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Archive for July, 2012

This is where I tell you I’m going to dutifully write weekly pregnancy updates from now until Sammy Davis Junior Junior makes his grand debut on the sunny side of my uterus and I stand by writing this as long as you all know that in all actuality it has about a 4% chance of happening. Did that make sense? No? Eh. The point is, is that I’m going to try to document the third trimester of this pregnancy in the hopes that I will one day re-read this and remember what a special magical time this is, or maybe more probable, to NOT EVER DO THIS AGAIN.

So let’s sum up the first 26 weeks of the pregnancy so we’re all on the same page…

Week 1: This is {TMI!} actually the first day of the last period I had. It was a pretty shitty day, considering we’d been trying to conceive and now I knew for certain that not only was I not pregnant but another grueling month of terrible, awful sex would now be on the docket. {Anyone who has ever had trouble conceiving knows that sex is all fine and good until you have to do it on a schedule and ohmygod ALL of the nights in a row, and you’re tired and it’s just sooooo muuuuch woooooooorrrrrk}. Anyway to make matters worse I was signed up for centers that morning in Rowan’s class and it also just so happened to be the day that one of the kid’s parents brought in their teeny tiny 6 day old baby for show and tell. I may or may not have had to excuse myself to the hall so I could hide from the adorable newborn lest I start sobbing and freaking out 29 Kindergartners.

Week 2-3: Aforementioned grueling schedule of terrible, awful sex {uh, Bill if you’re reading this, it’s not you…it’s me. Except it’s still kind of you.

Week 4: Am I? Yes, I totally am. Oh of course I’m not, it’s never going to happen. But maybe yes? NO DUMMY, NEVER. But possibly?

Week5: Is that a line? Um, it’s pretty faint. They say if it’s there at all it means yes but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t count if you have to stand on your head and cross your eyes to see it. BILL!! Am I imagining this? What do you mean there’s nothing there?! Quick! Stand on your head and cross your eyes…see, I TOLD you.

?!?!?!?!?!?! With my other pregnancies, both lines where immediately, unmistakably dark blue. After many tests, this is the darkest line I ever got this time around which completely confused me.

78 dollars worth of pregnancy tests later? Totally pregnant! Now I have to wait to see if the puking starts to know if I have a viable pregnancy.

5 weeks, 6 days: PUKE! YAY … sort of. Hormone check at OB confirms I have enough HCG to support a litter of gunterlings so yup, there’s a real, live baby in there.

6-14 weeks: Complete. Utter. Misery. Only time I leave my bed is to dry heave/throw up. Try desperately to keep small amounts of food down for an hour or two so I can avoid the hospital where they will fill me with fluids and high doses of zofran so I feel human for roughly 6 hours before crashing back down into terribleness. Do not want.

15 Weeks: manageable days start to invade the awfulness. I get out of the house a few times, with varying degrees of success. I can sit upright on the couch for portions of most days instead of being bed-ridden.

16 weeks: had a pretty good week! Starting to feel human again!

16 weeks.

Weeks 17-19: Worst sinus infection known to man, a side effect of which is throwing up from all the goo dripping down into my delicate flower of a stomach. Remember that whole fucking ONE week I went without puking?! THAT WAS NICE.

Week 20: Slowly recovering. Starting to take over with the kids full time again. Starting to look like a real live pregnant person. Sort of.

21 weeks.

Week 21 Sammy Davis Junior Junior is a Boy!! WOOT.

23 weeks!

Weeks 22-24: Finally feeling relatively good. Like so good I’m invincible! Do invincible people let babies push them around and make them throw up? Do invincible people need Zofran, a powerful anti-emesis drug? UM, I DON’T THINK SO.

25 weeks: Quit taking zofran.

25 weeks, 1 day: God, I feel awesome. Probably because I AM super awesome.

25 weeks, 2 days: Yep. Still rocking the awesome.

25 weeks 3 days: Hmm..I feel a little less awesome today. I’m probably just tired from being so awesome all those other days. Even awesome people need a-

25 weeks 4 days: PUKE. NAUSEA. FIRE. BRIMSTONE. ET CETERA. I had maybe not told Bill the first 2 days because I knew he wouldn’t agree with my decision to go off the pills but by the third day I confessed and boy was I right, which is all I thought while I  listened to him lecture me about how I tried to go off zofran with Rowan and Keaton later in my pregnancies and how it didn’t go so well either time and GOD he talks a lot, blah de blah blah. Well on day four, even though I wasn’t feeling great, I had a point to prove {which, if you’ve forgotten, was that I was awesome} so I smugly told him I’d have a nice big breakfast which he skeptically made and when I sat down and looked at the eggs, hash browns and toast I promptly ran to the bathroom and huuuuuuuuurrrrrrllllleeeeddd. When I opened the door, there he stood with a glass of water in one hand, my pill in the other and a rather stern look on his face that clearly said QUIT BEING DUMB, DUMMY. After three days of awful nausea as I let the drug work its way back into my system…

week 26: I was right as rain, which brings us to…

Today!

