Thursday, July 29, 2010
Zach seems happiest to merely observe out loud the wonders of pregnancy by proclaiming the presence of a baby in my stomach and then asking if he can "pat" her. He then proceeds to gently pat my belly, but then it always seems to escalate to rather firm pats that are more reminiscent of punches (and honestly, I'm getting punched and kicked enough from the inside, I don't need it from the outside as well) and have to be quickly redirected.
He also happily announced last week that his mommy is now the proud owner of a "Kung-Fu Panda Belly." And, just in case you don't know who Kung-Fu Panda is, he is a ginormous, talking, animated panda that performs sweet ninja-moves with a gelatinous, jiggling belly. Definitely just the thing that I wanted to be compared to.
Anyway, I still think Zach is a little confused, though, as to where this baby is actually coming from. Whenever we get together with friends that have baby girls, Zach always inquires if their little girl is our baby. In fact, the other week, he even asked me if we could just share my friend's baby girl!
Allie, always the inquisitive one, has had a million and one questions about her sister. We've talked about how the baby moves and sleeps in my tummy. She's expressed concern over the fact that her sister must be bored "in there" because she has no toys and nothing to do. Allie's enamored by the fact that her sister can hear her voice, but is a little disconcerted that she can't see through my tummy (because how will we know if she likes her new room or not?!).
The best (and most memorable) conversation to date, though, occurred last night over a before bed time snack. I'll try my best to recreate it as follows.
Allie: So when is the baby coming out again?
Me: In the fall, after Zach's birthday.
Zach: I want a Buzz Birthday!
Me: Ok, Zach, that's a good idea, you can have a Buzz Birthday.
Allie: And, where are we going again when the baby comes?
Ben: To stay with Grandma and Grandpa while we go to the hospital.
Zach: But I'll miss Mommy and Daddy!
Me: I know and we'll miss you too, but then when the baby comes, you both can come to the hospital and meet her.
Allie: (taking her time, obviously something is troubling her) But, how will the baby come out, Mom?
Ben: Silence. A bit of panic on his face.
Me: Well, God just makes the baby come out when she is ready.
Allie: But, HOW MOM? HOW can she get out of there???
Ben: Staring right at me. COMPLETE PANIC.
Me: Well, she comes out of a mommy's bottom.
Allie: What?! Are you joking with me?
Me: No, Allie, that is how God made mommies.
Allie: Do you mean she comes out your butt, like poop?
Zach: POOP?! Poop is disgusting.
Ben: Now laughing....silently. And, making absolutely NO effort to help me out!
Me: No, Allie, the baby does not come out a mommy's butt.
Allie: But, the other hole is NOT big enough for a baby to come out of, Mom.
Me: Well, God made it so the hole gets bigger so the baby can fit.
Allie: Oh. So, do you get to see her come out?
Allie: Why not?
Me: Because I can't see down there.
Allie: So, can I see her come out then?
Me: No, only mommies and daddies and doctors and nurses are in the room.
Allie: And, I have to stay with Grandma and Grandpa?
Zach: But, I want to see the baby!
Me: You will, AFTER she comes out.
Allie: Of your bottom, right?
Me: Yes, Allie.
Allie: But, not out of your butt, like poop?
Zach: POOP!? HA? (now laughing hysterically...seriously, what is it with boys and poop?!)
Allie: No, not out of your butt like poop.
Ben: (Through peals of his own laughter) Ok! I think it is probably bath time now!
Here's hoping we get a little more preparation and many fewer follow-up questions when she does decide to ask how the baby got in my tummy in the first place.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
We ended our stay with a grand tour of Sheboygan where we spent some time playing at the beach and even took a dip in Lake Michigan. Of course we did not have our swimsuits along with us at the time, so I was merely anticipating dipping our feet in the icy water, but apparently my two children have never seen an ocean before and ended up completely soaked from the waist down...which provided us all with a good laugh and a load of laundry to do that evening. As a side note, my kids have actually never seen a true ocean before, but do not tell them that. Allie insists Lake Superior and Lake Michigan are indeed oceans. I mean, they have waves AND you cannot see to the other side! Seriously, we live in the Midwest, people, what do you expect?!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
So, instead of writing about all the other crazy little things going on in our world, I have opted for silence. And, then I kind of feel bad when I meet someone (like at the baby shower I attended today) who tells me that they love my blog and read it all the time and although I say something to the effect of "Thanks, I'm glad you like it!" what I'm really thinking is, "I'm not quite sure what awesome blog you are referring to because over the past few months I feel like mine has kind of gone down the crapper." (As a side note, I have officially reached a new low in my blogging life by reading that previous sentence out loud to Ben to inquire whether or not the use of the word "crapper" on my blog is appropriate.)
