Pool Parties and Preschool Graduations

The last day of preschool approaches and the “class moms” (including the one that called me rude about a year ago) have organized a graduation party. I was able to get back into their good graces by smiling more (no more bitchy resting face-it IS a thing people!) and by being more chatty, engaged and interested (even though I’m so not..). I got mixed results, but one being, the other moms at least greeted me and would even throw out a random question here and there, and take some interest in my pregnancy and then newborn (not AS interesting since labor went flawlessly…am I’m being mean and bitter now…?) I did it all for darling son of course. But then said “darling son” goes and tells his entire class (12 boys and two girls) about his birthday party and that they are naturally invited each and everyone of them!…except they are not, not one of them. He has apparently told them all the details of his Pirate Pool Party so that the next time his teacher (miss butterfly in the butterfly class…) tells me I’m such and angel for inviting the whole, entire class! (Yep…angel!!!) and the class mom’s twin boys are dancing and screaming “pool party, pool party, pool party” jumping up and down with glee!
I try to get a word in but am very unsuccessful. After the fact – meaning AFTER the party where not one of his preschool class friends attended/were invited (WHAT? I’m not friends with these parents, I don’t know them whatsoever, we have just moved…into another community and our son is moving on to another school in another part of town in the fall…and truly we have enough with a large family and his little Swedish friends! Wait…are you still judging??) I lamely tried to tell the class mom and the teacher as said son said he had the best party EVER (well, that is just awesome…but…) that it was mostly just close family…
“Yes mom was worried because SOO many people were invited so we needed TONS of food, two cakes and lots of stuff…we had like 50 guests…” Ooookay!
Back on the s*it list I’ll tell you!

Our baby boy is already seven weeks and almost two months old, where did the time go? My oldest is now graduating from preschool which I guess it’s pretty big! I can’t believe he starts school next year (even if it’s only kindergarten, we didn’t think he was ready but he has matured so much and has so much language now, maybe it’s just his parents who aren’t ready…). Big boy wears a cap and gown (even if the gown is just a small white sheet…or hmm table cloth, with a hole for the head). First ceremony of many, it’s a little silly I know but I actually like this kind of silly, I like how Americans embrace celebrations and (sometimes) go over the top, and as I look around the church at this, my sons preschool graduation, I sob with the best of them (to my defense you not only get extra emotional while pregnant but also while breastfeeding!…google it! The struggle is real). The whole family dresses up so nicely and we are immensely proud of our boy-even if he does keep his head down, starring at the ground both as he walks in and out, shouts in the microphone and keeps asking his teacher what he is suppose to say (instead if answering questions about his favorite things to do at preschool etc ” WHAT DO I LIKE AGAIN?” .

This preschool graduation party at a nearby park went “so-so” if you know what I mean. I was “politely” told not to breastfeed so close to the kids, completely ignored after having answered the question where our son would attend kindergarten, and got many eye rolls for various things. I even overheard some moms taking behind my back about how I think I am “all that” “, so catty and also so not true!

I wouldn’t even care (I truly evolved in that department…from caring what EVERYONE thought…) if it didn’t affect my son. Even kids this young pick up on these things…
I even have the audacity to ask one of the moms to keep an eye on my oldest while I change a particularly bad toddler diaper in the park’s bad excuse for a restroom while my infant hangs low from the baby carrier as I try to wipe and change his sister (not the easiest task mind you). Even though my 5-year old is in the same spot where I left him (unfortunately being a little rough with other boys, at least they are being rough right back) I still get more eye rolls.

As we leave the class mom with her mom pose yell out that they will probably never see us again now that we moved on to (dripping with sarcasm here) “bigger and better things”…
If my get away was smooth it might have been a good wrap up, but of course I have to stump my big toe on a picnic table (it freaking hurt) and then as I drive away I go completely over the high curb with my big new SUV…(very smooth)  Oh well, the kids thought it was cool (even if I almost had a heart attack and thought I hit something at the loud thump)…

We have such a long, fun summer planned ahead. Even if I know it will be a lot with a newborn and my husband’s busy, hectic work schedule meaning I will be alone with all three kids a lot, I know we will enjoy having those special moments together..

Braxton Hicks and surviving week 29!!

