Tuesday, May 31

Cows and Cars

I have an hour commute to work, each way.  This includes driving on farm roads, three different interstate highways and a long stretch down an industrial boulevard.  I should add I work in Connecticut, where the state motto is "You can't get there from here".  OK, maybe that's not the official motto, but it should be.

I try to use my drive time to work on balancing myself out.  To me this means listening to my local NPR station.  The news this morning was the same-old-same, however; our local morning program host, Bob Paquette, passed away over the weekend.  So it was a fairly somber morning cast, speckled with tributes and memories of Bob.  He truly was a great newsman, and will be missed by our area.  As I was started to reflect inwards about those in my life that passed away suddenly before their time, I came across the Cow Car.  The Cow Car totally shifted my mood for the day.

The Cow Car had a Rhode Island license plate.  Can you guess what it said?  If you guessed "Moo", give yourself 10 points.  The Cow Car was white brown cow spots painted on it.  Across the back of the trunk it said "Moo-ing Along".  It had chrome cow horns mounted on the hood, very Texas I might add.  Across the back window was a row of stuffed animals.  And then the cherry on top of the sundae - on the roof was a cow statue complete with a sunflower around the cow's neck.  There was a web-site stenciled in pink on the back window, but it was too small to read.

A quick search on Google, resolved this issue and I found The Cow Car.  Apparently, the cow wears other decorations around it's neck and it not all that attached to the sunflower.  (And somehow this has to do with pot- belly pig rescue.)   Thank you Mr. Cow Car for making me smile on this Tuesday morning.


In other somewhat related news, this weekend we were driving through an area with lots of dairy farms and we were explaining to Turkey that Monkey can have all the breast milk he wants, because unlike cows milk it's really good for you and has everything he needs in it.  Which in turn is why Turkey can only have ice cream once a day because it's not so good for you.  Anyhow, Turkey says "Let me get this straight, mom is like a cow."  Yup, I love you too kid.

Sunday, May 29

You Know You Want To!!!

You know you want to!  Click on the link to the right that is, and become an official follower of this wonderful blog.  I know way more people than 19 people follow follow me... come on, you know you want.... you can do it.

I promise I won't make you drink the Kool-Aid.


Come on.... you know you want to..........

Friday, May 27

Grass, Paint and Beaver Dams

I was originally going to write today's blog post about "mommy guilt", but then the drive home from the office took my mind another direction.  The heat of the day (91.2F according to my home weather station), and the long bright green grass along the side of the Mass Pike that was just begging to be mowed; transported me back some 15 years.

During my summers in college I came home from Long Island and worked, and worked.  At night I worked as a waitress with my friends Katie and Kate; during the day I worked at the power plant.  It was these days at the power plant I was thinking about this afternoon.

I was an engineering major in college and my father had tried to get me an engineering internship at the local hydro-electric power plant, but all the slots were filled.  So they offered me a paying gig on their summer maintenance team.  The money was good, $10.50 an hour; real good 15 years ago for a teenage summer job.  Not that I had time to spend it working as I did.

The summer maintenance crew consisted of me and three other teen-age guys (who were all sons of plant employees).  We had a short, welled tanned Italian in charge of us - Jack.  Our duties included cutting the grass, painting, auto maintenance, paving, installing speed bumps and on - I think you get the idea.  My summer uniform was steel toe boots, jeans and a tank top.  Man, did I have a farmer tan.  I don't think I have ever tanned again like I did those two summers I worked there.

The power plant was located on a huge chunk of land, part of which was used during the world wsar for what I could only imagine.  It abutted the county jail.  I used to drive slow, on my tractor, past the inmates playing basketball, and listen to their cat-calls.  Good times, I tell you, good times.... they were always so flattering.  I am surprised they could tell I was a female considering how far away they were (the basketball courts were stacked three high in the court yard) .... it must have been my blonde pony tail.

In order to get into the power plant, you had to drive through the guard booth and present your pass.  The power plant was surrounded by three 20-foot tall chain link fences, complete with barbwire on the top and in between the rows.  I'm not sure if that was to protect the plant or make us feel secure being so close to the prison or a war relic; maybe all three.   But it was certainly a launching pad for a place that allowed your imagination to run wild.

The actual office building for the plant was rather small compared to the size of the compound.  There must have been a dozen outbuildings that were never used.  Some of these buildings were not real buildings at all, but rather solid concrete structures the size of real buildings.  Some of them had secret hidden rooms below them.  But then within some of the most nondescript building you would find 6-inch thick steel doors.  It took all of my strength of open them.  Then there were the bunkers - cold, dark and dank.  The perfect place to hide out in the heat of the day.  And lets not forget the machine gun towers; we used to store big water jugs in them.

