Friday, June 26, 2009

Night and Day

It never ceases to amaze me just how different my boys are. How they could have been born of the same parents and lived under the same roof, yet act so completely different truly is amazing. Nature vs Nurture doesn't stand a chance in this scenario. Its alllll about Nature.

Raph is my shy, quiet, cautious, empathetic, environmentalist vegan. Colin is my bold, loud, wild, daring carnivore. Raph will make your ears bleed with the unending train of thought that automatically comes from his mouth. Colin will just fill the void with random noises usually at high decibels. He doesn't feel the need to learn as many words because he's too busy doing.

Consequently, Raph is becoming more daring since Colin has joined our family. Raph was the toddler who would yell at neighbor kids that they were riding their bikes too fast. Or would would yell at the Hell's Angel on his Harley next to us at a stop light that he needed to be more careful. (Maybe he doesn't have some daring in him after all...) Then once Colin came onto the scene and started becoming mobile he started climbing. Raph would watch in horror as this *baby* was climbing chairs/couches/cabinets/ladders. Not to be outdone by his BABY brother Raph has stepped it up and gone outside his comfort zone. He will now climb trees and hang from tall things and jump off of couches. Even if Colin isn't quite big enough yet, that will never stop him from trying to one up his big brother.

Here Colin is slapping Raph's belly yelling "BODY!" Read: Baby

Raph is very sweet to his brother and lets Colin climb all over him. Then when he gets tired of it pushes him onto the floor like any self-respecting older sibling would do. Colin falls with a thud, grunts and gets right back up on top of Raph. Usually someone ends up crying but more often than not its Raph because Colin is abusing him again.

With food Raph is vegan by default. He can't have milk or egg and doesn't eat meat (except for the occasional Mc Donald's chicken nugget). Colin won't eat veggies but will gnaw on barbecued chicken on the bone with glee. Raph just kind of looks at him with disgust and maybe a hint of horror as Colin smears his face and arms with barbecue sauce and talks about bones.

Raph eating his barbecue meat please.

Colin happily gnawing on chicken and pops up now and then to say, "Bones! Mama."

For all their differences they do share some endearing qualities. They both have a sense of humor that became apparent even as babies. They got a double shot of the smart ass gene so you sort of expect that trait to have become prominent. They are ridiculous flirts and will pick out the prettiest woman in the room and make her smile, laugh and coo. Raph was recently teased by his uncles for 'checking a girl out'. He did a total up and down look at a pretty woman at a restaurant. Raph says in true man form, "What? I was just lookin'." They have both have *girlfriends* (yes that's plural because why stop with just one?) at school and usually they are the most precocious and adorable girls in the class. They are both silly and sweet and love their family and each other. I am proud of my boys and everything that they have become...but slightly terrified of what they will be like as teenagers. Mike says he's starting a bail fund for Colin now, but Raph will be able to talk his way out of any trouble that he may get into. I swear that boy can find a loophole in any situation...Colin will just head butt someone and then take his girl without spilling his beer.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Confessions of a frequent flyer

Once when I was pregnant with Raph I remember hearing the term "frequent flyer". It wasn't in the context of a business traveler but of the women who frequently fly to their OB's office for every little thing. I never wanted to be one of those women. I would be respectful of the practice, their free time and abuse of my insurance. I would only call my OB if there was a real problem. Yes I would call and ask the nurse a question now and then, but that's why they are there. I think that's different than flying to Labor and Delivery or exaggerating symptoms to get a pity appointment.

Now, that said, I'm a frequent flyer but not in the attention whore sort of way. I am a frequent flyer out of necessity. I have never once had a boring pregnancy and I have all sorts of *issues* that come up of the course of the pregnancy. With Raph's pregnancy things were fairly calm, aside from that one day I had vertigo so badly I fell down, threw up and passed out. Or that unexplainable full body itch without a rash that may or may not be some serious liver disease. It was not, I was just itchy. Then of course the day I went into labor came and I was unsure if I should call. I didn't want to be that person. I waited and then I felt I just had to call and go in. Sure enough I was having contractions every 5 minutes and I was whisked away to Labor and Delivery to stop them. After you have preterm labor you get put on bedrest but you constantly have to get up to make all those appointments and have all those tests run. Those are doctor's orders, not by choice. Believe me I'd rather not have thrice weekly appointments.

When I was pregnant with Colin I was a train wreck. I was always having some sort of problem. Random bleeding? Yep, that was the most common reason for my trips to Labor and Delivery. Of course this never happens during regular office hours so you have to go to L&D. We had a pattern, every other Wednesday night I was off to L&D. I got to the point where I'd tell Mike, "Oh let's just wait its almost shift change. We'll go after shift change so we don't have to start over with a new nurse." We'd walk up to the desk and they knew my name. I felt like Norm on "Cheers".

When I went into labor with Colin I was about to take Raph to his 3 year old check up. I knew I'd be put on bedrest and rescheduling that appointment would take time and so I just took him to his appointment. I sat uncomfortably contracting as my pediatrician talked about his development and we were out of there. As we left the pediatrician's office I called my OB to tell them I was on my way. Who doesn't want to go to L&D for preterm labor with a 3 yr old in tow? He was entertained by the TV, some cars and the fact that Mommy was getting shots! Then he spilled his juice all over the floor and I couldn't get out of bed so the nurses had to clean it up. Not only was I frequent flyer but I brought small children that made messes.

