Happy Blogoversary!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Blogoversary to me! Four years ago, I saw a positive pregnancy test and eventually witnessed that turn into my sweet Baby B.

I hope history repeats itself four years later as I go down this path once again, on nearly the same timeline as before.

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Are you positive? (part 2)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

In 48 hours, the hCG rose from 25 to 69. More than doubling. Whew.

My ultrasound is scheduled for Monday, June 14. Going by the IUI date, I’ll be 6 weeks and 5 days.

Always with the waiting, I suppose, but I’m glad it’s a different kind of wait this time. I’m very appreciative to be here now.


Are you positive? (part 1)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I got my first positive test on Monday when I went home for lunch. I took a cheapie Internet test and thought I might see something on there. It was not a definite line — more like the lightest line in the history of positive tests — but it was a definitely departure from seeing the whitest white negative tests (seriously, they couldn’t have been more white) for all those other times. I took a digital OPK, which can often double as a pregnancy test, but that turned out negative, though not surprising given how light the initial line was.

I decided to buy some real tests that night. We took Baby B to swim class, then on the way home I stopped at the pharmacy to get some.  I didn’t want to alert The Husband to what was going on yet because I didn’t want to get his hopes up, so I just told him it was a surprise why I was stopping when he was asking why we were there. And he almost wouldn’t drop the subject, the nosy fella!

I waited until after Baby B was in bed and The Husband had gone running. I took the First Response Early Result test first, seeing a very, very light line (though I could at least get a picture of it, which was not the case with the first test). The Clearblue Easy digital test isn’t as sensitive, so I didn’t think that would turn a positive result, but it did.

I’m not really the kind of person to tell The Husband such information in an elaborate, cutesy kind of way. So my plan was to just hand him the test and say, “Surprise.” I went to pick up the test and lost my grip on it and it fell behind — and under — my dresser, a piece of furniture that takes two people to move. I wedged my arm back there and twisted it every which way to retrieve the test, which I finally did after a bit of frustration. So I go to The Husband, who was recovering from his run, hand him the test, and say, “My arm is HURT! But here’s your surprise.”

I called the RE on Tuesday morning and they had me go to the lab for a blood draw. The hCG should double approximately every 48 hours, and I asked if I would have a second draw, but The Nurse said The RE doesn’t usually do a second draw unless the first number is a concern. I asked if I could request a second draw either way, and she said that was fine. I got my number when I called later that afternoon, and was told that it was 25, which was low for where I was at, though the nurse was nice and tried to be optimistic. She said to go to my draw on Thursday and we’d see what the numbers did.

So I’ve been to the lab already this morning and will call for my results later this afternoon. I did take another digital test this morning and the result came out positive. Now, that’s certainly no indication that the number has doubled like it needs to, so I’m not getting my hopes up, but at least it wasn’t negative, which would not have been good at all.

Please let this day go fast (though with it being my last day before the holiday weekend, something tells me that it will not). Will update either way later this afternoon.


Wordless Wednesday: The third time’s the charm?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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Ignorance is bliss

Monday, May 24, 2010

I have not yet taken a pregnancy test.

Right now I can still imagine how I might tell The Husband that this cycle worked.

Right now I can wonder whether I’m going to be as sick in the first trimester as I was last time.

Right now I can imagine the excitement of eventually telling our families that we will be expecting another baby.

Right now I can brainstorm ways we can tell Baby B about the impeding arrival of her sibling.

Right now I can try to picture our reactions to news of whether we’re having a boy or a girl at the big ultrasound.

Right now I can speculate whether my next labor and delivery will be easier or harder than the last.

Right now I can wonder how close to Baby B’s birthday her brother or sister might be born.

Right now I can think about how much fun we’re going to have next summer as a family of four.

Right now I can try to envision what our next family Christmas card will look like.

As soon as I test, it either becomes a moment of dreams realized (or at least the potential of that), or a moment of crushed hope. If it’s positive, then great, I finally get to move forward instead of remaining stagnant. I am dubious of this being the outcome, to be honest, but I will consider myself fortunate if it is. But I’ve seen way more negatives than positives, and I know very well how this part goes.

I can already tell you that it will not be pretty. This will not be taken easily. We’ll be at a crossroads with needing to take a new direction but without the means to get us there. Hope will not just be crushed but stomped, pounded, and pulverized.