Most mornings we would hop on our mowers and set out to mow, and mow, and mow.  But then there were the painting weeks, when we would paint a random steel door or abandon building with this muddy brown oil based paint.  I HATE oil based paint.  We had tricked out weed-whackers with steel blades on them; great for taking out the forest that was trying to invade our grass and culverts.  Ah the culverts, I got many a mower stuck in them.  I can tow a mower out of a culvert faster than I can  load a stroller into the back of my car.

That summer I learned how to do many things; oil changes, tire changes, and most importantly how to drive a full size bump truck with air brakes.  Because really, isn't that a skill we all need.

My favorite days were when Jack would hand us the pitch forks, tell us to fill up the water cooler and grab the canoe and the high water waders.  Those were "beaver dam days".  Technically we were suppose to be dismantling the beaver dams, but really we would just nap in the bed of the pick-up truck with one of us monitoring the walkie-talkie for Jack calls.

Those were the days.  I swear I can still smell the almonds.  Yes, almonds.  The area around the water cooling towers smelled like almonds.  Rumor had it someone put almonds around the ridge of the towers to create the scent.  I have no idea if that is true.

I went back for two summers, at the end of my last summer I had my wisdom teeth removed and the day before I went on leave one of the guys called me the C word.  He was terminated, and I was offered a position inside for the remainder of the summer.  I came back from having my teeth done and spent 8 hours a day reading through legal documents and highlighting some key words I was given.  I was bored to tears, what I would have given to be out on the tractor again, watching a storm roll in; the clouds blackening the sky and the lightening cracking in the woods; and hearing the sounds of the first fat rain drops hitting the hood of the tractor, and watching the deer run for cover while driving the mower back to the garage.  Storms like that just aren't the same in an office building, you can't feel the weather changing.

The next summer they offered me a desk job in the engineering department.  I went elsewhere.  Desks are nice, but some days I really miss my tractor.

Tuesday, May 24

That 5 Letter Word

Sleep.

As moms we start worrying about sleep before our baby is even born.  It starts in the 1st trimester when we're so exhausted we could sleep standing on one foot while eating a double cheeseburger.  By the 3rd trimester we are flopping between not being able to sleep because "the baby is moving too much, we're too bloated, we're too hot, we're to anxious" to being able to sleep standing on one foot while eating a triple cheeseburger.

Once our new bundle of joy has arrived, we're so head over heels in love we would rather sit and watch them sleep then sleep ourselves. We are told to "nap when baby naps"; but instead we find ourselves cleaning the house, writing thank you cards and again watching the baby sleep.  At this point we would give anything for baby to fall into our adult sleep cycle; but alas baby is not an adult.

Our desire for our children to sleep as we sleep, if not longer; never seems to go away.  As toddlers they are up at 6am (or earlier) on Saturday and as teenagers we can't get them to bed before 2am.

As parents out battle with sleep in an on-going one.

With Turkey I was blessed, he slept through the night from an early age.  And while I admit I may have blocked out the memory I don't recall him ever having a "sleep regression".  I have however dealt with night terrors and sleep walking with him (all blogs for another day).

Monkey on the other hand is a different child, and perhaps my memory is better as these events are recent....

Monkey started sleeping through the night (via the technical definition of 5+ hours in a row) early on, 6 or so weeks.  By 8 weeks he was sleeping nearly 12 hours in a row.... and them wham-o he drove that sleep train straight off the bridge, and I don't think he's even found the wreckage yet.  Right around 12 weeks of age (he's 14 weeks today) it seemed like Monkey forgot how to sleep through the night.  Some nights he was up once around 3am, but most other nights he would start waking hourly beginning at 2am.

At first we thought it was teething.  He had all the classic signs; fussing while nursing, drooling, low grade temp, chewing on everything.  But the "experts" are split on whether or not teething causing sleep issues.

My next guess was a growth spurt, as it seemed like all he wanted to do was nurse when he woke up. But I've come to realize he would nurse around the clock if I let him.  He doesn't care if it's been 5 minutes or 5 hours since he last ate, he'll take the boob whenever offered.

After that I blamed it on me going back to work, and him not having unlimited boob access.  But I know Husband feeds him, and feeds him well while I am gone.  Not to mention the sleep problem don't go away when I am home with him during the day.

So then I started thinking it was the "4 month sleep regression", which has been cited to happen between 3 months and 5 months.  Again; all the classic signs.  And again the "experts" on split as to whether or not this is a real phenomena.

Oh but wait, maybe he's not sleeping because he was acquiring a new skill (babies and kids alike do this, I have witnessed this first hand) - he has learned to roll front to back AND back to front.  Both in the same day; today  Maybe, just maybe, he'll sleep through the night tonight.

What I am sure of is that sleep begets sleep.  His lack of good nighttime sleep is now affecting his daytime sleeping.... he is starting to get into that vicious cycle of sleep deprivation.  It is time to take action.  Wish us luck (plan of action to follow later.. as I am still working on that, but I do know consistency is going to be key.)

