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Posts Tagged ‘They love each other sometimes!’

We had a busy morning! We went to visit Rowan’s first grade class where she got to show off her new brother and answer important questions like what kind of ice cream the baby liked {…milk ice cream?} and what her favorite part is about being a big sister. She loved sitting up at the front of the class and calling on friends who had questions. One friend asked how long his feet were so the teacher got out a ruler and Rowan got to measure his hands and feet and report the findings. Babies are so educational.

Then we headed over to Keaton’s preschool to do mystery reader. Bill said a few things behind a curtain so that the kids could guess who it was- after the last sentence we heard Keaton shout out “That’s MY dad!!!” It was incredibly cute and he was so surprised and excited that we came to see him at school. We went into the room and when I set the baby down 18 little preschoolers surrounded his carrier and just stared at Ezra and it was about the cutest thing on planet earth to hear the hushed preschooler whispers of “Look at his teeny tiny hands!”

Getting out to let the kids show their brother off was one of my few goals to accomplish while Bill was home and even though it was a hectic morning getting us all ready, I’m so glad we could pull it off. Three is a lot… and having Bill home to help these first few weeks is absolutely invaluable. Last night we got all kids bathed in record time and I seriously contemplated why they don’t give out medals for this shit. It’s hard. And it’s wonderful. And sometimes I lose patience and say things I shouldn’t. And then we all snuggle up on our bed to read Harry Potter and everything’s okay again. We’re learning together how to be a family of five and while there are some moments it feels all wrong, mostly it’s just about the best thing ever.

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Look what I got for you, Internet! A non-ghetto, non-cell phone pregnancy picture! I KNOW! Just what you’ve aaaaaaalways wanted.

You’re super welcome.

Out of the bathroom and everything! I know. You didn’t think I had it in me.

The kids have already been great big siblings, always asking to give the baby hugs and kisses in the morning and before bed.

Of course before Keaton gives him a kiss he always asks where the baby’s bottom is positioned and when I show him he promptly kisses it and then breaks out in a fit of giggles, “Haha I kissed your butt, Baby!” I’m not gonna lie… this sort of makes me wonder what the hell I’m going to do with another potty-humored boy in the house. {Probably work on perfecting my serious face after I’ve turned around and laughed myself, because, well, he did just kiss his butt and sometimes that shit’s just funny.}

Hopefully sometime in the next two and a half weeks we’ll be able to meet this little guy. Both Rowan and Keaton came during the 38th week {38 weeks 6 days, and 38 weeks 2 days respectively} but that’s obviously no guarantee. As my mother likes to remind me, she had five kids and all of them came early except one. Can you guess which one was not just a few days, but almost two full weeks late? Yeah. So maybe I sort of deserve a late one but with the number of birthdays that reside at the end of this month and early November between our two families, I really hope he takes pity on me and comes earlyish to mid-October.

At my 37 week check last week SDjrjr’s heart-rate was pretty low and I had previously mentioned that his movements had slowed considerably so the doctor I saw {who is not my midwife because my midwife is out of town for the next week and a half HAHA ISN’T THAT FUNNY? {No. No it is not}.} hooked me up to the monitor to make sure he was doing OK in there. He remained quiet for the first 20 minutes or so but then kicked it up a few notches so that the doctor was satisfied enough to proclaim him too sleepy/lazy/out of room to get really worked up for a higher heart rate and I was thankfully cleared to go home.

They also monitored me for contractions which I was indeed having but since I was not feeling them at all, they didn’t even check me for dilation/effacement. That night I woke up at 1:37am mid-contraction, and not the wussy Braxton-Hicks ones I’ve been having every time I over-do it, a full-blown UM, OUCH contraction. I had one every 10-12 minutes for the next hour and a half, during which I took the time to have a heart to heart with my unborn son about how I did not order a SEPTEMBER baby, I ordered an OCTOBER baby so he could just SIMMER THE FUCK DOWN in there. And he did. Because he is already a better listener than his siblings and he’s not even born yet. I fell back to sleep around 3:30am and have not had a “real” contraction since, so all’s well.

Other than that, I’ve packed the baby’s bag for the hospital and washed/prepped all the hippie diapers and clothes that he’ll need for the first few weeks. The crib and bassinet are assembled and the car seat is ready to be installed. I also spent 4.5 years composing a schedule and instruction manual for the care of my two giant children. With the nutty dance schedule we have this was no small feat but 17 pages later, I hope someone besides me can figure it out.

In other news…

“I have a hole in my face!”

This is the third year Rowan has had to watch the tooth chart in her classrooms fill up, the majority of the kids having lost multiple teeth. The insult was even greater felt this year as she knows she is one of the oldest in her class and had yet to lose even one. At her last dental check the dentist assured us that her bottom two front teeth were on their way to becoming loose and he predicted they would be out by late fall. I have no idea how he could tell because this was back in July and they weren’t the slightest bit wobbly but lo! and behold! and etc.!

