Monday, July 30, 2012

not a baby anymore (or, stop chasing the girls!)

I don't know what's up with my kid.

From what I can gather, his brain is doing all sorts of growing and developing things right now. And it's making him (and me) kinda crazy.

We realized a couple days ago that he'd learned a new word. When the hubs asked him if he could change his diaper, G ran from the room screaming, "No no no no!" He then stood in the doorway of his room, saying "Nnnnoh!" over and over while we giggled at the funny face he makes while he says it. Well, I giggled and Dave did the more manly equivalent.

Yesterday, on the way home from the mall, he babbled the entire way. "Oh, oh, oh, oh." He loves this new sound and practices it often. This new sound is terribly cute, despite the fact that it means he's being more defiant with us.

Plus, he makes this face when he says it. How can you not love that face? I wish he'd pucker up like that when he goes in for a kiss, instead of his usual open-mouthed slobber kiss.

He's trying out all sorts of sounds lately. Which is a huge deal for my kid who at almost 26 months has only a handful of words. The urge to talk seems to be disturbing his sleep, too. He's been waking in the middle of the night with a great big burst of babbling. It freaks us out, but we'll watch on the monitor as he finds his teddy and goes right back to sleep. He does the same thing in the middle of his naps. I'll hear a loud noise of something he just said, look at the monitor and find him fast asleep.

I feel like he's talking. But I'm the one who's the issue because I can't understand a word. I try repeating similar words back to him to see if anything clicks, but I always seem to miss the boat on what he's trying to communicate.

He's increasingly easy to talk to, though. He seems to understand a huge amount of what I say, when I make the effort with my vocabulary. He can follow complex instructions and often knows what I mean without me having to completely spell it out. (i.e. "Put this toy away, please" and he'll put it where it always goes.) You can carry on a conversation with him even though you'll have no idea what he's saying. And while he is increasingly combative and opinionated these days, he's also so so sweet and generous with affection.

Finally, on the subject of weird psychological developments with G - he's started noticing other kids! Before, he'd either ignore them or look at them like they were crazy. He's normally quite standoffish, and it's the worst thing ever if any other kid enters his bubble of personal space.

But this morning, we headed to the playground at the mall. We were alone for a while but then a father with his daughter showed up. She seemed about 4 - a head taller than G and a great talker. G immediately took notice of her and started following her around. If she was up on the slide, he wanted to be there. If she took off through the tunnel, he wanted to go through the tunnel too. When she stopped and smiled at him, he smiled back. I was like, who are you and where is my son who shouts at the kid who gets close? When he wanted to walk past her, he didn't yell, he just kinda scrunched up his body and passed by her.

It was getting close to time to go. I asked G if he wanted a snack and some water. Usually, he'll nod and be ready to go at that point. However, this time he gestured at the little girl, mumbled something, and fiercely shook his head before climbing up the slide to join her at the top. "Mom," my kid had basically just said to me. "There's a girl so we can't leave yet. Oh, and you're ruining my mojo by talking to me so stop it."

When did G turn 14 years old behind my back?

In truth, all of this is so amazing. My baby is definitely no longer a baby. Sometimes, I'm so amazed at how tall he is or he'll surprise me by laughing at a joke because that's what you do - you laugh.

The girls (or boys) can wait, though!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

this boy? he cray-zee

Do you ever have one of those moments when you look at your toddler and think, Who are you and why are you yelling at me?

Because I'm having those. A lot.

I have no idea where the yelling is coming from. No one in our house yells, or at least, yells a lot. The hubs and I are both fairly calm people except during football season, and even then the yelling last year was toned down for the sake of our kid's ears. So why does G insist on trying to communicate by yelling? Or both throwing things at the wall, including himself?

He'll yell at random people we meet too. He did this at two girls in Target the other day, and I'm standing there thinking, should I tell them he's just saying hi even though I'm pretty sure he's just yelling at them for no reason? They just laughed at him and moved on, while I pretended I really needed to go down a aisle for dog food even though we have no dog.

Most of the time, he's very well behaved in public, especially to adults. People comment all the time on how good he is, sitting there patiently in the cart while we check out. Sometimes he'll have a snack, and he never dumps his food on the floor on purpose.

And of course, inside, I'm all no, wait, we'll go home and then. the yelling. it'll begin again. When we're out and about, you're only seeing poker-face G who might flash you a smile if you're lucky but at least he's well behaved.


