Monday, July 30, 2007

2 Hours of Quiet

I always have trouble deciding what to do with my 2 hours of quiet everytime Jameson takes a nap. I don't usually get to choose during the week since I am normally working, but today is an exception. Normally, I am deciding between cleaning, cooking, napping, or just doing something I don't get a chance to do when he's awake. Today, I chose to catch up the blog.

I'm coming off an exhausting weekend with JJ, and I should probably be napping but I always hate the groggy feeling of waking up from a nap. I only nap when I'm pregnant. When I'm not, I have pretty much boundless energy, so I never really feel a need. Last Wednesday, my parents left for vacation (Thank God they get home tonight), so I was on my own with JJ during the day. Ordinarily, no problem, but, as I said, I am a bit low on energy right now. On Thursday, my friend, Beth, who has a 1 year old and a 3 year old asked if I wanted to get together and let the kids play since I normally work during the week. I thought it was a good idea since I figured I would have an easier time keeping JJ entertained. I was wrong.

Beth came over at around 11:30, and I was working on lunch. Jameson is normally really good with other kids, so I never figured he would have any trouble. We introduced the kids since they have only seen each other a few times, and they were all a bit timid at first. Liam, Beth's 3 year old, finally gained some confidence and found a green bouncy ball he wanted to kick. Beth told him he couldn't kick it in the house, and I said it was fine since I always let JJ kick it in the house; however, I forgot Liam is a bit bigger and has even more energy than Jameson. He starts to kick the ball somewhat calmly, but his enthusiasm quickly grows and my family room now resembles a racquetball court. Of course, to make things worse, JJ is now in a full-blown panic because HE wants to kick his ball. There are 5 other balls sitting in his toy bin, but he's not interested in those. I try to reason with the 22-month-old that he can share and play with the ball after Liam is finished, but I soon realize that what I say doesn't matter. Liam is now doing full volley's throughout the family room, and to restore some order/sanity I take the ball and say no one can play with it now.

Liam moves on to some of JJ's other toys, and a new tantrum ensues for each new toy. Jameson is now doing what any possessive toddler does, and is going about the room trying to hoard all of his toys. He soon realizes though that he has more toys than he can carry, so he just cries. I try to continue with making lunch while taking breaks to calm Jameson. Beth is pretty calm through the entire ordeal since she says she went through it with Liam when Gavin, her 1 year old, was born. I am about 19 weeks pregnant, so my stress level is already up. A screaming toddler and a green ball whizzing through my house only add to my stress. Thankfully, I finish lunch quickly, and I offer then some soup and watermelon. They are all hungry, so we enjoyed about 15 minutes of peace while they ate. Now, it's my turn to eat, and we return to Jameson throwing tantrums and Liam throwing plastic donuts throughout the family room and kitchen. Beth, of couse, tries to settle Liam, but if it's not one thing it's another. Gavin, of couse, is a little angel the entire afternoon. Liam or Jameson take toys from him or rough house with him, but he just takes it and moves on to the next thing.

While I'm eating lunch and watching the madness continuing in the house, I realize that Beth and Liam both have a cough, and Liam's nose is running all over the place. I ask if she's been sick, and she says that they were sick and are now on antibiotics for the cough. I cringe a bit since I know what's in store. I don't have too much time to think about it though since my eyes are on Jameson & Liam. I am finishing up my sandwich, and Liam decides to start jumping on my ottomans. I wouldn't normally mind, but I know it will just give Jameson another idea of how he can best hurt himself. No sooner am I thinking this, and JJ starts to make his way up the ottoman. I tell him no jumping, so he just sits on it. Luckily, he sits down on the edge of the ottoman right in front of me with his back to me. He sees Liam bring one of his books to Beth to read, and he leaps toward them without thinking - he's headed for a head-first fall off the ottoman. He's within arm's reach of me, so I catch him luckily. I saved myself another outburst.

I decide that the best place to keep them all active and prevent anymore fights is at the park. We head to the park and have a great time. It was the least stressful part of the day. I can only pick up Jameson so many times though before I start to get tired, so I tell them that we need to head back to the house. The walk to the park from our house is about a 1/2 mile, so I am more than worn out after this morning's activities and the trip to the park. Liam starts to act up when we return to the house, so she says it's time for them to leave. I have to admit that I was a bit relieved since I was dying for a nap.

Jameson and I head out for a drive since I don't have the energy to rock or walk him to sleep, and he falls asleep on the way home. I lay him down in his crib and crash in my bed.

The rest of our night was uneventful, and I got a much-needed break when his dad came home. Jameson slept pretty soundly that night after all that activity, so I guess the craziness of the day was good for something.