Thank God my contractions got fewer and fewer- further and further apart (the meds added to my IV helped- what a scare) and I was finally, finally able to go home!

I promised to monitor any further contractions and my own heart rate and even got cautioned to just call 911 if something were to happen.

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It was so nice crawling in to bed with my family even if the sun is already up and I know that this day will be the longest ever. Even if I have been mostly hanging out in a hospital bed, I’m utterly exhausted.

Week 28 brings me somewhat back to normal. We are packing up the rest of the house with the fear of not finding another house to move into hanging over us. I’m just scared we might have to unpack again- what a nightmare that would be (but I’m keeping positive since at least my pregnancy seems to be progressing for now). The whole week is pretty uneventful. I’m of course supposed to be on bed rest at home and I do my best to rest (I really do- knowing how important it is and terrified to get admitted to the hospital), lining up the nanny and my mother in law to come help while I try to do as little as possible.
I drive my son to preschool everyday still since I was allowed to do that last week (but too scared to ask if I can this week). It’s important that he goes not just for fun but for his development, learning and social interaction (besides he loves it…and so does his mama!) especially now that they say that we are not allowed to hold him back but we have to put him in kindergarten in the fall!

I know it’s just way to unrealistic (without around the clock help) to stay in a bed with a preschooler (with unlimited energy) and a toddler (with attitude to spare) and a dog (who thinks she is a human).

I try to take it easy but the challenges of everyday life are far from that.

As I drive home from dropping off my son, I get my usual “grande decaf java chip frappe” (started off with a “tall”- promising myself it would never be worth the extra calories of a “grande”, usually hate to drink my calories- oh well grande will never-ever turn into a “venti”, promise!!) as the friendly baristas ask me what week I am now and put extra cream on top of my drink (thanks…I think…I will pay for this now AND later, I know).
Then I go home to try to force my almost two year old to nap with mixed results (leading to at least one of us bawling- if not both).
We have a late breakfast together since I’m not allowed to eat anything for one and a half hour after my AM thyroid medication. Yep! This week’s appointment doesn’t give me answers about my racing heart but the test results do come back with a very under active thyroid (which of course can lead to tons of issues including developmental delays for the baby- especially if not treated in time- best cause of action is always to start as soon as you get pregnant…jeez thanks again Google).
I’m also being send to a cardiologist to check on my heart (as soon as they have an appointment available).

As week 29 approaches so do the issues…memories…and fears.

This is now the second week I have to take double the dose of the female hormone progesterone than everyone else in order to keep this babe in (administered straight into my buttocks with a syringe that in and of itself is on steroids…meaning huge)…
The pregnancy hormone floating around in my body is supposed to fool it that I am very preggers and will continue to be for a long long time, (watch: this baby will NEVER come out). Needless to say I’m not feeling great! The feminist Swede in me would never ever blame this added hormone but dare I admit, I’m weepy one minute, pissed the next and laughing manically the third…just saying…

Unfortunately I’m the very definition of hormonal (notice I didn’t say “female” or anything prejudice here…).
I cry hysterically when my husband come home at 7 instead of 6 as promised one night (and forget about those sad puppy commercials and don’t even mention anything about sick kids…)
Talking about my husband- he is just not my favorite right now (except the times I feel an overwhelming love for him and I just want to nurture and take care of his every need…hmm- hopefully I didn’t just admit to that in writing) since I feel that he is gone too much putting a lot more than doable on my plate right now!

I mean I woke him up in the middle of the night one night to talk about what empathy means! (Not popular I might add- but he wasn’t allowed to go back to bed until hours later- none of us satisfied!)

Tuesday night, right before the 30 week mark, contractions hit strong and hard. Again they don’t hurt but are getting really uncomfortable and its in the wee hours so I avoid waking anybody up (worked so well the last time) or calling the OB hotline (paranoid mommy style). Instead I do everything that they usually advice (except going to the hospital). I drink tons of water with electrolytes, I of course rest and try to lay on my left side breathing and timing these Braxton hicks that are unlike anything that I have ever felt before…(there are definitely more than “6 in an hour”)..

Luckily by morning they have subsided and I have an OB appointment that same afternoon.

That ladies and gents mean I just survived week 29!!

