Like mother, like son

Almost everyone who sees Bo tells me he looks like me.  I guess I can see the odd resemblance every once in a while, but it’s hard for me to see how my 8.5-month-old boy can look much like a 36-year-old woman.

My three-year-old son, on the other hand, is the spitting image of his father.  He looks absolutely nothing like me.

As I was flipping through a pile of old photographs that my mom had given me, I came across one of my baby pictures from when I was approximately Bo’s age.  Now I can see what everyone is talking about.  What do you think?

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Do you want to build a snowman?

So, we’re a little late to the party, but my son is suddenly obsessed with Frozen.    My mom bought him the DVD earlier in the year and he had watched it a couple of times but didn’t seem too excited about it.  Now, all of a sudden, he’s totally into it.

I think they must listen to the soundtrack at daycare because it appears that he knows the words to all the songs.His favourite part is the short little scene he calls “ice cutters” where the men are cutting through the ice and singing Frozen Heart.  I could barely make out the words they were saying, but he seemed to catch them all.  I’ll catch him mumbling “…stronger than a hundred men!” while he’s busy playing.

When it snowed here the other night, he told me that Elsa did it.  “Not Anna, mommy.  Elsa.”

I’ve never actually watched the whole thing.  I’ve seen bits of it but Littleman mainly watches it in the car while we’re driving to the farm.  So, I’ve heard the whole movie, but not seen it.  I finally bought the soundtrack for him so we can listen to the music together.  I have to admit, some of the songs are a bit catchy and I find myself singing along.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the same high-pitched voice that my son has, so I’m butchering the songs pretty nicely.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how long this movie holds the top spot for Littleman.  Cars was a favourite for a long time.  At least this is better than a lot of the terribly annoying kids shows/movies that he could be asking to watch… Max and Ruby, anyone?

Busy time of year

Somehow time is moving way too fast for me these days and I feel like I can’t do everything I want to do.  Somehow, it’s suddenly winter and there is snow swirling around outside right now.  Somehow, my baby is already 8.5 months old and the end of my maternity leave is approaching faster than I’d like.  I’m definitely starting to feel some anxiety these days and I know I need to find a way to work through it so that I can enjoy the little bit of time I have left at home with my little one.

But, for now, a bullet point update:

  • Bo has sprouted two more teeth (that’s four altogether now!).  He’s still drooling a ton and sticking everything in his mouth but, other than that, doesn’t seem terribly bothered by the whole teething business.
  • We went for a family photo shoot yesterday.  Just a quickie, to get some shots for Christmas gifts.  Littleton and Bo were very well-behaved and we got some pretty great pics of the two of them.  Gawd, they’re cute.
  • Getting ready for said photo shoot (and for just about every outing these days, for that matter), was a bit of a scramble.  Is it just me, or is it usually the mom the who is responsible for getting the kids the all dressed and packed up?  My husband is amazing and helpful in so many ways, but I’m always the one who gets the kids ready.  He only has to make himself look presentable.  I really noticed it today, when I only had a couple of minutes to pull myself together.  By the time I jumped in the car, I was sweating and realized I hadn’t finished applying my makeup.  The kids looked great, but mommy?  Not so much.
  • Poo.  Bo needs to have one.  He’s been pushing and straining and groaning for the last two days.  I finally cracked out the prune puree last night but so far, no luck.  Poor little guy.
  • There is so much snow this morning!  Why?!  I really thought I’d make it until at least Christmas before pushing the stroller became challenging.  I’m not ready for this at all.  For the first time since I got it, I haven’t hit 10,000 steps on my fitbit ANY DAY this week.  Good lord, that’s awful.  In the summer, I was getting close to 20,000 a lot of the days.  I hate being stuck inside.

That’s the main stuff for now.  Heading into the office for a visit and to meet my new boss today.  I’m sure that’s adding to my anxiety.  Visiting months ago was fun.  That was when my return to work was ages away.  Now, it feels too soon.  Ugh.

Parenting my threenager

Stalling.  Negotiating.  Talking back.  Meltdowns.  Anyone who thinks the “terrible twos” are hard has, likely, never parented a three-year-old.

