Wednesday, February 27, 2013


About 6 weeks ago, I went to Harry's class to volunteer like I always do and his teacher greeted me with a list of behaviors she found questionable that Harry had been performing.  I read the list-- making animal noises during silent work time, going to the bathroom every 10 minutes during work alone time, spitting, puling up his shirt, not respecting others' space bubbles-- and asked her if this was all from the current week.

"This," she told me, "All happened before 10:00 this morning."

At first, Ben and I were annoyed that the teacher waited to tell us until things got out of hand.  At our conference just 2 months earlier, she said Harry sometimes has trouble sitting still and focusing but that he was meeting or exceeding all of his grade level expectations and had great relationships with his friends.  6 weeks later, though, he was having a hard time meeting grade level expectations for writers workshop, and she noticed that other kids were censoring his behavior more and more.  She said the behavior had been building-- at first she thought he was excited about winter break and the holiday season.  Then she thought maybe he was tweaking out about his sister's arrival.  Finally, she decided to talk to us.  I think she was hesitant because we are both so involved in the classroom, and she didn't want us to get defensive and stop coming-- which, of course, we considered.

It is important to note that Harry was never in trouble at school-- no trips to the office or anything like that.  But he did sit next to the kid with a full time aid so he could chatter away to another adult, and he did spend some of his "silent" work time sitting at the teacher's desk.

Ben and I called our pediatrician's office, and we decided to have his teacher and his specials teachers fill out a Vanderbilt's questionnaire so we could discuss possible ADHD.  This is not the first time a teacher has mentioned his inability to focus.  At our bullshit billion dollar Reggio preschool, we (I) got really angry at the "teacher" who suggested we go to the doctor for a diagnosis because A.  Reggio is bullshit, B. She has no degree in anything that I know of, let alone a medical one, and C. The kid was 4.  In kindergarten, his teacher praised his energy and reading and math skills and said we should keep an eye on the focus issue, which he may or may not outgrow.  She also said that while having friends was really important to Harry, he didn't always know how to act to maintain those relationships.  Based on these reports and his first grade teacher's concern with his writing, we wanted to be proactive before he fell behind socially or academically.

Ben had his mind made up that Harry was textbook ADHD and should have meds ASAP.  I was anti-meds and hopeful that our hippie doctor who doesn't even prescribe a damn antibiotic would back me up.

During our appointment, Harry bounced on the exam table and shredded the paper cover like he was a cat.

The doctor said Harry might in fact have ADHD.  Or he might grow out of his attention/behavior issues. He also said it is not his practice to medicate a smart, happy kid so he can perform in the classroom.  BUT, he also said that if we wanted a prescription, he would write it anytime, but he suggested we try behavioral interventions first. (This guy has known Harry since he was a few hours old-- we really do trust his judgement.)

So, that's what we have been doing.

Here's what we've changed:

  • We have tried not be be such assholes, and we have tried to only say no when we mean it, not just when saying no is easier for us.  
  • We have also stopped getting emotionally involved in tantrums-- we give him clear choices with consequences and let him decide and ignore ignore ignore hysteria.

