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My son is turning 3 years old on the 19th of this month. Some people say they turn into little monsters at this age. I have a hard time believing that to be true. Dez had his bad days, even a few bad weeks during his two’s, but all in all, he’s been a gem of a kiddo. Or maybe the rewards of watching him grow into a little boy are so great that they eclipse all the hard stuff. Either way, I can’t wait to see what the three’s have in store for us. We (well, I) decided to celebrate a little early, just in case his gestating little sister decided to celebrate her birthday early too. Last year I did a huge birthday party with tons of kids and people, which I LOVED putting on. It’s one of the few times I get to semi-exercise my elementary education degree on a larger scale. I look forward to possibly doing something bigger next year. This year I wanted something smaller with just our families, Dez’s one little buddy and his family (which also happens to be my BFF’s family…not a coincidence). I really wanted to be able to focus on him for the day, not really worry about anything else but still really celebrate his last birthday as an only child. I’m hoping that his sister will wait until after his real birthday to make her first appearance so I get still get to do all the official birth date birthday activities that we’ve done every year. I think I’m having more trouble letting go of him being an only child than he will. Oh, he’ll probably be mad about sharing snuggles and lap space, but I think he’ll fall into big brotherhood without any major problems. Anyways I came here to make a post about DEZ, not my mental status. Here’s some pics of the day.

(Here’s a link for the free printables I used for the cupcakes (except Mario, I found that separately through Google image search), juice labels and gift boxes.)

 

Fire Flower juice and Mystery boxes with chocolates coins inside

Mushrooms from string cheese, tomatoes and cream cheese

Star cheese and crackers

Super Mario cupcakes (pineapple upside down cupcakes that were so good I might write a separate post for the recipe)

Blowing out his candles

Dez and his little buddy burning off some sugar

Present time!

My husband says that I wrap my presents too well. I say Hallmark makes the best paper because it has the grid on the back and I can make perfect cuts.

Had to get serious and sit down.

He got mad at me for coaching him about opening presents. He proceeded to crumple every piece of tissue paper before taking the gifts out of the bag.

I think this present is one of my favorites. They’re a bit therapeutic to play with.

36 Weeks

PS Don’t count on getting your deposit back.

Status Update:
I’m 36 weeks pregnant today. For the majority of the pregnancy I’ve been irritable, but good humored about my current condition and the inevitable cure for my current condition.

What I’m feeling:
Not too shabby for having an impressive beer belly without the pleasure of alcohol. My only complaints are that my feet are starting to hurt a little, if I lay on my back for too long, I get stuck (turtle style) and it takes a few steps before I can walk normally, and Braxton Hicks are pretty annoying when one’s uterus enters a room well before one’s face does. All in all, I’ve actually felt better during the third trimester, than I did in the first and second. Which were both just one ass ache after another.

What I’m thinking:
The occasional flash back, optimistic, but realistic. I can only hope things will go better this time, but I know they might not. I’ll do the best I can without the assistance of pain medication, but if my labor passes 9 hours, I’m out. I recognize the fact that I didn’t fully experience any contractions after I stalled at 4 centimeters, so I don’t really know what I’m in for BUT, by avoiding an epidural, I’m hoping to also avoid pushing for 2 ½ hours. My response to the question: “Are you going to get an epidural this time?” is “We’ll just see how it goes.”

What I’m doing:
Cleaning, buying things, writing out my birth preferences, packing my hospital bag, daydreaming about crafting little fabric flowers to attach to everything, deciding what to do with Dez and Agro when we’re at the hospital, trying to find the balance of pacing myself for the end of September while facing the reality that she could be here anytime and planning my soon to be three year old’s birthday party.

What I’m dreading:
Labor, in general. Being in the hospital and constantly talking to hospital staff (the CPH L&D staff are awesome, I’m just a hermit). Recovery. The first 6-8 weeks of breastfeeding.

What I’m looking forward to:
Seeing her sweet little face for the first time. My first shower after labor and delivery. Bringing her home and settling in for the winter. The first night she sleeps for 6 hours straight and all the other adorable milestones.

