#WeekendCoffeeShare: Soccer, Spring Cleaning, and Origami


Good evening, coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers. This has been a pretty busy weekend, so I’m behind on the post I intended to write yesterday afternoon (although I now have more to write about), as well as blog reading, commenting, and then minor household crap like sweeping and folding the laundry. (We all know that the household crap can wait.) 

Since I’m sure you’re wondering what I’ve been so busy with, I’ll tell you: soccer, soccer, soccer. Okay, only a little of it was soccer. Little Man had a soccer game yesterday, and his team won 2-0. Little Man spent half of the game at midfield and half on offense. He loves playing midfielder, but isn’t a fan of playing on offense, although he (quite maturely) said, “I might not like it, but I’ll play where I’m needed.” He did well at both spots and is super excited about the next game. He has become intensely interested in it this season, which has been nice to see! (Can you tell this paragraph was mainly a way to get a parent brag in?)

After soccer yesterday, we got a start on our spring cleaning, which meant cleaning out the kids’ clothes drawers and stuff. We also went through all of Baby Girl’s clothes that were in storage and packed up everything that didn’t have sentimental value to give away.


BG’s preemie onesie vs. outfit for now.

The little preemie clothes were killing my ovaries. “Must have another baby!” they shouted at me and Sam, but Sam wasn’t hearing it and told them to piss off.


The cleaning out extended into today, when we focused mostly on Little Man’s room, which has looked especially rough since getting half a toy story between Christmas and his birthday last month (despite getting rid of stuff before the holidays). He has done okay with keeping stuff out of his floor, but that meant piling toys up on every surface. On top of that, there were all of his collections, some of which needed to go, such as the fruit seeds collection. Thankfully there was no “dead bugs collection” this time.


After we finished cleaning LM’s room, LM and I worked on his school project. This semester, Little Man had to select a topic that relates to Japan or India and do a report about the topic, as well as come up with a costume and include an interactive presentation. After some discussion, he decided on origami. That sounded easy enough, until we actually tried origami together.


Some of our attempts.

Little Man is just like me in some ways, which means his brain shuts down when there’s instructions overload.

folding-an-origami-crane_o_1191555I found a couple origami projects intended for preschoolers, and Little Man and I both were able to complete them. Whew! We’ve been working on putting together a PowerPoint presentation on origami, which has meant doing fun stuff like research. We finished it today, so the only thing left is practicing delivering the presentation.

That’s about it for my weekend. Do tell me about yours!

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Diana at Part-Time Monster.


That’s Not Dinner Table Material

Tonight Little Man and I had another mommy-son date night. We went for dinner and a movie again. Well, movie and a dinner, since we caught the early show.

We saw Pixels, the new movie where Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Olaf take on Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. I wasn’t expecting much, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, as did LM. The language was a little much for young ears in a couple of parts, but otherwise it was okay.

After the movie, we stopped at this 50s style diner for hamburgers and milkshakes. While we were eating, LM asked me rather loudly, “Mom, you never told me how the baby gets out of your belly. Does it come out of your pee hole?”


“Uh…no. Why are you asking me this now?” He had been quiet for a couple of minutes–a beak from the nonstop chatter and nearly bouncing off the walls–but I hadn’t anticipated that this is where his mind had gone.

“I was thinking about things and wanted to know. So if the baby doesn’t come out of your pee hole, where does it come out of?”

The people next to us looked rather appalled. I guess they’ve never had an inquisitive almost second grader.

“That’s really not dinner table material,” I said, invoking my grandmother’s spirit. Whenever one of us–especially my dad–would say something inappropriate at supper, she’d always say “that’s not dinner table material” while looking extremely offended. “We’ll talk about it in the car, okay?”

“You promise?” Little Man asked. I understood his hesitation to let the subject go–the last time this came up was when I was carrying his sister, I think. I had told him God made the baby appear when he asked, as I wasn’t comfortable talking about this stuff with a 5-year-old. (And, no, he didn’t believe that.) I had planned to explain things before she was born, but as luck would have it, she was delivered via c-section, so I put it off.

“I promise.”

And I didn’t weasel out of it this time. While we were driving home, I did explain things, sorta.

“Can you see the hole?” he asked after I explained a little about where the baby makes its exit.