So even though right now I live in a sort of limbo — with no positive or negative outcome known yet — I am currently in a place of bliss, or as close to bliss as you can get after having to return to square one so many times.

A test showing either outcome will change me greatly. Positive or negative. Good or bad. Elated or crushed. Happy or sad. One step forward or one step back.

So I wait,  still walking the treadmill I’ve become so accustomed to.


Snapshots in time

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Scene: I’m in the kitchen getting dinner ready. Baby B has been playing outside in the backyard with The Dog.

She peeks her head inside. “Hey, Mom.” She’s been testing out calling me Mom lately, as opposed to Mommy. “Mom, I’m going to be outside pretending to be an old lady.”

“Okay!” I respond as she runs back out the door. But inside think, “Um, WHAT?!” I later tried to ask her what “pretending to be an old lady” consisted of, but she couldn’t come up with anything concrete.

**********

Baby B took a baby doll pacifier over to The Dog and opened his mouth, then put the pacifier inside, saying she was putting medicine in his mouth. I reminded her not to put too much medicine in his mouth or else it would hurt his belly. With a tone that came across as “you’re idiotic, Mom,” she said, “No, it’s just pretend medicine. It’s not real.” I still reminded her that maybe we shouldn’t give him too much pretend medicine either. She said, “Well, I have to because he’s been burping a lot. And that’s why he’s so crazy. So if he has all this medicine, then he won’t be so crazy.” Hrm, I wonder if it’ll help with his alleged burping issue too.

**********

Even though we still have two more classes left, Baby B received her certificate for completing the Pike swimming class at the Y. Baby B has really enjoyed the class, and she’s done well with her skills, though they are recommending that she do the Pike class again next time instead of moving on to Eel (advanced beginner). While I know this makes sense and I was expecting that for sure — she’s at the lower age range of the class, which is for 3- to 5-year-olds, and thus still has some physical maturity she needs to reach before moving on — there’s still something kind of deflating about hearing that your child should repeat a class. But, no worries. After watching these swim classes, we are able to see what some of her strengths and weaknesses are, and now we have all summer to practice those things on our own in a fun, relaxed environment. I think we’ll see what kind of progress she can make this summer with us, then plan for her to do the Pike class again in the fall or winter.

**********

Yesterday morning I went into daycare to help out with picture day since the teachers said that’s typically a pretty chaotic day. I was able to read the kids three books at circle time, and then I played with various groups of kids while waiting for the photographer to arrive. At one point, three or four of the kids had come over to me sitting on the floor, pretending to cut and style my hair. (No scissors were present for this!) The funny part, though, was that later in the day, my part-time proofreader came in the office and said, “Did you get your hair cut?” I said, “No, it’s been about a month.” Then I laughed and said, “Oh! I had some three-year-olds ‘cut’ and style my hair this morning. Maybe that’s what you’re noticing.”

On a related note, I have no idea how daycare teachers do it day in and day out, and usually for such little pay. I was drained from just my hour and a half there. I almost think it should be a requirement for each parent to spend a half day or a full day in the classroom with the teachers each year so they can see what the teachers have to put up with each day.


Wordless Wednesday: An afternoon with the girls

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

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How does your garden grow?

Monday, May 17, 2010

I am known for my black thumb. I have killed, among other things, a cactus and an aloe plant, two of the easiest plants to care for.

So considering the amount of work required, we’ve never committed to a full garden. It’s just hard to think about going through all that effort, just to result in nothing at the end. (Sounds a bit like infertility, eh?) Oh, sure, we’ve planted a couple tomato plants each year, but the only time in the past five years where we had a good crop was the summer I was pregnant with Baby B and really didn’t want to eat tomatoes. (It wasn’t an aversion specific to tomatoes; that’s when I had morning sickness so badly that I couldn’t eat anything at all.) Every other summer it’s been too wet or too hot and we get minimal fruit from the plants.

But with my lack of enthusiasm for training for another big race right now, I needed to find something I could do to help pass the time while we try to conceive. Something to put a little work into daily or weekly in hopes of a good end result. And I do love the idea of growing our own herbs and vegetables; I’ve just always doubted my ability to do so based on my track record with other plants. (Seriously, twice at work now someone has placed a plant on the filing cabinet near my desk, and both times they died. There must be a “wanted” poster with my face on it posted at the plant post office.)

