back on august 11th, i wrote this. ten days later i took a pregnancy test and sweet baby jesus! it was positive. i'm now about 12 weeks along, expecting this baby to arrive at the end of april. so far this pregnancy has been quite different than my daughter's. in my first pregnancy i was quite nauseous, plagued with morning, noon, and night sickness. i didn't have much of an appetite, and nothing appealed to my sensitive stomach. this time i've had almost no nausea (thank goodness) but i've been more fatigued than i've ever been in my life. i want to eat everything, all the time, and then eat some more. maybe these differences mean it's a boy? stay tuned.
so, OMG is pretty much the only way to sum up how cool this is.
my buddy kerry and her husband jeff are in the new york freaking times today, and their twin babies max and wes are on the goshdarn freaking FRONT PAGE! the accompanying article and video are also available online.
i wrote about kerryhere and her baby shower here her boys' arrival here. kerry and jeff's journey to parenthood has been a long one; one that they didn't anticipate would take three years, multiple doctors and medical procedures, and more money than the entire GDP of several developing nations combined. in the end, though, it was all worth it and they have two of the most adorable babies ever to crawl this green earth.
i am so excited for them and i hope this publicity brings light to the struggle of infertility. kerry and jeff have struggled, no doubt, but through it all they have remained positive and hopeful, and have also been inspirational to others who are dealing with fertility issues of their own.
now, if i can just hop on my soapbox for one quick minute....
some of the commenters on this article piss me the fuck off. clearly they have never struggled with fertility issues personally, nor have they known a friend or loved one's struggle with fertility issues. the suggestion to "just adopt a baby" or "get over your need to have a genetically related child" or "there are millions of orphans available, why not just pick one of them" or "i'm childfree by choice and so should you" are so maddening. to those people, i want to shout a loud and heartfelt FUCK YOU. i know i am getting rankled because i know kerry and jeff personally and i know that their desire to have children was not just an "obsession" with getting pregnant. i know that the emotional turmoil for them was monumentally more troubling than the financial turmoil. and the pro-adoption view point?! that's all well and good, certainly there are plenty of children out there who need loving homes. i believe adoption is a beautiful way to create a family, but to say, "wouldn't it be easier to adopt?" is just such a naive, ignorant, dickheaded comment. it's not like adoptive couples, those with and without fertility issues, can just go to the store and grab a baby off the shelf like you would a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread. it's not like someone can just say, "hmm, those naysayers are right. why don't we just go and get ourselves a child" and POOF! instant baby. it's not that easy. my brother and his wife adopted a beautiful boy from korea after dealing with their own fertility issues. they had to pay just as much money, take just as much time, and jump through far more hurdles and cut more red tape than anyone undergoing fertility treatments. it's not a simple solution, and it's not the solution for all couples. there is nothing wrong with someone making the choice to have their own biological child, if that's the journey they choose to pursue.
i must stop now before my blood pressure sky rockets. i can only tolerate so much stupidity and ignorance before becoming enraged.
i don't need to read the comments to know that kerry and jeff are amazing people with awesome little babies. i am so happy for them and the spotlight being shone on their story today. i'm proud to say "i knew you way back when."
motherhood is infinitely harder when your child is incredibly willful (and bordering on bratty some days)
motherhood is damn near impossible when your willful child decides to give up napping.
this past week has been tough. i think my daughter has napped once, maybe twice, in that entire period, whereas prior to this week she would nap for a good two hours every afternoon. that two hour stretch was my time to catch up on blogs, shower, clean the house, watch tv, eat lunch, or just enjoy the silence. now that time has been stolen from me by a snotty, bratty, stubborn, whiny, over-tired child. and i'm not thrilled.
i've continued to put her in her crib at nap time everyday but she refuses to nap. she chatters to herself until her chatters turn to aggravated screams. she demands books, she throws her puppy and blankie overboard and then cries, "puppy FELLLLLLL, blankie FELLLLLLLL, HELLLLLLPPPPPP!" in the most pitiful (albeit loud) voice a two-year old can muster.
today, after an hour of her squawking, i went into her room and pulled her mattress from the crib, set it on the ground with her pillow and blanket, put a gate across the door so she couldn't escape, and i gave her a choice (thank you, love and logic). she could either nap or play quietly in her room. "that is your choice," i said, "but it's nap time, so you have to rest and be quiet."
was she quiet? oh, hell no. she proceeded to pull every article of clothing out of her dresser. she pulled every single book out of the book box and threw them about the room. she pulled the nightlight out of the wall and broke off the cover. and then she exclaimed, "mama. i'm in the box!" hmmm, that doesn't sound good to me. i run to her room to find her standing inside her dresser drawer, attempting to climb to the top. of a dresser that is (shamefully) not leashed to the wall in a childproof manner. with visions of a squashed child running through my head, i lift her out of the drawer and decide that "nap time" for today is a big fat failure.
