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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Under Pressure


Lots of pressure....in many facets of my life right now!  For starters I am feeling lots of physical pressure in my pelvic area, which is super uncomfortable and really awesome at the same time, because Magic is head down.  Woo Hoo!  Liam was frank breech (head up, legs up, booty down), which was the initial catalyst for moving us down the C-section pathway.


At the end of September, Magic was settling into the same position.  I could palpate that little wobbly head at the top of my belly, and Magic had been planted in that position for several days with no big rotations from what I could tell.  I thought that was the end of the road for me, because I tried everything imaginable last time, short of witchcraft, to flip Liam, but to no avail. I started to shed some pregnant tears over it, knowing that every week there was less and less hope of any sort of major position change.  Luckily, the day before my appointment, I felt some crazy movement again. The ultrasound confirmed what we were hoping for!   We saw Magic's cute little face (top) smooshed against my hip bone.  Not even that crazy tentacle-like thing by Magic's face, could steal my joy then.  The chances are much higher of that being a piece of the chord than my having an octopus baby, right? 


I was also starting to get tons of peer pressure about my boy's appearance.  Apparently, not too many people love the mullet anymore (at least stateside they don't).  I had developed a crush on my boy's crazy locks, but when his hair started to grow into his eyes.... I had to do some self-evaluation.  I was the kind of woman who could love and cultivate a natural mullet, I was not the kind of woman, however, who could hand craft a mullet.  It just didn't feel right in my soul.  If I was going to cut the front, I also needed to end the party in the back.


So after Liam's photo shoot demonstrating the versatility of the mullet....from grumpy old man to male model on the cat walk.....we got down to business.


With a mason jar full of Christmas M&M's we got to work.  I am proud to say I did not cry, but I did feel very sentimental about the whole thing.  And I am not ashamed, I saved that mullet.  What else are baby books for, but demonstrate a little bit of mom's crazy?


Liam might have been slightly worried about my qualifications, but a quick review of hipster trends and an open discussion about how erratically cut hair will make you more  accepted by your peers, I think he felt pretty good about his new look.


Octoberfest 2012 has come and gone.  It was amazing, but the post-Ofest recovery was even harder this year because our big fall milestone was my last major distraction separating me from my rapidly approaching due date.  'Nesting' sounds like too sweet of a name for the overwhelming compulsion I am feeling to get stuff done.  I have been a much meaner version of myself the last few weeks, but I think I am turning a corner (Adam will be happy to hear that).  You know you are wearing your emotions when your toddler son asks you several times an hour, 'you okay mommy, you okay?'


But the drop-in day was such a refreshing punctuation in the craziness that has been our lives the last few months.  Hosting Octoberfest at the cabin up the hill from our house totally makes it feel like a vacation rather than a staycation.


The Bray and the Selikoff's made the journey from the Sunshine state to hang with us in the mountains of Vermont.   It was much of the same stuff, that never gets old because you are doing it with people you love!  One thing that was not the same this year though, was that the gators won.  Go Gators! I think the Octoberfest curse is officially broken, and no one had to eat a bag of anything:)


The biggest difference in Octoberfest this year was probably our red neck addition, the four wheeler.....or as Liam likes to call it 'my tractor.'


There were many joy rides and fun photo shoots, but luckily no trips to the emergency department.


I think Magic enjoyed his/her first Octoberfest, as much as you can in utero.  And I know Liam did!  For several days after everyone left, Liam would say, "I miss weekend, Let's go cabin!"  I feel you bud.  Me too!

And although I have felt like Liam the last two weeks (wanting to lay down and take a nap when I think about my to-do list), I am starting to get a slight energy peak.  Time to start checking things off, because today I am full term!  Three weeks and counting to my due date. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of School


Today at 9am I dropped Liam off for his first day of school! We loaded up the monkey back pack, donned the rain jacket, and slipped on the only shoes that still fit, his flippy floppies (because of course, this was the first morning that all of his sneakers hurt his feet and finally wouldn't jam onto those chubby toddler toes -way to go mom!  I am adding that to the to do list). 


All geared up and running as usual, we braved the storm, crossed the state line, and got my man to Toddler Time!