Littleman never really did the stereotypical two-year-old things: fist-pounding, flailing-on-the-ground, crying-and-screaming tantrums.  Sure, he cried and yelled sometimes, but not to the extent that I expected after hearing about the “terrible twos” my whole life.  I’ve started to wonder if, in fact, the whole thing is a bit of a myth.  Because in my experience, having a three-year-old is much, much harder.  These are some of the reasons why:

  1. Language skills: My three-year-old can communicate so much better now than he could when he was two.  Sometimes it feels like I’m having a conversation with another adult, not someone who was a baby not that long ago.  This means his ability to talk back to me is also very, very good.  He knows how to say the right thing at the right time.  Sometimes I have to bite my tongue to avoid laughing when he manages to throw a one-liner my way.  For example, the other day he was whining and fussing about something for way too long.  I finally lost my cool and said, “I don’t like whiners.”  His response?  “Well, I don’t like shouters.”  Oops.
  2. Negotiations: Everything is a bargain with my three-year-old.  When I tuck him in at night and try to leave his room, he says, “one more minute.”  When he’s been allowed to watch some TV and it’s time to turn it off, he suggests, “five more minutes.”  When we ask him to finish his dinner, he states, “three more bites.”  When he was two, he might have refused to eat his dinner or cried when we left him in bed, but at least we didn’t end up in a constant negotiation with someone who is smart enough to find the loopholes in just about any argument.
  3. Going for the jugular: Somewhere along the way, my three-year-old has learned how say some hurtful things.  I’m guessing it comes from kids at daycare who, perhaps, have older siblings.  Already, he uses the “you aren’t my best friend anymore” line.  Or the “if you say that, I won’t play with you anymore” one.  I’ve tried to explain that words like that aren’t nice and they make people feel bad.  But, in the heat of the moment, he doesn’t really get it.  And, I suppose, making me feel bad is probably his goal when he isn’t getting his way.
  4. Commitment: When he was two, my son just didn’t have the attention span to stick with the fight for very long.  He might have freaked out when he didn’t get what he wanted, but it was much easier to distract him and the whole mess would be over with pretty quickly.  Now, though, he can really commit to his cause.  This morning, for example, he endured a half hour meltdown because I wouldn’t let him watch TV.  He employed every tactic he knew to try and get me to cave.  He’d cry and scream.  When that didn’t work, he’d stop crying and apologize.  Then, he’d say “I’m not going to cry anymore, mommy.”  Great!  “Now, can I have TV?”  Hells no.  Back to crying and screaming.  Mix in a little “you’re not my best friend” and some “if I do X, then can I watch TV?” and this whole thing can go on for ages.
  5. Decision making: “What would you like for breakfast?”, I ask.  “Cheerios,” he says.  Upon handing him the Cheerios, he screams, “I SAID SHREDDIES!”  WTF?  I calmly remind him that he asked for Cheerios as I pour him some Shreddies instead.  Why do they do this?  He specifically asks for a princess yogurt and then freaks out when I don’t give him a cars yogurt.

Luckily, Littleman is nearing the end of his “threenage” year and, it seems that the craziness is slowing down a bit.  Yes,  there are still times like this morning, but they are happening less and less.  I’m sure the age of four will bring with it a whole new parenting challenge.  Hopefully the lessons I’ve learned from managing my three-year-old will help prepare me for whatever comes next!

 

Preventative measures

About five-and-a-half years ago, I tossed out my birth control pills as we prepared to begin trying to start a family.  It took longer than expected to conceive our first son and, knowing that it could take a while again, I didn’t go back on birth control between pregnancies.  After a miscarriage and then another successful pregnancy, we are pretty certain that our family is now complete.

At my eight-weeks-postpartum check-up (way back in May!), my OB asked me what my birth control plans were.  He went through all the options and recommended Mirena (an intrauterine system).  I accepted the prescription from him, figuring I’d think about and talk to my husband and then make the appointment to get it inserted.

Then I procrastinated.

It feels weird.  After all these years of thinking about having babies, planning for babies, trying for babies, being pregnant with babies, losing a baby, birthing babies and nursing babies, it feels really, really weird to be focusing on not having babies.

