Tuesday, June 29, 2010

98 days to go!

The double-digit countdown is on - a little more than 3 months till we welcome The Bean to our family!  I'm 26 weeks along today, and still feeling pretty good.  The belly is getting really, really large so it's beginning to get difficult to move around.  I'm a week away from the most special trimester of them all: the third!  That's when all the wonderful happenings start, like peeing yourself when you laugh, needing a crane to help you off the couch, and swelling up like nobody's business.  Yep, can't wait till all that stuff starts happening.  Savoring the last week of technically being in the "honeymoon trimester", although the 3-point turn I need to make to hoist myself out of bed in the morning indicates that I might be ahead of schedule.

Over the weekend, we traveled to High Point to celebrate Auntie Lauren and Uncle Bear's wedding and all the festivities that go along with that.  We arrived on Thursday afternoon, and didn't sleep again until Sunday night.  Parties on Friday and Saturday and unwinding on Sunday, with little respite in between.  The Bean was front and center for all events, and elicited a lot of "I'm sorry you have to be pregnant in the summertime" type comments.  Up until now, this hasn't been a big deal.  As a matter of fact, in my last pregnancy, which also kicked off the 3rd trimester in the summer, wasn't so bad.  But going to the North Carolina piedmont posed a bit of a different scenario.  This is payback for my own 2-week tardiness in June, in South Florida in the early 80's.  A quick apology to the woman that carried me and suffered through that mess - sorry Mom!  Now I know what that may have been like.  When the temperature is 90 degrees before 10 am and the humidity is so intense that your hair is wet before you even leave the house, it's going to be a tricky day.  So four tricky days for me and The Bean.  Which may or may not have resulted in a hormone-induced temper tantrum or two, but who's counting?  The good news is we survived.  The other good news is that my sister-in-law is officially Mrs. Jones, and couldn't have celebrated in more style.  A beautiful ceremony, a beautiful bride and a beautiful occasion.  The Bean agreed - dancing around during the ceremony music, and bouncing all over during the reception.  Another music lover is on the way!

Me and The Bean have enjoyed a few trips to the pool so far this summer, and that's been pretty great.  Not so great is when I have to get out.  I could live in the pool right now.  Being outside, cooled off and relatively weightless is pretty much the best thing ever right now.  We look forward to more of this as summer goes on.  Everything else is going well.  Still no swelling or blood pressure issues.  This pleases me because I love my wedding ring and want to put off the ceremonial "putting the ring in the jewelry box till December" event.  The last doctor visit was in mid-June and everything checked out well.  But I did get orders to take the glucola test on July 7th.  Pray for me, y'all.  That test is the worst.  Drinking a cup full of warm, syrupy sugar after not eating anything for 12 hours is not my idea of entertainment.  And the results will dictate whether or not The Bean is going to make the 5:00 news with his very first weigh-in.  The results will also dictate whether or not I need to forget plans for a VBAC delivery.  For our non-medical friends, this means vaginal birth after caesarean.  We've been researching all of our options and at this point, this is still a possibility.  A very slim possibility, but still being talked about.  I am dreading the recovery period that comes with having another c-section.  The difference between this delivery and my last is that I'm coming home to a toddler that will want to be picked up, hugged on, and attended to.  You know, because he won't even be 2 when The Bean comes home.  I'm having a hard time visualizing how this will play out when I've been recently gutted and can barely walk from the bed to the bathroom.  But of course, Team Turner is practical.  So if my risk for attempting a VBAC exceeds my risk for a repeat c-section, you will be able to find me on an OR table at Park Ridge anywhere between September 28th and October 4th.

So that's that.  In 98 short days, I'll have reached my due date.  And let's be honest, by 98 days, I'll likely have a newborn in my arms and spit-up on my shoulder.  The countdown is officially on.  Now to get through the rest of the summer...

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Adventures of Benjamin Boo Bear take a nosedive

My mom said to me about a month ago - "How are you going to explain to Ben that you quit taking pictures of him and stopped blogging when he turned 1 year old?"  Ben, I have no acceptable explanation. I have been a terrible family historian this year.  I have lots of excuses - like my iMac (where my pictures are stored) has been in an uncomfortable location, or my head was in a toilet for a couple months, but it's not acceptable.  Sorry Ben.  Mama's gonna try to do better.  The adventures have continued, however, unrecorded until now.

