Change

Monday, October 27

I've seen the saying, over and over, "The days are long but the years are short." I don't like it because I couldn't disagree more. Yes, the years are short. It seems like just yesterday my sweet baby was born. Like I just brought him home. And sometimes when I look at him, I'm shocked that he's not really a baby, but a real, full-on toddler. But the thing is, my days are all incredibly short, too. Sure. I occasionally have days that stretch out, and sometimes, rarely, I look forward to bedtime. But if I'm being honest, then I'll tell you that my days pass in what seems like an instant, and I hate it.

Most days, we wake up and and the day starts in a flurry.  We cook breakfast. Always cheesy scrambled eggs for my little sugar lump, and always raisin bran for me.  We clean up and then usually head to the park so I can get some exercise in and Clark can play on the slides. And then maybe we run an errand, and it's already time to come home, eat lunch and nap. And maybe there is something wrong with me (probably), but I spend at least half of Clarks naptime missing him. Knowing he needs 2-3 hours of sleep to be well rested and happy, but secretly wishing he would wake up soon so I can just see his sweet face again and hug his neck and play with him.

And then he does wake up, and the afternoon is a flurry of more activity. Playing outside. Playing in his kitchen inside. Torturing the dogs. Helping mommy with chores. And before you know it, it's time to start dinner. Dinner leads into the nightly dog walk, which leads right into bathtime, and then bed. And so, every single night around dinnertime, I get sad that yet another day has passed. Just like that. It's over. How does it go so quickly? I wish I could add more hours to my day. Spend more time with Clark. Freeze time maybe. I'm in no hurry for him to get even a single day older. 

And meanwhile, there's this other baby, growing and growing, and I SWEAR, trying to claw it's way out lately.  So things are going to change, and I have all sorts of anxiety about that.

I read this blog once (can't find the exact entry but the blog can be found here) that really resonated with me.  The writer basically said that at the end of every summer, she feels like she's climbing to the top of a slide.  And when she gets to the top, she's going to take this glorious ride down to the bottom.  And the ride will go so fast and be so thrilling but it will be over in a minute.  She was talking about how much she loves fall, and all the things her family looks forward to each fall, and how exciting it is.  The anticipation.  And the descent, despite how fast it goes.  Something like that.

I loved the entry because it perfectly summed up how I feel so often in my life.  Like anticipation is mounting for something new and exciting.  And even though I know the fun and exciting moments sometimes pass quickly, I live for that anticipation.  I love it.  And I feel like I'm mounting a giant slide now.

The next few months are full of so many unknowns for us.  We are about to have another baby. A BABY!  And, I mean, first of all, is it a boy or a girl?  So exciting.  And when will the baby arrive?  What will his or her story be?  How will Clark do as a big brother?  What will our first Christmas be like as a family of four?  Will we be a family of four by Thanksgiving maybe?  I love not knowing any of these answers.

And meanwhile, sometime around Christmas, we could maybe find out where we are moving this summer.  I know some people are anxious about the unknown, and it IS true...I'm excited to see where the Air Force sends us next, and excited to plan for a new city and a new home. But until I find out, I LOVE the building anticipation.  Love it.  I love not knowing.  Will we move somewhere with four seasons (please dear Jesus!)?  Will we live near mountains?  Or an ocean?  Or maybe in another country?  I crave change and I'm so excited for the next chapter to unfold.

But as I anticipate all of these huge changes coming our way, I'm also a little anxious.  I know that this special time with my boy is quickly coming to an end.  Because there IS something special about having just one child, isn't there?  From the time he was a newborn, I used to think, "Man.  One baby is pretty easy.  You can throw one baby in the car and drive anywhere.  Do anything.  Just you two..."  So two will be a change.  And I already know that maybe things won't be quite so easy anymore.  And I know that my boy won't get my full undivided attention anymore, and it makes me sad.

So.  For these last few weeks, I'm just reveling in it.  Loving and soaking up every single moment with my baby.  I find myself being exceptionally unproductive sometimes, because I just want to sit and BE with him.  Enjoy him while it's still just us two.  Me and him.  In our own little world.  Before everything changes.

