Thursday, August 27, 2009

Avian Diaspora

Walking back from kindergarten today I was surprised to hear Large S say 'bird' as we passed a busy bird feeder. It was the first time I have heard him say 'bird' instead of 'jew'.

This refinement in his vocabulary should help end the months-long flood of confusion, embarrassment and accusations of anti-Semitism.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Two Milestones

(one was a bit bigger than the other)

1st Milestone: Little Lord Steed is two weeks old today

Despite his difficulty falling asleep and staying there for a while, I think we will keep him. His brother's have become very attached to him and are constantly asking to hold him and giving him kisses on top of his head. I can't give you any stats on how much he has grown since his 'two week check up' will not be until next week, when he will be three weeks old. But right now he only looks a little bit bigger than when we left the hospital. We are constantly commenting on his smallness. Both Theric and I had forgotten how tiny newborns are. He is still a bit jaundice and I am trying to not worry about that too much. He is certainly more aware and alert than he was just a week ago. He will stare at and track objects placed in his line of vision. He also seems to recognize our voices. He enjoys looking at our faces. Today a friend stopped by to see us and Little Lord Steed stopped crying for a moment when she leaned in close and said hello to him--I think he stopped crying because he did not recognize her voice or her face and was startled by this--it was kind of funny. Theric says that he has dimples, though I have yet to witness the appearance of two dimples, I have seen only one, so I will just have to take Theric's word for it. Little Lord Steed has made a very happy addition to our family.

2nd Milestone: First Day of School! First Day of School!

The Big O started Kindergarten today and it all went very well. For the past year the Big O has been telling me, "Mommy, I don't want to go to school. I want to stay home with you." Even after two Kindergarten tours. This has worried me. Especially when he suggested to me, "Mommy, why can't you do school at home with me like my Aunt does with my cousins?" No way I am homeschooling you kid--I'd be a horrible teacher. I decided to stop talking about Kindergarten since every time I brought it up the Big O would become very adamant about not wanting to go. I figured I'd just take him on the first day and deal with whatever scene would arise.

Fortunately there was no scene.

I credit this to my mother-in-law who came to visit 10 days ago and brought the Big O a 'Kindergarten Survival Kit' filled with crayons, scissors, paper, candy, cookies and other items, each with a cute little phrase about how said item would help the Big O survive Kindergarten. This kit completely changed his attitude. Ever since then he's been asking about when school would start and counting down the days to the first day of school. Today, August 25th, was the day. The Big O wore his brand new first-day-of- school-outfit and his new backpack and could hardly wait to leave the house (he has afternoon kindergarten which made the anticipation this morning that much more intense).

The only tears shed when he left to go line up with his class were mine. He barely said good-bye to me, I had to ask for a hug. I tried to impart a few words of wisdom and love but choked on my own tears instead. I had not expected this much emotion. I have been eagerly awaiting his first day of school. Having him all day at home was starting to drive me a little bit crazy, so I was quite surprised at my tears.

My Big O is growing up and is no longer baby--how can this be! How can the time have passed so quickly!? How can I have a child in Kindergarten?!

So the first day went way better than I had ever hoped for and he can hardly wait to go back tomorrow. Hooray for the Big O!

(Large S was a little sad and confused about why he could not go with his brother to school. But a hug made it all a little easier to handle.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Attn Pregnant Readers

For those of you that will be giving birth soon, I want to share with you a very useful thing: Contraction Master.

This app was so useful. I highly recommend using it to record and time your contractions. I remember when labor started with Large S and how difficult it was for Theric to time the contractions. He would have to time the contraction while also providing support for me, then have to go and write down the info after it had ended. We never really felt like he got accurate-enough readings for the contractions, thus making us a little unsure about their length and spacing-- which is info you need to feel accurate about when you call the hospital or your doctor/midwife to find out if you should be heading to the hospital. Overall, the recording of the contractions back in 2007 added an extra element of stress to a situation that we were trying to keep as unstressful as possible.

When contractions started in earnest this time around Theric and I had two kids we were trying to put to bed--a stressful activity on a good day. At some point I left the bedtime activities and went to our room because the contractions were getting strong and I need to start focusing on relaxing, not on how to convince the boys to calm down and stay in bed (we'd made the mistake of telling them Grandma might come and get them later that night). Theric was left with this job, which meant, I knew, that I needed to start timing my contractions. I took the only portable clock with a second hand from the bathroom and put it in our bedroom. I tried to time those contractions, but it was hard--hard to remember what time one had started once it was over--because while it was happening, I was trying to relax my whole body and trying to remove my conscious self from the moment. Trying to remember something, let alone something as rigid as a point on a clock, was in opposition to what I was trying to do.

When Theric finally got the kids in bed and came to see how I was doing, I was not able to give him any sort of concrete report regarding the length and spacing of my contractions.

I sent Theric to look for an online timer and a few minutes later, he came back to the room, took my laptop and brought up the Contraction Master. He explained it to me and said we should try it out. He then left to go take care of some timely job-related stuff while I continued on with the birth process. Because of this website I was able to really focus on my Hypnobirthing techniques. The Contraction Master only required that I hit the 's' key as a surge began and when it ended--much much easier than having to look at the clock and note the time. The Contraction Master works so well that Theric was able to nap lightly and man the 's' key at the same time! (Eventually, even being in charge of the 's' key was too much for me; laboring required all my attention and remembering to hit it was taking me out of my zone.) When he was done napping (when I needed his regular assistance), it allowed him to provide me with the support I needed and keep a super-accurate record of my contractions.

(Aside to Contraction Master, if you happen by: 's' not the best key--space bar would be easier to find in a rush or when half-sleep.)

Because of the Contraction Master he could look at the results and see that my contractions had reached the point where we should call the hospital. And he was then able to give the nurse a completely accurate reporting on the contractions. Plus, it was really cool to be able to look at the data--I may have been the one experiencing the contractions, but I really wasn't aware of how long each was, how long between, so to be able to see all the information on the screen and see how labor was progressing was really neat--encouraging even.

So, if you are going to be going into labor soon, I highly recommend that you bookmark Contraction Master or download the app to your iPhone. It will remove one element of stress from your labor. Although be warned: if you have a geeky husband, do you really want to give him another reason to keep looking at his iPhone every three minutes?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thteed baby 3 is here!

The newest Thteed arrived August 11, 2009 at 4.37am
He weighed in at 7lbs 12oz and 20.5 inches long.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Happy Birthday to Theric!

Time marches on and you are one year older. I had hoped to give you a brand spanking new human for your birthday but alas it appears that it (the human) is not quite done yet. You will, instead, have to settle for inanimate objects, a day without children and a home cooked dinner. I hope this is acceptable and brings some amount of happiness to your birthday.

Lady Steed