Coming to Terms

December 19, 2007

Something is wrong with PJ.  I can no longer ignore the problem, like I’ve been doing for nearly a year when I first suspected it.  PJ is very behind in his language skills.  Even giving him those two months back, he’s probably close to six months behind.  His vocabulary is very limited, under fifty words and phrases, and he only adds another couple of words per week–on a good week.  I can rarely get him to imitate something I say, but the only phrases he will say he picked up from hearing me and M say them repeatedly (like “sleep tight” and “see you in a little while”).  He does not put words together, except for those phrases he mimics.

When we went to the doctor for his two-year check-up, I fully expected to be advised to find him help, but the doctor only asked one question about his language: Do you understand about half of what he says?  Considering he doesn’t even try to talk that much, out of frustration I suppose, at the time I was understanding close to half.  But that half was made up of about five phrases or words.  And things haven’t exactly improved over the last couple of months.  PJ is getting farther and farther behind, and it’s starting to worry me.

PJ was really behind in all his physical milestones, not sitting up until about 9 months, crawling until after a year, and walking at 18 months.  I slowly grew accustomed to him being on the very tail end of normal–no, acceptable–for all those milestones, and that’s why I kept trying to convince myself that he would catch up with his language skills too.  As soon as I’d start to worry again, he’d visit my parents and suddenly have another language explosion (meaning he’d add another word or two), and my mom would convice me he was doing fine.

No longer.  He’s behind, and he’s not getting any better.  Despite obviously understanding much of the language (he can follow fairly specific, detailed instructions), he cannot articulate it himself.  Many of his tantrums come from not making himself understood, which frustrates me and M too.  I think I’ll see if I can bring it up with the doctor when we’re there in January for BabyN’s next check-up.  I don’t think PJ is going to get any better without help.  We’ve already delayed it too long.


After the Fact

December 18, 2007

I’ve been keeping my mouth shut about the development of the last few days for fear of jinxing it.  I’m breaking the silence now because apparently I somehow jinxed myself anyway.

 BabyN slept all the way through the night for two nights in a row.  And by “all the way through the night,” I mean all the way through my night, not just his eight-hour stretches he’d been doing that ended shortly after I fell asleep.  He would go to bed around 8-8:30 and sleep until 6:30-7:00.  That’s maybe earlier than I’d normally get up (by a lot), but I’ll take it.  It means I got at least six hours of sleep at a time.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t expecting him to sleep so long either night, so I went to bed late, giving up my chances for a really, really good night’s sleep.

Last night, though, we were back to a 3:30 AM feeding.  Fun.  On the bright side, I figured out what helps him sleep such long stretches.  It’s been on the chilly side around here lately, so we’ve let it get pretty cold in the house at night.  M started worrying it was too cold for the boys, especially the big one who won’t sleep in his bed as much as on it, and changed our thermostat to heat an extra two or three degrees.  And let me tell you, those couple of degrees make a  huge difference.  I slept worse from the heat and BabyN obviously did too.  PJ didn’t seem to have any problem with the cooler temps, so I think I’m going to have M change it back tonight.

BabyN should also sleep awfully well on our Christmas trip we leave for on Saturday.  Both my parents’ house and Matt’s tend to keep their houses quite cool at night.  And I’m hoping that a little more practice with twelve-hour nights will convince BabyN to sleep that long every night, regardless of the temperature in the house.

The Truth

December 17, 2007

M unintentionally let on yesterday that he had read the blog again.  He was worried that something was wrong that I wasn’t telling him, so he checked to see if I’d blogged about it.  And while it does bug me a little to leave BabyN for that one night, it’s not eating at me.  So I’ve been evaluating whether there really is something bothering me.  I don’t know that anything specific has been causing the mood, other than hormones, but there is something that’s been bothering me.  So M, this one is for you, in case you happen to stop by and read again.

I hate that I’m so bad at this housewife thing.  My mom did a great job at it, and I’d almost even think she likes to cook and clean for other people.  But I can’t pretend that well.  I hate housework and I hate cooking.  I’m awful at both, and I don’t like repeatedly trying things that I repeatedly fail at.  You can only throw out so many home-cooked meals before you just give up and make nothing that didn’t come out of a box.

