Monday, November 28, 2011

Every Year...

...I look forward to Thanksgiving so that I can add a picture of my ever growing, changing, and wonderful little family in the right margin of this blog. It makes me happy. It makes me proud.

...I get to see and hang out with friends and family from out of town. It wouldn't feel like the holidays, otherwise. mom has a mental breakdown the Wednesday night before the big dinner. Why she continues to host it if it causes her this much grief, I will never know. But I fear I am plagued by the same desire to have large events in my home.

...the weather is completely different than the year before.

...I try to make it to December without listening to or hearing any Christmas carols. I have yet to be successful.

...I make the mashed potatoes and a chocolate pudding pie....this season manages to make me thankful for everything I have and everyone I love.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Brock is 3.

Brock is three. This birthday was a turning point for so many reasons. One, this is the first time he ever cared about presents. It took him 3 years and a little brother with a birthday right before his, to make him get excited about presents. Ever since Curtis' party, Brock has been pointing out every single toy he comes across and states, "I get this for my birthday!". Seriously, every magazine, commercial, newspaper, ad, or toy at another kid's house, or at school, he is getting them ALL for his birthday.

And, since he has so recently become toy obsessed, and I couldn't get him the LeapPad that I desired for his gift, we decided to take him to Toys R Us and let him pick out a toy. Bad idea. Let me be clear, we pretty much knew it was a bad idea, but it just seemed like what he would want. I'm not really sure how many times we explained to him on the drive there that he only gets ONE toy, not EVERY toy. We re-iterated the one toy rule as we entered the store, and suddenly he didn't care about it...because he saw the motorized vehicles. Thankfully none of them were on or charged, so we got out of that mess by telling him they were all broken. He still proceeded to climb in and check EVERY SINGLE one, just to be sure. Then the first 2 items he placed in the cart were a large Woody and a large Buzz doll. These things were $50 a piece!! Seriously, for a stupid doll? Ridiculous. He finally settled on the dumbest toy of all, a car ramp thing, but it was $17 and he was happy. I took him to the car, and Matt bought him a bike. Much more reasonable.

Second turning point, Brock now likes company. Seeing as he is now in school a couple days a week and constantly calls every child (stranger or not) his "friend", I thought it was time to have a kid-friendly party. I invited all of his 2nd cousins who were 3 and up, as well as a couple other kids. Only 5 showed up. Which is plenty. Seriously, 5 kids sounds like 30 when they are all hyper, hopped up on candy and cooped inside a house with almost 20 other adults.
I think my big three year old boy enjoyed himself. Oh, and the party was pretty darn cheap to boot! I got most of the "goodies" from the Dollar Store. I created the invite. I made turkey noodle soup from the leftover turkey carcass. And we just had veggies and dips leftover from Thanksgiving as well. Some great party planning, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Crowds. Eww.

I have major anxiety issues when I go shopping. Even when it's just to the grocery store. Some places are worse than others, with TJ Maxx, Target and Walmart topping the charts. As soon as I step foot in those stores, the battles begins. I immediately want to leave. There are too many people, too much stuff, I've already forgotten why I even went in the store in the first place...but, now I MUST go up and down every aisle to take a look at everything just to be sure I am not missing some huge deal. It's one of my OCD nightmares. I seriously get the cold sweats. I feel shakey. And often, I have to use the restroom from the getting the nervous sh*%s (which as you can imagine, adds to the anxiety, as the restrooms in these particular establishments are horrendously disgusting.)

Every item I pick up and think about purchasing, unless it is a true necessity, such as diapers, food, toiletries, etc, I have a little internal war. I don't need this right now. But it would be really useful. It's pointless. But it would look great in the living room. I will eventually use this. Just not right now. Matt will kill me if I come home with another pair of shoes. But they are only $9! Brock would look so cute in this. But he has 4 sweaters already. He does need another pair of shoes. But only because I don't want him getting his Puma's muddy. Should I buy Curtis some more bibs? Does the dog need another toy? How many maternity shirts is too many? And on, and on, and on... you can imagine how I feel when entering a store during the Holiday shopping madness. I think I need a Xanax, or some Valium just to go to the grocery store to get the 4 things I need to make mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner. And, to top it all off, I had 2 November babies. What was I thinking!? All I want is to buy Brock a LeapFrog LeapPad. I sucked it up. Walked into Walmart. Weathered the storm, and all the holiday, pre-black Friday ridiculousness, only to find out they were out! As is every other store in Kansas City. Come on people. Christmas is [a little] over a month away! Settle the eff down. I just want to buy a birthday gift for my kid.