So we took the plunge and decided to do a small garden this year. We transplanted basil, rosemary, and cilantro; as well as sugar snap peas and three kinds of tomatoes. And even though I really doubt my ability to grow something from seeds, we still figured we’d experiment with growing corn and carrots from seeds.

I think the challenge will be in finding the balance between putting in too much work and being disappointed if the garden doesn’t thrive despite all our work, and putting in not enough effort that would set ourselves up for failure.

We made this a family activity, and Baby B helped us when we were preparing the garden. As she was digging in the dirt (fascinated with the worms she found but unwilling to pick one up yet), she stopped and exclaimed, “Whew! This sure is hard work!”

Hard work, yes. But hopefully worth it in the end. Hopefully just how our journey for a second child will play out.

And here’s hoping that we have an AWESOME vegetable crop this year and I’m pregnant and don’t want to eat any of it.

(Well, okay, I could do without the severe morning sickness part. But I’m fully prepared to deal with it again, as when it’s that severe, it is more likely to repeat.)


Open wide

Friday, May 14, 2010

My mom did not set a good example for me, and my trips to the dentist as a child were sporadic, and that just carried over into adulthood. With Baby B on the verge of needing to go to the dentist for her first check-up, I wanted to be sure to set a good example for her myself, so I made my first trip to the dentist in a while for a deep cleaning and check-up, then a couple weeks later made an appointment for her first-ever trip to do the same.

Today was that first visit for her, and overall I’d say it went pretty well. They showed her a model (“Bob”) of teeth and some of the tools they use. They just did a check-up and a polishing today, then they’ll do things like x-rays and more standard cleaning and flossing when she’s more comfortable with coming to the dentist. I like that they don’t rush things.  She did great during the check-up and during the polishing of her top teeth. However, she started getting whiny and antsy when it was time for her bottom teeth, and she wouldn’t let them squirt the water in her mouth, so I finally had to sit in the chair with her on my lap and promise to buy her a new dress if she let them clean her teeth. (Hey, I couldn’t bribe her with sweets at the dentist, now could I?)

They did tell me that she has a place on the biting surface of her upper right two-year molar where the enamel didn’t form, so it’s a weak/soft spot in the tooth. It’s pretty common, is just something that some kids are born with, and is no indication that her permanent tooth there will do the same thing. All it means is that it’s more vulnerable to decay, so we need to make sure we pay special attention when brushing her teeth since she’ll most likely have that tooth until she’s 12 or so. Definitely something good to know about now.

She left with her stickers, a new toothbrush and toothpaste, and we headed out to pick out a new dress as a reward for her cooperation. (We actually found three. Hey, it was at the consignment store, so they were inexpensive.) Overall, a pretty successful trip to the dentist.

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It’s a draw

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Maybe a month ago, Baby B was in the preschool room at daycare when I went to pick her up, and all the kids were sitting at a table coloring with crayons. One of the girls who is normally in the preschool room was there, and I noticed her drawing a very recognizable princess and castle. Even though she’s a whole two years older than Baby B, I just had a hard time imagining a time when Baby B would be drawing something that recognizable. It just didn’t seem remotely on the horizon.

Fast-forward just a few weeks, and it’s amazing what a difference that little time can make. While Baby B isn’t drawing on the level of a five-year-old (of course), some of her drawings have begun to take the shape of recognizable forms, which is a big step forward from her scribbles that she declared was a dog or swimming pool or some other object, to which we exclaimed, “I think I see it! Was that hard to do??” when really it looked like scribbles to us. Several times now, however, she has drawn people that can be recognized as people. (Much better than any person that I might draw!) And I was stunned when she drew an owl — very clearly — the other day.

I’m not saying she’s the next Leonardo Da Vinci, but as someone who lacks any art talent whatsoever, it’s just nice to see her developing some basic skills in the area.


Three

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I had IUI #3 this morning, and there’s not really anything new to report this time. The doctor was out this morning so the nurse did the procedure and it went just fine. The Husband’s total count was 30 million and the count of active sperm was 18.4 million, which was a bit lower than the first two times, but The RE is looking for an active count above 12 million, so we were okay there.

