Glance Back at the Week

1. The preschool director had requested a meeting with me last week, to “discuss Bowie’s progress and where he is now”. And I sort of dreaded it, just unsure of what they’d tell me or expect me to say. I met with them this past Tuesday and, oh you guys. Amazing meeting. The teachers are completely floored by his behavior, and how far he’s come. The director said he’s “a completely different kid.” They applauded us for putting him in therapy and being persistent with him over the summer, and they said it has paid off in a major way. And they’d even like to use us as an example for future families who might be hesitant to seek help. I used to cry in their office out of frustration and embarrassment, and that day I was able to get misty out of pride and relief. I knew there had been a change in him, but I wasn’t sure others would be able to see it too. But, they were so surprised, and so happy.

2. So, if you’re a semi-regular reader, then you know I had a salmonella infection in 2006. It was a little bit traumatic, and I talk about it a lot, using my blog as a therapist (thanks you guys, you’re way cheaper than an actual therapist) and I like to get the word out about recalls and warnings. Because it was hell on earth, and I just don’t want to see anyone else get it. But I have to say that lately, I am pretty freaking overwhelmed with the news stories and warnings and recalls and possible contaminations and outbreaks. They are everywhere I turn. Peanut butter and mangoes and lettuce and spinach and canteloupe and tomatoes and ground turkey and MY GOD MAKE IT STOP. It’s enough to make even the bravest eater among us wonder if anything we ever put in our mouths is safe. And being pregnant makes it even scarier, because it’s not just about me right now, ya know? Funny story (also that you’ve probably already heard)–when I went into labor with Bowie, I actually thought I’d contracted salmonella again. The gastrointestinal distress, the abdominal cramping, it was all so reminiscent of my illness. I told my husband to take me to the hospital because I was sick and I didn’t want to hurt the baby. He could see through the crazy and knew I was in labor, but I was inconsolable, surely I’d somehow gotten salmonella again, and now my baby had it too. Wow, the crazy, looking back.

3. Since Tuesday, I have been having some mild cramping and lots of pelvic pressure. I’m sure I have a ways to go yet, but it’s nice to feel like things are progressing a little bit. I am SO hungry. All the time. It’s nuts. (Mmmm, nuts.) And between the peeing, the sore hips, the sweating to death and the insane dreams, sleep is a thing of the past. I’m trying to learn to cope with it, instead of complain about it, because I know I won’t be getting sleep anytime soon.

4. For your weekly dose of insane cute: Bowie found this outfit in the dress up area at school. It’s a witch’s dress, but some of the trim is green with spiders and spiderwebs on it. And he’s totally latched on to the thing, proclaiming it the “Nice Spiderman Princess” outfit. He wears it all afternoon at school, and the other night I just couldn’t get it off of him, so he wore it out to dinner too. And the the whole next afternoon at school, and following evening. It’s so cute and hilarious, and we can’t wait to show him pictures when he graduates high school.

Friday Digest 2

1. So, August. It took forever to get here, but now it’s finally here. This is the last full calendar month I will be pregnant. I mean, even if The Littlest Dude is late, he’ll still be born before the end of September. And if he’s early? He could be born at the end of THIS MONTH. Ecstatic=the only word for how that makes me feel. Here’s some perspective for you: I’ve been pregnant for all of 2012. Yep. Found out right after New Year’s. Think about that for a sec. About ready for this to be over, and the next phase of my life to start. Even though it’s going to be a little bit crazy for a while.

2. After our horrid park experience at the beginning of this week (see last post), we had an amazing experience yesterday. Within minutes of us arriving, Bowie had a small (and I mean small) run-in with another boy around his age, and came up to me and deemed the other kid “mean and stupid.” My heartbeat sped up and I thought, “Here we go again.” And I prepared myself for another embarrassing exit. But, but, but…a few minutes later Bowie was playing alone and the other kid walked up again and pointed out some bird poop. Which they both found completely hilarious. And the other kid says, “Hey, let’s go slide!” Bowie says enthusiastically, “Ok!” And off they went. They went up and down the slide for a solid hour after that, and when I told Bowie it was time to leave, he said, “Not until I’m done sliding with my friend!” This for him was an amazing experience, I’m sure. Especially given that he’d gotten a bad impression of the other boy at first, but was able to overcome that. And given that a couple of times they disagreed on the rules of their sliding game, and they accidentally crashed into each other, and Bowie did fine. In the past, that would have set him off. I can envision him having a great final year at preschool. Which, let me tell you, was NOT what I was thinking just three months ago.

