Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Reading the Signs

Thanks for all the great advice/reassurance about the BH contractions. I had my 24 week check up yesterday and was once again cleared to exercise.

Can't say I'm going to jump right on that, but I'm still thankful for the all clear.

And speaking of being thankful can I just say how much Park and I have been enjoying this beautiful weather?

Two days ago we spent the entire day outside, painting with marbles, sponges, and good old fashioned side walk chalk. There may have been a few (or a hundred) baseball pitches that he required of me, in between activities, as well. That child is so efficient at hitting the ball that there is a strong possibility he could take my head off in the near future.

And today we spent the morning at the playground. He spent some time in the sandbox before we had a picnic and went on a nature scavenger hunt. A while back, Bridget had given me some pictures she had pulled off the Internet of things like a playground, fence, tree, bird, squirrel, and so on. I cut them out and put them on a little ring and Park couldn't have been more thrilled to explore with me until we found each item.

He also discovered something that wasn't on the list.... a huge hill to ride his bike down at breakneck speed while I prayed his training wheels would somehow keep him from bodily injury. If this next baby is cautious, I'm not even sure I will know what to do with that.

In other news, Park has learned to read. Now, if you ask him if he can read he will say, "Well, I can only sound out words, but I still need you to read my books to me." But, the last time I checked, that still counts as reading when you are a three-year-old.

I'm not sure exactly how it came about, but I've known that he has a love for letters for some time now. Last summer we made an alphabet book (a letter of the alphabet on each page and then you cut out things from magazines that start with that letter) and he was quite confident of what items started with which letter.He is constantly asking me what sounds each letter makes and loves when I arrange his fridge alphabet into words.

So, last week I decided to I showed him the word "bat" and asked him how I could change it to "sat". I wasn't sure he would know, but when he handed me the s, we just kept going. Before I knew it, he was reading words like hen, sun, bed, pig, doll and so on.

And at the risk of sounding like a bragging mom, I was amazed that he read "Pass Left" off a sign at the playground today.

Unfortunately, he also screamed this rule to any biker who was trying to get around us on the trail this morning. At least he added please to it, right?

Looks like our next task will be teaching him to read the sign that says: "Caution: Dangerous Hill Ahead."

Friday, May 15, 2009

"The Yucky, Scary Part"

So, last post I told you how great my birthday was, but now I owe you the rest of the story.

That morning, we were meeting my friend Kelly and her two kiddos at the park for the boys to ride bikes while we got some fresh air and exercise. Before we started out, we took everyone for a mandatory bathroom break. Without being too graphic, I was alarmed when I noticed a little blood when taking my turn.

When discussing this with Kelly, who could not be more calm and compassionate, she said, "I'm sure it is nothing, but I know you would feel better if you just call your doctor and check in."

Unfortunately, in my rush to get out the door that morning, I had left my cell phone on the kitchen counter. And about the time I realized that, I also realized that I could not recall the baby kicking or moving all morning.

So, Kelly, in her cool in a crisis way, put together an action plan. We put everyone back in the car and headed to Sonic for an apple juice slush to see if the juice could get the baby moving. We headed back to her house for me to quietly rest on her couch until the baby moved. While I did this, she sent the kids off to play and searched the Internet for the number to my doctor.

I made the call and while on hold for the nurse, I felt the baby start kicking. It instantly calmed my spirit and I thanked God for His grace in giving me that reassurance. I was tempted to hang up since I really hated to sound like an overreacting mother, but decided since I had already crossed that threshold why not embrace it?

The nurse was precious and assuring, but asked me to go ahead and come to the office for a urine sample and exam. Sweet Kelly kept Park for me and I made my way to the office.

After some preliminary questions and urine sample, we listened to the baby via Doppler and heard a strong, normal heart rate. But just before the exam ended the nurse practitioner casually said, "You haven't had any contractions, right?"

After I told her that I had started having Braxton Hicks about 3 weeks earlier, she decided to check for any dilation. (Again-sorry for the explicit details...) After that exam, she had some concerns that I might already be effacing, as well as that she thought I was measuring small and sent me on for an immediate sonogram.

Thankfully, it looked to be a false alarm, though, because the sonogram showed everything to be exactly on track and perfectly normal. I'm pretty sure the stenographer meant it as a complement when she told me I probably just have a very efficient cervix that happens to be a little sensitive.

Good to know.

So, despite some great birthday gifts later that evening, the best present of the day ended up being the reassurance that my little pumpkin was still safely tucked away in my stomach- continuing to grow and develop into who God is creating him/her to be.

After a 2 hour "put the birthday celebrations on hold" detour, I finally left with no restrictions other than zero exercise until my appointment with my doctor next week.

And seeing how much I love to exercise, that advice could be considered a bit of a present itself.

No, I'm definitely not short on reasons to celebrate.

(By the way, please leave me a comment if you or someone you know had Braxton Hicks contractions starting as early as 19-20 weeks. I'm 23 weeks now and having them quite regularyly... Of course , you can still leave a comment, even if you didn't:)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Birthday Anxiety

I love my birthday.

I always have and probably always will. I've even been known to be pretty obnoxious about it. So, imagine how disheartening it was when Park started showing some resistance to celebrating my big day.

At first, I thought it was a fluke that he would get grumpy when Chris would mention my birthday was just around the corner. But when we were in East Texas last weekend, the extent of his anxiety over my birthday was revealed. Before we left on Sat, my family celebrated my birthday with us a few days early, or at least that was the plan.

However, as Challi gathered up the boys to help her bring out my surprise ice cream cake, Park started to sob uncontrollably. "I don't want Mommy to have a birthday!!! I just want me and Mommy!!!" He could hardly even be bribed with part of the cake. He was equally as distraught opening presents, even though I recruited him to do it for me.

It wasn't pretty. Chris finally had to take him out of the room to discuss how it would hurt Mommy's feelings if he kept this up. He came back in to cuddle in my lap and tell me over and over that he just wanted us to cancel my birthday.

I'm really not exactly sure where this came from, but I know it has something to do with him not liking me being the center of attention. As much as he is a straight up Daddy's boy, he has definitely developed some protectiveness of his mommy. He is very used to sharing Chris at church, seeing him on stage, watching him baptizing, or counseling with others.

But, he is not interested in sharing me with anyone other than Chris and the baby. (And since the baby is not born yet, let's hope he still feels as generous come September:) Anytime I'm on stage, Park has to be taken out. He LOSES it. One time while in the control room with Chris, he just caught a glimpse of me doing announcements for a Women's event and sobbed uncontrollably.

Clearly, my birthday somehow falls into this category.

So, in an effort to get him to enjoy my birthday as much as I do, we let him decide how we would spend it this year. Last night, Chris, Park and I celebrated my birthday at the Ranger's game. After a round of Dip N Dots, some Ranger home run fireworks, and Park getting to take some batting practice, I think he learned to enjoy my birthday as much as I do.

And maybe he gets it from me, after all, because there is no one else I would rather have all to myself than Chris, Park and the little love who kicked in my stomach the entire game. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my 32nd birthday!!!

(Well, I didn't exactly tell you the whole story of my big day. But, I'll save the yucky part for tomorrow. Something really scary happened the morning of my birthday, but by God's grace it had a happy ending. We'll just skip over that for now.)

Tonight I get to continue the celebration with a Birthday girl's night out with Bridget and Sarah. And Park doesn't have any reservations over that one since Daddy Night will be in full swing.