aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Yesterday was my first OB appointment - well, technically I was meeting with a CNM - at UCSF.  I made the appointment weeks ago, but yesterday was the first appointment suggested.  It was funny...  I had been looking forward to the appointment for ages.  But as it got closer, I started getting a little worried.  Like, maybe I wasn't really pregnant.  Or maybe I had miscarried and I didn't know about it.  I almost didn't want to go, because I didn't want to know.  I had almost convinced myself that I had miscarried.  

Tom came with me, even though he ended up missing an important meeting at work.  (It had been canceled, then rescheduled.)  It was good to have him there, even though he was on his iPhone the whole time we were waiting.  (That sorta goes without saying, though.)  We did all the boring stuff first - medical history, talked about the practice, weight, etc.  Then she brought in a little ultrasound machine, and it was time for what we'd been waiting for.

It took a minute - she found my uterus, and the little guppy.  But at first she didn't see the heart.  I squeezed shut my eyes and prayed.  Which means I missed it when she said that the baby was moving all around.  Then she found the heartbeat, and I got to see the guppy for a minute.  No pictures yet, but that's okay.  The little one is swimming in there and I am happy.  As far as we can know, all is well.

I'm still tired.  Tai was home from school today - he got pinkeye yesterday afternoon and the school called me to pick him up.  Even though the doctor said he wouldn't be contagious after two treatments, they didn't want him back for 24 hours.  So we had a good day together - bummed around the neighborhood, played basketball in our backyard, played with trains.  Went to the playground after his nap.  I napped with him - both of us slept for more than three hours.  And even though it's only 10:30, I am about ready for bed.

Poor kid was having a rough night last night, too.  He came to bed with us around 1, but was so restless neither he nor I could really sleep.  He kept saying 'no, no' and thrashing around.  Finally he started crying and said his head and throat and mouth hurt.  I gave him some tylenol and we rocked for about 20 minutes.  Fortunately we both went to sleep around 2:30 and slept until almost 7.  I think he's feeling better tonight, but if he starts crying about a sore throat tonight, I might make another pediatrician appointment.  Strep has been going around his school.  I know he likes school, and it's good for him, and he can catch stuff at the playground too... but damn!  The petri-dish effect of preschool is brutal.

Fortunately the queasiness has backed off some.  It was never bad - but I had several good days in a row.  Today was a little rougher, but still not bad.

I can't wait until I feel the baby move.  And to find out whether guppy is a boy or a girl.  Impatience!
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
On Friday when I went to pick Tai up from preschool I saw a note hanging up and waiting for me.  They tape notes for parents above the sign-out key-pad.  The notes are usually about your kid acting up in school (hitting, kicking, torturing small animals, things like that).  The week before we'd gotten one because Tai was getting a drink of water and spit it out all down his friend Amelia's shirt.  Now, while I might think that he did that because he loves her (and/or because he is a boy) this is not appropriate behavior, and I was glad to know about it.  There have been a few other times we'd gotten notes about him hitting or kicking.  Not too many, or so I thought.

This note said he had hit someone on the playground, then had a hard time staying still in time out.  And it requested that we make an appointment to talk to his teacher, Miss E, because this has been becoming more frequent.  I made an appointment for this morning at 8am.  Tai is not yet 4 and we're already going to the principal's office.  SIgh.

Needless to say, I was nervous about it and I think Tom was too.  I was starting to worry that they were going to say that Tai is clearly not ready for Montessori and that he can't handle it and we'd need to find another preschool.  Finding a preschool sucks.  Finding one after getting kicked out of one?  I don't even want to think about it.

Tai headed right in to play while we got called into the classroom with Miss A, the director of the school.  Miss E met us there a few minutes later.  Actually, Miss A did most of the talking.  She was really reassuring, and told us right away that Tai is completely normal in his behavior, that this is the age for some serious testing.  But she wanted to make sure we nipped this in the bud, because it seemed to be getting to be a habit.  Apparently, though they send notes home for things that involve other kids, when it's something more minor - like interrupting circle time, or work time, we don't find out about that.  And he's been doing a bit of that, too.

Miss A suggested that time-outs and talking don't work so well at this age.  She suggested a tool she called 'Consequences for Actions'.  Basically, we are making too big of a deal about the things Tai does wrong.  We spend a lot of energy explaining what he did and why it was wrong, and blah blah.  He just likes that he gets our attention.  Instead, on days where we get a note, when he asks for something that evening (dessert, TV time, a game, whatever) we say, "No, I don't feel like X tonight.  You made some bad choices at school today and I am disappointed."  Leave it simple and keep an even tone.  Don't argue, don't engage.  Just remove our energy from him.  Then, later at bedtime - read stories as usual, give lots and lots of hugs and cuddles.  Let him know we love him.  Just remind him that he can make better choices and then we can have more fun together again.  The next day - don't bring it up again.  When dropping him off, we can just say, "I know you'll make good choices at school today.  Have fun!"

On good days, tell him how proud we are that he made good choices - though don't go too over the top with praise.  Once in a while, unexpectedly, we can give him a little extra good thing - a trip to a special place, an ice cream, etc.  

I think this will help.  Miss A swears that it still works on her kids, even at 19 and 24.  She says there's always something to take away (opportunities to make extra money, TV, car privileges, etc) and when the kids think about it - the long term gain is better than the short term misbehavior.  

There was a minute or two where I felt like this could be a little... withholding of my love.  The more misbehaving he does, the cooler we should be with him.  (Until bedtime.)  I'm not so good with this.  I'm going to give it a try, withholding stuff more than my affection.  

