Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30 Days of Thanksgiving in 30 Minutes

A lot of my friends on Facebook have been posting something they are thankful for each day in the month of November, in honor of Thanksgiving. I didn’t really want to do it every day, but I want people to know that I have a massive amount of things to be thankful for this year. I’m sure I can think of thirty. Here goes, in NO particular order...

1.) The Internet. Oh sure, laugh, but chances are, if you’re reading this, you’d freak out a little if you woke up one morning and found you weren’t able to log on.

2.) My Dogs. Max and Mattie are such awesome pets and they’ve never once been aggressive to the kids. Max lets Charlie tug on his eyebrows without so much as a growl, and Mattie even tolerates Jamie trying to ride her like a pony.

3.) Our House. So many people aren’t fortunate enough to have their own home.

4.) Tyler’s Job. Even when time’s get hard, his job is set up in a way that makes it easy to recoup.

5.) My In-Laws. I have heard some stories you would not believe about other people’s in-laws, and even compared to the more tame stories, my in-laws are excellent. Having un-crazy family members is always a super plus. Steve, Tracy, and Ryan would do anything for our family, and I’m so thankful knowing that.

6.) My extended in-law family. They’re all amazing. I can’t believe I’ve known them all for so long now. I’m completely aware that a lot of people don’t even have family and I appreciate how they treat me like one of their own and are all so great with the kids. I’m thankful for Betty, Lauren, Kenny, Wendy, Andy, Matt, Hunter, Mike, Leanna, and Maggie.

7.) My soon to be sister-in-law. As sister-in-laws go, (and first sisters, in my case) I don’t think my brother-in-law could’ve found anyone more awesome. Not only is she everything I love in a woman, (smart, strong, sarcastic, snarky, hard-headed^_~) but she makes SURE to make time for our family, despite the fact that her and Ryan have unbelievably hectic schedules. I love her already.

8.) Starbucks. Oh cinnamon dulce latte and caramel brule latte, how many morning have you kept me perky?

9.) Snuggle Time with my boys. There’s almost nothing as awesome as the moments when the guys slow down long enough for me to hold them.

10.) My Childhood. Again, I know a lot of people who had a totally messed up childhood and I am thankful EVERY day for the chances and childhood I was given.

11.) My Parents. Not only were they awesome then, they’re still awesome now.

12.) My Brother. I wish I got to see him more, but having a younger brother is one of the coolest things I’ve ever had in my life. ^_~ I’ll never forget the moment in the ICU this year, when I talked to him on the phone. It will affect me forever.

13.) Erin. It means sooo much to me that my brother has found such and sweet girl that loves him, that he loves, too. I want only the best for my little brother, and she’s the best.

14.) Flip Flops. Yeah, seriously. I might kill over right now, if someone told me I could never wear them again.

15.) Photographs. My memory gets worse and worse with each child, and I’m gonna need all of these photos to look back on these times... even if I do take a ridiculous amount.

16.) Assys. A group of fabulous girls that I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the last year and a half. It’s important to have friends who understand exactly where you are in life. I’ll never forget these girls and the things they have given me and friendships we’ve formed, as long as I live.

17.) Old Friends. So many people don’t keep in touch on a regular basis with people they knew in high school, let alone middle or elementary school. Sandy and Desiree are still my 2 best friends and they’re more like sisters than anything else. I love all of my high school buddies.

18.) New Friends. Emily, Erika, Jessi, Jesse, and so forth and so on. I know they aren’t really that new of friends, at this point, but compared with the middle school friends... well, you get the idea. I love you guys, and I’m really thankful to have you in my life.

19.) Andrea and Jeremy. Friends, neighbors, family, saints, call them whatever you like. They’re amazing and I really don’t know where we’d be without them. Jeremy rushed to the hospital straight from work to pick up the boys so that my husband AND mom were able to stay with me. Andrea stayed with my mother-in-law to help her watch the boys during that time, and that’s just one example each of the MANY things they’re done for us.

