Mini-Milestones

Spinach face! Das Big Boy has been doing some great eating lately, and is recently up about half a pound!

Spinach face! Das Big Boy has been doing some great eating lately, and is recently up about half a pound!

Happy New Year!

Today marked the day on which our daughter could be born no more than one month early! I think that sounds like quite an accomplishment.

Even more exciting: given that even if I went into labor this second, I probably wouldn’t deliver until after midnight, I think we can safely say that this baby will be born in the right year and the right month! Not to compare my children, but Das Big Boy did not manage to do either. Of course, Wee Mädchen could be born in February–my official due date is 1/31–but after all this hoopla, that would amuse me greatly. Or maybe not. My many friends and relatives who’ve been overdue have been many things, but I’m not sure amused is one of them.

Today’s ultrasound results were available on my delightful Patientsite page (how I love BIDMC and the ease with which they share patients’ medical results with them). I have yet to speak to a doctor, but we all know I’m pretty comfortable interpreting data and reading reports. And the news there is good as well. The little lady is estimated to weigh five pounds, twelve ounces, which would get her over the low birth weight hurdle (babies born at less than 2500g, or 5lbs 8 oz, are low birth weight). She has also gotten proportionally thicker around the middle and her head growth has gone from astronomical to a mere robust, meaning that her growth is within normal range. I’m hoping this means the ultrasounds are done! I know a lot of people wish for more of them, but frankly, I associate them with opportunities for to obsess over minutiae, so at this point I’d rather have a don’t ask, don’t tell relationship with my abdomen and fetus. This is a big milestone for me, who loves to obsess and will do so at any given opportunity. Here’s to zenning and letting go. May it be a goal for 2013.

More spinach, shown with giggly bluriness.

More spinach, shown with giggly bluriness.

So I’m bidding a fond farewell to 2012. It was a year in which I managed to shepherd one baby into a happy and healthy toddlerhood, and during which I managed to achieve a personal best at keeping a baby in my uterus. It was a year in which so many people helped me and my family during a scary and trying time, and was thus a year of gratitude. And now I’m ready to welcome 2013, in which I’ll become a parent again, and, according to everyone, realize how easy I had it before! Woo hoo!

Happy 2013s to all of you!

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An Outing!

That’s right, folks. I went on an outing today, and it wasn’t to my doctor’s office or the hospital. More on that in a moment.

And this is BEFORE he got dumped in the snow.

And this is BEFORE he got dumped in the snow.

But first, Das Big Boy and Herr Husband attempted a snow frolic. It was a fail. Das Big Boy’s snow clothes, as it turns out, are too small. This is actually quite heartening news, as we tried his snowsuit on at the beginning of the winter season (or in, like, October) and found that it still fit. But today, the snowsuit was tight enough to restrict his movement, and perhaps uncomfortably snug in the crotch. He also doesn’t have boots that fit, because I bought him nice boots last year, which proceeded to go unworn as we had history’s mildest winter. Herr Husband insisted we try to get the still-tagged boots on Das Big Boy’s little brick feet (which seem to grow two sizes out for every size they grow long), but, as Das Big Boy said, “The boots are too small.” We’ve been working a lot on big and small recently.

So he donned his too-small snowsuit, his Merrill shoes, and no gloves because he doesn’t have any. So we folded his snowsuit over his hands as if he were an infant. Naturally, this maneuver also meant his arms had to be hunched up in his suit. Sorry, Lovey! We topped off the outfit of misery with an adorable (and well-fitting) owl hat that The Red Baroness gave him for Christmas, and Herr Husband took him outside.

Once there, HH stashed him under a tree so he could get the sled out of the garage. DBB followed his daddy, faceplanted in a foot of snow, and was obviously none too pleased. Then the sled kept dumping him out because the snow was drifty and unpredictable in depth. Suffice it to say, my men returned very quickly. And then I drank a hot chocolate to make them feel better.

Now, the news you’ve all been waiting for: my trip into the outside world! Our kind neighbors invited us over to watch the Patriots game this afternoon, along with the rest of our neighborhood crew (There are four families in adjoining houses with kids between nineteen months and two-and-a-half–it’s basically why you move to the suburbs.) The hosts live directly across the street from us, which I reasoned is the same as walking from my car to my doctor’s office. And they had already made clear that I was expected to couch-flop. So we did it! I admit I was a bit nervous–my first outing! What if something went wrong? What if I forgot how to socialize? I held on to Herr Husband extra tightly as we navigated the steps and snowy street. Of course, once we arrived, it was delightful. It was so nice to chat and catch up with everyone, and they all kindly put up with my rusty social skills. Das Big Boy did a bit of whining when we first got there, but quickly got right into the mix with the other kids and had a great time! And my water didn’t break on their lovely new furniture! A win for the Husband Hausfraus and the Pats!