I want to be good at this.  I want to be like my mother was for me.  I want us to be the ideal family that you just don’t see anymore, the one who eats all their home-cooked meals together at the table while discussing the events of the day, the one who goes to church every Sunday morning and is looked up to as a good Christian family by others, the one who puts even the Brady bunch to shame.  I want us to be the family I grew up in.

But I don’t know how to take us from what we are to that kind of family.  I know it has to start with me doing things I detest doing.  I have to stop letting M take care of me the way he’s been doing.  It means sacrificing my own comfort and things I like.  I think I’m too selfish to do that.

So instead I keep beating myself up over my own selfishness, and I make these great plans to start being a better mother and wife and housekeeper, and then I let my selfishness win out yet again.  And the cycle continues with the ensuing guilt.

This has been bothering me since we got married.  Although I was able to excuse myself from some of the guilt while I was pregnant and truly could not do everything I wanted to do, now I have no excuse.  So M, it bothers me that I am not the person I want to be.  And no amount of reassurance from you is going to make me feel better about being the burden on you that I really am, or take away the guilt of being so weak to give into my selfishness every time.  I guess you can feel better that it really isn’t you, it’s me.

All I Want for Christmas…

December 15, 2007

is a good night’s sleep.  (Although, one year it was my two front teeth.  Which I got.  But that’s another story for another day.)  I’m tired of acting like it’s great to spend time with BabyN in the middle of the night.  It’s not really quality time when I can’t keep my eyes open long enough to enjoy it.  And I don’t really know that I need that much quality time, as it is still two to three feedings per night.  He’s twelve weeks old today and still won’t let me get a full night’s sleep, even when he sleeps eight hours straight.  I think my longest stretch of sleep recently has been between four and five hours.  Be glad you’re hearing about this on a day after one of those better nights because I have been much more depressed about it lately on worse days.

M has definitely been listening to my endless complaints about the sleep issue, though, because he is spending some of his hotel points from all the business travel he’s done lately on a hotel room near his parents’ house for shortly after Christmas.  We’ll let his parents watch the kids for a night while we take off and catch up on sleep.  I think he expects something else to happen, but I’m just in it for the sleep.

Of course, now that the hotel room is booked, I’m already having second thoughts.  My little baby isn’t yet three months old, and I’m already planning to leave him in someone else’s care for a full night.  I haven’t left him for longer than an hour before, and even that was nerve-wracking.  What am I thinking?!  I’m going to miss him like crazy, I’m sure.  I’m getting sad just thinking about it.  Isn’t it crazy how that works?  I guess I want a good night’s sleep with BabyN right by my side; I don’t want to get one regardless of whether or not he’s ready to give me one.  But I’m sure I’ll get over it by the time we get to go.  I have plenty of time to get used to the idea.  It will be good to get away after all.

Living With a Toddler

December 14, 2007

Things the older child has whined and cried about since waking up less than an hour ago:

–Getting breakfast

–Not getting breakfast fast enough

–Not getting to eat my breakfast

–Me finishing my breakfast

–Having the straps on his monkey backpack latched together when he wanted them unlatched

–Being unable to open the parts of this stupid cheap toy

–Being unable to close the parts of the same stupid toy

–Me talking to him when he’s fussing

–Me looking at him when he’s fussing

–Me…breathing, I guess

This is going to be a long, long day.  M is also having lunch with his boss, so I won’t have the reprieve in the middle of the day that I’m used to.  I’m cranky, hormonal (I think I’m on the rag), and sleep-deprived, so my patience is non-existent.  I think M should be quite proud if he gets home to find all of us still alive today.

Good Thing It Didn’t Come Down the Chimney

December 13, 2007

Three years ago at this time of year, I was unhappily single.  For the past few years, when I’d made out my Christmas list for my parents, I would take note of the glaring omission on the list–a man to marry.  I don’t know that they could tell all the clothes and jewelry and books in the world wouldn’t make up for the Christmas gift I wanted most.

So shortly before Christmas three years ago, I took matters into my own hands, signing up for one of those online dating sites.  It was more because I felt like I’d exhausted all my other options than the hope that I’d actually meet the perfect (although desperate) guy through such a means.