Some of you may think I am kicking my little man out of the nest a bit early, but it is for his own personal development.  I want to foster in him a sense of independence.  I want him to be exposed to new environments and situations that help him develop creatively, cognitively, and socially....


And yes, selfishly, I want some non-toddler time to do things I just can't do with my sweet little monkey around.  Plus, I figure I will need a little bit of time for Magic and me in just a few short months!


Liam was very excited about school, mainly because mommy was excited about it and has been hyping it up!  But it did not disappoint!


He immediately ran in to the texture table (which was basically a sandbox with a bunch of dump trucks and fun hidden treasures) where a group of boys were congregating.  Two of those boys were named Liam...in a class of eleven!  The teachers asked if they could call him William, but I said no.  It is Liam or Wild Bill, those are your options.  So I think they stuck with Liam.


When he realized mommy was saying 'good bye' he made his grumpy, pig face which I, regrettably, did not capture with my camera because it is super cute.  Liam held it together though, no real tears like a few of the other kids who got taken into the 'cry room' as their parents left.  It made me have a flash back to nursing school.  We too had a 'cry room' outside of our clinical competency area for those who did not pass.  I guess that is what Toddler Time, nursing school, and churches have in common.


I didn't cry either.  I went to a coffee shop checked several backed up e-mails and wrote about my boy.  Don't worry, I have much loftier goals for my future five hours a week of free time.  I just had to start slow.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Magic, Motherhood, and Mullets

The time to clear the cobwebs off my old cyber nook and start putting stuff in it again has arrived.  My most recent bit of big news (which is not so recent anymore) is I am pregnant again.... 28 weeks pregnant to be exact! Little 'magic', of unknown sex, is the size of a Chinese cabbage this week.  No- the name Magic is not referring to the steamy night on which Magic was created, nor was there any witchcraft involved in the making of this baby.  We have been calling Hammer #2 Magic ever since our friends asked us about boy names we liked while the song "I've got the Magic in me" with Rivers Cuomo was playing. I responded, "Actually we have been thinking about this one, " referencing the artist, not the song title.  The Jones' could not hide their shock at the awesomeness (or awfulness) of the name Magic.  So ever since then, my littlest Hammer has been donned, Magic. 
In keeping with the custom of second children, I have dilly-dallyed until my third trimester to announce the arrival of my sweet little baby.  I really have been so excited about my new little person, but it is crazy how many good intentions never come to fruition because you are chasing around a little pint size man who seems to be using up any energy you have that is not directly allotted towards growing a fetus.  So all those things like like blogging, belly pictures, journaling, and sharing ultrasound pictures have fallen by the wayside.  Even though my little pumpkin looks like a man in the above picture, more specifically Darth Vader, I am quite sure that Magic is a girl. This, of course, holds very little weight since I am almost always wrong with 50/50 guesses.  It just makes me feel a little bit justified in being even more emotional this pregnancy than last time.  

 

It probably didn't help that all the Olympic commercials were directed towards making moms cry. Then there are all the worries that pop into my head that come with making room for a new baby;  Will I still have time to date my husband?  Will Liam think I don't love him as much because my time will be divided?  Will I ever have time to things I like to do in more than 15 minute increments?  Then come the less rational thoughts that I will share with you another day, or never...for fear that you may think I am crazy.  On top of being emotional, I have been much more interested in shopping, make-up, and fashion (not necessarily being more fashionable, but appreciating the fashion of others).  That means girl, right?

 
Recently, I have done a few baby rescues which has served to remind me how scary and dangerous this world can be at times and how moms can't always rescue their babies....which also makes me cry.  As soon as it started getting warm here this spring (in May for my Floridian family, where springs comes in February), I realized my cats were murderers.  I wasn't too upset because, at first, they were just doing their job as New England cats.- catching and killing a ridiculous amount of rodents, keeping our old drafty homes free of murine mayhem in the winter.  Almost every day when Liam and I went out to play, I would hear him say "night, night mouse" because he stumbled upon, what appeared to be, a slumbering baby mouse.  It was really sweet.  Then we would transplant it to the big brush pile where all the mice slept.