I don't want my daughter to look like this. For so many reasons.

I don’t want my daughter to look like this. For so many reasons.

We have Wee Mädchen’s final growth ultrasound tomorrow (provided everything goes ok). If you want to send a little positive energy her way, you can convince her to even out her growth just a bit: the Bratz/supermodel look is hot and all, but her doctors would like to see her abdominal girth even out with her head width (As would her mother, who is hoping to birth her naturally).


Happy Birthday, Big Boy Owl!

On the invite-only list: Mommy, Froggy, and Beejer

On the invite-only list: Mommy, Froggy, and Beejer. Yes, that’s me. Sitting upright. It’s a special occasion, after all.

This morning, we learned that today is Big Boy Owl’s birthday. He is turning two! His first celebratory act was the donning of a hat crafted by Herr Husband. Das Big Boy was very proud of the hat, and ran into the living room to show it to me and La Gigi.

Naturally, we decided to have a birthday party for Big Boy Owl. Herr Husband was dispatched to Whole Foods for general provisions, and also for a cupcake for BBO. And Das Big Boy and I crafted the guest list. Actually, Das Big Boy crafted the list; I merely had to ask who was coming.

Here’s who made the cut:

Baby Owl (who is Big Boy Owl’s baby sister; it’s my pathetic attempt at sibling preparation–note: I am an only child.)

Beejer

Also included, obviously: Pooplo, Baby Owl, Theo, Big Boy Owl, and Daddy

Also included, obviously: Pooplo, Baby Owl, Das Big Boy, Big Boy Owl, and Daddy

Pooplo (impressive, because he’s new).

Froggy

Mommy, aka Hipster Hausfrau

Daddy, aka Herr Husband

And of course, Das Big Boy.

12-29 art

Admittedly, the owl illustration is Herr Husband’s and the printing is mine, but Das Big Boy is responsible for the lovely abstract color blending.

But before the party began, we painted a card for Big Boy Owl. Das Big Boy received the fantastic Melissa and Doug easel from La Gigi and El Papa for Christmas. (How did those two–M&D, not G&P–corner the market on

I feel like he looks like he's going to a rave. Do people still go to raves, or am I showing my age. Regardless, this toddler will not be raving for at least never years.

I feel like he looks like he’s going to a rave. Do people still go to raves, or am I showing my age? Regardless, this toddler will not be raving for at least never years.

mass-market yuppie toys?). Anyway, the easel is great and Das Big Boy loves it. It’s short enough for our on-the-small-side two year old. And it has a whiteboard side, a chalk board side, and a roll of paper in the middle which can be pinned down to the easel and then ripped with a kid-safe paper cutter. Anyway, Das Big Boy got very into the painting and requested and used a multitude of colors, painting with both a brush and his fingers. The results, on both page and toddler, were pretty darn magical.

After a quick bath, it was time for the party. Das Big Boy beamed when he arrived at the table to find the guests wearing their party hats. He sat in the chair of honor with Big Boy Owl, and we sang to Big Boy Owl as Herr Husband brought a three-candled cupcake into the room. Das Big Boy helped Big Boy Owl blow out his candles (with a further assist from Herr Husband), and then we shared a red velvet cupcake.

Even Das Big Boy ate cupcake–pretending to feed it to Big Boy Owl and then shoving it into his own mouth, which made it pretty much the best party ever. Das Big Boy, Herr Husband and I chatted with and played the roles of the various guests, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I love that this is my Saturday night, and that it’s impossible for me to imagine anything more fun. We’ve decided we’ll do this every year, and I highly recommend the favorite-stuffed-animal-birthday party as a crummy-weather-day activity for toddlers. I do feel a bit sorry for Big Boy Owl that he got stuck with a sort of crappy birthday halfway between Christmas and New Years, but these things happen.

Here are a few more photos, and a video of Das Big Boy wishing Big Boy Owl a happy birthday. Sadly, I couldn’t get him to sing Happy Birthday on film, even though he’s been spontaneously singing it to Big Boy Owl all day.