So back to my head in the toilet thing.  Ben found out in mid-January that he'll have a roommate this fall!  Benjamin is about to be a big brother!  And I have to brag on him lots here - he has been a dream toddler throughout the gestation process thus far.  It's like the child has a 6th sense about my new condition because he has truly given me a break while I battle the various stages of pregnancy.  Ladies and gentlemen, it is a much different process when you have a 1 year old running around.  The conception of this baby and Ben's walking happened in the same week.  I kid you not.  So step aside, morning sickness, Ben sees a cabinet with bleach and bug killer he can get into and he's headed right for it.  But mostly, he's been great.  I still benefit from 2 long naptimes from him per day, at roughly 2 hours a piece.  AND he still sleeps till 10 am most mornings if I let him do it.  Naps have been my biggest benefit of his generosity.  I love sleep.  I crave it.  Especially when I am growing a child.  Apparently my son celebrates them as much as I do.  So when Mama needs to recharge, playtime is over and Ben gets serenaded by a musical seahorse until he finds himself recharging.  Perfect.  The walking thing was initially a little stressful, considering the timing, but ended up fine.  Ben rarely gets into anything dangerous, especially now that we have childproof locks on all the cabinets.  But another unintentionally terrible behavior also coincided with my first trimester that I could have lived without, considering I was on medication to reduce the head-in-the-toilet phenomenon: sharing food.  No baby, Mama doesn't want to eat an Xtreme Cheddar Blast Goldfish with you.  But thank you for thinking of me.  Luckily, all of that is behind me.  Well, the nausea part anyway.

Ben is getting a little brother in late September/early October.  We are so excited that we get to raise two boys, two years apart and dream about the buddies they'll become, the trouble they'll get into, and the fun we'll all have.  I explain all of this to Ben on a regular basis but it's not really clicking yet.  You know, because he's 1.

So back to the adventures.  We kicked off spring as quickly as possible - which for us started in mid-March when the snow finally melted.  Still not enjoying spring temperatures, but the white stuff was tucked away under trees and in the shade and easily avoidable at that point.  We did a lot of park trips in March.

Early March in our backyard - no grilling anytime soon!

Later in March - upset because we have to play on the playground in 40 degrees

The last weekend in March, Ben and I traveled to Hartsville, South Carolina for the annual Carolina Cup weekend.  Jacob and I have been going to this event since we started dating - our first cup was in 2004.  In 2010, we traveled Jacob-less, because he had to work, but it was the first year Benny actually got to see the races!  Last year he was ready to go with his little outfit and everything, but we were rained out.  So Ben had a blast, naturally.  He walked around the in-field with various family members, mostly Mimi and Aunt Nette, and crashed frat boy and fancy southerners' parties with his charm and good looks.  He also enjoyed watching the horsies clip-clop by him (there were horses at this thing?!) and he even won a race he may have bet on.  $14.00 richer, right into his piggy bank!

The outfit - half the fun: March 2010

Proud to call these fancy dressers my Aunties:

We all headed to Aunt Nette's farm the next day to have fun in the sun and to throw Aunt Elizabeth and Aunt Lauren a baby shower and wedding shower, respectively.  This was the first not-cold day on record in 2010, so was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Ben was pretty tuckered out by then, as was Mommy, because both of our nap schedules were pretty screwed up by this point, but sunshine and family were bonuses.  Ben played with his aunts, uncles and cousins, and even got to play with his cousin, baby Adam a little.  An overall successful trip!

Cousins and Aunts at the farm:

The next month brought more sniffles, as Ben changed schools and became Episcopalian.  He had to leave our favorite school, Mud Creek for better hours, so began attending the St. James School for Little Folks.  And germs.  So April was sort of a bummer, filled with doctor visits and more prescription medication.  But in the middle of all that, the sickness left long enough for Ben to have a decent Easter weekend.  He celebrated with his first Easter Egg Hunt at the Arrowood's home.  He played with his buddy Levi and future girlfriend, Madison, but eventually got fed up and threw the tantrum of 2010 for all the party-goers to see.  Ben is capable of some serious attitude when he feels like it, and pretty much came out of the womb that way, but can usually shake it off pretty easily.  He's like his Mama - Hurricane Lindsay.  Meltdowns are fierce and angry for a pretty short period of time, and then calm sets in and order is restored fairly easily.  But no, this was not on the schedule today.  Ben's epic meltdown didn't end until 20 minutes after we GOT HOME.  And The Arrowoods don't live around the corner.  But moments leading up to that were pretty pleasant.