Monday, May 23

Bat!!!!

Turkey reminded me of this story while I was tucking him in tonight, and it's such a funny story I just had to share.

This story happened 4 years ago this August.  I was a single mom at the time, living on the 1st floor of a 2-family house with my mom and her 2nd husband, M, living above us.  Turkey was 3.5 years old and I had just started dating Husband.

Back then I didn't have any AC units, and with it being August and New England the weather was hot and muggy; so we had the windows open.  Turkey was sleeping in his room which was in the back of the house, windows open (screens in) and ceiling fan on.  I was on the phone with Husband (mind you not quiet boyfriend status then) out on my front porch.  We were just chatting, basic get to know you chit-chat that typically follows a second date.

Out of no where I hear Turkey screaming, a blood curling scream.  So I run to him as fast as any mom could; phone still in hand and on.  I open the door to his room and a bat flies out at me, buzzing my head, and then flies back into Turkey's room.  I grab Turkey and we dart out of his room, slamming the door behind us and locking the bat in.

Husband who could hear everything on the other end of the line is yelling into the phone to find out what is going on as I am screaming too.  He was ready to jump into his truck and drive out to see what was going on.  I explain to him about the bat and he offers to come and take care of it.

Meanwhile, M has burst into the apartment to see what is going on; with my mom quickly behind him.  M offers to take care of the bat; and I let Husband know everything will be taken care of.

In true Dan Aykryod and John Candy fashion via The Great Outdoors M is fighting the bat.  It was a sight to see; in my adult eyes a comical sight. Turkey however didn't quiet see it that way.

We're not really sure how the bat got into his room; perhaps one of the small holes in his screen, perhaps during the day when all the doors in the house where open.  Regardless Turkey does not like bats, nor does he like his windows being open.  If he catches them open, he insists that they be closed; no matter how hot it is.  And, to no one's surprise he does not like bats.

Wrap Me Up Tight (part 1 in a 2 part series)

Turkey should have been named Linus.  Just like Linus in Peanuts, he loves his blankets.  I mean LOVES.  When he was an infant he needed to be swaddled to sleep, and this was back in the day before all these fancy swaddling blankets with their velcro and such.  I did "cry it out" sleep training around 8 weeks (early I know, but it worked for us), and after 3 days of what seemed like hell as long as he was swaddled he slept through the night.  Once he outgrew swaddling he was good to sleep as long as he had his blanket.  This blanket went every where with us from our home in Massachusetts to Texas and back again.  Man, he loved that blanket; we called it "coon-coon".  This went on for years, until one day is disappeared (I swear I had nothing to do with that).

These days he carries around much larger blankets.  He has a few he rotates between, which is nice because I can now wash them without him freaking out.  He would take them to school if we let him.  And like Linus from Peanuts uses them instead of jackets.  

I have since learned in my reading that his desire to carry around blankets and to always be wrapped tight in them (we used to call him Bundles, because he liked to be wrapped so tight in a "baby bundle" if you will), as well as his need to sleep in small spaced and or sleep with others (human or the stuffed variety) are traits of Asperger's.  

Who would have guessed.  When I first reflected on this I somehow wondered if I helped "cause" his Asperger's by bundling him so tight to sleep.  But really Asperger's is much more complicated than just how one prefers to sleep... so now I just pat myself on the back for realizing what worked well for him from an early age.  

Monkey on the other hand is a totally different baby, and while swaddling was wonderful for the first 3+ months (what is often called the 4th trimester) I wonder if it's the way forward for us.  But more to follow on that tomorrow.

Friday, May 20

Addiction

Hi my name is.... and I have an addiction to orange sherbet.  I have for years and years, at least for the last 23 years.  Friendly's is the best, in my opinion.  But I won't turn down any.  It's good on ice cream cones or in a dish or mixed up in a drink.  It's even better with chocolate sprinkles.  And it is best eaten with hot fudge, whip cream, and chocolate sprinkles.  Seriously, I could eat it every day.... and as I sit here, finishing up a cone of orange sherbet, I wonder if I should seek help.

Wednesday, May 18

Accomplishments

I find some days when life is super hectic it helps to sit and write about what you got done - make a list.  When you look at the list of your day often times you can feel better about a day where you felt like you got nothing done.

Today was one of those days.  I was suppose to be working from home handling both boys all on my own, as Husband left to be with his mother in the hospital at 5am.  The morning started out great and I got Turkey on the bus without a problem. After that it went down hill.  Monkey was having a day.  A day of teething, which means little sleep and lots of crying and fussing nursing and all in all a cranky baby.  Add to that a pile of work to get done and general house business and planning for Monkey's baptism.