DSC_0307

Party boys.

DBB assists with the candles.

DBB assists with the candles.

DSC_0316

Happy Big Boy Owl’s birthday to all of you!


Hausfrau Alert!

Be warned: tonight, I’m going to blog about cookware.

Cuisnart's GreenGourmet. Glam, huh?

Cuisnart’s GreenGourmet. Glam, huh?

Yes, Herr Husband and I bought new cookware, and we’re both really excited about it. The quest for new cookware began a while ago, when Herr Husband pointed out that our pots (fancy Calphalon wedding stuff, mind you), was chipping. “It’s fine!” I countered. But then last week, a friend mentioned the evils of Teflon, and I started thinking about our pans again. Were they coated in Teflon?

A few days later, Herr Husband confessed that this renewed his worry about our cookery. This time, I was in 100% agreement.

So I reached out to A Green Slate and asked what kinds of pans I should be using. A Green Slate is a fabulous consulting outfit that assesses your home for toxins and helps you find ways to limit them. They help make substantive changes that fit into your lifestyle without costing you a fortune. And they’re reasonable and nice about it; they’re not going to make you feel like monstermom if you choose to stick with some plastic sippies.

Which is important. Because on the one hand, I really want to reduce my family’s, and especially Das Big Boy’s, exposure to evil things. After all, he’s had to fight through enough. But at the same time, before he was born, I thought I was going to cloth diaper and make my own organic baby food and never bottle feed. My life didn’t work out that way. I had to pump (through probably toxic plastic) and bottle feed my son that way. He wouldn’t eat much, but anything I made disgusted him doubly. Sweet potatoes from a jar? Delicious. Sweet potatoes I spent hours preparing? Vomit. So while I believe strongly in trying to protect ourselves from toxins, I also totally realize that not every healthy thing is going to be the right choice for every family. We shouldn’t let this sort of stuff make us feel guilty or become judging material for the mommy Olympics that some people would have you think are going on every moment of every day.

Das Big Boy was obviously impressed. Hope those toxicity assessments were accurate, given that he wants to huff the saucepan.

Das Big Boy was obviously impressed. Hope those toxicity assessments were accurate, given that he wants to huff the saucepan.

So I like that A Green Slate helps you figure out changes that work for you. I said I didn’t want to spend a ton, and they suggested I buy Cuisinart GreenGourmet, which was frankly a lot cheaper than my Calphalon stuff that starting falling apart after five years. (Apologies if you gave me the Calphalon for my wedding. It was very generous of you and was exactly what I wanted. And the chipping was probably my fault for putting it in the dishwasher. Lazy me.)

We wound up buying a twelve-piece GreenGourmet set for $190, which I thought was dang good. Herr Husband and I had forgone Christmas presents for each other to save money, so we decided to treat ourselves. The set showed up two days later, and we got free shipping thanks to Amazon Prime. Herr Husband and I were giddy to unpack the box. And dinner was made–thanks, Herr Husband–on the new cookware, which performed well. It was faster to heat, actually, than our old stuff.

Ok, this post is so nauseatingly Hausfrauy that I can’t stand it! What kind of Hipster experiences can I have/blog about while on bedrest so as to counteract this trend? Where are my nonlinear Latin American novels? Where are my tarot cards? My eyeliner and big jewelry and small dresses and big boots and disheveled hair? (Last one, check.) Does anyone have a typewriter I could borrow? Maybe I could type tiny notes and have them sprinkled throughout town as a mobile art installation. Hmmm….

I could give helpful household greening tips…but then we’d be back to my original problem.

What if I just keep up my overly lax attitude towards showering?


35

I am now more weeks pregnant that I am years old. Barely, but let’s not harp on that point. We’ve already discussed the impossibly slim margin–one day–by which I am avoiding Advanced Maternal Age, fka, Geriatric Pregnancy. So this pregnancy has taken up about 1/52 of my life. Also, Herr Husband and I have been together for almost thirteen years (our dating anniversary is New Years Day). I have now spent 15.5 weeks of that time on hardcore bedrest, plus probably another month or so from the first trimester of Das Big Boy’s pregnancy. I think we could conservatively say that I spent 20 weeks of my life with Herr Husband on bedrest, or about 3% of our relationship, or 6% of our marriage. Wow. What a lucky guy.

