Friday, December 11, 2009


Life with two kids has been quite the whirlwind. I vacillate between feeling totally in control or completely useless and overwhelmed...often in the matter of minutes.

But we're getting there. Each day, I figure out a new trick for involving peanut (he's an awesome burper-helper), manage to cross maybe one thing off the massive to do list (even though I add 10 new things every day) and we haven't missed a meal yet (even if it is last minute take-out).

The catch? Christmas.

The 25th is looming large and each window we open on the advent calendar fills me with panic. We are staying home for the holidays, deciding we are not brave enough to make the six-hour-on-a-good-day trek to our hometown with a three-year-old and, by then, seven-week-old. This means in addition to the shopping, there will be shipping, cooking and baking as I work to fill the void of being away from family for Christmas. This evening I finally made my first purchases of the season (online shopping is my friend), but the list still looms long and is punctuated by being married to the hardest man in the world to shop for who deserves something incredible for all that he has been to me this year (seriously, what am I going to get this guy?).

In the midst of this chaos, I have found myself blowing off the lists, ignoring the deadlines and pausing to enjoy the little moments:

Decorating the Christmas tree as a family;

Enjoying the peace of a sleeping baby and pre-schooler in the car on the way home from a raucously wonderful cookie decorating play date with friends and our collective 8 kids, Christmas carols on the radio, the pink sun setting behind a wisp of charcoal clouds;

Watching the hubby hold a wide-eyed pumpkin on his lap while playing a game of Chutes and Ladders with peanut as I made dinner;

Giggling as peanut came home from school chanting "Luke to a lemon" (after learning verse Luke 2:11 during this week's chapel);

Snuggling into the sofa to watch one of my favorite holiday movies;

Sharing a cup of cocoa with peanut on a chilly afternoon;

A hilarious evening trying to get a shot of the boys together for the Christmas card;

Dancing to Christmas carols with peanut.

Although I want to make the holidays perfect for everyone and will certainly stress out about it despite my best efforts, I know that these quiet and lovely moments will continue to arise and I will do my best to hold fast to them, settle into the peace of them, breathe in deep their subtle joy.

To quote the movie above, "Tis but the work of a moment." And I don't want to miss a single one.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Great Expectations

Most nights, the peanut and I will "spy" for the hubby. We take up a perch at a front window and guess which car he'll be, counting the passing vehicles until the hubby finally pulls into the drive. During that horrible childhood witching hour, this game gives us quiet time together and something the peanut can focus on while I run back and forth into the kitchen to finish up dinner prep.

Tonight, with pumpkin peacefully slumbering in his bassinet, peanut and I took up watch. The day's clouds were receding in the gray sky, revealing a full moon hovering just above the pines. I pointed it out to peanut. He responded: "It's getting brighter and brighter."

That's how I feel about my new day-to-day life with two kids. It's getting brighter and brighter.

Adjusting to a multiple kid household has been challenging. Between the hormones, the new heart issue, the holiday, I feel like I have yet to have an opportunity to even come remotely close to establishing a new normal. I feel like every moment is a you or him choice between peanut and pumpkin. I feel like if I could just figure out how to get a 20 minute nap...

I know my expectations are high. I want to be back to pre-pregnancy energy levels. I want to be fully engaged at every moment. I want to have a clean house again. Unfortunately, my too high expectations often set me up for failure.

And then, today, after midday mayhem where I had to wake the baby to pick up the peanut at preschool which resulted in a very noisy carpool and a lunchtime where everyone needed to eat at the same time (and I have yet to master the one-handed PB&J assembly while nursing), I managed to get pumpkin down for a nap. I ended up having a lovely afternoon playing with peanut. Sure, I was exhausted and would have given anything for a nap, but the smiles and the snuggles and happier evening because he'd gotten some mama attention were totally worth it.

Like the moon that waxes and wanes, my confidence does, too. And tonight, it was definitely brighter.

So tomorrow, I'll adjust my expectations. Instead of assuming I can keep both kids happy and entertained all day, that I won't have to resort to television or pacifier bribery, that I'll actually be showered and have an empty dishwasher; I'll simply expect to have a day that's a little bit brighter than today.

"It's getting brighter and brighter."

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Tale of Two Weeks

Where to begin?

First of all, pumpkin is a complete and total joy. He's a typical second child: completely laid back, hardly fusses, sleeps through the mayhem that is his older brother playing. He has a repertoire of faces from Buddha baby to the old man look to the sleepy smiles as he drifts off in your arms. I think he looks completely different from his older brother, although many of our friends say he looks just like him. He nurses like a champ, gaining four ounces overnight when we had to go in for a second weigh-in at the pediatrician's office. He's got the most adorable triple chin and the skinniest little legs. He hates diaper changes and gas. He loves the swaddle and sucking as a soother. He makes a lot of squeaking noises that make peanut laugh every time. He has insane neck control for a two week old. He's a serious snuggler. I even think his new crop of baby acne is cute.

I'm completely and utterly smitten.

And then, in the midst of our newborn bliss this week, I landed in the emergency room with a heart arrhythmia. I was rushed back before the hubby could get back to me after dropping off the babes with a neighbor. I was alone and hooked up to monitors, IVs, oxygen. Drugs were administered. A crash cart was wheeled into my room and stared at me for hours, "just in case." Tears were shed as all I could think of was my boys. My little men who I realized I hadn't kissed good bye in the midst of my fear and rush to get to the hospital.

Thankfully, the drugs worked. Thankfully, my neighbors are the best and shuttled my children from one house to another to the dinner table to bed until the hubby could pick them up later that night. Thankfully, the hubby is a strong man who managed to support me, care for our children and never question or doubt what he needed to do to care for our family. Thankfully, our family was supportive from afar and all gassing up their cars and mentally packing their bags to make a last minute trip from NC if we said go. Thankfully, I was home the next afternoon. Thankfully pumpkin took the bottles of formula offered him without a problem while I was at the hospital and for the 24 hours following as the drugs I was filled with metabolized in my system and were pumped and dumped. Thankfully, he returned to nursing with no problems. Thankfully, Dr. U, Dr. K and nurses Kathy, Catherine, Meredith, Whitney, Kurt, Chrissie and Felicia were attentive, caring and supportive. Thankfully, the diagnosis is more of a lifetime annoyance than a serious problem.

But God help me, those 24 hours alone in a hospital hearing words from a cardiologist that made no sense to me in the moment while being physically separated from my children were the worst 24 hours of my life. I have never felt so helpless. I have never felt more like a mother who just wanted to protect her cubs and was powerless to do so.

As scary as the whole experience was, it does shine a light on the blessings in my life. I am married to a wonderful man who took action, who has held me, who has wiped the tears that continue to spring up, who is a strong and steady father to pumpkin and peanut. I have two beautiful children, the oldest of which jumped into my arms and kissed my face "to make it better" when I was released from the hospital. I have fabulous friends who rushed over dinners this week when they heard the news. I have salt of the earth neighbors who I can't even begin to repay. I have enjoyed the most delicious moments snuggled in bed with the hubby and the boys each morning.

These are all blessings I was aware of and thankful for before this moment, but somehow, the harsh lights of the Emergency Room have turned them all technicolor for me.

Lastly, I am thankful to have this space to simply write it down, get it out of my head and begin the process of mothering in forward motion. Something I have to start tomorrow when the hubby's paternity leave ends and he heads back to work.

That reminds me of one more thing to be thankful for: my first week of solo daytime parenting is only three days long thanks to the holiday! Here's to an uneventful week three!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Pumpkin was born Thursday, November 5th at 5:30pm after a pretty easy induction. Easy being relative to labor, of course! He weighed in at 8lbs, 2oz and 19 inches long. He's eating like a champ, sleeping more than I ever remember peanut sleeping and overall just about the most adorable thing ever.

We came home yesterday and are settling into home life.

I'm sure I'll have more to say in the days/weeks to come as we recover, sleep and get to know our newest little family member.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


After two days of 5:30AM wake ups, thanks to the time change, peanut actually slept until 7:15 yesterday morning. The hubby was already up, I was awake, but still in bed after a night of inconsistent, intense, almost more than Braxton-Hicks contractions. Peanut came running in our room, scurried onto the bed and burrowed next to me pulling the covers up to his chin. His eyes still sleepy, his breath stale from sleep, his arms warm around my neck as he buried his head into my shoulder. We called for the hubby and snuggled in for a few sweet, satisfying moments as our little family of three.

We decided with the midwife this week that if pumpkin doesn't make an appearance before, we will be induced on Thursday. It's strange to be so ready for pumpkin to arrive and yet be suddenly so apprehensive knowing the time I have with my little peanut is limited.

As much as his being sick recently has been a worry and a stress, it's also been a selfishly satisfying time for mama. He's been much more snugly and needy in an emotional way than he has in a long time. We had great fun reading stories and watching videos while he cuddled in my lap, or at least what's left of it. There was something sweet and reminiscent of his infant days knowing that sometimes, when he is tired and cranky and not feeling well, he just needs to be held by his mama to feel comfort.

Now that he's better and back to his old, active ways, I feel like I should take him to the zoo or the children's museum or the park to spend some good quality time with him before pumpkin's arrival. Unfortunately, every day past my due date has been exponentially more uncomfortable making it difficult to get to the bathroom, which is a necessity with an 8lb bowling ball sitting on my bladder, not to mention a full circuit of the zoo chasing a three year old, which I would define as "optional." Add in the anxiety of suddenly KNOWING labor is around the corner and wondering if I am really prepared for this time around. Add in the attempt to sort of straighten up the house before Grandma and Grandpa arrive this afternoon. Add in my hormonal roller coaster...