Monster Trucks and Insomnia

Has anyone else been woken up in the middle of the night (especially during pregnancy when sleep is so hard to come by) of a monster voice (completely loud, scary and distorted)? Been forced to face your fears (toddler in tow) sneaking around the house (slightly terrified and not so slightly exhausted) just to find the source of this hellish sound? No? Doesn’t ring a bell? Hmm,
Well…
What if I tell you the source was a battery operated (freaking) toy!!! Maybe now you follow me??
I seriously looked everywhere- EVERYWHERE before I found it, tripping on boxes and random stuff (did I mention we are moving??) and stepped on my fair share of little Legos (ouch! Why will they be the last thing we pack?)
Guess where I found this Devils device?
In the completely natural, as well as logical, place for a black and orange toy truck…- in the shower!

That was my night last night, unable to fall back asleep, even if my princess (no way that was her nickname in the pitch black house where everyone else seemed to be sleeping just fine) eventually did. I laid their cursing my inability to relax my body enough to just slip away- and then- as usual the thoughts come. The scare that is pregnancy, the lack of control, the worry, the fear of history repeating itself- except this time way, way worse…

It had been kind of a weird week, it started with something really odd happening. I felt that I at least had to mention it to my nurse but like I told her the “story” was kinda hard to explain without the Lego cars and Duplo people (that is how I explained to mom over Skype and hubby after work).

I drove my kids to my son’s school as usual in the morning- kinda late- also as usual. When I park I see that someone is sitting in the car next to me, she appeared to be on her phone and without kids in the car- obviously she hadn’t been late. As I rush my 4 year old and his “why questions” out of the car armed with his latest art project, lunch boxes (snack AND lunch), going back to the front seat for the “lunch bunch ticket”, putting shoes back on (at least I didn’t forget them), I see in the corner of my eye that the mom in the next car puts her phone down and turns her car on. I am late so I attempt to catch her eye. Maintaining eye contact, assuming that we get each other I move my way into the tight space (remember I’m not exactly skinny mini nowadays…not that I ever was…but…just saying). She is in one of those ginormous SUVs (black and hard to distinguish from all the rest) sitting very high up. I judge that I can still get darling daughter out of her car seat (and in my arms) but I did NOT count on her starting to back out. I must say I have a split second to panic slightly- she sees us right? Again I think we are on the same page as I signal to her that I will move me and my son out of the way so that she can pull out. As I close the door on my girl I realize that the driver and I are not on the same page- AT ALL…

I push my (luckily very skinny) son flush against the car while I turn towards the huge car in the very tight space as she rapidly reverses-taking the corner- AND my stomach with some speed. I actually scream, flailing my arms for her stop as my big tummy pretty much gets smashed by the left front of her vehicle…

She does see my then- looking surprised and slightly confused…did she not see the whale with feet trying to safely get her kids to school on time?

She then tries to pull forward again, making it worse by squishing my baby bump yet again. I yell for her to stop and she comes to an abrupt halt- actually looking appropriately scared now.

I managed to squeeze myself (not easy people) as I push my son (who is completely fine by the way) back towards the back of my own car. As soon as my sore stomach, son and I have reached the back of our car she reversed again and speeds away…

I get my daughter and we speed away ourselves- by foot that is- towards class.

Hours later I can actually feel the pain. I google the heck out of what I had just experienced but I think google is even more confused than myself.

What the heck happened this morning??
I know however that baby is probably perfectly fine in her (his?)  cushiony cocoon- me- not so much.

Later on both my sister and my mom agree that baby should be okay but that I should ask the nurse just in case, that the mom driver probably sat up too high to see my huge belly…but why oh why did I not even take her license plate number…? (I guess that was the last thing on my mind…and anyways what would that help?!?)

The week continues with another urinary tract infection and I wouldn’t even be worried except during my last pregnancy  a UTI developed into a full blown kidney infection…which might have been what caused my water to break prematurely…so yeah- worried!
We had to stop by the pharmacy to pick up my prescription on the way back from my son’s school.