Friday was the complete opposite of Thursday in terms of my stress level and Jameson's activity. I had to run a bunch of errands, and I dragged him everywhere across town. The poor guy spent most of the day in the car (or the "big carro" as he affectionately calls it). We met some friends out for dinner, then just went home and went to bed. I had noticed that Jameson had started sneezing quite a bit earlier in the day, so I suspected he was getting sick. James had troubled getting him to sleep, and I figured that the lack of activity during the day had made him restless. When he woke up the first time at around midnight, I was still awake, so I gave him a little massage to help him sleep. He slept soundly until about 3 or 4. I sent James in to get him back to sleep, and he slept relatively soundly the rest of the night.

Saturday James and I had been offered tickets to the Air Show through a business contact, so we all got ready quickly and headed to James's parents to drop off JJ before heading to the Air Show. We told them we would be gone until about 2:30 since I did not plan on staying for the entire show. I'm about halfway through my pregnancy, and I have a tendency to swell. I knew that being out in the sun exacerbates the problem, but I had not been to the Air Show for many years so we went anyway. Plus, the tickets included free lunch and the best seats in the venue. The show was pretty impressive even for someone like me who is not at all into airplanes, but I did start to get uncomfortable in the sun at about 2. We left the show at about 2:30, and headed to pick up JJ. By the time we got him into the car, he was ready to pass out. During his nap, I got a call from James's mom to 'see if I had heard the news'. I had not. Apparently, we had left the Air Show just in time to miss the first pilot death in the Air Show's history - something I am glad not to have witnessed. According to local new reports, the accident happened at about 2:40 pm, and they believe the pilot died instantly. My thoughts and prayers are with the pilot's family; nonetheless, I am glad I did not witness it.

Saturday evening seemed to go pretty smoothly, but I should have known that JJ would be up all night when I realized that his nose was stuffy. It's been months since he was sick, so I wasn't sure how he would respond this time. Sure enough, he was up about every hour. James got tired of trying to console him, and brought him into our bed at about 2 a.m. At about 3 a.m., I woke up with excruciating pain in my hand. I would say that I have pretty average pregnancies were it not for the carpal tunnel syndrome I develop as a result of the accumulation of fluid (and swelling) in my body. With Jameson, it set in pretty badly at about 5 or 6 months. My right hand was perpetually swollen, and my middle and ring fingers gradually lost feeling. During the night, I had to remember to lie on my left side so that my right hand would not go completely numb. Some nights I would wake up from the pain in my hands, but there isn't much I can do once the pain sets in. I was hoping that I would be lucky and not have this same problem with this pregnancy, but I'm not that lucky. This time, the CTS set in at about 3 months, and my right middle and ring fingers are completely numb at the tips. At night, my entire hand normally goes numb. Most nights it's tolerable. Some nights it's painful. Few nights it's excruciating.

Saturday was one of the few excruciating nights. At 3 a.m. I woke up because I felt like my fingers might explode. I got up and walked around to see if they would improve, but they didn't. I was also starving, so I went downstairs for a bowl of cereal, hoping that the activity would reduce the pain in my hand. My hand improves slightly and I am exhausted, so I lay back down to try to sleep. For about the next hour, I get up about every 10 to 15 minutes to get more pillows thinking that they will improve my comfort. I think I ended up with about 5 pillows. None of them do, and I keep waking up every half hour to massage my painful hands (on bad nights both hands swell and hurt). Finally, at 5:30 a.m. I decide to try the recliner because I have slept little since 3 a.m. The recliner doesn't help either, so I just sit up and try to sleep. James and JJ come downstairs at about 7:30, and I am pretty sure that I have just had the worst night of sleep in my life. I am halfway comforting myself thinking that James will pick up the slack, but he comes downstairs telling me how tired he is since Jameson kept waking up during the night. I fear I might have a breakdown at this point, so we get into some type of argument about who is more tired. It amounts to nothing, and I go upstairs to get dressed and straighten up a bit. We spend most of the day between naps while the other takes care of JJ. I am ecstatic when it's time to get Jameson to sleep because that means I can rest again. I am dreading though the idea of another night like Saturday. Sunday turns out to be a better night for me but a worse night for JJ. He spends most of the night in our bed, but I am so tired that I barely notice his hourly outbursts. James was able to console him thoughout the night, and I regained my sanity today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Part-time Mom

Wow! What a night with JJ . . . he was in one of his moods. I work most days from 10:30 (or so) until 5, so as much as I hate it sometimes, I am a part-time mom. Thankfully, my mother watches him during the day, so at least I know he's with family. Today, I picked him up early since my parents were going out of town to visit my sister, and he fell asleep on the way home. He's very routine-oriented, so changing his schedule or routine on him makes him a bit grumpy. He's used to waking up from his nap and seeing his grandma (who he affectionately calls "Ba"), but today, heaven forbid, he woke up to see "mama". Ba was nowhere in sight. He woke up and immediately started crying and calling for Ba, and I patted his back since he still looked half asleep. It didn't help. He just kept call for Ba, so I finally picked him up once he stood up (I'm about 19 weeks pregnant with twins and only 4' 11", so reaching into a crib to pick up a 26 pound baby is somewhat of a challenge.).

