Monday, May 30, 2011

The unofficial start to Summer

In true New England fashion, we have once again gone straight from Winter to Summer.

Last week, I was sending Jacob off to school in a hooded fleece sweatshirt and wondering if he would be warm enough on the playground during recess. It was 40 degrees. The past few days have been in the upper 80's and todays forecast says we might reach 90! It is supposed to stay in the 80's through Thursday when a cool front should usher in some 70 degree weather and I am looking forward to it. I am trying to hold off as long as possible before installing our three window AC units which will bring with them a drastic increase in our monthly electric bill.

One thing I always said I would never do is have a Summer baby. I didn't want to be hot and pregnant during the Summer months and I didn't want my poor kid being the poor child who didn't get to celebrate his birthday during the school year. One of my brothers was born in July and always hated how all the other kids got to wear birthday crowns on their special day and bring in a treat for the class and he never got to partake in that.

Ideally, I wanted to have a baby in April or May so that I was able to enjoy the end of Summer without being stuck indoors recovering from child birth and nursing around the clock. How ironic that all THREE of my children were born, or due, in JULY! I guess you can't really expect that your body will get pregnant when you want it to.

With all three pregnancies, have come the obligatory questions that arise when someone encounters a very obviously pregnant woman. The first? When are you due? Jacob was due July 8th and Grace and Eli (YES! Baby number three officially has a name!) were both due on August 16th ironically and have (or will have) late July birthdays due to repeat c-sections. When I respond with the month I am due I always get sympathetic nods and comments of, "Oh, you are going to be hot and miserable all Summer". I have come up with a list of the reasons why I have realized now, after being pregnant three times, that the Summer is actually the BEST time to be pregnant:

1.) Swelling. Yes, they say swelling can be worse in the heat, but most pregnant women swell anyway regardless of the season. I would rather be wearing flip flops in June and July then trying to find a way to shove my fat cankles into shoes to avoid having to wear flip flops out in two feet of snow in January!

2.) The heat. Yes, it is hot in the Summer, but you know what? All pregnant women seem to run about 10 degrees hotter than most when they are hauling around 20 extra pounds of baby weight. I don't have to fight over the thermostat with my husband in the dead of Winter when the rest of the family is freezing. I can simply take a cool shower, sit with my kids in their kiddie pool or wear maxi dresses, tank tops and, once again, flip flops to cool down!

3.) Cabin Fever! I cannot imagine bringing a baby home in December and being stuck indoors for the next 3 months until the Spring thaw. At least I have the end of Summer and the entire Fall season to go out and take walks around the neighborhood, visit the local park/playground and get out of the house every day for a few hours without having to bundle everyone up for sub zero temps and snow.

I really could go on and on, but these are the top three reasons I believe that being pregnant in the Summer is ten times better than being due in the dead of Winter. Especially if you live in a climate like ours where there is most likely snow on the ground between December and March!

In closing, just because I love to compare what we were doing "last year at this time" I wanted to include a picture of the kids from last year and this weekend. One year ago today, we were wrapping up our visit with friends in Boswell, PA and headed East towards Langhorne, PA to take the kids to Sesame Place for a few days before our trek home. This year, we spent Saturday morning in Brewster Gardens letting the kids burn off some energy and taking pictures. I started reminiscing about how little they were last year this weekend and how far they have come.

Memorial Day 2010: Grace - 10 months and Jacob - 26 months

Memorial Day Weekend 2011: Grace - 22 months and Jacob - 3 yrs 2 months

In one year, Jacob has managed to break his leg (and spent 7 weeks in a hip spica cast, immobile, recovering from said fracture), graduated from his NICU follow-up clinic, graduated from the Early Intervention program, started (and in 6 more school days almost finished) his first year in preschool.

In one year, Grace celebrated her very first birthday, started walking, running, talking and doing pretty much everything else babies do once they become toddlers.

It has been a crazy year, but we are ready to welcome the third addition in two short months and begin a new chapter of our lives!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The dawn of a new era

Tonight, I will sit on my couch with a nice bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream and watch the Biggest Loser finale.

Tomorrow, DirecTV will arrive at high noon to promptly disconnect my cable box, haul it away and the TV will go to the basement. I already feel better!