I felt like nothing was getting done and the baby hated me (both of which I know is not true).  Monkey had a much better night than a day, and was all smiles and sunshine as I was nursing him before bed, so I feel an affirmation in his love.

And now an affirmation that I did get something done today:
1) kept up with the laundry, including getting the diapers done and on the line to dry
2) washed and sterilized all the new bottles I scored of Craig's List
3) got my office work done (despite a near meltdown around 11am)
4) ran the dishwasher
5) played with Monkey, played Monkey and played with Monkey
6) took both boys on a walk and go the lowdown on Turkey's day, including very detailed instructions on how to make a Chinese paper lantern.
7) got bottles of breast milk ready for Husband for the next day
8) talked on the phone with my friend K
9) went to Baptismal class
10) and showered - granted it was after both boys went to bed but it still counts

I Survived

Yesterday was my first day back in the office from maternity leave.  I had stopped going into the office about 2 weeks before Monkey was born, before that I was only going in once or twice a week since the beginning of the year.  So I was a little nervous about going in - aside from missing my baby, worrying about pumping (man do I have a lot of stuff to haul back and forth now), how Husband would manage... I was also nervous about all the internal changes at work.  New co-workers (4 of them to meet), new rules, new procedures, where to pump in private, and the same old drama.  But in the end I survived.

My day actually went by rather quickly. It was helpful to know that today I would be working from home (unfortunately this thought will not be helpful the next 2 days because they are both office days).  Tons of time was wasted chatting my my boss and catching up on the happenings.  And then when you're pumping every 2.5 hours that really breaks up the day.

I was able to pump 18 ounces at work, 3 more than Monkey ate.  This is a good thing.  But then one of the bottles leaked all over the inside of the fridge, so I was only able to bring home 11 ounces.  Thank goodness for my huge freezer stash.

When I got home life was crazy, it's just so late and Monkey goes to bed so early, and he wanted to nurse, but then he wanted to cry and nurse and cry and nurse (poor little guy).  Not to mention Turkey needs attention and help with his homework.  And then there is this thing called dinner.  And to not make anything easier the brakes on my car went the day before, so I was driving Grandma's car and meeting with my neighbor who was fixing my car (thanks, Jen).  Husband had to go to the bank, and we had other errands to do.  The night was simply crazy.  It made the whole "going to the office" part of the day seem like the easy part.  But again, I did survive.

I'm thinking that if I keep reminding myself I survived on Tuesday I will survive without loosing it on Thursday and Friday.

Monday, May 16

Attack of the Killer Tick

Do you know what happens when a 7 year old with a bug phobia gets a tick on him?  Do you????

Your night becomes an episode of "attack of the killer tick".

After a bit of a crazy day which involved the brakes on my car failing, Turkey and I were doing his homework. We were working on an outline for his autobiography.  He's feeling around in the hair on the back of his neck, which is much longer right now than normal, and he says to me "Mom, I have a pimple and it hurts."  So I check it out, and low and behold theres a tick.  I have never seen a tick before, but I knew just what it was.

I told him to stop picking at it and that it was a tick, then I called for Husband to come and help.  Turkey has a minor freak-out... along the lines of "Ahhhh, ahhhh, it's going to suck all my blood.  Get it out.  GET IT OUT.  GET. IT. OUT. NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!"

I hold his head still, instructing him to squeeze my leg with the pain (as it was easy to pull his hair along with the tick) and Husband poured rubbing alcohol over it and removed.  With all of Turkey's screaming he got a taste of the rubbing alcohol (it ran down and around his neck).  This started more screaming... but it wasn't anything a little ice cream couldn't heal.

Turkey was fine until it was time to go shower and go to bed.  Showering resulted in a panic attack over somehow getting alcohol in his eyes.  Followed by statements like "This must be a nightmare.  This is the wrost day ever.  The tick is going to come back from the dead and find me. "  And going to bed resulted in thoughts of ticks crawling in his bed.  Poor kid... I hope tomorrow is a better day for him.

Sunday, May 15

Today

Today is Sunday May 15, 2011.  It is a day that stands for many things for me.

Today Monkey turns 3 months old.  This is a milestone for me.  3 months means we are one quarter of our way to my goal of breastfeeding for a year.  And we are half way to our goal of exclusively breastfeeding and not introducing solids (we plan on starting solids at 6 months).  Aside from being grouchy; from what appears to be some early teething, these last few days, Monkey is a gem.  Just such a sweet and happy baby.  It's hard to believe it's been 3 months already.


That being said, today also marks the very last day of my maternity leave.  Sure I've been free-lancing for my work for the last 8 weeks; but being on the clock is different.  No more working when I want to work, showering mid-morning and going for walks when I please. I am going to miss Monkey all day, but I am thankful for 12 weeks of leave (I only had 6 with Turkey) and I am thankful for the ability to work from home some (2 days a week) as well.  And as much as I had to admit it, part of me is also looking forward to going back to work.  Tapping into the other side of my personality and talents - not to mention business lunches over sushi.  I am not looking forward to the drive.  If only we lived 30 minutes closer... ok, ok, I'd be happy with 15 minutes closer.

