Monday, September 29, 2014

Gender-ally Speaking

Have I mentioned yet that the moment this pregnancy was confirmed I morphed into a crabbier version of my 16-year old self? I thought my hormones would start leveling out and hoped that would help clear up my teenage attitude, but the sassiness only appears to be getting worse. 

Bless Jeff.

With my sassiness, I get overly wrapped up in whichever mommy blogger article my "What to Expect When You're Expecting" pregnancy app orders me to read that day. If I agree with the author, I am 100% on board, nodding all the way through the article, giving cyber high-fives to my fellow mommy blogger. 

But if I disagree, a rage builds inside of me that can best be likened to an adolescent girl's temper tantrum. Usually passive aggressive, but if you say just the wrong thing, doors will start slamming only to be followed by an orchestra of angered screeches, ending with a final burst of, "YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND ME!" before the rage goes into remission in anticipation of the next hormonal outburst.

One such article I read a few weeks ago gave me the rage. Did I really slam doors over a differing opinion? No. But I did feel like shouting out, "YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND ME!"

Now, this is a hot button topic. I'm aware. And I'm also aware that this very post could send some other pregnant (or non-pregnant) lady into an identical temper tantrum to what I experienced. The irony is not lost on me. (Is that really irony or do you need to start calling me Alanis?)

The post that got me all in a tizzy was from a mom who has two boys and is pregnant with her third and last child, so at first I was like, "Hey girl! Let's cyber high five and bond over being boy moms! I know just where you're going with this..." 

But then she said before she found out what gender the baby was, she was so offended when people asked her if she wanted a girl. And then when she found out it was another boy, she never, no not ONCE thought, "I kinda wanted a girl." And SHAME on moms who would ever have a preference on what gender their baby is, and how ungrateful to care about such an irrelevant thing as a body part, and yada, yada, yada.

Here's my issue, I really want a girl (Surprise!). Really really bad. I do. I thought I didn't care as much as I do, but I have come to learn about myself that I do care. I hate how much I care about a seemingly insignificant thing. 

Is it vain to want a girl to dress her up in cutesy clothes? Yes. Do I still want a girl for those reasons? Yes. Do I want an excuse to re-watch all my old favorite princess movies? Yes. But I also want a girl because of the story my sister just shared on her blog of looking into a mirror at the temple with her daughters and looking forward to sharing a similar moment with them on their wedding day. I would love to hear a daughter's perspective on high school and college. I wonder what it would be like to watch a daughter have her own child, and to teach her things about being a mother...and to see her slowly morph into me despite her most noble efforts to do otherwise.

And then I feel guilty for wanting those things when someone tells me I shouldn't be feeling that way, when I really can't help but wonder what a mother-daughter relationship is like with me playing the role of the mother.

Now, does this mean I wouldn't love to watch another boy melt into our family so seamlessly because we're already built for boys? Does this mean I'm not grateful to be blessed with the opportunity to have another miracle in our lives? Does this mean I wouldn't love to send another boy on a mission? Does this mean I won't have special moments with my sons on their wedding days, or delight in watching them become fathers? No. That's just not how I see it.

It's like if someone had a platter full of chocolate chip cookies and Rolo cookies and was generously handing them out to people who walked by. Let's say I had walked by twice before and had been given a chocolate chip cookie both times. Awesome! I LOVE chocolate chip cookies. I would never, ever refuse a free chocolate chip cookie. 

But then I decide to walk by again and notice the Rolo cookies. I've never had a Rolo cookie before. They look good. I'd be interested in trying one, just to see what it was like. I'm curious to see how I'd react to a Rolo cookie and if the Rolo cookie would like me and watch princess movies with me and let me put a bow on its head. Okay. Too much of a crossover. 

