Thursday, July 29, 2010

On beds and other goodies

The boy had the side taken off his crib as an experiment in seeing if he could, you know, actually sleep in bed. Eventually we need to move the girl out of the pack and play. Of course, she's not growing at an exponential rate, so it could last quite awhile longer but still it has to be done. So we tried. It's been 3 days so far.

Night 1) The boy got up at least 8 times, coming out of his room. I took him back repeatedly informing him it was time for bed. About an hour after actual bedtime, he conked out.

Night 2) The boy got up only twice before giving up

Night 3) The boy decided that coming out of the room was for suckers and that he could do plenty of things in the room. Like climbing the dresser. This resulted in his dad being very cross with him after he climbed up there the 3rd time. He fell asleep after that.

Soooo.... yeah.... we'll keep working at this. But the child needs to stop being so damn creative before he gets himself killed. Or I need to find a way to strap down the dresser.

In other news, the boy also hid my keys (car and house) and refuses to tell me where they are. We will get them replaced this weekend.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Be a Hero for Babies!

The MoD and Farmer's Insurance are raising money for babies today. The goal is $2 million. You can donate by visiting marchofdimes.com/farmers and make a donation, or use your cell phone to donate $5 to the March of Dimes by texting the word “hero” to 20222.


This little guy was born as a big preemie, weighing 5lbs, 12ozs, 4 weeks early. He was lucky that he didn't have any major medical issues and spent only 6 days in the NICU before coming home. Today he looks like this:


You never know. You could be helping to save a baby's life!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Enjoying things

The weekend was good. This was in part because we got a night out without the boy and the girl in tow. We went to my friend's wedding and it was a good time for sure. Not your traditional wedding, although it was similar. But you know you're in for a good time when dinner is barbeque (southern style). It was just a nice way to spend an evening.

Hopefully, very soon, my husband will have a job. If not, there will have to be a lot of negotiations between me and utility companies and the mortgage holder. Especially since I won't get paid until the end of August. Have I ever mentioned that I think getting paid this way sucks? Really it does. These are the moments when I look at my job and wonder why I'm not spending my time in a lab where at least I would get paid on a regular basis. It may be time to re-examine the temp agency issues and see if there are any jobs that I would qualify for. This isn't real likely since I haven't seen a lab in about 8 years (other than my classroom one, which does not have sophisticated electronic equipment) but might still be worth updating a resume and seeing if there are other options. This would mean that I don't get the summer SAHM option any more. However, food and clothes for my children does rank slightly higher.

I'm still doing one day at a time though and trying to not stress and trusting that the universe will work things out.

Friday, July 2, 2010

In memory...

July 2, 2007

If you ever get the chance, support the March of Dimes. They do all kinds of research to help prevent the preterm birth of babies. They couldn't help my two little angels, but someday I hope they can save others.

If you would like a picture like the one above please visit: http://namesinthesand.blogspot.com/
Carly has an amazing site with cards for infant loss and infertility struggles as well as taking these beautiful pictures for angels who have were with their parents for far to brief a time.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Shades of pink

This is one of those posts that has been milling around in my head for awhile. It actually stems from an internet argument that caused me to leave a message board. At the time, I was pregnant but didn't know the gender of the baby as it was to early to know. The argument may have been even more relevant since it turned out to be a girl. But the argument is all over the place lately - I like to call it the princess debate. It has more to do with the blatant coloring of everything for little girls in one shade. Pink. Which is helped along by one of my favorite companies ever. Disney. Yes, I said it. I LOVE Disney.

Let me preface this whole thing by explaining that I am a geek. Like, I met my husband at a LARP (live-action role play for those who don't know the word) geek. Like I grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons geek. Like, I'm a girl who likes science and math geek and even more so if they're puzzles (like sudokus). Like, I watch Discovery Channel for fun geek. So I may bring a different perspective to this. I think I also have a unique perspective because I also teach the product of years of US culture. High school students.

The argument that so much pink is bad for girls is one I won't argue with. There's no reason to have the same toy for a baby boy and a baby girl but make the girl one in pink. Last I checked, babies liked variety. So you won't catch me buying the girl a pink toy if there's a more colorful one right next to it. After all, I didn't have pink everything and I came out just fine, thank you very much. But part of the argument goes on to the princesses, which tends to target Disney, since it's probably their princesses that started the whole thing. Ahhh, Disney princesses. I love Sleeping Beauty. And Cinderella. They're my favorites. And I fully expect that the girl will have a favorite too.