Now I am home. I don't think I can venture back out there. I'm not sure it's good for my health. I think it might cause me to go into labor. And now Brock has no gift for his birthday. Looks like dad might be taking his oldest son and a fun birthday gift trip tonight.

No LeapPad for you, today, Brock. I have been defeated.Why don't I shop online, you ask? I have to see items to purchase them. I prefer the moment of anxiety over the extreme disappointment and hassle of recieving something in the mail that doesn't fit, doesn't function, isn't actually what you wanted, is uglier than you thought. And now you have to repackage it, print a label to send it back, perhaps even spend more to ship it again. So, no, unfortunately, there is no solution to my problem.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November Love.

November never meant anything more to me than Thanksgiving until 3 years ago. Now, it holds so much more meaning, nostalgia, and love than just thanks for all that I have. My 2 sons were born in this month. It makes me reminisce and reflect on not just the last year, but the last 3, or more. In my children, I can't but help see a reflection of myself. I can't help but try to think of what I have done well, and what I should do differently to help shape their lives. I would do anything for them. No matter how they behave, or treat me, I will always do anything for them. Which brings me to one of the most profound things I learned during medical school - which was not even medically related.The psychiatrist I rotated with during 3rd year, was this wonderful Nigerian man. He was obviously well read, and enjoyed life. Most of all, he loved his [grown] kids. One day, in discussing the parent/child relationship, he made a statement I will never forget. He said, "Your children don't owe you anything, and you owe them everything. They did not ask to be here. You chose to bring them into this world. Therefore you are completely responsible for them and their well-being. This does not mean to take over their lives, but it does mean to provide them with everything necessary to succeed, and to never ask for anything in return."

Granted. My children are babies, so it is easy to not expect anything in return for all my efforts. But, the fact is, I never foresee acquiring that expectation. With a spouse, it is hard not to expect equal love, commitment, feelings, etc. With a child, you just don't care. For the rest of their lives, I will provide my children with meals if they are around for them. I will buy them birthday and Christmas presents. I will cheer them on in school, sports, careers, life. I will hug and kiss them, whether they like it or not. I will call them. Or give them space. I will happily, and proudly provide for and support them forever and always. And I will do my darnedest, to never expect anything in return, and hope that I have raised them well enough that they will say "thank you" anyway.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

While you're out...

The other day, I woke up [at 4 in the afternoon] to get ready for my night shift. Brock came up to keep me company while I got dressed. And by keep me company, I mean lie on my bed and play Angry Birds on my phone.

Once I finished, I said, "Hey Brock, want to come walk to Starbucks with me?" To which he replied, "No thank you. I will just play Angry Birds." I was quite surprised by this response, as that boy usually does not even think twice about refusing an opportunity to ride his trike. So, I try to bait him, by using his poor innocent brother. "Ok, well, Curtis and I are going on a walk to Starbucks, see you later." And just as I turn to walk down the stairs, I hear, "Mom! Wait!" I smile, and think to myself, I knew you couldn't resist, especially if Curtis gets to do something without you. Ha ha. I have yet again, out-smarted my 3 year old.

So, I turn back around and say, "Yes, Brock?" Without even looking up from his game he says, "Umm, will you get me a chocolate milk?" Excuse me!? Sure buddy. Is there anything else I can grab for you while I am out? I was blown away. The laziness begins. Will I grab him a chocolate milk? Wow. So I say, "No. You have to come with me if you want a chocolate milk." He gives out a loud, exaggerated grunt as he gets off the bed. Unbelievable.

Friday, November 11, 2011

As if I need more hobbies...

...I just discovered how to use Adobe Illustrator.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Little, Little Little

Don't let the title fool you, little, little, little is no how I feel nor look! Despite an only 7 lbs weight gain, my belly is bigger than EVER at this point. Maybe I should quit having my 5 week milestone prego belly photo taken right before bed, after a 12 hour work day, with an iPhone. It's making me appear as though I might be run down. Unfortunately, that is usually the only spare moment I can find for fun little things like this these days.