“Um…not just by glancing,” I said, thinking about how he might happen to pass by while I was changing his sister’s diaper.

“Can you see it with a microscope?”

“Little Man, you aren’t going to go looking at a woman’s private area with a microscope. Really the only person who would need to see is the doctor.”

“So you show the doctor your private parts?”

“It depends on which doctor I see, depending on what needs to be done.”

“So if I tore my penis like that guy did on The Office at the wedding, then I’d have to let the doctor see my private area so he could fix it?”


He was quiet for a moment.

“Mom, I caught two frogs in my bucket, but Bilbo ate one of them. I need to feed the other when I get home, okay? It’d be nice to have two pets, if he doesn’t die.”

Signs You Might Be The Parent Of A One-Year-Old

If you don’t have kids yet and think you might want to, don’t let this list of things sway you. Or maybe don’t read it at all. (Yeah, I’m kidding, of course…this is the shit that keeps parenting fun!)

You’ve had 64 pretend conversations on the phone. Today. Baby Girl has three toy phones. And she expects me to talk on all of them frequently throughout the day. She’ll thrust one of the phones behind her shoulder (instead of next to her ear), say a few words of gibberish, then thrust the phone at me in a demanding way only a one-year-old could have mastered.

“Hi! How are you! Nice to hear from you! Bye bye!” I’ll say and hand it back. Unsatisfied, she thrusts it back in my direction. “I thought I was on the Do Not Call list! How’d you get this number? Bye bye!” Sometimes I’m expected to talk on two of the three phones at once.

You whistle, suck your teeth, stick out your tongue, and blow raspberries on demand. This all started when BG was a few months old. She’d suck her teeth, we’d suck ours, she’d do it again, and so on, and she loved it. Then she started expecting us to mimic other things. She started forming a tiny O with her mouth and going “whoooo!” and then would wait. We tried mimicking that, but that wasn’t good enough, so we tried whistling. She smiled and went “whoooo!” again. You can hear us randomly whistling at the grocery store. Sticking out the tongue, arguably the easiest one, started maybe three days ago.

You’ve listened to certain songs at least 500 times. Baby Girl has a few certain songs she likes to hear when she’s going to sleep. The two that have gotten the most air time are Me, Myself, and I by Hanson and No Surprises by Radiohead. These are the ones that get played over and over when we rock her for naps and bedtime. They’re slow, catchy, and great at making those heavy eyes droop.

Baby Girl’s non-sleepy time current favorite is Let It Go. Yep, my kid, too. This is the one she wants to hear when she wakes up, in the car, after lunch, whenever. She now says “Go go go!” in a sort of singy voice to let us know what she wants. Sam and Little Man no longer like Let It Go. They make up crude songs to sing along, like “Let her poop, let her poop, ain’t holding it back anymore!”

You hide when you eat. It took my little one longer than most to get started on table foods. She was 10 months old, after all, when she finally ate a meal of baby food. She’s been on table foods for maybe three weeks now and she wants everything. That’s great and all, but it gets old when you try to take a bite of your sandwich and you hear a little tyrant going “Bah! Bah bah bah bah, Mama!” while angrily gesturing towards the food you just gave her a bite of. Little Man has taken to building a fortress out of the many containers of Lysol wipes I have in my house around his plate so he can eat in peace.

You’ve recently been smacked in the face with a toy. This happens almost every day. And it’s usually an accident–a result of Baby Girl getting excited while we’re playing and slinging something while waving her arms. Sometimes it isn’t an accident, though. Like when her brother sat in my lap in the floor and jokingly said “My mommy,” and BG threw her phone (the one I’d had my 35th conversation on) at him and then pulled his hair. Or when Sam said “No baby girl,” when she tried to take his drink and she hurled the little block she’d been holding at him.

You’ve told your little one not to punch her vag. Yeah, that one was today also. I’ve got one kid infatuated with his penis while the other likes to punch her vag. It’s kinda funny, especially when she is standing in only her diaper, until she starts punching at it while you’re changing the shit explosion that worked its way up to a couple inches below her belly button all the way to above her butt crack.

What are some of the strange, cute, funny, or interesting things you can add to the list of how to know you’re the parent (or caregiver) of a one-year old?