Here's the thing. I don't expect that a love for princesses will cause her to turn into a vapid idiot. Nor do I think that she will spend her whole life as an imbecile searching for Prince Charming to come along. Because I don't expect to teach her those things. And that is where I differ from the hundreds of feminists and other people who would like to roast the princesses on a spit because their very existence means that my daughter will be like I described above.

Anybody who honestly thinks that the influence of the media is more relevant to their child than the influence of their parent is off their rocker. Does this mean that the media does not affect them? Of course not. My son wants everything he sees with Lightning McQueen on it. He's watched that movie waaaaaay to many times. But he likes it and I'm trying to use this obsession to start to teach him that we can't have everything that we want. And toddlers are obsessive anyway. If it wasn't Cars, it would be something else. I recall my brother being obsessed with Transformers. And I'm fairly certain that before there was media children were still obsessed with things. They were probably just obsessed with things in nature. And eventually I'm pretty sure that my son will discover the joy of bugs or lizards or some other equally disgusting thing. And I wouldn't be surprised if the girl does too, since it's becomming all to clear that she's obsessed with her brother. Look at that - 3 months old and already obsessed with something. I don't think she's likely to want to turn into a boy. Although, I guess you never know.

My point is, that there will always be something. I have several obsessions myself, although I tend to refer to them as hobbies or collections. I have several dragons in my bedroom (I am a dragon, according to the Chinese calendar, so maybe that's why I like them so much?), I have a box of scrapbooking supplies, I love to travel (and take pictures of said travel, hence the scrapbooking supplies) and oh yeah, Disney pervades my house. My movies, a few sculptures, art books and some clothing all with Disney as their focus. Does it surprise you that my son like Disney? Do you think my daughter will? I would bet yes.

I'm also willing to bet that they will learn to love food and travel, because both my husband and I do. I'm also pretty sure that they will develop a love for nature and all things science, math and puzzles because so do I. If they don't that's ok, but it wouldn't surprise me to find out they enjoy those things. I feel confident that MY values (Disney is awesome) was far more important in my son's attachment than a tv commercial. Because who exposed him to Disney? Me. Yes, on purpose.

Do all kids love Disney? Uh, no. In fact, I teach kids (and I've been teaching for 7 years now, so I've seen a fair few of them) who abhor Disney. So, I guess they missed the marketing message. I see lots of girls who shun the color pink. I see lots of girl who are total vapid morons and I don't think it has anything to do with Disney (ever heard of a beauty pageant?). There are a million different things that can cause girls to be idiots, but I am fairly sure that every time that message came from one place initially. Parents.

Now, does media reinforce some things? Well, of course it does. There is far to much objectification of females in the media. There is far to much marketing directed at kids. Both of those things mean that parents must be paying attention. Talking to their kids. Teaching their values. That's where this can be fixed. Companies make pink toys because ADULTS buy pink toys. Adults, who should be able to think for themselves. Who should be able to talk to their kids and tell them why that's dumb.

Bottom line? Let the corporations do what they will. Let the other side yell about how horrible the corporation is. In the meantime, I'm raising my kids over here and I'm trying to teach them how to be polite, responsible adults who think for themselves. And if my daughter likes pink, well, that's ok with me.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vacation!

School is done! Thank heaven.

Marathon training got totally derailed when I caught a tummy bug the day after my first run. I ran 2 miles and then had to stop. Now I feel better, so hopefully I can get back to running ASAP.

I took Monday off because I couldn't justify spending a week of daycare for both kids for one day of work. Even if I don't get paid for it (which is possible) it still makes more sense financially. Of course, the A/C broke, so now we need to get that fixed. And my husband, is progressing with his courses, but still jobless. He should start certification number 4 this week, so he has A+, a Cisco one and Microsoft after he finishes this test. There are 7, in total I think, for the program we paid for. So that's half way.

The girl is in her 3 month growth spurt and so is eating constantly. Fun. It's hard to blog one-handed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Starting over

This time last year, I started training so I could run a half-marathon. Heh. Then, last August I found out that we were expecting the girl. That put a swift end to any running. So now I'm starting over again.

As of today I am officially starting my half-marathon training.

I am completely crazy.

Hopefully I get to run 6 miles - 3 2mile runs.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Adventures in potties

The boy is 2 and I would like to think that he won't be in diapers forever. Moreso, I would love to believe that he will potty train SOON so I don't need to buy diapers for 2 kids - or at least not need him in diapers all day. We can do nighttime diapers. So we've been talking about the potty.

