Monday, January 30, 2012

I hate the ER.

Yesterday, instead of hanging out with friends, we decided to take a trip to the ER. I had contractions and bleeding so I freaked out and went in.

Basically, they told me I was fine - just bursting polyps or something. Orders? Relax and drink water. I can't drink anymore water. The amount of water I drink is already insane. Of course, it took them a few hours to tell me this. And who knows how much it will cost us. But anyway. That's what we did yesterday.

The good news, though, is that Oliver kept a pair of underwear clean and dry all day long. He even pooped (twice) in the potty. This morning when he got up he discussed this with me.

"These are fresh! Now I can wear them another day! And I wear them tomorrow!"

I didn't know if I should mention that underwear get dirty just by wearing them even if you don't pee on them. I didn't want to confuse/discourage him so I just said nothing. While we were downstairs switching laundry, he saw several pairs of my underwear.

"You pee underwear? They dirty!"
"Yeah but I didn't pee in them."
"Oh. You poop!"

And then he ran away laughing before I could even defend myself. Not even 10 minutes later, he burst into the bathroom and saw me peeing.

"Good job, Mom! I am so proud of you!"

That is pretty much verbatim what I say to him when he goes on the potty.  I'm pretty sure he thinks I am potty training myself, too.

Friday, January 27, 2012

This will be a long day.

Last night, to celebrate the potty training success (and also because we just finally got everything set up in there) we let Oliver sleep in his big boy bed downstairs. He was very excited. He didn't fight going to sleep. He stayed in bed all night long. It was a success greater than I'd hoped for.

The problem is though.. we still don't have the shades installed in his room. He got up with the sunrise. He was in my room by 7:10. I expected this, but expecting it and actually living through it are two different things.

Today is going to be a long day.

As soon as I got up to change Oliver out of his PJs, I stepped in a pile of dog barf.  I suspect that this is her revenge for being locked in the garage for an hour yesterday. I did my best to clean it up, but with all of this other potty-related activity... Well, we're out of enzyme cleaner.

I picked out Oliver's clothes and found that he was out of underwear. I forgot to switch the laundry last night, so they were all wet in the washing machine. 8 pairs of underwear seems like a lot, unless you sometimes dribble little spots of pee before you realize it or spill little bits of water/milk/juice down your front.

I switched the laundry and tried to convince Oliver that it was okay to wear either a diaper or nothing for the hour while the laundry dried. He said it was not okay. He said he needed the underwear in order to use the potty.

In fact, he was so angry that he said he would not pee on the potty without underwear. He said he would pee on the floor. To prove his point, he peed right there on the bedroom carpet while I was sitting not even one foot away watching him.  Insubordinate peeing. Great.

"I told you, Mom. I pee on the floor."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Texts I send.

This afternoon I sent out the following text message to Jared:

"Poop emergency. Do not open garage door."

When he called me back, he was completely calm and only the tiniest bit curious.  He didn't seem to think that my text was particularly weird. And I guess it isn't, since he knows its coming from me and Oliver. We are prone to strange things. Strange things just happen to us. Especially poop-related strange things.

Oliver had an accident in his underwear. I cleaned up Oliver and left the underwear soaking in the bathroom sink. I went to fix my lunch and I kind of forgot it was there, to be honest.

Oliver, however, did not forget. While I was distracted with my sandwich and my TV show,  he took his disgusting underwear out of the sink and carried it down to the laundry downstairs.

It was a nice thought. He clearly meant to try and clean up after his accident. It would have been a helpful gesture, really, if somebody other than Oliver had done it. But since Oliver did it, it was very unhelpful.

When I heard suspicious laughter, I went downstairs. Oliver had Mya trapped int he laundry room with a plastic tote. I heard her dog tags clanging and thought Oliver was enjoying the game of keeping the poor dog stuck in with the scary-sounding furnace.

"Let Mya out, Oliver. It's not nice to make her be stuck in there. She sounds scared."
"No, Mom. Mya dirty. She stay laundry."
"Mya dirty. Clean her in laundry."