I should probably quit saying that I'm tired.  I suppose it should go without saying that even though it's only 9:15, I have been ready for bed for at least half an hour.  Man.  I don't remember being this fried when I was pregnant with Tai.  I've had a couple more small bouts of nausea, but they were transitory and not that bad.  I was feeling a little nervous about not feeling sick (I *know*!  When did anyone ever think I would say that?  I'm shocked too.) but I have been reading this book called "Hands Off My Belly" about pregnancy and birth myths and in the 'early pregnancy' section the authors talked about how not everyone is sick in the beginning.  Nausea and vomiting can correlate with a pregnancy that sticks, but it is not completely hormonally caused.  Like - I was assuming if I wasn't sick, then my hormones must not be very high, so I would be more likely to miscarry.  This is not necessarily true.  Not to mention, it's just the beginning of my sixth week, and plenty of people don't start getting morning sick until around now.  It could still be coming! 


Apr. 19th, 2011 10:42 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I want to do better about documenting this pregnancy, because there is the possibility that I won't have another one.  And I should be writing in here more often anyway.  Otherwise my life just goes by and I barely notice, or I don't remember, or reflect or something.  I'm not sure.  

Still pregnant.  I wonder how many days I will say this before I stop.  Maybe until I go into labor.  Or maybe just until I finish the first trimester.  Much like when I was pregnant with Tai, every time I go to the bathroom I check everything out to make sure there's no blood.  At least this time I'm never hoping that there is.

Though for the first time today I had a moment of 'holy shit, what the fuck have I done?'  I was thinking about how things are going to change for Tai and I felt unaccountably guilty.  And a little nostalgic.  I'm not going to be able to hold him in my arms again like I used to when he was a baby.  Sure, I can still hold him and cuddle him, but not the same way.  Even though he's been wanting a sibling (a sister, specifically), he doesn't know exactly what this will mean.  (Of course, I guess I don't know either.)  

What if I love Tai more than the new baby?  What if I love the new baby more than Tai?  What if Tai doesn't get any attention from me anymore?  I will miss him when I'm busy with a new baby!  I know, it's all normal stuff.  It's just what's on my mind.

I've also been considering what I want to do for this birth (assuming all goes well).   On one hand, I would like to try for a home birth again.  On the other hand, Tom may not be willing to try that at all.  I'm also considering going to UCSF - I've heard good things about one of the midwives there (she helped a friend deliver her baby, and my friend had a really good experience with her).  Lisa points out that I don't have to decide yet (obviously) and gave me a good suggestion - call the midwife that I'm interested in having for my birth and talk to her... and I can see when I should decide by, to make sure her schedule doesn't fill up!  I can also go to UCSF and see what I think about it there, too.  

I'm getting ahead of myself, too.  First I need to have the baby decide to stick around.  So far so good... but I'm nervous, of course.  I know that I can't control it (thank you for the reminder, Lisa!  Also, I typed that as 'can control' first.  Ha!) but it's so hard to let go.  So hard to have faith.  Fits right in with what I'm working on at AA, too.  I'm on the Third Step, and one of the big things is to turn my will and my life over to the care of God (as I understand God).  I know I don't have control, but it's hard to get that through my heart.  God, grant me the serenity.


Apr. 18th, 2011 10:47 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

So... yes!  

Last night, after my doula training, I went to the Walgreens nearby that was actually open until midnight.  I needed to get plastic Easter eggs to fill for Tai's class.  And figured as long as I was there, I might as well buy another box of pregnancy tests.  I couldn't make myself wait another day to find a dollar store.  After all, I still hadn't started my period, which was weird.  I spent the evening grumping at Tom and filling the eggs.  This morning, while Tai and Tom fiddled around downstairs, I took a test.  

Learning from my last mistakes (and several people's suggestions!)  I actually peed in a cup this time and dipped the stick.  (After reading the time to leave it in - 5 seconds both for dipping and direct pee.  (On the digital test I needed to hold it longer if I was dipping than direct peeing.)  I wasn't about to make another mistake!  If I did, I still had the pee in the cup, this time.

So I waited the requisite two minutes (adding another 50 or so seconds, just to be sure).  I stuck the test out of sight while I waited, so I didn't peek.  When I pulled it out, I was so surprised that it was actually positive!  I had convinced myself that I wasn't... I couldn't believe it.  I went right downstairs to tell Tom.  I was trying to think of some creative way to tell him... but I hadn't planned ahead and I couldn't wait.

I said, "I owe you an apology for being so grumpy lately.  I'm sorry about that.  But... there is a reason."  I held out the test.  He gave me this huge huge hug.  Later, he said "I am really happy and excited about this."  And then when he started getting ready for work, he gave me another hug and said, "Let's hope for a girl."  I hadn't even thought he might want a girl.  Personally, I would be happy either way.  I am just keeping my fingers crossed for sticking baby.

I told my mom, I told Lisa, I told my Aunt.  I told people at my doula class tonight (the teacher and a couple of women I get along with).  Abigail (the teacher) congratulated me, and said she often warns women taking the class that if they don't want to get pregnant, to take extra care.  She usually has someone get pregnant either during, or just after the class.  I'm happy it worked for me!

The best story, though, is this:  Tom and I had agreed that we'd wait a little to tell Tai.  But not four minutes after I showed Tom the test, Tai came up to me and put a hand on my uterus and said, "Is there a baby in there?"  I was sort of stunned.  He's never suggested this before.  Neither Tom nor I had mentioned a baby out loud.  He just knew.  I told him that yes, I'm working on having a baby... but that babies need to decide if they want to stay.  If this baby wants to stay, I will have a baby.  If not, we'll have to wait for another baby.   He hasn't brought it up again, and neither have I... but we are *all* excited.

And I am tired.  Must sleep.

Long Week

Dec. 2nd, 2010 11:55 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
t's been a tough day.  I am hoping that tomorrow is better.

