Sunday, January 31, 2010

Away From b

This morning I rolled my achy body out of bed, waddled to the bathroom after collecting a mishmash of clothes to wear while I get ready, and turned on the light. As I looked at myself in the mirror, I melted into tears, watching them steadily stream down my face, lightly splish-splashing on the counter.

You see, today I am leaving my son in the care of my parents and sister for the day. Well, my husband and I are leaving him. I have a baby shower to go to on the other side of the state, and since a three-hour car ride each way would be torture for the little man (who already had to make a similar trek a couple weeks ago) we decided at the last minute last night to see if we could procure babysitters for him for the day. My mom jumped at the chance, and now Little B gets to spend the whole day with Oma, Grandpa E, and Aunt Christine instead of being schlepped here and there, cooped up in a car that holds no fun for him.

My family has watched him before, obviously, so why did this upset me so?

This will be the longest I have ever been away from my son since the day he was born. If we drove there, went to the shower, and drove back without stopping at all along the way either way, we'll be gone for nine hours. I'm pretty sure the longest I've ever left him with a babysitter is like three hours. So, as you can imagine, this day has become pretty daunting for me.

Through the haze of my tears, I started to think about a friend and something she did for the first time last night, and I'm trying to draw strength through her and through my own experience. My friend Andrea spent her first few hours alone, outside of the hospital, with her brand new son last night. She wrote on Facebook how nervous she was and how scary something so tiny can be. Her words brought me back to those first days when I stayed home alone with Baylor, how I didn't know exactly what I was doing and I was scared, but we did it. And we survived many, many days since.

I know I can do this today; it will be much harder on me than Little B, I'm sure. But it's good to get this first taste of separation under our belts because (deep breath, Nicole) I know there is a much bigger separation coming up in the not-so-distant future. A separation I am still struggling to fathom, let alone be okay with. So days like today, those important baby steps, are a good jumping-off-point to prepare me - and Baylor - for the few days when I'll be in the hospital, getting acquainted with a new little person.

Still ...

I better bring some touch-up makeup with me today. And lots and lots of tissue.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Billiard Fun!

This morning after breakfast, my son and I headed over to my parents' house to hang out with them while my husband did a presentation for a competition. We had fun, we ate lunch, and eventually my son and dad made their way downstairs to run around in the open area and enjoy a little music from the juke box.

Song selection is very important work.

My dad then got out a folding chair and showed my son the pool table. I know he's seen it before, but only from his low vantage point, probably never really knowing what was on top. Boy oh boy, did he enjoy that!

Pushing the balls down the table.

Inspecting them for color quality and general smoothness.

Trying to sink them in the pockets.

I mean, come on ... just look at those cheeks!

As it turns out, billiard balls are great learning tools, too! Little B was able to point out a few colors and numbers he knew!

Awesome new fun for Baylor and Grandpa E!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Opposites and Numbers

Today my son and I hung out at home, and the little man dazzled me with all his new tricks. During lunch, he all of a sudden started saying all of the opposites he knew:

"Up!" ... "Down."

"In!" ... "Out!"

"On." ... "Off!"

Then he'd just smile at me. I tried to explain how they were opposites, but he just wanted to say them over and over again.

We also played with coasters today, and Baylor decided to show off his counting skills. He had already dumped all the coasters onto the floor, then when I showed up he picked them up one by one and ever-so-quietly counted, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven." Two and three sounded a bit alike, as did four and five, but he did a really good job nonetheless.

I'm so proud of him! I can't believe how much he changes every single day and how lucky I am to be able to witness it all.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Scale, A Trapezoid, and Two Pink Balls

Baylor and I had dinner with my mom and sister last night, and - as usual - it's never a dull evening with the little man.

Upon his arrival at their house, he sped to the bathroom to bring out their digital scale. He loves anything digital, but this is particularly fun because it's so interactive. Of course, he needed help working it properly.

He actually weighed in at a scant 24.4 pounds, but he seemed satisfied.

And for some reason last night he was all about the bear stance; feet and hands on floor, butt in the air. It made for a cute picture or two, though.

After dinner, he pulled out his new favorite puzzle at Oma and Grandpa E's house. It's a Melissa and Doug wooden shape puzzle. Though simple in design, it has apparently proved to be very educational for him.

