Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hola Chica!

A healthy little girl!

Strike us dumbfounded. We are found dumb! You get in your head (unwanted or not) how things are going to be. We were thinking and feeling boy all along. My three sons, turn the bedrooms into one giant bunkhouse, casa de testosterone!

The sono-technician got all her measurements and then you could tell she was working her way down for the "reveal". In that moment I flashed through a universe of thoughts. What do I really want? Do I have my heart set on anyone? So much wanting and wondering in those few seconds. And so much excitement! My mouth is hurting from grinning so much!

A girl. A little girl. Sugarpop gave a little gasp that only she and I noticed. In that moment I think she felt all the possibilities of mother/daughter: going to The Nutcracker; American Girl Doll Store; Anne of Green Gables (and bicycling around PEI); Laura Ingles; all that girl stuff!

We are also quite relieved. You see the O yesterday, 24 hours before the sono, stood amongst his peers on the carpet at preschool and announced, "Everyone! I'm having a sister!" Do angels whisper in kids's ears or what? Thankfully he will not be wrong and his standing amongst his peers is preserved for now!

We feel blessed and thankful for the joyous news of a healthy baby girl and it's pretty cool to share the news with y'all!

Now let the sorting of names begin!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Boy or Girl?

Congratulations to Mrs. Chicken! She found out today that her second child is a boy.

SugarPop has her sono tomorrow at 4 and we'll find out if we'll be a household filled with three strapping young lads or if the O and the Happy Elf will be welcoming a sister.

The O has said since before conception that we would have a girl. The names have ranged from "Dragon" to "Machu Picchu". So it's not like we won't have some decent names to choose from for use in the blogosphere!

Although he also said that we would have five kids in our family. I don't know if the W's uterus would agree!

I would be shocked if we were having a girl and the W wishes for a boy in her heart of hearts. 

Anyone who has at least one child knows that you get the child you are suppose to parent. Who is better able to raise your unique, wonderful, odd, awesome kid other than you?

Of course gender never matters as long as we are blessed with a healthy baby.

Tune in tomorrow for the reveal!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fully Vetted Dad

I'm thinking of renaming my blog to the above title. After 4 years of parenting, two years with one child and four years with two, I've been fortunate to do 99.8% of parenting with the W.

In saying that I mean that together we've gotten through the typical situations of parenting: explosive, blowout diarrhea at a park with the diaper bag sitting on the counter at home; tantrums in public places; battle of wills between the adults and the children (I'll have to get back to you on whose winning those); numerous illnesses; you know, ALL of that.

I'm a typical dude in that the W does the night-time parenting thing. There was the one day, turned into night, turned into next day of a nearly 18 hour marathon study session that the W had for her stats class. She started the day at 9 a.m. and I heard the garage door raise the next day at 3:00 a.m. But the boys had been fed, pajama'ed, and bedded in our night time routine without mom.

So here's the setup. The W had left for Chicago at noon on Saturday with her parents and siblings to attend a wedding reception. They are staying the night and returning to town tomorrow around noon. Basically a 24 hour operation. She was worried that the boys would freak that mom wasn't home. I assured her that I could handle it. I actually told her, "I have 0.0% concern about night-time." Way to tempt the fates!

We say bye to Sugarpop and commence an afternoon of naps, play, and some favorite shows on the tube. Late in the afternoon we head to my parents and dine on take-out Jupiter's pizza. I had brought PJs and toothbrushes so we left my parents' with the boys ready for bed. 

Normally we have a 7:30 to 8 bed time. However, on nights like this when the W won't be home for bedtime due to a night class or out of town wedding reception and it's the weekend I usually let them crash on the "couch-into-a-bed" and as they drop off to sleep I carry them up to bed. 

The Happy Elf crashes in the van on the way home. Straight up to bed with him. The O stayed up and watched a Land Before Time movie before giving in to sleep an hour later. I placed both boys in the "family bed" our king-size tempur-pedic. O usually starts his night in his own bed and then at whatever point in the night climbs into bed with us. The Happy Elf was in a co-sleeper next to our bed for his first year, joined us in the family bed after that and has never left.