Instead of feeling guilty for what I can't do, I'm relishing in the small moments. The cuddle in the playroom chair discussing what peanut thinks pumpkin will look like. The rest on the bench in the park watching the leaves fall from the trees as peanut tries to guess which color leaf will reach the ground first. The silly moments that abound with this kid around ("I think he's going to be a lizard baby;" "Do you have issues, mommy?" "I can't bend over, daddy, pumpkin's in my belly;" "I wish I could be a teacher after I'm a truck after I'm a doctor..."). The jokes he's been making up that make absolutely no sense but send him into fits of laughter. The spontaneous hugs when he can see that I'm struggling.

As much as I'm looking forward to finally meeting and holding this little fellow who is currently causing me such physical angst, I'm almost more excited about the moment peanut meets him and our little family of three truly becomes a family of four.

And it looks like that moment is finally going to be upon us in the next 24 to 48 hours. Wish us luck!

Monday, November 2, 2009

30 Days of Thanks

First order of business: Yes, I'm still pregnant. Due November 1st. Today is November 2nd. I think we can all do the math on that one. Appointment tomorrow to see what's what. I gotta say, I'm really ready to meet this little dude, but, apparently, I give good uterus.

Now that that's done...

Last year, I embarked on a post-a-day in November that I titled 30 Days of Thanks. Obviously, this November was not the November to go for a repeat since, theoretically, a new baby will be coming soon with all of his new demands and sleep interruptions and, oh yeah, the three-year-old will still need some attention as well as that guy I'm married to and at some point I might get to pee.

Imagine my surprise when a friend posted yesterday on her own blog that she'd be taking up the torch? I was truly touched and excited. Particularly excited when I noticed that two other blogs (blogs that are new to me) read my friend's blog and also decided to join the party.


So, if you want to join the fun, simply try a post a day for the month of November that highlight those big and little things you're thankful for, like new babies or buy one get one ice cream at the supermarket when you're overdue and figure what the heck, what's another gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream at this point?

I look forward to reading them.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

After the great costume dilemma of 2009 and the recent week of rest, Tamiflu and more rest, we made it for a brief appearance at the neighborhood Halloween party and the peanut handled 6 houses of trick-or-treating. Six may not sound like much, but have you walked the hills in our neighborhood? Yeah, that's why I'm home downloading pics and handing out candy. is a of pic of our finished and, yes, hand-made with love, costume for the peanut:

And yes, he proceeded to tell us all the things that were NOT Thomas-accurate.

Even Mama got in on the action this year:

Ready to meet this "bouncing" baby boy!

Hope you all are enjoying your Halloween tricks and treats! I'm off to indulge in a few Special Darks and Reese's Cups. Mmmmm...not so bad being pregnant on Halloween after all.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pregnant with a Side of Tamiflu

As if week 39 of pregnancy wasn't stressful enough on its own. I've been hoping that every twinge is an indication we're close, practically praying for an early arrival. Until yesterday.

Peanut has had a cough for a week. I took him to the doc on Monday, assuming our pediatrician would pooh-pooh it like usual and give me the usual: fluids, rest, blah, blah, blah. Essentially, give me the peace of mind I was seeking in this final week before my due date. Instead, Dr. Killjoy would not commit and dropped the H-bomb: H1N1. Not that it definitely resembled it, but that he couldn't rule it out, he said while eyeing the basketball in my belly. He gave us a prescription for Tamiflu to only fill if his cough stayed the same but his fever got worse.

Well, Wednesday morning, peanut spiked to 101+. Great. Called in and they told me to fill that sucker, so we did. Then called the OB's office. Now I'm on it, too. Even though I've already had the scratchy throat and slight cough. Great. Nothing like being paranoid about possible swine flu during labor.

Needless to say, I'm keeping my legs crossed at least until peanut's 5-day course of Tamiflu is complete on Monday. I'm on the "precautionary" version, so I have a 10 day course to go. Hoping to put together a plan with the midwife at tomorrow's appointment, but to say I've been freaking out would be an understatement. Nothing like new avenues of paranoid thought to travel down while tossing and turning all night since no position is comfortable right now. Will I be able to be around my new baby? Will I be able to breastfeed? Will we all be healthy enough to bring the baby home? Why did this have to happen to us? Because, yes, I'm taking it as some sort of personal insult.

Last night, through the stressful tears that keep welling up at random times (thanks hormones), I looked at the hubby and told him one day we'd look back on this time and laugh. I hope that day comes sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

12 Days of Pregnancy

Twelve little days until my due date. Unless pumpkin is 10 days late, like peanut was, and I'm looking at 22 days to go which is such a dark and depressing thought that I am refusing to go there right now.

Instead, I have been humming the 12 Days of Christmas all day and wondering what the comparable 12 days of pregnancy would be. As impractical as 11 pipers piping would be to my life right now, I could relate to eight maids a-milking.

Here's my countdown of the last 12 days of pregnancy:

On the 12th day of pregnancy, my true love gave to me 12 bowls of ice cream;
On the 11th day of pregnancy, I will have 11 to-do lists;
On the 10th day of pregnancy, I will start 10 useless projects;
On the 9th day of pregnancy, I will give into 9 days of "Cars" viewing;
On the 8th day of pregnancy, I will be doing 8 loads of laundry;
On the 7th day of pregnancy, I will come up with 7 new name choices;
On the 6th day of pregnancy, the hubby will witness 6 mental breakdowns;
On the 5th day of pregnancy, I will be 5 centimeters!!! (I wish!)
On the 4th day of pregnancy, I will be up for 4 pees a night;
On the 3rd day of pregnancy, my mom will start calling 3 times a day;
On the 2nd day of pregnancy, I will only have 2 shirts that fit right;
On the 1st day of pregnancy, I am looking forward to...

A baby in a bassinet.

I'm definitely in the mentally challenging part of the pregnancy. The wishing an exam gives a glimmer of hope. The hoping a twinge is the start of something. The counting down to a day that doesn't really mean anything. So far, nothing's happening and I strangely feel physically less ready than I did a week ago. Which is frustrating. But typical.

Guess I'll just sing my new little ditty and continue to nurture this little guy inside since he'll be worth every minute of the wait. Better than four french hens, for sure.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Halloween Costume Conundrum

My mother made most, if not all, of our Halloween costumes when we were kids. If she didn't make them, we put them together ourselves. I don't recall ever having a store bought costume. Not once.

I was a clown, a crayon, a witch, a hobo (the same year my sister went as a rich lady), Little Red Riding Hood, and so much more I'm having a hard time remembering.

Peanut has been a frog and Spiderman for his only two Halloweens. Neither of which I made. Both years this made me feel guilty or somehow lacking in the mother gene since this was something fun we did with our mom every year.

This year, peanut is complicating it further by constantly changing his mind. At first, he wanted to be an astronaut, which thrilled the hubby. We found a great costume online that I loved because it was pretty inexpensive and could be used for dress-up all year long. Dress-up isn't something my kid does often, okay, ever, but he does pretend to take off in a rocket ship a lot and a costume for those rainy day spaceship forts made out of pillows would make it a bit more fun, don't you think? And the relief of getting the costume taken care of early while my due date looms on the Halloween horizon? Priceless.

Then, suddenly, out of the blue, he decides he wants to be a train. Great. I really don't care for the Thomas costumes all over the Internet and Target, so I tried to see if it would pass or I could convince him to go back to the astronaut idea (thankfully, I had not ordered it yet). Then it was he wanted to be a race car and daddy would be a race car driver. Then, no, I want to be the race car driver. Then, I want to be a school bus. Then, I want to be a taxi. Then, I want to be a train again.

We obviously need to make a decision soon. At dinner tonight, when he announced that he didn't want to be a train he wanted to be a car - no wait, a train again - I looked at the hubby and said, "I'm just going to make him be a carrot." Why? Because it was just the most random thing that popped in my head.

Peanut retorted: "You can't tell me what I am for Halloween, mommy. I tell myself."

Dude. Who knew the "You can't tell me what to do" thing was going to start so young?

I'm beginning to wish I had inherited the sewing desire, not to mention skill, so I could just whip something up. So the pressure was off a little bit and we could explore some options for costumes together. So we could enjoy that time together working on a special project, just the peanut and me. Maybe it's more nesting - the need to make things, create, solve, make my peanut happy. The problem? Totally uninspired.

Tonight, I'm going to dig deep, channel my mother, tap into the crafty side, go online and see what the heck I can do to come up with a short list for the peanut and try to knock out this costume conundrum by the end of the weekend.

Otherwise, I just won't comb out his bed head that morning and he'll be going as Dennis the Menace.

Other suggestions? Did you wear more home made or store bought costumes as a kid? What about your kids?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sisters and Brothers

Have I mentioned before that I have the most fantastic, sassy, blunt, loyal, hilarious sister in the world? And that my life - and any bottle of wine - is just not the same without her?

It's true.

It hasn't always been so. We had our share of fights growing up and by fights I mean hair-pulling, slapping, physical pain inducing fights that weren't nearly as bad as the hurtful things we could hurl at each other in a war of words. Somehow, those difficult times coupled with the sweet moments of sisterhood - the comforting whispers under the nubby quilt at my grandmother's house to ease one or both of our feelings of homesickness, the shared laughter over an inside joke at the dinner table that left our parents clueless, the game nights, the endless watching of Clue, the endless watching of Dirty Dancing, the marathon Barbie play sessions, the "Spam" shows and the common bonds of watching a parent lose a job or quit smoking or go back to school or deal with a health crisis - made our relationship what it is today. And what it is today is still sometimes just as competitive, but at its roots is a fierce bond that oftentimes doesn't need words but rather a head on the shoulder as we wrap our arms around each other.