  • During silent reading time, he reads to himself for 3 minutes and to the teacher for 2 minutes, instead of 5 minutes to himself-- this has been so helpful! 
  •  We have talked about the importance of being in class instead of in the bathroom, and he has regular break times!
  • He was getting distracted by drawing pictures in his writers workshop books and not finishing the stories.  Now, he writes the story on a plain piece of lined paper and draws a picture if he has time.  At night, he spends a few minutes editing his work and copying his story into a book which he also illustrates.  At the suggestion of a friend who is also a first grade teacher, we found a bunch of graphic organizers on the internet and downloaded them.  Every night, he fills one in for the next day's story, jotting down the main point and enough details for 5-7 sentences which he turns into a small moment story with a beginning, middle, and end during writers workshop.  At first, he was taking the full 30 minutes in class to come up with barely 5 sentences.  Now he has time to write his story, draw a picture, do a little editing, and talk to his friends.  Sometimes, he even gets to make the actual book during his 30 minute writers workshop.  (And it takes many kids in the class 2 workshop sessions to come up with 5-7 sentences, so he is not behind anymore as far as we can tell-- he always produces a complete story and edits it everyday between school time and home time).  At night, he was taking 30 more minutes to do his book and the next day's map, but now, he can do the whole task in 15 minutes, and he is better at staying focused-- we don't have to sit right next to him and coach him the whole time, but he does need reminders to stay on track and add punctuation.
  • His teacher keeps a sticker chart everyday.  At first, it was just for doing his work, which he did EVERYDAY from the time she instituted the chart!  And we bought him a toy for every 5 perfect charts in a row.  Now, we have upped the ante, and she is also including categories for cleaning up, being good at snack, behaving appropriately at lunch, modeling good behavior during rug time, putting away his things efficiently in his locker.  He has yet to get 5 in a row, but if he does, he'll get a new DS game.  On days he misses a sticker (and he has only missed for acting like a jerk at lunch, being disruptive on the rug, etc-- never for work), he can't play with his DS after school.
  • Homework right after school no matter what.  He sort of hates this a little, but he is doing such a good job with the work! Also, I hate that a 6 y/o has homework, but I think we are moving toward him getting it done at school.  I have also been on a baking binge lately, so hot and fresh snacks from the oven make homework time more fun.
  • No more nagging him to eat breakfast.  Instead, I give him half a peanut butter sandwich and a cup of whole milk before we leave for school, and I don't care how much he eats at his first breakfast-- much more pleasant w/o all the nagging and complaining.
  • 30 minutes of exercise every morning before school.  Bounce house in the basement.  Dance party in the kitchen.  Walk.  Skateboard in the snow.  Play in the backyard.  This has been fun for everyone, and it has cut morning fighting (kid v kid and kid v adult) by 95%.
  • When we get to school, we help him be primed for success.  We talk about how much fun we had in the morning.  We tell him how excited we are to read his story and ask him to remind us of the details.  We make sure his gloves are inside his hat, his shoes are in the front mesh pocket of his backpack, and he is wearing his lunchbox like a messenger bag, so he can easily put his things in his locker and change out of his boots.  These little steps have meant the most change, I think, especially the overall focus on harmony and physical exercise in the morning.
Things are definitely improving, but both Ben and I wonder if prescription meds for ADHD are in our future.  They might be. We do not want Harry to fall behind academically or socially, and we are trying to be hyper vigilant.  I think we both have a tendency to romanticize the meds, too-- to think that every annoying or high maintenance behavior will go away, leaving THE PERFECT CHILD instead, and we know this isn't how it works.

I think he is a normal, rowdy six year-old boy, and I have to tell you that his sticker chart has been raising my mam bear hackles, especially since I go into that classroom every week and see all the other  loud pain in the ass kids-- Harry is far from the only one blurting answers, getting out of his seat, and talking to his friends.  Sometimes it seems like the reasons he didn't get a sticker are kind of silly--- like yesterday, he was talking too much and making noises during exercise time (they do exercises mid-afternoon because his teacher is too cold to take the class out for second recess.  Um.).  I kind of don't give a shit about that, you now?  I don't want him to be so frustrated that he can't get a sticker in every category that he backslides on the work-- because, really, getting his work done in class is the most important thing.

I have also been concerned about this classroom from the beginning of the year because there is SO MUCH GOING ON-- one kid with a full time aid for learning disability, one kid with a full time aid for behavior problems, and at least 3 other kids who have aids and other classroom-based interventions throughout the day.  On the one hand, this is great because there is an extremely low teacher:student ratio.  On the other hand it is very distracting under the best of circumstances for the least distractable kid. His teacher is really great, though-- extremely skilled at adapting what she is doing to a variety of learning styles/levels, and she does this naturally and spontaneously, reacting really well and really quickly to feedback from students.  Harry is also no longer sitting next to another adult all day (and he was never by himself or anything like that, but his table cluster included one of the kids with an aid I think in part because Harry needed another adult to give him direction), and he's not even the closest table cluster to the teacher's desk anymore, signs that he is making progress

There's no real ending to this post because we're still in the middle of everything, but I'll keep you posted.  Get it-- posted?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Life right now

