Putting my feet up

Things got a little scarier with my pregnancy. Two or three weeks ago, after a frightening and stressful 24 hours where we thought we might have lost this baby girl (but we didn’t! whew!), we decided my feeble attempts at fumbling around trying not to lift RJ and trying to take things a little easier (and yet still somehow take care of the kid by myself 12 hours per day) were just not going to cut it. In swooped my AMAZING parents to help, as always. RJ and I are spending 3 (or more!) days a week at Nana & Pappy’s house, where I’m getting around-the-clock childcare, home-cooked meals and all sorts of love and support so that I can keep my feet up as much as possible. Mr. E is also working from home one day per week and has officially taken the role as “default parent” on the weekends. And we’ve hired a sitter to help me with the one remaining day in the week. I’m not on official bed rest, but I’m probably not on my feet for more than a combined hour per day. Are we being a little over cautious? Maybe. I really don’t know. But I do know that if we lost this baby I’d regret not doing everything we could to keep her here safely. So I’m going to proceed in a way that will leave no room for regrets. Thankfully, I have an amazing husband and parents who can help me do that.

And thus, my former, crazy, chaotic days watching a very energetic, almost-2 year old have given way to long, drawn-out, boring days laying around on the couch. It’s kind of a shock to the system! At first, I was a big ol’ cranky pants about the whole thing like: “ZOMG I’m soooo bored” and “Wahhhh! I can’t take care of my own son!!!! I feel so worthless!” and “Booohoooo, I can’t cook or clean or do dishes or — wait a minute — why am I complaining about this?” This is kind of a sweet deal. Mandatory vacation??? I can sit around and let everyone take care of me and I don’t have to feel guilty about it because it’s FOR THE BABY!?  Alright. Bring it. Mission Lazy-Pants has officially commenced! I got so lazy I even stopped posting on my blog. And then I realized I can do that from a semi-reclined position. So yeah, I’m back.

So what am I doing all day? I spend a lot of time (TOO MUCH TIME) on facebook and online forums, etc. I still manage some quality time reading books with RJ or lying on the floor while he whacks me with his toys. My parents are excellent at finding ways for me to still be productive. Last week I spent an hour or so in their La-Z-boy making mini pie crusts for some dessert my mom is preparing for Thanksgiving. And the week before that they had me laying on the couch shucking a bucket full of dried beans.

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I know. This thrilling life I lead. It was so exciting I felt the need to document it with a photo.

This week I plan to make homemade christmas ornaments. Stay tuned for photos of that! Hopefully they’ll be a little more exciting than the dried beans.

The great news is that there was already much improvement during my last ultrasound (after one full week of Mission Lazy-Pants) so I’m hoping these restrictions won’t last the entire pregnancy. It’s nice to take it easy for a bit, but it’s a challenge for everyone who’s had to pick up the slack for me. And it’s not easy on RJ either. Every time he yells “UP! UP! UP!” at me and starts crying when I tell him again that I can’t pick him up, I start to tear up myself. It’s indescribably frustrating to not be able to fulfill such a simple wish from my son that used to provide both of us such comfort.

I suppose it’s just the first of many sacrifices RJ will have to make for his new little sister. Poor kid. At least while we’re spending all this time at Nana & Pappy’s house, he’s learning some great new skills. Like how to drive Pappy crazy by turning on all the electric blankets in the house. And how to play to his grandparents’ heartstrings to get more time in front of the TV, or to get more catsup with his dinner. And how to use the doggy door to get in and out of the house.

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Silver lining, you have been found!

 

Rain!

We live in California. There hasn’t been a lot of rain here in the past year or two. When it *does* rain, it is a really big deal. For RJ. (Oh, and because of the drought thing, of course, too.)

Yesterday was Halloween and RJ’s first time trick-or-treating. Yesterday we also got a visit from Grandma & Grandpa E to celebrate Mr E.’s birthday and to see RJ. But those two normally very exciting things were both trumped by the fact that it rained, and so RJ got to wear his new raincoat and rain boots and splash around in the puddles.

