Friday, May 31, 2013

Hey June

May has been a long month.  Between potty training and a lack of school work to keep me busy, I'm spent many sore hours waiting out my days for the month to end.  June comes with promise though.  Promise of a new house, new baby, new trials, and my 24th birthday.  I feel like I'm staring down tomorrow with anticipation, dread, and utter excitement.  My nesting instinct (sorta) kicked in today, but due to the sheer exhaustion and soreness inspired by my watermelon belly, my attempts at organization have led me to spread chaos wherever I go while throwing away things I probably shouldn't.  Heck, I'm ready to throw it all away and start over.  There are so many things I packed away when I got married that I thought would prove useful and sentimental that even survived the move to our current apartment almost three years ago.  Now I'm glaring at a toy mouse, hamster eraser, and a Pocahontas cassette tape (just to name a few miscellaneous items) wondering what possessed me to pack these around for so many years.  I didn't even remember I had them!  Out they go.

I'm also fighting the urge to discard the majority of Andrea's toys as I'm sick of picking them up/tripping on them.  Because of the pain I've been experiencing in my hips and lower back, bending over has become rather cumbersome and I admit to staring down an object cast carelessly on the carpet for days before gathering up the strength to actually pick it up.  Yes, I blame it on pain, but there is another factor that comes into play.  Grunting.

Why don't books and websites mention this rather embarrassing manifestation of maternity?  As I shift and move throughout the day, my uterus presses on my diaphragm and out of my mouth emerges some rather strange noises.  It very much reminds me of when Pinocchio is turning into a donkey and heehaws sporadically.  I may or may not have even woken myself up in the middle of the night by a hefty grunt as my body rolled from one side to the other.  You can imagine the noises that tear from my throat as I attempt to tidy the living room.  Andrea, the ever-enthusiastic helper than she is, has started to imitate me.  She spots a block placed precariously on the rug and begins a series of contorted moans as she bends slowly to retrieve the yellow square.  She stands up quickly, her mouth spreading into a wide grin, and runs to the bucket that houses blocks.  She proceeds to toss in the toy with another token "ugh!"  When she's had her fill of grunt cleaning, she climbs onto the couch and rather matter-of-factually states, "My hips hurt.  I just sit here for a little bit."  I join her because, well, I'm out of breath, a little embarrassed, and my hips think that couch looks mighty comfy too.  She looks up at me with those deceptively-innocent blue eyes before scanning the half-picked up living room with pride.

Sigh.  The girl is too adorable.  What am I going to do when a second pair of eyes looks up at me with that same honesty and purity?  I fear the heat of June and my boy's baby blues will have me completely melted before July.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Andrea says. . .

I am so amazed by some of the things that spew out of my two year old's mouth.  This month has produced these little gems:

Andrea: [After kissing Paul goodbye in the morning] No!  Daddy doesn't want a kiss from you!

Andrea: [After pulling up in front of our house] No!  I don't want to live here anymore!  Grandma's house!!!

Andrea: I need to go talk to Daddy.  No, Mommy!  Don't come.  I need to do it myself.  DADDY!  I made three plops! (Plop is the sound poop makes, fyi.)

Andrea: Mom?  What nice thing should I say it of?
Me: What?
Andrea: What nice thing should I say it of?
Me: What does that mean?
Andrea: What nice thing should I say it of?
(I finally figured out she was asking how to say something in a nice way.  We need to work on her grammar. . . . .)

Andrea: Mom! I have a booger!
Me: A booger? Do you need a tissue?
Andrea: No, don't worry. I ate it.
Me: Oh! We're not suppose to eat boogers. They are for tissues.
Andrea: But I liked it!

Andrea: [After following me to bathroom during the early stages of her potty training] You can do it, Mommy.  Be brave.  I hold your hands while you make pee pees because I'm a superhero.
Me: Thanks, but Mommy isn't afraid to put her pee pees in the potty.  Using the potty is fun!
Andrea:  No, it's not fun!  It's scary!  Give me your hands.
(She's finally stopped making me hold her hands every time I use the restroom.)

Andrea: I need something else with my cheese. (Translation: I have no intention of eating this cheese.  Bring me something else)
Me: No, please eat your cheese first.
Andrea: But, it's been sitting a little while.  It's kinda hard.  I go throw it in the trash.
Me: No!  It's fine.  Step away from the trash can.

Andrea: Mommy, you taking your mighty-yums? (Translation: mighty-yums=vitamins)
Me: [As I pour a spoonful of fish oil] Yup.
Andrea: What's that mighty-yum?
Me: It's fish oil.
Andrea: Fish oil?  Fish oil helps baby Sam be smart like me?
Me: Yes, it's helps his brain grow.
Andrea: My head has oil all over inside.  So much oil, want to see?