Now, I know this is going to sound like bragging, and basically that's all it is, but my kiddo appears to be a genius! We asked him to pick up the shapes, and after only playing with it a handful of times in the past couple weeks, he was able to identify a circle, square, triangle, oval (his favorite), rectangle, rhombus, trapezoid, and pentagon. He got a little tripped up on the octagon, but I think he got it later in the night. We didn't even tell him what color things were ... he just picked them out by name all on his own! And yes, I was beaming (and in shock) the entire time.

For some reason, Baylor has always loved these breast cancer awareness racquetballs my mom had around the house. The pink lid, the canister, and the little pink balls themselves ... all are mystical and magical in his eyes.

He likes to shake the balls in the canister, spin the empty canister, spin the lid, bounce the balls, watch Grandpa E bounce the balls to the ceiling and back, throw the balls as hard as he can ... anything goes!

Needless to say, we had a good time.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eating Apples with My Boy

My little man and I got a lot done this morning even though I was feeling a bit under the weather. We did a few loads of laundry (he helped take stuff out of the dryer and directed me on how to start up a new wash load), took stuff to the dry cleaners, then headed to our local apple orchard for a half peck of new apples.

I had been sticking with Cameos, but there weren't many bags left and that made me wonder if they were any good anymore. So I bought Jonagolds (I think) instead ... we'll see how they taste once we get to them.

In the meantime, Baylor and I shared an apple when we got home. It was lovely.

I cut his up into little bits (see them there in front of his bib) and he goes to town. Now that he's got four molars, he chews them much better and things move a bit more quickly, thank goodness!

Patiently waiting for Mama to peel and slice another bit of apple. What a good little boy!

The Cameo was fantastic, and I can safely say we both enjoyed it thoroughly.

I hope you all are having a delicious day!

(I don't remember if I've posted this piece of advice before - and my computer is being too slow for me to check it out - but the lady who owns the orchard near us told me that the best way to keep apples fresh is to take them out of the bag, put them in the crisper, then cover them with a damp towel. Apparently they stay fresher longer if they are kept in a humid environment. Who knew?)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Operation Tick Tock: Check and Check

I crossed a couple things off my Tick Tock list today:

First, I scrubbed my son's non-skid bathtub mat with bleach (wearing gloves and a mask) to get all the gunk off the suction cups. It looks all shiny and new! Yay!

And second, I caulked a couple more areas of our bathroom that I had skipped during the first ant removal attempt. Apparently if you take away their main point of entry they'll find another, so the spot I didn't do all of a sudden became a problem. *sigh* Oh well, it's done. If that doesn't fix it, I might go crazy. Just warning you.

That's it. Just thought I'd share and keep holding myself accountable for getting this stuff done. (Though if I was really going to put myself out there, I'd put the list up wouldn't I? Hm ... not quite sure I'm ready for that yet.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010


During a recent shopping trip, my mom told me that she was interested in taking Baylor to Build-A-Bear. I didn't see the harm in it, so we decided to check it out. The store was a bit busy, but once we got to the wall of animals he didn't seem to notice. Mom asked what I thought he should have, and I said that one of the two (a dog or a bear) with shorter fur would probably be best because then he wouldn't try to pull the fur out with his teeth. Little B wasn't at all interested in either animal though. Then, we came upon the owl. Ahh, the owl. It was love at first sight, and Baylor took to him immediately, hugging the little empty shell of a stuffed animal. Though it had pretty much the longest fur of any of the animals, he loved it so much I couldn't say no and we wheeled over to the line to get Owl stuffed.

It did not go well, to say the least.

The instant we took Owl away, though promising to give him back, Baylor went ballistic. Clinging to Aunt Christine, he was horrified as the salesperson shoved the metal stuffing tube into Owl's back and started poking around to fill him.

Then she stopped the noisy filling machine and started sewing him up ... and the sobbing continued.

Finally, my traumatized little guy was reunited with his furry friend.

We didn't even bother to buy Owl any clothes because Baylor didn't care and wouldn't give him up to be dressed. The clerk even had to walk around and pull the tag off of him so she could scan it because Baylor was clinging onto him so tightly.

As we walked out of the store, Little B fell into a sort of exhausted lull, snuggling with his Owl.

After a minute or two, he snapped out of it and started exploring Owl's face. "Eye." "No." (Nose.)