3. Speaking of preschool: 19 days until we’re back. 19 days. 19 days. 19 days.

4. Ran across this quote on Pinterest today: “If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.” Which piqued my curiosity. Not exactly a year ago today, but a year ago Sunday, I was having this conversation. So I have a safe assumption of what was on my mind. And I’m still healing today, but I’m so happy to have come as far as I have, and I’m so, so, so excited for our future, which I surely was not last August.

5. Holla at your girl for being featured on ChatterBlockSF on their list of Best Parenting Blogs in the Bay Area. As always, an honor. Still in complete denial of how many people actually end up here, and actually take a minute to read something. Amazing feeling, and means so much. Thanks to all my readers. And to be included with some of my own favorites (like Using Our Words and Rookie Moms) is so amazing.

And I leave you with probably the cutest dog video I’ve ever seen.

 

Friday Digest

These quickie lists have become sort of my thang for Fridays. I have to come up with some clever title/category for them. Ideas?

1. I’m excited to get caught up in fashion when I’m out of maternity wear. For one thing, I’m very optimistic about my post-baby weight loss. Being on the diabetic diet has helped me stay at a nice, healthy pregnancy weight, and while baby continues to grow, my weight dropped a little, and is now hovering in the area of 160, just 10 measly pounds over where I was before I got pregnant. The OB wasn’t all too happy about my weight at my checkup, but as long as the little man’s doing fine, I’m not going to change my routine. I can’t really do anything differently anyway, I’m not eating any less, just less of the stuff they TOLD me to eat less of! Ok, and also, I spent the year before I got pregnant either thinking I’d be pregnant or feeling pretty depressed, and deciding what to wear everyday was such an afterthought. One of the three pairs of jeans that fit me, a plain t-shirt, a plain sweatshirt, and my Sauconys. Every day. So, I’m excited to break that mold. Experiment with color. Get exciting. And since nothing I owned before will fit me anyway: SHOPPING! I won’t be able to go crazy or anything but, SHOPPING!

2. Yesterday was our 9th wedding anniversary (holla!). Since both of our babysitters recently relocated, and because we’re not super on the ball about making plans ahead of time, we pretty well resigned ourselves to the fact that Bowie would be accompanying us if we decided to go out to dinner. We made reservations at a semi-fancy place, and prepared Bowie for it in the morning. “We’re going to have dinner at a fancy restaurant because today is the day mommy and daddy got married. It’s our ann-i-ver-sary.” He was very excited and chatty about it all the way to school that morning. And, our usual routine at school is to grab a book and get cozy and read it until it’s time to sign in and sing welcome songs. When we got to school he made a mad dash for a “special book”, searching the many bookshelves that dot the whole building, finally finding the book he wanted. It was Froggy Eats Out, which is not only about a little froggy who goes out to eat at a fancy restaurant, but it’s also this froggy’s parents’ anniversary. What?! My kid is so smart and cute, you guys. And he was a (mostly) perfect little angel, and we all had a great dinner. He “dressed up” in his favorite shirt from Hawaii and he even got his own glass tumbler of juice, which was just a little bit too cute. Exhibit A:

3. I’m starting to have those “what was I thinking?!” moments of pregnancy, thinking about the near future. Not in any way like I wish I weren’t pregnant or anything like that, but just, you know, what was I thinking?! I remember having those thoughts with Bowie too. What have I done to our marriage? What have I done to the pets? Will life ever be as simple and carefree as before? (Hints: Improved it. Nothing. No, but you won’t care.) I know it’s just regular old cold feet, but I need those thoughts to just skee-daddle already, I don’t need any extra anxiety right now. No, I really don’t.

