Looking Forward to Christmas

December 19, 2008

I can’t believe it’s less than a week until Christmas.  PJ has his Christmas party at pre-school today (in short sleeves, gotta love the weather here), and then he’s off for two weeks.  M will be too.

In a way, I’m glad PJ will be all ours for two weeks.  I know he’ll drive us crazy some (ok, most) days, but he needs the time off.  He has started clinging to me badly, reluctant to let me leave him at MDO even.  His sleep schedule is so messed up because of school interfering with his afternoon nap that he’s impossible to handle.  It will be good for him to have two weeks of no set schedule and lots of family time.  Oh, and nice, long afternoon naps.  That will be his Christmas present to M and me.

We are going to my parents’ house for Christmas again this year, but we’re staying in a hotel for the three nights we’ll be there.  We’d planned at first to do Christmas at home this year and set our own traditions, but when I realized what I’d be missing with the entire family there, I hinted to M that I’d like to go after all.  He took the hint and found a way to make it happen.  It is going to be super stressful given some of the personality conflicts in that group, but I’m hoping all of the family fun times will balance it out.

After we leave, we’re going to spend a day or two with M’s family.  M’s mom was doing her manipulative thing when they heard we were going to see my family after all, and the easiest way to get her to leave us alone about our decision was to drive all the way out there to spend some time with them.  We had offered to let them stay with us for a few days, but it was too far to go just for a day or two.  But apparently it’s not too far when you have two kids and a dog and a van full of presents as well.  At least we’re keeping the family peace, right?

I have all my Christmas shopping done.  We’re waiting on two more shipped presents to get here, one of which is too big to take with us and PJ will just get when we get home, so it doesn’t matter if it gets here late.  I am NOT looking forward to wrapping all those presents.  We really went all out this year, which is fun to watch them unwrap, but it’s not nearly as much fun to get it all wrapped.

On a different note, I’ve realized that this reluctance I’ve had to blog lately is more than just a problem with blogging.  I haven’t felt like talking to anybody other than M and my mom.  I haven’t called anybody in weeks and don’t care to, and I’m even reluctant to make small talk when I’m running errands and stuff.  I’m assuming this social introversion will run its course (maybe it’s related to the season?) and things will get back to normal soon.  This is a good sign that I wrote such a long post, right?


December 10, 2008

It’s snowing.

The last time it snowed here was December 25, 2004.  The time before that was February 1, 1994.  Yes, it happens infrequently enough that I can remember the specific dates.  This will be another day that goes down in history: December 10, 2008.

Even better is that it is the first time either of my children has seen snow.  Scooter was laughing hilariously at it, probably in response to my own reaction.  I have yet to see what PJ thinks since he’s at school right now, but I can’t wait to see what his reaction is.  Good thing his heavy coat that I’d ordered last week got here yesterday.  (By the way, yesterday we were a little warm in short sleeves, and today it is snowing.  That’s quite a cold front.)

Hopefully it will snow long enough that some will accumulate so I can get pictures of the first time the boys have played in snow.  Those will be some priceless pictures.

An Undetermined Break

December 8, 2008

I hope you will all forgive me for my sporadic posting here lately.  I’ve completely lost my blogging mojo and can’t seem to find it again.  My other blog is even more abandoned than this one has been.  I’m sure the people I don’t talk to regularly think we all died over Thanksgiving break.

There’s nothing going on that would prevent me from blogging, just apathy.  On the other hand, there is also nothing going on that is worthy of talking about (not that that has usually kept me from blogging in the past…).

I could blame it on the weather; dreary, warm days alternating with cold, windy days put me in a particularly lazy mood.  I could blame it on that time of year, with all the Christmas busy-ness distracting me from my more normal routine.  But the truth is that I’ve just stopped obsessing over blogs–mine and yours, I’m sorry to say–like I used to.

I’m sure I’ll find that blogging mojo again at some point, but please don’t worry if you don’t see me around as much.  I’ll definitely be back if/when there’s something important enough to mention.

I Hate Thinking of Titles

December 2, 2008

You might remember that my nephew was a preemie, just like PJ.  He was a few days “older,” at 32 weeks and a few days, and about eight ounces heavier.  Like PJ, he encountered no problems in the NICU and was released on a monitor and other medications after just a few weeks.

We got to see him when he was about four months old, two months adjusted.  At the time, M and I were both very worried.  We didn’t expect him to be a “normal” four-month old, like Scooter had been.  We expected him to be more like PJ was at four months; that seemed like a reasonable comparison to us.

He wasn’t like PJ was at that age.  He was more like a weak newborn.  He could barely lift his head, and he kept it cocked to the left almost all the time.  His smiles resembled gas smiles and weren’t in response to any outside stimuli.

His parents weren’t worried.  Their doctor (the same family doctor who let her preeclampsia go undiagnosed for months, the preeclampsia that almost killed her and her baby) said he was fine, so they believed him.  His grandparents (my in-laws) said that he used to hold his head up and smile just fine, so they weren’t worried either.

M and I were worried.  M even “happened” to mention how we wished we had contacted ECI much earlier than we did and how that might have kept PJ’s speech problems from getting as bad as they did.  Hint, hint.  Call them NOW, even if it’s just to get extra reassurance from a different source that your child is doing fine.  Or to get him the help that he so desperately needs.

They never called ECI.  While we’ve been worried about our nephew ever since, we are not his parents and have no control here.  We’ve said our piece based on our own experiences, and they can learn from our experience or learn the hard way from their own.