so now she's watching Noggin (hey, it's preschool on tv, right?) while i self-medicate with homemade cinnamon rolls, counting down the minutes until bedtime.
it's frustrating. of course, this whole thing makes me feel like a suckass mom. i feel like such a wimp that her non-nap days make me want to cry. i feel like a bitch for telling my daughter that we are not friends today after she zapped my absolute last nerve. i feel like i've done a terrible job as a mom, because a "good" child would never throw fits the way my kiddo does. i really hope this is just a phase.
my friend angelika hit it spot on when she said, "i swear that two-year olds are like cats - they are freakishly strong and grow extra limbs when angered." i shamefully admit that my daughter fits this description all too well. being two, she is particularly fond of "NOOOOO" and "THAT'S MIIINNE!" and "I WAAANNNT IT!", and she has become particularly adept at using her little slap-happy hands to manipulate me into doing things her way. and, hey, guess what? i'm a pushover.
i'm pretty good at enforcing discipline (ed. note: maybe i'm not really enforcing discipline, but just distracting her from her tantrum) when we're at home, but the public temper tantrums have become a bit harder to manage. she is certainly not an unholy terror (believe me, i've known some terrors) but she is impolite enough that i realize we need a bit of a behavioral intervention before she escalates to full on terror mode.
i listened to a "love and logic" cd tonight to brush up on my skills and plot a new course of action. it's funny because i used to work as a child and family therapist, working with the aforementioned terror tykes. i would recommend and teach (!) "love and logic" and "1-2-3 magic" to the parents i worked with. i'm discovering that it is a completely different ball game now that i am the parent and the tyke in question is my own sweet baby angel.
some of the little nuggets of information that resonated with me tonight were:
families with out-of-control toddlers often have out-of-control dogs as well. yup. guilty as charged. maybe we also need to enroll in doggie obedience courses.
parents who are mental health professionals often raise wacky children because they've read all the psychobabble self-help books. ummm, yes? crap.
parents often try to justify their child's behavior by saying, "oh, it's because she is only 2," or, "this is just a phase." yes, and yes.
parents who try to get on their child's level and try to reason with their toddler are basically shooting themselves in the foot, setting up a scenario in which their toddler becomes a drug-addicted teen and an imprisoned adult later in life. shit! really? i'm screwed. we're not saving for college, we're saving bail money.
clearly that is not the entire message of "love and logic" parenting; there are a lot of great bits of advice in there, and i think we're already doing some of them, actually. i know we just need to be more consistent, and we (meaning my husband and myself) really need to get on the same page in regards to consistent and effective discipline. (husband, this is an invitation for you to write a guest post about your view on discipline, btw)
we are still doing the star chart that i posted about a few weeks ago, rewarding good behavior with stars and jellybeans, and it has definitely clicked with her. she is totally stoked whenever she earns a star, and she understands that she needs to earn three stars to be rewarded with a jellybean. it's just not doing enough to make the fundamental behavioral changes that we'd like so we can feel less like we're living with a pissed-off, sharp-taloned cat, and more like we're living with a sweet, delightful, hilarious, cute, amazing toddler.
so, tomorrow marks Day One of "love and logic" parenting. i foresee a lot of uhhh-ohhhing in my future. i hope i'm more successful with this than i was at training our dog. as far as i can tell the kiddo is smarter than the dog, so i'm hoping that bodes well for a better outcome.
there is nothing better than a tea party with my favorite hostess with the mostess.
it was only after taking this picture that i realized my daughter is a walking cliché of suburban liberal hippie parenting: dirty faced and barefoot, wearing a gay pride t-shirt while her cloth diapers dry in the sunshine, playing with toys crafted of recycled milk jugs. awesome.
i was inspired by a cool piece of art i found online here, but because i'm cheap and fancy myself to be a crafty little devil i tried to make it myself.
and my copy...
it's hanging on my living room wall, and looks kind of bare....maybe it needs a little something to snazz it up a bit. or maybe not. i kind of like the simplicity of it.
the online site is selling it for 170 pounds, which at the current exchange rate is about 282 dollars. (thank you, google). i spent about $15 to make my own version. i bought two planks of precut birch plywood at hobby lobby. i'm sure i could have bought cheaper wood at home depot, but that would have required measuring and cutting, this was a much simpler alternative and it guaranteed me that the two pieces would be the same size. i'm not certain that i would have gotten that same guarantee had my husband been manning the table saw. a bit of black spray paint, some letter stencils (lowercase, natch, as i am obviously averse to capitalization), gold acrylic paint, and a few eye hooks. done. not too bad, if i do say so myself.
coming up...DIY curtain panels for my daughter's room, modeled after pottery barn kids. but cheaper. they're done and they're cute, and they were a fraction of the cost. stay tuned!