4. Today was Bowie’s final therapy session. We might do what the therapist called a “refresher” right after school starts, but he’s pretty well done. It seems like it went so fast, but then I remember we started this whole process back in April. Well, late February if you want to count the first time we met with the teachers about it. Of course he still has his moments, but there have been improvements by leaps and bounds. Today at school, I got to witness him enter into a sensitive situation (another kid got too close for Bowie’s comfort) and raise his hand to act out violently, and then change his mind and not follow through. One of the biggest exhales of my life. His newest challenge is allowing the adults to deal with a peer who is not following the rules. He’s been extremely sensitive to it lately, and the therapist says it’s just because he’s aware now that he’s trying so hard to stay in line, and he doesn’t get why everyone else can’t do that too. Makes sense. But still, another hurdle to overcome.

5. Today was the last day of summer school. Regular school starts back up again August 22. I am 33 weeks pregnant and will be alone with a 4 year old for the next 3 1/2 weeks. Deep breaths, deep breaths.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Five For Friday

These always feel like cheater posts, but people seem to enjoy them. And, it’s Friday, what do you expect?

1. Bowie went to the dentist on Wednesday. He always does so great there. But, that’s not the point of my story. When checking out, we scheduled his next appointment for 6 months from now. The woman asked, “How’s September 21st?” And, I about had a mini heart attack. I managed to babble out the words, “Ummm, I’m having a baby that week.” At which the whole desk staff at the dental office when nuts. So, we made an appointment for early October instead, and as we were leaving she said, “Next time we see you, you will be a big brother!” And I was all, “HOLY CRAP.” Ok, it’s starting to get REAL up in here.

2. When I was pregnant with Bowie, I couldn’t get enough sweets. Which is pretty uncharacteristic for me normally. I would inhale a whole box of those mini brownies from Whole Foods in one sitting. It was terrible. This time around, I do crave sweets. And I don’t know if it’s just less of a craving, or if I’m better at limiting myself this time, or if I’m just too distracted this time to drop everything and eat my weight in chocolate chip cookies. But, I’ve been pretty good about not going overboard with the sugar. So, yay me! We’ll see how long this lasts though.

3. Today Bowie’s preschool will have their Spring parade and egg hunt. Last year, that day was a month later, in April, as they have it near the Easter holiday. That day last year was the day I found out we’d lost the baby. And we had to plaster on smiles and fight through tears while we were there celebrating with the kids. And since my husband came with to school that day, a couple of people I had told about the baby came up to congratulate him, and it was just so…awkward. And painful. And on that day, I literally thought I’d never be happy again. So, to be where I am now during the celebration this year is particularly poignant for me. It’s a sort of threshold that I’m glad to be moving through. Of course, the actual day is still a month away, and I think that day will be hard, but I will get through. I wish I could go back and tell myself that day last year, yes, you will be happy again. And give myself a hug, I was in dire need of hugs back then (not that I wasn’t getting them, but sometimes there just can’t be enough of something, ya know?). If a woman tells you she’s miscarried, don’t say a word, just give her a hug.

4. On a lighter note, I’ve found something to do with Bowie’s Twitter account that I’ve left stagnant for a long time. I used to post cutesy baby stuff, but then there was less of that as he became a running, screaming, bouncing Tasmanian devil. So, I finally figured it out: he’s going around saying some of the funniest stuff these days, and what’s a good 21st century blogging mom going to do with all of that? Publish it on the Internet of course. Enjoy.

5. Sunday is by birthday. Which a month ago I truthfully just shrugged about. Now, as it edges closer and closer, I do care. Why do we women do this to ourselves? Birthdays are going to come and go, year after year, and getting older is inevitable. And really, I should be celebrating that I’m 33. Still in my 30s. Still young. Having fun. The kiddo(s) still little. Things are good. Ok 33, buh-ring it.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

ABCs

Idea for post stolen from Two Adults, One Brown Baby. Fun idea!

