Monday, November 15, 2010

Enough Whining..

Do you ever have those days when no matter how patient you are trying to be with your children you just want to scream "Oh for crying out loud! Quit your whining!!" I kinda feel like that with myself lately. And if I feel like that, I am sure you do, too. The fact is, we really have tried to make the best of it through my ickies.

Marin and I have frequently gone out to lunch together at Panera because I couldn't handle the thought of having to make and clean up lunch. Plus, for some reason I am totally okay with going there wearing a big coat with my pj's hidden underneath. Marin goes crazy for the yogurt that you can squeeze right into your mouth and the milk disguised as a juice box. Plus, she and I equally love the mac and cheese there, so what she doesn't eat, I always finish.

We have been going to the home Illinois games, although it is an ordeal and a lot of time in the car is seriously hard on my stomach so we skipped this last week. One week my father in law gave Marin, myself, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law and my nephew tickets to the 77 club, which are the fanciest seats in the stadium, located inside. It is set up like a large box, but it's an entire section. There is free food and drinks and leather chairs and the bathroom is marble. Seriously different than Jason and my seats in the horseshoe with the epic bathroom lines tucked between the hot dog stands. It was fancier than any sporting event seats I have ever sat in anywhere, and was packed to the brim with local and Chicago celebrities. There were some very fancy men in front of us wearing sport coats (not the usual sweatshirt and jeans at a football game crowd). About half way through, Marin accidentally flung her apple sauce all over the shoulder of one of the fancy sport coat snoots in front of us. I was mortified and apologized profusely telling him, "I'm so sorry; she's not yet even two.", as if that would excuse her shaky hands. I'm sure he was thinking "what is your not yet two year old doing with a $200 ticket?!" The answer is that if you're under two you're free, but he didn't care. As if that weren't bad enough my maternal instincts kicked in and I literally scooped the applesauce off his shoulder with my finger. Ew. I don't think he was impressed. About an hour later Marin got excited about a touchdown and threw a bouncy ball right at the same gentleman's head. Luckily it missed them, but they knew immediately that the ball was coming from us as they begrudgingly bent down to retrieve the ball and return it to me with a half stern, half smiled face. I don't have any pictures from this particular day because I forgot my camera. Maybe that was for the better.

Speaking of the Illini- Marin is in love. She wants to read her Illini books, wear the clothing, and every time she sees football on tv she yells (and I mean yells), "Daddy, Llini!!" She knows to hold both hands above her head when there is a touchdown, and she ooos and aahs her way through every game, whether she is in the stadium or watching from home.

Marin loved helping her daddy rake the leaves in the yard this fall. Lucky for Marin, it seemed like there were always plenty to rake. And Marin decided that the broom did just as good a job as the rake. In Geneva, we just have to rake all the leaves to the curb and the city comes by and sucks them up. Marin loved watching that process just as much as the raking. "Oooo! Bg Tuck!", she'd say (meaning big truck).

One exciting thing is that Jason has a new job, that allows him to work from home most days. We have loved having him home more and having breakfast and lunch together almost every day! He was in New York on business last week, so Marin and I headed over to my parents house to take advantage of some extra hands. One day, we made cookies together. Marin loved measuring out the ingredients- scooping the flour and the sugar into the measuring cups and leveling them off- as well as eating the end result!

When Jason came home Marin was sure to give her daddy extra love.

So see, it's not all so bad. I'll stop whining... for now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

This Is How We Do It

I know; Montell Jordan called from 1995 and he wants his song back. Still, it's a good jam. It reminds me of cruising the town in high school with all the windows down. But I digress....

14 weeks pregnant and still not over the hump. I was sick with Marin until 17 weeks, but I was not this sick at this point. It makes me wonder if I'm going to be sicker longer this time around, or if I'm just going to be more sick for the same amount of time. The good news is that I have about 75% of my energy back. I'm getting out of my pj's before noon, I tackled the insane pile of laundry (nine loads later), and I actually picked up three months worth of acquired clutter strewn from corner to corner of our house. But I'm still getting sick morning, noon and night. It's better, but not over.