With this pregnancy I've had my moments of random bleeding (again) and other things that require emergency double mileage point doctor visits. I should be able to fly first class for free at this point. I've earned enough points to get the red carpet at Labor and Delivery right? Platinum elite status thank-you-very-much.

Yesterday morning I woke up with cramps and contraction. Contractions are nothing new. I have a cranky uterus after all, but the cramps? That's something else entirely. I did the usual things: drinking water, peeing, resting, moving around etc. I finally gave in and called the doctor's exchange. Naturally my OB is out of town and the other partner had surgery all day. Know what that means? You guessed it, a quick flight to L&D.

I waited for my mother-in-law to come sit with the boys then I drove over to the hospital and walked up to the desk. "Can I help you?" See, its been a couple years and they've forgotten me! I told them my name, 26 weeks, contractions and cramps. They take me to my room, hook me to monitors and get my history. There is a glimmer of recollection in the nurse's eyes and she says, "Did you have your boys here? Was I your nurse before?" Awww, they DO remember me! I go through my history and explain all my previous visits and they watch me.

No contractions. Are you #@%$@ kidding me?! They said something about my belly being too small (that's a first) to hold both monitors the right way so maybe they just aren't being picked up by the monitor. So I wait. I watch tv, make phone calls, field jokes about how I really just wanted a day off to myself and look at the stupid flat line on the monitor. I get a visit from the staff OB who does the FFN test (you know, the test to see if you will go into labor in the next 2 weeks? What? Never had that test done before? Tisk, tisk, you must fly coach.) and a pelvic. YEAH! Everyone loves a pelvic! Good news is that all my tests came back negative, no contractions picked up on the monitor and I'm not dilated. I felt the need to repeatedly tell the nurse that I've NEVER come in and not had a problem before. She was kind and smiled but probably rolled her eyes when she turned around. My cervix was soft so they recommended pelvic rest and suggested I have words with my baby girl and tell her to stop it.

In all my trips to L&D and my numerous calls and extra appointments at my OB I have never felt like a true frequent flyer...until yesterday. My OB's partner came in between surgeries to see me and said that it was good that I called and came in, especially given my history, but part of me feels like they just but a little red star next to my name in my chart. Be careful of this one...she'll be back.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Everyone talks about nesting whilst pregnant. With Raph I never nesteded. I got put on bedrest too soon and it nearly ate me alive that I couldn't do. With Colin it seemed nesting came sooner, as did bedrest and Colin. I did have enough time to nest a little before he was born. I remember one afternoon I was standing on the counter top in the kitchen (tisk tisk I know) and Raph looked up at me, "MOMMY! What are you doing? You need to get down from there!"
He was right. I had no business standing on counter tops but I just had to clean the top cabinet...inside and out.

This pregnancy I think I've been nesting the whole time. I just have to do one more thing. I don't always finish them, so there in lies the problem. I'm about 90% finished painting my sunroom. Yes I know, there I go standing on tall things with a big belly. But I really really just needed that done. It was as if the burnt orange was offending my delicate senses every time I looked in that general direction. I just needed that changed right. now. Oh and spray paint the wicker furniture too.
Other things in the house have me manic. I have to clean random things, my pantry is appaulling, my closet needs order, I must buy and sort baby girl clothes, I must buy baby gifts for friends' babies, I must buy Raph's uniforms for the fall NOW and I look around my house and all I see is disorder. I will go and go on this and that. Make grand, unattainable plans to get a multitude of things done then run out of steam...because I am 25 weeks pregnant...then get upset because I didn't finish *that one thing*.

In the midst of all this disordered organization I haven't master food. I am at a loss every single day. I have no idea what to make for dinner, what to buy and what to plan for. I have grand plans for stocking my freezer with meals...yet I can't get past tonight's meal. Its a good thing my kids will eat the same thing every night without complaint. Mike on the other hand just keeps quiet and eats what I make. I begrudgingly put together semi-balanced meals only to realize I have to do it all over again tomorrow. Like right now. I was going to make a grocery list for this afternoons trip to the store. Instead I found this pretty background for my blog and decided it needed an updated post. Excellent use of my time, no?

I've started buying diapers for the baby. I can't stop myself. Its silly really but I just need to have some diapers in wee bitty sizes. I have clothes but no socks. I really must buy socks for this baby her feet will get cold. I think part of this manic need to ready myself for this baby has to do with the fact that I will in all likelihood end up on bedrest and have an early baby. I never really know when that might pop up so I have to get on it. NOW! I think I'm doing well and will quietly sort towels in the closet or shampoo bottles in the bathroom then I get those damn nagging contractions. Fridays come around again and so do the cramps and the butt shots. They are my reminder that the baby's arrival is coming sooner and sooner. That kicks my need to sort, clean and organize into high gear for the weekend. Only problem with that is the butt shots make me tired. That leg dragging, how-can-I-go-on fatigue that you only experience while pregnant. That increases my frustration and my desire to make really long unattainable lists of things to do.

Now...I really must go to the grocery store and sort Raph's toys...