 months, regardless of the money situation. Anyway, it all worked out well, as my cutey was doted on by his providers from day 1:

We flew up to Grammy and Bumpa's (my parents) house for a lightening fast Christmas trip so that I wouldn't miss any work (no vacation time left in the bank when you've been on maternity leave for a couple of months). Here I am trying out the sling I had bought to help us get through the airport. It worked great! Later, though, it put too much pressure on Finn's reflux-ridden tummy so we didn't use it as often as I wanted to:

Christmas morning, opening stockings with Auntie Stacey:

Hanging out with Bumpa:

Finn and Grammy enjoying some play time with a new toy:

Cozy on Mimi's (great-grandmother) lap on Christmas Eve:

This year we are headed back up to Massachusetts to spend Christmas with my family - last year we were in Wisconsin with M.'s family. We are driving this time (we'll be trying out the new portable DVD player we got for Finn, hoping it's a sanity saver!), and spending more than 2 nights so hopefully it will be a bit more relaxing. Time to go write up a lengthy packing list!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I was so good about documenting my growing belly (and the increasing numbers on the scale) when I was pregnant with Finn. Not so much this time, unfortunately. But I did get M. to take a picture of me about a week ago, and hopefully it shows that I am actually starting to look pregnant instead of just thick.


This was taken at the tail end of a "photo shoot" with Finn - we dressed him up in his Christmas duds and tried to get some nice pictures of him for things like Christmas cards, etc. It was a bit like trying to photograph the Tazmanian Devil. He just kept running around shouting "I go fast! I go fast!" and absolutely would not sit still. During the barest of pauses, when I could convince him to smile for the camera, he pulled out his squinched up "Cheese" face, which is arguably worse than a fast-moving blur. So, no new photos of Finn to share, unfortunately.

Last Friday, while I was away in San Antonio, Santa made a visit to Finn's school. Finn was one of very few kids in his classroom who actually wanted to sit on Santa's lap, and it was all he could talk about this past weekend. Every time we passed a fake Santa in someone's yard or saw a picture of Santa in a store, we heard a chorus of "I sit on Santa's lap" over and over again. He was so proud of himself, and we were pretty proud of him, too. I assumed he would be scared of sitting on Santa's lap, like any other typical toddler who cries the second he is confronted with the awesomeness that is a mall Santa. Not Finn. Instead, he informed me today that he would like to go see Santa again. I tried explaining that Santa was now busy making some last minute toys to deliver next week, but needless to say, that was a bit beyond his comprehension abilities.

This week is just going to drag by - Finn is so excited by everything Christmas, and I can't wait to arrive at my parents' house and get the festivities underway for him. One more week until we leave!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Maybe He Reads a Lot of Mark Twain?

My follow-up appointment with the cardiologist was today. Good news, my heart palpitations are not being caused by anything that will lead to my "demise." That's actually the word the doctor used, which I found strange. If he wasn't a little awkward and I felt more comfortable with him, I probably would have giggled.

It seems I've been having PVCs, or Premature Ventricular Contractions. Basically, my heart has a normal beat, then it beats a little too early, then it has another normal beat, then another early one, etc (the pattern is bigeminal, if that means anything to you med-heads out there). It's quite common (especially during pregnancy), and you really only need to worry about them if you also have heart disease, which I do not. There are lots of things that can trigger them, like caffeine, lack of sleep, anxiety, HORMONAL IMBALANCE (yeah, um, I'm guessing that's my big problem here), and some other stuff.

The bottom line is, if I feel the heart palpitations are livable (and most days they definitely are), then we will ignore them and go on our merry way. Many people live with them and have them far more frequently than I do. If they do get worse, I will go back in and talk to the doctor about medication to control them (beta blockers, I assume, though he did not name any specific drugs). The goal is to avoid medication as much as possible, though, as the drug he would put me on could cause IUGR (intra-uterine growth retardation) of the baby. Yes, well, no thank you, I'm quite fine with ignoring these flutters in my chest, I'd like my baby to grow as much as he/she wants.

I think knowing that these palpitations are benign will probably help them decrease in frequency - just the act of having them over the last couple of weeks was causing me some anxiety (for fear that something was really wrong with me/the baby), which probably just caused more of them to occur.

No follow-up for another 3 months, which should cut down on all the doctor appointments I've been having lately. Yay!

In other news, I leave for San Antonio tomorrow afternoon to attend a conference. I'm less than thrilled to be going (whoever decided that two weeks before Christmas was the PERFECT time to hold this meeting is seriously on crack), but at least San Antonio is actually very pretty during the Christmas season. I won't be able to kick back and enjoy a margarita after a long day of scientific talks, but I WILL be able to get some yummy Tex Mex food. I'd better bring along some Tums, though. The heartburn is already kicking in for me with this pregnancy - this kid seems to be destined to have as much hair as Finn, if the old wives' tale holds true.

It seems that whenever one of us goes away and leaves the other to tackle single parenthood, something rears it's ugly head to prevent good nights of sleep. In previous trips this has included numerous reflux crises (Finn's medication always seemed to quit working just as M. walked out the door to catch a plane), earaches, colds, etc. Unfortunately for M., the teething monster may be making an appearance during this trip of mine. The last two or three nights Finn has woking up crying at various inappropriate times - not his usual style. He's also been a bit whinier than usual (though this is difficult to measure in a 2-year-old, who is often quite whiny for no reason at all). There is no fever, no runny nose, no cough, no rash, nothing to indicate he is sick. So, the likely culprit is 2-year-old molars, of which Finn still has none. Probably 2 months from now he will still have none (this kid is seriously the SLOWEST teether EVER), but regardless I think that's what we're facing. Keep your fingers crossed that things don't go too badly for M. while I'm away, and that he's still speaking to me when I return on Saturday.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Almost Halfway There

M. and I went in on Monday for "The Big Ultrasound." I think people always refer to it that way because that's when the gender mystery is often revealed, like that's the whole purpose for the scan. I must say, in anticipating the appointment, it definitely felt less big to me than the one I had with Finn, since I knew we would be leaving the office not knowing whether Baby #2 is a boy or a girl. Still, lots of important stuff happens at "The Big Ultrasound," none of it centered on what's between the legs.