So you might be wondering, how do you do it? Good question. Staying home with Marin means she is my full time job. No longer can I sit at my desk in quiet "pretend I'm working" peace for a few minutes if I need to keep from getting sick. And as Marin nears two, she wants little to do with sitting still all day long just because mommy asks nicely. So how do I do it? Here's the answer: very poor parenting.

I'm not proud, but I have caught myself giving in to the "oh whatever" feeling more times than I know I should have. You want candy? "Oh whatever." Your hair hasn't been brushed all day? "Oh whatever." We have introduced TV before I said I would. One day I discovered that Sesame Street was a whole hour long, and I was thrilled that Marin sat there for every minute. She sat next to me on the couch and I fell half asleep for the whole stinking hour. Amazing. I have served yesterdays dinner for today's lunch one too many times- for one too many days in a row. And when all she ate was apple sauce for lunch I told her "Good job Marin; Are you ready for your nap?" When I realized that in the event of a fire I'd save Jason, Marin, the dog, and the microwave, I thought it time I back off the reheat. And when Marin started saying "Elmo" as clear as day, I thought it time we go back to reading more of our books.

Also key to my arsenal are my parents. Many days they have appeared at my house like little angels minus the white fluffy wings. They have brought food on demand, or out of the blue. They've whisked Marin away to Grandma and Grandpa land where she plays non stop (and I sleep for hours), and they have done laundry. One night early on, I called my dad and said, "I feel like chicken noodle soup." In about four minutes flat, he was at our house, chopping up carrots and celery and chicken and boiling it all for me in a pot. We had homemade chicken noodle soup for days.

I am getting better. In fact, all of these days are far behind us now (happy sigh). I am taking medicine that they give to chemo patients, and it is does help most of the time. And slowly but surely we're getting back to our old days of walks and trips to the park and play dates. Soon I'll be 100%. In the meantime, this is how we do it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Giving Nemo a Run for His Money!

We're getting spoiled. Like last year, Auntie Molly volunteered to make Marin her Halloween costume. Of course, in typical Molly fashion, she completely out did herself. She totally designed the whole thing without a pattern and made it adorable, functional and honestly, the cutest costume of the night. And don't think she just threw this thing together. She worked on it for months. The extra details and touches that she included are extraordinary.

Marin is obsessed with fish. So of course she had to be a fish for Halloween. I'll let the pictures do the talking here, but they don't even do it justice. When she ran, all the little fins wiggled and bounced and the tail swayed from side to side. Nemo better watch his back. There's a new fish in town, and if you ask her mama, she's even cuter.

We had a great Halloween kicked off by a breakfast out at our favorite spot down the street. Never mind that I threw my swedish pancakes up in the bushes at the bank on the way home- we still had a great time! That afternoon, Auntie Molly stopped by to see Marin in action. And after a trip to Grandma and Grandpas to kick off trick or treating, that evening we went to a party at our neighbors house where we all had dinner together and then all went trick or treating together (road sodas for the (non pregnant) adults!). It was adorable. And hands down the very best way to do trick or treating. Kids say the most hilarious things, and I think it is only amplified when they are all together. After our buckets were full and the little ones feet were getting tired, we headed back to our neighbors for a night cap and some more Halloween crafts for the kids.

Marin really got into trick or treating this year, saying "trick treat" at each door, and then "tank too" after she was handed her candy. Then she'd bolt of at lightning speed to catch up to her friends at the next door. It was one of those priceless moments you imagine when you picture what it will be like to have children. Such a fun night. I've said it before and I'll say it again. We feel like the luckiest family in the world to have landed on this street filled with the very best neighbors on the planet.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Number 2 FAQ!

When I was pregnant with Marin I found that I was asked a lot of questions, and most of them were generally the same questions. My solution last time was the Baby Patterson FAQ. It seemed a hit at the time, so I decided to "Play it Again, Sam" using the same questions.