What Dez is doing:
Dez is just a joy to be around. The “terrible twos” weren’t that terrible and I’m looking forward to what age three has to bring. He’s finally doing number two in the toilet. This was a real struggle for us and a HUGE deal that he’s been so successful at it for the last few weeks. I’ll consider him completely trained once he does it someplace other than at home. He’s not even close to night trained, but that’s totally fine with me. He’s really developing a working vocabulary. One of my favorite things is listening to him try a new word and be successful at saying it. His cute little toddler accent makes every word better. He likes his Nintendo DS and is much better at Super Mario than I am. Like, he’s actually beating levels. He’s a video game prodigy. His sense of empathy is far more developed than I anticipated from a three year old. He enjoys making people smile by doing silly things (the occasional stranger at the store included). If he’s doing something he thinks I might enjoy it’s always, “Wook at me mommy! Wook at me!” When someone is sad it’s always, “Aww, it’s okay. Don’t be sad.” Followed by pats on the back, hugs and kisses. He’s even brought me tissues or wipes when I’m crying. Not the proudest moments for myself, but it makes my heart glow knowing he understands feelings and how to respond to them. This makes me think he’ll fall into the role of big brother really easily. I’m just so proud of the little boy he’s growing into being.

This has been a wonderful and big year for us. We’ve accomplished so much as a family of three. I can’t wait to see what in store for this soon to be family of FOUR!

We celebrated the 4th of July by going to a local parade that basically consisted of the fire stations’ breaking out the their trucks and any local with something to sell or a motorized vehicle driving through town while throwing candy. Afterwards, the patriots we are, we went to a local Mexican restaurant. I would have taken a picture, but let’s face it, if you’ve seen the inside of one Mexican restaurant, you’ve seen them all. All that diminishing and sub-par weather aside it was a fun day with the kiddo.

Anxiously awaiting the parade, but trying to keep a serious game face.

I think this is the only picture I got of him smiling and it was a sneak attack. He kept telling me. “No pictures, Maria!”

He found a puddle to keep him busy while we waited.

He got a little concerned when he first heard the sirens. “That’s wowed.” (loud)

Traded his pinwheel for a flag.

Finally some candy!

Enjoying his spoils

“All gone.”

Getting a little braver about venturing out for candy

Hands full and ready to head back

Candy is serious business

I just love these curls.

Lightning McQueen was there and my sister was pretty excited about it.

So much patriotism wiped the kiddo out.

I think everyone assumed I’d be super excited to be expecting a girl. I’m not disappointed, but am I excited? If I’m being honest, I’m uncomfortable. It’s strange. I was pretty confident prior to the ultrasound that the tech was going to tell us that we were expecting a girl. As much as I like to be right, that wasn’t really the answer I was hoping for. I wanted another boy. First of all Dez is awesome. I like his toys, his cute clothes, and his silly demeanor. The boy world makes sense to me. Give me a rambunctious childhood over a rampaging teenage girl any day. ANY. DAY. The teen years frighten me, but more than anything I remember what it was like to be a girl. Always insecure, questioning whether I’m enough, no matter the measure. Smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough, skinny enough… I still am that girl sometimes. How do you raise a girl to know she’s always enough as long as she’s true to herself? HOW?

Boys the biggest worry is keeping the safe from themselves. If they make it to adulthood with all of their body parts, it’s a job well done. For girls the damages of weak parenting are more difficult to see. Unless it’s a Lifetime movie, then it’s all I can do to not yell at the television, “SHE’S CLEARLY DOING DRUGS AND GOING TO SEX PARTIES!” All while the mother cleans something and mutters quietly to herself, “I trust my daughter. She’s a good girl.”

Prior to our son being born, my main concern was being physically exhausted. Most days, it’s a rewarding exhaustion because we’ve had fun together. Now I worry about being emotionally exhausted. I really hope I find our daughter as charming as I find Dez. There are a few little girls that I’ve spent time with that make me want a girl. Most little girls make me feel like I’m not missing out on much. Then there are other girls that make me want only boys. Prissy girls in particular make me cringe. I don’t mean girly girls, there is nothing wrong with embracing the feminine side. However, there is something wrong with being superior. I want my daughter to enjoy being a girl, but I also want her to enjoy playing in the dirt, be fine wearing her brother’s old clothes, and care more about what people say than what they wear. I realize that most of this comes down to parenting, but how do I control the outside influences? How will I realize I’m doing something wrong before it’s too late?