It was time for his dinner, but I knew he would not get into his high chair in his current mood. Instead, I rocked him in the recliner, and we sat and watched cartoons for a minute. He finally settled, and his mood perked up a bit so I figured he was ready. He wasn't. He starts asking me for some Care Bear gummies, and I oblige in an effort to keep him quiet while I heat up his food. I warmed up some lentil stew I had and sliced an orange. He was happy to eat the orange, and I figured it was a good sign that he would cooperate through dinner. I told him I had his lentils, and I give him a spoonful. He starts crying and asks for "thopa kibby", which I know means spaghetti soup. He's used to speaking Spanlish since he spends half a day with my mother who speaks only Spanish to him and half a day with his dad and I who speak mostly English to him. Luckily, I have some pasta soup, and I heat that up for him. He starts to eat it, and after about 6 spoonfuls says "No mama" and turns his head when I try to feed him. He hasn't eaten anything since lunch, and it's now 5:30 pm, so I know he must be hungry. I try again, and he still refuses. I offer him a turkey sandwich, and he nods his head. I make his sandwich hopeful that he will finally eat, and he looks at it and says "no burger mama". At this point, I'm pretty frustrated, so I ask him if he's hungry. He says he's not, so I figure I will just let him play for a bit and try again later.

We played ball for a while and waited for dad to come home. Dad finally comes him around 7, and offers to take him to the store to get milk. I could use the time to straighten up, so I say 'yes'. I tell JJ he's going to the store with his dad, and I start to change his outfit . . . another tantrum ensues (not sure why this time). I quickly change his clothes, and he's off to the store. As much as I'm dreading it, I know I have to try to get him to eat some more when he returns. They come home at about 8, and I heat up some fried rice and wash some blueberries and an apple. This time he eats the rice with little struggle, and has a couple apple slices. He starts eating the blueberries with no problem at first. He must have found a sour one in the bunch though because a few minutes later, I catch him spitting out smashed up blueberry on his chair. I quickly clean it up and tell him not to spit the blueberries out anymore. He's quiet for a minute and heads back to the plate for more blueberries. I'm watching him the entire time, and he knows it. He starts to chew it up, and kneels down in front of his chair with a grimace on his face. He starts to open his mouth, and I say, "JJ no! If you spit that out, you're not getting anymore blueberries.". He spits out the blueberry, and quickly puts it back in his mouth. I'm aggravated that he's not listening, but I have to turn my head to keep from laughing at his boldness in front of him. As he gets up to reach for more blueberries, I take the other blueberries away, and his 3rd tantrum of the night starts. He goes up to the TV screen and smudges it with the blueberry remnants he has in his hands. He then drops onto his butt and flings his head back smacking on it on the floor, and he realizes it doesn't feel good. He starts to fake cry, and I tell him to get up and come give mom a hug. After rolling around for a moment, he comes for his hug. I know he's just having a bad night, so I'm just trying to get through it and hope he's in a better mood in the morning. He's obviously tired, so we take a shower, and his dad puts him to bed.

He can be a real stinker, but even on his bad nights, it's funny how he still melts my heart. It strikes me sometimes how he can be so little and already know so much. He knows how to push my buttons, and he knows how to make it better when he's made me mad. He knows what he wants, and he knows how to ask for it. He knows his routines, and his memory is better than mine. I don't think anyone ever knows what they're getting into when they think about becoming parents. It's not what you expect it to be. It's so much more.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Yup, I did it

I don't believe I'm actually doing this, but I suppose I will give it a try and see how it goes. I am a lousy friend by my own admission, but I hope I am a better blogger. I rarely call and almost never respond to emails, so I thought my friends and family could keep up with us better if I started a blog. It remains to be seen whether I will remember to call or email to let them know about the blog.

I have often thought to myself how blessed I am to have been born into my family, but it always strikes me that we don't get to choose the circumstances into which we are born. There are many fortunate people in this world and many unfortunate. Often I wonder, 'what did I do to deserve to be one of the fortunate ones?'. Maybe it's a matter of perspective. I don't know, but I was having this same thought the night I titled the blog. I am sure there are much better blog names out there, but this one works for me. I suppose you could say it's a recurring thought for me.

So what makes me think I'm fortunate? the simple stuff. . .
I was born into a loving family, and we always had food to eat and clothes to wear. As far as I was concerned, money was not an issue, so that was all I needed to know. I got to do all the normal "kid stuff" and was fortunate to grow up with 2 siblings.
I met my husband, James, in high school, and we got married ten years later. We had an amazing wedding and honeymoon.

We have since had a baby boy, Jameson, or 'JJ' as he likes to call himself. He is my pride and joy. He changed my life forever the day he was born, and every day he is in my life, he makes it that much better. . . . and if that doesn't seem like enough, we are now waiting on baby number 2 & 3 - yup, twins! Double the work, double the worry, but mostly, double the love.

In my mind, there is no better life than one filled with love, so I guess I like to think that there is no one more fortunate.