Monday, February 28, 2011

It's about 6 in the morning.  Tim turns off his alarm for the second time, and it's quiet again.  Eager to take advantage of my last hour of sleep, I will myself to close my eyes and doze off.  I find myself once again in another variation of the same dream I've had for months and months, maybe years..

I'm back at my high school.  The rooms and hallways are still familiar, but I have the sense I've been away for awhile.  I don't recognize a single soul around me.  My backpack is full of books, and I realize I don't even know where my locker is anymore, so I'll have to carry them all around.  Today I'm taking final exams in some science and math class.  (In these dreams, there's always a math class involved.  I guess you can tell it was not my favorite subject.)  The math exam is Probability & Statistics -- ironic, since that's one of the math classes I did fairly well in.

I have a big problem.  I haven't studied.  In fact, I can't remember the last time I've been to either one of these classes.  I feel overwhelmed with dread.  How did this happen to me?  I wonder.  I was always such a good student until now.  I'm going to take a test that I haven't even studied for.  I'm going to fail, and it's going to bring down my GPA.  I'm already flush with embarrassment before I go into the science classroom.  The teacher's going to know I have no idea what any of the answers are, and it's all my fault.  I'm not at all prepared, but I'm walking to the classroom now and the test is in a few minutes.  I keep hoping for some miracle, like a fire drill -- anything that will give me even a few minutes to cram..

"Mama!"  Into my room bounds a pajama-clad little girl.  For a moment, I'm confused.  I look at the clock and it's a little after 7.  I remember I'm not in high school anymore.  I'm a housewife.  I don't have to take an exam.  I have to serve breakfast to my kids.  I'm so relieved, it's ridiculous.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's a ...

Today was my 17 week visit and ultrasound.  I got to have Tim along with me for the ultrasound, and that was nice.  That's probably the only appointment he'll make it to, but it was the one that really counted!

I've decided to stick with my original due date of July 31, even though the two ultrasounds I've had place the baby's age a week ahead, and the due date around July 23.  I think my babies are just big, and those estimates are based on averages.  I don't want to expect to have the baby before July 31, but if I do, all the better.  Delaney was born 16 days before her due date, and Annalise just 3 days ahead of hers.  But who knows?  The only surprise allowed is baby's birthday.

I'd been so anxiously awaiting this day, having dreams about it every night, and just wishing I could know right now!  I have no patience.  Finally this afternoon, it was time to drop the girls off at my friend Aimee's and meet Tim at the OB's office in Havelock.  Before I left, I snapped this shot of my belly.
This time I was given no crazy instructions to drink lots of fluids and then hold my bladder until I thought it would burst (at the practice I went to with Delaney and Annalise, that's what happened, and I would almost be in tears by the time my name was called).  I was happy and comfortable in the waiting room this time, and I didn't have to wait long anyway.

The ultrasound technician asked us if we wanted to know, as soon as we walked in.  We said we already know it's a girl, but sure, tell us.  I talked about how much I liked cute baby girl clothes.

Looking at the screen, she said, "Well, you might want to rethink the pink.. not that he wouldn't look cute in it anyway, but that's definitely a boy."  She said she was "1000 percent sure."
I'm a boy!
We are so happy.  He's healthy in every way, and weighs 8 ounces.  He moved around a lot and the technician said, "He's a wiggler, huh?"  I said, "I know it -- I've been feeling that wiggling for weeks!"
Here are a couple other shots:
His bum in the air reminds me of how his big sisters sleep.
Can't wait to see what this face really looks like!
The rest of the appointment was fairly quick.  I'm doing fine, baby's doing fine, and I've only gained three pounds since last time.

I couldn't wait to tell the girls they were having a little "bother".  It had been a great day.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Annalise at 21 months

The twos are coming, the twos are coming to my house again, oh no.. But wait, maybe they're already here.  She has been quite a handful lately.  I know her tantrums are probably normal and age-appropriate, but I'm in trouble because I have no patience for this sort of thing.  It's a good thing she makes up for that by being my sweet and huggable  Annie-nanny the rest of the time.