The kid knows what an inside voice is and how to be quiet. If you ask, he immediately drops his tone to something less harsh on the ears. If you say, "ask nicely," when he's whining for something, he'll immediately do the sign for please. But I'm like, c'mon kid, if you know how to ask properly, why are you yelling at me?

I know those with 3 and 4 year olds are laughing at me right now. I hear a lot of, "Oh, you ain't seen nothing yet, hon." And I die inside a little more at the thought of worse. I also know that I'm asking a lot of a 2 year old who doesn't understand most of what he does or half of what I say, and he can't remember where his own elbow is 25% of the time. Like everything else with him, maybe it'll pass soon as a phase. We went through some screaming a while back, and some random crying, and that short period where he rammed his head into the wall. 


But yes, the yelling. I love that my kid has already figured out how to look bashful. When he's been yelling in the other room for a moment, and I go in there to give him my stop that OMG what are you doing in here? look, he gives me that sweet face. Then he'll walk over and give a peace offering of plastic food or my own phone as if to say, here, mommy, some food will calm your blood sugar or maybe you should play Gem Miner 2 for ten minutes to calm yourself down before you start yelling. Yelling isn't nice.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

G's Professional Photos - Photobook

Start your own Shutterfly Photo Book today.

I finally got around to making a photobook of G's professional photos.  I'm sorta kinda in love with it.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

getting some answers

Three weeks after my miscarriage, I went in for recurrent loss testing. Some women's OBs have them wait for three miscarriages before doing testing, but my OB was adamant that we go ahead. They drew eleven vials of blood which left me lightheaded with a sore arm. They said it'd take 10-14 days to hear the results.

I got a call this morning from my OB's nurse. I have one copy of the gene that causes Factor V Leiden, a disorder that causes blood clots.

This is what I know so far:

FVL may have caused my two miscarriages. It's a strong possibilities; however, we didn't test baby #2 and #3, so we have no clear idea of what causes their deaths. I only have one copy of the gene versus getting it from both parents, but the risk is still high for complications in pregnancy if not treated properly.

FVL may have caused my pre-eclampsia. While I did carry G to full term without problems, I developed pre-eclampsia at 38 weeks and had to be quickly induced.

Since I only have one copy of the gene, only one of my parents is a carrier. We're guessing my mom at this point, since it's less common in Hispanics. However, we won't know until they get tested themselves.

FVL is treatable with blood thinners such as baby aspirin and daily Lovenox shots while you're pregnant. It's scary because blood clots can happen at any time during the pregnancy, so the baby isn't safe until you finally deliver. This is what scares me the most, even more so than the fact that this has life-long consequences for me.

FVL can cause blood clots which break off and travel to the heart or lungs. I'll have to learn how to handle this long-term, and I'm sure it involves lots of water and exercise throughout my life.

I'm glad that we went through all of this testing so we could get some answers. And I'm so so happy that there's treatment for FVL. However, I'm sad when thinking about the babies we lost. If I'd known earlier, I could have saved them.

I find it appropriate that my appointment with the specialist will be on August 15th. We'll learn how to save our future babies on the due date of baby #2, which I lost at 14 weeks.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

big girl pants were worn

If you can't tell from the pics, I bought a car! It's a brand new 2012 Honda Civic in an awesome blue color. We said we never wanted to buy new, but the deal was too good to pass up for a car we'll want to run into the ground.

Here was our car-buying process:

Monday: We took my 2002 Ford Focus into our mechanic who said it had transmission problems. The car was barely drivable at that point, so we decided to sell it off. I listed the car on Craigslist that evening. The man who ended up buying my car contacted me within an hour.

Tuesday: I had about eight people who contacted me about the car, but the first one bought it by Tuesday afternoon. He paid us in cash, loaded up the car, and drove it away. Sniff, sniff. Bye bye, car I've had for eight years! We spend a ton of time researching cars slightly bigger than a small hatchback over the next few days.

Wednesday: We go and test drive a 2012 Honda Civic. I'm not in love, especially because we test drive a used 2011 Hyundai Elantra later that day. The Elantra was big for the money and had some great features. Dave loved it but I wasn't sold on the way it handled on the road. My old Focus had tight steering and braking, and I wanted something that drove similarly.

Thursday: We test drive a Mazda 3 and Mazda 6. Not in love with either. While they handled great in the road, the braking was a little funky. Not impressed with features, interior, or exterior. The Mazda 3 was the most uncomfortable car I test drive. We also take a look at the Hyundai Accent but find it to be too small.