Tai sickness whine )

I was talking with [info]twirlgrrl online tonight, and we got on the topic of faults.  I said that I wish I could pick mine.  Or, more accurately, trade in a fault for one I'd prefer.  The fault?  My overactive anxiety.  I almost wish I would have *any* other fault, but then decided that I could end up as 'too selfish to be a good mom'.  It's so fucking hard to be there for Tai when I am falling to pieces.  I just sat with him on the couch and while he watched Zoboomafoo, I told myself over and over that *I* am the adult, and I need to suck it up and be calm.  This is a moment of my life, it is not the rest of my days.  Tai will feel better, I will calm down.  Even if I get sick, it will pass.

I also reminded myself of something I realized in therapy last week.  I was talking with Wendy about having another kid, and how one of the main reasons I worried about having kids was because I would be more anxious about stomach flu.  What suddenly realized was that I will be anxious anyway - I could either be anxious with kids, or without.  With kids I get all of the amazing joy, without - I would miss that experience.

How could I miss this?  How could I let the phobia keep me from such love?  Even when Tai is sick, he is so sweet.  He says he loves me, and cuddles, and hugs me.  He sings "Happy Birthday" to me, because my birthday is coming soon.  (In February, heh.)  He teases me and when he smiles, it's impossible not to feel better myself.

I still feel edgy and uncomfortable, but I am going to keep it together.  I might not be able to trade away this anxiety, but I do not have to let it run my life.   Or Tai's life.  I will *not* let it hurt him.

A couple of tiny funny moments:

When I asked him about school last week, he said, "The teacher didn't tell anybody to learn anything." 

On Sunday Tom and Tai were working on a house project upstairs - rebuilding a closet upstairs.  From the livingroom, where I am writing, I hear:

Tom: "I'm going to show you how to use something.  It's called a nail gun." 
Tai:  "What's a nail gun?"

My thoughts  Nail gun + toddler = disaster.  Why show him how to use a nail gun?  At least Tom told him that he can only use it with Daddy or Mommy. 
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I keep losing myself in the mundane day-to-dayness of life, somehow.  Then one day I wake up, look around, realize I've not updated my journal in weeks (though I have *tons* of stuff to say and share), I am behind on email, I am behind on my novel and my writing-with-Melly, and I wonder what the hell happened.  I don't even think I've been depressed this time.  I haven't been overly anxious.  It feels like I get sucked into some weird other-dimension.  Sadly, it wasn't even a very exciting dimension.  It was just like this one - only boring.  

So it's the beginning of the month and things are starting off with a bang.  I got up with just enough time to get breakfast, shower and head out to therapy.  Tom took Tai to 'school' so I spent extra time lazing in bed and reading.  (I know, so decadent!)  Of course, I get downstairs and realize one of the dogs has pooped all over the living room floor.  There went my breakfast time.  I cleaned up, showered (because cleaning up that much poop means anyone would want a shower), and checked my email for any important news.  

I deleted some random newsletters, then suddenly I saw I'd gotten an email from a Montessori preschool.  We were on the waiting list, and they just had a spot open up for Tai.  I am so torn, but after much processing with Wendy, I think I know what we should do.  

Finding a preschool with slots open in San Francisco is not easy - especially when one starts late, as I did.  ("Late" creeps up!)  We toured three schools - two home-based, one center.  The Montessori school was the center.  Tai liked two of three - one home based and the Montessori.  The other home based one was a strange experience.  It was in the basement - and it felt crowded with about 8 kids.  There were no windows in the main room, everything felt dingy and the kids were bouncing off the walls (even though it was circle/story time).  Tai went to play with a train table while I talked to the main teacher, but when I came back he grabbed on to my legs and hid his face for a long time.  This is not like him, at all.  I didn't like the feel, or the way he acted so that school was out.  The Montessori school is expensive, big, and comparatively highly structured.  It's also 5 days a week.  But I've heard great things about it, they do a lot of stuff with the kids, and when we visited Tai really enjoyed himself and seemed to fit right in.  I liked that they had mixed age classes, too.  Tai loves hanging out with the big kids.  When we did our long visit, we met a couple of parents, one of whom we talked to for quite a while.  She had two kids there (one transitioned to kindergarten) and it has been a great fit for both of them, even though they have very different personalities.  I would have sent Tai there right away, but they had a long waiting list.  I signed him onto the list, and we went to the third place.

We ended up going there - Magic Palette.  It's home based, but warm, bright, clean.  Jan is a wonderful teacher, with great experience.  She's been helpful during *my* transition, which was harder than Tai's.  She's good with energetic kids, as well as kids who are having a harder transition.  She has two dogs, two birds, a mouse, a fish and some frogs.  The kids get to play outside in her yard everyday that it's nice weather.  They do art, they do water play, they make play dough, they make bracelets and paper-airplanes.  But - there are only 6 kids at a time.  It is small.  They don't leave her house for field trips or to go to the playground.  Tai loves it ... but I have started to worry that he'll get bored in about six months.

Unlike me, Tai thrives on new experiences. He dives in with both feet, barely looking to see if I come along.  When we went to the Rec Center's open house this week, he went off with two new 'teachers' he'd never met before, to play kickball.  He kicked at his turn, ran the bases, and didn't even check to see if I was watching right away.  I love that independence in him.  I think he's getting bored being with me and doing the same old thing - playground, neighborhood walks, etc.  He wants to play with other kids.  When he's bored is when he starts tantrums and getting into trouble - throwing stuff, etc.

He loves going to 'school'.  He had no issues separating.  Though he had a day of testing, he's done wonderfully since then.  He's made a friend, and he is always excited to go to school.  But I have been thinking that maybe it won't hold his interest.  That he'll get bored and start trouble because he'll want to be doing new things and they'll still be doing the same things.