For his birthday we got him How to Potty Train Your Monster. It's a very cute book and it doesn't push the issue much, since it's talking about monsters and not kids. He likes it. Then, not long ago, we were in a store getting some things for the girl and we walked past the potty seats. Out of nowhere we suddenly were hearing "Ning! Ning!" Sure enough, a Cars themed potty seat was there, and he desperately wanted it. So we got it for him.Other than that, we've simply been talking about the potty. Plus he's in the 2-3 year old a preschool and that room is a transition room, so some kids use the potty and others don't.

Yesterday was a momentous occasion. We were sitting watching tv when I looked over at the boy who had taken off his pants and diaper (this was a first for us) and pointed at the bathroom. He looked at me expectantly, so I asked him if he wanted to go potty. He said yes, so I took him and put him on the seat. We sat there for awhile... maybe 10 minutes... before I asked him if he was done. He said yes. Well he hadn't actually done anything, but hey, I figured it was a start. I put his diaper and pants back on him and went back to the girl who was attempting to scoot across the room backwards (and failing, since she's not quite aware of her hands yet, let alone capable of coordinated motion).

Five minutes later my husband went over to the boy and announced he needed a new diaper. So apparently he knows when he has to go, but doesn't know when he's actually gone? Or he just thinks he needs to go in his diaper? Who knows... I'm still hoping that, you know, someday, I won't have to buy diapers in bulk for two...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Places to go, things to do

I had a conversation at work the other day with a co-worker about what we would do if we won the lottery. Like, really won, I mean - millions, maybe billions. Not a couple thousand. He had asked me if I would still work and oddly enough, my answer was yes.

"You'd come back to work?"

Well, not exactly. I wouldn't be teaching anymore, but there are lots of things I would want to do. STarting with volunteer time. Besides the March of Dimes, I would want to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and probably a few other places too.

But mostly what I would want to do would be to travel. The list of places is long. I mean, first I would by a Disney Vacation Club so I could go many, many times. Because I am nothing if not a Disney freak. However, there are dozens of other places on my list. So I figured I'd give you a brief summary of the wheres and whys (in no particular order).

Alaska, just for the scenery.
Arizona, specifically Phoenix. I hear (from Guy Fieri) that there are some good places to eat down there.
California: San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles/Anaheim and anywhere with a vineyard
Colorado, again for the scenery
Hawaii, to dive
Lousiana, specifically New Orleans
Maine, for the lobster
Massachusetts, because I grew up here and LOVE Boston
Nevada, to eat my way across Las Vegas
New York, because again, having lived here I love it and miss it
Oregon, mostly for scenery
Pennsylvania, to see Philadelphia
Texas: Austin, Houston and San Antonio
Virginia and DC for the historical sites
Washington, specifically Seattle

That's just in the US, because the list goes on:
England (again) because I haven't seen enough yet.
Ireland, for the history and geneaology
France, specifically Paris but also the countrysides
Germany, for the beer
Holland, for the tulips
Italy, again for the food
Australia, mostly to dive but also to see Australia
China
Japan
Nova Scotia and the islands off Canada

Keep in mind that I am currently 33, will be 34 in December and only a small portion of this list has been completed. I'll get through the list. It's mostly just a matter of time. But millionaire or not, I intend to see all the places on my list. I should probably get a move on, huh?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Education from both sides

So, my first week back at work. It happens to be close to the boy's speech evaluation. I am anxious to see what the speech therapist will have to say on Monday. I've also been researching the transition process that may or may not take place in a year. That seems so far away but it also will come quickly. Plus, I like to be prepared and the more time I have to look over/think about things and get questions answered, the better. So I've asked at work and hopefully will be able to talk to somebody who does this all the time. Education on this end is going pretty smoothly.

From the other end though... woo boy. It's not pretty. I knew being on maternity leave was going to be a pain. I had no idea just how painful it would be. I mean, the number of parents who are demanding meetings so they can request that their child's grade be changed is astounding. And my answer to all of them is the same. No. I don't change grades unless I screwed up. If I messed up, I will admit it and fix the problem. But I will not give your child an A because I like them. I will not pass your child because they're a senior (although I will WORK with them to help them earn a passing grade). I will not give your child a B because he claims that he should have that grade. I just won't do it.

The ultimate goal of what I do is education. I learned a long time ago that an A does not mean you've mastered the material and an F doesn't mean that you haven't learned a lot. And grades are always subjective unless you're talking about a multiple choice test (which I'm not fond of for evaluative purposes but they sure are easy to grade). So yes, you may have a different opinion. But here's the facts: I went to school to learn how to do this. In fact, I spent several years learning both my subject area (Chemistry and Physics) and education. I am referred to as a professional for a reason.While I appreciate you are well versed in your child, I am well versed in managing my classroom. So unless you are about to explain a special circumstance like recently diagnosed ADHD or the fact that they are narcoleptic on Wednesdays we don't need a meeting. You need to accept my professional judgement.