Cooper has discovered his love of hide and go seek. He is a pretty good hider, sometimes, and a really bad seeker. If he has not found a hiding spot before I am done counting, he simply freezes wherever he is and tries to be unobtrusive.
He is also totally into writing in my pregnancy journal, which SCORE because I do not have a snowball's chance in hell of filling it up before the baby is born.  I have already addressed this sorry state of affairs in the journal, assuring my unborn daughter that I will finish the journal after she is born and write to her about her first few weeks on this planet.  Right?  Because I will have WAY MORE TIME after baby #4 arrives, obvs.  Also, Harry's class has to share family traditions during their unit on the olden days (further cementing in his little head, I am afraid, that Ben I grew up in the olden days).  He was going to do his two holidays (Christmas and Hanukkah), but I pulled out the other 3 baby journals (my "Dear Baby" books I call them), and Harry flipped through trying to read my messy handwriting and delighting in the tiny footprints at the very end of each book (I always have the nurse do the newborn prints in that book as opposed to their actual baby books, but I am bringing #4's baby book, too, and hopefully her feet will be inky enough for 2 sets of prints).  So now, he is going to bring my Dear Baby books instead.  HOW SWEET IS THAT??  Also also, I reread the end of Cooper's with his twee footprints and the birth story I wrote hours after his birth, and according to me, I was 6.5 cm dilated at 11:30 and and ready to push at 12:15.  And Cooper was born at 12:40.  Holy shit-- no wonder that hurt.
Harry took this picture of fireman Cooper during our interminable teacher development day off school on Friday.
Ben made a delicious cake with whipped cream and pudding frosting.  He liked it, too.
Harry wore this Halloween costume when he was 2.
Here we all are this morning.  You know what this picture clearly needs?  One more baby.  Um.
Cooper totally has a future as Harry's roadie. Harry, by the way, also has a real guitar and is taking lessons.  Beautiful music.
Jack was rocking out to the theme from Dinosaur Train
Yup.  More kids.

Anticipating the arrival of a new family member makes me really want to hang on to our routines.  I remember feeling this way before we had Cooper.  The mundane gets poetic, and I am simultaneously anxious and nostalgic.

On days that Ben works, Cooper and I seldom get dressed before 2.  We send the big boys off to school with a post-breakfast snack and 30 minutes of physical activity before drop off.  Then we come back home, and he has a snack (he loves goldfish crackers-- calls them sish-- and hates Annie's Bunnies) while I have a huge cup of water and eat the ice cubes. We go downstairs, and he roams and plays with all of the toys while I do a little work or read a book and absentmindedly play with him.  We vacuum up his snack and clean up the downstairs and put away the laundry right before it's time to get Jack, who comes home just in time for lunch.  We have lunch, and then Jack gets to watch TV, and Cooper is thrilled to go down for his nap (seriously-- he wriggles like a puppy when he hears it's time for night night-- that kid loves a 3 hour midday siesta), and I work out while watching Baby Story and clean up lunch and get dressed and join Jack on the couch.  I will miss these days, even though I know we'll find a new rhythm.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Nesting and Shopping

I cleaned out my closet and all my dresser drawers last night-- 3 bags of clothes/shoes/boots to donate and random garbage bag of trash-- ripped socks, broken hangers, receipts-- stuff that should not have been taking up space in my dresser.  It was SO fun that I know I was nesting.

I also cleaned out my maternity clothes and threw all the ones I never want to see again in a donation bag.  I am looking right now at what I have left, and I think I may have been over zealous.  If I am still pregnant for another month, I will have to do a lot of mixing and matching to avoid repeats.  (Although I have been wearing the same 2 H&M striped tunics with leggins-- I got 2 pairs of Motherhood leggings back in October, and I have been wearing them nearly everyday ever since, and they are only just now starting to show signs of wear.  Best $40 I have ever spent-- every weekend for 3 months.  And the tunics aren't maternity, so I can keep on wearing them.  Phew!)