A little boy at school had lost his bottom two at school earlier in the week and had swallowed one of them which caused Rowan to stress out about swallowing her own very loose tooth. She spent all of last Thursday night wiggling and wiggling the thing, in hopes it would come out easily but no such luck. It was way past bedtime and even though we tried to assure her she wouldn’t swallow it, she proceeded to have a mental breakdown over a teeny-tiny piece of enamel. Which… ugh. There was nothing we could say or do. After multiple refusals to have Bill attempt to gently tug at it to get it out, we gave up, put Keaton down for the night and left her alone in the bathroom with her tears and her wiggly tooth. Three minutes later she waltzed out with the reddest, puffiest eyes you have ever seen and a big smile with a small hole in it. “I got it out! I didn’t swallow it!” She was so proud, all the drama of the previous hour or so completely forgotten, for she held the promise of a fairy visit in her palm.

She requested we wait to put the tooth under her pillow until the following night as she wanted to hold onto her hard-won prize for a day or so. So the next night we placed the tooth in the small tooth-box I purchased earlier that day and set it on her dresser. {She asked to put the tooth on her dresser instead of under her pillow, “What if it falls down behind the bunk-beds?!” which, let me tell you, suited the tooth fairy juuuust fine.} That night the fairy did not disappoint and in the morning she was rewarded with a small Polly Pocket, a book and three dollars, with the stipulation that the first tooth is special and after this she would just be given a handful of coins. {Which will probably, sadly, be filched from her own piggy bank because I am never prepared for this sort of thing. Oh I’m kidding! I’ll steal them from Keaton’s piggy bank, he’ll never notice.}

Other than that bit of big news? We’re just trying to savor our last couple of weeks as a family of four…

Which is doing a nice job of distracting us from the anticipation of becoming a family of five..

Because we’re so excited to meet this little guy. {Belly close-up courtesy of Keaton, photographer esq.}

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…of the baby of course, get your mind out of the gutter, Internet. Our big anatomy scan is at the end of the week and it is just now starting to hit me that we might very well know if Sammy Davis Junior Junior is a boy or a girl by the end of the appointment. I always find it hard to get excited about these ultrasounds, mostly because I’m riddled with anxiety that the baby will be healthy and have all its major interior and exterior body parts working well and accounted for. It definitely helps that I had a scan at 10 weeks and there on the screen we saw a wee little head, and two arms and two legs flailing around, but still, it seems like so many things can go wrong and even though our combined genetic histories put us at nearly zero percent for defects or worse, stranger things have happened.

So to distract myself from the stress of those thoughts that I can’t seem to shut off, let’s relive how I found out what Rowan and Keaton were going to be because if my past has taught me anything it is ALL BETS ARE OFF, when it comes to expectations for finding out the sex of your baby.

{Author’s note~ This post some how got obnoxiously long {I seriously have a shutting-up problem, I promise to get it properly evaluated by a physician at some point}, in case you don’t want to read it or give up half-way through to save your eyeballs, I will sum up thusly: We will hopefully be finding out the sex of the baby in a couple of days and we really don’t care either way, The End.}

From a very young age I wanted only boys. I grew up in a neighborhood of boys. Boys were easy. You played in the dirt in the morning, played baseball in the afternoon, rode bikes in the evening and probably topped off the day back in the dirt. I liked playing with boys because I liked how boys played. At school I tried playing with girls, but there were just so. many. rules. And if you screwed up those rules you were unceremoniously banished from the game only to be the favorite again the next week. Though I definitely had tomboy tendencies, I liked playing girly things just fine as a kid {I did have three sisters after all, two older ones that I idolized and a younger one I liked to boss around} but I did NOT like the way girls played. If a boy was mad at you he maybe called you a stinky fart face or something similarly poetic, punched you on the arm and then you could all move on with the game. If a girl got mad at you it was a roller coaster of psychological manipulation and abuse for what could be weeks or months on end, depending not so much on the infraction but on the vindictiveness of that particular girl. This is the main reason why I wanted boys and only boys, the other small part being that, well, Christy as a teenager? Ugh. No thank you. No one needs a repeat of that shit.

When I got pregnant with Rowan, I kindly informed Bill that his only job was to ensure that I only received Y chromosomes from his supply, which I think was a pretty reasonable request, don’t you? {This isn’t a trick question, the answer here is YES.} After all, I had to have my head hanging in a toilet for months on end only to have my lady bits assaulted with something that GOOD LORD just does not seem conducive to its size. I was so confident after the pain and suffering of those first four months that little baby Jesus would bestow upon me the boy I wanted so dearly. And really when you took into account that Bill had an impressive amount of cousins that were having babies at the same time and they were all birthing BOYS, every single last one of them, absolutely ZERO GIRLS? Well, I thought we had this in the bag.