I’d talked to several through the site and another one on the phone, but there was nothing resembling true chemistry.  But then one evening, I had my best friend over and I decided to show her the site since she’d been supportive from the start.  Oddly enough, I happened to have a new match that evening.  As I read through that man’s profile with my best friend watching over my shoulder, I found myself interested in a way I never had been for any other match.  I quickly clicked the button that would initiate contact with the man.  That was on this day exactly three years ago.

Fast forward a little less than two weeks when we first chatted on the phone.  It was Christmas Eve; we were both at our parents’ houses for the holiday, sequestering ourselves in our rooms for the call like we did when we were teenagers.  The call was easily over an hour.  And I knew by the time we hung up that there was a real possibility that this was IT.

Now, every Christmas, M and I reminisce about that Christmas three years ago when miracles really did happen, when we both got the unspoken gift on our wish lists.  Without a doubt, he was the best Christmas gift I ever got.  It almost makes me believe in Santa again.

Of course, the second best Christmas gift ever came in the wee hours of Christmas last year, although I wouldn’t know it for another two weeks.  M and I are almost positive that our romantic interlude to celebrate the holiday is also the date of BabyN’s conception.  We have plenty of reasons to love this time of year.

So what’s the best Christmas present you ever got?

Another Boob-a-licious Post

December 12, 2007

The best part about having recently had a baby–other than the whole baby part–is the boobs.  I’m a bit reluctant to write about this again, since I keep getting all sorts of creepy hits off searches after my last post about it (I think the most common is “milk-filled boobs,” which indicates some sort of sick fetish to me), but it is definitely something interesting to write about, as all the crazy hits would indicate.

See, before PJ was born, I had a pair of tiny A’s.  I was told they were a handful, and that was plenty, but I hated having to search for clothes that fit just tightly enough that they wouldn’t disappear in the extra fabric.  I also rated how great a bra was by how much padding it had and whether it could create cleavage out of thin air.  It turns out the Miracle Bra can’t make miracles from nothing.  I always wondered what it would be like to not look like a 12-year-old girl in almost everything I wore.  I’d heard rumors that procreating tended to help out in that department, but I never thought I would get all the way to B’s and especially that they would hang around for long.

I didn’t notice them growing much during the first pregnancy.  The A’s I’d been wearing got a little tighter, but not enough to need a new bra.  But when I started breastfeeding, I bought B’s, mostly out of optimism.  The next time I bought nursing bras, I went with some C’s because online people had said they fit kind of small.  They were a little loose where the B’s were a little small, but they fit comfortably.

I expected them to deflate when I quit nursing, but I went straight into pregnancy again (really–I nursed for the last time on a Tuesday and Friday found out I was pregnant).  They never had time to deflate and instead just kept growing.  I had to buy non-nursing B’s pretty soon into the second pregnancy.  Even then, they barely fit by the time BabyN was born.

And my milk came in.  Those size-C nursing bras sure have come in handy.  Only, now they fit more like the B’s used to fit.  They’re fairly snug.  I’ve tried the B’s again when the C’s have all been dirty at the same time, but it provides a look a bit too sexy for my taste; they barely cover all the important features (although, I have to admit that M loves the effect).  If I buy any new nursing bras this time around, I might even be looking at D’s.  Can you believe that?  Within less than three years I would have gone from barely-there A’s all the way to D’s.

The thing is that I really like having big boobs.  They may look awkward on my petite body (I’m five feet tall, just barely, and even carrying around some pregnancy weight and the ginormous boobs, I don’t break 120 pounds), but I’m enjoying discovering what most women have dealt with their entire adult lives.  When I move too fast–and my boobs are empty–they actually jiggle.  No, that’s not true; they outright bounce.  It’s so different from what I’m used to.

I’ve worried some that I would end up saggy, like I understand most big boobs end up.  I agreed long ago that if I was ever blessed with big boobs, I would tolerate if not embrace the less thrilling aspects of the big boobs.  Yet I have yet to see any sag there.  My huge C’s are still nice and perky, even when totally drained of milk.  Again, M loves it.

I’m fully aware that they will probably deflate for good when BabyN weans.  I’m praying that they don’t sag at that point either, but I’m willing to accept them if they do.  I also hope that they don’t deflate back down to pre-pregnancy size.  Maybe I’ll luck out and be blessed with a permanent set of B’s.  Just large enough to make me look and feel like a woman without being too big for my body.