Anyway, the point is, I don't think wondering what a Rolo cookie tastes like makes me any less grateful for the obvious generosity and blessing of being granted another delicious chocolate chip cookie. I understand that it is not in my control and that Heavenly Father has a grand plan for our family that includes whatever kind of cookies fit in best. :) 

So basically, just in case it was unclear, there is no need to worry about offending me by asking if I would love to have a girl. Yes. I would. I would also obviously love to have another boy. And yeah, when it comes down to it, we are just excited to be adding another bundle of energy to our family no matter what the gender. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

School, Cedar City and Making Room for a Sibling

Did I tell you yet that after my rant about being anti-preschool I signed Eli up for preschool? Sue me. 
The thing is, no one from last year's joy school group could do it again this year, so I was suddenly left with a year full of Eli having nothing productive to do. Then my friend told me about this really great lady she takes her kids to, and it's waaaaaaaaaay less expensive than the other preschools I've heard of, so I forked over the cash in the name of sanity and at the expense of my pride.
Eli was super duper excited...the first week. He has since taken a turn for the defiant and refuses to get dressed in the morning. Then refuses to leave the house. Then even goes so far as to throw a tantrum out in front of preschool before going in. When questioning him on why he has started giving us attitude when it comes to his studies, he replied, "It's not fun. There's too much learning."
Somewhere Eli is always happy to go lately is PRIMARY! Especially when he's donning a new matching tie with his brother.
If Eli could have it his way, he'd spend every waking moment quite literally rolling to the rescue in his self proclaimed Bumblebee costume. Bumblebee is a transformer for those of you unfamiliar. And if you're going to be seeing us on Halloween, I suggest you get familiar with Bumblebee the transformer so you can fully appreciate the blood, sweat and tears that I've been putting into a costume for this Transformer obsessed pseudo-bot.
The image of Eli rolling around in a cardboard box is pretty rich, but if you could only hear the noises he makes while in "Bot Mode," you'd be rolling on the floor right along with him (only you'd be rolling due to adoring laughter and not due to a vivid transformer fixated imagination).
Busy season ended! Though we hardly knew it existed. This was by far the best busy season of Jeff's bean counting career. He only had to stay late maybe a week total.
Our game took an interesting turn  when Carson pulled ahead at the end for the win.
In honor of Jeff's end of busy season, we took advantage of his time off by going to visit Cedar City. Jeff's parents had heard about an open house at the local airport where they served a breakfast and let us tour several planes/helicopters and police cars.
There was a lot of sweet hand holding that I couldn't resist capturing whenever I saw it.

The boys waiting their turn to tour one of the smaller airplanes.
Then this face happened.
The boys were in heaven all morning!
We went to a park that afternoon and then we went up the canyon to Woods' Ranch for a little cookout. Leslie, is this where we met Cade? I kept feeling like I was having flashbacks.
It was gorgeous up there with the leaves just starting to turn.

The boys got to take a little ride on the 4-wheelers another day.
And not pictured was our trip to the aquatic center and our visit to Ben and Laura's new house. :( I had too much fun I forgot to snap a few pictures of the cousins!
At the cookout, I requested Jeff buy Cheetos, and that set off an unquenchable craving in me for chips for the whole next week. I went to the store when we got back from Cedar and came home to realize I had gone chip overboard succumbing to my cravings in the store. The funniest thing is I NEVER buy chips. I like them on special occasions, but I never keep them in the house. Pregnancy has changed that for me.
I was in charge of shaving cream Twister for our Young Women class activity last week. I was nervous because I had never done shaving cream Twister before, but it ended up being a lot of fun!
Since we did it at my house, Eli managed to sneak out to the back to basically do the whole activity with us. I will have to pull this idea out again for next summer because Eli thought it was so much fun.
Until the next morning when he had a shaving cream Twister hangover from staying up too late and eating too many treats.
In other news, we stole my parents' old, old bunk bed.
 The boys have successfully fallen asleep in the same room at the same time without too much of a fight for two nights in a row. And Carson's already broken his new mattress in by wetting the bed on night 1, but I think it was just his idea of claiming his territory in his newly shared space.
We're one step closer to being ready for baby #3!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Potty Training Carson -- Attempt Two

Something really, truly miraculous happened about a month ago. Carson slept through the night. He did it once and we were like, "Woah." And then he did it for a few days consecutively and we were like, "Don't talk about this because we will jinx it." So we have kept it under tight wraps that our 2 1/2 year old had finally mastered getting a full night's rest.

And then we did what any logical human beings would do and completely sabotaged ourselves. Doh.

It all started two weeks ago when we were eating dinner with my sister and she uttered the simple question, "When are you going to try to potty train Carson again?"

The date this innocent question was asked was August 31. I gulped, cringed, and hesitantly acknowledged, "Oh crap. I told myself I'd give it another shot in September."