I was nervous for the ultrasound, having been so sick, but I DESPERATELY wanted to know the sex. I so needed something to carry me though the last half of that horrendous pregnancy. Finding out that the boy I had envisioned all my life was on his way was just what I needed to make the rest of the pregnancy bearable. The appointment was not at my normal OB office but at a hospital I was unfamiliar with and run by a tech that had most likely earned her certificate the day before our appointment. She wouldn’t even tell us if the baby looked healthy or not as “that’s your doctor’s job”. She made it very clear that her job was only to take the measurements and when we asked about the sex of the baby towards the end of the scan she moved the wand around my stomach in a  nervous fluster before saying she had no idea, not even a guess.

Unfortunately my next doc appointment was weeks away so I fumed and worried that entire time, angry that she couldn’t have at least given some sort of indication that everything looked okay and was functioning properly with the baby and disappointed that I would most likely have to wait until the birth to find out the sex. If there is one thing I hated at the time, it was the color yellow, as I knew that was all I was going to see for the next 4 months. When my next OB appointment finally came, my awesome doctor apologized for the shitty experience we had and quickly assured us that although the baby was on the small side, that it looked 100% healthy. He also took pity on me and ordered another ultrasound to check growth at 5 and a half months, making sure it would take place right in the office with the most experienced tech they had.

That scan was amazing. The tech pointed out every part on the baby, going over bones and organs, taking his time while letting us marvel at the beautiful little blob on the screen. He asked us if we wanted to know the sex and we said if he could see it then yes,

“Oh yeah, I can see it,” he said confidently, “It’s a girl!”

Me: …

Me: …

Me: Are you sure?

Tech: Yep!

Me: …

Me: How sure?

Tech: Very sure. I’m not legally allowed to tell you I’m 100% sure, but if this baby comes out with a penis, I will personally reimburse you for any pink baby clothes you buy beforehand.”

Me: {looking at Bill with narrowed eyes} He sounds pretty sure…{and in a hissed whisper} You did it wrong! You better start running now…

See how nice I was! I wanted to give him a head start so he had a chance to escape my WRATH. I was downright reasonable, gracious even! Once we got in the car my mom called, wanting to hear the big news first and I will admit that when I told her in an exasperated tone, “Well, the baby has ten fingers, ten toes and one fucking vagina, thanks to Bill”… it was maybe not my proudest, most mature moment. Bill and I went out for lunch where I begrudgingly admitted that the universe would probably not implode over this and I can tell you that after lunch it took roughly 7 minutes to fully get over myself because that is the time it took to get to Target where I was assaulted with so many twee little pink and purple, flowery sweet baby girl things and something in those feminine patterns ramped up my pregnancy hormones to FULL BLAST and that teeny, healthy girl residing safely inside of me? No longer felt like a curse but the most amazing gift I had ever received. It was the first time I could visualize not just a random baby but MY baby. And when they placed her in my arms, the deal was cinched. I know bonding and love comes differently for many mothers and babies, as the experiences between Rowan and Keaton varied wildly, but when they placed that child in my arms I was in love so completely, so wholly, and I never looked back.

Having this amazing girl-child in my life caused many changes for me, not the least of which was that I went from wanting 3 boys, to an army of girls. Seriously, that first year or so after Rowan was born, I would have gladly signed up to give her 9 more sisters. When we decided to start trying for another baby, I put in my order for another girl with Bill, and {maybe not so gently} told him not to screw it up this time.

Well. I guess we all know how that turned out.

It was less of a shock this time around because I didn’t have very long to get my hopes up. At twelve weeks the doctor couldn’t find Keaton’s heartbeat with the doppler so they rushed me in for an ultrasound where, along with a steady, strong heartbeat, the doctor also thought he spied a weinerhausen. He told us it was WAY too early to say with any confidence but that if he had to guess he’d say it was a boy. So at 19 weeks when we had the official ultrasound and the baby’s penishood was confirmed right away as he was NOT shy, it was not a super big surprise.

After lecturing Bill about learning to follow directions better {because really} I settled in to the rest of my pregnancy, trying to get used to the idea of a boy. I will admit that it took longer to warm up to the idea of a boy than it did to come to terms with a girl. While his family was definitely more populated with the male species, MY side was mostly girls. Who would he play with, with all these girl cousins running around? Plus I had spent the last two years learning to be a mom to a girl! Was I going to have to start all over again? How do you change a diaper with all those extra parts in the way? I felt like I was finally coming into my own in this parenthood gig and now I was headed back to square one. {And I was, but for reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with the baby’s sex and everything to do with his screaminess.}

To be honest, because of the severity of the colic, I didn’t really have too many thoughts about Keaton’s “boyness” until he hit about a year. Yes, baby boys pee on you. A LOT. And they pee on your bed spread and walls and drapes and floor and pretty much anything within a 10 foot radius. A LOT. But he never shot projectile warm liquid poop at my face {with my mouth agape in horror} while I was sleepily changing a diaper at five in the morning like his lovely sister did during the second week of her life so all’s forgiven.