I worry, though, that throwing him into a bigger place won't be good for him.  Because when I was a kid, the smaller would have been perfect for me.  

But I know he's smart, strong, independent and curious.  I don't want to limit him because I imagine that I would want something when I was his age, so he will want that too.  

I think this change would be good for him.  I want him to keep loving school, as long as possible.  Tom and I are going to discuss it this weekend.  We have to let them know by Monday because if Tai doesn't take the spot, someone else on the waiting list will.  

aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

Before - w/Ringlets So this was Tai, yesterday evening. His hair was slightly damp, and it was curly and adorable. But it was also hanging in his eyes most of the time and it was hard for him to see. I've been debating what to do about it for weeks. More. Leave it long? Cut it? I went back and forth, back and forth. Finally I made a decision.

After - a Real Boy How the hell did he go from baby to Boy in 3.2 seconds?   I cannot even believe it.  I have been looking at him all day today and wondering where time went.  Of course, a big part of that is because he starts preschool tomorrow morning.   I cut his hair for school - I didn't think he could see with it the way it was.  Clips didn't stay in his hair, it didn't stay behind his ear... it just hung over his eyes and he didn't really even push it away much.  

This morning I asked him - 'do you want to get your hair cut, or do you want to leave it long?'  I didn't put the cut second, because sometimes toddlers just default to the second choice.  He said he wanted it cut.  So we went out to Kids Cuts and he picked out a car to sit in and watched Thomas the Train and after less than half an hour it was done.  I got teary, but he didn't even seem to notice.  

I did save a couple of his locks of hair.

Also - I got back on Parlodel today.  It's time to think about a second baby, so it's also time to get the prolactin under control.  Change is in the air.

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

Dear Tai,

I am so far behind on my letters to you.  I hope that you know that I love you, more than these letters can tell you.  After all, it's better to be spending time together than just writing about it, right?  

We have been having some fabulous days together lately.  You are talking up a storm.  After a period of some weeks where the big question was 'what's that', even when you knew exactly 'what that' was, you're into the 'why's.  Sometimes we get into an endless string of 'why' wherein I try to answer until I run out of answers, try asking what you think, then you just ask me again.  Daddy reminds you that it's always good to ask questions, because that's how one learns.  And you are learning things faster than I would ever believe.  Daddy keeps pointing out that you are a sieve (meaning, of course, sponge - but Daddy gets confused), and this is true.  I have to keep my language cleaned up!

You were visiting Etienne and Angela a week ago, and Angela says you and Etienne had a whole conversation together, just the two of you.  You were playing with playdough, and talking about what you were doing.  I think this may be the first time that you had a whole conversation with another kid your age without any input from a parent.

You process everything.  You've been pretending to fall down and cry, then get a kiss and hug from me, and when I suggested that you don't need to be hurt for a kiss and a hug from me, you repeated what I said slowly, as you thought about it.  Today you came running in to me in the kitchen and asked for a hug and kiss.  I was more than happy to give you one.  The other week you were at Ba's house (We finally realized this came from how you say 'grandma' which is 'bahma'.  So yes, 'ba'.) and you both were talking about Daddy and his job.  You'd just visited his office in Cupertino.  Ba asked if you knew where he worked, and you said 'Apple'.  Then you said, "I eat apples".  Ba said yes, but this is a different Apple.  At this Apple, they make iPods and iPhones and iPads.  You considered, then said 'Some apples make ipods and some apples make iphones..." 

You are learning about feelings.  When you knock over and throw around all of my freshly folded laundry and I scowl and get angry you ask whether I'm happy.  You apologize and then ask again whether I'm happy.  When we are drawing on the chalk board, and I draw a sad face, you erase the mouth and ask me to 'make him happy'.  When you are falling asleep in your bed, you say that you're going to hold Hey Bun Bun in case you get lonely.  (Then follow up by pointing out that coming to my bed will keep you from being lonely too.  That I keep you company in bed and Daddy keeps me company.  Yes, that we do.)

You've been having a harder time staying in your big boy bed lately.  You sleep alone until around 2am, then come to bed with Daddy and me.  I don't mind so much because you just curl up and fall asleep.  You like to share my pillow, wanting me close to you.  You also like to sleep on the outside of the bed, rather than the middle, which means you've fallen out of bed a couple of times.  However, this doesn't keep you from sleeping there again later.

In the last week, you've been wearing underwear all day, every day.  You've had 7 days of dryness in a row!  I am so proud of you.  Last Friday we were at the bookstore and you asked to go potty, right in the middle of looking at books.  The next day you chose underwear instead of a diaper and we haven't looked back.  

Your favorite books in the past few weeks are: Green Eggs and Ham, where you always close your eyes and turn your head when the narrator is about to try the green eggs and ham, just before he says he likes it; Moo Who?, about a cow named Hilda Mae Heifer who gets hit in the noggin with a cow pie and loses her moo, which you already know some of the words; Tadpoles, about a little girl who gets a baby brother and would rather have a frog - and learns about frogs growing up as her baby brother grows up too - you love to see the frogs; Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boyton - which you love me to sing, but not to kiss you at the kiss parts; and Wrapped in my Love - about a puppy named Snoozer, who hears strange noises in the night and is afraid until his parents reassure him, and you already know most of this book by heart.

I want to say here that there have been some tough patches lately, and I've been a little more short-tempered, a little less patient, and a little less available for you than I have been.  I'm sorry about that.  I want you to know that is not your fault.  I'm going to do better.  It never means I don't love you.

I do love you, with my whole entire being.  You are my favorite big boy.

Love always,
Your Mommy

aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
  I'm going to skip over all of the stupid mental stuff that's been twisting my brain in knots lately.  It's not worth saying the same thing over and over.  It's bad enough that I have to think it over and over.  Instead, I'm going to give a brief Tai update.