I never really lost my baby weight from Cooper (which is why I have achieved my heaviest weight EVER and still have 3 weeks to go!), so I have some fat jeans that might fit soonish.  In the meantime, I have a newly purchased large and stretchy wardrobe from Old Navy (I love super cash-- I bought so much stuff over Christmas that it's like this stuff was FREE -- or that's how I explained it to Ben!) and Target (the Target debit card SEEMED like a good idea, but I think it makes me consume MOAR Target).  This is how I will be making postpartum magic happen:

  • 2 giant tank tops
  • 5 giant t-shirts
  • 3 big-ass pairs of yoga pants (2 black, one gray)
  • 2 very big hoodies
  • 2 huge pairs of leggings
  • 2 black and white striped tunics
  • 1 oversized black and white striped sweater that I hope will look cute off the shoulder with yoga pants and TOMS and maybe one of the aforementioned giant tank tops
  • 1 gray and white polka-dot shirt dress that can go with tights and boots or leggings
  • 1 enormous red polka dot wrap dress that was on clearance for $6 at Old Navy and will hopefully be cute with a nursing tank under it
  • Some nursing tanks
I also bought toiletries for my hospital bag and all the postpartum feminine hygiene supplies I can imagine needing, as well as giant underpants and an assortment of really hot beige nursing bras.  The 17 year-old checker at Target was totally traumatized handling my purchases.

I have to conduct a meeting on April 22nd and hear student presentations on April 25, so I need to at least have on clean yoga pants, right?  I am setting bar low, so I don't disappoint myself.  And whatever I wear needs to match my Moby wrap and the baby I will hopefully be sporting. (But don't cry for me Argentina because the proposal I was working on in December got funded, and I have a course release in the fall to work on an exciting new project, so once class ends on May 10, I will be out of the classroom until after MLK Day 2014.)

I swear, though, that I am totally done shopping for the baby now.  I bought a completely essential rag doll from Pottery Barn Kids yesterday, so that crucial item is off the list.  Phew!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Light at the end of the tunnel

For work reasons, Ben and I both would love it if I could stay pregnant until March 8th. Since this is still 10 days before my "guess date," and Coop was a 41-weeker, I think this is a good goal. Ben has speeches in his comm class, and I have 2 parts of my students' final research paper coming in on Feb 28 and March 7 that I would like to grade before I have a 4th child to juggle.

BUT, I am 37 weeks-- full term!!!!-- on Monday, not 36 like I said last time, so, really, we need to be prepared to have the baby at any moment.

Unlike my last pregnancies, though, I am not in a hurry for this one to end.  I will miss feeling her bounce and kick and roll in there.  I will miss having such a taut stomach (seriously-- it's all jello belly again as soon as she's out).  I will miss the shape of my body and the way even the most lazy task-- lying on the couch eating Taco Bell and reading natural birth books, for example-- feels special because I am also GROWING A PERSON while I do it.

Amazing birth partner (he would reject that label because he is not a guy who wants a doula to feed him a sandwich, and I think he would rather gnaw off his own arm than climb into the birth tub naked like a guy I saw on Baby Story last week) that he is, Ben solved all of my birth fears the other night without even trying.  I looked up from my HypnoBirthing book (which?  really?  surges?  no pain at all?   no pushing? I am going to try these visualization and relaxation techniques because I remember the panicked tensing I would get at the start of every contraction from about 7-10 cm because I knew what was coming, and I do think it would be more comfortable if I could stay relaxed and limp) and asked for reassurance that everything would be all right, and he gave me the weirdest look.  He said he thought I was manufacturing a problem, and I got all pissed off, but then he went on to say that I was so calm and in charge during Cooper's birth and it didn't seem to be a big deal at all (ha! HAHAHA!), so he could not understand my anxiety.  When I realized he wasn't fucking with me, I felt tons better.

He also reminded me of my 2 favorite things about Cooper's birth:  1.  Our nurse thought Ben was extremely NOT FUNNY.  Every time he made a bad joke, she ave him the most awful, withering look.  I forgot about that, but it was delightful even at the time.  When he told me to man up, I thought her head would explode.  2.  When I was all set up and ready to push with the lights on and the bed elevated, I wasn't having a contraction, and it was SO AWKWARD to be lying there with my ass in the face of 2 doctors, who were staring at it under bright lights.  I said, "So, um, what's everybody doing?"  They were shocked that I was making a joke during a med free birth, and I was so proud of myself for having my shit together enough to feel self conscious.  This sounds like an odd hallmark of a successful birth experience, but go with me.