In the end? My daughter, who I swore would be a mud loving tomboy like her mama, turned out to be a fairly accurate stereotype of a pink-loving, princess-worshiping, sparkle fashionista, American Girl-Child {although the kid’s not shy around mud or rough housing and I would never classify her as prissy}. And my son vacillates wildly between car-loving, rough-housing, sword-wielding, ALL BOY to Mr. I Do Not Care What You Think of My Sparkly Pink Toes, and can work a tutu and ponytails and strut like nobody’s business.

People often say, “oh you’re so lucky you have one of each- you can be done now!” Um, huh? Having one of each sex was never my goal {clearly} and I know that had I had two boys or two girls, I would have been just as ridiculously proud and in love with them. I totally understand that there are differences between the two sexes but in my experience people put WAY too much stock into a child’s gender rather than what really makes them them~ their own individual brand of personality.

That being said, I really DO feel lucky to have one of each. I think they benefit massively from learning from each other. They are both exposed to things they probably wouldn’t have been, had we had two of the same sex, not the least of which will be the avoidance of awkward conversations with terrible visual aids when it comes to the big body talk- there are no mysteries of the exterior appearance of the human body left to these two at this point. I can honestly say that the gender difference has in no way affected their love for each other. They truly are the greatest of friends. They love sharing a room. They don’t always love playing the same game with the same toys but most of the time they can find common ground with minimum bloodshed. I can very truly say that I am blessed beyond measure that my original gender requests went unheeded by the universe.

So this time around? I have put in no requests other than the standard wish for a healthy baby. I honestly do not care and have no clue or feeling whatsoever as to whether we are expecting a boy or a girl. Bill thinks it’s a girl based on… I’m not really sure what. Keaton wants a brother and if it were up to him, we should just throw this one back if it’s a girl, and Rowan has put in an order for one boy and one girl, so she’s going to be disappointed either way as we are already VERY SURE there is just one baby hanging out in my uterus. I entertained not finding out the sex at all and while I see why some people make that choice it is really just NOT for me and my strong propensity for impatience and planning shit. Then I entertained the thought of just keeping it between Bill, the kids and I, but who am I kidding, there are just NO SECRETS when it comes to six year olds and Rowan is so excited to find out that it would be a pretty big blow to tell her she had to wait 4.5 more months in the interest of secrecy.

Obviously, after all this blathering on, we will most likely get an uncooperative baby. I have a midwife this time around and they generally do not like to order unnecessary tests so unless we want to pony up for a private ultrasound, we’ll be left in the dark until October. And while that wouldn’t be awesome, it will be okay because I am ready for all possible scenarios at this point. I just feel so lucky to be feeling mostly alive and functioning and the reality of a third child to our little family is starting to come to light. While the thought can be somewhat terrifying, it mostly causes me to break out in a wide, stupid, silly grin for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

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Remember how I wrote about things getting measurably better in my last post? Within 12 hours of hitting publish I came down with one of the worst sinus infections that I’ve ever had in my entire life and spent the next two weeks in some state of misery or another. After a whopping week and a half of feeling like a human again I was plunged right back into throwing up {this time all the mucus from the infection, because OF COURSE you wanted to know that} and the headaches brought on by the incredible sinus pressure just would not let up. All of this occurred during the epic week of dance rehearsals/recitals and school programs and preschool picnics so that was EXTRA fun. At least all the decongestants and anti-inflammatory meds helped a ton OH WAIT NEVERMIND I can’t take any of that shit while pregnant. So I wallowed for a week, taking only measured doses of tylenol, which by the third day had stopped bringing any relief. I tried to be a good little hippie, trying home remedies of hot packs and steam but they produced exactly zero results. Finally over a week in Bill called the nurse line to ask if I could at least try some musinex to get rid of some of the pressure but no, instead they made me come in and I was given antibiotics for the infection and vicodin for the pain. I am feeling…better…again…for now. Unfortunately the nausea is still sticking around so getting anything done has been hard but with the end of preschool, dance season and another karate belt graduation down, it’s definitely time to do an end of the year wrap-up of Mr. Sir.

*Preschool ended last week. Honestly, if I hadn’t gotten sick I would have switched Keaton to a different class at his school. He went through a year of preschool before this so he already understood the aspects of the routine and structure of a school day and also the social aspects of being with other kids like sharing and sitting quietly for group times. This group he was in just so happened to be on the young side, with many of the kids not even being three at the start of the year which is not something I was expecting since it’s not how it was structured when Rowan went there.

Though Keaton always got great reports, the class as a whole struggled throughout the fall and academically {yes, I know it’s preschool, but still, it’s not daycare, you expect a certain degree of learning to take place} Keaton was ready for way more focus which he didn’t receive until much later in the year than we anticipated. We talked about switching him to the afternoon class after Christmas, which definitely would have provided that, but knowing how sick I get during pregnancy we didn’t want to uproot him from something familiar during an already tumultuous time. I’m looking forward to next fall which will hopefully give Keaton a little more of a challenge and have a smoother start all around.

Mad chicken scratch, uh, I mean, handwriting skillz.