We picked out a daycare for him - he starts at the Magic Palette in September, three days a week.  It's just a few blocks away, a home-based daycare.  But I was impressed with all of the stuff they do with the kids (art, play dough, trains, planting veggies, bug hunts, reading), the house is light and clean and open.  Tai got to check it out, and on the way home he said, without prompting, "I like that school."  For the first time, I felt like we'd found a place that fit.  And we got accepted, too.  I figure Tai will stay there at least a year, maybe then transfer to a preschool instead of a daycare.

The other day someone on the Bernal Parent's list was giving away a toddler basketball hoop.  Tai and I went to pick it up on Friday and he was so excited to play basketball on his own hoop that he did a little dance.  It was the 'I love it' dance, that's what he called it.  He's pretty good - in fact, better than me.  (This is good, since he enjoys sports way more than I do.  It would stink if he had my hand-eye coordination.)

He's been needing me to do the bedtime routine lately.  If Tom tries it's a huge tantrum, and I just can't let him cry for me while I'm at home.  I lay down with him on his bed as he falls asleep.  It's too cute - lately he's been singing to himself as he drifts off.  Yesterday he was trying to sing, "All together now" by the Beatles, but he only remembered the tune and the ABCD part, so he sang the alphabet song to that tune.  Then tonight he was trying to sing the theme song to Zoboomafoo.  The only lyrics he remembered were "Zoboomafoo... little leaping lemur", so he sang, "the little leaping lemur went up the water spout" and continued on with the itsy bitsy spider song.  I just barely kept from laughing.

I am working hard to commit these moments to memory, and to fully appreciate this time together.  I love his smile, especially the one shown above - the shit eating grin.  He's going to be trouble later.

Brain Dump

Jun. 13th, 2010 11:08 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I had a shit week.  Big panic attack last monday night (prompted by Tai throwing up), and ended up spending all day Tuesday and much of the day Wednesday holding myself together by the skin of my teeth.  I'm still working to get it through my head that every parent makes mistakes, and every parent has things that are difficult to handle.  No one can be there for their kid one hundred percent of the time.  I didn't scare Tai, Tom was home and with him... but I felt (and sometimes still feel) like a completely shitty mother who is going to screw up her son either by the mistakes she makes or the genetics she passes down.  I'm getting my head back together, but it was rough.

Tai is doing fine.  I think the vomiting was actually a result of Tom's overzealous tooth brushing and Tai's super-sensitive gag reflex.  He had a bit of a fever a couple of days later, but that was probably teething related.  What was really weird, was on Friday he didn't pee for almost 24 hours.  He was drinking normally, didn't have a fever or anything... just didn't pee.  On the advice of a call-in nurse and the intarwebs, we took him to the pediatric ER - where he got all checked in, then promptly peed in huge amounts - through his diaper, over the gown he was wearing, all over my leg and onto the floor.  They checked him out and he seemed to be fine, but they asked us to bring in a urine sample.  One thing I didn't like - before i knew what was going to happen, while the doctor was checking him out  he retracted Tai's foreskin.  I guess he thought the skin might have covered his urethra, but it seems like that would have been a problem before now.   On the up side, it didn't seem to hurt Tai at all.  The doctor figures he was dehydrated, but I don't know.  We'll see what the results of the urine test are.

Richard and Judy are in town and Tai is having a blast with his Mimi and Popa.  There has been a lot of playground time and general craziness.  He's going to have a hard time when they go, after four days of non-stop attention from at least two people at all times.  But every night, he's wanted me to help him go to sleep.  Not Daddy, not Mimi.  Me.  I have to say, I don't really mind, even when it takes a while.  It gives us a chance to cuddle up together and relax.

Tai is talking up a storm lately, too.  He tells us exactly what he's thinking, what he wants.  Some of his favorite things to say:

"I've got an idea."  When I ask what his idea is about, he says, "Idea's about.... trees (for example, when we were camping)."
"I'm not a monkey (or lamb, or munchkin or whatever pet term someone is using), I'm a boy."
"When I grow up up up, I'm gonna be a football man."

He sings the ABC's all by himself. 

He's mostly sleeping through the night by himself in his own big boy bed (though sometimes he comes to visit us, or needs to sleep with us if he isn't feeling well).  He does like to keep holding my boobies as he falls asleep.

He loves to play "Plants Vs. Zombies" on the iPad.

He loves to sing 'Happy Birthday" to whoever he is thinking of at the time.  Before bed, he says, "Good night sleep tight" to me and daddy and Luna and Cocoa.

He likes to write emails to Ba (my Mom) and Violetta (her dog).  The emails usually say 'happy birthday' and some various noises that are hard to spell, like the sound of a dog panting, or a raspberrying tongue.

He likes to kiss my booboos to make them feel better.

The other day, when he was a little feverish, he sat close to me on the couch and said, "I love you Mama.  I love you.  I love you lots."  Yes, I did melt.

Tai is my sweetest boy - and I am the luckiest Mom in the world to have him.

aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Lest readers start thinking that it's nothing other than sickness, tantrums, anxiety and whining around here, I figured I'd better offer a Tai update that doesn't center around his (and my) hardest times.

He is growing by leaps and bounds, both physically and mentally.  I can barely keep up with him.  It's amazing. 
Read more... )


aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
There are about a billion things I want to post about: a particular night out a couple of weeks ago (damn, that long already?!), vegetarianism/veganism, a letter to Tai, a Tai update, and a whine about some craziness that's happening between a neighbor and us.  Instead I'm going to start by tossing my hands in the air and begging to know whether anyone else has wondered if their 2 year old has *totally lost their shit* when they are having a tantrum?