One night as Adam and I were lounging in bed getting ready to fall asleep, we heard a crazy bird commotion right outside our second story window.... lots of squawking, flapping, and rustling.  Adam peeked out our window to see what was going on.  He did not see any bird activity, but did notice that his irresponsible wife left her dome light on in her van.  Being the sweet husband that he is, he went down to turn it off for me.  Adam re-entered our house with a groan of frustration because our crazy cats would not come in for the night again.  Then he told me how he tried to catch Monty because he had something in his mouth that he couldn't see and it sounded like a scared or hurt baby.  I wanted to run back out there and rescue whatever it was, but Adam said it was probably fatally injured and we would just have to kill it anyway, if it wasn't already dead by the time we found it.


I tried to keep reading after that but my brain wasn't processing the words.  I kept reading the same sentence over and over again, picturing a poor baby something desperately calling out for it's mom to come save it.  And I started to cry (no surprise there).  So I decided, even if I couldn't save that baby, I would end the killing spree for the night!  I went outside to go find Moose and Monty, and promptly locked myself out of the house.  They both emerged from the back of the yard when they heard to door shut and that is when I heard what Adam was talking about.  It was horrible!  I cried even more.  It totally sounded like a poor, scared baby.  It only took a lap or two around the yard to catch those a-holes (which was either the mama bear in me or I really am faster than my marathon-running husband). I grabbed both cats by the scruff of the neck and went to our window to call for back up.  


Adam came down to let me in.  I threw the heathens inside and told him where I thought Monty dropped the poor animal and made him come with me.   He went into our boiler room and emerged with two head lamps, an old rag, and a hammer.  "Oh God!  I can't watch this!"  I thought.  But I went with him to evaluate.  We finally found the small lump of feathers (which explains the bird commotion from earlier), but couldn't see any obvious wounds or really tell what we were looking at at all.  Adam poked it with the hammer.  It wiggled, rose up and did the classic baby bird, mouth wide open move....to which Adam and I both responded, "Awwww!"  It was so cute!  We kept Baby Bird warm and dry all night and kept him nourished with some wet cat food.  After Liam and Baby Bird had some bonding time in the morning we took him to our local bird sanctuary, where he was treated with some antibiotics for his exposure to cat saliva (toxic to birds) and has made a full recovery.  Woo woo:)


Liam and I have spent the last few days still recovering from missing our family!  Liam has been saying "Hannah, Zoe, Aunty Kana, Uncy Troy," on repeat since we left them. We were able to meet our family from Japan in Florida.  I have been worried about Liam having a hard time when Magic comes, but after seeing how happy he is living with other toddlers I know he will love it.  We just have to get through the baby stage, where someone else is in mom's arms all the time.  


Although we did have a break through with baby Daisy.  I have held a few newborns in the fast few months and every time Liam has gotten very whiny, hanging on my legs and demanding that "mommy hold Liam."  But with Daisy, he actually showed some interest in her... bringing her toys to play with, asking to hold daisy (which of course I did not let my 21 month hold this sweet little, floppy girl - I saw the fear in her mama's eyes), and even helping me to sing the Daisy Sour Cream jingle to her.  Even though he doesn't look very happy in the above picture, I am hoping we have turned a corner with liking infants.

 It was tough to come to Florida not planning to see many friends, but my amazing sister and mom threw me a surprise shower, where I got to see so many people.  It made me feel so special and loved!  And it was so fun just to do something to celebrate Magic.


 I will leave you with some amazing picture of Liam's mullet blowing in the breeze.  That has been  my latest parenting dilemma....to cut or not to cut the mullet.  I am sure I would make fun of him if he was someone else's kid, but I have fallen for his long locks.  I think they are so sweet and he plays with his mullet to soothe himself to sleep (Kelly says that doesn't help my case).  Who am I to take that from him? 


Feel free to give me your opinion, but I ask you, if a mullet doesn't belong on a sweet little baby neck in the mountains of Vermont, then where does it belong?

 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Walk like a man

My little man is finally walking!

When did it start you may ask?  That depends on what you qualify as walking.  His first solo step was December 11, followed by another solo step on January 11.  My boy has inherited a bit of molasses in his blood from his mom.  I felt bad that Adam missed both of his steps, but Liam made it up to Adam by saving his first official walk for him.....and only him!