20.) Brandon, Brittanye, and Bailey. After having a new baby, I was lonely not knowing anyone else with a baby. Then here comes Tyler’s best friend dating a girl with a baby Jamie’s age! And she’s fabulous. I’m so glad that they became a family and I’m totally grateful that they’re still a part of our lives.

21.) My Shows. I love having something to distract me on television when I finally get a chance to take a break at home.

22.) The Holidays. I love them. They make me warm and fuzzy.

23.) Nanny. If you have met my nanny, then you know why I’m so thankful for her. She’s amazing and everyone wants her for their very own.

24.) I’m thankful that my uncle is trying really hard to conquer his addiction, even if it’s difficult and even if he sometimes makes mistakes. It makes the whole family so much happier, especially Nanny.

25.) Jessica. The day I found out Jessica was going to have a baby, too, it put a whole new awesome meaning to our relationship. I’m so amazed by her and thankful that she’s my cousin.

26.) My extend family is the bomb. Great Aunts and Uncles, cousins, 3rd cousins twice removed. You probably can’t find a family more fabulous than mine.

27.) Tyler.

28.) Jamie and Charlie. I feel like it’s pretty obvious why I’m grateful for the last two numbers.

29.) The Flood. Bear with me here. It may sound crazy to be thankful for that ridiculous flood, but if it hadn’t happened, Tyler wouldn’t have been off of work to take me immediately to the ER, and he would’ve come home to find me dead and the boys all alone in the house without me. Every nurse, doctor, and specialist said that if we had waited even 5 more minutes, I would’ve been dead for certain.

30.) The thing I am clearly the most thankful for this year, is that, for some reason, God saw fit to leave me on this earth to take care of my children and help them learn and grow. I was so scared of everything I would miss and I know, I KNOW, that all of the prayers that were pouring my way played a huge part in why I’m here today. I am just so grateful to be alive.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Merry Freakin' Christmas, Charlie!

So, my husband left for Dallas on Sunday around 4:30. He has training down there for the week and will be back on Friday night, which leaves me alone with the boys. Jamie went to stay the night with Tyler's cousins, luckily, because the Great Christmas Tree Fiasco of '09 (as it will henceforth be called) was about to occur.

I'm feeling pretty good about myself and about having the evening with Charlie all to myself. Andrea and Jeremy stopped by and brought me an early birthday present and some cookies, then they headed back to their house. After feeding Charlie a bottle at 12:30, we both drifted back to dream land. Charlie has been sleeping in the living room in his bouncer at the suggestion of our pediatrician due to his congestion, and I was asleep on the couch beside him. Around 1:30 am, I hear a creak and a crash and the unmistakable sound of glass breaking. To tell you the truth, I was a little afraid to open my eyes, but I did. It was dark but I knew the tree had just fallen and had landed right near or on the baby! When I flipped on the lights above my head my stomach lurched and my hands started shaking uncontrollably. The top of the tree was on Charlie's head! It was just two branches and one heavy ornament, but I wasn't sure how hard the tree had hit him. I lifted him out of the seat and looked for wounds. There weren't any that I could see so I set him down on the couch and grabbed my phone. The child never even woke up. He just wiggled and stretched a little, as if to say, "Why would you move me, woman?"

Andrea and Jeremy have drilled into my head that if I ever need them, to call. I figured now was as good a time as any, even though it was 1:30 in the morning. It took two tries before Jeremy answered. When I explained what had happened and told him the tree was too heavy for me to lift, he, of course, exclaimed they'd be right over. 5 minutes later they come in and survey the scene. Jeremy lifted the tree and leaned it against the corner wall and then we decided it would be a good idea to just go to the hospital and make sure Charlie was alright because you never can tell with such a little guy.

Thankfully, they told us he seems just fine and to just monitor him because they didn't want to do a CT scan on a baby so small since it takes so much radiation. It was the fastest ER visit ever known. When we got back to the house and were able to take a better look at the damage, it turned out to be mostly a glass ball massacre. There were very few regular ornaments that didn't make it. Jeremy and Andrea cleaned up the mess while I fed Charlie another bottle because they're awesome that way. Currently, the tree is chillin' in the corner waiting to be redone later today.