May 15 is also my youngest brother W's birthday.  He would have been 26. We honored him by participating in the American Heart Associations charity walk today.  We formed a team with my mom, step-dad and some friends.  Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate.  Just as we were getting ready to walk the sky opened up and it started pouring, followed by thunder and lightening.  I hung back with my Turkey and Monkey (Turkey gets panicked about the weather sometimes),  and my friend KB kept us company.  It was just too wet to walk with the baby.  But everyone else plowed through... and in the end the rain let up a little and we were all entertained watching Turkey dance with my umbrella (clearly he got over his phobia).  We hope to make this a yearly event and are keeping our fingers crossed for better weather in the future.


Sigh... so much to think about today.... makes me think I should have taken a vacation week my first week back at work.  

Saturday, May 14

3 Blessing - Day 9

1. Spending time with my mom, making t-shirts for the heart walk tomorrow
2. Taking a hike with Turkey
3. Going to a breastfeeding support group with Monkey

Silent Saturday

photos brought to you by Turkey









Friday, May 13

Don't Take Me Out, aka, Getting Lost in Hadley/Amherst

I started this post a few days ago and then blogger went down on me.

Have you ever seen the commercial where the Dad keeps driving around McD's and going to the drive through window in the middle of the night because his baby is sleeping in the backseat.

That will never be us.  You know why?  Monkey hates cars.  Pure and simple.  At each pediatrician visit his doctor asks me "Is he good about his car seat?".  Like he has a choice, he needs to be in it.  Ha!!!

So on Wednesday Turkey had an appointment.  I was 5 minutes late picking him up from school, but we had plenty of time to get there.  It was about a 40 minute drive, in good traffic, to his appointment.

Note: everything is about a 40 minute drive from our house, give or take 15 minutes... this includes the grocery store, the mall, the boys' doctors, and my work (which is on the plus side of the 15 minutes).

All is going well, until we come to road work, and we get sent on a detour with no road signs.  So there we are driving through the rolling hills of Amherst/Hadley region enjoying the scenery and I have no idea where we are.  I decide to follow the car in front of me when I come to a fork in the road.

Eventually I knew where I am, but I opt to go north instead of south, as it had been a while since I traveled that road and I knew north would eventually lead me to a the route I needed.  Now mind you, there is no cell signal out here.

The next thing I know we are stuck in traffic.  Really bad traffic.  Driving where we were at that time of day was just a bad idea.  We're still miles from where we need to be, and other routes really aren't an option as we need to cross the river... so I stick it out.  Traffic sucks, we are not moving.

Monkey decides he needs to nurse and he needs to nurse NOW.  Turkey starts having "a moment " when he realizes he's late.  He hates being late and he doesn't want to miss his appointment.  Still no signal.

All of a sudden we hear ambulances coming up behind us.  How we can hear them over Monkey's cries for food is beyond me.  At that moment the decision is made to pull into Lowes and nurse Monkey.  We're already late, what's another 10 minutes right.  We see the ambulances go flying by while I nurse Monkey in the parking lot.

Off we go again, more stop and go.  No sign of an accident.  The big bridge looms ahead and we're finally driving over 20 mph... I can feel the wind in my hair.  Then we stop.  Again.  After a quick lane change to get away from all the fools heading to the interstate we are moving.

I behave while driving through downtown and don't hit any college students who step out in front of my car.

Finally we pull in front of the house for Turkey's appointment.  40 minutes late.

Turkey and Husband dash out, while I am double parked... off to find parking, that isn't a country mile away.

Sigh... if only all meetings could be handled over Skype.  (Like my appointment this morning with Turkey's therapist because she understands how cranky babies can get in the car.)

3 Blessing - Day 8

Blogger has been down on me, so no sharing a few days back dear readers....

1) Playing mini golf with Turkey
2) Mocha Moo ice cream
3) Getting a big project done for work in the morning (on time).

Mom's Milk Bar

Mom's Milk Bar - Open 24 hours... I might have to get a flashing neon sign in my bedroom.  Although really I can't complain as Monkey's been sleeping through the night for weeks now.  Last night however Monkey was up at 2am, and every hour there after to nurse (don't you love comfort nursing?).  And in the wee hours of the morning I got to thinking about how our nursing relationship has changed over the last (almost) 3 months.

My thoughts began while he was head butting me to "open up shop" and pinching my skin with his free arm; it reminded me of a blog I recently read over at "Baby Love" called "Nursing a Toddler, or, Nursing as a Contact Sport".  I figured I may be in trouble in the future, as Monkey was already proving to be a brute.

