Thursday, March 19, 2009

3 years

Dear Jackson,

This morning when you woke up, I went into your room and said, "Good morning! It's your birthday!" and you said, "I'M THREE!" I think you're pretty excited to be three years old, although you might be confused. At one point today, you asked if you were going to be two again. I said that you would never be two again. Then before bed, you asked if you would wake up tomorrow and be four. Gosh, no. I mean, time is already flying entirely too quickly! Let's just be three for a while. :) We celebrated by spending the morning at the Children's Museum with Corinne and Eli (along with Corinne's friend Shelly and her daughter--your new friend--Lily). You got to meet Grover and Elmo and see Clifford, which you've been asking for the last month or so.

So, three years ago, I was a brand new mommy. On Tuesday, I mentioned at work, "Three years ago today, I went into labor with Jack." Someone said, "Isn't his birthday on Thursday?" Yup. I went into labor on St. Patrick's Day and a mere 30+ hours later I got to meet my boy! But it was obviously worth it.

I'm not sure where the last three years have gone. Even the last year. I saw some pictures of you from last summer, and you look so much younger! We got you some new clothes for your birthday (because you needed them and we're practical) and boy, did you need them. But now you look so big! You're a boy! My baby boy is long gone. But the fine young man who has replaced him is quite pleasant too! I'm hoping this new size of clothing lasts a while, but I'm not holding my breath. You are definitely growing right now--evidenced by the quantity of food consumed at each meal and by the occasional "my legs are hurting me." Poor kid. Darn growing pains.

You're quite excited about the addition of baby Leah to our family this summer. However, I'm pretty sure it's going to completely turn your world upside down. Or maybe it's just that I'm positive that it's going to turn MY world upside down. So if you can just keep your positive outlook on the whole thing and keep reassuring me that we're not going to go absolutely crazy, I'll be fine. Now that we know she's definitely a "she," we've begun spiffing up the room a little bit. I didn't want to completely overwhelm the room with pink, since it is still YOUR room too, so I think there's a nice balance of pink and yellow and some more green. You are absolutely fascinated with the size of baby Leah's diapers. And you insist on calling them pull-ups.

Speaking of pull-ups, you've been successfully potty-trained since around Christmas. We've still got you in pull-ups overnight, but you mostly wake up dry. I'm impressed. You made this way too easy on us. And don't even get me started on the big boy bed. We moved you a couple of months ago, and you've taken the transition like a champ! You actually CALL us to come get you in the morning. Maybe you just haven't yet figured out that you can get out without me. :)

Probably the biggest growth this year is in your language. You are quite the talker. It's very interesting to have actual conversations with the same person who was having trouble with individual words not too long ago. And man, you make for a funny conversationalist sometimes. Last week in the car, you were asking me something and continued with, "Why? Mommy, why?" I continued to say, "I don't know," but you KEPT asking "WHY?" Finally you said, "NO! I say 'why?' You say, 'because.'" Oh! Thanks for letting me know. A couple of nights ago, we came home to cat puke on the stairs. You are usually one to help with hairballs--just give you a paper towel, and you're good to go. Well, this was a little different, but you still insisted on helping Daddy. You each had your paper towels, but before you could even begin to clean it up, you kind of gagged. Daddy, afraid you might add to the puke, sent you upstairs to me. With the most unforgettable look on your face, you said to me, "Mommy, that was kind of yucky for me."

We're pretty sure you're the next DaVinci or Monet. The preciseness with which you color is unbelievable. Seriously, I had kindergarteners when I taught who didn't come CLOSE to coloring this well. You're actually quite obsessive about it, but we're still ridiculously proud. :) In fact, we gave you some spiffy retractable crayons for your birthday (yes, we gave you something other than clothes--although all you asked for was a Thomas cake).

Oh, Jack. Sometimes I can't believe how lucky we are to have you and how much I love you. We might have a few more kids, but you'll always be my first, and I think that's pretty special. Sara Groves says it well: "Beautiful child, right from the moment you were born, you opened up my heart, my world, my beautiful child." You certainly have--I'm so thankful for that. And you are so beautiful--inside and out. Bless you this year, sweet boy.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Baby Leah

Well, it is indeed a GIRL! Or it's still a girl. Or something.