For the most part, all went well. I feel compelled to qualify since the technician did find an echogenic focus on the baby's heart. It's soooooo not something to worry about, apparently (then just don't tell me!), but it is considered one of the 6 "soft markers" for Down's Syndrome. It happens in a small percentage of all normal pregnancies, and when no other risk factors are present, no further monitoring or testing is encouraged. We fall into that category - the baby was otherwise perfectly healthy looking. Still, the doom-and-gloom scenarioist that lurks inside me can't just proclaim "Everything was perfect!" when asked about the ultrasound (even though everything else, truly, was perfect). Add to that my own heart issues (still having palpitations, every day, I have a follow up visit with the cardiologist next week and I'm hoping to get some answers) and the fact that I was THAT PARENT who received a phone call from daycare (a mere 2 hours after the ultrasound) telling me that my sweet little boy had BITTEN one of his friends... well, saying that the day was draining would be an understatement.

BUT, when I am not a physical and emotional zombie, I completely ignore any mention of heart issues and have been getting quite excited about this baby. It helps that I have been feeling all kinds of movement below the belly button. I didn't mind being pregnant with Finn, but pregnancy has been a lot harder this time around, and feeling those little kicks and punches is really, really rewarding. We are starting to get a move on preparing for this baby, and I think it's helping M. get excited, too. Last weekend we picked up a second-hand changing table for the new nursery, which M. managed to assemble pretty darn fast despite not having the manual/instructions, and despite lots of offers of "Daddy, I help you" from a screwdriver-wielding Finn. This weekend, we are going to see about securing a second-hand double stroller (Craig's List has been great for this stuff). It all makes me want to jump right in and start washing little clothes and organizing and reorganizing the nursery (my only form of nesting, apparently, as Finn's room was the only spotless one in our apartment as we counted down the days to his arrival 2 years ago). But, I'm pacing myself, since Good God, do I really still have 20+ WEEKS to go!?!?! It already seems like I've been pregnant forever - I've been pregnant since the summer (found out about baby in August), through entire fall, and now winter. It's hard to believe I have to make it all the way to mid-Spring.

Anyway, back to that ultrasound. The baby measured at around 10 ounces (no idea if that is big or small for it's age, but the doctor seemed happy). At the end of the scan, the doctor turned the screen away from us so that he could take a look at the gender. I keep thinking how weird it is - someone knows this fairly important bit of information about our baby, but we don't. However, I'm not waivering in my resolve, I'm still excited to have this surprise as a carrot to hold out to get me through what I'm sure will be a long labor. I have sneaking suspicions that it's a boy. MAYBE I saw something boy-like when the technician was checking out the umbilical cord entry into the belly?? AND there's a slightly higher incidence of echogenic foci in boys than girls (yes, I read some scientific journal articles online about this - couldn't help it, my geekiness kicked in). But we won't know for sure until April, and I plan on leaving it that way.

For your viewing pleasure, some profile pictures of the baby, who looked like he/she was trying to cram as much of both hands into his/her mouth as possible:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

When is a booger not a booger?

As A. has previously written, Finn has graduated from crib to Big Boy Bed. Thankfully, the transition has gone smoother than expected; no major crying fits and only one boom! (which I mostly slept through). That's what made naptime on Sunday so frustrating. After 4 nights of peaceful slumber and a 3 hour nap on Saturday, we were both expecting a nice relaxing Sunday. Coincidentally, naptime corresponds to the 1pm start time of NFL games and since all chores had been completed I was looking forward to settling into the couch to watch some football.

Finn woke up crying about 40 minutes into his nap. A. decided to work her mommy magic and sprinted up to his room (well, as much as a pregnant lady can actually sprint) to try and get him back to sleep. 15 minutes later she was back and Finn was making sleepy noises over the monitor. Given the ominous start to my naptime football break, I reassessed and decided that 2 hours would get me through at least the first half of a game. Not bad...but 20 minutes later, naptime was interrupted again by more crying. Clearly A. didn't have the touch today, so I rushed up the 3 flights of stairs to Finn's room.

As I opened his door, I saw Finn sitting cross legged on his pillow holding his right index finger in the air, his pacifier lying next to him on the bed. "Booger", he said, waving his finger at me, "booger." OK. While not the most glamorous job, wiping boogers is certainly something that I have extensive experience in. I went over to his changing table and grabbed a diaper wipe to aide my booger-ectomy. As I reached for his finger, I realized that this was a strange looking booger. First, it was bigger than usual. Second, instead of the usual booger hues, this was much darker. Third... At this point, time slowed as my mind began furiously putting together all of the clues. It was just like the end of "The Usual Suspects" as Kevin Spacey limps, then walks away from the police station. Except instead of realizing that Verbal Kint is Keyser Soze, I became fully aware that the booger was in fact not a booger at all. It was poop. Lots of poop. And it wasn't just contained on a little boys finger. No. There was a sizeable glob on his pacifier, smears on his shirt, and little dabs on his blanket. Aaaaaarrgggh!!!

My calls for immediate back-up were answered by A., and a thorough poop cleaning ensued. All things considered, it could have been worse. No walls were smeared and his face and hair were poop-free. Plus, I now have an answer for the philosophical riddle of "when is a booger not a booger."