Balancing things

Oh my. Pregnancy and an almost-2-year-old. And that almost-2-year-old's birthday party in two days. It's getting exciting, people.

Yesterday was a rotten day in terms of how I was feeling. It was my first throw-up day, and I just wanted my mommy. I think I only had about three of those days when I was pregnant with Kent (though I had my two and a half months of constant nausea and motion sickness), and all of the incidents occurred when I was rushing around and trying to get a lot done. My favorite memory is of being doubled over by the side of I-10 on the way to the airport at Christmas, then getting to the airport too late for our very early flight because I just couldn't get it together. While I was being sick yesterday morning, Kent was in his room playing, and for some reason he found the sound of it hilarious, so he was giggling the whole time. I thought, "Well, at least I'm entertaining him." It actually made it a little more bearable, surprisingly. Afterward, we got through a fun playgroup and made it home in one piece, but once I realized he wasn't going to take a nap when we got home, I completely ran out of energy and spent the rest of the afternoon lying on the sofa with movies in the DVD player. Every time I moved, I felt the nausea hit me again, so I tried to remain motionless except for cooking myself a potato in the oven. I managed to hold off on calling Jack until 3:30, when I begged him to come home an hour early. Yeck. I'm really thankful that I have that option, but I can't do it often, or he won't have any vacation time for travels or for when the baby comes.

And there's Kent's party. I'm excited, even though I feel like crap on toast most days. Party prep is going well so far, and things are mostly under control. We're going to have a sunny (read: ridiculously hot) morning at the sprayground with friends, lunchy foods and a cake, and a book swap for all the kids so that everyone gets to go home with a new book and nobody feels like they have to bring a gift for Kent. There are a few gazebos at the sprayground, and a friend of mine who lives nearby has offered to get there early to help claim a gazebo, so we should at least have some respite from the sun while we're eating and visiting. When I asked Kent about a cake several months ago, he informed me that he wanted a yellow cake with blue frosting. This quickly became a Nemo party in my mind, so we're having Nemo and fishy decorations. I'm trying this recipe and making blue cream cheese frosting instead of the whipped stuff it calls for, because I never get tired of cream cheese frosting. Also, I assembled all the little treat bags today, with stickers, Swedish fish, Goldfish crackers, Nemo splash balls (we have to have SOME kind of water toy), and a fun squiggly straw for each kid. Tomorrow's highlights will include grocery shopping for the remaining lunch items, and baking the cake. I'm also working in some rest time, since our wonderful friend Mary is taking Kent for part of the afternoon. I have really needed some rest time lately but have felt like a totally lame mom for popping him in front of a movie every day, even though I keep telling myself that it's only for the next month or so.

The reason we're not having enough rest time is that Kent's naps have been sporadic for the last couple of weeks, because we've weaned. Celebrate this new phase of his big-boyhood! I always had nursing until age 2 in the back of my mind because of the World Health Organization's recommendation about how long to breastfeed, so considering we made it to within a week of his second birthday, I'm pretty happy with how the whole thing went. I had an incredibly easy time nursing him from practically the first day and felt so lucky that our nursing relationship was so long and prosperous, but it was time to nudge him off of that one last naptime nursing each day so that I could have my boobs back for a few months. They were telling me how ready they were, and I strongly believe in listening to my pregnant body when it tells me that it would like to devote all its resources to growing a new baby. Kent doesn't seem upset to have given it up, because we (Jack, Kent and I) talked for a couple of months about how he's growing up and doesn't need to nurse all the time the way babies do, and we also told him that soon it would be time to say "Bye bye, ya ya" (his word for nursing). There was also lots of positive encouragement about all the things he can do now that he's getting bigger, just so he doesn't think that growing up only means giving up things he likes. I loved involving him in the process instead of just springing it on him, and I think that if he were a pacifier kid I would have wanted to do the same thing. It's good for both of us that he's weaned, and since he was only nursing once a day, I haven't felt any ill effects like engorgement; the only ill effect is that it's very difficult to convince him to take a nap without that cue he's so used to having. Some days, I'm able to get him to fall asleep in the car and then put him in his bed when we get home, but if he's been asleep in the car for longer than 15 minutes, it doesn't work and he's just awake for the rest of the day. No amount of naptime routine seems to be doing the trick, and I'm not sure whether we'll ever get him back on a predictable after-lunch nap the way he was before. Several of my friends here in town have kids slightly older than Kent who have given up napping, often around the time they weaned, so I guess I'm bracing myself for the possibility that he's just going to be awake all day, every day. I feel like he still needs that afternoon nap, but if I can't help him fall asleep, we're kind of stuck. Anyway, that's not for any of you to worry about — I just wanted to share it.