What makes this relationship so difficult these days is the fact that we live 384 miles apart and our lives are at polar opposites. I'm home with a pre-schooler and baby on the way, she's kicking tail at a high-stress, 60-hour a week job while getting her MBA at night and married to a wonderful man who works a crazy schedule leaving them little time to see each other face-to-face not to mention time to visit us.

Imagine my surprise when a HUGE box was delivered on my doorstep today. She'd told me to be on the lookout for a package, but this was not exactly what I had envisioned. On the outside of the box it said:

And was it ever. The box was filled with practical baby gear, adorable outfits, cuddly animals, books for both the boys, an Uncle J-painted original for peanut as well as an Uncle J-painted Dr. Seuss 'page' for pumpkin to complement the one he did for peanut three years ago.

All that was missing were the silly shower games (and who really misses those?) and the cake.

When this was the cake sis had done for peanut's shower, wouldn't you be missing one this time, too?

I know if she could be here to get me through these last few weeks, she would be. I know if she could be there during my labor and moments after pumpkin's birth, she would be. I know if she could be here to deliver the box in person with a cake (yes, I'm obsessed) and a bottle of champagne, she would be. But she isn't. And I love her all the more for what she did do...made me feel showered, loved and excited about pumpkin's arrival in all new ways.

Despite the distance, despite the complicated lives, despite the sibling rivalry, she will always be my best friend, my confidant, my sounding board, my partner in crime, my favorite drinking buddy, my fashion consultant, my sister. As I await the arrival of pumpkin, I can't help but wish a similarly strong bond for these brothers we will have created. I look forward to one day sitting back and hearing them belly laugh over messy antics at their mother's expense, practical jokes gone awry, shared games, inside jokes about family vacation moments, and trips to the ER (they'll be boys, I can't possibly get through child-rearing without at least one cast and 10 stitches...per child).

Despite whatever distance, despite whatever complicated lives, despite the inevitable sibling rivalry, they will be brothers. And if they are anything like my sister and I, they've got a very good thing coming.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Baby & Me Class aka Kid Comedy Hour

This past weekend we took peanut to a sibling preparation class at the hospital where we'll be delivering pumpkin. The idea was that the more people who talk to peanut about what he's in for, the hopefully less difficult the transition will be when pumpkin is here in the hungry, demanding, crying flesh.

I haven't laughed so hard in a long, long time.

The class consisted of seven kids - five girls and two boys, including peanut, ages ranging from three to seven. The nurse tackled what babies are like when they come out (umbilical stumps and soft spots were key points) and had them practice diapering, swaddling and holding babies with dolls. And "kids say the darnedest things" doesn't even begin to describe the things that came out of their mouths.

There was the quiet kid (the other three year old) who simply took it all in. She, however, was confused about the fact that mom was having a baby brother not a baby sister like she kept insisting.

There was the know-it-all kid whose mom was having twins. One boy, one girl. Every time the nurse described anything, this kid would pipe up to clarify that she'd have two babies to help diaper, swaddle and hold. She left her seat to come say something to her mom, returned to her seat and announced, "Excuse me. I just had to take care of some business with my mom." Then again, this was also the kid who asked "how do babies cry if they don't have any teeth?"

There were the two quiet sisters who were a bit overshadowed by the other strong girl personalities in the room but finally figured out they could raise their hand and ask to go first for all activities. And ask they did. Every time.

There was the over-sharer. Sure, they are all kids and certainly all shared more than they needed to, but this girl had a story for everything - that a friend in her class had a baby doll that looked like the doll the nurse had but it was named Jasmine, that babies need bottles because they don't have any teeth, and that when someone described baby poop as diarrhea, she raised her hand to announce that she had diarrhea once. I think I saw her mother die a little inside after that particular gem.

And then there was peanut, the poker. Once he received his baby doll, he proceeded to spend his time focused on how the doll's eyes opened and shut which involved a lot of poking and accidental banging of the baby on its head as he turned it upside down by its ankles. Understatement of the day: the nurse looking over at me and saying "So, mom, we won't be leaving peanut alone with the new baby." No kidding.

Peanut did a decent job during diapering, suffocated the doll during swaddling and then out and out refused to hold it in the proper position. He did get a big laugh when the nurse was trying to determine what gender baby us moms were having and peanut responded, "we're having a pumpkin." That took a quick explanation.

The kids all liked seeing the room where mom would be staying after the baby was born. I think the main attraction was the new flat screen TVs mounted on the wall. The two free ice cream coupons per kid at the end were also a big hit. The nurse was smart and handed those to the kids instead of all us nine month pregnant mommies who I'm sure would have pocketed them for ourselves without ever mentioning the possibility of ice cream to big brother or big sister. Or maybe that's just me and my pregnant ice cream addiction talking.

To be honest, being back in the hospital was actually a big preparation step for me. Seeing the redone since peanut recovery rooms and being in the same halls reminded me that I've done this before and I can do this again. It certainly made my impending due date seem more real in a "yes this will end" kind of way rather than the "oh lord, I'm going to be this uncomfortable forever" that I have been feeling lately.

I guess peanut and I are as prepared as we're going to get. Three weeks to the due date and officially in the "if he decides to come now, we'll let it happen" zone. It's felt like the longest pregnancy in the history of pregnancies, and yet I know the next three weeks will zoom by with a speed I am not prepared for.

At least I have free ice cream awaiting me in the hospital (yes, I took one of the coupons for myself) and a three year old ready to help change a few diapers. I think we'll let the hubby handle the swaddling.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Name Game

We are keeping our name choices secret again. Luckily, since folks expected this of us, we've had much less backlash about our desire not to share this information this time around and a lot fewer questions about the kinds of names we're considering or other roundabout ways to get us to spill the beans.

Of course, the kicker is that we haven't really settled on a name yet and only started discussing it in earnest about two weeks ago. We call the alien creature whose hiccups create seismic belly shaking each night the same name I do here: Pumpkin. It's to the point that when we do ask Peanut what he thinks of a certain name, he responds, "No. Pumpkin is pumpkin."

Not quite sure how we're going to handle that once pumpkin is here, but I do know his real name will not be "pumpkin."

This name limbo is just one more of the things I'm creating to worry about (oh, I have a very nice list of non-problems I'm working on making into issues). The fact is, we haven't really settled officially because I think something I suggested early on is the name we're measuring all other names against. You'd think this wouldn't be a problem since I apparently liked it well enough to offer it up, but the hubby suggested peanut's name and I'm feeling the added pressure of this one being MY suggestion. With peanut, if someone had ended up hating it, I could have easily blamed him. If that happens this time or an annoying nickname crops up or the kid ends up hating it when he's 18, I suppose I'll have to take ownership.

Oh, the pressure!

The thing is, the other night at dinner the hubby was adding extra Tabasco to his chili and peanut said he didn't like spicy things. I have the less spicier palate in the family and definitely did not enjoy spicy foods during peanut's pregnancy, so the hubby said "Just like your mother." I responded that maybe SAID THE NAME OUT LOUD would take after his father since I have been craving more spice this pregnancy. It just came out, so natural, so fitting, like he already approved or had whispered it into my ear through his heartbeat during a prenatal appointment and all I had to do was translate it to get it right.

So maybe pumpkin does have a name. Maybe.

I can guarantee you later tonight I'll pull out the old Baby Name Wizard to make sure we have a back-up or two. You know, just in case someone with this name does something horrible in the next four weeks that ruins it for everyone. Gotta have something to worry about.

Monday, October 5, 2009


We have a private family blog we use to keep our out of town (i.e, everyone) relatives in the loop with pictures and more personal, admittedly mundane, details of our daily lives with peanut. This weekend, I took a trip down memory lane and revisited the posts I wrote in the last month of peanut's pregnancy.

Man, was I seriously that girl? You know, the one who just loves being pregnant and even admits to aspects that she'll actually miss? Ick. I was. I apologize to all pregnant women out there, because I have seen the light that it's not always sweethearts and roses.

During peanut's pregnancy, I had the awful 15 weeks of constant nausea, hyper-sensitive gag reflex, the oh-I-just-wish-I'd-throw-up-already-instead-of-always-feeling-like-I'm-going-to first trimester. After that, it was really smooth sailing. I think I even glowed. *Sigh*

This time around, the exhaustion had me done in during the first trimester, but the nausea was minimal, lasted only a week or so and was easily managed. I think this third trimester is making up for it. The round ligament pain kicked in about three weeks ago and, at times, makes every step painful. Turning over in bed isn't just difficult, it's downright excruciating as I try to use what's left of my pelvic muscles and those damn useless ligaments to turn over. Sure, I'm carrying so low I can actually breathe this pregnancy, but as a trade-off, I'm peeing ALL. THE. TIME. I can count on one hand how many nights that I have NOT gone to the bathroom in the last 36 weeks.

My temper is short, my patience limited, my energy waning. I'm not sure how much of it is the added physical demands of chasing a three-year-old as opposed to sitting at a desk all day where standing for an hour-long presentation once or twice a week and checking the mail were the most physically taxing activities I tackled versus just a different pregnancy.

I call it pregnancy purgatory - and I think it must be that way for all women after their first pregnancy. The first time around the pregnancy is all a mystery. It's new and fresh. Scary and exciting. Every new sensation or kick feels like you're being marked a mother. The arrival of this new creature seems so intimidating, it almost seems safer inside.

But this time? I am so aware that the payoff is better than the preamble. Of course I enjoy the hiccups and the shifts and shimmies, I know I'm a lucky gal to have had two relatively uneventful pregnancies and honestly do realize that my discomforts are minor compared to what some women go through for their children.

