Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Guess when you are ready, you're ready

What do you do after you use the potty the first time?
 Put the potty seat on your head.  Naturally.
Carsten has shown great interest when we go potty.  And even wants to sit on his potty seat daily and laughs and giggles the whole time, like it is some novelty.  However, he has never really shown interest in actually doing it himself.

So when he said to me this morning "Mama!  I go potty!  Now!"  I thought I was just going to "amuse" him and put him on his seat.  He requested I bring his favorite book and a chair so I left him there.

I went to round up a chair and his favorite book only to come back into the bathroom to find him going #1 in the potty.  He thought it was so fun he did it three times.

He has gone twice more today, each time announcing it beforehand.

Hmmm. . . .Guess when you are ready, you're ready.  Too bad his timing couldn't have been a month ago or a month from now when we aren't about to have our world upturned by Baby Sissy.  Oh well.  Take what you can get.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The art of waiting for baby

Well, I have officially gone past my "estimated due date" by two days.  I can't tell you how many people have asked me questions like the following:  "When is your induction date?"  "Had your baby yet?"  "Are you going to schedule a C-section?"  "When are you going to get this baby out?

I know everyone is well meaning but for the lady who is very great with child, these questions are not the most helpful.

Figure I would just throw my views on childbirth out there.

1.  "Over due" - One is not technically "overdue" until they are two weeks past their estimated due date.  The reason it is called an EDD is because doctors are just making a guess when the baby will be 40 weeks based on last menstrual cycle and size of the baby.  Babies are considered full-term any time between 37 and 42 weeks.  It is not a magical date when the baby will automatically appear.  So, this baby can still cook for another two weeks.  I know pregnant moms don't like to hear this but it is the truth.   I don't want to hear it either.  But it is what it is.

2.  Inductions - I am not for them, personally, unless there is medical problem with either me or the baby.  Sure I am miserable, not sleeping well, and feel as big as a whale BUT with inductions often comes three things I don't want - an epidural, medical interventions and sometimes, emergency c-sections.  I figure if I want a natural, vaginal childbirth, I need to let the baby come when both my body and the baby is ready.  Luckily, my doctor feels the same way and has told me over and over that she does not like to induce unless there is a medical necessity.  She insists that births seem to go much better when they start on their own.  Many doctors and moms don't follow this mantra.   Which is completely fine.  We all have to decide what works best for us.  I side with my doctor.

So, how do I deal with the unknown arrival of this baby?

I accept it.  Give it to God.  Keep telling myself she will come when she comes.  Why stress about things we can't control.

Then I continue my normal life routine.  Going to the gym, walking a lot, cleaning my house, playing with my kids, etc.  I also start a fun project.  This time around I am decorating our guest room to be Carsten's room, getting ready to move him into a "big boy bed" after grandma and grandpa leave the beginning of Feb. The bed in that room is a queen bed so it becomes a little trickier to find sheets/bed rails.

So far I have found him these sheets:

And this growth chart:

And these prints (with colors that are similar to his sheets) for his wall:

I can't wait to move him in to his room!!!  He is already carrying around a pillow case of his new sheets.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The terrible (and actually quite adorable) twos

Carsten insisted on wearing two ties to Christmas dinner.

Elisabeth's dance teacher asked her two weeks ago how old Carsten was.  Elisabeth replied with an enthusiastic "Terrible twos!"  I couldn't agree more with that statement.  Some how the happy-go-lucky boy who slept well, ate well, and was a joy to be around disappeared not a week or so after his 2nd birthday.  Just in time for his baby sister to arrive.  

Despite the challenges of raising the boy we have nicknamed "The Hulk," he is quite endearing and still Mama's favorite little boy.  Here are just a few fun facts about "brother":

  • His favorite sayings: 
    •  "I knee know!" (I don't know.)
    •  "It not working!"
    • "Where sissy go?"
    • "Cars 2 please!"
    • "GIMME.  THAT.  RIGHT.  NOW."
    • "I wanna back scratch please!"
  • Favorite word:  No.  For everything you ask him.  Want ice cream?  No.  Want to read Goodnight, goodnight construction site?  No. 
  • Favorite book:  Good Night, Good Night Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
  • Favorite toys:  Cars, trucks, planes, trains.  You get the picture.
  • Favorite trait:  Very friendly.  Goes up to complete strangers and asks them to pick him up or 
  • Favorite comfort item:  His "chocolate blanket" (a brown and blue minky blanket.)
  • Nicknames:  Carstie, Little man, The Hulk, "that baby" (courtesy of his loving sister)
  • Carsten-isms:  
    • Throws things whenever he is mad.  When we see the "green" coming on we know to remove anything he can chuck along with any person he can hurt from his vicinity.  
    • Puts himself in time out, calms himself down and then comes out happy.
    • Loves treats.  Of all kinds.  Veggies and meat?  Not so much.
    • Face is constantly dirty.  No matter how many times I try to keep it clean.
    • Takes off his shoes and socks constantly.  And hates having his hair brushed.

All he wanted for his birthday was "car cake."  My first attempt at decorating cakes.

 Cheering for himself after he sang "Happy-da Birthday" along with everyone else.

 Blowing out candles with Papa.

"Cheese!"  All he cared about were his cars and bus.  Forget the other gifts.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dear Mom - It's Been Eight Years

Dear Mom,

Aunt Gwen included a bunch of pictures of you in our Christmas card this year.  Most of them I had already seen but as I was clearing off my counter and looking at them again, I broke down into tears.  You were a beautiful woman and these pictures represent a part of your life that I know little about.  And now you are gone I am unable to ask you about each picture and the memories that go along with them.

I remember all too well the night before you died eight years ago.  I had decided to sleep next to your hospital bed so you didn't have to be alone your last night on earth.  I talked to you, prayed with you, sang hymns to you (mostly in Finnish since I didn't know many hymns in English) and held your hand.  We talked a little.  You nodded to answer some of my questions, sometimes showing you understood what was about to happen and other times showing you weren't entirely aware.  I never left your side once and honestly, those last few hours hours with you were the most precious and sacred of anything I have experienced so far.  When I asked you if I could go the bathroom and leave you alone, you reached for my hand, shook your head no and pleaded with your eyes for me to remain by your side.   I did.  This reminded me of the many times I lay sick with the flu as a child and you sat on the edge of my bed, smoothing my hair when I just didn't want to be left alone.  I am selfishly glad we had those last few hours together - just you and me.  Us girls had to stick together with all of these boys in our family, even until the very end.

We are about to have our third baby - a girl.  I am sure you already know this.  Maybe you are even laughing at me with a knowing laugh of the joys and challenges that lay ahead of raising this girl.  I can hear you saying "I hope you have a daughter some day JUST LIKE YOU.  Then you will understand what I had to go through."  Whether she is like me, her father or most likely, her own self, I wish you could be here to enjoy her along with your other grand kids.  You would adore each of them.

I miss you mom.  I hope you know how much I love you and all you ever did for me as a mother.  You had the hardest and sometimes, most thankless, job in the world.  I wish you would have written a book on advice.  I would read it daily if you had.