Despite all my complaining, it's not all sciatica and stress around here. It may be hard to tell from my last few posts, but I am actually excited about this baby. I can't wait to see him, to smell him, and to get to know him in every intimate way that motherhood affords. Will he be a skinny little thing like Simon was, or will he have the more classic chubby-baby physique? What will his temperament be? What will his little baby face look like? I look forward to learning the answers to these and infinitely more questions. Now if he would just hurry up and get born already.

As the excitement about Theo's arrival grows, so does a certain solemnity, stemming from the unavoidable fact that my relationship with Simon will be forever changed after his brother's birth. I'm not worried about having enough love for them both... I know my heart will expand to love them both, just as my body has these past 7 months. It's not that I think my relationship with Simon will suffer, just that it will be different, and I can't help but feel a little morose when I think about it.

The realization of this impending change imparts a sense of urgency to relish the time I have left alone with my firstborn. I'm trying to soak up every spare minute I have with him, and trying to give him more of my undivided attention, even if it means letting the laundry or the dishes sit for a bit longer. Saturday was a wonderful day that made it easy to accomplish this temporary goal of mine. We had a few chores to accomplish, but not many, so I got to focus mainly on my boy. And it was like he had detected my intention and wanted to reward me with utter, gushy cuteness. All day long he repeated two heart-melting phrases: "It's a beautiful day!" (whether we were inside or out) and "I love you very much." Adding to the sweetness of the day was the exquisite weather. We were outside several times, blowing bubbles in the park, walking to the store. Later we went to the YMCA for a family swim, which was not as taxing as, say, a trip to the zoo or some other special outing, but was out of the ordinary enough to feel really fun, to me, anyway.

I don't know how to sum up this sappy post. I just love my kid, people. Here are some pictures to help you understand.


How Other Parents Annoy Me #48

Why do you need to bring a shitload of toys to the playground? The playground IS the toy.

Children seem to have an innate understanding of the communal nature of the playground equipment. It's not your slide, it's not his or hers, it's everybody's slide equally. Simon has never had trouble with this concept, and I have witnessed only 2 or 3 episodes of mistaken claims of playground ownership.
Toys brought from home are a whole different thing. Since we never bring any, we always find ourselves on the side of the envious child, peering longingly at what has got to be the most amazing ball/bubbles/babydoll stroller he has ever seen. What can you do in this situation? My tactic is usually to encourage Simon to ask nicely if he can play with the toy, and then hope that the other kid is well-practiced in the art of sharing. But what if sharing is not this kid's forte? Or what if some other kid beats Simon to the punch? Depending on his mood, I might be able to draw his attention to something else, like the actual playground. Other times (like today) I may have to carry him back to the car crying inconsolably.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for teaching your kids that they can't always have what they want, that they have to take turns, etc etc. But I think a playdate is a more appropriate venue for practicing those interactions. The playground doesn't work well, because you just can't share two little golf clubs with five kids. And it sucks to be the odd one out.

I would be so happy if I never saw another piece of personal property at the playground again. Leave it at home, people! Play on the PLAYGROUND, goddammit!

I should also acknowledge the possibility that I may just be pissed because I had to carry a 30+ pound mass of sobbing toddler to the car, and now my sciatica is inflamed and enraged like a swarm of furious fucking bumblebees. Ahhh... I guess all my complaints come back to my pregnancy. Some days I cannot believe that I did this to myself ON PURPOSE.
For anyone keeping track, we have 9 more weeks to go. Nine weeks sounds so manageable! Short, even! But two months sounds loooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnngggggggggggggg.



Since My Baby Left Me....

Simon is gone this week. He's chillin' with the grandparents while I try to get some nesting done around here. The freedom of life without a toddler in tow is a bit intoxicating. At the same time, not surprisingly, I miss him like crazy. So, probably more for me than for you, here are some pictures of my baby. These are from his birthday party.


'Twas a Fine Day for a Hunt

Practicing our pagan rituals a little early this year. A lovely day, despite being a bit nippy.


Pondering the Poundage

Recently one of my favorite bloggers has been writing about her struggles with sugar addiction. Though her situation is certainly more dire than mine (I don't hide goodies and I don't hate vegetables), I find myself relating to an uncomfortable degree. You know how men think about sex every seven seconds? Well, apparently that's a myth. But if it were true, that would be me, except with ice cream. I don't know if it's just because I'm pregnant; honestly, I'm feeling so pregnant right now that I cannot remember anything pre-pregnancy. Did I crave ice cream every second of every day prior to getting knocked up? I have no idea. All I know is that the ice cream monkey is on my back now, and it's not helping my efforts to stay within a healthy weight range. Neither are those M&M's we're supposed to be using only as Simon's potty rewards.

I had an appointment with my midwife a week ago, and we had to check my weight as usual. I had a lot of anxiety about my weigh-in, and with good reason. Even though I exercised a lot during the month, we also had 2 birthday parties for Simon, before, during, and after which I consumed more than my fair share of cupcakes and ice cream. And the scale revealed my indulgences: in the month of March I gained 8 pounds. That's double the recommended amount (1 pound a week, or 4 pounds). Those 8 pounds are in addition to the 30 I had already packed on. With three more months to go, I am almost certainly headed toward a net weight gain of 60 whopping pounds. Good grief.