Then I looked and saw for myself. The poor dog was, in fact, trapped back by the scary furnace, but that was the least of her problems. A brown-smeared pair of Thomas the Tank Engine briefs were stuck on her head.  Her fur had more brown spots than usual. She stunk.

"Did you do this, Oliver?"
"Why? It makes Mya sad."
"Is funny, Mom!"

And then I considered it, and it was actually pretty funny. At that point I had to try very hard not to laugh.

"It's not nice to laugh when other people are sad."

But then I laughed anyway.  Because, really, what else do you do when the dog has a pair of (literally) shitty underwear stuck on its head?

My laughter made Oliver laugh harder, which made me laugh harder. I sat on the floor laughing so hard my stomach hurt.  And then, because I am pregnant and weird, I started crying too.

"Well... let's leave Mya here while you go upstairs and take a nap."

I put Oliver down for his nap and then went back downstairs to consider the poopy dog dilemma. Obviously she needed a bath, but I couldn't lift her up to get her into the tub. I also didn't know how much time I could spend around her without barfing. I also just plain didn't want to give her a bath.

I grabbed some dog treats and lured her out into the garage and shut the door. Out of sight, out of mind. When I came back inside I heard Oliver calling from his room, trying to stall nap time:

"Mom! I need to tell you something."
"No, Oliver. It's time for you to be sleeping."
"No, Mom! I not poop on Mya's head again. Okay Mom?"
"Okay. Go to sleep."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

And on the 87th day, he pottied.

Some people would tell me not to write this down because I'll jinx it, but I'm going to do it anyway.

Oliver is peeing on the potty. A lot. Yesterday he just suddenly seemed to "get" things and today has been great.

This breakthrough, even if temporary, couldn't have come at a better time for me. I was starting to feel like I was living in a crazy house. The amount of bodily fluids I was cleaning up in a day was astounding. The silly conversations I had about it, the strange dances I did for it... Things got weird.

I think he is even learning how to abuse the system. He has peed 7 times on the potty today and it's not even 1:00 yet. I think he has learned that he can pee just a tiny bit and then he gets a sticker, a potty dance, and an M&M.

But at this point, do I really care? No. I would much rather rinse out the potty chair than clean pee up off of the floor. Or the couch. Or my bed. Or his bed. Or the carpet.

So far, we are 15 potty catches in a row and I like to think of that as 15 pee accidents I didn't have to clean up.

I will leave you with Oliver's thoughts on potty training.

"Do you like going pee on the potty?"
"No. I like stickers. And M&Ms."
"Yeah, but you're such a big boy! Isn't that great!?"
"Big boys get M&Ms."
"Well.... ......yeah. But they also get to play with special toys and wear big boy underwear."
"M&M underwear?"
"...Ummm... Maybe. Probably more like Yo Gabba Gabba or Thomas the Tank underwear."
"I like M&Ms better."
"I guess I do too."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Let's set the lights to "blazing."

Yesterday I realized that sitting in a room while the winter sun goes down is about the most depressing thing a person can do. I was resting from making dinner when I looked out and watched the sky turn greyer and greyer. It  me feel like my energy was evaporating off of me, leaving through the pores in my skin and making me weak. That greyness got into my bones and it made me feel like I'd wasted another day. It was hard to get up after I had been sitting in the mostly-dark for 20 minutes. I probably wouldn't have if I hadn't had dinner already half made.

On some level, I must have always known this. Now that I realize it, I have always been quick to turn on the lights in the afternoon. I don't want to sit in the dark. I know that I can't sit in the dark. I have some dumb feeling in me that says that if I can have all of the lights blazing, I'll get more done. I'll feel better. Things will be easier. I don't know why this is.

Today I almost let it happen again. The darkness almost crept in. I started noticing the  long shadows in the house and realized I hadn't flicked on the light switches yet. I got up and turned all of the lights on. I closed up all of the blinds to trap my precious light inside, to lock the darkness away.

And I know this sounds crazy but that made my wheels start turning again. I remembered the roast marinating in the fridge and pulled it out. I folded the last of the laundry and put it away. I set to right the things Oliver had bumped and moved during the day.  Turning the lights on actually made me feel better. It motivated me to get something done.