Anyway, as I write this the kids are watching "Toy Story 2" and drinking Daddy-made strawberry milkshakes while Allie is burning up with a 102 degree fever and complaining of a sore neck (really, she means she has a sore throat, but insists that it is her neck that hurts). I think she just caught a cold that I've had for the past few days, but seems to have come down with a much more severe case. We'll see how tomorrow plays out and if a visit to the doctor on Monday will be necessary. Also, I'm hoping Zach will come down with it sooner rather than later because we have planned to visit my sister and brother-in-law in Wisconsin this week and I'd prefer we just get all the sickness out of the way before our trip.
In other news, Allie passed her swim lessons with flying colors this week and she'll be advancing to the "Titans" class after a two-week hiatus. Hopefully, by then, we can have a few more chats about using our ears more than our mouths at swim lessons and the importance of following the teacher's instructions rather than inventing our own games to play and spending the duration of lesson time successfully convincing all the other boys to take part.
Zach has been spending the majority of his recent days trying to decide whether he is big or little. Truth be told, I think he is just enjoying his last few months of baby-of-the-family status while also feeling conflicted by the innate 2-year-old desire to be a big boy. Either that or he is just beginning to learn how to "work the system." Regardless, this conflict presents itself on a daily basis when he is asked or told certain things. Examples:
Me: Zach, it's time to pick up your toys.
Zach: No...I'm too little to pick up toys.
Me: Zach, you are not supposed to pull Allie's hair. Timeout, buddy.
Zach: No...I'm too big for time out.
Me: Zach, let's use the potty before we leave.
Zach: No, I'm too little for the potty.
Me: Zach, you need to hold my hand while we're in the street.
Zach: No, I'm too big for holding hands.
Me: Zach, aren't you going to eat some broccoli?
Zach: No, I'm too little for broccoli...disgusting.
Unfortunately I'm going to have to end this post prematurely due to my innate fear of thunderstorms (growing up in Oklahoma can do that to you) and the fact that the sirens are blaring away while the local weathermen are talking of 70 mph straight-line winds and funnel clouds. And...Ben just grabbed the flashlights due to the lights flickering. Great...I have about T-minus 10 seconds to put on my brave face for the kids. Either that or Ben is going to have to be brave enough for the both of us...which is usually how it goes.
Update: We weathered the storm out in the basement. Although I thought the birch tree in the front yard was going to snap in two, it did not. The tornado missed us and so did the storm damage. All we suffered from was a 4-hour power outage (of which Ben and I spent an hour and a half of it playing Monopoly by candlelight) and a few big birch branches lying in the front yard. The best part was the awesome rainbow we got to see before putting the kids to bed for the night.
Friday, July 9, 2010
From the very beginning of this pregnancy I have felt strongly that this baby is a girl. I have been sportin' the same oily hair and pimply skin that appeared when I was pregnant with Allie whereas while pregnant with Zach I never had one single bad hair day and had the most perfect complexion of my entire life. Plus, hearing my four year old daily declare that she has been given a baby sister pretty much had me convinced as well.
So, I really wasn't all that surprised when the ultrasound tech announced definitively that the baby is a GIRL! There is no question and we even have the picture to prove it.
I remember feeling surprised at discovering both Allie and Zach's gender. Allie--we didn't find out until delivery (which was more due to her lack of cooperation than our choice) and up until the day I went into labor, I didn't feel strongly one way or the other. Zach's gender was unveiled almost immediately upon the wand being placed on my belly at his 20 week ultrasound and since I was also not feeling strongly boy or girl, I was surprised as well.
So, it feels a little odd to not be surprised this time around. In fact, after the tech made the announcement, my reaction was something like, "Yep, I know" and Ben pretty much laughed.