From the early days of waiting for my milk to come in, quickly followed by my days with an oversupply and learning to control it.  Way back when he was tiny, all 12 weeks ago, we could nurse in the football hold - my that was comfortable.  Now it would be like trying to nurse with a little piglet tucked under there.  He has certainly hit the distracted nursing phase of looking around all over the place and playing with my shirt and skin.  I will certainly need to invest in some nursing tops for our trips out now.

Next week we enter a new phase in our nursing relationship - nursing and pumping, when I go back to work.  Thankfully I will be home with him 2 days of the work week, and only in the office 3 days.  I hope the transition is smooth, if not I have enough milk frozen to last quiet a while.

Anyhow, Monkey now has a fever and has been cranky all day and nursing a ton.  I hope he's not getting sick.

Wednesday, May 11

3 Blessings - Day 6 oops

Last night or rather this morning around 1am, I realized I forgot to do my 3 blessings.... I see this a good thing, it means it's something that is becoming a habit.

So 3 blessings for yesterday....
1) Monkey giggling when I blew raspberries on his belly
2) A walk to the park in the sunshine
3) Being proud of Turkey when he came home from school with a good report

Tuesday, May 10

What to do?

I'm on my last week of maternity leave.  Sad isn't it?  I can't believe it's been 3 months already, Monkey is 12 weeks old today.

The house is very quiet right now.  Husband is chaperoning Turkey's field trip and Monkey is sleeping in his swing.  We just got back from a walk to the park, where we spent time on the swings.

I could be working, I've been working PT from home for the last 8 weeks.  The money would be nice, but I just don't have the focus for it.  Maybe tonight after the boys are in bed.

What else to do?  Please don't suggest a nap, I am not a napper.  I have to be sick or exhausted, preferably both to be able to nap.  Or knocked-up, which I am not, nothing makes you sleepier than the 1st trimester.

I could fold Turkey's clothes and put them away.  I could read one of the 5 books I am in the middle of reading.  I could make cookies, I love baking... but I am not in the mood.  I could mail out Turkey;s birth announcements, or the mailing for the family re-union.  I could clean off my desk (aka the dining room table), it's a mess.  I could de-clutter the living room or the bar.  I could go straighten up Monkey's room.  I could clean the bathrooms.  I could watch a movie or some trashy daytime TV.  Again, not in the mood.  I feel like a 7 year old kid (wait I have one of those) who has more toys than necessary saying how bored they are.  But I'm not bored, just unmotivated.

Maybe my baby will wake up soon and we can nurse and cuddle and play.  Now that sounds like what I want to do.

Monday, May 9

3 Blessings - Day 5

1. Was able to tackle a mountain of laundry
2. Went on a trip to get produce by myself
3. Put Monkey into his highchair for the first time, and was able to eat dinner without dropping food all over him

Sunday, May 8

3 Blessing - Day 4

1. A wonderful Mother's Day brunch with my guys, mom and step-dad
2. Seeing Monkey start using his hands and grasping toys
3. Visiting with Nana
4. Ice cream for dinner

Time Does Not Wait

Who is Nana?  Nana is Turkey's great-maternal-grandmother on his biological father's (X's) side.  Nana will not tell you her age, but by the dates on her track trophies in the basement I put her in her mid-90s.  Nana lives alone still.  She is a spit-fire.  And despite her declining health in the last few years I pray that I have her health and sanity at her age.

I used to take Turkey to see Nana religiously.  Every Friday.  We would go to dinner, go shopping, etc.  These days Nana is homebound.  A knee replacement would do her wonders, but at her age it's not worth the risk.  

Soon every Friday became once a month, and then every few months, and then we moved further from her.  This time last year I was busy with last minute wedding details, and then we had gotten word that X was battling his demons again and I didn't want to take a chance of running into him at her house.  Then we were pregnant with Monkey and one thing turned into another.  The next thing I knew it was a year since we visited.  

And when I say we, I mean we.  All of us.  Nana has welcomed Husband from the first day.  She understands how things are.  And Husband has always been so kind and helpful to Nana (he has a soft spot for old ladies).

It had been eating at me that we hadn't been to see Nana.  We needed to see her, she deserved to see Turkey, and he her.  Then a card came in the mail just last week from her, and I knew the door and her heart were still open.  She didn't hold it against us for not getting to see her as often as we did.  

So today, on Mother's Day, armed with three yellow roses and a card we went to visit.  Nana lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw Turkey.  She had gotten older and her health had declined, but she was the same old Nana.  Insisting on us having a soda, keeping her straws in the dishwasher and Oreos in the oven, insisting we take shrimp and deviled eggs home.  She was thrilled to meet Monkey, so happy that Turkey had a brother.  He needed a brother she told us.  