And then, well he was just the happiest boy on Earth!

Kiddo loves his new stuffed animal SO much! Though at first I wanted to name him Hootie, we decided to just call him Owl because Baylor can actually say it. And say it he does ... in the two days he has been in our family, Owl has pretty much gone everywhere with us. Every time Baylor sees him, he breaks out into a huge grin and runs for him. It's adorable, to say the least.

Ravenous at 30 Weeks ...

I had another OB appointment on Friday, and I thought I'd give you guys the skinny on my stats. Here they are ... read 'em and weep.

Blood pressure: 96/? (I couldn't read the screen quickly enough)
Weight at last visit: 158 lbs.
Weight at current visit: 161 lbs.
Starting weight (approx.): 128 lbs.
Glucose Tolerance Results: PASSED!!

Apparently a bunch of my OB's patients failed their glucose tolerance test that day, so initially she thought I was in that group. But the freaked-out look on my face told her that she might be wrong, so she checked and I was well in the clear. Whew!

I only gained three pounds, so I got a metaphorical gold star for my efforts at eating better. Thank goodness too, because I have been absolutely ravenous lately and would have been totally bummed if I had deprived myself a little bit only to have gained a ton of weight.

When I say I have been ravenous lately, I mean it. I eat dinner, I'm still hungry. I have a snack, I could eat a meal. I feel like I could eat ALL DAY LONG. This is a little unusual for someone at this point in a pregnancy; usually the baby starts to take up more space and makes you feel fuller faster. However, for me, this wasn't the case when I was pregnant with Little B and it's not the case now.

I literally want to wear a sign around my neck that says "FEED ME!!!". I'd never take it off.

The last two days haven't been superb eating-wise, so I have to get back on the wagon, so to speak. More apples and carrots, fewer sweets. Last night in particular, I went to take off my compression socks (sexy, huh?) and I had the worst muffin top knees I have had in a while. I think my water weight gain is starting up, though hopefully it won't get as bad as last time (I'll try to find a picture of my feet from my last pregnancy to demonstrate). The compression socks help, if only so I can continue to see my ankles day in and day out. Sadly, the socks are open toe, so after having shifted throughout the day I end up with muffin tops for feet as well as knees. Stellar.

So that's where I am. Questions? Comments? Concerns? (Grandma and Aunt Marty, I know you're probably concerned about how much I'm eating, but trust me, I'd pass out if I didn't eat as much as I do.)

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Handwritten, Middle-of-the-Night Post by Nicole "Roger" Jacques

So, I woke up in the middle of the night (3:45 a.m.) last night to pee and while getting out of bed my brain went into my blog voice and started writing out this post as I tried to roll from left to right then get out of bed. Deciding I didn't want to lose it to the inevitable amnesia sleep would bring, I hand wrote this post while I was in the loo. I am going to type it out exactly as I wrote it (single spelling error and all) so you have all the nuances of my sleepy brain. Enjoy!


I had to pee in the middle of the night last night. This was no easy task as some of my pillows had adjusted mid-sleep and, upon shifting, left me in a less-than-desirable position. My left leg was rendered essentially useless by some type of mysterious temporary paralysis, leaving only my right leg to do the work of rolling over so I could get out of bed.

I moved the pillow out from between my knees ... pain but no additional leverage gained.

Then I tried moving the pillow out from behind my back, hoping to let gravity or something roll me over. But, alas, I was stuck in that position like a roasted potato left too long in the pan.

My sleepy mind then started calling myself Roger; my only thought is that it needed someone to cheer on.

I soon realized my left leg was still pinned by a triangle of sheets near my foot, and upon freeing it I was able to slowly roll to my back.

Not a great position to be in as I am now shaped like a backwards turtle.

Roger was stuck.

Really not wanting to wake up my husband, I soldiered on. Yes, I'm horribly stubborn ... sue me.

My left leg, though free, had been crushed by my body weight for hours and was rendered useless by pain at my hip joint. Better than the previous paralysis, but still undesirable.

I scooted my right leg closer to the edge of the bed then painfully moved my left leg into a bent position, knee sticking up into the air (not unlike the awkward position my husband sometimes assumes during sleep). With this slight bit of nearly useless leverage I tilted myself gently to my right.

Suddenly I longed for the days in the not-so-distant future when I'd have a catheter or a nurse to help me out of bed.

