I’m in Love

I’m in Love

I want­ed to write a post about Jonas and how much I am enjoy­ing the baby­moon with him.  I want­ed to find a pic­ture to post on here that would do jus­tice to his amaz­ing­ly beau­ti­ful big brown eyes and his soft baby hair.  I want­ed to post a pic­ture of him gaz­ing at me or at Jason with his sweet expres­sion.  I want­ed some­thing that would do jus­tice to the over­whelm­ing love I feel for this tiny babe.  I want­ed a way to express just how much I an enjoy­ing every day with him, how I miss him when he naps, and how I am jeal­ous of oth­ers when they hold him.

I thought about try­ing to explain how much I love it when he wraps his lit­tle fin­gers around one of mine.  I thought maybe I could explain how much I like to rest my cheek on his head when he’s sleep­ing on my chest or what his sweet baby sounds are like.

I didn’t have a pic­ture that would do all those things though, and I’m at a loss for words to describe this beau­ti­ful, sweet, adorable boy.

This will have to do.

Jonas’ Birth Story

This preg­nan­cy was dif­fer­ent than my oth­er two.  I know that every preg­nan­cy is dif­fer­ent, and I thought that my first and sec­ond preg­nan­cies were dif­fer­ent.  But, num­ber three was WAY dif­fer­ent for me.  I had heard from many peo­ple that there’s “some­thing about num­ber three.”  No one real­ly had a con­crete expla­na­tion for what that meant, but I thought about it every. sin­gle. day.  I was pret­ty sure it had to be bad.  My pre­vi­ous labors had been most­ly good expe­ri­ences for me.  That meant that num­ber three would be hard­er.  I was pret­ty sure that’s what it meant any­way.

As I got to the end of my preg­nan­cy, I noticed that Jonas was on the right side of my abdomen as opposed to the left side where most babies set­tle toward the end of preg­nan­cy.  I was pret­ty sure that was it.  The fact that he was on the right side was what was going to lead to the dif­fi­cul­ties I was sure to expe­ri­ence dur­ing labor.  I was sure of it.  Thank­ful­ly, my friend, Rhon­da, was con­fi­dent in my abil­i­ty to birth this baby.  I, how­ev­er, was not.  Start­ing around my 34th week of preg­nan­cy, I began to expe­ri­ence a sig­nif­i­cant increase in con­trac­tions.  I woke up in the mid­dle of the night at one point with con­trac­tions that were com­ing every 5 min­utes and were uncom­fort­able, verg­ing on painful.  Noth­ing came of that bout of con­trac­tions.  How­ev­er, it hap­pened sev­er­al oth­er times as I approached my due date.  By the time the week before my due date arrived, I had con­vinced myself that Jonas’ posi­tion was “bad,” that my labor was going to be long and dif­fi­cult, and that I may not go into labor on my own at any point.  Look­ing back I’m not sure how I man­aged to let my wor­ries and hor­mones get to this point, but I did.

On Thurs­day after­noon, the day before Jonas was born, I had a vis­it from Rhon­da.  She gave me a pep talk and reit­er­at­ed to me that I was capa­ble of birthing my baby and that hav­ing the baby was what my body was meant to do.  I man­aged to relax a bit.  Lat­er that evening, I went to Tar­get to pick up a few items and while I was there I couldn’t believe that with all the irreg­u­lar con­trac­tions I was hav­ing along with the pres­sure I felt that I wasn’t in labor.  I called a friend to firm up plans for child­care just in case I went into labor dur­ing the week­end.

Fri­day morn­ing, I woke up at a lit­tle after 5 with a con­trac­tion.  It was strong enough that I felt like I should check the clock and see if there was any sort of pat­tern.  There wasn’t.  My next con­trac­tion was some­thing like 13 min­utes lat­er, then 6 min­utes, then 10.  At that point, I knew I was hav­ing enough con­trac­tions and it was my due date, so I woke Jason to tell him I was in labor.  I also told him to go back to bed (not sure what I was think­ing).  He didn’t lis­ten to me.  He knew bet­ter.  After a cou­ple more con­trac­tions, I took him my phone and told him to call our friend to watch Kael and Asa so we could go to the hos­pi­tal.  He also called labor & deliv­ery to let them know we’d be com­ing.  It was 5:50.