But, it definitely does feel good to finally know for sure! I love, Love, LOVE to plan, so knowing we have a little girl on the way makes the preparations oh so much easier. Yesterday, the kids and I went out and bought our little gal a girly baby book, some clearance spit bibs (because if our newest daughter takes after her brother and sister, we will need to buy stock in burp rags and spit bibs), and I couldn't resist the pink fleece sleep sacks (which I love for night time changes in the cooler Fall months).
This may seem weird, because obviously we would love this new baby whether boy or girl, but knowing that the little 1.3 pound baby that keeps me up at night with her constant wiggling is a girl really helps me to give her an identity. I love being able to call our new daughter by name (yes, we have chosen a name, but while we're still attempting to convince Allie it is a lovely name, I think I'll keep it on the down low) as opposed to the ambiguous "baby" that we have been using. It is fun to hear the kids talk about their new sister and hear them plan all the things they are going to teach her and do with her.
And, since I usually don't feel at my best while pregnant, knowing we are going to have another daughter helps me to look past the months where my body feels big, tired, and icky toward the months where we will get to welcome a new little girl into our family (in all honesty...right now I'm kind of skipping over the whole just-brought-the-baby-home-she-never-sleeps-I'm-so-exhausted-how-will-I-ever-survive-this period because, for the moment, I am choosing to forget that--kind of like how I'm also choosing to gloss over the whole oh-my-gosh-I'm-in-labor-this-is-the-worst-pain-I've-ever-felt-why-in-the-world-did-I-decide-to-have-a-3rd-baby period as well. But alas, after having gone through this with two kids and SURVIVING, I kind of hope the whole shock factor will be a little decreased this time around...who knows...I could be completely wrong...you'll just have to ask me again at Christmastime).
So, anyway, we are all excited about the new baby girl on the way. Allie, though, I'm sure is the most thrilled. When I told her, her response went something like: "Oh, I TOLD YOU SO MOM! I'm getting a sister?! I just knew it! I'm so happy! Yay! I'm getting a sister!" Zach's reaction was more of an "Oh. Ok."
However, the little sister that was due to arrive on October 26 will most likely be making a later appearance somewhere around November 6. They officially changed my due date and at first I was a little bummed, but then decided I much prefer a due date change than waiting excruciatingly every single day after October 26 and having her a perceived 11 days late. I've already gone 5 days over a due date (with Allie) and that was not really my idea of fun.
I believe that covers most of the new baby news. Other than the fact that all I ever want to eat are Pop-Tarts. I can't even remember the last time I craved a Pop-Tart, of all things, but here I am, 20-some weeks pregnant (my brain still isn't functioning well enough to calculate how many weeks preggo I am according to my new due date), and all I want is a stinkin' Pop-Tart. I had one a few weeks ago and after glancing at the nutritional information on the side of the box, I decided I needed to limit my Pop-Tart intake, no matter how intense the craving. We'll have to see how long I hold out.....
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Although from the picture you cannot tell (I think she was actually struggling to keep her eyes open because I posed her so that she was looking directly into the sun), she was so excited to begin swim lessons.
Zach was very disappointed upon arrival at the pool only to discover that he was not registered for swim lessons too. I explained to him several times before Monday morning that you have to be 4 years old to be in swim lessons by yourself, to which he continually commented forcefully, "I AM FOUR!" At least he is determined...
There was actually a class I could have enrolled him in, but I have to be present in the water with him and since the timing didn't coincide with Allie's class, there was no way I could sign him up. I know Allie is maturing quickly, but I don't think she is quite ready to entertain herself poolside without any parental supervision. Actually, after observing Allie's class this week, I'm fairly certain that by next year both Zach and Allie will be able to take swim lessons.
Anyway, Allie is doing great in swim lessons! She is the only girl with four other boy classmates and she manages to out-talk them all. She also seems to be the most daring in the water, jumping in with no hesitation, kicking her little heart out, and even showing the teacher how she can dive just like Ariel. I thought maybe she would get tired of going to swim lessons every single morning of the week, but come to find out, she was actually disappointed when she found out we aren't going tomorrow (there are no classes on Fridays). We have one more week of lessons for this session, then a two week break, and then I signed her up for another two-week session in August.
I have a feeling the only thing I will be hearing about for the last two weeks in July is why she can't go to swim lessons until August! Good thing we will be gone one of those weeks visiting Aunt Stephanie--hopefully the excitement of seeing her and Uncle Chris will put her enthusiasm for swim lessons on hold for at least a few days.