Carrying Simon I gained a total of about 50 pounds. I was able to eventually lose all of the weight, and then some, but it took a LONG TIME. And a lot of HARD WORK. But I have to say that I am sort of looking forward to the challenge of losing weight again. There is something incredible about shedding that extra skin and finding yourself underneath there. And I mean that in a purely physical sense. I know it will sound weird but it's kind of awesome to put lotion on your legs and think, "Oh, I remember you guys." I'm looking forward to those moments of rediscovery, and to feeling normal again.

But I am a smidge nervous about the process this time around. Will it be just a matter of making time to work out, or will I be fighting some biological force that says, "Hey, you! You --- bearer of TWO children! You think you're losing those last 15 pounds? Ha! I laugh in the face of your optimism! You will never be your svelte self again. Never."

I mean, I just want to know what I'm up against.

On a hopeful note, I think one strong motivator for me will be creating a firm, bicept-y canvas for my next tattoo. I'm really excited about it. I think about it a lot. Almost as much as ice cream. Oh, who the fuck am I kidding? No I don't.

You Ain't Kiddin'

This morning as I was reading one of my regular blogs, Simon peered over my shoulder at the computer and said, "Scary man! That's a scary man!" Naturally, I thought this was not only hilarious but also eerily insightful.

Then I felt really bad because the whole post is about how his dad was abusive. Ahhh... it's all becoming clear.


Plop Plop!

Two poops in the potty yesterday!!! I've never been so proud of something I've done so little to accomplish. This kid is potty training himself.


In Which I am 100% Sentimental and Not at All Funny

Today some friends of ours packed up and moved to Maryland. This was Simon's best friend in the world, a little girl named Aneliese. They were absolutely crazy about each other. When Annie came over I always had to try to hold Simon inside our apartment with one hand while opening the door with the other. I usually failed and what followed was a 30 second scream fest in the landing. I'm sure our neighbors loved it. Even though part of me was dismayed at the noise I was inflicting upon the rest of the building's residents, these cacophonous greetings also warmed my heart. Can you imagine being SOOOOO EXCITED to see your friend that you cannot contain yourself? Jumping up and down is not enough to express your joy. Clapping hands won't quite cut it. High-pitched screams are not sufficient on their own. You must do all these things simultaneously to demonstrate just how happy you are to see this person.

I don't know if I'll ever witness one of those greetings again. It may be a couple years before we are able to travel out east for a visit. Annie and Simon will have changed so much by then. Will they remember each other? Will they want to play together at all? In the meantime, I am wondering how long it will take for Simon to understand that Annie isn't around anymore. Currently he asks about her at least twice a day. "See Annie?" "Go to Annie's house?" Even if I say no, he can comfort himself by saying "See Annie to-later." Until now, "to-later" has never meant more than a few days. So I wonder if he'll catch on that this "to-later" is of a different, much longer variety. Perhaps the baby's arrival will take his mind off the departure of his friend. Perhaps it will amplify his loss.

Simon wasn't the only one whose friend moved. I don't have many mommy friends, partly because I entered motherhood much earlier than most of my peers, and partly because I don't put myself out there in the mommy circles (ie playgroups or Gymboree classes). Karen was a great mom friend to have. Laid back, understanding of my child's sometimes erratic behavior, willing to admit her shortcomings and listen to mine. Despite her being nearly 20 years my senior, our kids were often going through the same stages. You know, I'd like to modify my previous statement about not putting myself out there in the mommy world. That's not exactly true. We have belonged to two different playgroups, but I just never clicked with the moms we met there. Karen and I really connected, and I will miss her. I am thankful for email because God knows we'd lose touch if I had to sit down and pen a real letter.

So, a fond farewell to our friends. Those Marylanders had better treat you well. Even if it takes us a few years, rest assured, we will definitely see you to-later.


Looking for Number 2

Back again. Don't ask where I've been. I'm pregnant and I have a toddler. In my frazzled mind this is reason enough to slack on the blog. Plus, you know the husband who talked me into doing this? He's not around anymore (in the bloggy sense only). But, I still have friends who read this. Plus, I'm bound to get more comments than him if he never posts. And more comments make me a better person, right? Yes, yes they do.

When I started this post I was going to write about how last night we had our very first potty success: about a pint of pee in the toilet! "Looking for Number 2" was meant to refer to a second potty success, which at the time I started this seemed elusive. But then it happened! Another pee in the potty as I was writing. Now I guess the Number 2 in the title can be in reference to poop; most things I read say that learning to poop in the potty is harder and can take longer, for some reason. Two successful pees in the potty are exciting, but this toilet training business is still exhausting. It involves a lot of bending over and kneeling in front of a toilet to help him clean up or encourage him to keep trying. Not the most comfortable positions for this big-bellied, leg-cramping period in my pregnancy. On Friday we will drive down to the grandparents' house and Simon will be staying there for a whole week. My ardent hope is that he'll come home using the potty like a pro. I don't feel one bit guilty about asking the grandparents to help in the training process. They're not that old, and at this point they have way more spring in their steps than I do.

Note: I have entered my third trimester now, aka The Whining Months. As you may have noticed, this is when the complaints about pregnancy and all its symptoms really pile up. Aren't you glad I started blogging again?