While we don’t intend to have any more children, I still don’t feel 100% ready to make a permanent commitment to being finished.  D is a little more certain (OK, a lot more certain).  We both agree, though, that having another child just doesn’t make sense for us financially.  Daycare is expensive.  Our house is too small.  If we were to win the lottery, then, sure, we’d likely have a larger family.  But, given our current situation, our family of four is just right.

So, that leaves us needing birth control.  I’m still breastfeeding and my period hasn’t returned, although I know that doesn’t mean I can’t get pregnant.  We’ve been using condoms since Bo was born, but that’s not our favourite solution.  I really don’t want to go on the pill again, after being off it for so long.  Plus, after two kids, my memory isn’t what it used to be.  I don’t love the idea of having to remember to take it everyday (something I was excellent at before having kids!)

I had coffee with a friend this week who is having her second baby by a scheduled c-section a few days from now.  She’s trying to decide if she should get her tubes tied at the same time.  That wasn’t an option for me, having a vaginal delivery, but it made me wonder what I would have chosen to do if I was in her situation.

We’ve talked about D having a vasectomy and it is something we’ll probably look at more seriously in the future but, for now, I bit the bullet and called the OB.  I scheduled an appointment to have the Mirena inserted.  I have an appointment for January.  When the receptionist was booking the appointment, she told me that I’ll need to take a pregnancy test the morning of my appointment to ensure I’m not pregnant.  Just the thought of that makes me feel strange.  I’ve never taken a pregnancy test hoping it would be negative.

For many reasons, I know that I’ll need that test to be negative. But, I also know that a little part of me will feel disappointed to see only one line.

 

Eight months

Another month has passed and Bo seems more and more grown-up each day.

Personality

People comment all the time about how happy Bo is.  It’s quite amazing, really.  He’s just a really good-natured little man.

Now that he’s sitting up without any support, he’s even happier.  We have lots of fun playing together on the floor and I love when he laughs at me.  Of course, he laughs even harder at his brother and dad!  I have a feeling the three men in my life are really going to have fun together as the boys get older.

Bo’s getting chattier too!  He babbles and especially enjoys when you mimic his sounds.  Sometimes we end up laughing hysterically after having a “conversation” of babble.

Sleep

Napping is still going really well.  His morning nap is almost always 1.5 hours or a little longer.  The afternoon nap is often a bit shorter and depends a lot on what we’ve done in between naps and how long I’ve kept him awake (i.e. too long awake = shittier nap!)

Nighttime sleep is hit and miss.  Typically, Bo wakes twice per night to nurse.  If I’m lucky (or if I decide to dream feed) then I can squeeze in one of the feeds before I go to sleep.  Then, he sometimes only wakes one more time.  I know that I could sleep train him at this point and that he probably doesn’t actually need to wake to eat in the night, but, for the most part, it doesn’t bother me.  Sure, I’m tired.  But at least he eats quickly and goes back to sleep without any trouble.  So I don’t really mind the extra time and cuddles with him.  (Ask me if I feel the same way in a few months when I’m back at work!)

Eating

Better!!  So much better!  Finally, the kid actually opens his mouth when a spoon comes near it (sometimes) and meals aren’t nearly as stressful as they were with his older brother.

Aside from a variety of purees, this baby loves cheese (extra old cheddar, obviously), toast (dry and cut into strips), scrambled eggs and O cereal.  He’s tried rainbow trout (loved) and pork tenderloin (not as much).  He gags much less often now and is getting pretty good at putting things in his mouth himself.

Development

I’ve noticed that a lot of babies Bo’s age are crawling now.  He’s not crawling yet, but he pushes himself backwards or pivots around if you place him on his front.  He also manages to scoot forward when he’s sitting on his bum.

The biggest change this month was the appearance of his first two teeth!  The bottom front teeth popped through his gums earlier this week and they sure are sharp!  When he opens up his mouth and dives towards my nipple to nurse, I have a brief moment of fear.  Luckily, he’s only nipped at me once since the teeth arrived.

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