Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Bunnies

Grammy came up a couple weekends ago and we took A to have his picture taken with the "Easter bunnies". He was a little more reluctant this year than last year, not in terms of holding the bunnies, but more so about having some strange man maneuver him around a big stage, with bright lights shining in his face and large pieces of machinery bearing down on him from every direction. From his vantage point, it did have sort of an "examination room" feeling about it, or perhaps some sort of alien abduction scenario played out in his head. Either way, I think I would have been sort of freaked out, too.

But he quickly got over it when the bunnies came out, and the photog got his shot after about two snaps. Alex had no interest in lying on his belly and letting the bunnies sit on his back - again, I don't think the bunnies bothered him one bit, just the idea of lying on his belly in general weirded him out. But by that point, the guy looked at me and said, "We already have the shot", and I was okay with not having a "belly shot" to choose from.

In fact, I sort of wish there were only a couple of shots to choose from, but I think we had to weed a dozen great shots down to our favorite. Here is the winner:

His eyes are a little squinty (remember what I said about "bright lights") but we loved how sincere his smile is. It's really nice to have a child that is cute enough to upstage two adorable fluffy bunnies.

Monday, March 22, 2010

we're having a baby

Apparently I'm pregnant. This news was recently brought to my attention, and while the whole world seems to have been aware of the fact, I have been going about my business as if I won't be giving birth to another human being just three short months from now.

Or at least one would assume so, based on the complete lack of preparation that has been made to ready our household for another person.

We often talk to Alex about having a new baby in the house, and we debate on a daily basis about what we will name this child, but all of the baby talk has just felt like "make believe" up to this point. You'd think the fact that I can't see my toes or bend over to touch them, the way every joint in my body protests when I dare stand up, not to mention the fact that the flames of hell blaze a fiery trail from my gut to my throat every time I lay down, would be a reality check. Oh, and the whole "tiny human boxing with my uterus" thing would probably cause some people to wake up and smell the poopy diapers. Not this gal!

People always ask when I'm due, and my canned response has been to sigh heavily, roll my eyes, and say, "June 12th" as if it is ten years away. In fact, on occasions when I have felt fatter and more uncomfortable than usual, "ten years" has been my actual response. That is until I went to MOPS a few weeks ago, and the ladies all said, "You realize that June is only three months away, right?"


So now I'm in complete panic mode, trying to dig through the garage/disaster area so I can get all of Alex's baby stuff cleaned, organized, and into the nursery, trying to wrap up the ten zillion custom orders I have going at my Etsy shop, and trying to prepare mentally for baby #2. Can you really prepare for something like that anyway? I think not.

Needless to say, I was pretty obsessed with being pregnant the first time around (re: the 100+ pre-Alex posts on this blog), and I was hoping I would be just as excited about the process this time. Not that I'm not excited about having a baby. I am ecstatic about adding another little man to this family. And despite the 18 weeks of wicked nausea, the heartburn, the weight gain, and the achy joints, I have enjoyed being pregnant. I just haven't had a lot of free time to reflect on what is going on or what is going to happen. Being pregnant has been even more surreal this time than it was with Alex. Surely having had a miscarriage has contributed to the fact that I've had a hard time accepting the reality of being pregnant, and as a result, I am just now coming to the realization that a baby is on its way.

On a related note, now that I am 28 weeks along, I totally regret not having taken pictures of myself throughout this pregnancy. In fact, I'm downright sick about it. On most days, Alex or I have some sort of commitment that requires me to get dressed in something "public-appropriate", and on other days, I barely have time to glance in the mirror to make sure that my sweatpants match my Crocs before leaving the house. (That's a joke, by the way. I wouldn't be caught dead wearing sweatpants.) I would never post a picture of myself in the latter state, and even on the days when I dress up, I am back in a frumpy t-shirt, stretchy pants, and fuzzy socks by the time Tim gets home. I know what you're thinking. That Tim's one lucky guy. But the point is, I'm in no condition to be photographed at that point.

So the alternatives are to have Alex take my picture during the day or to take them myself, and I just haven't been motivated to make either happen. I finally bit the bullet, knowing I was going to be writing this post, and snapped a couple of shots of my big third trimester belly. Be warned - I will be showing a lot of skin. Belly skin, that is.

I'm definitely bigger than I was at seven months with Alex, but then again, I was a whole lot bigger to start out with this time, too. The good news is, I'm in the third trimester and I've only had minor swelling in my feet and ankles so far. Of course, it hasn't gotten hot here yet, and surely I'm in for some serious canklage once the temperature rises. But so far, the swelling has been manageable, a vast difference from this description of my lower extremities from last pregnancy:

And not only has my belly swollen - my feet and ankles tend to balloon up so much by the end of the day that I am waiting for one of them to detach, not to be seen again until football season when it's flying over some stadium with "Goodyear" stenciled to the side.

So far, this is what I'm working with.

My socks leave an indention when I take them off and some of my shoes don't fit, but at least my ankle bone is still visible. We'll see how much longer that lasts.

So that's all I've got for now. I am working on several other posts, including a summary of this pregnancy and a discussion of other ways it compares to the first. I also hope to announce the baby's name soon...once we decide what it's gonna be, that is. Hopefully both posts will happen before this baby decides to come along.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

a new 'do

We had been growing Alex's hair out for months just to see if we could find a longer style that would work on him. If we parted it just so and shellacked it just so, it looked really great...for about twelve seconds. Problem is, Alex inherited the infamous "Boettcher cowlicks", a condition that cause what I like to affectionately refer to as "guinea pig-butt hair". And that basically means that his hair swirls around and juts off in all the wrong directions and in all the wrong places. And that basically means that most days become "hide Alex's hair under a hat" days.