A to Z

A. Age: 32 (for a few more weeks)

B. Bed size: California King. For our first real bed purchase from a real mattress store, we decided to go big or go home. All beds seem so small now.

C. Chore that you hate: Taking out the trash. And cleaning the kitty box. And cleaning the toilet. Basically anything that has me fighting my gag reflex.

D. Dogs: Our sweet beagle Newton who now lives with Grandma and Grandpa in Wisconsin because Brien and Bowie were too allergic. Miss you, love bug!

E. Essential start to your day: Tea. I literally don’t do anything in the morning until I have that first cup of Earl Grey in my hand.

F. Favorite color: Tiffany blue.

G. Gold or silver: Silver

H. Height: 5’4″

I. Instruments that you play: Piano. Haven’t really sat down to play in a long time though, unfortunately. Also, started the mandolin a while back, and then, well, motherhood.

J. Job title: Officially: Stay at Home Mom. Once upon a time, I was Editor. But, I got laid off. Still a Writer on occasion. Working on some other stuff too. Stay tuned.

K. Kids: The Bow-man. 3 and 3/4 years old (omg).

L. Live: San Francisco

M. Mother’s name: Shelly (and she’s a Very Bloggy reader. Watch for her comments!)

N. Nicknames: Wethie. It’s a long story.

O. Overnight hospital stays: Just when Bowie was born. Though, I SHOULD have been in the hospital after 8 days of battling salmonella at home, but they thought I had the flu.

P. Pet peeves: Not using turning signals. Fishing for compliments. Bad grammar.

Q. Quote from a movie: Funny, but so true. Sums up my life view pretty well: “Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.” –Woody Allen (Annie Hall)

R: Right or left handed: Right

S: Siblings: Three younger brothers, two older stepbrothers.

T. There wasn’t anything for T. I’m going with Tequila? Yes, please.

U. Underwear: Heather grey. Like the rest of my wardrobe.

V. Vegetable(s) you hate: Onions. Cooked greens (I love greens, but hate when they get soggy).

W. What makes you run late: When Bowie refuses to get shoes on / get clothes on / get into the car.

X. X-rays you’ve had: My hand, when I was a wee one. A window came smashing down on it. But it was not broken. Also, lots of feet X-rays, I have crazy messed-up feet, both have been operated on. My arthritic knee. My wrist, which ended up just having tendonitis. And, dental X-rays. Does an ultrasound count? Had a few of those.

Y. Yummy food that you make: Chicken Apple Basil Salad. A recipe I took from Real Simple and changed to suit my tastes. It’s a crowd pleaser.

Z. Zoo animal: Elephants, they’re my favorite. I also like the big cats and the giraffes. And I could sit and watch meerkats all day. I really love the zoo. And we recently got a membership, I’m super excited about that.

Farmland Adventure

When a toddler is old enough to hold an iPad or a smart phone, and you’re about to embark on a long plane ride–you are inundated into the world of apps for kids. At first it seems silly, apps on these sophisticated devices geared just toward children. But let me tell you, these can be lifesavers on a plane. Or at the grocery store. Or at the doctor’s office. Basically whenever you need them to go against all of their natural toddler instincts, and be focused and quiet instead. They can also be good learning opportunities, if you pick good ones. And it’s always fun to find a great new kids’ app and pass the word on to all the other harried parents.

A friend and fellow San Franciscan Aleks Petrovich, who does fantastic artwork, is getting into the kids’ app game with his company Gnomie. The first app, Gnomie Farmland Adventure, has recently been released for download on iPhone, iPad and Android devices. I’m excited to help get the word out about this fun app for kids.

It’s a fun way to introduce young kids (the app is good for about ages 2 to 5) to farm animals, the sounds they make and how to say the name of each animal in several languages. And there is a music video kids can sing along to and learn more about the farm. The app is very interactive, and easy enough for kids to use on their own. There is even a feature where you can record yourself reading a story for your kids to listen to later. A very fun way to stay involved, even when handing over your iPad to keep ’em quiet.