Feeling lazy is the biggest thing bothering me right now. I need to find a way to really, truly, get things done. It is so incredibly frustrating not to be able to do anything. If I do too many loads of laundry, I get contractions and I need to sit. If I wake up or stand up too fast, I faint. I really struggle with picking up toys, unpacking boxes, putting away laundry - anything that requires bending over or standing up repeatedly. I feel lame. Like, literally lame. Like I'm the old mare that has to hang out in pasture all day because it doesn't have good feet.

I hate feeling like I can't do anything. I need to find some way of getting things done so I can feel useful again. I need to re-evaluate myself so I can feel like I am accomplishing something even if I can't accomplish what I used to, or if my goals are smaller.

Jared gets up every morning and goes to work. He lifts Oliver for me, he takes out the dog, and he takes out the trash. He brings me snacks in the morning so I can eat before I get up. More than anything, he has something to show for it - every two weeks we get money. We can buy more food. We can pay the bills. We have a place to live, and it's because of him.

And I never used to feel this way. I always felt like an equal partner. I used to feel like taking care of Oliver, putting food on the table and clean laundry in the drawers was enough. But now that I am having a hard time doing even that... Well, it is hard to feel valuable when I just feel fat and tired and lazy. Not just on weekends. Not just in the evenings. Every single day, all day long. I am tired every day, and every night I'm tossing and turning for the pain in my hips and my back.

I feel like being pregnant shouldn't be this hard. I don't feel like I am entitled to this amount of complaining. I didn't feel so worn down when I was pregnant with Oliver. Last time was so much easier.  Or maybe it wasn't, but I was so worried the whole time that I had no choice but to force myself into a whirlwind of activities and chores. Maybe the doubts in my mind kept me from dwelling on my shortcomings as a wife and a homemaker.

In my head, I know this is a temporary problem. I know I'll get over it, but the wait is long and slow.  Knowing something is irrational and letting those irrational thoughts go are two different things.

Especially if I let myself get caught sitting in the dark. I better stock up on light bulbs.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Potty Training.

We've been working the potty training horse pretty hard this week.  We've had mixed success.

Some days he stays dry all day long, other days he refuses to go and says he hates the potty. Worse still, sometimes he tries hard and still pees all over the floor anyway.

He's been wearing underwear, which he quite likes because they are "so cute, Mom!" That wasn't really the angle I was pushing, but hey. It works for him. He was examining the hole in his little Thomas the Tank Engine briefs this morning.

"Oh look! A hole! Is for screwdriver!"

He shoved his plastic screwdriver into the underwear hole and walked around with the bright red handle sticking out like some obscene erection.

"I don't think that's really what that hole is for. I think it's so you can pee out of that hole when you get so good at peeing that you can pee standing up."
"Is for screwdriver, Mom. I know."
"Well, I guess I don't really know. Because I've never worn boys' underwear."
"Yeah. I know."

How do people even do this? There are only so many enthusiastic ways I can say, "Well, you missed but there is always next time." Especially when what I really want to say is, "Well, you missed so maybe this could be your turn to clean up this lake of urine." or "Well, you missed so maybe you should have sat on the potty 2 minutes ago when I suggested it." I don't think this is how it goes for most people...

But then again, what do I know? I've never worn boys' underwear.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

He still fits.

I was having a bad week. Our (brand new) dishwasher broke and spewed water all over our floors. Again. Calls to the manufacturer for the warranty didn't go through. The repairmen were closed for the weekend. I was behind in laundry and dishes and everything else. I was am way too tired. On top of being tired, I'm having a hard time sleeping. I was just going crazy.

I put Oliver down for his nap and fell back onto my bed. I stared up at the ceiling fan for who knows how long thinking about things that I was upset about that didn't really matter. I knew I was being melodramatic, but (as sometimes happens with people) I didn't want to give up my foul mood.  Just as I rolled over and cracked open my novel,  Oliver's sudden, frantic screaming broke through the white noise.

That isn't normal. Oliver doesn't usually wake up screaming.

My immediate reaction was anger. Or maybe it was exasperation.  I wanted to relax and I didn't want to deal with him anymore. I was done for the afternoon. I didn't want to take care of anybody else, let alone myself.