Levi and Ben: Easter bros

May and June have been fun filled with lots of local activities.  Ben helped me garden nearly every weekend to make our yard look more like people live here and less like an abandoned home.  He's become very fond of playing in the yard, by himself or with his doggies, and helps me water the plants every afternoon.  Ben and I traveled to the mountain house one weekend for more Turner family fun.  He's made lots of visits to see Grammie and Grandpa and has become especially fond of his Grandpa.  He loves to sit in his lap and hear him tell stories and encourage him to pet his "feathers" (beard).  Ben thinks this is hilarious and will mimic him by petting himself on the head, since his beard still hasn't come in.  He visited Hendersonville's Garden Jubilee festival just long enough to throw 80 pieces of gum in the street and scream loud enough to make other visitors uncomfortable (Hurricane Benjamin).  He visited the Nature Center with Lena and Levi and hung out at their house some for a quiet play date.

Bending it like Beckham with Levi:

Being comforted after a fall:

Getting Grandpa time at Mommy's birthday party:

Today, Ben got to visit Patton Pool in Hendersonville for the first time all season.  Ben is not a fan of pool water.  He will splash and play in the bathtub as long as you'll let him, but good luck dragging him into a pool.  The pool's temperature was 86 degrees today, because it has been at least 300 degrees every day for the last 3 weeks (did I mention we missed spring and jumped right into summer?).  So the pool felt very much like a bathtub today.  But it took about an hour and a lot of singing, dancing and being generally ridiculous in public to get Ben to smile.  But he eventually liked it.  Hopefully more visits are in our future, because unlike Ben, I very much enjoy floating in a pool.  When your belly is so big it deserves its own zip code, weightlessness in a pool, urine-filled or not, is a very pleasurable experience. 

Ben and Dad on Father's Day: about to enjoy (or not enjoy) a day at the pool
Milestones are fast and furious at this stage.  My little hamster is 19 months old, which means he is almost 2, and I'm having a hard time digesting that.  In the last few months, Ben has become mobile, and the whole world has opened up to him.  He's gone from wanting to be carried to having an intense need to do it himself.  This is the cause of Hurricane Benjamin most of the time.  He would like to walk to his destination, but oftentimes his destination is different than Mom and Dad's.  He likes to wander, and hates holding hands and being guided.  I broke down recently and did the unthinkable - I bought him a monkey backpack equipped with a leash.  I used to judge parents who put their kids on leashes to go into Target.  Now I consider them geniuses.  We haven't used it in public yet, but he loves wearing his monkey backpack around the house.  Speaking of monkeys, Ben has decided he is one.  Unfortunately, his falling and landing on his feet skills are not as superior as his climbing skills.  So he's fantastic at getting on top of dangerous places, like the coffee table, but stinks at getting back down.  You've never seen cat-like reflexes out of a huge pregnant woman until you've seen me fly off the couch when Ben lifts his leg to climb a table.  It's just a matter of time before he's swan diving out of his crib.  I don't even want to think about it.  

Ben is slow to talk.  Real words, that is.  He's a great communicator.  Hurricane Benjamin gets the point across quite well.  Throwing a box of Xtreme Cheddar Goldfish into my lap and taking two steps back is heard loud and clear.  But words aren't coming so easy.  He babbles a lot.  I call it his Esperanto.  It's a cool sounding made-up language with sentence structure and everything, but I don't speak it.  He does refer to me as Mum, Jacob as Dad or Daddy, and the cat as Ti-ti.  His name is Toby, and we call him Kiki, so I guess that's Ben's way of bringing the two together.  We refer to the dogs as the doggies, but Ben calls them Ah-dees.  He's reversed the syllables and dropped the "g".  Who needs the "g" anyway?  So at around 5:00 every evening, Ben starts flapping his arms and running for the door yelling, Ah-dee, Ah-dee, because he knows it's time to feed them.  Another one of his favorite activities.  While the dogs eat, Ben sits on the floor between them and watches.  Luckily, they don't mind.  But back to the language thing - Ben feels like expressing himself in ways other than spoken word.  A conversation yet to be had between us and the doctor, but halfway anticipating a referral to a speech therapist.  Other things seem to be coming together well, however, so we're not sweating it too much.  Ben has his own schedule for getting things done, and has taught us in the past to just be patient.

So that's the last 4 months, in a nutshell.  My little guy is having a blast, enjoying summer, and has no idea that his world is about to change.  4 months from now, he'll be a big brother, and we're pretty sure he's going to love it.