Back to waiting…


Wordless Wednesday: Passing on the torch

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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Putting all my eggs in one basket

Monday, May 10, 2010

I had my follicle scan for IUI #3 this morning. I had two on the right (22 mm and 19 mm) and one on the left (18 mm). I do the hCG trigger tonight between 4 and 8 p.m., then The Husband has his andrology appointment on Wednesday at 8 a.m. and I go in for my IUI at 9 a.m. It’s a light week at work, and I need to take time off anyway so I don’t reach my vacation hours cap and lose time, so I decided to take the whole day off to just be a big bum. The 22 mm follicle is probably too big to be a factor for the IUI, but thankfully we were able to try on our own this weekend, so that one is not out of the running.

The RE said he’s still hopeful that this might work, but that with mild male factor (morphology) coming into play, if the IUI is going to work, it’ll most likely be within the first three tries. He said next up in our case: IVF with ICSI.

Now, that would be the ideal scenario, if we had money oozing out the seams.

We do not.

I looked over the information packet he gave me just in case this doesn’t work, and my chest immediately became tight and my breathing a bit labored when looking over the costs. A fresh cycle would cost an estimated $10,250 (possibly more if more meds are needed), and each frozen cycle would cost an estimated $2,200. I’ve seen much higher estimates, and the lab fee portion does include the cost for ICSI and assisted hatching if necessary, so it’s not as bad as it could be, but still basically laughable.

There had been an outside chance we could have added me to The Husband’s health insurance plan temporarily next month, we’d pay the deductible of the HSA (which is high, but not $10,000 high), then the rest beyond the deductible would be covered at 100%. Ah, but there’s a catch. (Isn’t there always?) There are only three insurance companies that the RE will file claims with, and The Husband’s insurance provider is not one of them. So the RE office will instruct us on how to get reimbursed for the expenses — but that’s the key word: reimbursed. We would still be responsible for paying the money up front, due before beginning injections.

We do not have $10,000 laying around unused, just waiting to be spent.

And I am unwilling to put ourselves in that much debt for a chance at a baby. I might have a different decision if we were trying for our first, but that’s not what we’re dealing with.

Now, I did not yet mention to the RE that IVF is financially very unlikely for us, and I did not ask what we could do in light of that fact. He was just giving me the information to mull over so I’ll be ready to talk about it during our next consultation if this doesn’t work. I considered bringing it up today, but I really don’t want to get too far ahead of myself since we haven’t even done this final IUI. However, I can’t help but feel like I’m putting all my eggs in one basket — this one last chance with the IUI. It’s possible we’ll do more IUIs in the future since IVF isn’t an option, but it’s not necessarily going to increase the likelihood of it working.

I hate the uncertainty of not knowing where we go after this. I just hope one of the three eggs in this basket does the trick so we don’t have to have such discussions.


Mother, may I have a jam-packed weekend?

Monday, May 10, 2010

(Answer: Is there any other kind?)

On Friday, Baby B’s daycare had a Mother’s Day ice cream party, so I slept in that morning, mowed the grass in 80+-degree heat (and exclaimed on IM to The Husband that I wanted to replace our push reel mower with a real lawn mower for Mother’s Day), then got ready and went to Baby B’s party. There’s nothing quite like being greeted with, “MOMMY!” every afternoon, but it seemed more enthusiastic this time. The party had a pretty decent turnout of moms (certainly more than the two that showed up last year), and we had a nice time enjoying some snacks and ice cream with the kids. Then they presented us with our presents, which were wooden painted frames with their pictures inside. One of the teachers, who does photography on the side, took the pictures, and Baby B’s is just precious.

After leaving daycare, I took Baby B with me to run a couple of errands, including getting a present for The Husband as we were celebrating our tenth dating anniversary on Saturday. Back when we first started dating, I got him a single Hershey bar to represent our first year together. The second anniversary, I got him two chocolate bars, but pretty soon we were celebrating high enough numbers that getting the appropriate number of Hershey bars was too much, so we sort of tabled the tradition. But for ten  years I wanted to do it again, so I figured I’d get ten fun-size (instead of full-size) Hershey bars.