It's so hard not to just laugh at her all the time, especially when she's completely serious.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bad romance

Paul and I have never been the kind of couple to sit and stare into each others eyes over a candlelit dinner while cupids swooped around our heads.  Our idea of romance is putting Andrea to bed and watching Next Generation reruns on BBC while we snack on Cheerios we dug out of the couch.  Although I believed I was perfectly fine with this definition, after last night's anniversary date I'm beginning to wonder if we deserve a bit more than this.  You see, last night's date was not only the celebration of the fourth anniversary of our nuptials, but it was also the annual renewal of our awkward love and nontraditional romance.

For our first anniversary, Paul asked me months in advance if I'd like to go to the restaurant where we held our wedding luncheon.  I thought it was an inspired idea.  Shortly thereafter, I found out I was expecting our first child.  When the day of our wedding anniversary arrived I not only had been scheduled to work an evening shift but was also deep into the morning sick phase of pregnancy.  Not wanting to ruin the day for Paul, I told him we could have a lunch date and I was sure I could handle going out to eat.

For the record, I could not.  We sat in the lobby waiting to be seated, and the spicy Mexican-scented air twisted it's way into my nose and became trapped in my throat.  My gag reflex triggered and I coughed inconspicuously to relieve the sensation.  Paul looked at me with those sweet, concerned eyes.  I smiled back, but could tell I was fooling no one.  A waitress called our name, showed us to our table, and took our orders.  She poured some horchada for us to drink as the chefs prepared our meal.  The cinnamon essence was soothing to my nauseous stomach, and I drank it slowly as if it was the last beverage I would ever consume.  When my beef enchilada was casually slipped beneath my nose and the steam began to rise in my nostrils I picked up that glass of horchada and began to gulp vigorously, begging my stomach to settle.  The waitress brought me a refill.  I took alternating swigs of the sweet rice milk and small nibbles of the beef.  When the waitress returned to refill my glass again she glanced at my hardly eaten meal and asked if everything was okay.  I explained my pregnant predicament and she graciously boxed up my food and sent us on our way with a large to-go cup of horchada (on the house).

Our second anniversary fell on Mother's Day.  It was not super romantic.  It wasn't really even about us.  We focused on our mother's and ignored our anniversary.  And I bought myself a hot glue gun.  Again, my idea of romance.

Last year May 8th arrived just days after I had my miscarriage.  I was still experiencing some bleeding as my body purged itself from the no-longer living tissue.  Also, my mom went in for surgery that morning, so despite the fact we had a babysitter for Andrea and a scheduled date, the mood that evening was melancholy.  I don't remember what we did or what we ate, but I remember sitting in the car and crying as Paul held my hand and listened.  This, I'm sure, is what every man dreams of for an anniversary date.  You are welcome, dear husband.

That brings us to this year.  Our anniversary was on Wednesday, but without any available sitters we celebrated on Friday.  My mom came to my house to keep on eye on Miss Tinklebell so Paul and I could escape to Salt Lake.  Despite my attempt to ward of car sickness with some tried-and-true Dramamine, the A/C in Paul's car decided to cease working, and I was nauseous before we made it to the freeway.  I spent the next half hour fighting back the lump swelling in my throat, but when we pulled on to the off-ramp close to our under-construction townhouse, a bus belched some putrid exhaust that was promptly sucked into the car and blown into my pregnant nose.  I felt my mouth get hot and came to an unpleasant conclusion.  I reached behind my seat for the bucket that typically sat there but found nothing.  "Pull over," I said through clenched teeth.

"What?" Paul hollered over the radio and blasting air.

"Pull over as soon as possible!"  I pinched a pressure point known to help nausea as I tried to stall the eruption forming in my esophagus.  The car rounded the corner, and just a block from our soon-to-be home I purged the entire contents of my stomach in the gutter.  I know, queen of romance.

Happy Anniversary, Paul!  Stick with me, and I promise many more anniversaries laced with tears and puke.

 On a positive note, we got see progress on our townhouse!  So excited!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A little honesty

Two days ago my mother-in-law called and asked how potty training was going.  "Today. . . was not a good day," I sighed.

"Say no more," she said, relieving me of the burden of reliving the tragic events.  "I wish I could offer some advice but I actually have no memories of potty training," she added.  No memories?  How is that possible? I thought about that for a while.

When I got pregnant the first time and was morning sick, mothers reassured me that I would forget the trauma of pregnancy and delivery.  I'd be aware that it happened, but my body would release the trauma during the final stages of labor.  Otherwise, very few women would repeat the process.  I found this to be absolutely true.  I remember being sick and nauseous and achy, but when I read back on blog entries I wrote during that first trimester I am shocked by how much I seem to have forgotten.  My mother-in-law's insight has given me hope that potty training, like pregnancy, delivery, and a sleepless newborn, is a trauma my body will forget.  That way, in two to three years time when I have a little boy ready for diaper liberation, I can again tackle this feat without a full-blown anxiety attack.