Friday: My mother-in-law comes over to babysit for us while we head to a different no-haggle Honda dealership to take a second look at the Civic. We test drive and I like it much better the second go-around. We talk about pricing with the dealership but since they're no-haggle, they're not willing to budge anything on their price even though they add a non-optional $299 vehicle theft protection charge.

We take their deal to the other local Honda dealership (where we first test drove the Civic) and they automatically give us a price $200 below the other's offer. We look at each other. It's still a little above our price point. Plus, this dealership added extra charges for non-optional pinstripping, splash guards, and nitrogen in the wheels. We pretty much knew our bottom line. I wrote a price on the sheet, passed it to him, and said, "If you'll give us this price, we'll buy the car right now." He said, "Oh, I don't know, we're already under invoice" and went off to his manager. A moment later, he comes back and holds out his hand - we had a deal! Next, I picked out my color - they had all of them on the lot. They were flooded with 2012 Honda Civics (so was the other dealership), so I'm not surprised we got a good deal. I was torn between the light blue and dark blue, but the dark blue won me over since it's such a pretty and unique color.

We had very good credit and got the best APR possible. Our monthly cost will only be $10 more than we planned on spending, so I'm way happy about that. I've been having tons of fun driving my new pretty around town.

I'm sad my poor Focus is gone. I had a lot of good times - and bad - in that car. I drove it back and forth between Iowa and Alabama when I was in grad school. My brother and I drove it to Miami and back on a month-long road trip. I went to meet Dave for a drink on our first date in that car. I drove it while pregnant with G and drove him all over the place since he was born. I drove it home by myself when we found out baby #2 had died at 14 weeks, and I cried and cried and cried in it. Even though I inherited it from my parents and paid nothing for it but repairs, it was my first car.

Bye bye, red beast of a car. You had zero get-up-and-go, but you handled like a dream. Hello, blue monster, my car for at least the next 10 years. If you last long enough, G can learn to drive in you.

...And now pardon me while I weep for my baby's childhood.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

car buying aka headache time

I can has Bumblebee?

The hubs and I have been car shopping.

Oh, it's not by choice, mind you. The day I was supposed to go in for my recurrent pregnancy loss testing, my old 2002 Ford Focus ZX5 hatchback died. Not completely died, but the kinda slow warning lights, jerking, grinding gears attitude that singles that death is imminent. Death by transmission failure.

At ten years old and 113,000 miles, my car wasn't exactly ancient, but I had been expecting it to die at any moment. We'd had problems with the Focus for years. It felt like something was going wrong with it every few months.

So it coughed a dying breath on Monday. By Tuesday afternoon, it was sold. Thank you, Craigslist.

Of course, this left us down to one car. We've been lucky enough to have in-laws close by who are letting us borrow a car while we shop. Otherwise, G and I would be stuck in the house 24/7.

But but car shopping is HARD! Our budget is tight. Saving for another baby, paying for expensive RPL testing, and prepping for one or two semester when I can't teach (and therefore have a payment coming in) - all of this freaks me out when we're looking at car prices. And why are cars so expensive?? It warrants double questions marks.

We're hoping to find something by the end of next week, but the thought of spending that much money on an object just makes me cringe. I know it's an investment, something we'll use for at least ten years, and I know that we can drop more money on it as we save. But jeez. Debt. I hate it going backwards into debt instead of paying things down.

On top of everything else we're dealing with, my car had to die. Why, life? Just... seriously?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

extra great great-grandparents

We went down to Alabama for the 4th of July, like we often do. I think I've only spent one 4th in Nashville and I don't remember celebrating it by doing anything. I hate the car ride back to where I grew up, though I guess I shouldn't complain about a measly 2.5 hour drive.

Florence always seems like home. I haven't lived there for more than a summer in twelve years, and I've been in Nashville full time for six. But my parents' number still says "Home" on my phone, and every corner of my grandparents' house and yard is familiar to me. I grew up next door to them and probably spent more time over there than I did in our double-wide trailer. It's so weird to see G playing in their yard the way I did when I was little. I'm so happy that he's getting to know my grandparents.

My mom's parents were as close to me as grandparents could possible get. I saw them almost daily, and they're tangled up with most of my memories of my childhood. Everyone who meets them loves them, and you'll never hear anything negative said about either of them even though half the town knows who they are. They are the most generous people you will ever meet. The stories they have to tell are endless.

I don't get to see my grandparents near enough now that I live a state away. But going to Florence always feels like coming home.
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