Once our friend arrived, we left for the hos­pi­tal.  Luck­i­ly for me, it was a very short (5ish min­utes) dri­ve.  When we got upstairs to L&D, the nurse who met us said, “We saw your last labor was 40 min­utes, so we’re ready for you.”  I went into my room.  The nurs­es offered me a hos­pi­tal gown, and I said, “No thanks.  I don’t care if my clothes get dirty, but I don’t want to wear one of those.”  They asked if I would lay down so they could check to see how far dilat­ed I was.  I intend­ed to lay on the bed, but the con­trac­tions were so intense I couldn’t do it.  I told them they should prob­a­bly call my doc­tor.  They said they would call my res­i­dent (I had a doc­tor and a res­i­dent, because I go to a clin­ic which is affil­i­at­ed with a med school and trains fam­i­ly prac­tice res­i­dents).  They explained the res­i­dent usu­al­ly comes in to assess the patient and relays the sit­u­a­tion to the doc­tor.  I told them to call my res­i­dent and my doc­tor.  One of the nurs­es left to go get some­thing.  The oth­er asked if I want­ed a birth ball to sit on.  I told her that I prob­a­bly wouldn’t sit on it, but I might lean on it.  She made a flip­pant com­ment like, “You’re not going to have a baby while I’m gone are you?”  I said, “I can’t promise any­thing.”  She said, “Are you hav­ing pres­sure?”  I think I said some­thing very well-man­nered like, “Well, yeah!”  She said, “I’ll have some­one else get the ball for you.” 🙂

Just a cou­ple min­utes after that con­ver­sa­tion, I said, “I have to push!”  I hadn’t been checked.  There was no doc­tor there or any­where near, and I was still stand­ing next to the bed.  Appar­ent­ly Jonas didn’t care.  I start­ed push­ing.  My water broke after a push or two, and I heard the nurse say, “Where’s the doc­tor?”  “That’s a head!”  “Is the doc­tor com­ing????”  Because I was still stand­ing, the nurs­es start­ed throw­ing pil­lows and oth­er absorbent and soft items on the floor between my feet.  Jonas was born a short time lat­er at 6:22.  The nurse caught him.  He was 22.5 inch­es long and 9 lbs 11.5 oz.

The res­i­dent on call arrived a few min­utes lat­er.  My doc­tor arrived about 5 min­utes after him, and my res­i­dent arrived about 5 min­utes after that.  He latched on soon after birth, and he is breast­feed­ing well.  I am writ­ing this 2 weeks and 2 days after his birth, and accord­ing to my unof­fi­cial weight check in our bath­room, he’s some­where around 12.5 lbs.

Baby Berbs #3 is Here!

Baby Berbs #3 is Here!

Outgrowing Toys

Outgrowing Toys

Late­ly, I’ve been notic­ing some­thing at our house. Kael is 4 years old (5 in Novem­ber), and Asa turned 3 in July. It seems to me that right now their inter­ests and abil­i­ties are prob­a­bly as dif­fer­ent as they have been in quite some time. We have def­i­nite­ly tak­en advan­tage of the fact that they are close in age when buy­ing toys, games, and oth­er play things around our place. We often buy things for them that we know they will both like and be able to use. Up until now, I think this has worked pret­ty well for us. They play togeth­er pret­ty well for the most part.

They have great imag­i­na­tions and do a lot of cre­ative play and imag­i­nary play.

Asa with his cape and water shoes giv­ing me the angry eyes.

They have no prob­lems find­ing things to do when we are out and around town at parks or friends’ hous­es.

Play­ing at one of our favorite parks

The prob­lem (if that’s even what it is) comes when we are at home. Kael is out­grow­ing many of our toys. He’s show­ing more inter­est in read­ing books him­self, spelling things, manip­u­lat­ing num­bers (and mem­o­riz­ing my phone num­ber!), and mazes to name a few of the more “aca­d­e­m­ic” inter­ests he’s show­ing. He’s show­ing less inter­est in his fire trucks, stuffed ani­mals, and oth­er toys. More and more often, I find that he is get­ting out toys, play­ing for just a few min­utes and mov­ing on to some­thing. Some­times the thing he moves on to is anoth­er toy, but many times it’s irri­tat­ing his broth­er. (No pic­tures of that. 🙂 )

For a while I thought maybe he wasn’t get­ting enough active play. Maybe he was too tired and need­ed more sleep. Maybe there was a diet imbal­ance or sen­si­tiv­i­ty to some­thing we were eat­ing. Then, today a friend men­tioned she and anoth­er friend had felt sim­i­lar­ly about their chil­dren who are about Kael’s age.

Anoth­er obser­va­tion that my friend made was that Kael’s birth­day and Christ­mas are about six weeks apart. This means that the major­i­ty of the stuff he gets as gifts comes dur­ing this time peri­od. It also means that by this time of year, most of those things are also geared for some­one almost a year younger than he is. I feel like much of what we have to do around our apart­ment is geared for the 2–4 or 3–5 age range. I also feel like Kael is mov­ing very much into the next brack­et what­ev­er that is. Maybe 4–6 or 5–7? I am not real­ly sure since this is new ter­ri­to­ry, but I think you prob­a­bly get the idea.

What do I do about this? I’m not real­ly sure. There are a few things that Jason and I have thought about and talked about. None of them seem to real­ly solve the prob­lem, so I’m guess­ing the solu­tion is more of a lit­tle of this, lit­tle of that kind of solu­tion vs. a black and white answer.