But I'm still counting down the days. Counting down to delivery. Counting down to meeting this new little man of mine. Counting down until I can introduce peanut to his baby brother and see my two sons together in the flesh. Counting down until our family of four is safely ensconced in the cocoon of those early, sleepless newborn days when time is topsy turvy and we're all getting to know one another.

Counting down...

27 days to go.

Unless he's late.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

You Can't Judge a Book (Event Attendee) By Its Cover

It's not often that I find myself the youngest person in a room. Yet, that's just where I found myself last night.

I attended a local literary event where Richard Russo was appearing. As I looked around the packed room of at least 100 attendees, I was surprised to realize I was one of only a handful under 40 and of those, I think several of them worked at the particular sponsoring venue.

I was bothered by this. I've attended events here with other authors that certainly skewed to a younger audience. Why was a Pulitzer Prize winner not drawing a similar crowd? Is it because his characters are older? He's older? Did the venue not advertise this particular event to younger audiences? Are younger readers only reading "chick lit?"

Of course, I'm "younger" and enjoy Russo's books and vivid characters, as well as "chick lit" and non-fiction titles. I had heard about the event via a local report on NPR and on twitter. Perhaps this is more a commentary on me being an old soul in a 33-year-old body than an indication of a larger trend?

Has our education system trained us to read for work, not pleasure? Has the proliferation of media options created a generation of non-readers because we're too busy skimming our blog readers, twitter feeds, email or catching up on Top Chef via our DVRs so we can finally put in that Mad Men season two DVD from Netflix? Are books just not cool? Or are events like these simply not a high priority for busy twenty and thirty-somethings (an argument I can certainly relate to)?

I hope it's more a challenge for the event planners of the world than a commentary on the state of the American reader.

As we analyzed ways to cut back on our discretionary spending back when I decided to stop working and stay home full time with peanut, buying books was definitely something I had a hard time justifying. Instead, I headed over to our local library and got a library card - my first since I was a child and actually did research for high school term papers in our public library stacks surrounded by Encyclopedia Britannica and microfiche machines.

What a wonderful decision that ended up being for this busy mom. I can go online and put my name on the wait list for new releases and pick them up when available. I have discovered less recent books that line the shelves just waiting for someone to find them and crack their plastic covered spines again to spill their secrets. I can spend at least an hour watching peanut randomly select books from the shelves and bins, filling bags to bring home of new books that capture his attention for the rest of the day and easily become his favorites in the nighttime rotation for the month they are ours. Seeing peanut's face light up at the mere mention of going to the library makes me proud. I hope I can continue to nurture this love of books in my boys as they grow.

I'm not even sure what my point is with all this ranting about reading. All I know is we're a family who loves books and I hope you all do, too. There is nothing more satisfying to me than peanut bringing me a book and asking me to read to him in the middle of the day - and not just because that means we get to sit still for a few minutes.

And, while I'm at it, if you haven't read Empire Falls, you really should.

Okay, I'm done. Or as they say in books:


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pardon the Interruption

Wow, has it really been that long since the last post?

In case you were wondering, I did not go into early labor, we weren't on some swank babymoon and we did not float away in the great Atlanta flood of 2009, although areas surrounding our home were certainly affected.

We did, however, experience a power outage and power surge during a particularly "holy cow, did that just hit our house?" lightning strike that knocked out our DSL modem. And writing on dial-up? Heaven forbid.

I'm hoping to get back up to speed this week with posting now that we're settling back into our new preschool, pregnancy pains version of normal routine. Until then, I'll leave you with a little peanut story.

Last week, we had our parents' night meeting at peanut's preschool. I'd hired a babysitter - someone who had come recommended and I wanted to try out. While catching up on peanut's antics while we were out, the sitter asked, "Do you have a cat?"

Me: "We did, why?"

Sitter: "Peanut didn't kill the cat, right?"

Me: "Um, no. What did he say?"

Sitter: "Peanut told me: 'We have a cat. I pushed her over, she purred, then she went to heaven.'"

Okay. First of all, this is not at all what happened. The poor kitty was old and very sick and peanut's behavior toward the cat was actually quite gentle. Second, I'm not sure where this new obsession he has with our cat is coming from. He hasn't asked after her since the weeks following her passing...until recently. Several times he's asked when the kitty is coming home. I've tried to explain in the least scary terms possible for a three year old, but it's obviously on his mind.

I'm hoping it doesn't have anything to do with any fears he may have about the new baby or the changes he sees in me. Although, now that I think about it, I suppose there are some similarities to the cat's inability to get off the couch and moaning in her last few days and my inability to get off the couch and moaning when I actually do manage to lurch from an awkwardly horizontal position and waddle down the hall.

It probably means the recent badgering we've been giving him on listening and keeping his hands to himself will finally sink about nine or ten months. Appears we're on quite a learning curve at chez High Heeled Mama.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pregnancy Week 33: The One Where I Panic

So, apparently there is going to be a baby in my house in about seven weeks.


I have, indeed, been pregnant for 33 weeks so this should come as no surprise. And yet it is. Pregnancy is a weird state of motherhood purgatory. You see those two little lines on a home pregnancy test and immediately imagine snuggling little pink or blue bundles, the yummy smell that wafts off the soft spot and yearn to fold millions of teeny, tiny socks. Then you're more tired than you've ever felt in your entire life and realize that THIS is how bears manage to hibernate all winter - they get THIS tired. Then you're nauseous or get headaches or pee every five minutes. Then you are distracted by trying to find something to wear by your ever changing silhouette. You have doctor's appointments, stretch marks, food cravings. Time passes and you can't even remember how pregnant you are, you just know that the date circled on the calendar is a long way from now, so what difference does it make?

Pregnancy lulls you into a false sense of status quo as you pop your prenatals, head to the bathroom AGAIN and begin to accept the hip pain in bed as part of your new normal. Until the moment comes when you say, oh sh*t! There's a real live hungry noisy human coming to our house. And coming soon!

*Deep breaths*

It's not that I'm not preparing, it just seems like most of the preparations have to do with peanut - the move to the official big boy bed, the who do we call when we go into labor discussions, the purchasing of a book or two to try and get him ready for the changes to come, the reading up on how to make the transition as painless as possible... The actual idea of preparing for labor and where pumpkin's going to sleep at night all seem really remote, like they are happening to someone else.

Luckily, my panic coincides with a visit from my mom later this week where we'll take down all of the hand-me-downs, organize what's appropriate for baby, pop open that bottle of Dreft and make some lists of what we still may need. And when I get weepy about peanut not being my baby anymore as I picture each milestone that corresponds to each outfit, there will be someone who has been through it to hug me and share in the excitement of a new baby. In other words, help is on the way.

Until then, I'm painstakingly making my way through an entirely too long to-do list that doesn't even include the normal stuff I need to, you know, do. And only sometimes giving in to the urge to call the hubby at work freaking out about all that needs to happen between now and the arrival.

The fact of the matter is, I can't possibly predict how it's going to be until pumpkin is physically here in all his newness. It's just going to have to be sink or swim, right? And let's face it, there are only so many water wings a girl can put on before jumping in.

As they say, hope floats.

Or maybe they don't say that and it was just the title to some cheesy movie. Oh well. Whatever gets you through the day when the wine is off limits!

Friday, September 11, 2009


I have written about 9/11 before. As always, today is a day of remembrance. A day when I can nearly feel the fabric of the navy blue suit I was wearing, the warmth of the September son, the quiet of the city, the empty highways later that afternoon, the taste of the fear in the back of my throat, the smell of the smoke rising from the hole in the Pentagon.

As usual, my kids are teaching me lessons about remembering. While it is important that we reflect and remember and memorialize those who were lost, it is important to also recognize that their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of the men and women who are still fighting this battle in Afghanistan, allows us to experience hope. Hope in rebuilding. Hope in growing stronger. Hope in the future. Hope in life.

This morning I dropped peanut off at preschool. I told him while he was in school, I was going to the doctor. When he hopped out of the car, he took the carpool lady's hand and I told him to have a good day. He turned and with a big smile said: "Have a good day at the pumpkin doctor, mommy!"

The poor carpool lady didn't know what the heck he was talking about and I left the carpool line crying again, only this time through laughter.

So this morning, I will smile thinking of my child's innocence and silliness, I will have the nurse midwife leave the heartbeat doppler on my belly a little longer and I will take a moment to relish the simplicity of these things.

And I will remember. I will shed a few tears for those lives and the innocence lost. I will never forget. We can never forget.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Day of School

Dear Peanut:

Today you started preschool. You have officially done something that your mother never did. When you figure out how to pee standing up, well, then you'll have another one on me.

In the weeks and days leading up to the start of school, I was excited. Having time to myself again was like an oasis in the desert of no napping we've been experiencing since February. Other mothers in our circle worried they'd be weepy or find it hard to let go. I laughed it off. What were they thinking? I was about to taste freedom. I counted down the days.

And then I woke up this morning. It was upon me. You were going to have this new adventure that I would have no part in other than as chauffeur. You were going to have experiences that I wouldn't be able to witness. You were going to leave me.

Your daddy and I took the obligatory first day photos on the front porch that you didn't want to sit still for. Typical. You insisted when I buckled you in the car seat that I was going to school with you. I breezily reminded you that you went to school by yourself and mommy would be going to the dentist. Your daddy and I drove you together. As we approached the front of the drop-off line, I began to tense up, anticipating the tantrum that would ensue when you saw that mommy wasn't, in fact, going to school with you.

The carpool lady opened the car door. You loudly announced:

"This is my school!" Then you walked off, hand-in-hand, with this stranger, bag slung across your shoulder, head moving around as you took it all in, not looking back once.