 

AAAAAIIIIIIIIIYYYYYYAAAAA

*Karate continues on as a fun outlet for physical activity. When I was sick I missed Keaton’s belt ceremony from purple to blue so last Friday when he went from blue to red, we were all very excited to attend. There are only two more belts to be had in the preschool program so by the beginning of 2013 we will probably have to start making some decisions about which activity Keaton wants to pursue as karate is expensive once you’re in the regular belt program and so is…

* Dance. Oh, dance, the bane of my existence {and checking account}. So, Keaton’s year at dance went really well. While he likes karate, he like likes dance. I know he’s four and this is bound to change but right now it’s his favorite thing to do. We took him to one of Rowan’s competitions and the boy was hilarious in between dances, putting on his own dance show for us to the dulcet sounds of “Every day I’m shuffling” and “I put my hands up in the air sometimes” {yes, I know those aren’t the actual titles but those are the parts that stick in my head and won’t fortheloveofchristalmighty come out for days and days on end sweet jesus please someone save me from this fresh hell.}

The "WERK IT" gene is strong with this one.

So anyway he had his first recital two weeks ago and it was equal parts adorable and hilarious. He’s never been up on the stage before so Bill and I were a little nervous how he’d react but he did great at the dress rehearsal {video below} and even better at the recital. He lost his way to his colored “X” on his way out for his jazz dance at the recital so there were a few tense moments where I thought he’d spend the entire dance wandering the stage but once he found it the audience cheered for him and he jumped right into the moves with a big smile. I got to pick him up right before intermission and I ran into Rowan’s teacher, who runs the competition lines and she gave Keaton a high-5 and told him he did great and that she’d be seeing him at summer dance. “Oh, SHOOT, he can’t do it in June, he’s got science camp.” I said, thankful for the legitimate excuse. “You can come in and tape and we’ll see you in August,” she said. “We’ll see!” I replied, the realization of two competition dance tuitions sinking into my brain. “Yep,” she smiled, walking away, “see you in August, Buddy!”

There are no words.

Honestly I don’t think he {or I} will be ready for competition by this fall {or ever, possibly} and he has a year of wiggle room since the youngest comp line is pre-k and kindergarten so I have a feeling we’ll be putting him back in the same class he was in this year but we’ll see, I might let him try the August workshop and see how it goes because I am a GIANT SUCKER for twee little boys shaking their booties on the dance floor.

Here is his rehearsal video, as we’re not allowed to tape the recital shows. It is very crappy quality and I’m sure is only truly enjoyed by those of us who share Keaton’s DNA, but still, for posterity’s sake I’m including it. {You can’t make out faces but Keaton is the fourth from the left once they find their places… just look for his hair, which I’m pretty sure you can see from outer space.}

*Keaton still loves sword play and baseball and riding his bike. We got him his own razor scooter a couple of weeks ago which has brought him much joy along with many scrapes on his knees.

*Rowan’s preferred method of showing displeasure or negative reactions was pure, unadulterated anger. Tantrumy anger, quiet, plotting anger, seething anger, both rational and irrational. She got mad but she was not ever a pouter. Keaton? Is a pouter. It drives me BANANAS. And not a little pout, but full on arms wrapped around his chest until his hands are practically touching in the back, head thrown to one side at a slightly upward angle, stuck out lip that sometimes utters a whining “It’s Not Fair”, if the situation demands it, along with a “Humph!” Keaton’s been pretty dead on about hitting developmental sticky patches close to the half-year marks, so we’ve seen a very unwelcome upswing in this behavior as of late and while not-pregnant-christy tried to be patient and help him work through his hurt feelings, pregnant-christy tells him to “get over it” as I eat my pickle from the couch.

*His imagination is really blooming; the intricate storylines he and his sister come up with during quiet play time are truly impressive. He used to just follow Rowan’s lead during these elaborate scripted games but now he’s adding his own flair which sometimes goes over well with Queen Bossy Pants, and sometimes not. I love it when they feed each other lines, going back and forth with “Now you say this…” “And then you say THIS!” Sure these two can be giant assholes to each other but so much of the time they are so amazingly close, sharing mischievous smiles over jokes we grown-ups aren’t privy to, creating their own “secret dance move hand shake” which isn’t much of a secret since they do it right in front of me but is adorable none-the-less.

It makes me sort of sad for Sammy Davis Junior Junior. Although I know his/her siblings will love him/her, this baby won’t have a sibling close in age to share the years where magic is not only completely possible in their eyes but entirely, emphatically REAL. By the time this baby reaches three, Keaton will be nearly 8 and Rowan will be 10 and the age of logic will have firmly set in… so a true partner in play/crime just won’t be a reality for this kid. I know there will be other positive aspects about having older siblings that will most likely more than make up for it but when I hear the giggling and love between Rowan and Keaton I just feel so lucky, so happy that they so completely have each other.

Buddies 4 Evah. Or at least until someone steals someone else's toy.