Please, let me never be this annoying.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho....

Just one more week of maternity leave and then I have to go back to work. I feel fortunate that I only have 5 weeks before summer vacation, but it really does stink to have to put the girl into daycare for 5 weeks. Especially since she won't have many of her vaxes yet. I really don't want her to get sick. Hopefully the fact that it's warming up will mean fewer germs abound as more people are spread out and not all cooped up in the same space.

The boy will be 2 on Tuesday. Holy moley... I've been a mom to an earth side baby for 2 years! Which, ironically, is about how long it took to get him. Funny, these past two years went a whole lot faster than the 2 before that.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Imperfect but still perfect

The girl. Just like her brother perfect in every way. Except for one interesting little quirk. If you look closely at her eyes, you'll notice that one is blue and the other is... brown? Yup, brown.

How did that happen? Well, that's a good question and one that I have no answer for. I know, genetically speaking, it's not possible for one set of DNA to produce two different eye colors. There could have been a mutation in one eye, I suppose, but that would be pretty rare. Of course, so are all the other possibilities. So on Monday I'm going to give our ped a call and see what they have to say. It's been like this about a week now and it's definitely not changing. I am sure that whatever we discover, this isn't going to change.

Which means that she's going to be explaining this for the rest of her life to people. I know firsthand how mean kids can be when there isn't much different about you. When there is something different... well, I guess we're going to find out just how that's going to go.

Now, the boy. We've got some good news on his front. His IFSP is going to be changed so that his new goal will be to begin using words (not just word approximations) and to combine those words to begin to form sentences. Since he's going to be 2 in just 4 days, he's still behind, but less behind than he was when we started 6 months ago. We're also going to get a speech evaluation done to see if there's some physical reason that's preventing him from talking properly. That's going to be done in a couple of weeks.

And then we get to start transition planning. In 6 months, we're going to be introduced to the liason for the school system. They'll do another evaluation to see if he still qualifies for services (that would be at preschool level). If he doesn't he'll be exited from the program and if he does then they'll work with us to write up an IEP. And I imagine they will have some other things that we'll have to do. But that's all in the future.

Two perfect children... just a little bit imperfect in their own ways but as far as I'm concerned, still perfect.

Friday, April 23, 2010

What if I can never get over the feeling that my body has failed me?

That question has sat in the back of my mind for years now. It still plagues me today and the fact that I have to stop having children (whether I want to or not) only makes that question more pertinent. Because my body just doesn't work. First it doesn't want to get pregnant and then it doesn't want to stay that way. What kind of a rotten deal is that? I mean, I have 4 children but I'll only ever see 2 of them grow up because 2 of them died because my body failed. I had to take all kinds of drugs because my body failed. Hell, even while I was pregnant the second time, I spent most of my pregnancy injecting myself with huge needles and thick oil with hormones in it because my body keeps failing. How exactly is this fair? It completely kills a person's self esteem and leaves them feeling like a failure. This was supposed to be easy.

Inevitably, that one question leads to dozens of others. What if I passed this hell down to my daughter? What if I drive my children nuts hovering over them so that I know they're safe? What if I accidentally get pregnant and have to choose if I should try and have that baby? What if I died while trying another pregnancy? What if I lived but that baby didn't?

But there's a positive to all of this and ultimately that's where I'm trying to go. What if it doesn't matter? What is the end result is that the journey is, in many ways, over. And the result of that is two beautiful, healthy children. Does it make a difference how they got here? I'm starting to believe the answer is no. The journey was long, hard and unexpected. It was unfair and mean. But I can't focus on the journey for the rest of my life. The point of all of this wasn't the journey. It was the end result and that end result is a fairy tale of sorts. Fairy tales have scary moments when you think the bad guy will win but a fairy tale has a happy ending.

I'm starting to see that happy ending.

Infertility 101
Take Charge - National Infertility Awareness Week
The Complete What If List

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vacations

So we haven't had a vacation for quite some time... well, no that's not entirely true. We went to my mom and dad's last summer (trip to Boston) which rocked. And before the boy was born we spent a weekend in Atlanta which was really fun. But honestly, for me, the definition of a vacation is that you are going somewhere new and/or vacation-y. The last one of those would be our trip to England in 2007. Which was awesome but it's not likely we'll be making any huge travel plans any time soon with a newborn and all.