Doctors and Cockroaches

Today Baby Girl had her one month checkup and Little Man had an appointment so we could get him a referral to another child psychologist for an autism spectrum evaluation.

Everything went well with BG’s checkup–she’s doing great with all of the developmental milestones. It’s funny because by her six month appointment, she was pretty far behind on a lot of things and we considered having her evaluated by a specialist to see if she needed occupational therapy. I don’t think she had rolled over by then, which was a biggie, but our doc said she could refer her or wait and see. We decided to wait and see, and now she’s doing awesome!

And then Little Man’s time came. That went fine–we explained our concerns with the other child psychologist we saw. This psychologist told us from the beginning that he was certain LM had an autism spectrum disorder–Asperger’s, but after testing, he said that while he met the criteria, he wasn’t diagnosing him because of his high IQ. I’ve sense found out that shouldn’t preclude a diagnosis, so we’re going to have a second look.

That wasn’t the interesting part of the appointment, though. The interesting part was when LM started chattering on and on about bugs, which prompted a discussion first about him becoming an entomologist and then the doctor talking about her kid holding a hissing cockroach at a festival.

I was appalled. Who lets their child hold a fucking cockroach? Ewww. (Yes, for half a second, I totally judged.)

Little Man was enthralled. “A hissing cockroach?! AWESOME!” (And then my half second of judgment ended because I remembered how many bugs LM has picked up over the last week.)

LM and our doc talked and looked at pictures of the said kid and cockroach for a few minutes, and then the boy had an idea: “Oooh, I’ll get my mommy and daddy to take me to the pet store and get me a boy cockroach and a girl cockroach and then they can have babies!”


“Yeah, if that happens, I’ll do what normal people do and call an exterminator,” I said dryly. Little Man laughed.

“Do you know where I can get one of these cockroaches?” Little Man asked the doc.

“Maybe you could try a pet store,” she suggested. “I’m not sure where one is close to you, though.”

“That’s okay, I can Google. I’m not good with locations, but I am good with technology,” LM said. This is true; in fact, he informed us last night that by the time he grows up, our iPhones will be beneath him because the technology he plans to work with is stuff to create time machines.

“I can’t wait! I so want a hissing cockroach. I just hope it doesn’t die like all of the other bugs I’ve tried to keep as pets. I had two pet frogs in my bucket, but I forgot to water then and they dried out.”

At this point, the doctor gave me a rather apologetic look.

“Thanks for this,” I said, mostly joking.

A cockroach so isn’t happening. Never. This might be a good bargaining chip for LM to get one of the other pets he wants, like a turtle or a lizard, though.


Baby Girl’s Birth Story

In less than a week, I’ll have a one-year-old. As such, I wanted to take the time to sit down and write out her birth story, from the time we decided to try for a baby to, well, having the baby. This is really more for myself, hence the length (so I don’t forget too many details later), but you’re welcome to read about Baby Girl’s journey to this world.

To sound all clichey, it’s hard to believe how fast this year has gone by. Or that it has been almost two years since we decided to try for another kid.

My husband was not sold on trying to have another kid. He didn’t really embrace the idea of another kid until after the positive pregnancy test. At that point we had Little Man and two losses, both of which hit Sam really hard. Not that they wouldn’t hit anyone hard, but he’s one of those guys who takes it super hard when he sees his wife struggling, when he can’t do anything to fix things. So on top of his own grief, there was that, making things tougher for him.

I understood why he was hesitant. I was hesitant too, but I was still willing to risk the possibility of further pain to have another kid.

“How many times are you willing to try?” I asked him after he finally agreed. With a 33 percent success rate at that point, I had already accepted that we would probably have a loss.

“What? Just once. If we lose that one, I don’t want to try again. What were you thinking?”

“Three times.”

He shook his head. “No, that’s too much.”

“Let’s just see how things go.”

After I had my IUD out, I figured it would take a while to get pregnant, since what I read indicated 6 to 12 months on average before conception. Not for us–it took two months of trying before that positive pregnancy test (and the five more after it, just to make sure). The only “issue” with getting pregnant so quickly was Zoloft. My OB had suggested I drop Zoloft and stay on Wellbutrin, and I had been decreasing the dosage but hadn’t weaned off completely since I thought I had time, so I had to rush that.