I feel crazy because I told Tyler and others that I thought the tree looked crooked in the stand. He said he thought it was just the way the tree was shaped. I kept telling him it was crooked, but I never really insisted he redo it. Sunday evening I even thought to myself, "Maybe I should put Charlie's bouncer on the other side of the couch in case the tree does fall over," but I convinced myself I was being neurotic. Forgive me for the lack of my usual humorous overtones (or what I intend to be humorous, anyhow), but I believe I'm still in shock. I'm feeling pretty numb except for the growing urge to vomit. Everything is fine and disaster was diverted, but geez! Way to start the week, Christmas tree!

At least, someone was watching out for sweet little Charlie and making sure that tree didn't land 2 or 3 inches further and smash him underneath it. (Thanks, Grandma.) I'm also thankful that Lauren and Kenny chose Sunday to keep Jamie, of all the days they could have had him before or since, and clearly, I'm thankful for my most fantastic friends. Couldn't wish for a better set of neighbors! Below are a few pictures from my phone. The first shows some of the balls but they had landed everywhere...all the way in the kitchen and were all around his bouncer, but not on Charlie himself! The second shows which part hit him and just how close he was to being hurt worse. His head was in that little pillow.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Giving Thanks

This entry was an idea I got from a friend's blog. I loved reading about her thankful heart so much that I decided I needed to follow suit. With all the stress of working out the kinks of having 2 under 2, I know it will make me feel good to put down in words the the things I'm giving thanks for this holiday season. These are in no particular order.

My Husband

Now, we all know this already since I've already written about his awesomeness, but he's grown even more fabulous with the addition of our latest son. I'm so thankful that he is an amazing father, that he is a helper, that he is so patient, and that he works his buns off to make a good life for this family that he loves so dearly.

My Husband's Job
In this time, when so many people have lost jobs and many more are struggling to even find a job or keep the hours and pay they already have, I'm thankful that my husband has a place where he can make a decent living that, not only allows us to put food on the table and afford life's basic necessities, but also gives us the freedom to own our own home and enjoy some frivolities, all while allowing me the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom.

Our Home

I'm thankful that we were able to find a house we wanted and were able to afford and have been able to make that house a home for us and our boys.

The Boys

Clearly, I'm thankful to have been blessed with my sons. They are amazing and healthy and strong. Jamie is learning something new, not every day, at this point, but every minute! It's truly wondrous to experience. Charlie appears to be thriving and growing each day and that's just what you'd want in a newborn. It seems unreal that I have 2 children.
While Charlie came about a little earlier than planned, I'm thankful it was not a struggle for us to become pregnant, after having seen the heartache that can cause through various friends. In that same vein, I'm thankful those friends are in my life as a constant reminder of how lucky and grateful I am to have my boys. Some friends' prayers have been answered this year and they're finally expecting and I will continue to pray for friends who are still waiting on their little miracle.

My Mom

So many, many people have poor or "okay" relationships with their mothers. They complain about how annoying they are or how they're always getting on their nerves by doing this and that. I'm thankful to have, hands down, without a doubt in my mind, the best mother in the history of ever. She's awesome on so many levels and you should be jealous. ^_~

My Great-Aunt Susie

Not only does this woman fill a void in my heart left by my grandmother's passing several years ago, but she's amazingly helpful, if ever I have a medical question (which during pregnancy, was often). She's a strong ex-military nurse and she's kicked cancer in the face on more than one occasion. She's the greatest great-aunt and I love her dearly. No, you may not have her.