I watch a little TV and then head up around 10:30. I nestle in to Sugarpop's spot ready to play "substitute momma" at night. So to just set the scene the Happy Elf is on the outside, the O in the middle, and myself on the otherside. The boys are entangled in each other, legs layered like Lincoln Logs.

I'm just dozing off when I hear the Happy Elf cough and then hear the splash of vomit as it leaves his little body and canals its way along the mattress. I hop up and pop on the nightstand light. I'm rather vision impaired so before I could assess anything I had to run into the bathroom and get my glasses. 

Who really handles vomit well? I'm not a candidate, but hey my kid just yacked and it's pretty much on everything, including his 4-year old brother so I jump into action. The O is carried to his room, stripped of his 'jams and new ones put on and he is resnuggled back into his bed. I take the Happy Elf and remove his considerably more soaked pjs and wipe him down and repajama him. This is all done in the bright glare of the bathroom lights. In replaying this later I may figure out a less intrusive light strategy.

He's clean, but crying in a bedroom corner. I tell him it's OK and I move on to stripping the bed. Luckily the Tempur-pedic came with a water-proof mattress cover. So everything comes off the bed, including the cover. The Happy Elf and I navigate downstairs. I set him up in the couch-bed, not sure if he'll blow again or not. I have extra sheets, but no extra mattress cover so I'm reluctant to put him back into the bed without it's underlying protection.

So here we sit at 1: 57 a.m. The O is peacefully sleeping in his bed. The sheets and mattress cover are going through the SuperWash cycle twice. I don't even want to think about the possibility of sleeping on residue vomit, hence the extra cycle.

The Happy Elf, true to his nature, is happy. He's drinking some flat Sprite and has shown no signs of re-heaving. He sits on the couch bed smiling and clapping as Dora and Friends cavort across the screen. He's much less shaken by the nights events than I.

We'll return to bed once the mattress cover is dry and back in place; perhaps he'll fall asleep on the couch bed.

Did I mention it's Daylight Savings Time and as I type this my computer clock just jumped from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. I have officially sprung forward. So it looks like the bed could be ready around 4 a.m. . . . lovely.

So I feel with the night's happenings that I have at least been vetted as a dad. Fully vetted? I probably won't be that unless Happy Elf hurls in bed again tonight. 

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sock It to Momma

The W had a tough day. The night before The Happy Elf awoke at 3 a.m. and stayed up partying until 5:30 a.m.; when the W decided to not fight it anymore and got up.

He's getting his 2-year molars right now so there's been a few restless nights.
Top that off with 4.5 months of pregnancy; full-time work; part-time PhD student; pre-school volunteer; and generally tending to the motherly needs of the boys--she was spent.

She arrived home at 4:30 a few afternoons ago. She tried napping in the playroom (or as some people call it, the living room), but the boys wanted her to play. She moved from chair to couch. The boys followed.

Finally caving into exhaustion she announced she was going up to bed for a nap. Walking up the stairs sheer tiredness overtook her and she began to weep. I asked if anything was wrong, she said, "tired".
The O announced he was tired too and was going to take a nap with mom.

I could see behind his eyes that he didn't mean it, but still I let him follow the W up to the bed.
He came down a few minutes later and announced, "Mom was sad, but now she's OK."

I spent the next few hours trying to entertain the kids at a quiet volume so as not to disturb the Sleeping SugarPop.
Only later did I learn what happened when the O went up with her. . .

Still weeping she crawled into bed. The O followed. He asked, "Momma, are you crying?"

"Yes O." she replied.

"Are you sad?"

"A little."

Where upon the O scooted off the bed, went to the basket filled with clothes to be laundered and plucked one of his socks from the pile. Climbing back onto the bed he dabbed his momma's tears with his sock.

"Is that better? Are you OK now?" he asked.

"Yes babe. Thank you."

Then the O came downstairs and the W slept for two hours.

We all try so hard to take care of our children. Seldom do we realize how well they take care of us.