Friday, February 27, 2009

Trying to Leave out the Melodrama

Today is Finn's last day at his daycare, the place that has been caring for him since December 18, 2006. He was 8 weeks, 3 days old when I first dropped him off. Here is a picture taken that day:

There were surprisingly few tears that day on my part, I should note. I'm not good at public displays of emotion, and I was a little too anxious about pulling off the whole "work professional/mom/try to see my baby as much as possible" balance thing to worry much about tears. I arrived at work with mascara relatively intact.

We've been very happy with Finn's school about 95% of the time. The expectation that any childcare is absolutely perfect for your child is unrealistic, so I think we've been pretty darn lucky. And so I fear there may be significantly more tears from me today (the raging pregnancy hormones pretty much guarantee it). After all, what are the odds that we'll be just as lucky a second time?

This also means an end to my commute with Finn. I'll be making the 30 minute drive each way by myself from now on, as the new daycare is near home. No more constant chattering that identifies EVERY type of vehicle we pass, or demands that no, we're not driving, we're RACING! Oh, I shudder for the day he learns to drive, drat that movie Cars.

I have lots of good memories of our drives - Finn babbling and singing away as a baby; concentrating so hard on his car seat toy that he fell asleep with an arm in the air, reaching for it; more recently calling out "Mommy, I love you" from the backseat over and over again. Lots of bad memories, too, of course, like all the times I frantically reached back to feel for his pacifier and shove it in his mouth; the debates on whether I should just pull off the highway and breastfeed him because oh my God, THE SCREAMING, it was heart-rending; the endless rounds of Raffi on the radio.

It means an hour less time with Finn each day, which has become more like quality time and less like torture (for both of us) with each month he's gotten older. So, needless to say, I have mixed emotions.

And then there is the issue of the new school. Will Finn like it? Will he like his teachers? Will he make new friends? Will he feel comfortable and accepted? I know the answer to all those questions, at this age, is yes of course, but I also know that it will take some time. And my heart aches a bit for the confusion that Finn's going to feel over the next couple of weeks.

As we pulled off the highway today, REM's "It's the End of the World As We Know It" came on the radio. And I'm so not that melodramatic, I promise. This isn't college where one tends to imagine every depressing song was written truly, deeply about your own sad state of affairs, and songs have such MEANING. But I couldn't help thinking that Finn might think, just a little bit, come Monday, that his world is ending. At the very least, changing to something rather unrecognizable. It twisted that knife made of Mommy guilt, just a little bit.

So if you have a nice, warm, fuzzy story about how your young child changed schools/daycares/nannies and quickly adjusted, please share. It will cheer me up.

On an entirely different note, I set up a little online baby pool for friends and family to guess when Finn's brother or sister is going to be born, as well as the other pertinent stats (gender, weight, length, etc). Check out the box on the righthand sidebar for a link, and place your own guess if you'd like. While there will be no cash winnings for the closest guess, I can at least guarantee bragging rights and an announcement of the winner on this blog. So, at least to the 8 or so people that read this, you will be famous!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Photos, Finally

A quick dumping of some of the recent pictures that have made it into our iPhoto library:

Finn playing with his cousins Bo and Ty in Wisconsin a few weeks ago

"Taking a picture" of Daddy taking a picture

Meeting Bucky the Badger at the Madison airport gift shop

Having some serious train play time

Hmm, do you think there's a family resemblance?

Me and the belly at 30 weeks (a week ago)

Finn and M. goofing around

I have gazillions more pictures, but most just did not come out very well. We are actually hoping to buy a new camera in the next month or two, because ours just isn't fitting our needs these days. Too many out of focus, red-eyed (ah, the curse of having blue eyes!), and/or washed out photos. If you really like your camera, let me know what it is. We are looking for something that can deliver a sharp, realistic looking picture in the amount of time it takes a toddler to wiggle. Is this an impossible dream?

Friday, February 20, 2009


Last night, I asked Finn whether he thought the baby was a boy or a girl. Usually when I ask him this, he answers "Boy and girl," despite all my assurances that no, really, there is just one baby inside Mommy's belly. But last night he definitively said girl. I'm sure I'll ask him again later and get a different answer, but I'm just glad he's no longer predicting twins for us :-).

Another quick work story from me, one that ties in to the whole "Is it a boy or a girl?" question: As I prepped my lunch one day a week or two ago, one of the elderly ladies that does some part time work for us asked me whether I was having a boy or a girl. Upon hearing that the gender is a surprise, she exclaimed, "Oh, how awful!" Now I know, when I was pregnant with Finn, that I was slightly judge-y about those pregnant women that chose not to find out the sex of their babies (sorry!). My thinking was that there were going to be PLENTY of surprises in the delivery room as a first time mom, and besides, don't you want to bond with your baby while it's in utero??? But I certainly never tried to make anyone feel badly about the decision to have a delivery room surprise (I hope!). Maybe this woman was just assuming that I would want to take advantage of a technology that was not around when she was giving birth?