In many ways I plan to raise her in much the same way I’ve raised Dez. The toys I’ve given him have been what I consider gender neutral, unless he’s shown specific interest in owning something otherwise (cars, airplanes, construction equipment, ponies). I’ll do the same with her. The clothes I’ve chosen for my son have been masculine, but I honestly like them. Wading through all the pink on the girls’ racks gives me an anxiety attack. I thought I was limited in boy shopping, but in all reality girl shopping is much more difficult. EVERYTHING is pink. Forget cute little bugs, animals (except zebra or cheeta), reptiles, and fish. Flowers and hearts are what’s out there. I like ruffles and eyelet, bonnets and dresses, but is it too much to ask that they come it more colors than white and various shades of pink? Oh it’s out there, but it costs MUCH more. Ugh…I about to start spiraling.

Our first is a delightful, bouncing boy and the ideal is always to follow that with a delicate, pretty little girl. Getting “the best of both worlds,” but honestly I hope the girl world isn’t much different than the boy world. I like it here.

Bullet Point Thoughts

Topic: Pregnancy, then and now.

Things that I vividly remember:

  • The constantly changing body image. Sometimes I feel great about myself, other times I just feel like Fatty McGee. Last time once my stomach was bigger than my ass, my body image was probably the highest it has ever been. So was the number on the scale. Interesting, eh?
  • Being nervous about and not really looking forward to all the doctor appointments.
  • Being hungry or thirsty. ALL THE TIME.
  • Bouncing around mediocre, great or awful moods. In a matter of seconds.
  • Labor. Delivery. Recovery. Enough said.

Things I’m being reminded of:

  • Sneezes are thine enemy.
  • I suck at remembering to take vitamins.
  • How much I miss alcohol. I rarely drank prior to being pregnant, but tell me I can’t and suddenly I’m all “WTF?! Can’t a girl have a vodka tonic? How about a margarita? It’s got fruit. I gotta get my folic acid somehow.”
  • Sleepiness, much like mood swings can strike at anytime and is just as debilitating.
  • The t-shirt twins are once again at their best. That helps the body image a little and makes the hubs pretty happy.
  • Gum is a life saver when a random nausea strikes.

Things that are new:

  • My feet and back hurt nearly all the time. Already.
  • I’m buying dresses and leggings instead of the usually maternity wear.
  • I have a legitimate nursery to decorate/paint.
  • I don’t feel like having a baby shower or making a bunch of fuss. It just seems a bit old hat for me. Plus I don’t need anything. Unless we’re having a girl. Then I’ll need a tutu or two. For her, of course.
  • Physically I feel pregnant, but mentally my head isn’t in the game. I only think about it when I’m experiencing a symptom. Or, if I’m naked.

This is about as close as I can get to forming a single string of grammatically correct thoughts. I hate pregnancy brain. Which according the book Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies is because the baby is literally sapping what it needs from my brain to build its own. When I read that all I could think was, “Well that’s just fantastic. I may not be using my bachelor’s but I was using THAT.”

Sleep Mode

I love watching Dez sleep. Looking at him in that state reminds me that even at two and half years old he’s still very much a baby. He loves his paci, blankets, stuffed animals and snuggling. I imagine I’ll probably still see him that way when he’s 20. Which he’ll love, I’m sure. Watching him sleep makes me dream about what kind of boy and man he’ll grow to be. I see all the same potential and feel that same intense wonder I did when he was first born. Will he be an athlete? A smartypants? A homebody? Super outgoing? All of the above? All the sayings about love so deep it’s impossible to describe are gut wrenchingly true. All I want is for him to be happy, healthy and to always feel loved.

A couple of his favorite snuggle buddies, Penguin and Jiggy.

Someone loves his mommy and daddy's bed

He's gathered a second penguin named Puffin and Moose. I think he's got room for one more before a twin bed won't be big enough.

I love his crossed legs and little belly showing

Situations like this make it hard to get things done, but I'll take the snuggles while he's still handing them out.

McSkiing

I abuse the ease at which “Mc” attaches to just about any word and instantly makes it ours. McCaughey + Skiing = McSkiing. That’s far more entertaining than Family Ski Trip. My husband LOVES to ski. I LIKE to ski, on a good day. I like the quiet swooshing of the snow beneath my skis and the beauty of the mountain, but I hate feeling like injury or death is lurking around every corner. I suck it up (mostly) to spend time with the hubby and this it one of the very few ways I feel like a “true” Alaskan. As in, I don’t hunt and I barely fish. So winter sports it is. In an effort to make our son even more awesome than he already is we started bringing him to the mountain this year.

This was a couple of hours into our day. I love his little giggle at the end of the run. Shortly after this he demanded hot chocolate.

This was our last run of the day. He’s keeping his own balance and his very proud daddy is steering him like a kite down the hill.

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