Good, solid apps for kids that actually teach them something are harder to come by than they should be, in my opinion. But, here is one that fits the criteria. Check it out, and pass the word on! And you can also follow Gnomie on Facebook or Twitter for more info, updates and deals.

A Very Bloggy Christmas

Our holiday consisted of a Christmas Eve with friends, appetizers and plenty of beer and wine, followed by a Christmas day with family and friends, more appetizers and tons of champagne. Also, an amazing, fantastic Boxing Day crab feast, provided by my sister-in-law.

Bowie got some (i.e. 50) Hot Wheels cars and a cool race track with a “hoopty-hoop”(how he says “loopty-loop”) which he played with all morning long.

Hope your holidays were/are filled with all the love, joy and priceless memories they should be.

My Weekend

1. The craft fair was an astonishing success. It took me a full 2 1/2 hours to set up, because I got a little anal about it, but I had the time to spend so, whatever. Not only did I make $400 but also had a total blast. I mean, watching people “ooh” and “aah” over the things that I made, me with my own hands, was so satisfying. Also, did a wee bit o’ networking so I can do more of these kinds of things. Hella awesome.

2. Bowie met a little boy at a holiday party Saturday night who was 2 1/2 years old, and they were best friends for about 5 seconds before wrestling each other all over the living room, like a live, tiny-person WWE match. Ugh, BOYS, with the fighting. I hope it’s a phase.

3. Sunday was sublime. First, we made pancakes for breakfast. Then, we sat in jammies for most of the morning while Huz played a video game and I read a new gardening book my cousin got me for Christmas. Later on in the day, we lit a fire, made some tasty Asian-inspired chicken noodle soup, and decorated our Christmas tree. Which this year sported some hand made ornaments from the kiddo. Priceless.

Hope your weekend was peachy.

The craft fair setup

Gearing Up

I haven’t posted in so long, SORRY ABOUT THAT!

I’m getting ready to sell my jewelry at my first ever craft fair this Saturday at my son’s preschool. And I’m so nervous. There are a million things to do and think about.

I’m measuring time this week in cups of tea and number of things left on my hefty to-do list. All the while, swinging back and forth between extreme optimism that I will make gazillions of dollars and finally feel like my work is paying off, and crushing pessimism that I will look like a fool and no one will buy any of my stuff.

I’m worried I won’t look professional, given my homemade displays and lack of business cards. But then I remember I don’t have to look professional, it’s just a preschool craft fair for Pete’s sakes. And will I make my stuff look too cheap by having too much inventory? But I can practice setting it up, and make sure it doesn’t. SWINGING LIKE A PENDULUM, I tell you.

So, that’s what’s been hogging up all my bloggy time. And my mind power. Be back at you next week, hopefully hundreds of dollars richer.

Once in a Lifetime

When we were planning our wedding, the music we’d use during the ceremony was the very last thing we figured out. We made final choices and burned a CD for the music guy right after the rehearsal dinner.

We ended up going with At Last by Etta James for me walking down the aisle, and My Star by Gameface for when we left. Both songs now hold a very special place in our hearts, even though we were wishy washy about them way back then.

So, a few months ago, my husband strikes up a conversation with Jeff Caudill, lead singer of Gameface, on Twitter. Long story short, Jeff agrees to come up from L.A. and do a private acoustic show in our living room.

It was even more awesome than it sounds. All the nerves and getting the house ready and buying waaaay too much beer and chips at Costco, all totally worth it.

And when he sang his acoustic version of My Star, I cried. Beforehand, I figured I would tear up a little bit. But, no. I CRIED. Bawled like a baby. The margaritas may have had a hand in that, but really it was so amazing. I mean, to sum this up: One of my husband’s favorite rock stars, who sang one of our wedding songs, the lyrics to which are engraved on my wedding band, was singing that song IN OUR LIVING ROOM.

It was amazing. If he ever gets around to reading this, thanks Jeff, it was wonderful. And thanks to my amazing husband for pulling it all together.