It was as if a year hadn't passed, everything was good.  But I can see how the year has changed her, how she has grown and I feel ashamed of myself for not getting there sooner with Turkey.  Time doesn't wait for me to have more time, it just doesn't happen that way.  I can promise you it will not be another year or months between visits.  We will be part of her life, I cannot let time get away from me again.

Saturday, May 7

3 Blessings - Day 3

1. Paying $3.57 a gallon for gas
2. Having people tell you how much they enjoy your blog
3. Both boys napping at the same time

and I actually have more today....
4. getting the letter from the church confirming Monkey's baptism date
5. movie time with Husband
6. snuggles from Turkey

Mother's Day Thoughts

My friend over at The Good Witch of the South earlier wrote the most amazing and moving blog post about Mother's Day.  And it really got me thinking, and while I don't plan on copying her blog post, I wanted to share how Mother's Day has evolved for me, since becoming a mom.  (Because what "mommy blog" would be complete without thoughts on Mother's Day.)

My 1st Mother's Day, Monkey was just a little older than Turkey is right now.  My X surprised me in the morning with a mother-child pendant.  Since X had to work I went to brunch with my mom, X's grandma, my grandma (my mom's mom) and an aunt (and Turkey of course).  And thus my Mother's Day brunch tradition was born.



My 2nd Mother's Day found me as a newly single-mom.  It was certainly a turbulent time in my life, that year I went to brunch with just my mom, and it was a far scaled back version to the previous year.

After that my mom moved half-way across the country, but I still went to brunch with my X's gradma and spent time with my grandma.  (And Turkey of course).

When Husband came into the picture he took over the Mother's Day preparation duties. And Mother's Day became a holiday with mushy poems from Turkey (created at preschool / school), chocolates and flowers from Husband (and might this is his first Mother's Day at Husband status, but he did a great job as boyfriend and fiancĂ©e), and BRUNCH.

Do you see a pattern here?

So this is my first Mother's Day with 2 little ones.... my two guys.  And I still have the sweater Turkey wore 7 years ago.... hhhmmmm.... wonder what the weather will be like and if Monkey can wear it tomorrow.  My first Mother's Day was wet and cold.

Tomorrow we'll go to brunch, at my new favorite brunch spot with my mom and step-dad.  Then off to see all the other important moms in our lives.

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

Friday, May 6

3 Blessings - Day 2

I am focusing on the positive (despite an off day)...

My 3 Blessings today are:
1) A surprise giftcard from a work contact for Outback
2) Being able to work from home 2 days a week (when my maternity leave is over)
3) Eating a Little Debbie Marshmallow Supreme 

Crying and Asperger's

Aspie children often have a hard time with emotions and emotional control.  For Turkey this gets manifested in two different ways - rage and crying.  Thankfully they rarely happen at the same time.  And thankfully crying is the more dominant trait; rage can be very dangerous physically. 

The tears come out all the time, several times a day at home and at school.  You know that line in "A Christmas Story" when the BB hit Ralphie and he says "Quickly I whipped up some tears." That's Turkey (not in the why to cry but in the how).  

Turkey will cry because he can't find something (and that something is more often than not right in front of him or in his pocket), cry because it's not his turn to be line leader at school, cry because he forgot his lunchbox on the playground and can not go get it immediately, cry because he made a choice and doesn't like it 5 minutes later, cry because he's hungry, cry because he's tired, cry because there is a ladybug in his room, cry because his brother is crying and it's too loud... do I need to go on, I think you see where I am going.

I suppose there would be less crying if he wasn't always loosing things, and we're working on his "executive skills" as they are called; but we are no where we need to be.

Turkey has a hard time making and keeping friends because of the crying and I often fear others (adults) may see him as a cry baby.  And I suppose if it was 40 or even 20 years ago, he would be labeled a cry baby (as Asperger's wasn't recognized back then).  But he is not a cry baby; he's just a 7 year old with Asperger's trying to figure things out... and we'll get there.  It's important not to criticize the crying, as it makes them feel like there is something wrong with them for crying.  So for now, we'll listen to the crying and work on his organization skills, and be thankful that rage (while present) is not dominate.  

Thursday, May 5

Three Blessings

Today while at yet another specialist appointment for Turkey I read an article, a blurb really, on the principle of "three blessings".  The article stated that most of us are trained to look at the negative and that this focus on the negative forces us by default to focus on what can and will go wrong.  In order to correct this problem everyday, for at least a week, you need to count your blessings.  At least three of them (more is ok).  You should do this at the end of the day.  Further on-line research when I got home provided a little more insight about meditating on the blessing before bed to help with your dreams and stating why these things happened to you.  Your blessings can be large or small (such as noticing a beautiful flower).  Eventually the "three blessings" will have such an affect on your thinking that you see yourself as a person good things happen to.

I've decided I could use some change in thinking, and so tonight dear reader starts my first of three blessings.