 

He had an incredible time. We eventually had to drag him crying back inside because we were cold and soaked through.  Hopefully it will rain again soon for RJ! (And for the drought too.)

I bought his rain gear a couple of weeks ago at our local consignment shop. (Because I’m totally not paying full price for rain gear when it’s only rained like 5 times in the last 5 years). (I might be exaggerating a little). Both his boots and jacket are way too big for him. But that just means the jacket covers him better, right?? And the big boots are helping him work on balance and stability. Those things totally make up for my cheapness and inability to find the right sizes used.

We have both been looking forward to a rainy day since the purchase was made:

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On that same consignment store trip, I found a cute little Elmo basket, which just happened to go perfectly with his Halloween costume this year, which I spent way TOO MUCH money on. I’m not consistent. Sorry. Cheap one day, indulgent the next. But come on, was this picture, totally worth it, or what?

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Happy Halloween, and happy rainy season, y’all!!!

 

Mama’s Phone

The kid is 21 months old but he has figured out how to unlock my screen with a swipe of his chubby little finger. He knows how to press the home button and find the camera icon. Usually from there he clicks on the album and tries to watch one of the 50 gagillion videos I’ve taken of him. “Eee eeee eee” is how he says “videos”. I don’t know why. It’s got the same number of syllables, I guess.

Anywho, I left my phone on the bed while I was showering. (He doesn’t like to shower with me anymore. *sob*)

And picked it up a bit later to find this:

 

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Baby’s first selfies!!!

There were also a couple of videos showing mostly bedsheets, but also parts of his leg, accompanied by heavy, congestion-laden baby breathing.

(That confusing thing I took him to the doctor for last week turned into a full-blown, obvious cold that he’s still working on kicking.)

Mama caught it, too. But I seem to be fighting it off much more quickly.

I’ll post more when we’re both feeling a bit better.

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RJ’s Pearls

About 8 or 9 months ago, RJ came across my long strand of faux pearls. He immediately put it around his neck. Which surprised me, because I didn’t think he even knew what necklaces were for. When he first started wearing it, he couldn’t quite put it on right and usually it would just end up draped around him. Now, he usually manages to get it over his head in order to wear it like a proper necklace, but the thing is so dang long it drags on the ground and he trips on it. Like a so:

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The pearl necklace quickly became a favorite toy of his and since I never wear it anymore, I let him keep it with his stuff. It will often be forgotten in some deep, dark, toy-bin hole for long periods of time only to be discovered again later. Each time it’s re-discovered RJ becomes obsessed with it all over again for a few days and likes to wear it constantly, until eventually its novelty wears off again and it gets buried amongst all his crap.

Well, this week, the pearl necklace was discovered again, after a pretty long hiatus. He’s been wearing it around the house a lot, and yesterday as we were leaving the house to go on a walk with his pushy-bike, he was still wearing it, as well as clutching his blanky (Mimi). I have a firm rule against taking Mimi out of the house, because that thing gets gross enough indoors and I don’t need RJ dropping it in some dog poo at the park and then stuffing it in his mouth when he goes down for his nap. I told him we’d leave Mimi here and we should probably leave his pearls here too, so they don’t get caught under the bike’s tire and choke him. He readily said “bye-bye” to Mimi but shrieked when I tried to remove his precious pearls. So instead, I doubled them up around his neck, to make the situation a little less hazardous, and we went for our walk.

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As I pushed him out the door, I started thinking about some of the pieces I’ve read in the Huffington Post or similar, about moms taking their little boys out with their favorite pink clothing item or sparkly, flowery headbands and the disturbing or surprising things that strangers did in reaction. Visions started flashing through my head of some ignorant asshole calling my son a “sissy” and me going all protective mommy-hen on this unsuspecting stranger and kicking him in the balls. Or ya know…. saying something smart and cutting, instead, because violence is never the answer. But then I laughed at myself because A. we live in the Bay Area and people are pretty tolerant and open-minded around here and B. my son is not even 2 years old and I don’t think anyone really gives a crap if he’s wearing a pearl necklace or not. Oh and C. When it comes to “fight or flight” I’m really more a of a “stand there in shock, thinking really hard about what to do next” type of person so I doubt that sassy comebacks or ball-kicking would be any part of my reaction.