A few months ago, I talked to a friend who said that she and her husband had gotten rid of their TV. As she spoke about how difficult it was at first, but how they got used to it over time, and how much more reading and studying they were doing, I was thinking, "There is no way I could ever do that". Fast forward to yesterday. Jacob and Grace woke up around 7:45 and watched their usual 30 minute show (Fresh Beat Band) before breakfast. After they were fed, I had a bowl of cereal and watched the 6 AM news which records on my DVR every morning. After I was finished eating, I shut off the TV and the meltdown began. Jacob wasn't even WATCHING the news, but our Samsung DLP TV chimes when it turns off (obnoxious!) and as soon as he heard the bells toll he was wailing. In the next couple of hours, Grace asked me no less than 4 times for "Mickey?", "Jack?" or "DoraBoots!" (all one word). Everytime I said no there were tears. I was starting to get slightly irritated. They ended the day with a tubby, some milk and a Backyardigans episode. I believe they are starting to think, that if it is there, it should be on regardless of whether or not anyone is actually watching it.

Until Jacob was two, the TV was never on in our house and then he started gagging himself. You know that trick infants/toddlers pull when they realize if they stick their finger down their throat and gag that they get your attention? Well, Jacob was AWFUL with that and would usually do it to the point of puking. We tried to force a pacifier on him (he had never taken one before and refused to start), but that didn't work so I resorted to using the TV as a distraction method. He still only watched one or two shows a day, but that has gradually increased over time and now they can watch up to 4 shows in one day. I am fed up. I have decided to pull the plug. LITERALLY.

After going back and forth all day yesterday on whether or not I could actually do it (I admit, I myself am a TV junkie at night) I decided to bite the bullet and I called DirecTV. I told the CSR what I wanted to do and he responded by attempting to upgrade me to an HD receiver . After telling him that the point of getting RID of the TV is so we don't WATCH it, he scheduled an appointment for a service tech to come to the house tomorrow.

I figure if there is ever a time to attempt this it is now. Summer is right around the corner. We'll be outside more, going on day trips to the Cape, the beach, etc. Not to mention I will have a NEWBORN....AGAIN... in LESS THAN TWO MONTHS!!! I think the three kids will keep me busy enough where I will be happy to fall into bed and unwind with a good book instead of a one hour drama or reality show.

We've decided if things get a little hairy in the Winter we'll revisit our plan then, but for now I already feel better about my decision. Not to mention, I have polled a few people regarding their decision to ditch the TV and all of them said it was the best decision they ever made! Two people even told me they did it for one year on a trial basis and it has been 14 months and 2 years already for them and they haven't looked back! I am already reorganizing my living room furniture in my head since our 46" TV and the stand it sits on take up so much space. Our living area will increase by about 30%!

Wish me luck!

Monday, May 23, 2011

More Party Planning....

Well, we have officially decided to host Grace's second birthday party BEFORE baby #3 makes an appearance. The big day is June 25th which gives me a month to get this thing thrown together and that is being generous. More than likely, I only have two weeks before I start getting super uncomfortable and lose all of my energy to plan parties or do anything other than sit with the kids out back in their kiddie pool. School ends for Jacob on 6/10 so I am hoping to get most of my stuff done the last couple of weeks of school and then relax until the day of. Hopefully, I can keep the house clean that long.....

We have also decided to convert her Abby Cadabby party to an Elmo and Abby party. Do you know how hard it is to find Abby Cadabby anything these days? Everything is Sesame Street themed (the entire cast) or Elmo related. I am still planning on using my Abby stuff I have already purchased, but I am starting to throw in Elmo stuff as well. Not to mention 60% of Grace's invited guests are little boys and I feel bad sending them home with Abby Cadabby favors. Now they can choose between Abby and Elmo if they want. :)

For starters here are the invites I am ordering:

In addition to that, I am skipping cupcakes/cake and deciding to be different this year. We spent a boatload on cupcakes and wrappers/toppers for Jacob's birthday and made sure there were enough cupcakes for a "one cupcake per guest ratio" and we had a whole dozen left over! Big waste of food and money! This time we are doing those giant sugar cookies shaped like Elmo's face (you know the ones!) and hoodsie cups. The cookies will be in cellophane bags tied with ribbon so you can take yours and eat it at the party or take it home. Just don't leave it behind for me to consume before it goes bad (which is what happened with most of the leftover cupcakes)! Here is a picture to give you an idea:

It's not set in stone yet, but we have our fingers crossed!! Elmo might make an appearance at Grace's birthday party!!! We were trying to decide what to do for entertainment purposes and Grace is still a little too young to enjoy a bouncy house and since this is HER party I wanted to do something she would enjoy. We will probably do a pinata, but other than that, most birthday party games are out of her league (think pin the tail on the donkey).