And I cried. I cried because you were doing exactly what I wanted you to do. You were confident and secure. You were headed off to learn and grow and continue to develop the you-ness that I fall more and more in love with every day. Yet part of me wanted badly to hold on. To snap you back in that seat and speed off. To pretend it never happened and cancel that tuition check.

The best part of being your mommy is what I learn from you. Today, I learned to let go. This new separate journey that we will take three days a week means you will have more to share, I will have more to give and together, we will forge new paths in this relationship between mother and son.

By the time I picked you up, I couldn't wait. Not because I'd missed you - I mean, it was quiet without you, but I also managed to get my teeth cleaned and spend an hour doing nothing, which was really nice - but I couldn't wait to hear about your day.

And you didn't disappoint. You were covered in paint from face to knees and beaming when you climbed in the car. You insisted on holding your bag all the way home. You excitedly told me all about the "dirt" you played in with a dump truck, the playground, that you painted a bus and a bee, there was a Dora potty and had snack at a table.

I am so proud of you, peanut. You are taking the first steps on your own journey, armed with whatever it is that your daddy and I are trying to teach you, and I have no doubt you will find joy, success and perhaps a bit more paint.

Good luck this year, peanut!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Do Penguins Wear Heels?

Yesterday was peanut's meet and greet at his new preschool. I spent the morning over thinking everything -- where were the forms? how many things should I volunteer for? should we do carpool with a new baby on the way and a therefore unpredictable November ahead? what should peanut wear? what should I wear? Really. It was out of control, adolescent nonsense that I'm blaming on my hormones because even I was annoying myself with these non-stop, non-important mini-crises.

Needless to say, I spent more of my morning analyzing what outfit looked nice (i.e., which maternity top was clean, without sweat or food stains and actually matched a maternity bottom with the same criteria) without looking like I was trying too hard that I didn't drink enough water.

The meet and greet went well. Peanut loved his classroom; indifferent on his teachers because he was much more interested in the race cars, tool box and books (for the record, I thought they were lovely) and there was a good group of moms. After we settled carpool decisions (opted out) and volunteered for class parties and reading assignments (pushed into the spring), we headed out to the library to kill some time before meeting the hubby for lunch.

Whatever I had had to drink in the morning kicked in...while sitting in construction traffic on the way to the hubby's office. By the time we got to a bathroom, I was in the throws of that wonderful pregnancy dichotomy of being slightly dehydrated while also having an extremely full bladder. For me, this combo results in some fun cramping and eventually a few visits from my good friends Braxton and Hicks, killjoys that they are.

While, um, relieving myself of the bladder pressure, pumpkin did the strangest sort of flip - think Olympic diver doing a somersault in a pike position with a twist - that I paused for a moment waiting for my water to break. Thoughts of preemies and NICU's and hospital lights flashed in my mind and then it was over. Pumpkin settled into his new position. We had lunch and I headed home to lay down with a gallon of water and my feet up to put a stop to the BH contractions.

By afternoon, I was fine. Except for one, teeny, tiny thing. I've officially entered the waddle phase.

I remember the moment it happened with peanut, too. One night, I got up from the couch and headed for the bathroom and there it was, taunting me on the way down the hall and back. Yesterday, I started to notice in the afternoon but tried to deny it. By my 1:45AM bathroom break there was no mistaking it. Whatever Olympic training pumpkin was doing in there shifted something in my pelvis.

Ah, pregnancy. Along with the joy of in-uterine hiccups, no periods and thicker hair, there's the annoyance of hip pain, skin tags (that peanut keeps pointing out and calling "boogies") and the waddle. Next on the list: swelling. Ew, the dreaded cankles.

Guess that means waddle or no, I better put some heels on now before I can't wear anything but slippers. Would heels in the preschool drop-off line be inappropriate?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thank You Ohio Supreme Court!

If you haven't already read this little gem of a judgement regarding the termination of a breastfeeding mom who took too many pumping breaks, well, all I can say is read it and weep (especially when you add in this story that indicates employees taking similar breaks for a smoke weren't similarly terminated). I am honestly not writing to argue the merits of the case - maybe her termination was technically justified, but how a company can afford not to work with its female employees (no matter if they work on the factory line or in the C-level suite) to schedule breaks that work within their physical needs (and yes, lactation is physical and pumping when away from baby for more than three hours is most definitely a need) is just beyond me.

Rather, I'm writing to thank the Ohio Supreme Court for bringing to my attention that men have apparently gained the ability to lactate and therefore share in the breastfeeding responsibilities of infants. How else could you explain this statement in their ruling:

"Breastfeeding discrimination does not constitute gender discrimination."

I can only assume they mean breastfeeding discrimination isn't gender specific because both genders can breastfeed? Awesome! Pumpkin is due two months from today and I will be thrilled to share with the hubby those middle of the night feedings, sore nipples and milk stains on the front of my shirts from leakage just when the kid sleeps through even 15 minutes of his routine feeding. Score for me, right?!

This announcement comes just in time and really begs the question, why have you boys been holding out on us so long?

So thanks, Ohio Supreme Court, for outing men's role in breastfeeding for all us sleep-deprived, engorged and lanolin-layering moms.

Although I suppose this means that Totes/Isotoner and companies across the country might need to consider pumping breaks for their male employees, too. I have a sneaking feeling if this were the case, it would get done in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Kind of Nesting

I find myself in new territory.

I'm 30 weeks pregnant, officially counting down the final 10 weeks and making preparations. The "normal" nesting instinct has been strong this pregnancy, whether my motivation has kept up is a whole other story. But the typical baking, cleaning strange corners of the house, urge to launder things in Dreft (don't worry - this hasn't happened yet (see: motivation, or lack thereof)), mental redecorating to make room for the myriad of infant paraphernalia that will need to come down from the attic are all there.

The strange thing? I'm 30 weeks pregnant (read: tired), have a three year old who doesn't nap leaving me precious little time to think thoughts that don't include trains, parks or potties and I'm currently obsessed with the idea that I need to rework my resume. Yup. I'm suddenly strangely motivated to dust that sucker off, update it with who knows what to signify what I've been up to the last three years and try and nail done some freelance PR work and/or writing projects.

Am I crazy?

I'm not sure if it's because:
  • I'm trying to distract myself from peanut starting preschool in a couple of weeks leaving me with 9 hours a week to myself
  • We're in the midst of serious number crunching analysis related to a potential refi and home improvement budget that has pointed out to me just how far we are from the soft cushion of our old two-income life
  • I recently watched my brother-in-law lose his job with a wife who is also a SAHM, a four year old and six month old and it freaked me out that I should be more prepared should the hubby lose his (thankfully, BIL found a job relatively quickly considering the market and all's well)
  • It's a weird three year itch
  • The realization of a two-kid household is making me want to seriously carve out something that's just mine since I know how precious it is to have that outlet; or
  • I'm simply a glutton for punishment who wants to load up on as many crazy tasks as possible until I am finally escorted into a van driven by men in white coats.
Whatever the reason, it keeps creeping into my thoughts. Of course, the fact that I can't seem to find the time to actually sit down and take a serious hack at the old resume should indicate that I might not have the time to dedicate to possible freelance work, either, seems to be only a cursory thought at this point.

Who knows where this new train of thought will lead. Any mom's out there on Kid 2.0 or higher have any words of wisdom? Is this normal? Is this the former working gal's new version of nesting? Is there some strange hormone I can blame this on?

Or should I just call in the men in white coats now?

I wonder if they make maternity straight jackets...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Real" Health Care Solutions

Dear President Obama, U.S. Congress and various pundits/think tanks/health experts:

I have to admit, I have not had the time to follow the debate about the proposed health care reform plans very closely and would be hard pressed to explain any real item it does or does not include. I apologize. In a former life, I would find my lack of knowledge on such a key issue deplorable. Today, I'm just too busy chasing a pre-schooler, gestating a new life and keeping up with the day-to-day chaos that is my current life. Sorry. I'll get back to informed, educated and engaged citizen again soon, I hope.

That being said, I think I have a potential solution to some of the rising pharmaceutical costs in this country. It seems to me that there are a million drugs out there for diseases and ailments I had no idea existed, not to mention required a national ad campaign telling me to ask my doctors if it's right for me. I gather this from my half hour of (ahem, morning show) news and the occasional sporting event the hubby watches while I absently flip through a magazine (by the way, I do have a "going" problem that is a "growing" problem, but I think it has more to do with the growing trampoline champion bouncing on my bladder from the comfort of my uterus than an enlarged prostate).

I digress. Back to my proposed solution. My pre-schooler could single-handedly treat several common ailments without the use of chemical intervention. For instance:
  • Birth Control - Send those of child bearing age who do not wish to currently get pregnant to wash my child's hair and brush his teeth when he is exhausted. I can guarantee that person won't be getting pregnant for quite some time.
  • Appetite Suppressant - Skip the diet aids and watch my child eat a meal when he's in a silly mood. Nothing like watching him pull that half-masticated green bean out of his mouth to end a meal early or see him eat a piece of asparagus/cheddar cheese/pot roast immediately after finishing the last bite of grape popsicle or ice cream. *shudder*
  • Restless Leg Syndrome - Take my pre-schooler to the playground or the pool and I can guarantee you won't have time to sit still and notice that your legs are restless.
  • Delusions of Grandeur - Not once you spend some time with my the-world-revolves-around-me-and-my-every-want-and-desire pre-schooler. I dare you to try putting your needs/wants first.
  • Insomnia - I've got two solutions for you. Choose your own adventure: 1) Come over and read every Richard Scarry book we have before bedtime to peanut, repeat as necessary. (Note: I loved these books as a kid, but reading every word on the page now? Yikes. I literally fell asleep in the middle of a sentence the other day). Or 2) Embrace your insomnia and come help me out in a few months when I'm up in the middle of the night feeding and changing a newborn and I'm desperate for sleep. I'd be happy to share some of the nighttime tasks.
  • Mild Memory Problems - Peanut seems to remember every detail of every promise made, the location of each toy (regardless of where it's "supposed" to be) and the plot line of each and every Thomas video we've ever seen. Trust me. You'll never need to remember anything for yourself again.
I'm sure we could brainstorm a few more medical uses for this kid for a fraction of the cost of a typical prescription drug. For instance, they say laughter is the best medicine. Maybe we could all skip the added vitamin supplements by eating right, exercising and spending some time listening to my peanut's ridiculous stories, songs and logic. Or at least that's the prescription I'm going to write for myself.