*Keaton is standing on the precipice of four and a half and while he continues to grow and learn he still looks way too small to me to be staring down five years old. A few days ago he asked to put some temporary tattoos on. I helped him with the first two and then got up to grab something and when I had come back he had cut out the desired tattoo, removed the plastic, placed it where he wanted it, held the washcloth in place and was quietly counting to thirty. “Whoa, good job, pal!” I said when I saw his handiwork. “Now I want this one!” he said and when I went to peel back the clear covering he said, “No, Mom! I can  do it!” As he hastily grabbed the tattoo from my hands I realized that yes, he was perfectly capable of doing it on his own.

“I guess you’re right. Jeesh. What do you even need a mom for anymore, budders?

“Nothing.” He replied promptly, without looking up and without emotion.

I tried to explain what “rhetorical” meant to him after that but he was too busy being all grown up to listen.

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Over the course of the two years I’ve been blogging most of my posts have been about documenting our life together as a young family. Some have distinct purposes, like how I came to have holes/scars in my knockers, how I became an obnoxious liberal, or why religion is really confusing for me. Some have no purpose, other than to shamelessly show off my {BIAS MOTHER ALERT} beautiful and charming children who will one day take over the planet. And some of these posts are just a thinly veiled space for me to show off how many swear words I know. .

This post though, has a different, very important purpose. This post, and future ones like it, are absolutely vital; they could quite possibly mean the difference between life and death…happiness and despair…fillet mignon and blenderized meatloaf with a side of lemon jello. In other words, you can go ahead and skip this one because it is devised solely to show to my children in 40 or so years when they’re trying to put us in a home. You may laugh now, Internet, but one day it is I who will be laughing at YOU from my shaded poolside cabana at Chateau D’Awesometown~ Center for the Wise and Mature while you all are sitting at the Wrinkly Butt Nursing Home~ Center for Dummies Who Didn’t Carefully Craft A Blog To Guilt Their Offspring Into Sending Them To Geriatric Paradise.

Now then! Last week was our school district’s spring break and since we spent the entirety of the winter in a sickened stupor and didn’t take the kids anywhere but the damn pharmacy and doctor’s office, we decided we were going to do this week up right and inject some fun into life again. We had a master list of about 10 different activities to choose from; everything from a hotel/waterpark to bumper bowling to a giant indoor trampoline park. In the end we only did a few of them but trust me, that was enough to send their little brains into fun overdrive. Here’s how the week played out…

Friday the 11th: We had my cousin Erica over for dinner. Now this doesn’t seem like something super fun for the kids but we almost never have guesta over so they get SUPER excited when we get visitor, even if they only get to spend a half an hour or so hanging out with her before their bedtime and grown-up winetime.

Saturday the 12th: Bill went snowboarding with his brother and the DCFI and afterward we went to the Mallinger’s for a quiet dinner and playtime for the kids. They had us over as a thank you to Bill for helping out with the decorations and music to Jay’s party. What’s that? Oh! Funny you should ask- no, the Dep’s did NOT have a beer with dinner. He’s still getting over his hangover from THIS little escapade.

Sunday the 13th: It was my niece Ellie’s spring break as well so we had her over for a sleepover Sunday night. Rowan always does such a good job of sharing “her” friends with her brother, including him in their games and never minding if he plays with them or nearby. That night Bill and I both noted what a great big sister she is and how lucky we are that our kids get along so well most of the time.

Monday the 14th: All tolerance for younger sibling gone. We broke the rule, Internet. You know, the one that states if you note something positive out loud, that that something will most surely turn to shit within 24 hours. Oh, well. Ellie stayed over all day and since it was spring break we just went ahead and broke all the rules and I served popcorn, licorice and strawberry pop for a morning snack. Hmm…guess I should stop wondering why they all turned into rabid, sugar-highed maniacs after that, huh?

Tuesday the 15th: BUNK BEDS!

Wednesday the 16th: Rowan had her last OT appointment! Well, maybe not her last ever but we decided to take the next 6 weeks off to see how she does, as she’s been doing really great lately, and we’ll reassess after that. I need to write a whole post on this but for now it should be duly noted in the old folks’ home decision making process {lovely, smart, beautiful, daughter} that WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU! {!!!!!!}

After OT, the three of us went to the library and had a great time picking out books on space, fossils, mammals and insects. Up until very recently I avoided the library at all costs, as I didn’t exactly relish the thought of chasing my toddler around- the very same toddler that has no idea how to control the volume on his voice. Like, at all. But it must be acknowledged that Keaton is not a toddler anymore, but a preschooler and he is finally at the age where he can be somewhat accountable for himself, be respectful of others and I can even turn my back now and browse the kids’ DVDs for a few minutes without worrying too much if he will be climbing the pillar to try to ride the ceiling fan.

Thursday the 17th: This is when the real fun began. Bill took off this and the next day so we packed it full. We were originally planning to go to the Children’s Museum but Rowan’s good friend at school talked about going to the Science Museum to see the King Tut exhibit so of course that’s what she lobbied for us to do and since we are suckers we agreed. I was nervous because from what I remembered, the Science Museum of Minnesota was geared toward older kids and these kids are used to being able to touch everything at the children’s museum and Keaton kept asking if there were rides there but didn’t seem to get it when we repeatedly explained what it was.