Without further ado, Number 2 FAQ!

1. Q: When are you due?
A: May 9th

2. Q: Are you going to find out whether you are having a boy or a girl?
A: No. We didn't find out with Marin, either. And, while I admit that the waiting was a bit torturous (especially near the end) it made the day she was born a million times more exciting than Disney World when you're six. Jason was the first to tell me that Marin was a girl, and I hope that as long as I live, I never ever forget the look on his face when he turned to me and said with stars and tears in his eyes, "It's a girl!!!" Hands down, the greatest moment of my whole life. I have never been so in love with two people ever as I was at that moment. And right then and there I knew that I'd never find out ahead of time again.

There is one small change that I want to make from last time. After Marin was under the warming table and he'd taken pictures, Jason went to the waiting room to relay the news to or family. I wish I had their reactions on film. So this time, I'm going to beg Jason to take a video camera to the waiting room to catch their reactions. It may take me the remaining six months of my pregnancy to convince him of this, but I think he'll cave.

3. Q: Are the future grandparents so excited?
A: Clearly. My mom and I have the same excitable nature, so she's going cookoo for sure. My dad and Jason's are more calm, but equally excited. My mother in law left us a message after we broke the news singing "Rock a bye Baby" so I think its safe to say that everyone is anxious to meet the new bundle.

4. Q: How are you feeling?
A: Dead and totally out of it. Like I fell asleep in the mid 90's and just woke up. I haven't talked to my friends since at least the year 2000, it seems. At this rate, I may not have any left by the time the baby is born. I dare say that I feel worse than I did with Marin. But I may not totally remember correctly, and I didn't have to chase a toddler around when I was pregnant with Marin either. So, its all relative.

5. Q: Where will you deliver?
A: As it stands now, Delnor in Geneva. It is 3 minutes away during the busiest part of the day, so convenience is key there. My doctor also practices at Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) which is only about 20 minutes from our house. That hospital is a little bit bigger, and connected directly with Children's Memorial Hospital, so if things look like they might be more difficult, I might decide to deliver there. Chances are though, as things stand now, I will deliver at Delnor. It's a great hospital and almost all of my friends from high school were born there, so they have a long history of delivery babies and I know I'm in good hands.

6. Q: Have you begun thinking about names?
A: Since about 2 minutes after I read the word "pregnant" on the stick. We had some reserved names that we liked from my first pregnancy, so we've brought those back to the table and have added a few more, too. We're keeping the final selections a surprise, so that's another thing you'll have to wait on. I know, we're mean. My mom literally can't stand this.

7. Q: Do you think you will try to deliver naturally or have an epidural?
A: I've said it before, but it bares repeating: As far as I'm concerned, if you deliver naturally you should be sainted. It just is not for me. I had an epidural with Marin and I was literally laboring while playing Skipbo with Molly, Jake and Katy. Um, yes please. I like it where I can feel pressure, but no pain. Although I do admit, being temporarily paralyzed from the waist down is a tad terrifying for a few minutes. Still, all you have to feel is one insane contraction to know that it is crazy, overbearing, excruciating pain that seriously needs some drugs to get through.

When I was contracting with Marin (before I had the epidural) my mom asked me what the contractions felt like. I told her that it felt like some monster with steak knife spiked hands ran at my stomach with all their force, jammed their hand into my stomach, stabbing as hard as they could, and then squeezed my insides and twisted at the same time, and then held it like that for a minute. I'm glad she asked me to describe it in words, because that right there is enough of a reminder to opt yes for the epidural- even knowing that it comes at the cost of a 3 foot needle inserted at the base of your spine. So worth it.