Thank you for your consideration,
High Heeled Mama

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Glimpse Into My Future

My husband and I are fairly committed to the man-on-man defense parenting strategy. Meaning: we aren't so sold on the idea that we'll have only two kids that we're planning any immediate procedures, but we're operating under the assumption that our family will be complete with our peanut and pumpkin.

The gender of this particular child did not play into this decision. Sure, it would be great to have a little girl to balance the scales, giggle over first dances with and dress in those adorable ruffled bloomers. But I also cherish the same-sex sibling relationship I have with my sister and think the bonds of brotherhood will be an extra special gift between peanut and pumpkin.

And being the mom of boys doesn't seem that bad when we're sitting at a Braves game together cheering on a home run, playing trucks or even finding joy in a simple mud puddle. Until...

This evening as the hubby was getting peanut ready for bed, peanut stated that when the sun comes up he can have a treat. The hubby said, um, no, when the sun comes up you can have breakfast. I told him if he wanted a treat when the sun came up, he could get a kiss from mommy - wasn't that a good treat? He thought that was silly and then:

Peanut: "Mommy, do you want a treat?"

Me: "Sure!"
(Oh, what cute response is coming? A kiss? A squeeze? An "I love you?")

Peanut proceeded to rip quite a sonorous poot.

Ah, my future life with boys. Non-stop potty humor and on-demand farting. I'd be horrified if I wasn't busy laughing so hard.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Busy Work

Busy work. I had a love/hate relationship with busy work during my full-time office days. Those expense reports that took forever to enter, collate and copy after an extended sales trip; the video logging in advance of a script write; the media research prior to pitching a new reporter, publication or beat. Some days these tasks were torture. On others, they were a welcome respite after a day/week/month of back-to-back meetings; presentations; pitch calls and other high energy, interactive, bite my tongue that they are seriously asking me to pitch "Oprah" for THAT topic negotiations of business.

Today, I missed busy work. To actually be able to spend an hour or so putting together the neighborhood newsletter or create that binder of all peanut's pre-school information? Heavenly. Instead, I've launched myself into a high-octane strategy of keeping peanut as busy as humanely possible during the days in order to avoid the cranky, obstinate, typical three-year-old behavior he's been exhibiting lately.

I do feel that my engagement factor has been seriously off since becoming pregnant. The August heat and humidity certainly don't help as the physical toll has been a bit more intense than I anticipated (how I did not miss you, Braxton-Hicks). Are any of these factors a direct cause of peanut's recent acting out? Not sure, but if I can add in a few more activities or adventures or art projects to distract him while also staying consistent on the discipline front, I figure I better give it a try before any bad behaviors get out of control.

As a result, I took peanut on an impromptu baseball adventure yesterday. I saw a great deal for $1 tickets to see the Braves play a make-up game in the afternoon. Sold. Packed up the water and the bribe of a special treat once we got there and headed over to Turner Field. We made it through 4 full innings, an explanation of fair vs. foul (the ball has to "stay between the lines"), and seven Braves runs ("He DID it!") before he started complaining that he wanted to go home. Overall, a success despite my depleted energy stores and sweaty maternity wear by the time we got home.

Today, I jam packed us full of tasks. We hit up a nearby, yet not often frequented by us, playground. Got peanut a haircut. Filled the gas tank (to be so easily entertained). Grabbed some thank you note supplies at Target. Came home and had lunch. Played trains. Played a round of Candy Land. Made chocolate-chip cookies together (our new favorite word: baking soda). Read what felt like 800 stories together, but was more like three really long ones. Set-up, executed and cleaned up the art project related to the thank you note supplies we purchased earlier in the day. Popped in a "Bob the Builder" video so I could sit down for a second. More trains. A puzzle. An I Spy game. Made dinner.

Did it make a difference? Well, even the hubby said that the kid is just as hyper as ever for the "witching hour," but at least he's in a good mood and not throwing his stir-fry rice all over the dining room. Me? I'm beyond exhausted, but realize we did have some small victories as a result: I said "yes" a lot more than "no;" peanut was extremely well-behaved at the playground (if you had been with us on our last three playground outings, you'd be as amazed as I was) and we had far fewer power struggles this afternoon than usual.

Can I keep up this pace? I'm not quite sure. We'll see how much I can cram into the rest of the week (so send along any craft/art/game ideas for three-year-olds. I'm gonna need all the help I can get!).

But oh, for a day of inane, boring, sit in a chair, don't have to talk to anyone busy work. Never thought I'd say that.

Then again, I never thought I'd say the words pee and poop so many times a day or know all the lyrics to the "Thomas & Friends" theme song either.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Peanut Paranoia

Throughout peanut's first days and months, I was, believe it or not, a pretty laid back parent. I was content going with the flow, learning about peanut and and letting him dictate the routine. I did a decent job, in retrospect, of really not sweating the small stuff. Even my dad has since said, "yeah, I was really surprised at how laid back you were during that first year." A back handed compliment? Maybe, but I appreciated it nonetheless.

Oh sure, there was the initial obsessing over the exact number of pee pee and poo poo diapers the first couple of days home (this, thankfully, did not last very long); the how come the kid up the street is talking so much clearer when he's only 10 days older; and -- my personal favorite -- the why isn't he teething yet inquiry at his 4 month, six month and nine month pediatrician appointments. Um, yeah. Maybe Dr. W thinks I'm a little crazy after all.

My type-A behavior really kicked in after a year. Around the same time they start to get hurt from falling walking. The same time they try new and dangerous things like playgrounds and bounce houses and sharing. The same time my particular kid started getting weird fever viruses that I was convinced each time were ear infections because don't all kids get ear infections? (Knock wood, peanut's still managed to avoid that particular ailment).

Through all that, I felt that I was keeping a pretty even keel. My one big bugaboo?

Peanut butter.

Oh, peanut butter in all its deliciousness and evil potential to send my child into anaphylactic shock. There are no immediate peanut allergies in our families. Peanut has had no reactions to any other foods he's tried, and the child has tried quite a few. But, the hubby's aunt has such severe allergies (I'm talking hasn't eaten food prepared by someone else or on someone else's dishes in decades severe) that it had me a little wigged out that the potential for such a reaction was in the gene pool. That and, let's face it, peanut's are "the" allergy - so many kids have an averse reaction to them that it seemed only natural that mine would have one, too.

On this point, my pediatrician has humored me from day one and said not to try it until at least two. When the two year old appointment came around, he said I could wait as long as I felt comfortable.

For the past year, my mom has teased me many a times with the "has he tried peanut butter?" question. Each time I sheepishly said no. Now that the kid is officially three and I'm constantly in search of another protein option for his lunches, I figured it was about time.

This morning I made up a few peanut butter crackers to take with me to my midwife appointment (conveniently located in the same neighborhood as the children's hospital). After hearing pumpkin's heartbeat and realizing I'm already up to the every two weeks appointment schedule, I parked in a lot across the street from the hospital's emergency entrance, handed my kid a cracker (after wiping him down with antibacterial wipes - he's still fascinated with these at my OB's office), and dialed the hubby at work for moral support. Final verdict - he didn't eat the whole cracker but did seem to enjoy the new experience. No hives, no choking, no Old Yeller foaming at the mouth.


Now that I've crossed this off the list, what will I worry about? The nasty toe nail threatening to come off after a run in with a heavy beam? When he'll get over his fear of automatic toilet flushers in public restrooms? How I'll manage a two-kid household? Nah. He's starting preschool. Time to start freaking out about swine flu.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Dear Peanut:

Today is your third birthday.

I blinked and a year went by.

You have been telling people you are three since June, so understandably, you've been a little confused today that you aren't turning four, but please, don't speed up the clock on me. It's all flying by so fast as it is.

I'm not sure if I can document any specific milestones this year other than the fact that you somehow turned into a little boy. Toddler and baby, although they are terms I try to label you with, are no longer accurate in describing you. Physically, you are long and lean and strong. You are extremely verbal and have expanded your normal narration of your experiences and play time to actually carrying on coherent conversations, making up less coherent "jokes" and creating play time story lines.

You have given up nap and rest time, which pains your mother to no end. You moved from your crib to the "big boy bed" configuration of your crib and, as of this weekend, have moved into your official, permanent twin bed. You hardly take up any space in it, but I've enjoyed the extra room since it allows me to snuggle in with you when we read stories in the afternoon.

You are officially out of all manner of diapers - only big kid underwear for you, day and night. We haven't had a day-time accident in several weeks and, as long as we (um, your daddy) take you for a pre-parental bed time pee break, you manage to wake up dry, too. Although I'm sure I've just jinxed your progress.

You've been quite the traveler this summer. In addition to our frequent trips home to NC to visit your family throughout the year, you've been to Florida twice in an attempt to see Space Shuttle Endeavor launch (unfortunately, you watched it on TV at home) as well as to Massachusetts to see extended family. You are an excellent traveler and we thank you for that.