We had an ultrasound at 6 weeks to make sure the baby was where she needed to be (not ectopic, I suppose). We also got to hear the heartbeat. That evening, we told Little Man he was going to be a big brother and showed him the ultrasound picture of the tiny little peanut. He was excited beyond words.

About two weeks later, we had the first scare. Spotting–lots of it, plus cramping. I was devastated. With my history, I was sure there was no way that I’d have that much spotting and still be okay. I cursed myself for telling Little Man, for putting that pain on him.

My husband called the doctor the next morning and they saw me immediately. They did an ultrasound and said everything looked fine. He did a blood test go check my HCG levels and they were as they should be.

We were able to breathe. For about a week. Then I started spotting again, and even more this time. Once again, devastation. This is really it, I thought.

Since it was Friday night, I couldn’t see the doctor, but my OB put in a blood test order at the local hospital for the next morning. I had stopped spotting the next morning, but was still very scared. After Little Man’s early baseball game, I had the blood drawn and waited. Finally the on-call OB messaged me to let me know things looked good.

I was back at the OB’s office the following Monday morning where he checked things, did another ultrasound, and confirmed that things were fine.

The next few weeks were scare-free, and we made it to the second trimester. I informed my husband what the chances of a successful pregnancy were at that point. Not that this truly mattered since I was 18 weeks when I miscarried Baby N, but it was something.

It was around that time that we got the results of the Harmony test, which is a blood test that checks for Down syndrome, plus Trisomy 18 and 13. Our doctor had recommended this test since Baby N had Down syndrome.

“It doesn’t matter if the baby has Down syndrome,” my husband had informed the OB.

“I know that, but it’s good to know so you can prepare yourselves. This test also tells you the gender a few weeks sooner than the ultrasound would.”

We got the call on my husband’s birthday. Everything was fine. And the sex–you know that by now, a girl.

Another easy couple of weeks went by and then that was the last that the pregnancy would be relatively stress-free.

At around 16 weeks along, we got the results of the AFP screen during an ultrasound with the maternal-fetal medicine specialist we had seen for an earlier ultrasound. The ultrasound tech kept commenting on how the baby’s spine looked normal, which we thought was weird. And then the doctor came in, took a look at things, and said that he didn’t think it was likely that our baby had spina bifida, but that he couldn’t rule out something being wrong with her brain because he couldn’t get a good picture.

Wait, what?!

We obviously hadn’t been given the results yet, but result of the screen was 1:6. This was way high. So high, the doctor said, that there had to be something wrong, even if it wasn’t spina bifida.

To add to that, her size wasn’t where it should be. We were told to come in for the level two ultrasounds every three weeks to keep an eye on things. So once again we were panicking, and there wasn’t a thing we could do, other than do research online to make ourselves feel worse (okay,was the one doing the research).

At the next appointment, BG’s size had dropped even more. The specialist didn’t see anything wrong with her brain, but again reminded us that something had to be wrong. Likely something with the placenta.

This continued. The next appointment the specialist advised us to be ready for her to come at “any moment.” This was around 23 weeks and you know what the likelihood of survival is at that point. Add to that her small size and, well–more fear. Lots of it. So then we were both doing a ton of reading on preemie babies, trying to get an idea of what to expect if she was born suddenly.

At a point, we went to ultrasounds every two weeks, and then I started NSTs twice per week. (This is when you’re strapped up to a monitor and they keep an eye on the baby’s heart rate and try to get the baby to respond to stimuli. When all else failed–except for one big scare that landed us at the hospital at 36 weeks–playing Hey Jude would get her moving.)

All throughout the pregnancy, Baby Girl stayed small for her size. Each time we had an ultrasound, we were informed of how her size had continued to drop for what was expected that that week. We were constantly informed of risks, things that could go wrong, etc. The pregnancy was one big anxiety fest. Near the end, she dropped off to slightly below the 10th percentile, which was Not Good. The specialist said he was taking her at 39 weeks.