Last statistical point: I am now earning a solid B+ in this pregnancy, or, if you go by full-term at 37 weeks, an A! Also, that was a lot of math and I hope I got it right but if I didn’t, there’s really no need to point it out.

After all, we encourage creative thinking around here:

That’s right. The opposite of slow is ice cream truck.


Three Cute Things About My Toddler

Smells like socks. Tastes like heaven.

Smells like socks. Tastes like heaven.

1) It turns out we’ve just been offering my toddler the wrong foods. Things like blueberries mortally offend him. But offer him a bit of Taleggio, one of my favorite feet-smelling cheeses, and he gobbles it up. This may have to do with excessive uterine exposure to stinky cheese. But seriously, what kind of kid tosses a dried blueberry back at you and says, “Mommy’s!” but swipes Taleggio from the plate and then returns to say, “More cheese, please.”?  This is the child who never asks for more of anything, and who would never ask for food if you didn’t offer it to him. He requires cajoling/song and dance routines/books read by the hundreds to eat just about anything. But Taleggio. More.

2) One of Das Big Boy’s favorite activities at the moment is to hide and have you (or the puppet you’ve been assigned to play) find him. But he likes to direct the action, such that from his hiding place, he feeds you lines asking where he is. You then repeat these lines, and he answers them. Tonight he got a very creative in terms of places he might be, as demonstrated by the scene below.

Scene: The Hipster Hausfrau living room. Hipster Hausfrau is on the couch (duh). Herr Husband, playing to role of Pooplo puppet, is seated on the living room floor. Das Big Boy and Big Boy Owl enter the closet.

Das Big Boy: Where did [Das Big Boy] go?

12-26 overallsHerr Husband as Pooplo and Hipster Hausfrau: Where did Das Big Boy go?

DBB: Is he under the table?

HH/P and HH: Is he under the table?

DBB: No. [All “no”s are uttered in an adorable, isn’t-it-obvious voice]. Is he in the fireplace?

HH/P and HH: Is he in the fireplace?

DBB: No. Is he behind the couch?

HH/P and HH: Is he behind the couch?

DBB: No. Is he in the moon?

HH/P and HH: Is he in the moon?

DBB: No. Is he in the stars?

HH/P and HH: Is he in the stars?

DBB: No. [DBB pops out of closet]. Daaaaaaahhhh. [Laughs]

HH/P and HH: Daaaaaaahhhh. [Laugh. Pooplo puppet tickles Das Big Boy.] There he is!

3) For Christmas, La Gigi got me an incredible gift: A Hello Kitty Playhouse circa 1985. But Hipster Hausfrau, you’re thinking. You’re thirty-four years old. That’s right. I am. But long ago, I wanted this Hello Kitty playhouse. I had wanted it at home, and hadn’t gotten it when I asked. Then my mom and I were browsing in shops on vacation (we were in St. Martin on our way back from Anguilla, which is evidence of the fact that I was a damn lucky little kid and didn’t need a freakin’ Hello Kitty playhouse!). But there it was. “Can I have it?” I asked my mom. “I’m not going to buy it here,” she said, “but I promise I’ll buy it for you when we get back home.” But when we got home, it had disappeared from the Filene’s in my town where I’d originally seen it. And from every. Other. Place. Ever. So I never got it. And so I periodically brought it up as the one that got away.

Anyway, because she is amazing, La Gigi woke up at 4:45 in the morning to snatch it out from under some unsuspecting Ebay bidder, and then presented it to me on Christmas. I was ecstatic. So was Das Big Boy. Because I am a good mother, I shared it with him, even if the only child in me sort of wanted to hog it for myself. Das Big Boy has fixated on one of the two characters who came with the house, a paternal looking cat wearing glasses. La Gigi dubbed him Grandpa. Since then, Das Big Boy has been narrating little stories about Grandpa Kitty, all of which seem to involve him being a naysaying jerk with a deep voice. Das Big Boy will bellow, “‘No!’ said Grandpa,” or “‘No riding on the train!’ said Grandpa,” or “‘No climbing,’ said Grandpa.” All of the negative commands conclude with the phrase, “said Grandpa.” And Herr Husband and I find it hilarious. It should be noted that Das Big Boy’s actual Grandpa (Herr Husband’s father) has probably never said no to him in his life, and cannot be the inspiration for this Grandpa character. And El Papa is called Papa, and is also not a big naysayer.

 

Sweet dreams, sweet ballerinas.

Are you in the moon? Are you in the stars?