"Don't think like that, Roger!" I chided myself. "We can do this!"

Then, somehow, I was miraculously able to get part of my body over the edge of the bed and daringly let gravity roll me the rest of the way out.

Upon standing, I realized my left leg was again paralyzed though this time I knew, like most early mornings, it was from the fear of intense pain.

As I had already started writing this post in my head (and really didn't want to lose it) and couldn't move anyways, I took a moment to grab a pen and pad of paper on my way.

Then, after using the bathroom, I sat there on the toilet, risking hemmoroids and sleepy legs, and write out this entire post.

No shit.

Three handwritten pages later, both legs were horribly asleep, my mind was slightly more awake, but I was creatively satisfied.


Back to bed for 2 more hours.

Good night, Roger.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Turning Off the Sun

Yesterday, Little B was running around the house exploring, when he came upon the side lights next to our front door. He stopped, so I went to see what he was up to (in hopes he wasn't climbing the stairs), and he looked at me and said, "Off." I said, "Buddy, the lights aren't on." He said, "Off" again and pointed to the sun.

Yup. My little man wanted me to turn the sun off.

I tried to explain to him that we can't do that, but he went to the light switches by the door and pointed to them, imploring me to turn the sun off.

I love knowing he has such an imagination and a curiosity of the world around him. And I love knowing that, had I actually been able to turn the sun off, he would have asked me to turn it right back on again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Funny Face Bath Beakers: Awesome!

Little B loves getting a bath. When we tell him it's bath night, he goes upstairs and stands at the edge of the tub just waiting for us; a couple times he's tried to climb in on his own.

One of the reasons he likes his bath so much is a set of bath tub beakers my sister got for him for his birthday. His Funny Face Bath Beakers have been a total hit bath after bath after bath. Each one has a silly little face (hence the name) and a different type of hole in it to release the water in a fun and exciting way.

The yellow one actually has two holes, but to get the top hole to work you have to plug the bottom one (the only design flaw, in my opinion). Baylor just loves watching the water flow out of the yellow one's mouth ... often he'll try to catch it with another cup.

Another favorite is using the cups to dump water on his belly. We have no idea why this intrigues him, but he truly loves it and does it almost every bath time.

These beakers are a great, inexpensive, easy-to-clean bath tub toy for girls and boys. We never have to worry about them getting moldy like some of the squeezie bath tub toys because the water is allowed to drain properly and they are easily cleaned inside and out.

Oh, and because they are such bold colors we've been using them to teach Baylor about colors; when we put them away at the end of his bath we ask him to hand us the red cup, then the green cup, etc. He's getting pretty good at it, I must say!

Anyhow, I highly recommend these! Great find, Aunt Christine!

Big Boy Room and a "New" Glider

After all the painting and decals and carpet, it was finally time to put the finishing touches on Baylor's big boy room. This included slip covering a glider I bought from one of my parents' neighbors, so my mom helped me out with that yesterday. All part of Operation Tick Tock, you know?

At first, Little B was content just watching Oma from above.

Then he insisted on helping her at the sewing machine.

After dinner, we stuffed the cushion into the slip cover, and Mom got it sewed up ... with a little help from a little man.

Then, of course, we took a snack break. Baylor had a little bit of my peppermint ice cream. I swear he liked it!

See, he's asking for more!

Last night we got the cushions put back on the chair, and today my son got to play around a bit while I snapped a few photos. First and foremost, he wanted to climb into the chair and test things out. Yup, good for reading!

Didn't it come out great?! Thanks again, Mom!

Then it was time to test out the new dresser (firmly attached to the wall, of course). We've decided to try using the top of the shorter dresser as a changing table, and so far it is working out well.

Little B totally upgraded closets when he moved to his new room! I put all his clothes on the top rod so he can just sit in his closet - like he likes to - and read books I have stored on a little shelf in there.

He was so excited to see his Doggies book after it being AWOL for a while!

We officially moved him into his room last Saturday, January 16th, and I have to say I was quite sad that night. When my husband told Baylor before his nap that day, "This is probably the last time you'll sleep in your old room," I burst into tears and had to read my son his stories while crying. Then I sobbed for a while after he went down for his nap. It's just so hard to think that he's old enough to be moved into a "big boy" room. And, of course, my pregnant brain decided to fast forward a bit and I mourned the days when he'll move out of the house and into his own place.