It was a gorgeous Friday afternoon, so after our errands, Baby B and I went to the park for an hour or so, where we got to swing together for most of the time, but then enjoyed some sweet moments together on the grass. There were some big, puffy, white clouds floating through, the kind that are great for seeing animals and other objects. So I started pointing out a few that I saw, then Baby B quickly picked up on the game and came up with a ton of her own creations (some of which I could see, some of which I could not). She’s noticed before that clouds look like other things, but this is really the first time we’ve specifically sat down to look at them (as opposed to just her noticing while in the car). Baby B is not what I would consider a snuggle bug, at least not with me, but she came over on her own and sat down on my lap while we looked at the clouds, and I couldn’t help but think just how awesome I have it with her. She’s an amazing young lady, and I’m so fortunate to be her mom.

She and I got home and I found my Mother’s Day present in the garage: a new electric lawn mower that The Husband had run out and bought on his lunch break and put together while he knew I was out. Now before you think we’re crazy, just hear me out. With me off on Fridays, I had started doing the bulk of the lawn mowing recently since it frees us up to do other fun (ie, not chore) things on Saturdays. So this new lawn mower will help me get the job done easier, or if The Husband does it on the weekends, it will take him less time, which means less time away from me and Baby B, so we all still benefit. I would like to note that of course he never would have bought such a present for Mother’s Day if I hadn’t suggested it first. It’s non-traditional, but it’s going to make my life easier in several ways, so I’m all for it. Just kind of weird to say you got a lawn mower for Mother’s Day. 🙂

On Saturday morning, we got up early and drove to the state capital for the Activate America 5-mile and 2-mile runs. I convinced The Husband to run the five-miler (his longest run ever), and I decided that Baby B and I would do the two-mile race together since she’s been asking to run in races “like Mommy and Daddy.” We were greeted with a picture-perfect day, with blue skies and race-time temps just above 50. (Sounds cool for us for May, but you don’t want it too warm when running.) We saw off The Husband at the start of his race, then we began our two-mile journey. Baby B started out very strong, running at a pretty good pace. Everyone we passed, both in the race and those cheering us along from the streets, was so encouraging to us. “Look at her go!” “She’s so fast!” “She’s going to beat us all!” Just shy of our one-mile mark, the five-mile runners were backtracking on our route, and the timing was perfect so we were able to see The Husband coming by before we veered off onto a new road. Soon after that, Baby B sat down on the curb and started playing with a stick. Someone walked by us and said, “I guess sticks are way more interesting!” I laughed and said, “Well, I’m a little surprised we made it this far before a distraction like this.” 🙂 We started up again and hit the one-mile mark at :19.43.

The second mile was much the same, though there were a couple small stretches where Baby B asked me to carry her, but for the most part she ran her heart out. The race route is cruel and has a big hill at the end, so it was a little tough for her to get up that, but she did it, and we crossed the finish line in :39. Not too bad for a three-year-old (she was the youngest person in the race). Baby B was pretty wiped out after the race, and I had several people comment on that fact, and I said, “Hey, I finally found a way to wear her out! Make her run two miles.” We had enough time to get some water and let her use the bathroom, then we cheered on The Husband, who finished his five miles in just under :52, not too bad considering he really didn’t put much training into it. We enjoyed the post-race Panera bagels (yum!) and some water before walking around the grounds of the Capitol building so Baby B could look around.

We headed home after the race and took showers before heading out shortly after. We decided to go to a neighboring town to what we call The Orchard (they have a huge play area there), making a stop first at a local pizza place that we decided to try for lunch. Baby B ate a great lunch, and we went to The Orchard, which she was so excited about. (We’d kept it a secret until we got there.) It had gotten cooler during the day and the wind was blowing, so I guess that kept most of the other kids away (plus The Orchard just opened for the season), so we basically had the place to ourselves. We played with balls and hula hoops. We did the swings. We did the tricycles. We did the climbing hill. We did the rolling tube. We did the big slide. We did it all! We enjoyed some snacks after a little while there, then headed home, where we all proceeded to get our nap on (even Baby B). In fact, we did so well at napping that I was the first to wake up — at 6:30 p.m. Oops…we usually eat dinner at 6:30! I started making dinner and we ate shortly after 7:30, not too bad, I suppose, though clearly Baby B wasn’t going to bed on time that night. (Not a big deal since she did nap.)