You start pre-school this fall and I think you're going to love it. You also are going to become a big brother. I am so excited to see you in this role and watch the bond you all create as you grow up together. I know you will be caring, sweet and up to all manner of hijinks together. How much you understand the big brother concept right now or that this thing we call a baby in mommy's belly is going to be a baby that lives and shares physical and emotional space in our home, I just don't know. But I have faith that you will handle that transition like you have all others to this point - with relative ease and good humor.

There have been some bumps in the road this year. The terrible twos weren't really all that terrible, to be honest. As we've inched closer to three, the attempts you make to assert your independence have been a bit more challenging for your daddy and me. We are doing our best to help you feel in control while still achieving what we ultimately want from you. Some days are better than others.

Today I asked you, as a lark, how old you thought mommy was if you were turning three today. Your concept of numbers is unique - you're excellent through 13 then it gets a little murky. You hit all the right ones, just not in the right order. You thought about it for a minute and started counting on your fingers and then announced that I was three, too.

It's true. In a way, I am three today as well. Today is my third birthday celebrating the day I became a mother. A day when my life and heart and marriage and sense of self changed completely. A day that makes a new arrival to the family that much more special because, peanut, you are the one that first marked me as mommy. I can't put into words a thank you for giving me that gift.

You are the most selfish, wonderful, frustrating, challenging, silliest, beautiful thing I have done in my life and every day I can't imagine loving you more and yet I do. A tiny bit more every day that I barely notice until I catch you in the sunlight or hear you explain something completely ridiculous and I'm practically reduced to tears at the overwhelming feelings I have for you.

So now, I'll go attempt to frost a ridiculous attempt at a cake resembling a race track since you are currently obsessed with "Cars." Why? Not because you'll remember or it will impress anyone but because it will make you smile for a moment. And that, peanut, is all this mama needs.

Happy Birthday, Peanut.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Weight, Weight...Don't Tell Me

I gained a lot of weight my first time around the pregnancy block. I have been an admittedly very lucky gal who has not had to "worry" about my weight. Sure, as I hit my 30s, it's been redistributing in softer ways than in my 20s, but in the grand scheme of things, I realize I have nothing to complain about.

But when you get pregnant and it's suddenly expected of you to gain, gain, gain...why not have that bowl of ice cream? Every night? And sometimes in the afternoon? With a brownie? Cheers!

So I was admittedly a little shocked during my first pregnancy that the day the nurse had to move the big block on the scale, I was bothered by it. Briefly. But bothered. By the time I hit 40lbs near the end, I stopped looking at the scale. I would literally get on backwards -- "Think of it as your IQ" sign on the scale be damned. Overall, this strategy worked for me and I honestly didn't really care about the long as I and the baby were healthy and happy, what difference did it really make except a few post-partum pants sizes?

This time, going in, I wanted to have a similar laissez-faire attitude toward the scale. I wasn't going to worry about it. I mean, you're growing a whole baby in your gut, the scale is going to move. And I'm working out this pregnancy, which was not something that I did at all during pregnancy one. Unless you count checking the mail. A lot of my friends going through their second pregnancies who have also been working out, were talking about only having gained about 10 pounds by the time they were 6 months along. I should have nothing to worry about. Right?

So imagine my surprise when the peanut pulled out our scale this weekend and made us all stand on it and, if it's accurate, I've gained about 20lbs so far (officially started month seven today). WHAT? And why does it bother me so much? I really do feel like I'm more physically fit this pregnancy, the rings are still fitting (that's a good sign, right?), and I've been craving much healthier foods this go-round.

I suppose this weight fascination of mine might have something to do with the fact that at my last visit, my nurse midwife came in perusing my chart and said "I wouldn't worry too much about this amount of weight gain. It's typical to put on the most about this time." Great. I honestly hadn't thought about it at all until she mentioned it. It felt like the equivalent of the "Are you okay? You look tired," and we all know what that means.

When I go back in two weeks, I'm determined not to let that number scare me. I'm trying not to compare my belly to those of the two other mommies in my workout group due within a few days of myself and embrace it. After all, I lost the weight the first time around, I can do it again. And maybe this is just how my body does pregnancy.

Whatever it is, I'm having to talk myself into not paying attention to the scale again. Of course it hasn't stopped me from my nightly bowl of ice cream, so I suppose it can't be bothering me too much.

Speaking of ice cream...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The first trimester of this pregnancy kicked my tail. I was beyond tired. I remember being exhausted the first time around, but add in the challenge of chasing around a toddler and I was unprepared for the sheer level of bone crushing, driven to tears tired that accompanied this pregnancy's early weeks. Luckily, I did feel the weight lift around week 14 or 15, but I wouldn't say that I have my energy "back." Not when pumpkin is siphoning off all my caloric intake, depriving me of enough oxygen to, you know, breathe and pressing on my bladder causing late night/early morning trips to the bathroom.

Lately, though, I have noticed an increased burst in motivation. Or something. I'm baking up a storm (although probably because I'm scarfing down whatever I'm baking in record time). I'm rearranging all the furniture in our house (in my head, at least). I'm meeting with 800 different contractors and service providers, or so it seems, for a variety of projects that we are considering getting done with a potential refi on the horizon. I'm noticing all the little things I want to change in the house - bedding, curtains, new rugs. I've started a painting I'm doing for peanut, and depending on how it goes (since I'm no artist), I'll start a comparable one for pumpkin's side of the room. I've actually started dusting and vacuuming regularly again and even pulled out the old swiffer to attack the dust bunnies under the bed...something I don't think I've done since seeing the second line on the pregnancy test (one word for you: ick!). I even have a stack of books by the bed that I'm actually reading with a hunger I haven't felt in awhile.

Unfortunately, my physical stamina doesn't always match up to my mama's instinct to prepare for this new addition to our home. Not to mention the fact that peanut and his lack of rest time have created a challenge in getting through the day. More activities need to be planned and trains need to be played instead of mama getting a respite or at least 30 free minutes to accomplish something without an insistent tugging on my shirt. Let's just say we've watched a lot of "Calling All Engines" courtesy of Thomas and Friends just so I can sit down.

So, until I can find a few extra child-free, before dark (because let's face it, after the sun goes down, I'm useless) hours in the day or a miracle money tree growing in the back yard, the majority of my nesting is taking place in my head.

Although there are quite a few blueberries in my fridge right now. Cobbler or muffins? Decisions, decisions.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Let It Be

"And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me..."
-- The Beatles, "Let it Be"

I'm pretty certain John, Paul and the gang did not mean a preschooler when they wrote this, but when I heard it again today, I couldn't help but suck in my breath and say, "yup, that's how I feel about peanut."

No matter how difficult, disobedient, whiny, obstinate, or irrational peanut is in any given testing his boundaries moment, there are still spots filled with light. Spots so bright, clear and shiny that they can't be ignored. Moments of laughter, sometimes through tears (both his and mine). Moments of pure beauty, joy, discovery, sweetness.

Even on the hardest days, I still go to bed with these bright, shiny images dancing behind my closed lids. The ear to ear grin when I toss him in the air at the pool (enjoy it now while you can, kid. In a few weeks, I think we'll have to retire that move). A belly laugh during a tickle. A whispered, unexpected "I love you" after a game of Candy Land. A hand holding tight to mine as we cross the street. The puppy dog eyes and slightest of pouts when hoping for a treat. A snuggle in the pillows during story time.

I know he's still finding his way on this journey of becoming a person and I'm still blindly finding my way on my journey of becoming a mother. I'm taking great comfort in the fact that we trust each other enough to have these honest moments with each other - both positive and less than.

And I hope with all my heart that when he is drifting off to sleep on those particularly challenging days, he sees a light shining on his mommy, no matter how dim it may be. Because the light that shines on him in mine when I sneak into his room before bed? Breathtaking.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Poops Their Pants

We've been having the most lovely weather lately - warm, but dry. No humidity in the south in the summer is like an oasis and you must take advantage of it while you can. It might not be this nice again until October.

So, I decided we'd try to make a day of it with a special park trip complete with picnic lunch. Peanut was a bit cranky this morning ("Put my snot back" was screamed at me after I wiped his nose post-tantrum about my putting his milk on the wrong side of his plate or something equally irrational) so I took a deep breath, pushed aside my impatience and decided we'd better get to activity sooner rather than later.

We started by making a banana blueberry bread together. We worked together to pack the picnic lunch. We got dressed. We packed up the car and we were off later in the morning.

We had a lovely time playing on the playgrounds. We found a peaceful spot under a tree, near a fountain for our picnic lunch. We laughed. We were feeling good. We were close enough that when the play fountains freaked peanut out and he didn't want to play in them after all, we agreed we'd head over to the Children's Museum. We have a membership, so even if the visit was short, I figured it would be worth it if it kept him stimulated.

Upon arrival, we had a potty training breakthrough! He actually sat and peed on the big potty in the restroom (this has been an issue, so I was very excited - my apologies to the other moms in the restroom with us who must have been rolling their eyes on the other side of the stall door as I fussed over and praised my little peanut's pee pee achievement). We played and played and had a grand ole time in the museum.

Until peanut announced he had to poop. As I took his hand to lead him back to the restroom, I caught a whiff and had a sinking feeling we were already too late.

Yup. Our first public accident. It cut our fun day a little short - I luckily had a change of clothes, but because he's been so good with potty training and we really haven't had any accidents since week 1, I wasn't prepared for keeping the offensive garments from stinking up the rest of the museum if I simply put them in the stroller. Plus, mommy was a little grossed out and tired from the clean-up process.

Now he's "resting" in front of a Thomas video and I'm coming perilously close to devouring half of the banana blueberry bread myself.