I started thinking about my blessings before writing this blog post and I found myself only counting general ones (good health for my sons, nice weather, etc)... but I think I have found my three blessings for today.

1) Had a wonderful early afternoon nursing session with Monkey, full of smiles and tummy rubs
2) Enjoyed a beer and popcorn with Husband
3) Looked at and enjoyed how big my strawberry plants were getting

(I've think I will do the why's next week once I get better and into more of a rhythm of this exercise.)

Good Manners

The other night I was leading Turkey's den meeting (although I am not technically the den leader until the end of this month), and I set out on a mission.  The mission - The Good Manners Belt Loop.



Belt loops are something Cub Scouts can earn by completing three requirements as set forth by the national headquarters.  There are belt loops in two main areas academics and sorts.  The Good Manners one fell into the academics areas.  The three requirements to be completed where 1) make a poster showing/telling 5 good manners, 2) introduce two people correctly, with at least one of them being an adult and 3) write a thank you note.  This seemed like a piece of cake, so armed with Turkey's copy of Dude That's Rude (Get Some Manners) off we went.

And while I wasn't expecting the boys to come out of the den meeting proper little gentlemen that lifted their pinkie finger while sipping tea; I had expected a little more.  I was a little embarrassed, dare I say, by how few manners the boys could tell me about.  Even Turkey was quieter than he normally was (maybe their silence was them practicing good manners); and when I did ask him for examples of manner and what to do in certain situations he quoted his book (at least now I know he's read it).  And it's not like these boys lack manners - they are all very polite, listen well, help with set-up and clean-up.  Maybe it was just because they were surrounded by other 7 year old boys, not wanting to look like goodie two shoes and all that.

But in the end they started to pull it all together - once they started making the cards.  Maybe it was the craft aspect of it.  Maybe it was because a lot of them made cards for the former den leader.  Maybe it was their parents prodding... but in the end they did it.  And showed me the polite boys I know they are.

Wednesday, May 4

Heart Walk

My brother W passed away on March 23, 2009.  He was 23.  He died of Heart Disease.

The 2011 Pioneer Valley Heart Walk is on May 15.  This is W's birthday.  Fitting isn't it?  My mother has started a team to walk in his honor.  So Husband, Turkey, Monkey and I will be joining her.

If you would like to sponsor me and my guys please feel free.  You can donate on-line, or if you prefer to donate in person please let me know.

Click here to be re-directed to the American Heart Assoc. page to donate.   I'm registered under Kate Nadeau.

Thanks in advance.  You can read more about my brother here.

Tuesday, May 3

Dusk

Last night I was laying in bed nursing Monkey, it was right before his bedtime.

The shade in the bedroom was mostly drawn, allowing just enough light into the bedroom to create a soft and dreamy feel.

As I lay there cradling Monkey in my arm, I was struck by just how big he has gotten.  Today he turns 11 weeks old.  Where has the time gone, it seems just like yesterday we were wondering if he was ever going to come.

That being said if the last 11 weeks have flown by, how would I describe the last 7 years since Turkey was born.  Words can't seem to do justice, it's like it flew by but at the same time it crept by.  A good reminder to make sure every day means something.

Monday, May 2

Having a 7 Year Old Means

Having a 7 year-old means...

  • finding cupcake wrappers on your bathroom floor
  • finding Lego pieces just about everywhere - the laundry, your purse, the freezer
  • creating box forts for the 7 year-old to sleep in for weeks on end
  • constant reminders for hygiene - wash your face, arms, brush your teeth, wipe your butt
  • being surprised when they take a shower completely on their own, without you asking
  • some nights reading stories to them
  • other nights having them read stories to you
  • crazy outfits - just because (and taking a picture because they think they look good)
  • giving back rubs - several times a day
  • constantly helping find something that is right under their nose
  • preparing for his Cub Scout meeting - because you just "have" to be the leader
  • rock collections - and him washing the rocks in your bathroom sink
  • learning how to ride a bike - even if it still has training wheels
  • finding things taken apart and little screws, springs, washers all over his bedroom floor
  • video games - that he'll play alone or except you to play with him and except you to be good at
  • wondering how his t-shirt ended up in the freezer
  • tripping over just about every toy you could ever imagine
  • hearing more and more about Legos and Starwars and Lego Starwars then you ever thought possible, and feigning interest
  • getting bouquets of dandelions (even if they do make you sneeze) because they are beautiful
  • teaching them how to make the perfect snowball and snowball fights
  • means killing bugs for the 7 year-old because stinkbugs and ladybugs are scary
  • watching info-mercials with them, because sometimes that's the best thing on TV they want to watch
  • sometimes not getting hugs and kisses before they leave, because girls have cooties
  • and it means sometimes getting "the world's biggest hug" just because you're the mom



Please note - actual results may very.  Your seven year old may differ.  

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