My Extended Family
Again, I often hear people complain about most of their family and I'm not saying some of them don't have just cause. I've heard plenty of family horror stories, some of which you'd swear could have only happened in a Lifetime movie. I'm consistently reminded of how lucky I am, not just with my own extended family, which has some truly spectacular members (my nanny and cousin and aunt to name a few), but with my husband's family as well. My mother-in-law is always willing to lend a hand. He has some pretty fantastic cousins and I feel like his aunt who also raised boys 18 months apart is going to be a great resource for advice. Not many of my family members try to push their opinions on me about what they think I should be doing or tell me I'm doing it wrong. I'm not saying there are no members that do that, but not many...maybe two, and for that I am eternally grateful!

There are, of course, many other people and things I am thankful to have be a part of my life, but those are the things that affect me the strongest. There are a few very special friends I have in my life that I am also very grateful to have, but at the risk of someone feeling left out, I've chosen just to let you assume you know it's you. Have a very happy Thanksgiving week, readers. I know I will. I'm looking forward to the food, family, 2 extra days with my husband, and my first girl's night in months.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Was it Something I Said? (The Birth Story)

So, clearly, the best way to induce labor is to insult your pregnancy with a "Dear John" blog. Several people have commented how funny it is that, on the day of telling my pregnancy how annoying I found it, it ended. I believe my cousin said it best. The comment she left on my last blog entry after finding out I'd be having the baby? "I think your pregnancy may have taken this very personally. I don't think it just left. I think it slammed the door in your face!" Indeed.

After that last "infamous" entry, I headed to my OB appointment for the week. It was the last one I was supposed to have with this OB, because my doctor would finally be returning from vacation on Sunday. Psht! The doctor did my first office check. I had been checked 3.5 days earlier at the hospital because I thought I might have been leaking fluid. In the hospital, I had been 1 cm and not effaced enough to mention. By Tuesday morning, the doctor informed me that I was now at a 2-3 and 80% effaced. He asked a few seemingly uninformative questions, but then informed me, while I needed to make an appointment with my regular OB for next week, he did not think I was going to make it til then. (My mom reckons he whispered a little something up there or used a little voodoo magic during the check so that he could get my hospital fee)

When I got home, it was hard not to feel excited. I was having back pain and contractions, but I told myself it was my imagination or wishful thinking. When things continued to feel progressively uncomfortable 4 or 5 hours later, I decided to call the doctor's office back and was prepared for them to tell me that was normal. Instead, I was told to go to Labor & Delivery.

Say what?!! My husband and I headed over to the hospital to see what was up. The doctor checked and said I was now a "stretchy 3" (how's that for hot terminology?) and 100% effaced. Instead of sending me home to have me come back later, he decided to break my water and get things moving. That all happened in about 45 minutes. After the OB had left the room, I was staring at my husband with coaster-sized eyeballs. We were about to have a baby! That's not exactly what I'd expected for the day.

I labored pain med free for about 3 hours, with intense contractions about 1-2 minutes apart. With my first son, I still wasn't sure the epidural had worked, so I was reluctant to get it this time. When the pain started becoming pretty unbearable, I told my mom that, if I'd made good progress, I was gonna keep going. If not, I'd talk about the meds. By the time I finally got checked again, they said I was a "loose 4." That was not the answer I was hoping to get.

The nurse, who had done natural labors herself, was very encouraging and wonderful but she told me that with my family's and my history of quick transitions and push times that I wouldn't have long to make a decision. She also said that she didn't think the epidural had worked either after I relayed my original labor horror story. I told her I'd give the epi a try after I continued to hear my cousin in the back of my mind saying, "If you want it, get it. Don't be a hero!" The nurse told me not to worry about it and just to relax. She was fantastic, by the way, and smelled like cookies! I told her that and she laughed and said maybe it was because she'd made banana nut muffins earlier that day. I nodded while I secretly thought, "No, you clearly smell like Tagalongs!"

Like this, only with scrubs!

I can now say with complete and utter confidence, my first epidural did NOT work!!!