I went to Argosy University in Eagan (yeah, not exactly next door) for a free hour-long ultrasound done by students learning ultrasound technology. The experience was pretty hilarious, actually. I had an instructor and two students. The instructor started and got us some good pictures to take home. She also confirmed the gender. Then the students took over. They are learning "extremities" this week, so all they focused on were legs, feet, arms, and hands. Well, it seems Baby Leah was making up for last time. At my 20-week ultrasound, she had sat on her butt with the cord between her legs the entire time. This time, she was SUCH a mover that they couldn't get certain shots they needed. She would even kick the probe, which both students thought was hysterical. When the technician was still taking a look, the baby did a complete flip. She said, "Well, I WAS just looking at her profile...."

What was funny was how quickly Dan and I realized that these were, in fact, students. At first they just watched the instructor and seemed totally professional and like ACTUAL ultrasound technicians. Then one student took over and suddenly had tons of questions. "Is this a good enough picture of the femur?" "Would this be the right or left tib/fib?" "Does this one show the connection between the hand and arm well enough?" It was cute.

There was another ultrasound going on at the other end of the lab, and we all overheard their instructor say something about how the baby was giving them such great shots and how they could clearly see both feet. I said, "Don't be jealous! I bet mine is making you laugh more than theirs is!" :)

Now, on to choosing the middle name. I'd love your opinions. We've got it narrowed down to Margaret, Michelle, and Renee.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

And we're viable!

I am 24 weeks today, which is the official point of viability. I guess I never paid attention to that when I was pregnant with Jack. All it means is that if I were to give birth now, the baby has a pretty high rate of survival, so the hospital would do whatever it takes. But I'm not planning on giving birth anytime soon. :)
I skipped the produce comparison last week because it was kind of lame. It was the weight of a mango. This week it's the length of an ear of corn. It's actually about a foot long, and I think that would make one LONG ear of corn. Anyway, that's what it is. And just over a pound. And it's a mover! My second ultrasound is Monday, so I can hopefully call it "she" with a little more confidence. Or "he" for that matter. No more of this "it" business!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sweet Ruby

Apparently Ruby wasn't a very photogenic cat--I had to search for a decent picture. And it's kind of hard to see her because she was so dark! But get a kick out of my chubby baby boy. :)

I love the story of how/why we ended up with this cat. I had found a cat online and was going to see it in person at an adoption fair in a pet store in Richfield. My mom decided to join me and ended up falling in love with this sweet, chocolate-brown cat. So I left with Maddie, as expected, and my mom left with Ruby. Well, the cat already living in my mother's house had a thing or two to say about Ruby's arrival. And after a mere 24 hours, it was clear they couldn't live together. So we got Ruby! Maddie and Ruby were fabulous friends until Maddie unfortunately passed away a year and a half later, at which point we got Lucy. Likewise, Lucy and Ruby became great friends too. Cats are easy. :)

Ruby had always been prone to congestion, and she was very sneezy. But on Monday night, when she started meowing more loudly than usual and breathing through her mouth because her nose was so stuffed up, I decided she probably should be looked at. So on Tuesday morning, I made an appointment at the vet and took her in. On Monday night, Dan had researched her symptoms and seemed to think she had an upper respiratory infection. So I was kind of expecting to leave the vet with some antibiotics. Well, the doctor found other stuff. First of all, she noticed Ruby's terrible teeth (which, oddly enough, have always been a problem) and said that most likely the infection had spread to her sinuses. This problem alone would have been easily remedied with some pulled teeth and antibiotics. Well, then the doctor decided to feel around Ruby's abdomen, and Ruby was clearly in pain (meowing, struggling). She said she could definitely feel that Ruby's spleen was enlarged, and there was some sort of mass on her pancreas. To find out what was wrong inside, they needed to do a number of bloodtests and x-rays, amounting to $300. After talking more, we came to the conclusion that whatever was happening inside wasn’t good, and even if we spent all that money to get some answers, we would most likely come to the conclusion that putting her down was the best option. So we avoided the tests and just put her down. Not an easy decision, especially because she was so young, but the doctor assured us that she was really not doing well. Whatever “fixes” could have been done would have been very short-term anyway.

So now we're a one-cat family. And that one cat is a little out of sorts. She saw me put Ruby in a carrier and leave with her yesterday. And she knows that I came home alone. Jack doesn't quite get it. I told him that Ruby was sick and the doctor couldn't make her better, so she got to go be with Jesus and Morgan (my parents' dog that was put down in November). He just looked at me sweetly as I explained it and nodded his head. I said, "We only have one cat now." He said, "Yeah. Just Lucy now." Then this morning he said something about Ruby being with Jesus but coming back when she gets better. I think I got the point across the second time, but we'll see. :)