Reluctantly, I pushed open the door to his room and walked in. I felt guilty as soon as I saw his face. He really was terrified. I scooped him up and his head burrowed into my shoulder as if he were trying to hide. He was still crying, chattering something about being scared between his sobs.

I brought him to my room and laid him down on the bed. I sat down next to him and started rubbing his back, but that didn't calm him enough. He crawled onto my lap. I started to object.

"There isn't enough room for you on my lap.  My belly is in the way and you're too big. You don't fit. Why don't you snuggle up right here in my bed?"

He ignored me and kept wiggling onto my lap. He eventually settled with his legs splayed out on both sides of me. His torso curled over my stomach. His head rested on my chest. His arms went around me like he was hugging me tight.  It wasn't the most comfortable position for me, but he had quieted and I didn't want to ruin a good thing. Besides that, it was just a tiny bit nice that he wanted me to hold him.

He was so still that I thought he was sleeping until I heard him say without moving, "Sing songs, Mommy."

Jared and I both sing songs to him before bed every night. This wasn't an unusual request, but for some reason my mind blanked and I could only think of a Guster song I used to listen to in high school. Regardless of not knowing all the words, I gave the song a go.

Shining like a work of art
Hanging on a wall of stars
Are you what I think you are?

It was almost a perfect coincidence that this random song that I never think about came into my head that afternoon. The song is low key.  The lyrics are nice to sing to a small boy. Oliver listened intently to a new song with new words.

You're my satellite.
You're riding with me tonight.
Passenger side, lighting the sky,
Always the first star that I find.
You're my satellite.

I got as far as I could go in the song, making up lines as I went along and repeating the chorus too many times. I stopped singing.

"More song, Mom."

The laptop was right next to me so I found the song, set it to play, and sang along with it. The music came to an end, and without looking up at me Oliver demanded,

"Again. More song, Mom."

I played the song again, but as soon as the last note rang out he demanded another listen. Again and again the song ended, again and again he demanded more.

I put the song on an endless loop, piecing together bigger strings of lyrics the longer it played. I sang with the song on repeat for 25 minutes. I felt Oliver's breathing slow as the whole weight of his unconscious body slowly melted onto me. He was finally sleeping.

I turned off the song and he didn't stir. Again I looked up at the ceiling fan and thought about my day. But this time I thought maybe things weren't so bad. Even though I was sorry Oliver was scared, it was nice to be needed. It was nice to be useful for once when I've been feeling so useless. It was good to be reminded of my place in life.

I sat holding him in silence for another fifteen minutes while my legs went numb. Oliver's baby brother kicked at him, but Oliver didn't stir. I took the time to pet Oliver's hair while I had him there, a captive audience too sleepy to protest. He never lets me hold him anymore.

After some time I stood up and walked Oliver back to bed. His eyes opened as I laid him down. I expected him to protest going back to bed. I expected him to ask for water, a story, a song, a hug... I expected him to try and wheedle his way out of bedtime like he always does.

Instead he said, "I still fit."

At first I didn't understand. I didn't say anything, so he said it again.

"On your lap. I still fit, Mom."

How stupid I was to think that he wouldn't. Of course he still fits.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I must be doing it wrong.

We made a slight miscalculation in our budgeting this pay period, so we tried to stock up on enough groceries to last us two weeks last weekend. We didn't want to have to dip into our savings, so we've been eating on the cheap. Everything was going well, except...

I forgot how much this kid eats. We'll have to go shopping again tomorrow.

For lunch I made eggs and toast and turkey sausage. No big deal, but he ate 2 eggs, a piece of toast, three sausage links, and a glass of orange juice. Then he asked for more. I told him to wait for more, and he was grumpy. Half an hour later he stopped playing trains to come back and ask for more food.  I said fine, have a banana.

He did.

I didn't think a 2 year old should be able to hold all that. And that's not an isolated case. No matter what it is, he eats a bunch of it. He's not just asking for seconds on bacon and cupcakes, he'll ask for 3rds and 4ths on carrots now. He ate a (small) entire chicken breast earlier this week. He ate 4 pieces of plain lettuce from my salad when I told him that was the only snack he could have before bed time.