And tomorrow makes 35… (WEEKS! I won’t be 35 years old for another thirty-six days! Humph!).


Merry Christmas

This was a photo of the two of us, with me awake and him asleep. But the chin angle was so unflattering that I cropped myself.

This was a photo of the two of us, with me awake and him asleep. But the chin angle was so unflattering that I cropped myself.

This morning, Das Big Boy decided to sleep in yet again. Until 9:30. Obviously, I know it’s awesome that I have a late snozzing toddler. (Full disclosure: he went to bed at 9 last night and typically doesn’t nap anymore). But this morning, Herr Husband and I wanted him to wake the heck up and see what Santa had brought and go on a present opening bender! Talk about role reversal.

Eventually he did awaken, and was pleased to note that Santa had consumed the milk and cookies left out for him. What Santa didn’t know was that Das Big Boy took a bite of each cookie before putting it on the plate.

Earthquake imminent.

Earthquake imminent.

At first, he seemed overwhelmed by his presents. We bought a train table for his train tracks, and added a battery powered engine that we had going when he came into the room. He was shy to approach the table at first, but quickly got into it, demanding we turn the train on! Even more quickly, he knocked over the elevated tracks, undoing the hours of work (I’m not kidding. ESA, HH and I spent an embarrassingly long time trying configure the train to include all of our desired elements).

Das Big Boy takes his pals for a ride on his new wheels.

Das Big Boy takes his pals for a ride on his new wheels.

Das Big Boy also received a tricycle, which he’s actually managed to pedal a tiny bit. He’ll tell anyone who listens, “Santa brought me a tricycle!” or “I’m on a bike!” which reminds me of the SNL skit “I’m on a Boat!” This in turn reminds me of a very different time in my life, when Herr Husband and I were part of a flotilla of business school students sailing through the Caribbean on boats and doing things like making daiquiris instead of dinner and swimming to friends’ boats for cocktail parties and having an oar stolen by an octopus. These are not things that happen to us now. But we did give Das Big Boy an octopus puppet for Christmas. “Pooplo” was obviously a big hit. And I did eat Christmas cookies for lunch.

After Christmas morning as a merry threesome, La Gigi, El Papa, and Mimi came over. That’s when the cookies for lunch came in. I also ate my weight in potato chips and onion dip. We had a lovely afternoon. Getting through the present opening was a process, because Das Big Boy wanted to play and didn’t have the sustained attention for opening, but we made it. I amused myself by giving my mother an empty box (which alerted her to a forthcoming surprise), and an openly regifted book that ESA had given me (and which I did generously hustle to finish so I could give it to my mother.) Das Big Boy was totally spoiled, as usual. It was a wonderful family afternoon.

With all of the visitors we’ve had, I’ve practically forgotten that I’m on bed rest, so surrounded have I been with friends, family, love, and activity. It’s a great feeling. Herr Husband, however, has not forgotten that I’m on bedrest, as all I do is entertain our visitors with sparkling conversation, and hang out with or occasionally feed our child. Everything else (cooking, feeding our guests, cleaning, actively parenting said child) falls to Herr Husband. So while he had an equally fun time, he might be a bit exhausted.

First Christmas.

First Christmas.

DSC_0853A final thought. I love holidays because they give us a chance to reflect. I can remember each of Das Big Boy’s Christmases vividly. His first was in the NICU, where the nurses were surprised he didn’t have a Christmas outfit. Given that in the hospital, Das Big Boy had only my last name, which is as Jewish as they come, we found it amusing that they expected him to have such attire (even though we do celebrate Xmas). Fashion faux pas aside, Das Big Boy got presents and we snuggled lots. He was still on CPAP, and had just moved to an open crib. Last Christmas, he managed to open some of his own presents, was cruising but not quite walking, and had maybe a couple of word approximations (mm for mama, and buh for book). He wore Christmas jammies in the morning and a button-down in the afternoon. He had a G-tube and was on nighttime 02. This year, he has no medical interventions or equipment, unless you count a mother on bedrest. He speaks in run-ons and has an enormous and constantly growing vocabulary (“The train rumbles on the tracks,” he informed me this morning.) He climbs on everything in sight (and both understands and actively ignores warnings that he might hurt himself). He makes jokes and is amusingly bossy. And he and his mother both wore footie pajamas all day.

Today: I'm on a bike!

Today: I’m on a bike!

Each day was magical, and they just keep getting better.