February 12, 2012 was the big day.  We were in family yoga and I guess I was too "present" in my practice.  We were in a big, empty, child-proof room, with a ton other babies to play with and herd of parents to help keep an eye on your child.  Sometimes in these situations, where I feel my boy is safe and happy, I have the gift of being able to mentally check out and recharge...a cognitive nap if you will.  Some call it mediating.  I would occasionally look over and see Liam doing downward dog (which was really cute) and I would here Adam making a fuss over him.  Later when we got home, I turned around to see Liam string a few steps together and then fall into downward dog (which is apparently what he had been doing earlier and I missed it every time!).  Adam thought this was old news to me, but it was not!  These little toddles were quite different than the weight change and face plant I had witnessed.

But now Li is walking everywhere!  Just like a little T-Rex - booty out, little arms pulled tightly into his body.  It is really cute!  I posted a few videos for your viewing enjoyment. 


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One and fun

 
I have finally decided to emerge from my cave.  At least, I felt like I was in a cave the last several months.  The lack of technological amenities (internet, TV, phone reception) in our main transition home felt very quaint and humorous at first, but that begins to wear on a girl.  Many parts of the slow and simple life were delightful to indulge in - front porch sitting, shooting the breeze, and walks to the river - but the part that was tough was when Adam was gone and I was homebound with my baby at night.  That part was a little lonely.
Even with internet at our fingertips again, we weren't able to fully enjoy it, because we had to swing into "get it done!" mode. That became our mantra when the sun went down and the baby went to bed for almost a month.  We kicked off our evenings with take out, some vigorous fist pumps (to get amped up), and usually wrapped up in the a.m. hours after someone in our party shed some tears because she couldn't take it anymore and she was convinced we would never move in and we would be unsettled, gypsies forever! (I'm not going to claim it, but I won't deny it)
Being a mom is tough (when you have to get stuff done).  Moving is tough (all the time).  Moving with a baby is an even more drawn out and painful process than I ever imagined!  Tack on a few weeks of pre-move in labor that we were neither prepared for nor quick at and the pump is primed for bad attitudes all around (mainly me). But that is done.  We pushed through. Praise the Lord!  And I thought for my first time back in the blog saddle, I would flood you with some pictures of all the fun that punctuated our crazy gypsy life over the past couple of months.

Highlight #1:  Meeting Hannah Hammond
  
Our fluke Florida trip was not premeditated.   News spread that our new niece was coming to the states, because the grandparents couldn't go see her.  We were bummed when we found out because Adam was on a tough rotation with no promise of weekends off, let alone any leave.  However, due to some scheduling mishap, he was on for two weeks straight, so he just happened to have 5 days off right around the end of Troy and Kana's trip.  
 
So we made another trip to Florida!  Not that we are complaining.  This little chunk is 3 months old, but holds her own next to Liam.  She knocks him out in the hair department and is on par with him in the tooth department (she has two!).  It was so wonderful to get some quality time in with my Japanieces and I loved watching how happy Li was playing with his cousins.

Highlight #2: The World's Fair, aka The Tunbridge Fair, aka your 'run-of-the-mill' county fair
Not that it wasn't fun.  It was barrels of fun.  I love a fair.  We had ourselves a grand old time.  Initially, we just weren't sure what to expect.  Everyone in the Upper Valley loses their mind over the Tunbridge fair.
Liam got to pet his first cow, Ronnie. A blue ribbon heifer with an "excellent mammary system"  (I believe Liam thinks the same of me).  He had so much fun seeing all the farm animals.  He loves them!
We also had our fill of over-sized vegetables. I did the fair New England style - a funnel cake with maple syrup and powdered sugar on it.  My stomach hurt later.
 Adam is so mean.  He took this picture and didn't even warn me that one of those horses had a crazy look in its eye.  He just kept snapping.  That punk grabbed a big old mouth full of my hair and gave it a good yank.  It scared the daylights out of me!
  

Highlight #3: Liam's first Octoberfest!!
This was our least planned Octoberfest by far and it still turned out amazing! It fell right in the thick of our apartment crazyness.  We stayed at the log cabin up the hill from us.  The weather was a little soggy, but we still got out and played in it! Plus, it is not so bad being trapped in a gigantic log cabin with a rockin' fire place, surrounded by tons of good food and good friends.  
Highlight # 4: Uncle Troy comes to Vermont
We were so happy to have Troy come visit us in Vermont.  So unexpected! So fun!  I hope these random Japan encounters keep happening!