It also happened to be St. Patrick’s Day which is somewhat of a big deal in St. Paul, where the museum is located, but we figured we would be safe from the drunken idiots once we made it inside the museum since they don’t serve alcohol in there. And it actually turned out great, because there was a parade and lots of festivities for the Irish celebrating folk elsewhere so the museum was relatively quiet, which is good for someone like me whose own personal hell would include being stuck in a giant crowd while having to make hair/eye/vet appointments over the phone all day.

Overall? the kids did awesome. My nerves hit again when the guide told us very firmly that there was no food or drink allowed in any of the TWELVE exhibit rooms. There is also no bathroom so HA, parents of young children ye are screwed. I don’t know how we did it but we were in there an hour and a half with no incident. The exhibit was beautiful. The detail of the statues, crowns, jewelry and hieroglyphics was breathtaking. Rowan was very interested and inquisitive for about the first half. I don’t know if it was the low-lighting, hypnotic music, or what but she got really tired after that and laid down in Keaton’s stroller, perking up when we wanted to show her something. Keaton was thoroughly UNimpressed by Mr. Tutankhamun and all his statues, gold and crowns. I mean, COME ON, this guy was a fricken emperor and he didn’t even have a CAR? Is life even worth living without cars? Decidedly no. Thankfully though, he still did a good job of being patient and acting mildly interested when we pointed out a carving or artifact he might like, and he DID get kind of excited about the ancient toilet seat on display. Boring king or not, toilet seats are just good material, people. Bill and I would have liked more time there to be able to soak it all in and read about each piece but we’re not complaining.

We weren’t aloud to take picture of the Tut exhibit but I did get some of the rest of our museum visit.

"Hello? CPS? You will NOT believe what my parents are doing to me...they made me look at a real live dead guy! I mean, they called him a mummy but a spade's a spade, you know what I mean?"

I'll give you one guess which one of these people got most excited about the dino fossils. {I'll give you a hint, his name rhymes with I'mgoingtocorrectyoueverrytimeyoutryandpronouceadinosauername-ill.}

I was nervous that Keaton would be bored with the rest of the museum as well but he was rapt. I tell you that boy has got a sixth sense when it comes to cars...

He just sniffs them out.

It was really interesting to see the difference between the two kids. I guess I’ve always known this but it was just so blatantly obvious on this day that Rowan likes to find something she really likes and settle in for a long period, while Keaton bounces around, excited to try everything he can get his hands on.

Rowan quickly settled down in her element, surrounded by an army of dinosaurs to do her bidding.

While this guy {and the other guy} got excited jumping from fossil to magnifying glass to microscope.

We had a really, really good time.

After the museum we planned to drive around and look at houses in the city while we let the kids rest in the car only they were too keyed up and would not settle down so we ended up getting frustrated and headed back out to suburbia where we stopped to get a car wash. My in-laws had taken the kids through one once and I guess it didn’t go over so well with Keaton and when he saw we were pulling into the stall he nervously proclaimed while eyeing which window would be the best to throw himself out of, that “I do not like dat car washer!”  I let him come up and sit on my lap and after the initial spray down he relaxed and even enjoyed it when the soap came out in a rainbow of colors and smelled like fruit. It helped that this particular wash didn’t have the giant rollers or tentacle-like scrubbers. Are those a thing of the past? I LOVED that when I was a kid. It felt like I was inside a Muppet or something.

Next we went to see Rango and all I will say about that is that I am a dumbass who didn’t actually check the listing. I saw an animated movie and thought, eh- they’ll like that, only this was PG and not at ALL for the under 8 set. Thankfully most of it went over their heads {and hell! They’re already so used to hearing damn and hell at home, it didn’t even register with them at all!} but still. Not super appropriate. Parenting fail, but certainly not the worst one I’ll make so I’m not too worried.

Friday the 18th: We had made plans to go bumper bowling this day but these guys were S-P-E-N-T from the day before. My mom spent the better part of this month in California and the kids missed their grammy so we headed over and spent the afternoon with her and her very tanned arms. Jerk! {And I mean that in the most loving way.}

Saturday the 19th: After Rowan’s dance class we headed to the hotel and waterpark. We took the kids there last June and we all had such an awesome time. We figured it would be a lot more crowded over spring break and we were right. They didn’t even have our room ready when we got there but instead gave us a $5.00 concession coupon and told us to go to the pool area which, yeah, not that big of a deal- but we had all of our bags with us and two kids who were more than ready to be in the water and everything in there was sopping wet and OHMYGOD so many screaming children. Thankfully only twenty minutes later we were in our room settling in and even though the pool area was a little nuts this time around, the kids had a complete and utter blast. Plus HOT TUB. Ahhhh.

Waterpark!!!!!

They spent a lot of time playing a complex game called Run Away From Your Brother!, which oddly enough involved running away from your brother. And also a lot of giggling.