Tai has his five-billionth ear infection of the year.  I thought it might have been, last week but when I took him in on Tuesday, they said no.  Then this weekend his eardrum ruptured and leaked disgustingness all over his hair, cheek and neck.  It kept leaking (though more slowly) the rest of the weekend.  I can handle bodily fluid (well, except vomit, of course) but this totally grossed me out.  Monday morning I called the pediatrician and they said bring him in.  I also had to drive Brogan and Des (Tom's dad and his husband who were visiting from San Diego) to the airport.  So, being the horrible Mom that I am, I put on Tai's shirt and shoes.  This is where the tantrum began.  He took a break for the 10 minutes he shared a McDonald's hashbrown with me, and the 20 minutes he slept on the way from the airport to the pediatrician's office - but other than that?  Tantrum.  Screaming, crying, thrashing full-out losing his mind.  He freaked out on the walk from the parking garage to the doctor's office.  In the waiting room.  In the exam room.  Through the doctor's exam (where he completely flummoxed her by saying 'I want an ouchie!'  when she told him there wouldn't be any ouchies.  She said she'd never had a kid ask her for a shot before.) , through the walk back to the stairs (because I was avoiding the elevator), through the lobby and out the door and to the car and the whole way home.  Over an hour, all told.  He was thrashing around so much when I was carrying him out that I could barely keep from dropping him.  Everyone was staring.  I was blushing.

Nothing helped.  Distraction, ignoring him, singing to him, offering stories, offering the iPad, offering a drink or food, rocking, hugging, not touching, rubbing his hair, stepping away, staying close, counting.  The doctor offered stickers and to play with her light - both of which he usually loves.  No go.  I will admit that at one point I considered slapping him because I was beginning to think he was hysterical - but I didn't because I wasn't sure it would help, but more because I wasn't sure it wouldn't just be a frustration outlet for me and I knew that would not be good.

He cried because he wanted to go home, then when we left he wanted to 'play at the doctor's house'.  He wanted an 'ouchie' and when the doctor found him a sticker that said 'ouch' he threw it on the floor.  It was total inability to be soothed.  I felt exhausted by the end of the day, because he had two more tantrums - though they were both much shorter, and no nap.  I felt horrible for him, because I'm pretty sure it was his ear (though Motrin didn't help)... but it was hard to hold to my equanimity.  

Fortunately today the drops and antibiotic seem to have helped a lot.  The  drops have both pain relief and antibiotic in them, so I think that helps his ear a lot.  I managed to get him down for a nap, though I had to wake him up.  He had another meltdown because I was taking him to play with a friend (so I could have my Toddler Break) and I felt shitty.  He was like, 'no Paxton!  Stay home, please!'  Just begging and begging.  But then Yvette offered him mango and all was right with the world.  His last tantrum was because I went to take him home and he didn't want to leave.  *sigh*.  Just can't win.

Hopefully tomorrow will be even better.  But if not - anyone have any suggestions?  Besides some Valium and wine for Mama?

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
It was a full weekend - Tai and I had a First 5 excursion, we visited [ profile] twirlgrrl , we had Ross (a friend of Tom's from middle school) visit for the weekend, Tai got sick with the dreaded Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (which still makes me think of Foot and Mouth disease), we went to Golden Gate park, the Sutro Baths and Chrissy Field.  We also went out drinking (without Tai) and stayed up too late last night listening to new music and talking to Ross.  So, in lieu of a real entry, please enjoy these pics.  (Or feel free to skip if you aren't into that sort of thing.)

Pikachers... )


Apr. 28th, 2010 04:50 pm
aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
It's been a month since I nursed Tai.  (The last day I nursed him was March 26th.)  I still miss it.  
Weaning... )


In other news - I have to remember to upload my novel-in-progress to google docs.  I keep leaving the most recent edition on some computer or keycard that I don't have with me.  This afternoon I managed to find the keycard, bring my laptop and get to the library with two hours of Toddler Time to myself.  I open my laptop - no file.  I check the keycard - no file.  I am assuming that my most recent version is on the desktop or the other keycard.  If not?  Freakout time.  I'm not going there yet.
aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Poor kidlet, he just doesn't have good luck with the head, apparently especially the left side.  Yesterday we were gardening in our front 'yard'.  He loves to help me lately - vacuuming, laundry (both loading and folding), feeding the dogs, microwaving the food, but especially weeding.  In the past few days, we've probably spent three hours total pulling weeds and getting the gardens ready for planting.  So I was trimming the dead heads and dead branches off the lavender while Tai pulled clover and tossed mulch onto the ground.  We were both standing in the raised bed.  I wasn't worried about him because I'd seen him climb down the step to the ground several times.  I asked a couple of times if he was ready for dinner, but he wanted to stay out and weed longer.  Finally I turned around (maybe to tell him to quit throwing the mulch onto the ground, please!) and saw him lean far over the edge of the ledge and tumble over - head over heels.  I couldn't reach him in time and he landed face-down on the concrete.

We were both freaked out.  I worried that he'd given himself brain damage - while he was more concerned with the scrape over his eyebrow, and under his eye.  Poor kid!  He cried, and I raced him inside for nursing and damage check.  After a quick 'Ask Dr. Sears' web search (where I discovered that a fall under 3 feet is usually okay, even onto hard surfaces) and a freaked out phone call to Tom and my Mom for me - and boobie for him, we were both calmer.  In about 10 minutes he was better and playing happily, so I decided to wait and watch for concussion.  

Tom's response?  'Welcome to being the mother of a boy'.  Sigh.  When Tai and I went out to weed again this evening, I asked what he was trying to do yesterday and he said, 'Reach for mulch'.  Why?  I have no clue.  Today he seems to be just fine, other than looking like he's got a black eye.  (I feel slightly lucky that he got the scrapes, though - that way it doesn't look like I punched him.)