Immediately after receiving the catheter in my back and laying down, my legs started to get really tingly. I just kept saying at every turn, "This is different from last time. This is different already." There were things I didn't like about the epidural, like how it made me feel and my horribly uncontrollable shakes (which came at the beginning and the end). I could feel like a pinch which hurt but not nearly as bad as the contractions had before. I told the nurse twice about the pinch and we shifted my position. She asked if I felt pressure in my bottom and I said no, so she asked if it was okay if she raised the bed up where I would be sitting to see if that would move the baby down. This was an hour after I'd gotten the epidural. She sat me up, walked out for 5 minutes and I was like "Ugh! I definitely feel it in my bottom." So my mom went and got her and she checked me and was like, "Yep, just like I thought. You're ready." Huh?!! Ready for what? For pushing?! I didn't feel at all like I did with Jamie, and I didn't really know when the contractions were even happening. The nurse told me when to go, I did. Everyone was saying, "Oh! Good Job! You're doing so good!" I was thinking, "Good at what?! What the heck am I doing?!" It didn't feel like anything was happening. However, I'm the apparent queen of pushing because I had about 10-15 minutes worth of pushing with Jamie and I pushed twice with Charlie (I think it was three times, but my mom and Tyler say two).

On November 4th, 2009 at 9:20 pm, Charles Grady was here! It was so amazing. I actually said "You're kidding me?! That was it?! That's what it was supposed to feel like last time?" I was on Cloud 9 and couldn't stop talking about it for hours. Everything has been easier in the recovery department, too. It's almost enough to erase the horror of what I experienced 18 months ago! We've been so excited to welcome home our 7 lb 1 oz little man. I am officially the proud mommy of 2 under 2. Now the adventure really begins!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dear Pregnancy,

I'm so over you. If you're interested in trying to make this relationship work again, here are a list of things I'll need you to improve upon.

First of all, for the remainder of this particular pregnancy, I'm getting really tired of all the painful contractions that last for hours with no results. It's really obnoxious. Could you do something about that? Also, the little hemorrhoid "present" I've received? Yeah. Thanks but no thanks. I didn't find the joy in that gift. I'm gonna need you to exchange that. Perhaps consider giving me jewelry next time. A nice necklace from Tiffany's will do. Heck, I'll take one from Walmart. It's bound to be nicer than the current "gift." While you're at it, I'm also tired of getting up to pee 854 times a night only to have a trickle come out. Seriously?!! You're gonna make me wake up for that?! I'm thinking it's time to go Lisa Nowak-style and bust out the Depends...you know, the crazy astronaut? I think I'll rock her hairstyle now that I'm looking at it.

And as for "the next time," assuming there is one, please be a little more considerate of my feelings and those around me. I would really appreciate you not leaving me in a puddle of tears over a jar of pickles, and I'm sure my husband would like you a lot better if you didn't have me jump down his throat for...well...breathing, chewing, driving, and "looking at me funny," in general. I'm sure he'd like to see his loving wife every once in awhile as opposed to what I'm sure he thinks of me now (see below)

Now, don't misunderstand. Your end result in the past has been simply beautiful and I'm sure I'm in for a repeat this time. I only wonder, if it's not too much trouble, couldn't you treat me like one of those "mythical" pregnant women I'm always hearing about? You know, The ones who don't vomit every day, don't swell, don't pass out, "glow" instead of having a sweaty sheen, have nary a mood swing, and basically just exude sunshine out of every orifice? Is that too much to ask for for just one pregnancy? Too much to hope for?

I'll keep my fingers crossed that you'll do this for me, Pregnancy. As for now, I'm thinking we should take an extended break from one another. I need my space and time to gather my thoughts. Considering what you've done for me in the past, though, it's going to be hard to stay away forever. So, not "goodbye," but maybe..."see ya later?" We shall see.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Mommy Meltdown

This morning I awoke to crushing anxiety about the impending birth of my second son! Sounds awesome right?! I'm starting to slowly freak out about the 2 under 2 thing. Yes, I'm aware that people do it all the time. Yes, I'm aware how people get pregnant. I don't want people to misunderstand. I'm very excited to be adding to my family. I'm just starting to feel increasing fear about my ability to handle these guys all day together as a stay-at-home mom. The suspense is killing me.