Awhile back a couple of people wondered if Rowan's eyes are really this blue so I included this picture to illustrate my point, which is yes and no. She does have really bright, light blue eyes {Thanks, Grandpa Garry!} but they only pop like this in certain light. Mostly it happens in natural light with the sun behind her but with all the blues from the water, and the fact that the ceiling is painted a purplish blue with ambient star lighting- well it made the conditions ripe for her eyes to shine.

These guys were in heaven.

We let them play before dinner, then we took them to Red Lobster {Rowan’s favorite. The girl can’t be talked into a dang turkey sandwich but she will devour an entire plate of popcorn shrimp, then steal bites of your lobster, crab, and shrimp scampi} where there was an insane wait. The kids did really great, helped along by an understanding hostess who came over twice to take out a lobster for them to pet. After dinner we let them play at the waterpark til nine and then we snuggled in for Sleeping Beauty, and they didn’t get to sleep until way after eleven. Oops.

Sunday March 20th: After a room service breakfast we headed down for one last playtime in the water and then packed it in and headed home around eleven and WOW aren’t we done yet? Um no. Our nephew Joey and goddaughter Mia had a joint birthday party starting at two so we raced to get the kids home and get the chlorine scrubbed off of them and got ready to go to the party. I do NOT sleep well in hotels so I was running on maybe three hours of sleep but it was worth it to see this little gal enjoy her very first birthday…

I'm One! And sort of unsure about these cousin people.

Mia's very own cake!

Which, needless to say, was thoroughly enjoyed. Happy One, Miss Mia!

And then? We came home, let the kids watch a movie, got everything set for the shift back to reality and then blissfully climbed into our own bed. The week was crazy busy, but fun and if this doesn’t secure us a spot at Chateau D’Awesometown, I seriously think we might be screwed.

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Once upon a time there was a lady who was really, really pregnant.

Her mother gifted her and her husband a beautiful white crib. The pregnant lady told her husband to put it together so that the baby could have its own place to sleep instead of sharing a bed with the dog or 3 cats. {No photographic evidence exists of the putting together of the crib but the bassinet was put together at roughly the same time and I assure you that the husband's face looked very similar to this so you get the gist...}

After a lot of puking and general be-moaning of her pregnant self, the pregnant lady became a mama. Just like that. And she had the most precious girl in the whole world and that girl slept safe and snug in the beautiful white crib.

Then seemingly right before her parents' eyes, the baby girl grew a little bigger...

And a little bigger. Then the lady who was just a lady, went back to being a very pregnant lady and the beautiful white crib had a spectacular metamorphosis from pink...

To blue. And the sweetest baby boy came to sleep snug and tight in the beautiful white crib. {But not until he was eight months old because strangely enough, during the previous seven, the boy was convinced the crib was covered in molton lava and screamed his wee, precious little head off any time the lady tried to put him in it.} But he figured it out! And...

Similarly enough, he grew bigger...

And bigger. Until one day the baby boy wasn't a baby anymore and he wanted a big boy bed of his own.

And so the beautiful white crib went through another transformation from crib to toddler bed...

And the tiny blue stars were traded in for pink once again, as it was returned to its rightful owner. And for 21 more months the girl and the bed were together, but a funny thing happened...

That little girl kept right on growing. And even though she loved the beautiful white crib, she was ready to say goodbye.

The boy too was sad to see his toddler bed go, but excited for his very own big kid bed. And so the new bed was ordered and the delivery men came to put it together...

They tried to wait patiently but that's a pretty hard thing to do when something as exciting as bunk beds are being erected on the floor above and the lady won't let you go and ask the workers if they are done yet. So they just kept right on waiting..

and waiting...

And waiting some more.

And just when they didn't think they could wait any longer...it was time to go and inspect.

And the boy and the girl were really high up!

And really happy.

And down, down, down came the beautiful white crib. And the lady, the mama? She was sad. That beautiful white crib had been where she laid her babies' soft heads down for nearly six years. It was a fixture, a part of their little family and now it was gone. But the mama, and the daddy, are happy for this next chapter to start anew.

THE END.

Epilogue

It’s spring break for us this week and we are running around like crazy people cleaning out dressers and closets and trying to fit a ton of fun stuff in for the kiddos. That being said I will try to get another, less schmaltzy, nostalgic piece up, including pictures of the finished product and give, in full detail, with my full arsenol of swear words, an account of just how fucking fun it is to change the bedding on that top bunk.

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Both kids have chest colds, complete with fevers and coughs that are keeping us home all day, not to mention up all night. Despite how awful this may sound, I’m sort of happy about it because it’s been a great excuse to snuggle in our jammies, eat frozen yogurt, play quiet board games, do puzzles and read stories. Happy until last night, that is, when it was made clear that these two were a little too generous with their germs and now WHYGODWHY I am coming down with their stinky cold only two weeks after kicking the last sickness. As evidenced by this and the pictures above, sharing by small children comes when you least expect it.

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