Kent has made great strides with potty training lately, starting to tell us when he needs to go (though so far, it's only a couple of times a day that it occurs to him). I'm so proud of him, and he seems to be getting that it's something he should be proud of, too — he gets especially excited when he makes a poop in the potty and I sing the poopy song I made up for him. Today, he pooped on the potty shortly after we finished watching A Bug's Life, and Kent looked down in the potty and remarked, "K have grasshopper poopoo." I guess it's because it was brown like the grasshoppers in the movie... he says all kinds of weird stuff these days, and I love it. I decided that once I kick this first trimester nonsense, we're going to shift potty training into a higher gear, perhaps taking the bare-bottom approach and certainly getting some training pants. It would be amazing if he were mostly done with training by the time the baby comes, though I'll certainly expect accidents and some regression when he and I are both faced with such a drastic change to our routine.

In other news, Jack has basically taken over the gardening duties for two reasons: (1) I *hate* going outside in this heat wave, and (2) fresh vegetables are really getting to me, a random and most unwelcomed consequence of the first trimester. The sight/thought/mention of fresh tomatoes actually makes me gag. How bizarre is that, given my usual adoration of them?? I don't like it.

I was thinking yesterday about all this sickness and how I thought when I was pregnant with Kent that maybe we'd just have one kid, because it would be very hard for me to gear myself up for feeling this way again. Of course, I did it again anyway, and I don't think it's because I forgot how it felt. I think it's analogous to the 20-some-hour flight to Australia. If you want to see Australia, you just have to take that incredibly long flight. But then you're there, and you see Australia, and you think it was totally worth it even though the flight was obnoxious. This is all idle speculation, since I've never been anywhere in the Southern hemisphere, but I'm guessing that's what it feels like. So I get through it, because I love my son more than anything and I want him to have a sibling, and I want us to have another child to share our lives with.

And I'm still happy, even in the midst of feeling like crap on toast.

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Two things:
one- Kent's gifts look like they are delivered. Yay! Wish I could go to sprayground too!
two- Maybe instead of nap time you can transition into a quiet hour. A time where he reads/plays/possibly naps by himself. I imagine it will be very helpful once beta comes along if he already knows how to quietly occupy himself... Just a thought.
And so sad about the veggie thing. I felt the same way. But there will still be good stuff around when you get out this stage right? Your growing season is so long.
Oh no, E, I'm sorry to hear you're still feeling crappy. Do you feel bad enough to get anti-nausea meds from the doctor? Our friend from grad school (Casey) who just had a baby went on those and said they were a godsend. She was so sick that the next step was to put her in the hospital for dehydration! (maybe you're not that bad yet...just miserable)

That is so sad that you don't want fresh tomatoes! Maybe Jack could cook them down for you and freeze them for making pasta sauce or chili later. Did you get a big freezer yet? Steve's method is: cut the stem off, food process them and simmer them on the stove at medium to med-high heat. As they get watery, press down with a colander into the pot and scoop out the water with a ladle (so you get only juice and leave the tomato "meat" in the pot). You can save that and make soup out of it too!
Yeah, I think we'll be doing quiet time/rest time. That's what a lot of my other mom friends with non-napping kids do.

Lauren, I'm on Zofran already, which is the "good stuff". It does keep me from throwing up, but it hasn't helped the general feelings of nausea. Still, it's better than not having anything!

Oh, and I did cook down some of the tomatoes to make sauce, and it was great. We might be doing that with more of them, especially if I can freeze them. I hadn't thought about that. We still don't have a big freezer, so we cram things creatively into our little one above the fridge. ;)
I'm sorry you're feeling craptastic. It will be worth it, like you said. Just have to muster the strength to get through it.
Hang on, Kid -- Mommy's coming!
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