Though, I no longer go too long without being reminded that there is a little guy swimming around in my belly, I am still extremely thankful that this pregnancy has been relatively delightful. I mean, I was just pregnant. So it seems impossible that I could forget how much each baby moved, but I was SURE Curtis was more active than Brock (who was pretty darn crazy) and now, I have NO DOUBT that #3 is the most insane and strong of them all! I don't remember catching the movement of my stomach out of the corner of my eye this early. And I am not sure this one sleeps. Ever. Awesome. I was bound to have a difficult baby eventually. Anyway, what I find interesting about this third pregnancy and all the movement and whatnot, is that I don't really care about my OB appointments. I don't need to hear the heartbeat to know this kid's ok. I know it all day long. Unlike with Brock. Those appointments couldn't come quick enough. With your first kid, everything is so novel and amazing. With your third, it's still amazing, just no novelty, whatsoever.It looks like another boy, doesn't it? The guess by all, including strangers, is overwhelmingly girl. Mostly, I think it's hopeful thinking on the friend's and family's part. As for the strangers, I really can't explain that. Brock STILL insists he is having a baby sister. Never changes his answer to that question. And I think he is getting pretty excited and/or obsessed with my belly. He asks to give the baby kisses all the time. And does. He will also run up to me and say "belly, belly, belly!" while giving it a rub, pat, or putting his cheek up to it. Just today, he asked if he could play with the baby in my belly. Not quite yet buddy, not yet. Curtis? He remains blissfully clueless (I worry this may be a theme throughout his lifetime.)

Also, I don't think I have done my delivery date prediction! Usually, I try to get this on the record in the first trimester (btw, I guessed the previous two's birthdays exactly, feelin' a lot of pressure right now.) But, I am just having a really hard time with this one. In addition to feeling larger, feeling baby move more, sooner, and the ridiculous number of hours I am working along with the absurd amount of Braxton Hicks contractions I am already having, I am inclined to think this one might actually come early, and naturally (without augmentation that is, not without an epidural!) But, at the same time, the date February 21st just seems to pop in my head, everytime. So, I guess I'll go with it.

So, that's it. I am 25 weeks. It's still as unbelievable and exciting to me today, as it was that random date in June when I decided to take a pregnancy test that we will be welcoming another "Little" in just 3 months. I cannot wait to kiss that adorable looking nose. I may be busy. I may be exhausted. But most of all I am elated. We love you so much already Baby #3!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happy doesn't even begin to cover it.

I don't even know what to say about the happiest baby on the planet turning one. I can tell you this though. Considering my competitive nature, it really bothers me when people say or try to act like they have the happiest baby. I have the happiest baby. Me. Only me. NO ONE'S baby is possibly happier than my baby. I met my daycare lady's husband the other day, he is Somali, and in his thick accent said, "Ahh, and you are the doctor. Curty is such a sweety. Such a sweety." And proceeded to pinch Curtis' cheeks as Curtis sat contently in my arms and grinned the hugest grin imaginable. Every time I pick him up from daycare, I am told, "He is so happy, what a great baby, we love him." Said with a tone as if it is a surprise everyday. Which it is. You can't help but think one day, something has gotta give.One day, the harsh reality of daily life will set in, and Curtis will stop being so blissfully unaware of this fact. He will start to notice that his brother regularly takes the toy he is playing with to replace it with a less fun toy. He will notice that no one is playing with him because he is happily entertaining himself. He will get annoyed by the puppy and the three year old romping all over him. He will decide some foods actually do taste bad. He will not smile at just any friend, or stranger, who looks his way. He will not break into a belly laugh at the sight of his brother doing somersaults, or playing peek-a-boo.
Or maybe it won't. Probably it won't. If it hasn't changed a bit in a year, why would it 2 or 3 or 4 years from now? I have been beyond blessed with this boy. I think I can honestly say, I have never felt a single moment of frustration with him. His delivery even, no frustration. I was nothing but smiles. He nursed like a champ from day one. He woke up only once a night from the day we brought him home from the hospital. He still sleeps like a log. He doesn't cry for no reason. I studied for and passed boards while caring for him.

Don't get me wrong, his laid back, content nature does have some drawbacks. He has NO desire to walk. None. He was crawling at 4 months, but not even walking by 12!? He will take 1-2 steps between furniture, and that is about it. I know it's neither a strength nor coordination issue, because he can traverse both up and down the steps no problem. He can climb onto the bed or chair and jump on it with his brother while using only one hand to brace himself. He stands up on his own. He has jumped in that damn Johnny-Jumper for more hours than I care to think about. He has got to have quads of steel by this point. Therefore, it is simply a motivational issue. And honestly? Brock and I have enough motivation for the likes of a dozen people. So maybe it's for the best. I really, really like my happy baby.

The year went too fast. Seems like just a few weeks ago that we welcomed our 9 pounder. Now he is a 24.5 pound, 31.25 inch, 90th percentile linebacker of a kid. Yet, it feels like I've known him all my life. It's funny. No matter how hectic, insane, out of control, stressful, busy, chaotic life gets, you can never regret the decision to have a child. They instantaneously become a part of you. A part of you so big that if you lost it, you may not be able to go on living. And even if you do, you will never be the same. Simply amazing that something so little, so needy, can have such an impact.
Happy 1st Birthday, Curtis Patrick. Thank you for reminding me every single day that there is always something to smile about.