So the only solution to this is to let him walk around with his unruly (but not in a good way) mop top, invest in more hats, or wack all of his hair off. Since it's getting warmer outside and I'm completely on board with anything that will make Alex a little less high maintenance, we decided to go ahead and get him his summer 'do. Et voila.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Con Artist

Back in December, our friends invited us to a charity art show and auction. Naturally, we decided it would be a great idea to take Alex to the show. In an abandoned warehouse. In downtown Dallas. In the freezing cold. After dark.

That, my friends, is how we roll.

We had a great time looking at the art and meeting artists and watching the auctions. Our friends were manning the photo booth, so Alex volunteered to pose for the camera so we could commemorate the evening.

Good times. For more info about the event and the Art Conspiracy Organization, click here. For more pictures of our little con artist and other kooky characters, click here.


So it's been forever since I blogged, period, but even longer since I wrote anything relevant about what Alex is doing and saying at this point. This post is basically a long, rambling list of random things that Alex has been saying or doing, things that I think are brilliant or funny, things that prompt me to think, "I should write this down so I don't forget it". That said, it probably won't be very interesting to the folks that don't want to hear my brag and boast about how sweet and smart and funny my child is (presumably everyone but the grandparents fit into that category). So feel free to opt out until the next post comes along (although there are some really funny pictures in this post, so I suggest scrolling down to enjoy those, at the very least). Here we go.

For some reason, he has always associated "amen" with giving God two thumbs up. Consequently, he calls his thumb his "amen-er", as in, when he slammed his thumb in the lid of my jewelry box, he yelled, "Ouch!!! I hurt my amen-er!!"

He yells, "Ta-da!!!" and throws his hands up after every accomplishment.

Lately we have been focusing on the concept of patience. Around 7 o'clock the other night, I sighed and said something like, "Where is your father? He is taking forever to get home", and Alex held both palms out at me and said, "Wait patiently, Mommy. Daddy is still working."

He is starting to grasp the concept of time, although he hasn't totally caught on because, according to Alex, everything happened "last night". If I ask him if he wants a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, he says, "NO, I had peanut butter and jelly last night!!" If he hears a familiar song on the radio, he gets super excited and exclaims, "I heard that song last night!!"

If you ask him what time it is, he will go study the clock for a few minutes before telling you that it is "four two and a half".

He likes to negotiate based on time frames. If he's busy playing and I ask him if he's ready for lunch, he'll tell me "Not yet!". If I ask him again, he'll tell me to, "Wait a second!", and if I insist that he comes to the table, he'll say, "I wanna play for five more minutes!".

He ends every prayer with, "And God says AMEN!"

He LOVES letters. His favorite song is the alphabet song, which he sings at least half a dozen times a day. He never misses an opportunity to point out an "A for Alex", especially when riding in the car.

His new favorite thing is to send emails. I can hardly turn on my computer before he is at my side, begging to "write an email". He tells me who he wants to write to, he tells me what he wants to say, I tell him which letters to type, and he finds the letters and types them. He can spell his name, so he always signs his emails without any help from me.

He adores books and loves to be read to. He is trying really hard to read himself, and he is great at identifying letter sounds. He has about a 90% accuracy rate when we ask him what letter a particular word starts with, and he can spell a simple word when we encourage him to sound it out.

If I apologize for anything, he responds by saying, "It's okay, Mommy, it was just an accident".

He also loves to make up his own stories, although lately he is more interested in giving us topics and insisting that we make up stories to tell him. His favorite subjects are himself ("Talk to me about Alex!"), space ("Talk to me about the moon!"), and even more often, he wants to hear a story about Thomas the train. Lord help us. And not just regular old Thomas, but a shrunken version of Thomas, one that can do things that regular-sized Thomas is too big to do. I really don't think I can come up with another story about the adventures of "Little Tiny Thomas", so if anyone has any fabulous storylines about a tiny, annoying train engine with a bad attitude, I am all ears.

He is an avid backseat driver. He points out every stop sign he sees, and once we've stopped and moved on, he insists that I "find another octagon!!!". When we come to a red light, he screams, "STOP!". When it turns green, he demands that I "GO!", and if it's yellow, I am told to "SLOW DOWN, MOMMY!".

And the best for last. He LOVES to tell us he loves us. He'll come up to me about a dozen times everyday, hug me around the legs, and say, "I love you, Mommy." If Tim and I are sitting next to each other, he will put his arms around our necks, look at each of us, and say, "I love you guys!".

At times it seems random, but more often, he does it at times when he is especially happy, times when we are having a really fun time together, like when we are doing a project and enjoying each other's company, when we are wrestling or cuddling, or when we are reading a book together. In other words, there is appropriate context for when he says it. It is so obvious that his words aren't arbitrary. It isn't a habit or a case of "going through the motions". He really seems to understand what it means, when you say it, why you say it, and how important it is to say it to the people that love you. It is a really good feeling to know that we say it enough that he has picked up on those cues. How can you not want to hug and kiss and love this kid every second of the day?

Monday, March 8, 2010

awaiting maternity test results

I look at a picture like this and wonder, who the heck does this kid belong to? I did deliver him, right? He wasn't switched at birth, was he? Does he look like me? He has Tim's nose, right? Whose eyes does he have? Are those my earlobes?

I've never thought he looks like either of us, although there are obvious similarities when you compare our baby pictures to his. But that's where the similarities end, as far as I can tell. He just looks like Alex to me. Is it a case of not seeing the forest for the trees? Objective opinions appreciated.