So this afternoon I wrote up a new grocery list. Almost all of it is fresh produce or perishable groceries. How do those people on TV shop only once a month? Do they just not have fresh fruit after the first week? Do they skip on fresh veggies? Do they drink powdered milk?

Even harder to imagine, do they have an extra fridge to hold all of that? Two gallons of milk and a gallon of OJ lasted us only 5 days. How could I fit 6 times that (18 gallon jugs) into my fridge? How could you fit that even into a second fridge?

I frequently see magazine articles touting the benefits of making and freezing a whole month's worth of meals in advance. That sounds like a good idea in theory, but HOW CAN A SANE PERSON DO THAT?

You'd still need snacks on hand. You're not going to want to defrost something every time you get a little hungry before dinner.  And if you forget to set dinner aside, aren't you screwed? And really, who has that many dishes?  Who has the space to freeze that many meals? Do they buy several extra sets of casserole dishes just so they can freeze their 30 dinners and lunches? Who wants to put aside the first of the month to actually make 30 dinners and lunches? I am tired after making 1 day's worth of dinner, much less 30. (Don't even talk to me about freezing bread. It never comes out good unless I plan on eating a bunch of toast or making croutons. And the grainy breads that I like especially don't seem to freeze well.)

I must be doing something wrong, because I can plan for meals and have meats and sauces  and side dishes waiting in the freezer but... I need the produce. I need the milk. I need the bread.

I just can't see any way around that. So tell me, you wise shoppers, what am I doing wrong? Is there any way around having Jared stop for milk & produce on the way home?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I may be terrible for admitting this.

I sit around and occasionally say things to Oliver about the baby. I point out small babies in stores. I sometimes point to my belly and explain, in vague and probably misleading terms, that a baby will eventually fall out of there.  I can't really think of anything else to do.

That is, so far, my role in the new baby's life. That and eating obscene amounts of whatever I feel like eating.

I don't think Oliver "gets" what having a baby will be like. I guess I can't expect him to. He is only two years old and all. But he comes up with crazy ideas. And I encourage his crazy ideas because no matter what I say, it's not going to be like what really happens. As if I even know what will really happen when the baby is born. As if anything in the world I could say would prepare him in even the slightest, tiniest way for having to share his life with another person overnight. A person that, in all rights, is pretty boring. And literally poopy.

So Oliver says Crazy with a Capital C things and I just laugh and keep listening. I can't think of what else to do.

Poor parenting? Maybe. Humorous parenting? For sure.

"When the new baby comes, he can't eat big food like you do, Oliver. He'll drink milk. Then he'll eat baby food."
"Okay. We go get baby food. And Mya food. We go to Petsmart."
"You think baby food comes from the pet store?"
"Do you think babies are like pets?"
"Well, you're pretty much right."
"I know."
"How do we treat our pets?"
"Nice. Not hit. Not hammer. That's naughty."

I was actually glad that he remembered this and came up with this on his own. Yesterday we had a couple incidences of time-out when Oliver hit the dog. First, he hit the dog with his hand. I rebuked him. I told him no hitting. He grabbed the hammer instead. I rebuked him again. I told him no hitting. Again.

He looked at me with all seriousness and said, "I not hit! I hammer."

I amended the rules to say no hitting or hammering.

"Yes. Those rules are for the baby too. No hitting or hammering."
"Uh huh. Just pet. Be nice and pet."
"Well, I guess the baby would like that."
"And we give the baby treats."
"Probably the baby would like that too.."
"We take the baby for walks."
"Yeah. We can take the baby for walks."
"Baby poops outside."
"Well, I really hope not."
"Mya poops outside."
"Yeah, but although the baby is like having a dog, it's not really the same. It's just a sort of comparison."
"Comparison? Ok. Comparison."
"...Nevermind. What do you want for lunch?"
"Not dog food."

Monday, January 9, 2012

The ham isn't where you think it is.