On the plus side, I did have a "supermom" moment earlier today. My 17 month old and I went out to do some early Christmas shopping (I'm trying to get done before the baby arrives so I won't have to tote both of them). we went to lunch at Pei Wei. generally, I just hold his hand and let him walk because, at this point, it's difficult to carry him on top of the hard belly. When we got inside, he got nervous from all the people and demanded up. My other hand was full, so I hoisted him up over my gut with one arm, ordered, paid, and then got the high chair out with my other arm all with my 35.99999 week pregnant belly. Yay me!

Moms who've already survived 2 under 2...I salute you!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Aging Ungracefully

At some point the line was crossed, and I want to know when. When did this happen to me? Today, I was eating lunch at Moe's when a group of high schoolers came in. I'm not talking 5 or 6 here. I'm talking at least 50 by the time we were done. I don't know why they were all there, nor do I really care. What I am concerned about is that, suddenly, I was old! I mean, it's ridiculous really, how old I'm still feeling. "I'm not old. I'm 37." (Okay, i'm 26 but I couldn't resist the urge to reference Monty Python.) Let me say that my intention is not to make older friends and family feel like cavemen, but to ponder this sad and simple fact of life: When did I go from feeling like this...

Seriously, those are high school freshman!

to this?!!!

Sure, I see high school kids all the time but never in such large quantities that you can compare and say, "Good Lord! They all look that young!" Somewhere, just in the last couple of years, I've begun to see myself as a different person. This should have been immediately obvious to me when I first realized that I was still unconsciously saying I was 25 when I'm, in fact, about to turn 27? Did I forget my age? Is the pregnancy amnesia more severe than I was lead to believe? I mean, honestly folks, I have to stop and think about how old I am. What's with that? No matter how many times I tell myself, "You're 26, Amanda. 26. Almost 27," there's a little voice of defiance deep within shouting back, "25!" I can almost see her there, with her arms folded, glaring back at me.

I know, in the grand scheme of things, I'm not old by a long shot, but man have I been smacked in the face with this today. Some may suggest that maybe it's because I'm now a mom, but what about teen mothers? Do they feel like they're not high schoolers anymore when they still are? I don't think it's because I'm a mother. I think it's because I'm officially closer to 30 than to 20. So, now I'm wondering, will I be hit with this feeling each time I cross the halfway point in another decade? 36, 46, 56?

I can only hope I age as gracefully as my mother or ya know, Jane Seymour. (I had to choose a fellow ginger, ya know...even if it's not natural.)

58!!! That woman right there is fifty-eight!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dear Husband,

Over at BabyCenter.com, there are many birth clubs and forums and topics. In my November 2009 forum, there are constantly girls posting threads about their husbands laughing at their pregnant appearance, leaving their pregnant wives and girlfriends, saying maybe it would be better if the baby would die (Seriously?!!), and just being all around dicks. One mom started a thread for us with decent men to post a letter of thanks to them. Sadly, not many participated. Now I'm not saying that Tyler doesn't have his flaws. He's got loads of them, as do I, but this is about all the amazing things he does every day. This was what I posted (with a few others added as I thought of them).

"Dear Husband,

I am so grateful that you're the man in my life (though, clearly, I don't always show it appropriately...or at all) Every day I'm reminded by friends, family, and people I don't even know how lucky I am to have a man who is as responsible, generous, and patient as you. Thank you for helping with our son as much as you do. There are too many dads who are uninvolved in their childrens' lives, even if they live in the same home. Thank you for busting your ass at work and for asking me to be a stay-at-home mom b/c that's the kind of care you want for your children. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made in order to keep a job closer to where we grew up just because you know how very important my family and friends are to me, and even though you know I'd move with you wherever. Thank you for the massive amount of help you gave me, while I was recovering from the preeclampsia and for forcing me to rest (even when I was in hysterics trying to defy you) because that's what the doctor ordered. Thank you for struggling to keep your eyes open til I fall asleep on nights when I'm having an anxiety attack. We both know how hard it is for you to stay awake once you're ready for bed.