He's such a love, though.  He's talking up a storm - even in his sleep.  In the last week or so, he's talked about Mimi and Popa, begged for bagels, told 'daddy, no' and said something about baseball.  If I could, I might stay awake just to listen to him.  

He's big on finding 'matches', ever since he got some Memory games for his birthday.  He matches colors and patterns.

When Tom got back from China, we were all laying in bed trying to get Tai to nap.  Tai was more interested in counting Daddy's eyes, nose, ears, etc.  He pointed out both of Tom's earrings, then said to me, "I talking to Daddy about earrings."

Over the past week or so, I've been rediscovering how lucky I am.  Tai is fabulous, and I am blessed.

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Tai's social smile

Dear Tai,

At this moment, I hear you calling me from upstairs where you should still be sleeping.  I'm pretending that somehow writing this letter makes up for sending your Daddy up to you so I can finish my post Sing-It-Yourself Messiah eggnog.  This is the difference between life as an infant and life as a toddler.  I wouldn't have done that even 10 months ago.  I would have been up the stairs in a flash.  Now your Daddy and I trade stink-eyes until one of us gets up.  Not that we don't love you - we are just greedy for every moment of solitude.  You have a toddler's energy and we are getting old.  Also, Mommy likes to use the bathroom all by her lonesome.  Weird, I know!

I can't believe you are almost two.  And at the same time, I certainly can believe it.  You are talking up a storm - though sometimes I don't understand you no matter how many times you repeat it.  You can form three and four word sentences - especially imperative sentences.  You are still the director of your world, at least as much as the pain-in-the-butt adults will allow you to be.  You want to do everything yourself (woe betide the person who doesn't let you buckle your seatbelt or jump off the curb in the parking lot!) and you love to help - especially getting mail and doing the laundry.  Folding and unfolding - one and the same thing for Tai!

We just got back from a trip to San Diego and the desert.  You got to visit your Pawpaw, Des, and your Daddy's grandpa, Pop in San Diego.  You impressed them with your ability to entertain yourself for at least twenty minutes just going out the dog door and letting yourself back in the back door.  You visited with your Uncle Q and your Granddad in the desert.  You're starting to have a preference for hanging out with other guys... when you had a choice of playing with Grandma or Granddad, you picked Granddad.  (Which prompted your Daddy and I to wonder how we ended up with such a man's man.)  You spent a lot of time improving your kicking abilities, and started to learn how to hold a golf club.  You take after your Mommy - you're quite the water baby!  Even though it wasn't above 50 degrees on our last day down south, you still wanted to swim.

It's almost Christmas and we've started decorating the house.  You love your model train that runs around our tree, and you know what snow men look like (even if it's fortunately far to warm to make a real one).  You sat on Santa's lap for the first time and we managed to get a good photo before you decided that sitting on strange guys laps is not for you.  I can't wait to share the magic of this season with you.  It's one of my favorites, and it's going to be even better now that I can make it magic for someone else, too.

I can't even count how many words you say.  You still say 'oleoleo' for cereal.  You say 'Da-dad' for Granddad, 'bahbin' for mountain, 'Howmeen' for Halloween, 'disniss' for Christmas, 'ay-oh' for radio, 'Peber' for Peter, 'nineese' for Chinese (as in food).  You still call Grandma 'Bah'.  You still love to order the dogs around.  Cocoa is 'Doh-doh'.

Even if I listed everything you can do (climb up the climbing-web on the playground), everything you love (balls, trucks, drawing, playing piano), everything you can say ('Dad-dad, sit down floor please), it still wouldn't encompass why I love you.  I love the way you say 'please' and 'thank you' for everything.  I love the way you say 'You, Tai' and crack up after I sing the 'I love you a bushel and a peck' song.  I love your laugh. I love the scrunchy face you make now when I tell you to smile for a picture.  I love how much you love experiencing the world.  

Tonight I was at the Mission Dolores Basilica with Bah, singing the Messiah and at intermission we went to see Mary's shrine.  Standing there in front of her I offered my thanks again - that I was lucky enough to be blessed with you.  

Love you times a million,
Your Mommy

aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Random thought of the day:  I'm sitting on the couch watching House, when 13 gets a call from a clinic where she applied for a job.  The woman on the call says "we loved meeting you and, well, the job's yours".   Suddenly I found myself wishing that I was the one getting that call - that I was getting a 'real job' outside the house.  I'm not sure what that's about, maybe wishing for the mundaniaty of a day job.  Maybe wishing for someone in a position of authority to tell me that I'm someone who knows what they're doing, who would do a good job.  Or maybe I'm wishing for a job where my boss doesn't have a screaming tantrum on the street that is so loud and intense that neighbors come out to make sure no one is being kidnapped. 

Tai had a tough day - getting dressed was tantrum worthy, even with grandma visiting.  Going potty before bed was tantrum worthy.  Going the wrong direction on the sidewalk - right, tantrum worthy.  I'm not sure whether he was teething, hitting his terrible twos early, or still getting over the most recent illness, but wow.  I'm tired.  (Possibly because I'm still getting over whatever virus it was that we had.)

Second random thought of the day: I was in the car with mom and I asked her when she stopped being surprised at being The Mother - or if she'd ever felt that way.  Yesterday we were hanging out together after she'd been in the desert for a week, and at one point Tai wanted to be carried.  Mom offered to carry him, but he chose to have me carry him.  She said, "Oh, you want Mommy."  For a minute I found myself surprised both that he chose *me*, and also that I am The Mommy, with all that entails (both the responsibility and the bonuses).  I can't believe he's almost two and I still catch myself looking over my shoulder for the Real Mommy to come home and take Tai from Babysitter Me.  Not very often, and not with real desire for it to happen.  