8. Q: Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?
A: I want exactly what I wanted with my pregnancy with Marin: a healthy baby. I love having a brother, so I'd love for Marin to have a brother, and I always wanted a sister, so I'd love for Marin to have a sister. If we have a girl, we have all the stuff and it'll be our second time at the rodeo. If we have a boy, it will fulfill Jason's last chance to carry on the Patterson name (he is the last hope at a male Patterson). I just want 10 fingers and 10 toes, or as Jason says, "9 toes would be fine, too. "

9. Q: Do you have a feeling about the gender one way or the other?
A: Before I knew I was pregnant, I had a dream that I was pregnant with a boy. Otherwise, everything else seems just like my pregnancy with Marin. So sometimes I think its a boy, sometimes I think its a girl. The heart was beating pretty quickly, which makes me think girl. Jason thinks it's a girl.

10. Q: Are you nervous?
A: This time I am way more nervous about the pregnancy and the birth than I am about what to do after the baby gets here. With Marin I was mostly nervous about how to be a good mother, and how to raise her to be respectful. I think I am at least a little more confident in my child rearing now to not worry so much about that, and I am more focused on all that went on during the delivery that freaked me out. Also, my body is doing strange things. I must have noticed these before, but they all seem new. I'm constantly wondering, "Is this normal?" Some is and some isn't. The baby and I are totally healthy so I need to just relax. But it has resulted in me feeling a little more skiddish with this pregnancy than with the last.

And now a few additional FAQ's since the addition of Marin:
11. Q: What does Marin think?
A: She loves to kiss my belly and say "baby!" She definitely has no idea that there is another human (attention steeling) being coming to live in our home forever, but we have been talking a lot about "our family" and are sure to include baby, so hopefully we're laying a foundation. When we ask her if she thinks the baby is a girl baby or a boy baby, she is firm on "gwl" (girl).

12. Q: They say you go earlier in subsequent deliveries than in your first. Was Marin born on time?
A: Marin was born four days early. If this baby is also born four days early it will be born on Cinco de Mayo. Jason says that if its born on Cinco de Mayo its 21st birthday will be crazy. I say its 21st birthday will probably be crazy no matter what month it's born. But I do anticipate going in the beginning of May.

13. Q: How far apart will the babies be?
A: Assuming I go full term, 27 months.

14. Q: You had a lot of people at Marin's delivery. Do you want that many this time, too?
A: You betcha. I hope everyone will want to come this time around just as badly as they did when Marin was born. At Marin's delivery were: Auntie Molly and Uncle Bri, my mom and dad, Jason's dad, Aunt Lindsay, Uncle Jake and Aunt Katy, and Aunt Vee and Uncle Bob. It was just Jason and I in the room when she was born, but it meant the world to Jason and I to have everyone there for support. It really helped keep the day moving along for me, and it was fun to be able to tell everyone right away and to have them meet her right away. In the room after she was born were the most important people in her life, and I just think there is no better way to welcome a child into the world.

Monday, November 1, 2010

(Almost) Back in the Saddle...

I am slowly coming alive. After being sick all day every day for nearly 60 days now, I am slowly but surely getting my energy back and becoming human again. Don't get me wrong, my house is still a mess, my laundry is still stacked up in record breaking heights. But I am throwing up in fewer public places, managing to peel myself from my sheets in the morning in almost one piece, and have even ventured off the couch a few times. Yesterday I wore makeup and almost didn't recognize myself.

60 days is a long time to be sick. Think about that s-i-x-t-y days of basically the flu. That is a sentence three times as long as any that Lindsay Lohan has actually served. Next time she gets a DUI or they have to haul her out of some club, they should just shoot her full of pregnancy hormones and see how hot she feels then. She'll be begging for rehab then.

I'm keeping my eye on the reward here, and with each week that passes, it is starting to feel more and more real. There is going to be another little baby in our house in just six months. I can't wait. Marin is goo-goo for babies lately too. We've been talking about them a lot, and she's pointing them out wherever we go by saying loudly and proudly, "baby!" I got to hold a baby on Saturday; it did a pregnant body good. Every hormone was working on overdrive. I can't WAIT for our little bity snuggly new baby smelling bundle of everything wonderful.