So yesterday we were in a bookstore and I saw a book on Washington D.C. with kids. Now, I have never been to D.C. It's not really far from here, but it's certainly a new place and so would completely qualify. Hopefully the book will yield some wonderful ideas.

I amanxiously plotting in my head when our next Disney trip will be. The last time we were there was 2006 and a lot changes there in 4 years. That may be an option next summer if we're both employed again (I really hope so or we'll have some much bigger issues to deal with).

I miss vacations. Here's to hoping that we get to do some travelling soon.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The truth...

I have in fact met 3 of the 6 presidents who have been in office during my life. No, I won't tell you how old I am. You can do the math and get a range of ages if you really want to know.

So, who? The first was Ronald Reagan, who I met as a girl scout. I don't remember much about the circumstances quite frankly. And all that was said was "Nice to meet you." (by him - I said nothing). The second was George Bush (the senior, obviously). I was in Boston while he was campaigning (the second time) and while I am not a republican, the idea of meeting the man was intriguing. The last was Bill Clinton who I met during his second time campaigning for president. I would point out that while none of these meetings was incredibly long or for anything terribly important -

how many presidents have you met?

That was my reply to the one person who ever listened to the above schpiel (I've gone through this for a few of those "meet and learn" things that teachers sometimes do and we always seemed to have to do at the beginning of education classes) and seemed to think (based on their tone of vocie) that I should have had a much better story. I said I met them. I didn't say we were close personal friends, for crying out loud.

Curious why this is here? Read here.

It is decided that there will not be any more children for us. Two angels and two partial placental abruptions make me think we've played the luck card enough. Next time it could be a total placental abruption and I don't think it's fair to risk my life or the life of that child. I would like more kids, to be honest though. But I can't do it. I just can't.

Surprisingly, I do NOT want to make this decision permanent. Since my husband is as likely to see a doctor as I would be to jump out of a perfectly good airplace (ain't happenin', just so you know - and yet he's jumped out of said airplane. Go figure.) this is all in my court. Common sense tells me to make this permanent and eliminate the chance of oops. But I can't. I have no idea why, but I can't. So I'll pick a less permanent (and more risky method... maybe an IUD? minimize the risk as much as possible?) method. I'll have to give some thought as to why though... Any ideas?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Musings on quads

If you have read back far enough in this blog, you know that my very first pregnancy started out as quads and that very early on two babies were lost (think 9 weeks and earlier). At the time, this didn't phase me much as I still had twins and jeez, I can't fathom trying to carry quads. Of course, you would also know how badly that pregnancy ended at just past 20 weeks, losing both boys and ending my very first pregnancy with zero babies to take home. In the past few years, I've had time to wonder about all 4 of those babies. While my boys are the most real to me, having held them in my arms, it has also occured to me that those other 2 were there... who were they.

And it occured to me suddenly the other day - I have them, both of them. I think that explains my sense of contentment and completion to some extent. I have held all 4 of my angels. It's like two of them knew things were going to end badly and they decided they needed to try later. Three boys and a girl. Those are my quads. It's a wierd thing to say or even think but in my heart, it makes sense. Four little souls. Two angels for the two on earth.

I wish we were getting to walk this year. I finally feel ready to have all four of my babies walked for. I really can't imagine taking the girl though. That's a lot of people (hence a lot of germs) and I don't want to expose her to that yet. Of course, I'll be exposing her to daycare soon enough, but that's a different post for later. There's always next year though. If you get an opportunity, support a March for Babies walker.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

After a long hiatus...

I needed a break of sorts, I suppose. I'm going to start this up again and hopefully be able to update it once a week. We shall see!

The irony of starting again on Easter... I'm not Christian, of any sort so religiously the holiday means little to me but the fact that it's about resurection has not escaped me. So we'll resurect the blog and see how it goes.

The crazy little boy has had way to much candy given to him. We'll have to ration that out pretty slowly or he'd try and eat it all at once. The teeny one is to small to eat solid anything yet, so there's no worry about her candy consumption. There probably won't be to much worry about it at the next candy fest (aka Halloween!) either. The boy though... he'll be all over that.

I think that the candy plaed in comparison to the toys though. He got 3 cars - 2 different Lightning McQueens and a Mater. He has carried them all over the house this morning. We really need to find him a couple of other movies though, cause Cars is getting old. Not that I mind his Disney addiction, but there are others... and we need to start watching some of the others. Before Mommy loses it! I can recite parts of the movie verbatim. I know it's a phase and he'll grow out of it, but still.