27 weeks and apologies for the crappy camera phone/ghetto bathroom mirror pics but after having exactly 7 photos combined of my pregnancies with Rowan and Keaton, I thought it would be nice to document this one a little better but I’m not actually committed enough to pull my nice camera out or have someone else shoot me for the occasion; Lazy, etc.

Other things I’ve learned in the last 27 weeks…

After a slow start, this baby is extremely active. I’m 90% positive the child is training for the Olympics in there and I just don’t have the heart to tell him that he’s going to be a couple of months late for his event which must be something in the gymnastics category for all the flipping going on. The boy kicks me wide awake at three in the morning, like, “sorry mom, this is when I like doing my jumping jacks and squats and some nights a few high kicks because that’s how I roll”.

Got his first case of hiccups on July 12, which would have been precious had I not been trying to drift off to sleep at 11pm.

Hates it when I cross my legs, and will kickKickKICK me in the cervix until I uncross them.That’s not nice, Baby.

I’ve also learned that while symptom-wise my pregnancies are largely the same, each one comes with its own unique properties. This time, it’s GIGANTIC knockers. Since I was about 15 years old I’ve been a 34B. Over the years I might fluctuate between Barely B or a B and a Half, minus those first couple of months of nursing when, holy hell, your boobs are giant triple D’s no matter what. This pregnancy, for whatever reason, I got the giants right away and they are ridiculous. And obnoxious. What do you even DO with boobs this big besides strap them down the best you can and try not to get hypnotized by your own incredibly impressive cleavage? Also I’m sort of scared shitless at how much bigger they’ll get when they actually have a job to do when the baby comes.

I think that’s it for this week! Tune in next week when I discus how much I’ve fallen in love with, not my baby {although he’s pretty great, too} but ALL OF THE ADORABLE BABY ETSYNESS because oh Lord, there is so much cute.

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Oh…hi! Remember when I used to blog about, uh, you know…stuff? Yeah. I kind of quit doing that with any sort of regularity and now when I write I feel the need to try to re-cap weeks or even months of activity for our little family and these posts are long, wordy, self-important look-at-what-my-precious-babies-are-doing-even-though-all-the-other-precious-babies-are-doing-the-same-goddamn-things and quite frankly they are as exhausting to write as I’m sure they are to read. What I’m saying is, I’m going to stop doing that. HA! Just kidding. I’m going to do it right now because I have woefully neglected to write Rowan’s end of the year re-cap and Internet? It was an amazing year that deserves to be re-lived on these blog pages. I’ll do my best to keep it short {just so you all realize my version of short is three, uh… seven, uh… 1000 times longer than anyone else’s. Sorry about that.}

Who ordered a Rowan on the rocks?

At this time last year I was so extremely relieved that the summer had come so we could leave that awful year and awful teacher in the dust. We knew the first grade teacher at that school had a great reputation so even though I wasn’t excited for Rowan to return there in the fall we were at least hopeful that she would have a better year. Then things changed. After we made the tough decision to hold her back when we were offered the spot at her current school we made our peace but still fretted over any repercussions we might face for “red-shirting” a very academically solid 1st grader back to Kindergarten.

A year later, with our Hindsight-is-20/20 goggles firmly in place, here is what I have to tell you…

Academic Cons: I think Rowan slipped at bit in math. One of the biggest arguments against holding your child back is that the earlier you get the knowledge in, the better it will stick; the 5-6 year old brain is more malleable than the 6-7 year old brain and all that jazz. Rowan ended her first year of K very solid in math knowledge. More so than the age factor though was that her last school was VERY math centric. About a third of the way into the school year they had workbook pages in math homework nearly every night for the rest of the year. By the end of the year she was adding, subtracting and counting money on her own with ease.

Having to start over at the beginning of the year with stuff like writing the numbers and counting to 50 was boring for her and by mid-year when they were starting in on the more difficult concepts she slid and honestly she lost a fair amount of the knowledge she had acquired the previous year especially when it came to identifying and counting actual money. Her current school doesn’t focus much on homework for Kindergarten, choosing instead to promote the classroom-home connection, meaning that every week we were given tons of info on what the kids were doing during the day and specific ideas on how to incorporate those ideas into our everyday home-life. Such as, “we are learning to count by 2’s, please sing this “Doubles Rap” with your child every night”, or “here are the sight words we’re working on, please place them on cards around your house and have your child find and read them”. Also this school places equal value on reading and math whereas the previous school didn’t do anything for reading outside of one month where we counted up how many books Rowan read or was read to for an end-of-the-month reward. {In fact, when I asked her teacher if she had any tips or resources for helping Rowan with a few phonics issues, she gave me a puzzled look and said “oh, they just figure it out on their own”. WHAT?! This might be true for some kids- it actually was in Rowan’s case for the most part, but COME ON, LADY. As a kid who struggled with reading big time, that sort of outlook is absolute CRAP, especially for an educator.}

Anyway! By the end of the year, with a little effort Rowan picked things up and is doing just fine at math but I definitely did see a back-slide due to the school/curriculum change. Other than that there have been exactly zero other academic cons that I can see at this point. Her reading took off ZOOOOOOM even though the curriculum was definitely set up for pre-reading, and this is due to having an awesome teacher and a school that was willing to work with her abilities. About mid way through the year, she gained the confidence to read chapter books “inside her brain” instead of out loud and has been devouring any Cam Jansen, Jigsaw Jones or Disney Fairy series book that she can get her hands on as well as reading storybooks to her brother almost every night. After years of reading out loud to a child and then months and months of having them stumble their way through easy readers, it’s a pretty flipping gratifying experience to wonder why the hell things have all of a sudden gotten so quiet and when you rush into the bedroom, find your 6 year old curled up on the bed next to the cat deeply engrossed in a good story.