One thing at a time, though.

He's in his big boy room. He loves it. That's all I need to know right now.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Friends, Old and New

After nine long years, my friend Kristin and I finally reconnected this past weekend! We went to Albion together for our first year of college then parted ways when she transferred. She eventually moved out to California, fell in love, got married, and had an adorable little boy last August. She finally came back to Michigan for a visit this past week, and we were lucky enough to meet up!

Isn't Liam a little cutie pie?!

Hopefully we'll get to see each other again before another nine years passes! Thanks for having us over to your mom's house, Kristin! It was so good to see you and to meet little Liam!

Overnight Diapers That Work! Hallelujah!

Since our little guy has been sleeping through the night, we have been on the lookout for a diaper that can keep him dry all the way to morning. We have tried Pampers Extra Protection, but they worked just about as well as Pampers Baby Dry and cost a decent amount more. More leaks means more laundry for me, so finding a great nighttime diaper is important.

And I think we have a winner!

Fisher-Price has come out with a line of diapers called Happy Days, Happy Nights. We saw them by chance at Babies R Us last weekend and decided to give the Happy Nights version a go. And it works! We haven't had a leak with them yet (knock on wood!), and that makes a mama happy! The diapers themselves are a little on the stiff side, but Baylor doesn't seem to mind it at all.

So far, so good! I highly recommend these diapers for overnight purposes; they really do seem to work well! Hallelujah!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Clip Clop!

The other night, Big B and Little B had fun with stacking cups. My husband grabbed a couple and showed Baylor how to make a clip-clop trotting sound with them ... then they spent the next fifteen minutes or so "horsing" around the house!

Lots of giggling and smiles ensued.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Portrait of a Budding Artist

Yesterday while I was making dinner, I plopped Little B into his hippo chair, taped some paper to the counter top, gave him a couple crayons, and let him go to town. (Oh, and I drew a smiley face on the paper to show him what crayons do.)

He's a lefty ... I can feel it.

After a while, he decided he wanted to see what happened when you pulled up on the paper ... turns out it rips. Oh, and tape is sticky!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tick Tock: Ants are Banished! (and a Product Review)

Yes, I took matters into my own hands. Yes, I was slightly seduced by an infomercial. Sue me.

Baylor and I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond today and bought some ProCaulk. It looks so easy on television, and I was at my wits end with the ants so I thought I'd give it a shot. The caulk it comes with does have that warning on it, so I bought face masks as well.

After Little B went down for a nap, I got to work. First, I got all suited up and opened the windows for some ventilation. Luckily, it is in the mid-thirties out today so it wasn't too unpleasant. Plus, those masks (yes, I wore both) were REALLY HOT!

Then I used some Raid all around the baseboards and by the opening of the shower.

After drying off the excess Raid, cleaning the area properly, and drying it off, I got to caulking.

Finally, it was time to try out the ProCaulk tool!

It did okay, but I wasn't sure what to do with all the excess caulk. It said on the packaging and in the instructions that "no caulk would go to waste", but I had no clue how to reapply it (though I tried several times without success).

This was the main point of entry for the ants, and - of course - the most difficult spot to caulk. It isn't overly pretty, but I stopped that sucker up.

In the end, I caulked the perimeter of the bathroom (except for the area under the sink - I didn't want to mess with that at this particular time) and all the way around the toilet. I wasn't going to do the toilet, but then I saw an ant sneak out from under it while I was caulking and decided it might not be a bad idea.

Some areas came out nice and neat like the infomercial said they would ...

... and some did not.

In the end, I give ProCaulk a C+ as a product. I think with a little practice (or a little prior experience) this tool would be wonderful. But as a novice it was slightly frustrating.

Having finished my little Operation Tick Tock project, I felt exhilarated! I had accomplished something that I had never done before and was rather difficult, but I did it! I was a sweaty, disheveled mess, but I felt good. (Yes, my maternity pants are falling down ... jealous?)

I also felt good that (though he wasn't actually there to see all the happenings) my son will know that women can do just as much as men, and that if you want something done you should try to do it yourself. Find a way!

Hopefully my husband will be okay with my little project. And hopefully he won't mind showering in the other bathroom tomorrow morning!

Oh, and hopefully that will keep the ants away for good! (Knock on wood!)