to my 10-month-old

10.08.09

*This is the unedited version of my article in Mommy Musings in the Cedar Park Citizen today.*

She's sneakier than she looks...

............She's sneakier than she looks..............

I see you playing over there, with your cute curls and your two-tooth grin. You look over at me with your big blue eyes and babble in your own little language. I’m sure if I could translate, I’d discover you’re repeating, “You’re the BEST mommy!” over and over again. When we’re out in public, everyone compliments you. “What a happy baby!” “She is just precious!” they tell me (as if I didn’t already know). But I know something they don’t. I know why you are so stinking adorable right now. It’s an intricate scheme weaved by babies everywhere to make sure the human race continues to exist. You are trying to convince me to have another baby.

I know about this plot because your brother was just your age when we got pregnant with you. On purpose. We fell under his cute baby spell and couldn’t think of a single reason why it wouldn’t be the best idea in the world to have another one of these right away!  Of course, a few months later, he began walking and talking. We suddenly had no idea why we thought this plan was a good one; especially once we remembered the pain he put us through the first few months. His cute baby hex spell must have conveniently blocked those memories out.

Before I had your brother, I half expected a newborn to come out acting and looking the way you do now. But it turns out that babies come out looking more alien than human, sleep all the time (but never at the right time), demand to be fed the rest of the time, and take nearly TWO MONTHS to reward their exhausted parents by finally cracking a little grin. On top of that, some infants are what doctors like to call “spirited”, but what they really mean is they scream all the time. Your brother was one of those infants. The mere fact that you were created is proof that this cute baby hex spell exists.

So I am not falling for your trick. I know what comes before this “most adorable baby in the world” stage. I know about the sleepless nights, the constant crying, and the need to be held every second of the day, no matter what. I also know what’s coming in a few months, when you turn into a toddler. They don’t call it the “terrible twos” for nothing. Please don’t feel the need to stop being a happy baby just because your little game won’t work on me. Just know that I am positively DONE with uncomfortable pregnancies and nearly unbearable infancies, even if they are totally worth it. Ok, make that probably. You are awfully cute, after all.

they should call it sleep deprivacation

09.24.09

*This was my first post for my “Mommy Musings” column in the Cedar Park Citizen (our local newspaper). I’ll be writing an article for them every other week!*

It turns out that going on vacation with two kids under three isn’t much of a vacation. It took me 3 hours to pack for our family of four to spend 4 days in San Antonio. We stuffed the double stroller (which, let’s be honest, is really more of a bus than a stroller), a bed for the toddler and one for the baby, 2 suitcases, and enough toys and food to entertain and feed an army into my Jetta. (I know! That car’s trunk is bigger than J-Lo’s.)

We left just after lunch, which, in toddler time, is naptime. Let me take a moment to impress upon you the importance of sleep with small children. Without enough of it, your kids will drive you insane because they will either be (1) Whining or crying incessantly or (2) Super, bouncing-off-the-walls, hyper. So, we left at naptime, thinking the kids could get in their afternoon nap and we’d have the rest of the afternoon and evening to play at the resort. The baby understood this plan and obediently took her nap. The toddler did not. The meltdown ensued just before dinner, complete with flailing appendages and high-pitched screams. Enough of a scene to make every parent look at you with empathy, and every non-parent give you the “shut that kid up” look.

When it was finally bedtime, both kids fell asleep pretty easily and we sat in silence on our bed in the same room, prisoners to our sleeping overlords. It’s not a vacation if you don’t have to go to bed at 8pm, right? My husband asked if he should bring our son into our bed because it was a special vacation and it would be so cute to have him sleeping between us. I shot him one of those “Are you serious? That’s the dumbest idea EVER!” looks, but he probably didn’t see it since we were surrounded by darkness. Then, I simply said, “No.”

Around 11pm, the baby started stirring and fussed a little before going back to sleep. Of course, this also woke up the toddler who was now suddenly too scared to sleep in his own bed and came to sleep with us. He hadn’t slept in our bed since he was 2 weeks old. He was slightly smaller and less mobile then. We woke up at least once every hour the rest of the night after being kicked in the ribs or poked in the eye. It was not as cute as my husband had hoped.

The next few days and nights went similarly. The hours we spent at the pool were generally enjoyable and the hours spent (not) sleeping in our room were torture. When one kid slept well, the other wanted to wake up every 2 hours or be up for the day at 5am. When neither kid slept well, we tried to keep their noise to a minimum so that the rest of the hotel could enjoy their actual vacation. And when both kids slept well, …wait, that never happened. By the end of the trip, we were so tired that we needed another vacation to recover from this one.

in which i admit how many pregnancy tests i’ve taken

08.25.09

I had a baby almost 9 months ago. I’ve been convinced I’m pregnant nearly every month since then, even though 4 negative home pregnancy tests say otherwise. Those things aren’t always right, you know. Sometimes they give false negatives.

Let’s look at the symptoms. I’m exhausted. A definite sign of early pregnancy. You might say it has something to do with having 2 kids 2 and under, one of which has only been sleeping through the night for about a month and the other who has decided to stop sleeping through the night since his sister started giving us a break. But, you might be wrong.

I’m also peeing. A lot. Like, even in the middle of the night. Also a good indicator that you have a bun in the oven. You might say it has something to do with all that water I’ve been drinking given the 8 million days of 100+ degree weather we’ve had. But, you might be wrong.

About 3 out of the 9 months since I had Evie, I was terribly nauseous. Hello, morning sickness much?! I went to a doctor, after getting another negative sign on another home pregnancy test, and she said I had gastritis from stress and eating poorly. Whatever. Doctors are wrong, like, all the time. Greasy cheeseburgers and gallons of Dr. Pepper are totally fine.

I also haven’t been visited by my Aunt Flow in about 5 months. You’re probably looking at me now and thinking, “But, Sara, didn’t you have one of those IUDs put in in January? And don’t those sometimes let your Aunt Flow go on vacation? And aren’t they like 99.9% effective?” Those are all valid points, but it IS possible. Just ask Jaime about her 3rd baby. And before you get all, “Isn’t it a GOOD thing that you haven’t had a visit from that annoying Aunt??”, let me just tell you, just because she’s not physically visiting me, she’s still sending me postcards in the form of cramps and migraines.

The past 3 days I’ve been having terrible cramps. Like stop in the middle of what you’re doing and grab your abdomen terrible. So I went to the doctor this morning. I thought for sure this kind of pain meant I was pregnant, and it hurt because I have an IUD and my uterus is all, “You’re not allowed to have a foreign object in here while I’m housing a baby! Hellooooo?!” The doctor ordered a sonogram to check for ovarian cysts, which it turns out I have. I also got a pretty good look at my uterus and didn’t see anything but emptiness. But, you know, those images aren’t very clear and half the time when they were taking pictures of my other two babies, I had no clue what they were looking at. Surely the sonographer would have said something, but maybe she isn’t allowed to tell patients things like that. The doctors might get mad. You never know.

Ok, so maybe there is some compelling evidence against the possibility that I am with child. And we are definitely not ready for a 3rd kid. We’re pretty sure we never will be (more on that later), at least not on purpose.