This next family shot is by our favorite vacation restaurant: The Thirsty Whale.
The big grey thing the kids are sitting on is actually a little whale statue and we try to take a family picture here every year. So why is the Thirsty Whale our favorite dining location? First, they make the best french fries I have ever tasted. Second, they have deep fried bread sticks. Need I say more?
Another favorite pastime while on vacation is visiting the local beaches. When it was too cold to go swimming, the kids still had fun picking flowers and finding snail shells along the lake:
- Turtle Fudge from the local candy shop
- Several walks into town on the scenic bike trail
- Watching the kids run around like crazy people on the playground
- Caramel Corn from the popcorn shop in town
- Playing Settlers with Ben and Chris
- Playing Hearts and Eucher with my dad, Ben, and Chris (I won Hearts by a landslide and Chris and I were victorious at Eucher!)
- Experiencing no problems at all with the kids sleeping while sharing a room
- Zach having a completely accident free week (unfortunately that streak has not continued upon our return home)
- Having Ben and Chris accompany me to the local movie theater to see the new Twilight movie at 9:45 pm (I actually cannot even remember the last time I stayed out that late-haha!)
One of our absolute favorite things to do on vacation is spend time on my dad's boat. While the big boys, namely Ben and Uncle Chris, participate in the death-defying water sport of wake boarding...
(Yep, that's Ben wake boarding behind the boat...I can honestly attest to the fact that my brother would never EVER be caught dead in a pair of bright orange swim trunks.)
This was Zach's first ever experience tubing and I'm not sure he was as thrilled about it as Allie. Whereas he is always begging Grandpa to take the boat "faster!" when he is merely a passenger, as a tuber he was a little more hesitant about going fast, especially when "high bumpies" were involved.
Grandpa even gave both kids their very first opportunity to drive the boat in middle of the actual lake (as opposed to the opportunity usually being given when the boat is securely fastened to the dock).
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
We weren't really planning on horseback riding this year (mostly because the preggo mama wasn't allowed to participate), but then we saw a sign for pony rides and decided to give it a shot. The kids loved the opportunity and it was actually fun for the adults too because we got to lead the ponies around the wooded trail by ourselves!
Next up, Allie saw these little statue horses and insisted upon a picture:
Zach, on the other hand, sat on top of one of the statue horses and began screaming "NO PICTURE!" as soon as I whipped the camera out: Go-karts were next up and the kids were thrilled. Since preggo mama wasn't allowed to do the go-karts either, Zach picked to ride with Daddy and Allie decided to go with Grandma:
Since all was going so well, we decided to try our luck at the mini golf course. Unfortunately, the kids were reaching near-melt-down stage and the ideal mini golf experience was not had. Taking turns just didn't seem to be on their agenda and they had no interest in hitting the golf balls with the clubs, but preferred to roll them around the greens and place them into the holes or throw them into the water hazards while also jumping on every single rock, bridge, or embankment. Incessant whining seemed to take precedence over all else and by the end I think we were all amazed we actually survived all 18 holes alive and well.
Allie was not interested at all in having anyone give her any help and made sure everyone knew her feelings.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
This summer marks the 5th year that we have spent our week long summer vacation in Minoqua. In a way, it almost feels like a second home to us: we always stay in the same cabin (ahem...a more accurate description would probably be humongous log home well equipped to sleep all of our growing extended family), we know all the lakes and beaches, and we have our favorite spots in town we must visit every year. I think it is pretty neat that we are beginning a family vacation tradition with our kids that they will remember for the rest of their lives. And, hopefully, when they reminisce back to their summer week-long vacations in Minoqua as kids they'll still feel a lot like this:
The beginning of our week this year started out rather cool and rainy. In fact, there was a record breaking low evening temperature in the upper 30's - low 40's for one of the evenings. A little too cold for my tastes for the end of June, but we made the best of it anyhow. When we weren't bundled up for a boat ride or a walk into town, we spent some time at the indoor swimming pool where the kids officially turned into fish:
We also spent some time hanging out in the cabin: reading books, playing games, playing with toys, chatting, attempting to relax (as much as possible with two very energetic kids around!), and enjoying the cable TV (especially Playhouse Disney).
Although I'm sure we would have had fun even if the cool temperatures and drizzly rain lasted the entire week, we were more than happy when the sun broke through and we were able to enjoy the outdoors even more.