We've all been feeling better so we've slowly begun unpacking, washing laundry, and getting back into our old routine. This means actually feeding Oliver instead of Oliver feeding himself. Last night we were excited because he ate everything that I served - chicken cordon bleu,  squash and carrots, and clementines. It is always a victory when he decides to eat something sort of healthy, likes it, and then eats a lot of it. I didn't even have to ask him to try it, he just did. Amazing.

This afternoon I asked Oliver what he wanted, and he told me. Yogurt. Clementines. String cheese. Ham. I decided he could have some of all of that, and asked if he wanted to help me make it. He did.

I told him to get the ham and yogurt and string cheese out of the fridge. He brought back yogurt and string cheese only.

"Did you have a hard time finding the ham? I see you got everything else."
"No, there is no ham."
"Yes there is. We just got it yesterday."
"No. No ham."

I looked in the fridge and sure enough, the ham was gone. I was a bit confused.

"Huh.  You're right, Oliver. Where did it go then?"
"The closet."
"The ham is in the closet?"
"Yeah. Ham in the closet."

I walked to the closet and looked inside. Yes, there was ham there.

"Well, you're right. There is ham here."
"Uh huh."
"Did you put it here?"
"Who did?"
"Uh.... the ham."
"The ham put itself there?"
"Uh huh! Sure."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Never underestimate the sneakiness of a child.

It is 2AM. For some reason, Jared and I are still up. We hear Oliver calling out pitifully to us from his room.

"Mommmm. I need you, Mom. I love you, Mom. Mommmm. Mommmmm."

He sounds more than pitiful. He sounds like he has just been handed over to an orphanage and hasn't had a square in a weeks' time. This kid sounds like we routinely lock him in a dark room and force him to live in complete isolation.

Jared gives me this look to say, "Aren't you going to go get him? How could you be so heartless!"

I give him this look back to say, "Yeah right. Not happening. You deal with it if you want to. He should be sleeping."

So Jared huffs and gets up to spring Oliver from his bed-time prison. All the while, we hear Oliver's wailing through the door. "Mommmm.. I neeeed you. I NEED you!"

The second Jared opens the door Oliver pipes up cheerfully as ever, "Hi! I need to watch a show. And I want waffles. And pizza."

Rule #1: Never underestimate the sneakiness of that child. If he senses any weakness, you will be destroyed.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Everything is temporary, unless we're dying. Then that's pretty permanent.

We got home from Florida late last night/morning. We didn't feel particularly great, but Oliver did well on the plane and our flights left on schedule. I considered it a success, despite how tired we all were.

As soon as we got home, Jared went to change Oliver and discovered a horrific diarrhea poop explosion that had spread down his legs and up his stomach. Jared shouted for me to go find more wipes, but I couldn't get the suitcase out of the trunk and/or locate them fast enough. When I returned, Oliver had gotten more poop on his hands and arms and was screaming hysterically.

Knowing a loss when we saw one, we ran the bath and tried to rinse Oliver off as he screamed some more.

The smell was horrific. It left me gagging even through a freshly-laundered beach towel. After we got him clean (enough) we put his jammies on and put him in bed.  At 3:30 AM. I went to turn off his light and noticed a brand new package of wipes right underneath his changing table, where they always are.

Jared was mad at me because I took so long finding wipes. I was mad at Jared because he didn't look and find the wipes where the back-ups usually sit. It wasn't a great first night back, but we made up quickly after seeing our stupidity and fell into bed exhausted.

This morning Jared woke up and thew up. He called in to work and went back to bed. I felt way better than he looked, so I went to the grocery store to pick up some soup and crackers for him. I didn't make it far before I ended up joining the pukers' club in the grocery store bathroom stall.

All day long Jared and I laid in bed, occasionally poking each other to make sure we were all still alive. Poor Oliver literally fended for himself today. I threw an odd bag of cereal or some granola bars at him throughout the day, but besides that he was on his own. I don't know how many Pop Tarts he pulled out of the pantry and ate by himself, and I didn't care. He turned on the TV for himself, played trains, took out all of his new Christmas toys and for the most part didn't complain.  That is about the only part of the day that went right.

My goal for this New Years was to remember that everything is temporary. And now all I have to say about that is that this better be a very short temporary or else I'll die of acid reflux and dehydration.