We also want the baby to stay in because THIS GUY, this skeptical little shopper in a taxi cart (we are having some heated double stroller debates-- Cooper freaking hates strollers, but how the hell do you wrangle 2 under 2 w/o a containment device for both?) is going to be a big brother?!

I love how mad he is here-- the neck cords!  All the teeth!  The jazz hand!  The clenched fist!  Even his hair looks pissed off.

It is both terrifying and thrilling that by around this time next month, we will be done with pregnancy, you know?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Natural hospital brth-- not an oxymoron

When I was about this pregnant with Cooper, Ben and I went to a wedding.  I remember feeling super cute despite the humidity, my hugeness, and the bad hair cut I recently got.  We saw Ben's old boss, a stick skinny, tall woman, who said to me, "Wow, I bet you can't wait to lose that weight!"  At the time, I was totally bummed and thought who the fuck says that to a pregnant woman?  But right now?  I totally get it.
I am, in fact, ready to lose that weight.

In Happier at Home, Gretchen Rubin writes about not eating ANY holiday desserts because she says it was easier for her to abstain completely than to worry about moderation.  This made total sense to me, and I have decided it is the attitude I am going to take toward sweets after I have the baby.  I will already be cutting out chocolate, since all 3 other kids were sensitive to it, so I think this time I am going to go whole hog and stop eating sugary crap, too.  I already abstain from artificial sweeteners of any kind, so I don't have to worry about falling into that trap.  I am going to extend the ban to all flavored lattes, but I am going to eat the organic yogurt I love, even though it is sweetened with organic cane juice. (And don't tell me to eat Greek yogurt instead because I have tried, but it tastes like puke).  I am also going to keep eating jelly on my toast, but no more cinnamon sugar on cinnamon swirl bread, no more cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, scones, brownies, candy-- you get the idea.  I don't want to go crazy and restrict calories until breastfeeding is well established, but I do need to kick the junk habit.  Our family ate 4 dozen cookies in less that 24 hours, and I made another 4 dozen tonight.  AND I ATE HALF BY MYSELF.  This is not good.

Today, I read a fabulous book, Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel.  She is a professor at EMU with a PhD in medical anthropology, and she is also a doula.  Apparently, the 2 natural hospital births I have had are rare.  Jack's birth-- arrival at the hospital at 7 cm and no real time for intervention-- is the way most natural hospital births happen.  One like Cooper's-- arrival at the hospital in early labor, freedom to move throughout, occasional use of hand-held monitors, nurse willing to monitor the baby wherever I happened to be in the moment, infrequent vaginal exams, hydrotherapy, lots of walking, nurse-coached breathing-- is less common.  My only complaints about Cooper's delivery (besides, of course, the horrific pain) are that I had to deliver him lying down, that he pooped in the womb and needed to be whisked away and suctioned out, so I could not hold him before Ben cut the cord, and that a resident with a terrible bedside manner kept trying to give me an amniotomy.  First of all, no, dude, I don't want an intervention, and I am pretty sure my labor is speedy enough as it is (last woman of the morning into a birth suite and the first one out, baby).  Second, anmiotomy, really?  Put down the textbook, Doogie, and just say you want to break my water. 

But the pain thing.  I think that's the whole reason Cooper was so late-- too much fear and adrenaline to let any oxytocin in my body.  I remembered enough of Jack's labor and delivery to know that I had never in my life felt so amazing as I did the moment he was out and the pain was gone and I knew that I could leap out of bed and walk to my recovery suite that very minute, and I knew I wanted that feeling again.  I also, though, remembered how bad it hurt to push him out without any drugs, and that part really scared me as my due date drew closer.  This time, I want to be more zen and want to know that I can stand another day of body-wracking pain because it is short-lived, normal, and the means to a completely transformative end.

Harry's birth was a stereotypical slew of interventions.  My water broke before I started to feel contractions, so I came in to the hospital "on the clock."  He was 37 weeks, and I hadn't gotten my group B strep results back yet, so I was treated as if I had it and immediately hooked up to an IV.  Since I was already in bed, I was hooked up to a fetal monitor, and I couldn't really move around. OF COURSE I wanted an epidural in that situation, especially since Ben was not there right away.  The epidural worked great after a super scary blood pressure situation at first, but I hated the after effects of the catheter; my nurse did some stretching of my perineum that really hurt in the recovery phase (although she did prevent me from getting an episiotomy which the doctor suggested so that the student doctor could get to practice one-- what the fuck, dude?-- by shaking her head emphatically over his shoulder until I got the message), and I was left to labor down for so long that my contractions stopped, and I had to push without them for a LOOOOONG time-- also hard to recover from.  The best part of his birth was that I got to hold him right away on my chest while he was still connected (and the doctor was strangely delighted with his placenta and made Ben pose with him and it in a picture).