Highlight #5: Grandma to the rescue
Just when we started to lose hope, grandma swooped in for a week to hang with the boy. Adam and I were able to knock out some monumental moving tasks.  We got over the hump thanks to grandma!  The apartment felt like home by the time she left.

Lowlight: Liam's first injury with blood
Blood on the shirt, mostly Popsicle on the mouth
  I felt like a horrible mom!  I didn't even see what happened.  I was unpacking and he was playing in front of his little book cubby hole, with no apparent child death traps around and then I heard a blood curdling scream.  I ran over to him and blood just started pouring out of his mouth.  I cried! It was heart breaking.  He had a beak for the next couple of days.  Cute, but sad.

Highlight #6: Liam's first Halloween
I know it's typical, but I am going to use the moving excuse again.  It consumed way to much of my life!  But my boy was still the cutest pumpkin ever!

Highlight #7: Liam is not allergic to peanut butter
 
As you can see this series of photos is not followed by a picture of him in the ER, and for that we are grateful.  Adam was home and there was gas in the car just in case.

Highlight #8: Kitten Rescue
I have been secretly hoping to find an orange kitten in need of a good home for a while now.  Ever since I lost the late, great Dylan.  Of course, that comes to fruition, not even two weeks after moving into our one bedroom apartment! I was a little jelly when my neighbors found an orange kitten that had been hit by a car and then nursed back to health. But there was talk at the farm that people thought they had seen one or two more orange kittens in the woods by the farm, with no mama in sight.  This was right after our October Nor'easter, during a really cold spell.  Adam and I drove out there the next evening.  Looking at the vast expansion of wooded area surrounding the farm, the mission did not look promising.  I turned the car around to park and before we even got out, five little kitten heads poked out from behind the same tree.  It was the cutest thing ever!  We ended up keeping two.  Moose (the orange one in front) chose us.  He played with Liam, slept in Jamie's nook, and won our hearts over quickly.  Monty (the hard to see white and orange one, in the middle of the kitten knot up top) is the other boy we kept.  He is an emo man and a cuddle bug.  He still nurses on his brother and Jamie.
Highlight #9: Liam turns 1!
He was very unsure about what was going on at first, but as soon as that chocolate cupcake hit his tongue, that boy loved everything he knew about birthdays! Good thing we celebrated three times for him!  Once in New Hampshire with all his friends at his favorite play group.....
Once in Orange Park, where he performed the Cassidy cement rite of passage.
And once in Sanford with the other birthday boy - Grandpa!  Here the birthday boys are taking a moment to stop and smell the roses and reflect on their lives thus far.  Yes....OP, Sanford...we were in Florida, yet again.  We can't get enough!  But we will be in winter wonderland for Christmas this year.
Highlight #10: We ran our first family race
While we were in Florida, we ran the Subaru 1/2 marathon on Thanksgiving Day.  It was a perfect race day weatherwise.  Liam was amazing.  We had our racing pit crew there for support.  And I ran way better than expected, considering my sharp decline in training due to the move (ok that is the last time you will hear of this move).
Highlight #11: Liam had his first zoo experience
I didn't think it was going to pan out, but it did.  This was a few hours before our flight back to Vermont.  We really like to push the limit.  That is why I am always late everywhere!  
Liam loved it just as I suspected.  I don't know if all boys his age love animals, but he is obsessed.
I am not sure what Liam or Kat's favorite part was, but mine was feeding Luna, the giraffe.  She was so cute! 

Highlight #12: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Last weekend we cut down our Christmas tree and decked out our apartment for the season.  Soon it will be filled to the brim with Cassidy's rotating in and out during the holiday break.  We are so excited! 
In case any of you were wondering, we still love having house guests in our small apartment, as you don't mind an air mattress and a little less privacy.  The more the merrier!
In other news my boy is cute as a button, he calls everything a 'cat', points at everything, cruises and crawls like a maniac, gives kisses, has an obsession with balls (of the bouncy variety), and is a ton of fun hang out with every day!  I am so lucky!
 
But to keep me humble.  I will leave you with Liam's best ugly pic. Still cute!  But I am his mom.