Social cons: NONE. ZERO. I thought there would be some issues but there was absolutely not. Rowan made friends with just about every kid in her class and had no issues with her peers. At the beginning of the year she reported some behaviors by a girl in her class- you know the one who is 5 going on 15? The mean girl who tells secrets and tries to dictate who to and not to be friends with and makes you feel like a queen one minute and a pile of shit the next? Also known as THE GIRL WHO IS NOT EVEN SUPPOSED TO EXIST FOR AT LEAST 8-10 YEARS? Yeah, so that one tried her bullshit out on Rowan, who sort of half-mentioned some random incidents before coming to me at the end of the second week of school with the conclusion that this girl wasn’t kind to her friends so she was just going to play with other kids who were kind. I commended her on her analysis and decision, not wanting to make too big a deal out of it but in my mind I gave that child a stupid-proud grin and the kind of standing ovation where your hands go numb from clapping so hard.

As for the pros? Confidence. When you are the smallest kid, no matter how big a personality you have, you tend to be overlooked {except during those times when all the kids take turns picking you up and {literally} pass you around because “look at how small Rowan is, I can pick her up!” *passes my child to the next kid* “Ha! Me too!”}. There was only one other kid who even came within two inches of Rowan’s height that first year but all the rest were a good head-plus taller. She looked out of place and while that would never have merited a good enough reason to hold her back on its own, it certainly played a role in the grand scheme of things. At the beginning of this year it was so weird to see her fit in size-wise even though it didn’t last. I’d say at the beginning of the ’11-’12 school year Rowan was in the top third of her class height-wise but even though she gained two inches or so over the course of the school year, by the last week there she was, all 44 inches and 37 pounds of her, having been passed up by most of her classmates, she was one of the shortest again although this time the difference isn’t so huge.

And size wasn’t the only confidence builder. Having gone through K before, we talked a lot about her being a “professional” so it was up to her to set a good example for the other kids. This is a job she really took to heart both at school and dance. She went from getting “table time” and “frowny faces” on a daily basis the previous year to getting no “red lights” and only 4 “yellow lights” during the course of the entire year. That is amaze-balls, people. How many of us can say we only had 4 off days during the last nine months of our lives? I certainly can’t. A big part of this can be traced back to having a teacher that has more in her bag of tricks than punitive measures but we really noticed a huge difference in Rowan’s happiness in school which SURPRISE! Led to better behavior in all aspects of her life.

Would I make this decision again? IN A HEARTBEAT. Kindergarten is an adjustment for any kid and all kids are bound to have some struggles along the way, but what we went through that first year was beyond ridiculous. I have no doubt had Rowan been able to start out at her current school there would have definitely been a few more bumps but it would have been nothing like that first year. She would have thrived in the positive environment and would now be a second grader, but I think honestly she is where she’s meant to be and for that I am thankful.

That positive environment was definitely the other biggest pro. Listen, I get that there needs to be punitive measures for bad behavior. Kids can sometimes be assholes and assholes need to know their behavior isn’t welcome- But it should never be the first direct approach you take with 5-6 year olds. At this age these little beings WANT you to love them, they want to please you. An 8-10 year old who knows the ropes but screws around anyway, sure, call them out, separate them, send them to the principal’s office- whatever, but a five year old? JUST NO.

After spending a year in a positive environment, these were the things Rowan was willing to attempt outside of school that she was convinced she could not or would not ever do:

Ride her bike sans trainers. BAM.

Be a leader in dance after a really tough first year. BAM.

Get up in front of a big audience to perform her piano recital piece darn near perfectly. BAM.

Practice monkeybars, jumprope and cartwheels and other super scary/hard things for kids with vestibular disorders and low upper body muscle tone over and over and over. BAM

Get her ears pierced even after swearing she would rather die a cold, long death than put holes in her ears. Double BAM.

Just being another year older played a factor in things I’m sure, but I’m willing to bet that hearing “I know you can do this!” day in and day out helped Rowan to see that she wasn’t going to get yelled at or shunned to the back of the room every time she didn’t get something right on the first couple of tries. That it was OK to make mistakes as long as you did your best. That the mistake wasn’t the biggest deal and that apologizing, making it right and moving on go a LONG way. That learning from love yields WAY better results than learning from fear.

And you know what, kid? You CAN do this. All of it. Because you’re pretty awesome.

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