After she was in bed, The Husband and I exchanged our dating anniversary gifts, and it turns out he also got me ten mini Hershey bars to symbolize our ten years together. I love that we’re on the same wavelength so much of the time, and that’s just another example in a long list of ways we often do that. We watched The Time Traveler’s Wife on DVD, which I actually liked more than the book. (I’d found the book quite confusing and didn’t really get the hype of everyone loving it so much.) The Husband even enjoyed it too, though it’s hard to find a movie that he absolutely does not like.

Even though we celebrated Mother’s Day earlier in the weekend, I still got to wake up to a wonderful bacon, onion, and cheese omelet made by The Husband before I had to get ready for work on Sunday. His omelets are the BEST, and I’d been hoping he would make one for me. After breakfast, I got ready, then opened the cards from The Husband, Baby B, and The Dog, then headed to work for the day, though we had a light day so I got to come home for a couple hours in the afternoon before returning to finish up. The Husband and I got Baby B to bed, then we settled in to watch the finale of The Amazing Race before time to hit the sack myself.

It was a fun, packed weekend, but that’s just how we do things ’round here.

I love The Husband and Baby B so much, and I can’t imagine it any other way.


The Maybes

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Being three years old, Baby B is filled to the brim with questions, sometimes unable to wait for a full answer before moving on to her next question. Some questions are simple: What’s that man doing? Is that a gas station over there? How do we turn on the shower? These questions generally have a single, known answer, so they’re easy to reply to, then move on. That man is mowing the grass. Yes, that’s a gas station. We turn this knob and pull this lever to turn on the shower.

Then there are speculation questions, where Baby B is wondering the whys behind it all. On the surface, these questions are also pretty simple; most of her questions have one answer that is more likely true than others, so I could just give that answer and leave it at that.

But here’s the thing. I want her to know that it’s good to think of several different answers, assess the likelihood of each answer, and talk it through so that she can reach the most likely answer to the question. I also want her to know that sometimes we don’t really know the motivation behind other people’s actions, but we can still put ourselves in their shoes to try to think about why they’re doing what they’re doing.

So for example, the other day Baby B saw a man jogging without his shirt on. She asked, “Why’s he not wearing a shirt?” As it was a fairly warm day and I know how hot you can get when you run, I could have just said, “He gets hot when he runs, and running without his shirt makes him feel cooler” and just left it at that. She probably would have been satisfied with that answer, which was the most logical one, but instead I began what I call The Maybes, where we take turns thinking of answers to her question. So I started out with the obvious answer, “Maybe he got too hot running.” She countered with, “Maybe he doesn’t own any shirts.” Okay, not as likely, but she’s thinking here. I said, “Maybe all of his other shirts are dirty.” She came up with, “Maybe he forgot where he put his shirts.” Ultimately, though, we decided that it was probably because he was hot while exercising.

On the way home from daycare recently, Baby B saw a parked car in the middle of a field — not anywhere you’d be likely to see a car. Not surprisingly, she asked why the car was in the middle of the grass. (Which, to me, had no real logical answer! LOL) I said, “Maybe they accidentally drove off the road because they weren’t paying attention.” She thought for a minute and came up with, “Maybe they ran out of gas,” which impressed me a little because how the heck does she know about running out of gas?! Then threw in a silly answer with, “Maybe their dog was driving the car and didn’t know how to drive very well.” She laughed at that, and then said, “Maybe they were too tired to drive and had to take a break.” Again, I could have probably just answered that the car had an accident and ended up there, and she would have accepted that. But I like for her to think of all the possible reasons something could occur and come to her own conclusions.

Of course I still help guide her to those conclusions, but I think it’s very empowering for her to think in this way. I’m constantly trying to find ways to hone this skill, which will be crucial as she grows up and has to make these assessments on her own. I love that even if I do give her a simple answer, she still often comes up with alternative answers on her own.