Thank you for never, ever telling me you think I look bad when we both know there are plenty of times I'm not looking great. Thank you for never mentioning the 50 or so stretch marks I got while making your son. Thank you for telling me I'm your best friend. Thank you for pregnant foot massages. Thank you for not being the giant douche of a man that some of my friends always seem to end up with. Thank you for chasing down Mattie right before our wedding rehersal because you love that dang dog as much as I do, even if you don't always admit it. Thank you for our first date being a messy barbeque joint and playing pool. Definitely not the most romantic of first dates, but look where it's landed us in 7 years! Thank you for being exactly what my mother prayed for me, and on that topic, for loving your extended family. Thank you for seeming to love me in spite of all the crazy floating around in here.

You're amazing and I love you, but don't think this means you're getting some tonight."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Growing Pains

Up until I became a mother, I thought I grasped all forms of that term. "Growing pains," pains in the legs and knees before your teen years, the emotional pains that come with adolescence, and a cheesy 80s sitcom that I watched and adored. Last night I came to the realization that parents experience their own growing pains, with the growth and development of their children. I know, you're thinking, "Hello?! You just figured this out?" Well, no. I've known from the first hint of a developmental milestone that some parents ache at the thought of their baby getting bigger, me included, but it's not something I had given a name to, until the phrase entered my mind around 4 this morning.

We decided to try to move Jamie to his toddler bed. We bought a video monitor, because Jamie sleeps with his door closed, and I knew that I would be desperate to see whether he'd fallen out or climbed out or gotten into trouble even though his room is completely baby proof. (He's very ingenuitive, as toddlers often are) I didn't want to keep opening the door and waking him if, in fact, he was sleeping in his bed, which is exactly what he did for the first four hours.

Tyler put him down, as usual, walked out, and closed the door. Jamie sat up and cried for a few minutes but was asleep within ten. He does this most nights, but by cry, I mean whine. He didn't even attempt to get out of the bed. I thought, "Hey, this is gonna work!" and started my own nightly struggle against insomnia. Each time I got up to use the restroom, I checked the monitor and there he was sound asleep in his bed. Around midnight however, it started to go downhill. He woke up crying, which he generally does in his crib at some point during the night, but only once and not for more than ten minutes before he's back to sleep for the remainder of the evening. I told myself that this was more of the same, and it was...sort of. He would cry and then "sleep" for about ten minutes and then cry again. This happened over and over again for about 2 hours. I wanted to go in sooner, but I kept hearing Tyler's voice in my head, "Let him do it. If you go in there, he won't go back to sleep." Never once did Jamie try to climb out of the bed. He just stared at the edge like he was confused, and I think that's precisely what the problem was. He didn't know what was going on. Eventually, though, I looked at my crying baby on the monitor and then looked at my soundly asleep husband, and the baby won.

I went in there and sat beside him. I patted his back. I covered him snuggly. I tried everything and when it was apparent that he was not going to let me put him back to sleep in his bed, I carried him to my bed. He was excited to be there. He saw his daddy, but quickly noticed that his dear ole dad was dead to the world at the moment. (Tyler's the kind of person who can sleep through two hours of toddler cries and wake up in the morning with, "Jamie did great, didn't he? Told you there was nothing to worry about." At which point, I'd be considering the best way to strangle him.) Jamie relaxed but continued to stare at Tyler. As soon as Tyler moved in his sleep, Jamie took that as an invitation. He shouted, "Daddyyyy!" and poked him in the face.
"Ow!" shouted Tyler.
"No!" shouted I.
"Wah!" shouted Jamie and that was the end of Jamie's stay in our bed. And the end of Jamie sleeping in a toddler bed, for now.