Both kids are in rare form. My daughter refuses the cart and decides to run around pushing everything off the shelves while my son is whiny and super loud- asking (yelling) for some cookies. I rather not hold my girl too much right now but the adorable toddler turned shoplifting maniac doesn’t give me much choice as she stuffs her clothes with chocolate and some random medication (wait are those…condoms?). Returning the stuff is challenging while holding the squirming animal, bending and lifting while simultaneously managing a preschooler who screams that I am leaving him and that I’m being a bad mama! (Pleasant isn’t he!?). As we stand in line (kind of- at least I am trying) to finally pick up the antibiotics I can both see and feel the stares. This man actually goes as far as asking the old guy in front of him “can you even stand these screaming kids?” I want to snap back but I’m all out of energy, besides they are both being REALLY annoying. Even the pharmacist promises several times that we are almost done with the transaction and that I absolutely don’t need a consultation on how to take these pills. Who is he trying to convince me or himself. As my son screams for me to stop pushing him when I simply try to steer him towards the automatic doors I see the mixed looks of pity, understanding and pure irritation. They are all probably looking at my huge belly, thinking I can’t even handle the two I already have!!

To round up my week- my big ultrasound followed by my regular obgyn check up imagedidn’t exactly go as expected…

 

Huge Christmas Trees, Potato Tacos and a little bit of life insurance…

We’ve had a busy week after coming home from my sister’s (the heat alone makes everything harder). I asked my son if he missed her and to my surprise he continue to answer no repeatedly (even if he cried when we left). So I ask again and he yells “NO mama, stop asking, it’s too hard to talk about”!!
He also keeps talking abut her house, horse and dog and now he even has a pretend horse and a pretend dog named the same names!

We had to get our dog back, we had to stock up the fridge and pantry, we had play dates and soccer and swimming. On Monday, I had to go to school to hand in grades and return final exams and had to bring both kiddos along, which was interesting with all the questions my son asked EVERYONE and how little my baby girl wanted to hang out in the baby carrier.
I had to go all the way back to get the stroller- turns out she liked that even less!

I manage to get all the paperwork in and books returned with the school still standing (two years ago my son tugged a giant Christmas tree down in the main office while I was still a student hoping to graduate- fortunately no one was hurt- unfortunately the giant tree WITH lots of ornaments took down a desk, a couple of chairs and some paintings off of the walls as it went down- I wonder why they declined our offer to stay and help clean up…!??) and everyone in one piece!

Since everything went so well and since we were starving I decided to make the (very bad) decision that we would have lunch right there in Old Town at an actual restaurant. I don’t know about your kids but mine are certainly not what you would call well behaved at restaurants (or any place where sitting down quietly for an extended period of time is required) so I’m not sure what I was thinking? Wait, yes I do!
You will think I’m crazy…but knowing how much I like potatoes…and Mexican food maybe you would understand! They have these potato tacos that are seriously to die for. I went to this little place several times when I was pregnant with my daughter- it was always like “dinner for two…” Or “two or more sets of plastic ware to go…?) nop! Just for ONE, at least I could indicate my stomach then and blame my pregnancy. Now – not so much but I was really craving them and we were right there…so…

Of course it ended up a disaster, the rice, the salsa…the guacamole… in the water fountain (ehm, yes!) and two kids wilder than ever. It was “check please!” pretty much as soon as we had gotten the food- despite my preparation of “chips right away”, apple juice (any measures) and a brand new dinosaur coloring book…
At least I managed to scarf down one potato taco (hey, they are just not the same heated up).

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On Tuesday I had my appointment with the insurance lady that I have been trying to avoid for quit some time. It just didn’t feel like a very fun thing to do despite the needed end result of life insurance (besides she sounded super rude on the phone- maybe because it was slightly difficult to get me scheduled). There was talk of blood draws and running on the treadmill, urine samples and  blood pressure readings. I guess that is all fine- pretty much what we women do on a regular basis during pregnancy, am I right!? (Well maybe not the treadmill- which in my case was the elliptical we have at home). But this “check-up” seems so nerve-racking like a test you have to pass and it is for something so depressing and unthinkable as life insurance. Who wants to even think of that? Especially when you have young children. But I guess it’s a necessary evil.