We talked about get­ting Kael some new stuff. I feel like cring­ing as I even write that sen­tence. On one hand, I know that stuff (games, toys, books, etc.) is not the answer. How­ev­er, on the oth­er hand, I under­stand the val­ue of hav­ing age appro­pri­ate and chal­leng­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able for him.

We talked about doing some sort of play­date exchange with a friend where one day a week, Kael would go to a friend’s house to play for a few hours. This would give him a change of scenery, some new toys to play with, and a dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ence than he would have at home. My hes­i­ta­tion with this one is that I can’t just send him to a friend once a week. I would also need to have this friend’s child over to our house for a morn­ing once a week. With the upcom­ing move and a baby on the way this seems over­whelm­ing right now.

We talked (very briefly) about putting him into child­care or preschool for a few hours a week. Nei­ther of these were quite right either. We don’t need some­one to just keep him at a child­care cen­ter and watch him play. We also are not all that excit­ed about most of the options that are avail­able here. There are a cou­ple options that we are com­fort­able with as far as the phi­los­o­phy of the preschool goes, but they don’t work out for oth­er rea­sons. One costs more than we are will­ing or able to spend on a “just because” preschool. Anoth­er is just a cou­ple hours in the morn­ing and requires fair­ly fre­quent par­ent­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion. Between the short time peri­od and the required par­tic­i­pa­tion, I think it would be near­ly impos­si­ble to work out the logis­tics after Baby is born.

As I read through this post, I feel like the last part is quite a bit of, here’s what we could do, but here’s why it won’t work sort of excus­es. I’m actu­al­ly a lit­tle hes­i­tant to leave it like that, because when I have a con­ver­sa­tion with some­one with that atti­tude, I usu­al­ly want to say some­thing like, “Well, I guess you’re stuck.” But, I’m going to leave it most­ly as a train of thought sort of post.

So, what would you do? Have your kids ever out­grown their toys? What toys, games, activ­i­ties, sup­plies, books, etc do you rec­om­mend for an almost 5 year old? Any oth­er thoughts or ideas?

Wearing Nail Polish

It’s sum­mer! It’s san­dal sea­son, and I don’t have great toes. I’m not sure what great toes are, but I’m pret­ty sure mine are not it. So, in an effort to com­pen­sate for what I con­sid­er my non-foot mod­el feet, I wear pol­ish on my toe nails dur­ing the sum­mer. I also have 3 and 4 year old sons.

Some peo­ple may won­der what one has to do with the oth­er. Many moms of sons or daugh­ters who are this age have prob­a­bly fig­ured it out. My sons like to do what I do. On the days I wear make­up, it’s not unusu­al for one of them to grab my eye­lash curler and pre­tend with it for a while. On days when I dry my hair, they are real­ly inter­est­ed in my hair dry­er. On days when I paint my toe nails, they want theirs paint­ed also. And, I do it.

In our house, I try very hard not to make gen­der state­ments or to assume that because they are boys they will choose one activ­i­ty or toy over anoth­er. We have both babies and cars. We have a stroller (which my Kael calls the “rac­ing stroller”) and we have tools. We have books, puz­zles, Dup­lo Legos, air­planes, emer­gency vehi­cles, and prob­a­bly a hun­dred oth­er toys. For his birth­day, Asa is going to get a ring sling for his baby and his mon­key which he cur­rent­ly car­ries under his shirt. My boys often ask for blan­kets to be used as capes or to be put on as dress­es so they can be princess­es. I nei­ther encour­age nor dis­cour­age any of these types of play. If they ask, I will help them be princess­es, but I don’t get the blan­ket out and say, “Asa, do you want to play princess?” Just as I don’t get out the fire trucks and say, “Asa, do you want to play res­cue heroes?”

I have to admit as I write this, it feels uncom­fort­able. I am uncom­fort­able with label­ing these things as girly or boy­ish even if it’s only by con­trast­ing one with anoth­er. I don’t like that they play they way that they do, but nei­ther do I mind. It’s their play, it’s not mine.

But. Yes, of course, but. There’s always a but, right? In this case, for some rea­son or anoth­er, I don’t want them to wear toe nail pol­ish. I don’t know what it is. Is it peer pres­sure? Is it gen­der stereo­typ­ing? Am I afraid some­one might say some­thing to one of the boys about it? Maybe it’s all of those. I don’t know. I am uncom­fort­able with the nail paint­ing, but I do it. I know that there are many gen­der roles and stereo­types in the world, but I don’t want to be my child’s first intro­duc­tion to the lim­its that soci­ety may place on him.

Am I alone in my feel­ings? Does any­one else hes­i­tate to (or not allow) paint their preschool boys’ nails?

I think the rea­son this both­ers me is that of all the things that my boys do that is not typ­i­cal of their gen­der, this seems so minus­cule in com­par­i­son. I want to be okay with it, but for some rea­son I’m not.