Staycation in Triage

Tuesday, September 30

Jared is home. Finally. I shouldn't complain, because yes, people single parent all the time for longer than a month (and they deserve a medal), but when Jared was in Houston for a month for this last rotation, it was a little rough. Mainly because Clark and I were both sick, and I ONCE AGAIN had to take Clark to the ER by myself. Sixteen months old, three ER trips in his life, and Jared has not been around for a single one. Wahhh, right? But really. What good is it being married to a doctor if he's never around during a medical emergency?! (A question I think many of my friends also ask themselves, right?)

The night before Jared came home, I started to have some pretty intense Braxton Hicks contractions. I get them often and I've had them since about twelve weeks, so it doesn't normally worry me, but these were strong enough to keep me awake that night. And then the next day they seemed to just get more intense and more frequent despite my water-chugging and (mostly failed) attempts to "put my feet up." Because I have a toddler, remember?!

So when Jared finally walked in the door around 5:00pm that day, after having been gone for a month and just driving for three hours, he walked in, timed my contractions for me, and then forced me to relax, eat some dinner, and then eventually go to L&D just to get checked. Because going into REAL labor at 29 weeks would be less than ideal. Obviously. 

So I reluctantly changed into some yoga pants, grabbed my cell phone charger and my bag, and off I went, while Jared was left behind to clean up dishes and chase Clark around. I got to the hospital, walked up to L&D and within about five minutes, I was wearing a gown and laying on the bed getting monitors strapped on my belly. 

And now here's the thing. Just as I was opening my granola bar to snack on and the nurse was bringing me my second giant cup of ice water, I realized how amazing this entire situation was turning out to be. I was most likely only dehydrated-something Jared and I already figured was the problem. And yes, they gave me an IV for fluids. 

BUT. 

I got to spend two hours lounging in a dimmed room, laying in a bed doing absolutely nothing while wearing slippers and a gloriously comfortable hospital gown. I got to eat my snacks I packed, read my Nook that I had thoughtfully brought along, and listen to my baby's heartbeat the whole time. Which is heavenly. Because it turns out when you are pregnant with your second baby, you spend WAY less time focusing on the actual baby while you are pregnant because, quite frankly, the first baby is an attention hog. So to lay there and just hear the new baby's heart for awhile was sweet. 

And then I called Jared to tell him I was fine and see how he was faring, and he was still doing dishes. Trying to wrestle Clark into the bathtub. He apparently had a pile of dog vomit waiting to be cleaned up, and bedtime was quickly approaching. And as I hung up the phone, I realized that this little trip to L&D was heavenly. It was basically a little staycation-just me and new baby- and I loved it. EVERY SINGLE RELAXING SECOND.

So I asked the nurse for another blanket and some graham crackers (please!), and I snuggled in and read three more chapters of my book. Had one little test to confirm I was okay, finished my fluids, and was sent home.

Twently minutes later, I walked into a clean, quiet house and basically IT WAS THE BEST NIGHT EVER.

(PS: Standard for the win. Again.)


Fifteen Months: The ramblings of a crazy mom

Monday, September 1


(He's wearing self-applied bronzer in this picture, FYI.)

Life with Clark at 15 months is outrageous.  And I mean that in the best possible way. When Clark turned one in May, it was as though he immediately morphed into a toddler. He will always be my baby, but I'm pretty sure no one else sees a baby when they look at him. Especially when he's just casually walking up and down the aisles of every store EVER pulling items out one by one and throwing them on the floor, leaving a path of destruction for his poor mom who is chronically two feet behind him, trying to bend over and pick everything up.  (A challenge since my belly is currently the size of a McMansion, by the way.) 

FULL. ON. TODDLER. 

Which really means full on HUMAN, you know what I mean? Suddenly Clark has opinions about things. And preferences. And even more importantly, now that he can walk and communicate, he has the ability to make these opinions known AND....walk away from me if he doesn't like what's happening.  And honestly, until you have a child, you really don't understand how quickly they can run away from you.  Their little legs are like freaking spider legs, and I swear Clark can run faster than me.