When I started this blog four years ago I was a newlywed, suffering (in denial) from medication induced-depression, and wondering why I didn't feel like glowing and giggling all the time like the other newlyweds at work.  I tried to put up a front for a while because I was afraid exposing my fears and weakness would result in a confirmation that I was alone in those thoughts.  After all, every blog I followed at the time was full of roses, pictures of picnics, and long declarations of love for perfect spouses, marriages, and lives.  Sometimes I resented those blogs for lying and not exposing the trails of life alongside the blessings.  I made a decision to avoid negativity but to also be honest about life as a wife, employee, student, and mom, and the highs and lows that came from transitioning in and out of certain roles.  I hoped someone would read my words and feel less alone as a few of my raw and unglamorous notions resonated with their current perceptions.  I prayed that they could find comfort in some of the places I found comfort so their burdens could be lifted a little.

I've sat down many times to write out some of the disheveled details of the ugliness sweeping through my apartment so parents potty training by the book who don't see consistent success in a day, three days, or even a week will know they are not alone.  Parents who realize their battle in the bathroom with a three foot tall pillar of stubbornness has become about power and not poop need to know they are not alone.  But I can't be that voice.  I'm hoping to forget this experience someday, and have no desire to relive it by writing about or reading back on it in the future.

So to conclude this chapter of trauma I will say this: potty training is still a work in progress.  I made it to a point where I thought Andrea and I were both so traumatized that I put her back in diapers so we could heal our relationship before we try pushing this at a later date.  That lasted about twenty-four hours before she peed in the potty to show me she could handle big girl undies again.  I'm trying to be patient and Andrea is trying to be brave.  We both are learning, making mistakes, having successes, but we're doing it together.  Hopefully, the final result will be deeper love and understanding for one another and consistently dry panties.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lucky to be cute

(Sorry in advance for the negative rambling that's about to ensue.)

Potty training rocked my parenting world beyond what I expected.  I mentioned in my previous post that day one was full of messes but day two was vast improvement.  Day three was accident free, but frustrating.  Each time she told me she had to use the potty, she would sit on the potty for an hour before she'd finally relieve herself.  Additionally, she realized that as long as she was in the bathroom she had a captive mommy audience.  If I tried to start dinner, load the dishwasher, fold laundry, or use the bathroom myself, she would suddenly declare that she had to go potty, and the next thing I knew I was sitting across from her for an hour waiting for a tinkling noise.  If I suggested returning to the living room and trying again in a few minutes she would assure me that she was indeed about to pee.  "Fine!" I'd conceded  and then we'd sit longer, singing songs and putting on miniature productions with various bath toys.  By the end of the night I realized she was playing me like a violin because despite the fact that she only relieved herself three times, she had trapped me for six hours in our tiny bathroom!

I decided day four to start setting a timer.  If Andrea felt the need to potty, we would go in the bathroom and sit for a certain number of minutes.  If she couldn't produce any bodily waste during that time we'd take a little break and try again later.  I wanted her to know that we could still play together in other rooms in the house and she didn't need to use the bathroom as a means of stealing my attention.  This move backfired.  Instead of increasing her success rates and reinforcing what she was learning, it became a battle for control.  She refused to use the potty, and when I made her sit on the toilet to practice she'd scream until she was gagging.  When she was calm and it was time to get off she would start screaming again.  Unfortunately, these fits were not limited to the bathroom.  If I asked her to wipe her face after a meal, read a story with me, dance to a song on her favorite show, or eat the apple she begged for, a fit was sure to follow.  She felt out of control-- I could see that, but I didn't know what to do about it.  I tried to explain that potty training meant she would be in charge of her own body, but my words fell on deaf ears.

Day five was worse.  I couldn't relax for a minute as I nervously watched for Andrea's "potty dance."  No matter how many times I sat her on the toilet, she began finding creative places to relieve herself once she was out of the bathroom.  Although all the books and websites I read said to remain calm in the face of accidents, I no longer felt like she was having "accidents".  She was having "on-purposes," and I began to take it personally.

Saturday morning I went grocery shopping without Andrea.  She was devastated   Paul explained that she couldn't go to the store until she used the potty.  While I was gone she used the bathroom for the first time in three days.  Paul said she came to him without any prompting.  That ended up being the first of many successful toilet trips that day.  I kept dancing around the house as if these successes signified the end to a rather emotional week.

Today I was pulled back down as Andrea had only made it to the potty once, had one accident, and mostly just refused to pee at all.  It seems each day her attitude changes so drastically that I don't even know how to handle her anymore.  I'm so frustrated I keep breaking down and wishing I could run away.  It could be hormones.  I hope it's hormones.  I'd like to think were I not eight months pregnant I'd be feeling more level headed.  But for whatever reason, I hope Andrea and I figure this out soon because I feel like I'm drowning in a yellow sea of inadequacy.  That girl is lucky to be cute.