I missed out on the holding the baby on my chest moment with both other kids-- Jack was blue and wrapped up in his cord and yanked away quite dramatically.  The doc on call was letting the resident handle the delivery until she saw how blue the baby's head was.  Then she body checked that poor girl out of the way and got Jack out in a second-- I am still not sure how.

I know I should avoid A Baby Story and the medical model of L&D that show portrays-- one slippery intervention slope after another-- but I have reached that point in pregnancy where I can't look away.  So, I am trying to surround myself with positive stories, too.  I want a natural birth, and I want to not be afraid of it.

I am 36 weeks on Monday, and as this birth draws near, I am increasingly preoccupied with how I want it to go, and I don't want my anxiety to interfere.  Up next, a book on hypnobirthing-- I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Our afternoons

Today, Ben surprised Harry and Jack with a trip to the circus after hockey. Cooper and I abstained because I think circuses are gross, trashy (but in a sort of fabulous way) and horribly unethical-- do you think that elephant wants to stand on that ball?

The circus was, (is, actually, because they are still not home, and Coop and I are enjoying some quiet playtime) of course, right up H and J's gross, trashy, unethical alley.

Here are the pictures and accompanying captions Ben texted me throughout the show:

"Jack during the national anthem"

"They R so happy"
And, a little later:
"The kids r so fucking sticky"
During intermission, I got this picture and these texts:

"They have elephant rides and shit at intermission"
"The kids are really bothered because I said no to things like light up things and things like not going on the dirty elephants"
And, my favorite, "They just announced that a kid is lost and Harry said see that's why we didn't go down there.  That could be me."

"That's a guy flying out of a cannon"
While that nonsense was happening, Cooper and I went shopping for some crucial baby items:
A baby bag:  (I have been carrying my white Coach Lindsey bag-- not big enough, also, white-- or my giant LV Never Full tote-- too nice for the rigors of (literal) baby shit and already kind of stained inside from (figurative) big kid shit).  I almost bought the Gucci diaper bag I have been dying for forever, and then its exorbitant price tag made me thing Coach baby bags are pretty cheap, but in the end, I went with the old standby Vera Bradley.  It's washable!
 A baby book:  (I might not ever turn my dissertation into a book, but damnit, all 4 of my kids will have complete baby books)
 And a Sleep Sheep: (Cooper took out the noise machine inside the sheep and hid it-- it was really hard to find).

 He also threw the baby's clothes out of her crib and tried to climb in:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines day!

I love Vday.

Harry is writing a story tomorrow in writer's workshop about all of the heart-shaped food he consumed.  He is organizing it chronologically starting with the toast and cookie he had at breakfast, then the pb&j and strawberries in his lunch, followed by the cookie he had at his class party, and topped off with the heart-shaped meatloaf Ben made for dinner.

Next year, he would like everything shaped like real hearts, not love hearts.  Erm.

Ben sent me a dozen gorgeous long stem roses to my office last week because he was a jerk, and I was hormonal, and they died yesterday on our kitchen island, but the garbage man didn't come for some reason, so I left them there because our trash was bulging.  This morning Harry said, "I think dead roses are even more beautiful than alive ones."  Emo?