She still uses just one to two words to get her point across.  For example, if she wants to bring one of Delaney's books to bed with her at naptime, she'll, say, "Book.  Take."  I say, "You want to take the book with you?  OK," to try to get her at least thinking in complete sentences.  If she's having a snack at the table and drops a raisin, she'll say, "Uh drop!  Uh drop!"  "You dropped your raisin?  OK, I'll get it for you."  Several times a day she bursts into tears, saying, "Want it," when Delaney has something she wants.  Usually, the only reason she wants it is because Delaney wants it.  She doesn't know what's so great about the blue sippy cup, but if sissy wants it, it must be the thing to have.  In fact, after Delaney expressed preference for the blue cup for about a week, Annalise took to using "blue" to describe whatever thing she wants, no matter what color it actually is.

She counts to 7.  I think last month she was only counting to 3.

Annie gets time-out a lot more often than Delaney did when she was her age -- about every other day.  Typically, it's because she refuses to take part in cleaning up the playroom at the end of the day.  We give her a couple warnings, and if she doesn't make any attempt to pick up and put away, she goes to the corner for time-out.  There, she cries and protests the whole time.  As far as what kind of impact the time-out has on her behavior.. so far, there seems to be none. At the end of the time-out, one or the other of us reiterates to her why she was in time-out, and reminds her that next time she has to listen and help pick up.  Every day she doesn't help, and every day she goes to the corner for time-out.  I don't know if she understands the whole concept of 'everybody cleans up', but I hope that one day our persistence pays off.  At least I know she doesn't like time-out.  I told her once that she needed to go find somewhere else to play besides the office, or she was going to go to time-out.  She was whining a little, but she walked away.  So maybe she's learning a little.

I know I'm cute!

My favorite time of the day is after bath, when she and her sissy drop their towels and run circles around the house, shrieking and laughing as we threaten to get them.  Tim grins at me as we watch those baby buttcheeks disappear around the corner, and says,  "She's a terror, isn't she, honey?"

She continues to be very shy whenever I take her anywhere.  When we're dropping Delaney off in her classroom, she sticks to my hip like glue.  A few months ago, she would play for a minute while I signed Delaney in.  Waiting rooms are the worst.  Even in my midwife's waiting room, which has a whole basket of toys, she stays on my lap grumbling her dissatisfaction.  A few days ago, I had to take her and Delaney to a completely new place that had a waiting room, and another room down a hall full of crying kids.  It was a drop-in daycare.  *Shudder*

I was already stressed out because I was running late to meet Tim on base to take care of our will and power of attorney.  I had arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule at what I believed to be the daycare.  When I got up close, I saw that they had moved, and now they were on the other side of Havelock, about six traffic lights away.  It was so hard to find, and I had to call them twice to help me.  When I finally got there, I still had to register the kids.  One of the girls who worked there offered to take Annie back to the room while I filled out the paperwork, since she was crying and clinging to me.  Delaney was already ensconced in front of the TV. Annie cried and held her arms out to me as she was carried away.  That made me start to cry too.  I was told to bring the papers back once I was done.  What?  Bring them back to that room?  That was a bad idea, I knew it.  But there was no one working the front desk.  The girl taking my registration was also one of the ones supervising the kids in the room down the hall.

I tried to be sneaky, not going all the way into the room, just knocking on the wall.  The girl came out and told me I had to fill something else out too; and don't worry, Annie's already stopped crying!  Right on cue, Annie appeared next to her at the door, bawling.  Oh no!  I tried to duck back down the hall and around the corner, but too late, she already saw me.  The caregiver, with Annie in tow, came out to the waiting room where I was so flustered I couldn't figure out how to fill out basic information on a sign-in sheet.  Name.. um, time.. um.. my daughter is screaming and I'm freaking out!!

I picked Annie up, kissed her wet cheeks and held her close.  I told her I was leaving but I would be back soon.  Poor thing didn't seem to understand.  From her perspective, it probably appeared that this little misunderstanding had been cleared up and she'd be leaving with me after all.  Turning her over once again and leaving was positively heart-wrenching.  I was such a wreck.

When I came to pick them up two hours later, I walked in and saw Annie who was sitting with her back to me, holding her Lovey, eating a cracker, and watching the kids play.  She had stayed close to the same caregiver I had handed her over to.  She seemed calm, but as soon as I got her attention, she looked at me and started crying again and reaching for me. I was told that she had not taken the cracker with her hand; she'd had Lovey take it instead.  I think it's funny how she uses Lovey as a proxy when she's dealing with new people.  The first time we had the new babysitter, Brandi, watch the girls, Brandi later reported to me that Annie had handed her Lovey, as if to give her a test.  'If you're nice to Lovey, maybe we can be friends.'