Last year, we set up her water table, kiddie pool and beach ball sprinkler and the kids had a blast! This year they have all their new yard toys as well so I know the kids will have fun regardless, but we drove by a Friendly's restaurant the other day which had a "Grand Re-Opening" and they had someone out front dressed in an Elmo costume waving to the cars and my kids FLIPPED OUT. I thought, how awesome would it be if I could find a costume shop to rent Elmo from and have Uncle Josh or Uncle Andy be Elmo for a half hour?! Sure enough, I found an Elmo costume for rent in our town! Just waiting to hear about availability, but the cost of the rental is LESS THAN HALF the cost of a bouncy house or anything similar and is right up my kids' alley! They will go nuts when they see him and we'll be able to get pictures too! Ian says I might be more excited than the kids.

As for food, I am keeping it simple this year. Hamburgers/hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad and chips. Luckily, our parties are pretty small and consist of immediate family and our closest friends so we won't need to buy too much and we can keep it intimate enough where I should be able to drag my cankles around and spend some time with everybody. I am a little sad that this is Grace's last birthday party that will be all about her, but there is NO WAY I am planning two separate parties in July for the next 10 years. I plan to enjoy this one and make it all about her.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

An Update with Pictures

I haven't posted any pictures of the kids in awhile. Mainly because this is how we have spent the last 6-8 weeks:

Have you ever seen anything more pitiful?! It started the week after Jacob started preschool and I was sure it was the beginning of the end. After all, he spends three days a week running around with 14 other 3 and 4 year olds and we all know what germ magnets toddlers are. I guess that is what happens when kids start school. Fortunately, this first illness (above) was the worst. Jacob was vomiting, but only 3 times in two hours and then he was done. Grace was lethargic and seemed sick, but after 3 hours of lying on the couch both kids were bouncing off the walls. Since then we have seemed to get cold after cold, but as of right now everyone is healthy and we hope it stays that way.

Last month, during one of our one or two days of health, we took a trip down to the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI. Our library has museum and zoo passes so we checked one out and headed down for the day. It was a balmy 75 degrees, but overcast so we didn't need any sunblock at all! It was a perfect day for the zoo! Grace talked about the elephants all week leading up to our trip so we were happy to see they were out and the kids had a blast.

In between all of this rain, we have managed to get the kids out in the yard for some playtime. They are loving all their new backyard toys and hopefully the warm weather is right around the corner and we can break out their water table, beach ball sprinkler and kiddie pool!

In pregnancy news, I have officially hit 27 weeks and my third trimester! It is so nice to make it here for a second time and is definitely cause for celebration, but we still have a long way to go. My last appointment with the MFM is this Wednesday and then I am being released back to my OB. I am seen bi-weekly by her for the remainder of the pregnancy and go in weekly for my progesterone shot with the nurse. There is some concern surrounding my incision/baby/c-section date. We were originally tossing around 36w3d which is when we delivered Grace (and also happens to be 7/22 which is her birthday!), but there is some concern that:

a. This baby is a boy and boys tend to be less mature at birth than girls. Since Grace was a girl, and needed no intervention, they want to make sure they don't attempt to take him too soon and have him end up in the special care nursery due to underdeveloped lungs. Most likely, I will be having another amnio this time around which is disappointing since we delivered Grace regardless of the results (immature) and she was fine. The whole amnio procedure makes me nervous!

b. My classical incision is still a rupture risk so we don't want to wait too long to deliver because

c. Boys tend to be larger than girls at birth and Grace was 7.7 lbs at 36w3d and thisclose to busting out of my uterus. My uterus was "paper thin" at her delivery, translucent and dangerously close to rupture. It was repaired by my OB at that delivery and stitched thicker to hold up to a future pregnancy, but we need to be careful.

All things considered, my OB is going to consult with the MFM and they will make a decision together. Obviously, we want the baby born safe and healthy, but I have to say that I will gladly take 36w and a few days in the nursery, if need be, over a 24w micro-preemie any day.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...