Jack loves to go into the baby's room and try on her things.
 Cooper is a monster.  To get through grocery store #2 on Sundays, he needs a donut.
 Harry and Jack assembled their Vday goody bags on Sunday night.  It was quite the process-- I would not hire them to work on an assembly line.
 Harry wanted a new blazer and fancy shirt.  Mission accomplished.
 Cooper has recently discovered his love of crayons.
 He is very serious about them.
 And they taste delicious.
 I decided to be a MOTY for real this year for Vday-- I made cookies for Jack's class and cookie decorating kits for Harry's.  Organic cookies and organic frosting dyed with beet juice (and decorated with tons of HFCS and other chemical crap-- oops).
 This was my kitchen at 11:00 last night-- being a MOTY is hard work.
 Cooper had a yogurt incident at hockey last night
 Jack on Vday morning
 Cooper happy to see candy first thing in the AM
 Harry, very methodical.
 A cookie for breakfast?  You bet.
 Somebody lost another tooth
 The finished product at Harry's first grade party.  Totally healthy, right?
 As an added bonus, it was the 100th day of school today.  When I stopped in to drop off the cookie stuff on my way to the OB so the teacher could set it up while the kids were in art class, the kids were LOSING THEIR MINDS.  What a day to be a first grade teacher (the woman is a saint).

Friday, February 08, 2013

Looking forward to a time in the not so distant future when my thighs no longer rub together

As I type this, the elastic sleeves of the summer dress I have stretched across my body and paired with maternity skinny jeans that have just about lost their will to stay up over my belly mound are cutting into my massive upper arms, reminding me that I should rummage through my closet for a sweater that looks like it might still button over me to hide my arms before I leave the house.

 If I leave the house.

(Not that I will button the sweater, but it has to look like I can if I wanted to.)

Yesterday, the chafe marks from my tights lasted for hours after I changed into yoga pants and a nursing tank (looked as dreamy as it sounds).

On the up side, my chocolate chip cookie craving has subsided, and I cannot stop eating salad-- two big tubs of Earthbound Farms organic spring mix this week by myself.

This morning, we blew up the bouncy house before school

Ben spent a refreshing 45 minutes shoveling the driveway AGAIN after shoveling it last night because it won't! stop! snowing! here.
Cooper was unsupervised long enough to go into the boys' room, get this stool, bring it back to the family room, set it up, and climb.  But the joke's on you, baby, because that dimmer switch doesn't do ANYTHING.  I seriously don't know why we have it on the wall, and I met with the electrician about switches, that I do remember.
Harry did 100 jumping jacks and then some sit ups.
There was much wrestling

They really wanted to sit on it while I unplugged it, just like they do with the air track at Little Gym.  Whatever.

The other day in my rhetoric of reproductive rights class, we were reading about the Voluntary Motherhood movement at the end of the 19th century, and a lot of the rhetoric of that time exalting motherhood (for middle class white women) sounded to me like the mommy wars rhetoric of today, so I asked my class about it.  This turned into a fascinating discussion about childcare situations/SAH parents from their own lives.  Right after a student talked about always being the last kid picked up at daycare and having all of her earliest memories set in a child care center-- which she loved and credited for her own outgoing personality-- another student made a comment about having a SAH wife because he didn't want to drop his kid off at daycare for someone else to raise where they would probably only change the baby's diaper five minutes before he got picked up to look like he was being taken care of all day.  To ease the tension, I said that my own baby would probably be changed MORE OFTEN at a daycare center than he is by me and and Ben.  He'd probably be learning stuff there, too.  

At home with us (Ben 2.5 days and me 2.5 days), he hangs out in his PJs, is rarely changed if he's not poopy, and plays by himself an impressive amount of time.  Today he read himself a pile of books-- "This?" he asked himself on each page and answered "This!"-- and sang along to his Sesame Street alphabet bus, for example.

He also drinks coffee.

And about 10:45 every morning, he passes out wherever he is.  On the couch enjoying chips and salsa with Ben, sitting up against my ginormous belly while we both lay on the floor and read, or in a pile of chaos of his own making.  We can only let him sleep for a few minutes because we'd rather eat our own arms than screw up his one and only nap (i.e. the only chance I ever have to work out and take a shower), but it's one of my favorite parts of the morning.

I also love when I tell him it's time to go get Jack right before lunch, and he drops what he's doing and runs up the stairs.  Today, I had to wear him the Ergo because the city didn't plow the crosswalks and curbs going to school (WTF, city?  Our snow removal has been so bad this year that I am going to VOTE REPUBLICAN rather than re-elect this mayor).  He liked it, but it killed my back.
Now Jack is back in the bouncy house, and Cooper is still wearing his pajamas, and I might not even change him when he gets up from his nap.