Anyway, the point is, the only thing I expected to hear from the strangers we’d cross paths with, was “Aww, he’s wearing a necklace! How cute!”

We were out and about for at least an hour. Most people didn’t care about or even notice RJ’s necklace, as I suspected. But surprisingly, one man did stop and take a minute out of his day to ask me about it. He was in his mid-forties maybe. He was just getting on his bike and putting his helmet on as we were passing him by.

Him: Is that your necklace that your son is wearing?

Me: Yes.

Him: So it’s your necklace, but he wears it?

Me: Yes, he loves it, so I let him wear it.

Him: He’s only 1 year old or whatever and he likes wearing a pearl necklace?

Me: Yes……. (waiting, wondering what he’s getting at)

Him: Hmm. Okay. Well, have a good day.

Ok, so maybe this wasn’t the exciting drama I’d originally had flashing through my highly-imaginative mind as we left the house, but it was still much more of an exchange than I’d anticipated. No judgment on the man’s part was explicitly expressed and no harsh words or looks were exchanged. But it stood out to me nonetheless as sort of weird and off-putting. I’d have to really read between the lines to infer anything though. So is this worth getting all huffy about? Probably not. Was it even worth a blog post on my humble, little, barely-read mommy blog? Probably not.

When I got home, I tried to look up the huffpost article I’d seen about the kid wearing a sparkly headband at Walmart and getting called a derogatory name. To my surprise, the whole thing is gone and all I found was a buzzfeed explaining that the woman who wrote it was now in a mental institution after expressing suicidal thoughts and huffpost took her article down after some speculation that it may not have been entirely based on true events.

Of course, this all happened over a year ago and was old news. And now I just needed to know the whole story and to try figure out if this mommy blogger really made the whole thing up and was then committed as insane. This evening I did some sleuthing (Ok, I just went to the woman’s blog, I guess that doesn’t count as sleuthing. But it took me forever to scroll back to August 2013, so it felt like a real effort, ok?) I read through the posts she’d written in the aftermath of her post about her son and the headband, and holy hell! One little blog post turned this poor woman’s life upside down! She had threats made against her and her family and had to relocate waiting for the attention to die down. And of course her version of events was entirely different (and probably more true, I’m inclined to believe) than those on the buzzfeed and the awful thread of comments I’d read thereafter.

I officially feel grateful that no one called my son a name for his necklace-wearing when we were out yesterday. Not just for the greater things that says about the people in our community, but also because then I’d have MATERIAL for my BLOG to go VIRAL and all POLITICAL and my life could be TURNING UPSIDE-DOWN with CRAZY-AWFUL right now. So thanks 40-year-old-man-on-a-bike, wherever you are, for not expressing your awful thoughts, that you may or may not have been thinking in the first place (but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you weren’t), when you asked me those questions yesterday. Annnnnnd I’ll just keep blogging about my cute baby and my reproductive life.

A visit to the “dah”

I took RJ to the doctor today. He’s been exceptionally cranky since sometime last week and occasionally pulls on his ear. He had a fever one afternoon last week but not since then. He’s not teething. He kind of/maybe has a runny nose? But only when he’s crying. Which is often right now. He kinda coughed a few times during the night last night. But wasn’t coughing anymore upon waking this morning. In July I shrugged signs like this off for a long time only to finally take him in for some random rash and find out he had a double ear infection the whole time. So my guilty mommy-memory told me to take him in today, despite the lack of any consistent symptoms.

Spoiler alert. No ear infection.

When I told him we were going to the doctor he was so excited. He pointed to his ears and to his mouth and to his eyes. All the places he knows the doctor likes to take a look at. He walked into the office holding my hand like a big boy and saying “dah! dah!”. And then, as per usual, melted down the minute the nurse wanted to put him naked on the scale, and continued to freak out for the remainder of the appointment. I mean, listen, I wouldn’t be happy about being placed naked on a scale either. But considering earlier today RJ pulled off his pants and diaper and ran around the yard nude and took a dump next to our tree, I’m guessing it wasn’t the naked-and-vulnerable thing that had him upset.