I recently read some stupid article on Facebook written by some BRITISH NANNY, which immediately annoys me because who the heck cares if she's BRITISH?  An accent does not make you smart, right?  But anyway.  She made all these points about raising children that aren't spoiled, and one of her rules was to not give in to a toddler when he or she wants a particular cup or spoon or whatever.  And you know what?  Whatever. When Clark has an opinion about which sippy cup he'd like to use, at this point, I think it's great.  It tells me he can recognize colors, and he's able to find small differences in mundane things.  I mean, don't I do that every day?  I drink coffee from the same stupid green mug every. single. morning.

Except THIS morning because our Keurig broke, and you know what?  Completely unacceptable.  How am I supposed to survive life with a miniature tornado, single handedly I might add! (Jared's gone for awhile), with no caffeine?  Today I had to make two emergency trips to McDonald's for coffee until I finally broke down and went to HEB to buy a mini coffee maker and old-fashioned filters for a total of $9.  I'm so depressed.

And now, lest anyone think I'm complaining or whining, I would like to state for the record that 15 months is probably the most fun age we've experienced yet.  I absolutely love this age.  I mean, sure, there are moments that are completely terrifying.  Like when Clark is chewing on something and I squeeze his cheeks and a drywall screw flies out.  Or when I DARE to walk into another room long enough to plug my phone into the wall, and return to find Clark standing up in the middle of the dining room table, literally trying to hang from the chandelier.  Or when it gets really quiet all at once, and I find Clark sitting on my bathroom floor eating adult toothpaste directly out of the tube, and I have to google "fluoride poisoning.").  Really though, it's mostly fun.  The fun outweighs the scary.  I think.

At fifteen months, Clark...

...still eats anything and everything.  The only food he won't eat is yogurt.  His favorite foods are brussels sprouts, broccoli, curry and apples.  I don't understand it either, but we are riding this train as long as we can.

...loves to be naked.  But isn't that all boys?

...wears a stethoscope around his neck all day long for some reason.  You can't remove it or he will cry and it's just too pitiful.

...is the biggest helper.  He loves to help me unload the dishwasher and throw things in the garbage.  Sometimes he does the latter without being asked which makes us wonder if maybe our video camera is somewhere in a dump in New Jersey?  Because it's no longer in our home.  Anywhere.

...loves to lift my shirt and give the baby kisses.  Also, inexplicably, likes to pull my shirt down in public and expose my boobs to strangers.  Not sure if the two are related.

...loves music and knows how to turn on his music on the stereo.  And hey, in case you were wondering, you won't ACTUALLY go insane if you listen to "Rise and Shine" (the Noah and the Ark song) 55 times, although you may want to bang your head into the wall for some mental relief.  I wouldn't judge.

...loves coloring and writing his "name" with crayons.  We are working very hard on learning to color only on paper.  There is currently a trail of green crayon across my tile floors and on my white couch, and whoever labeled the crayons as washable is a complete liar.

...can point to the parts of his body.  So far, he knows hands, nose, eyes, ears, hair, toes and belly button.  I often ask him to point out mommy's body parts too, and when we get to belly button, Jared says its actually an unfair question, since mommy doesn't even have a belly button anymore.  He's right.  But it's sort of fun to confuse a baby, okay?

...loves to hug everyone.  Adults, other babies, the dogs.  He will wrap his arms around anything that has a neck and sweetly pat his hands on their backs.  We are working on being more gentle with the dogs.

...doesn't say many words.  But dang, that baby hears EVERYTHING.  If you even mention the bathtub, he will walk to his bathtub and wait for you.  Mention taking the dogs on a walk, and he will go get their leashes out.  Say something about the garbage, and he will start throwing things away.  I wonder when people start using Pig Latin?  We may be close.  In the meantime, he's being very good about following simple directions.

...has eight teeth.  And they are adorable little chompers!  

...absolutely CANNOT have his feet covered when put to bed. The blanket must neatly stop at his ankles, okay?

...likes to talk on the phone. And by "phone" I mean anything that can be held to your ear and jabbered into. Bananas, shoes, tubes of diaper rash cream. It all works.

...enjoys taking his plastic turtle on walks around the house. He just pulls it behind him with the attached string, stoping every few paces to turn around and make sure he's still there. Then ONWARD they go.

Fifteen months is amazing.  Clark will be eighteen months when the new baby comes, so let's hope the fun continues to outweigh the scary, shall we?