It’s also a great way to talk to her about appropriate and inappropriate behavior for kids her age. If she sees a kid doing something that s/he probably shouldn’t be doing, she’ll ask about it: “Why’s he throwing sand out of the sandbox?” We’ll come up with some reasons why he might be doing that (maybe he’s angry, maybe he doesn’t know good manners, etc.), and then I’ll ask her what she thinks about the behavior. “Do you think it’s a good idea to throw all that sand out of the sandbox?” She almost always comes to the appropriate conclusion, and then we take turns giving reasons why it’s not a good choice (and thus why it’s not something she should do). I could have cut to the chase and said, “Because throwing sand out of the sandbox is messy and not polite to other people or their stuff.”

But I think doing things in this way helps make her less resistant to the rules we do have because she can understand some of the thinking behind it, rather than just being told that “hey, this is a rule that must be obeyed.” I’m pretty big on having concrete reasons behind our rules instead of implementing rules that just seem random and controlling to her. So I think it’s worth the extra few minutes it takes to have these conversations with her if it can help her better understand what we expect of her and what others expect of her. It’s not a perfect method, of course — she still has her Jekyll and Hyde three-year-old moments for sure — but I really think this approach has helped her in many ways so far, and I look forward to seeing how it helps her in the future too.


Wordless Wednesday: Confidence

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Like a fish to water

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

As suspected, Baby B enjoyed her first swimming lesson last night. In the car out of the blue on the way there, she exclaimed, “I can’t BELIEVE I get to go swimming!” and her enthusiasm remained throughout the half-hour class. It was so fun to watch her from the side, lined up in a row with the other girls sitting on the edge of the pool, each waiting for their turn with the instructor. They got an introduction to some basics, learning how to cup their hands and move their arms, kicking and swimming with assistance while using the float board thingie (why am I blanking out on the real name for that?) and the pool noodle, swimming with assistance on her back to submerge her head in water, and jumping into the pool and going under water.

The jumping was really fun to watch. She’s jumped into the pool before, but always with us catching her in time so that she didn’t dunk her head under the water. Baby B eagerly volunteered to go second and jumped in without hesitation, surfacing with a bit of a surprised look on her face since I’m sure she didn’t expect to go under. I don’t think she thought it was a bad thing, but it just surprised her. That was the last thing they did, and obviously it didn’t traumatize her too much, because as we were drying off, she kept asking, “Why can’t we keep swimming? Can we come back? When do we get to swim again?”

The only “problem” we had was that Baby B got so excited about some of her stuff that when it wasn’t her turn, she kept coming over to us in the parent viewing area to say, “Did you see me do that??” We’re trying to talk to her about being patient and staying with her class when she’s waiting for her turn, so hopefully she’ll do better with that next time. But if that’s the worst “problem” on the first day, then it’s not such a bad first day.


It’s going swimmingly

Monday, May 3, 2010

When I was probably 6 or 7 years old, I took swimming lessons at the local pool. I did well in the class until it got to the part where we had to jump off the diving boards and tread water in the deep end. I did my first jump off the lowest board — maybe a couple meters up — surfaced, then had trouble treading water and felt like I was struggling too much. However, the instructors didn’t come over to help me, so that put me in distress. In hindsight, I don’t think they were neglecting me, but I think they were giving me a chance to figure it out for myself, though of course I couldn’t see that at the time.

We heard that the next day, they were going to have us jump off the very big high dive. That was the day I quit swimming lessons, which thankfully my parents supported. (We just had one or two lessons left, so it’s not like I was missing out on much.) Even though I do wonder sometimes if I could have done the high-dive jump that day, I have no regrets about quitting, and I managed to learn enough about swimming through those lessons that I consider myself a decent swimmer. I’m not going to the Olympics at any point, but I feel capable enough for the swimming situations I find myself in.

Two years ago, we did the swimming class through our city’s Parks and Recreation, but that turned into a big joke. It was a parent-and-kid class, and it was supposed to focus on fun things like songs and games while also addressing some water safety issues. The instructor never seemed to have her act together, and she never made it feel like a cohesive class — it basically felt like we were just in there with her doing our own thing.

So we skipped swimming class last year and decided to start this year with real swimming instruction. I checked the schedule of the YMCA last week, and I found there was a class starting on Monday (today) that had one opening left, so we grabbed it and are set to begin our lessons tonight.

I’m excited to see how this goes. I think it’ll go well overall, but with Jekyll and Hyde a three-year-old you just never know.