He survived the terrifying visit and was back to his normal self after some cuddles with Mama. And he proudly told Mr. E about his visit with the “dah” when Mr. E came home from work. He had an exciting conversation with Dada about the “dah” looking in his “mow” (mouth) and he and Dada exchanged some demonstrations of opening their mouths and saying “ahhhhh”. So he likes the doctor in theory… just not in practice. That’s the moral of this story, I suppose.

Just wait until I take you for your flu shot next week, baby bear. You’ll never let me drag you near the “dah” ever again.

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Toddler in Pursuit of Cats

Yesterday, I was folding laundry and things got eerily quiet in the other room that RJ had run into a minute prior.

I took a peek in and didn’t see him anywhere.

Hmmm… I was almost positive he ran in here and hadn’t come back out yet… And yet… no baby…..

Then I heard whimpering……

From under the bed???………

Ha! There he is!!!!

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I wasn’t even aware there was room for a whole baby under there, in amongst our handy dandy, under-the-bed storage containers and random exercise mats that we’ve used maybe one and a half times.

He must have been chasing after one of the cats. Usually, once they seek cover under the bed, they’re safe. Not so, anymore!

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Poor cats. They are running out of safe hiding places.

He did freak out for a moment when he decided he was stuck. I took pictures anyway. Cause, hang in there kid, Mommy is having a totally bloggable moment. Smile!

Hey, while you’re down there, can you look around for that poop that went missing awhile back?

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He got himself unstuck on his own eventually. Thank goodness, because I wasn’t sure how pulling him out by his arms was going to go.

The cats are fine. They are still a lot faster than him. Especially when he’s belly crawling under a bed.

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**Confession: this picture of the cats is almost 2 years old. They don’t really get their pictures taken much anymore now that something much cuter (and needier) than them is running around the house.

Yesterday & Last Year

Yesterday, when we brought RJ to a local Mom’s Club event at a pumpkin patch, I couldn’t help but remember when I brought him to his first pumpkin patch, last year, purely for a photo opp. I didn’t even buy a pumpkin last year. Sorry, just here to take photos of the pumpkins that are twice the size of my baby!!!

I felt a little guilty for not supporting the farm, but I  was riding solo, and couldn’t really figure out how to carry a baby and a pumpkin at the same time anyway.

This year, I had Mr. E. along, and RJ’s doing that handy little thing called “walking” now, so buying a pumpkin wasn’t as much of a logistical challenge. Oh… and the mother’s club paid for one for us… so…. ya know…

(OK I’m kind of cheap and it’s starting to show.)

(Let’s change the subject.)

Today, I decided to take a little walk down memory lane and take a look at last year’s pumpkin patch pictures and compare them to this year’s. Because, I dunno, I felt like pulling at my heartstrings. I invite you all to join along.

Here’s RJ checking out the pumpkins yesterday:

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He really liked that little green one on the right. No matter how many beautiful, round, orange ones we pointed out to him, he kept coming back to it.

Here’s RJ checking out the pumpkins last year:

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Yes, we were apparently still in the stick-everything-you-find-in-your-mouth phase.

Raise your hand if you miss that phase!

Yeah, me neither.

RJ riding in the wheelbarrow yesterday:

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Please don’t look too closely at Mr. E.’s outfit. I’m a little overdue on laundry. Either that or polo shirts plus gym shorts are totally coming in this year. Only time will tell.

RJ riding in the wheelbarrow last year:

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Soooo cute! So little! I just want to pick his old self up and squish him!!!

*sigh*

Totally understanding how everyone says they’re 18 and moving out of the house before you know it.

How can I make him stop growing up???

I’ll give you our free pumpkin if you can tell me how.

I’m going to go sneak into my son’s room, all creepy-like, now and watch him sleep. *sob*