She's my little heartbreaker, that's for sure.  She drives me crazy, and tries my patience to no end, but I love her so much!

A year ago today:  Annalise at 9 months

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Delaney at 3 years, 7 months

I thought for starters, I would share a video of Delaney singing her favorite song from Barney, "Colors Make Me Happy."  One day she will probably ask me why she's hardly ever wearing a shirt in pictures or videos.  I've given up trying to keep clothes on her when she's in the house.  The other day, Tim said to her, "Do you want to put clothes on for when Miss Brandi (the babysitter) comes?"  Delaney replied very seriously, "But how will I show her my bellybutton?"

It's been a very good month for Delaney.  She continues to fascinate us and make us laugh with her questions, observations, and just the way she sees things.

Helping Daddy paint the new bookshelf
She asked a lot of questions about her origins one night at dinner.  I think she caught us both a little off guard.  She said to me, "You used to be a little girl, right?"  I said yes.  To Tim she said, "And you used to be a little boy?"  He said yes, he did.  "And I used to be a little baby?"  Tim said, "Yes, and you used to be a little baby in Mama's belly."  Delaney thought about that for a minute and said, "How did I get in Mama's belly?"  Tim said, "I put you there."  I would have said that God put her there, or she came from heaven, but he beat me to the punch.  A very curious Delaney asked, "Did Mama open her mouth?"  She must have pictured me washing her down like my daily multivitamin.  We laughed and he said something like, "I put you there, and you grew big and came out."  "Did Mama's belly burst open?"  Tim said yes it had, as I sat there thinking maybe we should tell her the truth, but at the same time not feeling quite ready.  That got me thinking .. how much truth does she need to know at 3?  How old should a kid be before they know how they really came into the world?  I think that the question of how babies are made can obviously wait several more years, but I feel a bit cowardly for allowing her to think my belly burst open in order for her to be born.  Hmm..

Delaney likes to reminisce sometimes about the "old days," which I believe were just last year.  "Mama, remember when I pooped in my underpants?"  I told her I did.  "And you cleaned me up and put me in the bathtub all by myself, and Annie wasn't allowed in?"  "Yes, I remember."  "Do you remember when I pooped on the princess potty?"  "And you dumped the poop into the big potty?"  And she'll go on and on, asking me if I remember things and laughing with delight at all these poopy memories.  She's at the age where these could be her very first memories for life.  Pooping in her underwear could be the very first thing she remembers even into adulthood.  My very first memory has to do with poop, too.  Like mother like daughter.
One afternoon, I went to check on Delaney around the time naptime should be over, and I found her in this little nest.
I'm guessing she was on a train ride with all her animals, and sleep caught her unawares.
She has turned into a little comedian this month -- or at least she thinks she has.  For instance, while we were eating lunch one day, she suddenly shouted, "You're a peanut-head!"  When I stared at her blankly, she laughed hysterically and said, "It's a joke!"  A moment later, "You're a peanut-head!"  Same reaction, same hysterical laughter and informing me that it was a joke.  "You're a peanut-head!"  To Annie: "You're a peanut-head!"  The repetition finally worked.  I started to crack up a little.  "Where did you even learn that?"  I asked her.  "Who says 'peanut-head'?"  She told me Little Bill.

She's also learned a knock-knock joke, which she loves to tell again and again.  It's the one about "Boo."  "Boo who?"  "Why are you crying?"

A year ago today: Delaney at 2 years, 7 months

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tim's latest project

At the top of my furniture wishlist was a bookshelf for the playroom.  Here was one we liked, currently on special for $239 at Pottery Barn Kids.
Thomas Wide Bookcase

Here is the one that Tim built a couple weeks ago, with less than $100 worth of lumber and paint:
I was thrilled to be able to take all of the girls' books out of storage and put them in this nice big bookshelf.  If only I could get Annie to quit acting like it's her job to pull all of the books out, we'd be all set.

I could really get used to seeing things I like in a catalog, and having Tim build them.  He's the best!