It was funny, Mom said she didn't remember whether she ever felt that or not.  She couldn't tease out whether that was because she had a different relationship with her mother than the relationship we have, or whether it's a facet of our relationship or what.  Interesting question, though.

Also - we stopped at Target on the way home from Babys R Us (I had to pick up a pump part for my breast pump) and with all of the holiday decorations up, I am suddenly looking forward to the winter festivities.  I can't wait to make this time just as magical for Tai as Halloween was.  It's only going to be more fun as he gets older.  
aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Tai practices his 'grin on command'  Dear Tai,

Going back and reading a couple of your letters, I discovered that you were sick just two months ago.  Poor kidlet, you're sick again.  Everyone tells me that this will give you a good immune system, but it's just so sad to see you feeling not yourself.  I miss your smile!  You woke up late last night with a fever and you spent the day on the couch with Daddy.  You slept a lot, barely ate, barely played.  We're hoping you don't have the Hamthrax.  It's possible you are having a reaction from the vaccines you had over the week.

We went to meet a new doctor this week - Dr. Breder.  Even though we love Dr. Treece, I was looking for a practice that didn't feel quite so rushed.  So we were behind on your Well Baby visits and on your vaccines.  You're growing like a Magic Beanstalk!  You are 35 3/4 inches tall - almost three whole feet.  You weigh 34 pounds and 12 oz.  Your head is 20 1/4 inches.  You're in the 97th percentile for weight and head size and the 95th for height.  You're going to take after your Daddy and be tall.  I think you liked the new doctor, though she wasn't as funny as Dr. Treece.

You're almost two years old.  You're getting to be such a real person, an individual.  Your Grandma says she really likes the video of you dancing at the Bernal Fiesta on the Hill this year, because the way you move, the way you hold your hands shows some of who you are becoming.  It's not me, or Tom - it's you.  I am enjoying getting to see more of that.  You are a social animal - you party late into the night, you love to hang out with other kids.  When we were at the aquarium last week Matteus (one of the other kids from the Mom's Group) was running and tripped and fell.  You were chasing him, and when he fell, you copied him.  Erika and I cracked up, and from that time on you set out to impress us by your falling skills.  You looked like a little Break Dancer.  Later, you held Matteus's hand as you walked through the museum.  You love to play with all of the kids in the Mom's Group, but Dottie is still your favorite.  When you see her on the street you call out to her "Dottie!"  and then you copy each other, and flirt and laugh.

I'm looking to find a good preschool for you, because you need more stimulation and socialization than I can give you with visits to the playground and our every-couple-of-weeks Mom's Group.  We've gone to two, so far.  One tour, one open house.  Both times you were quite content to explore the classrooms and play with their toys.  You watched the other kids, and joined them.  While you did include me in your play a few times, I think you're going to enjoy the experience.  I'm looking forward to watching you make new friends, learn new things, and join more of the world on your own.

You're talking more and more.  When I asked Grandma to tell her what Peter did when he visited our house, you said, "Peter play cars."  You love your matchbox cars, and 'play cars, Mama.  Play cars, Daddy' is a frequent refrain around the house.  You are learning to count and can get most of the way to 10 by yourself.  When I sing, you often join in on some of the words.  Your favorites are "Twinkle, twinkle" and "Baa Baa Black Sheep".  You also love when I sing, "I love you, a bushel and a peck", especially when I add your name to the end of the song.  That cracks you up.  Just lately you've taken to gasping in surprise when you see something interesting, like the moon or an airplane.  You like Grandma's birdies almost more than her dogs, and you love to feed Lucky and Pickle seeds.

Even on the tough days, I'm loving this adventure we're on together.  You are my boy and I am lucky to be your Mommy.



Nov. 1st, 2009 09:45 pm
aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Tai had the most fabulous Halloween - which is good, considering how much he was looking forward to it.  He loved the decorations, the stories, the pumpkins.  Yesterday I threw a modest Halloween party for friends, Tom's coworkers and the women from my neighborhood mom's group.  It went really well - all of the kids played together, and no one got bitten.  (In fact, no one got wounded at all.  There were a couple of minor mishaps around sharing toys, but that's to be expected.)  Not only did the kids have a good time, but the adults chatted together too.  It's funny - even though I wasn't doing a lot of work during the party, it was hard to get to talk to anyone for very long!  It did feel good to have everyone having fun.  Tai seemed to love it too, even though he had to share his toys.  Fortunately Dottie came on the early side, so I got to watch her and Tai make flirty eyes at each other.

The other kids were adorable, too.  I should have taken pictures!  We had: a knight, a garbage man, a dutch girl, Nicholas from "I am a Bunny", an astronaut, a vampire (of the Dracula, not Twilight, variety), a punk rocker (who happened to be one of the quietest kids in the group), a dog, Princess Jasmine, a panda, a devil and a giraffe.  

After the party, we headed down to Cortland and did plenty of trick or treating.  Tai said 'trick or treat' to everyone, and even remembered to say thank you, with prompting.  I think it helped that he had Blue by his side for most of the adventure, so he got to see how it's done by the big boys.  He totally idolizes Blue.  I can't wait to see how they grow up together.

When we got home, he handed out candy - which he got a kick out of, though he was scared by some kids in masks.  Then he and Tom went next door and crashed our neighbor's party.  It was 9pm, but Tai joined the other kids there, who were jumping off the couch into a big mosh pit of pillows. 

Even today he was still in a good mood.  We went to the playground with Blue and Lisa, then they came over for a little hang out/ Guitar Hero time.  We're going to have to play that in a group more often.  Tonight we went to dinner with Mom and Mcgee.  The restaurant was decorated for Halloween, still.  At one point, Tai was getting restless - he was tired and we were waiting for the check.  I suggested he count the spiders on the spider web - and he counted to ten, all by himself.  I will admit to being pretty proud.


aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

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