That boy is now ten months old.  His smiles are contagious and definitely social smiles now.  He holds his head up just fine–most of the time.  Any time he starts to get tired or lazy, it droops to the left again.  His parents even commented about that being a problem when he takes a bottle.

Other than the head thing, though, he seems to be about where I would expect an eight-month-old to be (adjusting for his preemie age).  He weighs what an average ten-month-old would (formula-fed baby for sure) and is starting to move around on his own.  PJ was army crawling about the same age, so not being able to crawl more normally doesn’t worry me.  He will catch up there.  He doesn’t seem to have very good control over his muscles, but you can tell he’s trying really hard anyway.

M and I talked about our nephew a lot after seeing him so much last week, and we’re both still kind of uneasy about his development.  While we can’t really put our finger on it, something just seems kind of off.  Maybe it’s the head droop thing, or the muscle control thing.  Or maybe we’re just used to a normal baby now with Scooter.

Either way, he is a joy just as he is.  He’s definitely a lovable child.  M and I know without even talking about it that we won’t mention our concerns to his parents again.  He’ll either outgrow the weird issues and make M and me feel silly for ever worrying, or his parents or doctor will notice them as they become more pronounced and do something to remedy them at that point.

And while it bugs me sometimes that they view their own miracle child as the only one who has ever been through this, forgetting how fragile PJ was at one time, it proves to me just how much of a miracle PJ is that they can’t even see the preemie in that lively three-year-old he has grown into.

All Over the Place

December 1, 2008

No, I’m not dead.  I just haven’t felt like making time to blog, what with being sick for over a week, starting my first definite period since BabyN (and no, the IUD does NOT make it lighter or shorter), and being out of town for Thanksgiving.  Heh, I just summarized the last two weeks for you.

In other news…

–I’ve decided on BabyN’s new name on the blog.  You might recall I’ve been agonizing over this for some time, and I had a moment of enlightenment last week.  M’s family got a real kick out of how BabyN crawls, scooting around on his butt, and several of them started calling him Scooter.  I pray to God the name doesn’t stick, but it makes for a cute name to call him on here.  So from now on BabyN will be called Scooter.

–Thanksgiving went okay, even though we were spending the holiday itself with M’s family.  My parents were invited to the big family dinner, and they came since they had no other plans for the day.  They helped both of us keep our sanity.  Scooter screamed bloody murder most of the time since we ended up getting there right at naptime and there was nowhere to put him to sleep.  My back still hurts from all the carrying I had to do that day to keep him somewhat happy.  He also wouldn’t go to anybody else pretty much the whole week.  I love that he’s that attached to me, but it would have been nice to get a little break every so often.

–On the bright side, both boys charmed everyone (even Scooter through all the screaming).  PJ started talking way more, too, saying some of the cutest things.  He was showing off like crazy.  Now he keeps asking if we’re going to go see his grandparents today.

–We found out on Thanksgiving that my little brother’s wife is pregnant again (the ones we’ve had personality conflicts with in the past).  Their two little ones will be just a couple of weeks closer together than ours.

This brings up all sorts of conflicting emotions in me, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.  If it was my older brother, I’d be thrilled for them.  I hate that because of past hurts they caused, I can’t just be happy about it and move on.

I think a lot of it is the sense of competition they bring about.  If we have something, they have to have something better.  Last year, they had both just gotten brand-new expensive phones–and then complained about how poor they were and could never afford anything and needed help buying even clothes for their little girl.  He had to get a better camera than my older brother, who is a professional photographer, and again complained about how they had no money.

Now we find out they’re looking at a new car.  Instead of finding something larger to make life easier with two children, they are going to buy a luxury car, one that starts at $40K for a base model.  It’s better than the luxury car my dad has, the one he saved up his whole life to get.  If I hear one thing about how poor they are at Christmas, I think my head just might explode.  I just hope they really are doing that well to be able to afford all these luxuries and that this is my jealous side getting to me.

But I wonder if rushing into a second child this soon (yes, I’ll admit we rushed into a second one too) is not their way of competing with us, trying to have more children faster than we are.  It sure pricks my competitive spirit, making me want to rush into having another baby, purely to prove we’re better baby-makers than they are.  In every other way, I’m not ready for another.  It’s stupid to have even let myself think about having another baby when we’re not ready just because I want to compete in a stupid competition that probably doesn’t exist.  That’s why I hope they’re not doing the same.

More than likely I’m just projecting my own sickest, most embarrassing emotions onto them, thinking that they can be as awful as I can be deep inside.  That’s why when we see them at Christmas, I will act like I’ve never thought they could be capable of such feelings.  They will just be my lovable brother and his wife, and I will congratulate them on their success while suppressing those emotions I wish I wasn’t feeling.

–And that’s about all I feel like writing about today.  I went into the weird thing with my brother and SIL a lot more than I intended to, but I kind of needed to work it out for myself.  Tomorrow (if I can make myself blog), I’ll have to give the update on my nephew.  I hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving as well.  Now I’d better go start catching up on blogs.  That may take a while.

–Oh, yeah, thanks for all the suggestions on the last post.  I did get the next size in diapers to try it out, and both boys fit in them fine and we haven’t had one leakage incident since we upgraded.  I’m so thrilled that the solution was so simple, and now I feel silly for not thinking of it myself.  The pants problem hasn’t been resolved yet, as I haven’t had a chance to go shopping, but I have lots of ideas now.  I’m planning a trip to Old Navy soon, and will also be looking to see whether he can fit into 2T pants, as they tend to be skinnier than 24 months and sometimes 18 months too, or so I’ve heard.