And wouldn’t you know our sweet girl was breech? They kept hoping she’d move, but no–she sat up like a little queen on her throne (hello, Heartburn City!). At shortly before 38 weeks, we had to decide whether to let them move her manually or to schedule a c-section. I so did not want a c-section. I asked my OB (one of four I had seen) what to do, who said that it was up to me. I know this is kinda the standard answer after providing me with my options, but still.

This lady was pregnant. I looked at her belly. “What would you do if you were in the same situation as me?” I wanted to know. I trusted this particular OB implicitly–there was just something about her that exuded intelligence, among other things (she was extremely kind to LM when he’d go to appointments with me, always taking the time to answer his many questions).

Without hesitating, she said she’d get the c-section, so that’s what we did. I researched c-sections, death rates, etc. in the week before the surgery. I was convinced that I would die, because anxiety.

We had to be at the hospital at 5AM on a Monday morning. We left the house at 3:30. I had slept two hours thanks to crazy nerves. I was pissy at Sam for being able to sleep so soundly and considered kicking him so he could join my anxiety fest, but decided that he should probably be alert enough to actually drive us to the hospital.

After we got there, we went through the surgery prep and all that. The anesthesiologist went over things for the spinal. “Why are you flagged as a psych patient? You don’t seem crazy.” Cue the embarrassment. I explained things. “They like to flag everyone with that shit, like it’s such a big deal to get depressed and have anxiety?”

And then he explained that I would carefully have to lay back on the operating table after getting the spinal and not fall off. “It’s small and if you’re not careful, you’ll go right off, and that won’t be good.”

As soon as he left, the tears began. “I can’t even walk to the fridge without tripping!” I wailed to Sam. “I’m gonna fall off the table!” My supportive husband laughed and laughed.

And then I went into the operating room. I quickly found out that real life c-sections were nothing like the ones on TV. I thought I’d get more…modesty…than what I got with LM (where I was disappointed that I didn’t have a sheet over my knees), but no. Everything was on full display. Oh my god, the bright lights and all the people. While all my junk was on display. Talk about being uncomfortable.

Everything went fine with the spinal–the sweet OB that I had first seen to get my IUD removed held my hands through it–and I had to wait for Sam to be allowed to come back.

The anesthesiologist took over the hand holding for the OB who needed to get to prepping stuff I guess, and I was shaking like hell from the spinal. Finally my husband came in and took over the hand holding and the show was on the road. I was a little peeved that I couldn’t watch the procedure, which took a shockingly little amount of time. I could smell something burning and a few minutes later, someone said they were about to take her out.

I couldn’t feel the pressure that I was supposed to feel, but I knew when she was out by the look on my husband’s face, which made me start crying. I got a glimpse of her when they took her to be weighed and all that and all I could see was a snowflake white baby.

“Is she an albino?” I called out, which had Sam laughing. Nope, she wasn’t an albino, that was vernix.

Finally–minutes later–she was put on my chest. And oh my god, she was so tiny. Beautiful, but so tiny. Her brother weighed almost 8 pounds–she was 5.5 and almost three inches shorter. That doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but it really is. He felt big and sturdy in my arms, where she felt like a fragile little hummingbird of a thing.

True to form, we got a birth scare, which was that her blood sugar was super low. They wanted to give her a high calorie formula, so we did, despite our plans to breastfeed only (lol, every time I tried to get her to latch she’d act like I was trying to feed her poison and get mad). Her little heel was spotted in pricks from her blood sugar being checked, which caused Little Man to later chew out a poor CNA who had nothing to do with this.

At one point they took her to the warmer, warning us that if her blood sugar dropped much more, she’d go to NICU and that there was the risk of seizures and worse.

And then, the blood sugar went up suddenly, and all was well.

The day after she was born, the super sweet OB came in to check me out and informed me that Baby Girl’s umbilical cord had been wrapped around her neck three times. That hit me like a ton of bricks, realizing how things could have ended. No wonder she hadn’t moved from breech. I was so freaking happy that we didn’t go for moving her from the breech position. Best case scenario from that, I imagine, would have been an emergency c-section. Worst case? I don’t even want to think about it.

It amazes me that, despite all we went through–the constant fear, the tests, etc., that we’re here today with a healthy, beautiful Baby Girl. She’s still a little on the small side, and was often behind on her milestones at checkups, but she’s healthy and such a blessing.