That was pretty much all the prompting it took before I found myself at Wal-Mart the next morning buying round two of Kool-Aid, a stockpile of carpet cleaner, and bags and bags of bribery candy. I figured we'd give it one more honest attempt and then we could officially throw in the pee-stained towels until spring.

Right out of the gate, Carson knew he didn't want to wet his underwear. Round one of potty training had at least taught him he didn't like the feeling of an accident, and he sure learned how to hold his bladder a few months ago. Luckily the bladder holding was easily remembered and he really didn't have many accidents this time around.

The trick was to load him up on sugar water (Kool-Aid) and wait for him to yell his latest catch-phrase, "I'M GOING!!" And then you have about 3.5 seconds to get him on his potty without needing the carpet cleaner.

I have learned it's all about "controlled accidents." The problem at first is they don't know how to go in the potty, so you just have to keep putting them there in hopes that they will conveniently be on the potty when their bladder finally gives out on them. You have to give them a few unintentional successes before they warm up to the potty, but it's an anxiety ridden mother's worst nightmare to spend an entire week following around a two-year old in anticipation of directing an uncontrolled bladder explosion to coincidentally occur over an acceptable point of disposal.

Day two into potty training, Carson was not a fan of going in the potty, but he was a master at holding everything in. For as long as possible. And when he would finally snap and have to relieve himself, he would just go barely enough to make himself not direly uncomfortable.

Since he proved to have a superhuman bladder, I suggested to Jeff that we just go ahead and give night training a try while we're at it. It was all supposed to be purely experimental to just SEE what would happen if we put him to bed without a diaper on.

When he woke up dry after completely sleeping through the night, I was thinking we had finally arrived at potty training paradise.

But then night two came. Night two is the night he was up about every hour. He would finally come to grips that he had to go to the bathroom after waking up screaming unconsolably. Then we (well, Jeff. He only likes Jeff at night) would take him to the bathroom and Carson would do his favorite move of barely emptying his bladder just enough to make the discomfort manageable, and then he'd go back to bed.

But of course he has to go again in another hour because he didn't really go the hour before. And when we finally broke down and put a diaper back on him, it was no use anymore! He doesn't understand that he can go in his diaper now, so even with a diaper on he wakes up to go.

And that's what we've done to ourselves. Our baby who we prayed for two years would sleep through the night finally did. For one month. We got one good month of sleep in two years before we went and ruined everything we worked so hard on. And there's no way to go back anymore. We are stuck with a bladder-conscious toddler who refuses to ever completely empty said bladder.

Pray for us.

A Bump, Two Boys and Some Birds

I meeeeeeeeeeant to post this last week so congratulations are in order to me. I have discovered a way to time travel. We are now traveling back one week to hear yesterday's news. Beginning with my 13 and 14 week pregnancy shots.
Guess what has appeared. A little, itty bitty bump. I got fairly queasy with this pregnancy, but exactly at 14 weeks my queasiness vanished! It was a welcome surprise. My raging appetite has dwindled a little as well. Or I have just adjusted to eating that much and no longer consider it ginormous quantities of food. Yeah that's probably it.
I went to the doctor on Friday (at almost 16 weeks). Everything looked peachy, and I scheduled our big ultrasound on October 16. If you see pigs flying and fat ladies singing on the morning of October 16, the odds are pretty good that #3 is a girl.
We went to the park one evening and Carson said, "Woah, Mom! Have you seen that?!?" I was surprised to see him pointing to a flower instead of a worm.
One evening we went to feed the swarm of ducks.
Shy -- they are not.

Our favorite was the one with the fro-hawk. Do you see the one I'm talking about?
We are lucky we walked away with all our fingers intact.

We have been upping our family scripture study game thanks to a friendly challenge from my brother Jacob. We bought the boys little copies of The Book of Mormon and that did the trick to get them to sit still for scripture reading (for this week anyway).
We've been watching one of Eli's friends once a week. We walk her over to preschool, and Eli and Carson refuse to make the two-minute walk without their backpacks in tow just like their friend.
Carson turned to this page in one of our books and proudly proclaimed, "Nephi builds a...ROCKET SHIP!" No wonder Nephi's brothers made fun of him.
I'll end with this picture I snapped to celebrate Carson's first night of sleeping through the night...without a diaper on! But that celebration deserves its own post, so stay tuned!