The moral of the story: LOTS of activity keeps peanut pleasant and happy (although somewhat distracted from his bodily functions) which keeps mommy pleasant and happy.

So if anyone has the secret to providing a pregnant lady some super human energy boost in order to make every day as jam packed, I'm all ears. In the meantime, I'll bask in the glory of one great day and learn my lesson so I'll be more prepared for avoiding accident-endings to future great days.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Parenting During Pregnancy

I'm beginning to wonder if these are mutually exclusive.

I can't tell if this pregnancy has been more physically taxing or my day-to-day life chasing a toddler not to mention lugging all his accoutrement from house to car to stroller to pool to car to house to washing machine (repeat as necessary) takes more of a physical toll that's simply become more apparent during pregnancy. I'm tired, mentally strained and walking a fine line between patient and gritting-her-teeth-choking-back-tears mommy.

Whatever the reason, I'm not feeling good about my mothering lately. It's one thing to let the dust bunnies collect, the laundry pile up or the vacuuming go undone a few extra days (ahem, weeks?) under the guise of self-care during pregnancy. But the idea that I'm not being the best mom I can be to peanut because of the same reason? I'm having a harder time coming to terms with this.

Add to that the guilt I project on the entire situation - if it's this difficult now, imagine how much I'm going to suck at being a parent of two when pumpkin is actually physically here demanding attention? Let's just say it's been fun times for the hubby listening to me lately.

I know I need to cut myself some slack. I know I'm probably not doing as craptastic a job as I think I am (let's hope). I know that peanut is healthy, happy (save a few excellent tantrums) and potty trained (alleluia). I know that the hubby would be the first one to step up and say something if he thought my performance was severely lacking. I know I have the comfort of advice from a girlfriend who recently had her second and assures me that it is physically easier when the baby's here and suckling as opposed to inside and sucking your energy dry.

But I can't help but feel like I'm trying my damnedest to give my best to everyone, some of the time at the detriment to my own physical care, and that it isn't even close to "enough."

Is it guilt? Hormones? High expectations? A toddler phase of uber difficult behavior I'm overanalyzing as peanut acting out because his mother is knocked up and he's already feeling ousted from his thronely perch?

Who knows.

All I do know is that it's been a hard week around here, which came as a total surprise after my completely wonderful, indulgent, quiet staycation. I suppose just as my ligaments and belly are stretching to make room for this growing new child inside me, my heart, soul and energy stores are doing the same.

So for the next three months and change I'll not only be cleaning out space in peanut's room for pumpkin, but looking for some extra internal room for things like my patience. If only the Container Store offered that particular storage solution...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Home Alone

I'm in the midst of packing up peanut and bombarding the hubby with instructions, FYIs and "what would you do if..." scenarios. The boys are leaving for Florida tomorrow afternoon to try to catch the launch that wasn't a month ago. I am staying home.

We've been going somewhere every two weeks since Memorial Day and I'm pooped. The virus I came home from Massachusetts with completely knocked my socks off. I'm still exhausted from it and the thought of another trip was too much to bear. So, the hubby is taking peanut for their first ever boys-only road trip. They even coordinated a "men, men, men" song and dance after bath tonight.

I'm really excited for them. The hubby took several summer road trips with his dad when he was a kid and has a ton of stories, miles logged and photos of those days. I know this is a tradition he very much wants to share with his children. If the launch goes off (still iffy based on Florida weather, but the initial problem that scrubbed the last launch has been fixed), it will be a tremendous experience for them to share. And I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm glad he'll get a different perspective on what it means to parent a toddler when he has to do it completely on his own. The hubby is a very involved partner in this parenting journey we're on (and thank goodness for that), but there is still nothing like traveling alone with a child - something I've done (and not always well) but he hasn't yet. I know he'll handle it with flying colors and they'll both come back a little better from the challenge (where potty training is when they come back, well, we'll have to see).

And me? I've finally received that mother's day gift I was hoping for - time alone. Sure, it's not on the sandy shores of a remote beach with a cute cabana boy bringing me cocktails, but it's two and a half days of completely MY time. I'm almost nervous about what I'll do with it - except that I already have a lunch scheduled with some girlfriends, a spa pedicure appointment confirmed and my eyes on an exhibit at the High I've been wanting to check out. Not to mention the prospect of sleeping whenever I want, reading a book in peace and staying in my jammies all day if I want to (don't worry girls, I'll get dressed for the lunch).

I know I'm gonna miss the boys like crazy. It's going to be so strangely quiet around here. I'm sure I'll call entirely too often to "check in." I'll probably spend a good portion of my alone time Friday afternoon cleaning.

But a weekend alone holds so many possibilities to recharge some desperately depleted batteries. And it couldn't have come at a better time.

So bring on the chick flicks, take out and ice cream. Mama needs some R&R.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Today's Post Brought to You By the Letter "D"

I started blogging a little over two years ago. Peanut was almost one and I was finally feeling my parenting grove...meaning I actually had a nap time or two of me time a day and was looking for an outlet. I had stumbled across a few parenting blogs and thought, hey, I could do that.

I was never in it for the fame and fortune, which is a good thing because I haven't found either. Sure, there are some very well-respected bloggers out there who get interviewed by major media outlets and apparently make a very good living through sponsorships and ads.

Me, I just needed a blank page to fill with words. A place to document the growth of my peanut and my role as mommy. A community that understood what I was going through and might offer a bit of advice. I needed a voice.

Of course in the early days I checked my Google Analytics regularly - how many people were coming, where were they from, did they come back? I honestly haven't checked it in months (of course I looked today because I was thinking about it). I'm okay with my steady readership. I know most of my readers either are related to me, know me, know someone related to me or are friends of friends. And that's fine. Because even if I only had one reader (hi mom!), I'd still write here. I'd still share my potty training stories or silly things peanut says or moments when I struggle with what it is to be a stay at home mom. I need to. It's just what I do.

So in that vein, I've joined Self-Made Mom and her growing D-List posse of bloggers.

Nope, I won't be at Blogher (although I always swear, one of these days I'll be able to justify it). Nope, I'll never be a featured guest on Oprah. Nope, I won't be asked to guest post anywhere. I'm just still a high heeled gal adjusting to my life in flats who will continue to write about it here - hey, it keeps my mom up to date, my friends slightly entertained and me a little bit saner than I would be without it.

And that gets an A in my book any day.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Independence Day!

Freedom! What a wonderful blessing it is.

What's that you say? July 4th was yesterday? Yes, I suppose it was. And it is a very important and lovely holiday to celebrate. But here at Chez High Heeled Mama, we are celebrating a very different kind of independence this weekend.

We are currently free from the tyranny of Pampers! Oh yeah, baby! Potty training has entered day three and it is nothing short of a runaway success (compared to what I was prepared for).

Of course now that I've typed this, I'm sure peanut is busy peeing in his Thomas undies at the playground, but I'm willing to risk it. Plus, he's with the hubby, which means it's not currently my problem.

Since some of you have asked me what our approach has been, here is a quick rundown of our potty training weekend:

The hubby and I entered peanut's room on Day 1 as if it were Christmas. We were very excited to announce that this was the day he would not need diapers anymore. I think we might have freaked him out a little bit with our over eagerness and his initial reaction was not what we expected. After he took a moment to wake up and we toned down our shtick, he joined in our excitement and picked out his first pair of big boy underwear for the day.

We then gave him a tour of the bathroom that I had set up the night before. The potty was prominently displayed, special (ie, flushable) wipes nearby, his favorite pump soap at the ready, sticker chart hanging on the wall, stool at the sink and a big, decorated sign hanging on the door with his name on it so that he could take ownership of this bathroom as his. We told him what everything was for and then set about making breakfast.

The theme to our potty training has been to remind him that he just needs to tell us when he has to go pee or poop. We wanted him to be in control. His response was to announce he wanted to eat breakfast, watch Lightning McQueen then go pee pee.

Sounded good to us, so we gave him lots of liquids throughout the movie, paused two times at his request so he could go run down the hall to see his sign hanging on the door and as soon as the movie was over he announced he had to go pee. First attempt - total hit! Wahoo!

The rest of the day, we continued to ply him with liquids while reminding him ad nauseum that he needed to tell us when he had to go. We had three accidents throughout the day, but many more hits than misses including a sacred you know what (don't make me say it!). We were thrilled.

Day 2 continued much in the same way in terms of our tactics and he only had one accident. We were getting keen on his signs and were able to strategically ask a few times if he had to try to pee and he'd agree - thereby avoiding any potential accidents. I think that also helped him clue into what it felt like BEFORE any action happened.

Today has been awesome. It's currently just before dinner. He's finally out at the playground across the street because the poor kid is going stir crazy from being with the two us of all weekend and our incessant: "Tell mommy or daddy if you have to pee pee, okay?" But so far, no accidents! And he's been very proactive telling us when he has to go, including for another you know what.

I know we're not totally out of the woods yet - we haven't gone on errands or engaged in our normal, active routine, but we're going to ramp into that this week and see what happens. I've been sick all weekend (still with this cough and overall blechs - doc says it's a virus and I have to wait it out, which could take another week, great!), which has actually been a blessing in disguise. I've had an excuse to lay on the couch all weekend and haven't felt bad about resting or skipping any usual activities. I'm not up to working out yet, so we'll simply stay home another day tomorrow and maybe do some grocery shopping or other errands to test the waters, so to speak.

The best sign of all came this afternoon when I pointed out to peanut that he hasn't worn a diaper in three days and he responded: "I don't need diapers anymore."

Score one for the parents!

And thank you for all the kind words of support and suggestions. They all came in handy and were much appreciated!