Tyler carried him back to bed, changed his diaper, fixed him a cup of milk, and while he was laying there drinking it, Tyler put the front of the crib back on the bed. Jamie went back to sleep and is still asleep now at 8 o'clock. That's about 5 hours, at this point. At least, Jamie had pretty good timing. It was about 3:10 when he woke Tyler, who would've had to have gotten up at 3:30 today anyhow.

As I finally tried going back to sleep myself around 4 am, after Tyler had left for work, I thought about growing pains and about how different ones affect each parent with such different magnitudes. I felt slight pangs every time he outgrew clothes or diapers as well as when I looked at "old" pictures and realized he would never look like that baby ever again. I had no trouble switching him to solid foods or a sippy cup. In fact, those things made me glad. I felt sad the first time Tyler pointed out that we had a toddler, but it was quickly replaced by the joys of having such an adorable being. I have a close-knit family including in-laws and several competent friends, so letting Jamie have his first night away was not that major. Sure, I stayed awake and wondered what he was doing all night, but it didn't cause me the same anxiety I felt leading up to this. Why, I wonder, did I feel so much angst at taking away my baby's crib? Why is this particular thing such a sore spot for me, personally? Now that I'm pondering it, I think I'll wait til Jamie's about thirteen to move him out of his crib.

Not exactly the "Growing Pains" I was referring to, but ya gotta love those early 90s hairstyles!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

SHOW US YOUR LIFE FRIDAY - Favorite Vacation Spot

A girl who's blog I frequent has been doing this for many months and the topics are always fun and interesting to me so I finally decided I would hop on the "Show Us Your Life Friday" bandwagon.

This week's topic is "Favorite Vacation Spot." For a quick trip I love to go to Cincinatti, OH but my most favorite trip that I've been on was to Oahu, Hawaii. Maybe that's because I got engaged there or maybe it was just because it was fantastically beautiful in a way that I'd never before experienced. Whatever the reason, it's somewhere I am dying to visit again someday and so I suppose that makes it my favorite vacation spot.

Here's a shot when we were first arriving. The only unfortunate thing about these pictures is that I only had a video camera as a digital camera at the time and so they aren't of the highest quality, nor are they nearly bright and vivid enough to show all the true beauty.
Upon arrival, as is their custom, we were given beautiful live leis that smelled divine. Our hotel did not have an ocean view or even a good view (it was an alley) but that's what made it affordable for us. However it was right in the middle of Waikiki and a 2 block walk to the beach. Wonderful!
On our first full day we went on a submarine ride which was really interesting and beautiful with all the blue light filtering through. Later we went shopping and bought some Hawaiian attire to wear to the luau, as recommended to us by the locals. The luau we saw was fantastic and I would go again to the same one in a heartbeat.

It was a wednesday when we got engaged and really one of the most fun days of my life. We started out by renting a car to drive around the island. We got a convertible, something I highly recommend! It was the most beautiful drive. We stopped at the Dole Pineapple Plantation and went through the maze which was fun and really romantic. We went to the best pizza place I've ever been, Pizza Bob's. Then we went to Turtle Bay and saw my favorite animal ever, the sea turtle, swimming right there in nature. It was awesome. I mean, simply amazing. (The picture with the rocks is Tyler scouting for a big turtle. The encounter we video taped.) We went to Sunset Beach which is fantastically beautiful and the water couldn't have been more clear. After that was off to Pali Lookout for the proposal fiasco. Ha.

Pali Lookout is a beautiful mountain lookout that lets you see a great deal of the island. It's amazing and would've been super romantic had it not been for the unbelievable winds! Tyler kept trying to get me to stay a little longer but I kept telling him the wind was hurting me and so I started walking back down to the car. He looked awfully pouty and when I asked him what was wrong he said, "I just thought that would've been a really good place to propose." Ha. The parking lot worked just fine, too. Ha.
The rest of the experience was equally fantastic from walking Waikiki at night, to the dinner cruise, to souvenir shopping in the international market before we went home. I really can not wait til we have an opportunity to go back!