Regardless, I don't think it's "awful" that I don't know my baby's sex. We really have just about everything we need to welcome a baby into the world, boy or girl. Yes, if it's a girl, I'm short on pink onesies. The horror! But I do happen to have about 1,674 white, green and yellow onesies. The child will be adequately dressed, that is certain. And more importantly, knowing the gender of your child before it's born doesn't guarantee better/more instantaneous bonding, as I found out with Finn. Yes, I loved him intellectually as soon as (before) he was born, but would I say I was "bonded?" I don't think so. I was way too shell shocked by the upheaval, and in too much pain, to really "bond" with my cute, tiny, hairy, constantly hungry baby instantly. It took time. I expect it to take some time this time around, and I'm not worried about it.

On a final note, M. and I are hoping to find a gift of some sort to bring to Finn's soon-to-be-old daycare on his last day next week. Since he has been there from 8 weeks old and migrated through 4 rooms/8 head teachers, we want to get something that will show appreciation for ALL the support he has gotten, not just from his current teachers. For lack of better ideas, we've been defaulting to the concept of a large gift basket, genre unknown. I thought I'd put it to you, though, to see if anyone had any ideas of brilliance. Any thoughts on an appropriate gift for Finn's daycare?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just Weird

Today I received my first "You must be having that baby any day now" comment (OK, technically it's my second, as I did get one from a male colleague several weeks ago, but I don't count it since he's a man and might not know any better). This was from a woman I work with. I know she has at least 2 kids of her own, one of whom is only 8 or so, AND she is a nurse, so she should really know better. As I was walking down the hall and turning toward the ladies' room, she walked quickly by me down the hallway and said, "Oh, you must be getting very close!" Always awkward, but I just chirped "Two more months to go!" and left it at that. Or so I thought.

But this must have concerned her, because weirdly enough she ended up turning around and following me into the bathroom. Not immediately, but about 60 seconds later. As I discovered when I heard her call to me through the locked bathroom door (not a stall, an actual door - our ladies' room at work has a separate handicap bathroom inside with its own door, sink, etc, and I figure my huge belly counts as a handicap so I typically use it instead of the teeny-tiny stalls with their swing doors that always hit me on the belly when I open them). How awkward to be sitting on the toilet and have a colleague (one I don't know very well at all) try to carry on a conversation with me through a door. All so that she could ask me if the baby was measuring large, because geez, I'm just so tiny!! HA, no one has EVER told me that before. Good lord, I know I'm short, but TINY!?!?! I'd like to adequately convey the mental guffaws of laughter that run through my head even now as I type this, but there is no emoticon or phrase that will suffice.

I'm sure there were intonations of incredulity, laughter, and embarassment as I answered back, through the door, my voice echoing over all the tiles "Everything is measuring right on track, thanks." Then I heard her turn around and leave the main bathroom, the door closing behind her.

Weird, right? It's not just my imagination? Why would you follow someone in to the bathroom and try to talk to them about their hugeness while they are trying to pee?

On a related note, I had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday - the run-of-the-mill, 10 minute type. The doctor noted no concerns, and even commented that my weight gain (23 pounds to date) is great. I'm not sure what I am measuring this week, but at my last appointment 2 weeks ago I was 28 weeks 2 days and 28.5 centimeters. So I wasn't just trying to get this woman off my back, I truly am measuring right on track. No matter how much I complain about how huge I feel. Aarg, can't wait to have 9+ more weeks of this!

I know I have said on a few occasions that I would post pictures (of my belly, of Finn, etc), and that instead I have been a horrible, absent blogger. My follow-through has been stinky. I have managed to progress to the point where I have uploaded pictures to my computer at home, but alas, my motivation has thus been stalled. The truth is, I haven't really wanted to blog because we're going through a tough time with Finn right now. He is sucking the energy out of both of us with his tantrums and fits. At night, once he's finally asleep, M. and I just want to veg on the couch for a bit, then drag ourselves to bed. Work has been too busy for blogging, and weekends, well there just isn't enough time in the day for all the things we need to get done (although you can read accounts of Stacey's baby shower and MommyEsq's twins' baptism to see some of what I've been up to, and even a couple of pictures of me - I'm the slightly less pregnant one in the triplet photos).

What's made Finn's tantrums even harder is that he is being VERY mommy-centric. He will not allow M. to do anything for him, and is constantly shouting and crying for Mommy. It's endearing but frustrating for me, and just frustrating for M. It's hard to have patience, but we are trying. I'm just afraid for what's to come, as in a week and a half the major changes will start for Finn. He starts his new daycare then, and a mere 8 weeks or so later, his entire life will be turned upside down by a baby. If we think it's rough now, I shudder to think of the tantrums we will face in a couple of weeks.

Fortunately, Finn's also in a very affectionate stage - lots of kisses, tight hugs, and "I love you, Mommy"'s (and even some "I love you, Daddy"'s, too) coming from him. It's like he's holding on tighter because he knows change is coming. Whatever the reason, I am reveling in those hugs and kisses!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes

Last week was the "Zoo Unit" at daycare. A resulting conversation:

A: Finn, you are a boy (not sure the genesis of this statement)
Finn: No, I a monkey!! (Monkey sounds ensue)
M: Is mommy a monkey, too?
Finn: No, elephant!

Ah, so true these days. I'll try to upload a pic later this week, taken of my ever expanding girth at 29 weeks. It ain't pretty.

M., by the way, is apparently an ostrich.