So I did schedule with the rude nurse even if I did “white-lie” (also called “flat out lying”…but I did feel bad…at least a little bit, I never lie) telling her we wouldn’t be back from my sisters until today- trying to postpone the inevitable. For a while before, I was convinced they would run all the tests on me and find some incurable disease, I actually could physically feel the fear of having to leave my children. I know I’m being ridiculous and ungrateful and a worry wart but everything is just so good right now (and I am actually extremely grateful) which is always scary… (Am I the only one feeling this way?)

Days before the date I had come to terms with it- I swear I really had (it was something that wasn’t to be avoided and it’s good to get the reassurance that you are healthy and getting life-insurance is the mature, responsible thing to do). So at the time of the appointment I was feeling fine until…I wasn’t

Kid bullies, bare bottoms and broken lips…

Chaos erupts! My sister is calling to tell her nephew “happy birthday” so I put her on speaker (as he struggles to speak to her in Swedish) and I’m trying to overhear so I can “translate”. There are a couple of other kids in the indoor play area and one of them just doesn’t seem to be able to leave the baby alone. He pushes her and pinches her- she doesn’t cry (being used to her big brother) but seems distressed.

I try to be apart of my sister’s and son’s phone conversation while helping my daughter out but the other toddler does not make it easy. In these situations I always get confused (and a little upset), do I scold someone else’s child (he is being really rough with her and I already said “no, she doesn’t like that” multiple times nicely) or do you talk to the parents?
The mom is just standing there conveniently outside the heavy gate (so great and no “underage kid”- I’m not talking 21 here more like 8…10!? can open it) blatantly ignoring what is going on (even though I have tried to catch her eye…also several times.

I’m forced to remove my little girl from the situation which is not fair since she was having so much fun. She protests loudly (can you blame her…they had “real” books to chew on and lots of big boy toys!). My friend and I launch into a discussion about what you do when another kid is “bullying” (even though they are probably too young for that term) your own?

It is not like we have never been on the other end of this. Both our kids are headstrong and stubborn with at least in my son’s case a little “selfish” (what 3-4 year old child isn’t by the way) personality (me, me, me and mine). I have had my child hit someone, a grown-up, thank goodness (if you are said grown up still traumatized from the gymboree music class for 18 months olds a couple of years ago, I’m terribly sorry) with a big flashlight in the head, I have had him push a baby on the playground for “stealing” his toy, throw sand in someone’s eye because he wanted her toy etc. etc. But I pride myself in at least always always, interrupting, apologizing, sitting him down explaining what he did wrong, having him apologize and ultimately removing him from the situation.

I think my friend and I are on the same page at least until…

Smack!

Ok, my son is off the phone (now there did the cell go?) and on to..

Apparently throwing books on people, more specifically my friend’s sweet daughter. I hate seeing her cry, especially since it’s caused by MY son AND her lip is bleeding. Now this situation is definitely worse. It is so awkward and uncomfortable and sad and unnecessary (unfortunately it happens quite often). We are just lucky we are with friends and my friend is beyond understanding while her daughter is bleeding from her mouth. I apologize for my wild son of course but can’t help to add that I don’t think he meant it (and I don’t think he did, he would never want to hurt his “bestest girl”). His movements are just still so jerky and out of control.

Here comes the “we don’t throw” lecture, on my knees at his eye level. I can tell he is sad but I make him apologize and because he gets upset at me when he does wrong (oh the logic!) he throws another book. I have just about had it (the toddler pushing around my baby girl before seems like an angel in comparison).

I loudly and sternly announce that we are going to the car since he can’t behave. Too bad because we were having such a good time just moments earlier. I can tell he realizes throwing a second book was a bad move (well, good) and he apologizes to “his girl”.

The only problem remaining is the potty situation and as if my son knows that he can add some final drama before we call it a day… He promptly pulls his pants down before he even reaches the restroom (most of the people have left though which is a relief because I know all to well how people can get).

The door is wide open and his pants are around his ankles, trying to show his friend how it’s done! (Coming from a good place). Her lip seems (thankfully) better and she is over that and on to the next adventure of public restrooms. My son proudly announces “his number two” (which my friend confirms). Where am I you ask? Well I’m still inside of the heavy (kid proof) gate trying to find my phone, gather all of our belongings and my screaming baby.

I quickly realize that my son has pulled his pants back up directly after “pottying”, forgetting a step…

Now, where are those “free” wipes?

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