Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday

After his nap this afternoon, Kittyboy was running around the living room, waving his laurel branches and yelling "Hosanna in da highest!!!!!" It was adorable! He wanted to take them back to church this evening, which we discouraged, and then I found two branches in the basement (obviously in need of a child to wave them) and I said he could hold those, and he ran upstairs and ran straight to the icon of Jesus riding the donkey, and waved the branches AT it with such enthusiasm we were afraid he would knock it off the shelf! Apparently he was listening this morning when I pointed out Jesus and the donkey and the people waving branches, so he thought he would too! He pointed at it and yelled "Hosanna in da highest!!!" Yup, he had been paying attention!
This morning, he was just begging for a gag and straitjacket, this evening he was actually good as gold. He sang along with me and with Stathi, and he paid absolute attention to the Nymphios procession (Daddy AND Father AND an icon AND candles AND a censor, it had everything you could want!). When Father was chanting, Kittyboy loudly and proudly proclaimed, "I NOT singing with Father! I NOT singing with Father!" because I always have to remind him that we don't sing when Father does, and he wanted to point out that this time, he wasn't! Otherwise I might have missed what a very good boy he was being. Everyone in church knew that Kittyboy was NOT singing with Father.
And halfway through the Gospel, which is a pretty decent length, he requested, "Daddy and Father and the icon go do-o-o-w-w-n and a-a-a-a-round?" EVERYTHING is improved on by a procession. Particularly Gospels that are too long. So then I told him he could walk veeerrry quietly to Daddy and help hold the candle, which he did, and then he went back with Daddy and was helpful the rest of the service.
I love how not knowing Greek is NO barrier to singing along. He can make it sound Greek! Lots of vowels, and things ending in -os and -on and -as and -in. Greek can be totally faked if you have enough enthusiasm and don't care in the slightest how you sound. It's a very joyful noise! For that matter, he doesn't know the English for Holy Week stuff either, but can fake it if enough hymns are in the same tone back to back.
I make sure to tell him often that God loves his enthusiasm and energy!

Friday, March 26, 2010


"Hi!" is Kittyboy's favorite greeting. We celebrated early dismissal (spring break for Holy Week! Woohoo!) by going straight to the playground at Washington Park. As usual, Kittyboy said HI with enthusiasm to everyone he passed, including crouching down to politely greet a little baby girl barely walking (OH TO HAVE HAD MY CAMERA OUT). Then he encountered three boys, I'm guessing second grade, who when he said, "HI!!" said, "Uh, hi?" back. Oh my gosh, what fun! New friends (as with many new friends, "they just didn't know it yet")!! He seemed to then make a game of trapping them - say, at the top of ladders - to say "Hi!" again, they would respond "Hi" again, he would laugh and allow them to pass. Hahaha, what fun, we are friends! They come up a ladder, there is Kittyboy! "Hi!" They go down a slide, there is Kittyboy! "Hi!" They were patient, if somewhat befuddled, and took pains to not trip over this STRANGE little boy with a one-word vocabulary. All three went climbing up the tornado slide - two made it, the third went scrambling down again backwards barely ahead of Kittyboy, who was sliding down after him and laughing his fluffy little head off!
Did you know older kids make great TOYS?

Monday, March 22, 2010

And on the lighter side...

Kittyboy is officially too big for shopping carts. Okay, he's not "too big" for normal-sized ones, but he IS too heavy for me to haul in and out over the handle - I'm five foot tall, he's thirty-four pounds. I just can't heft him up to shoulder height anymore. But he loves to ride. Well, some stores have smaller ones and normal ones, and I grabbed a smaller one by mistake some time last week or the week before. His legs couldn't get in! The seat was just maybe an inch too small in some dimension. Of course, I knew my mistake, but he didn't - I seized opportunity and said, "Well, I guess you just don't fit in carts anymore! Time to be a big boy and walk!" Kind of like hiding the pacifier and saying, "Well, it's lost, guess you'll have to do without!" And since then, I'd not gotten a cart, rather than get one and have the argument over whether he would ride.
Saturday, I had a shopping list, and really needed a cart. Of course he asked to ride, and I reminded him that the last cart Mommy tried to put him in, he hadn't fit, and he just couldn't ride anymore. But he could push! He used to push all the time, he was pushing a full cart at a year and a half. I told him he had a new job because he's SUCH a big boy, he could push the cart and put things in for Mommy. I grabbed some gingersnaps when we first started in, put them in the seat area where he could see them, and said we'd buy them IF and only IF he was a veeeerrrrry good big helper the whole time.
At first, the cart went rocketing willy-nilly down aisles, at a three-year-old's dead run, with me in pursuit, and people ahead of him getting out of the way! After a few aisles, he figured out how to walk with it instead of run. And he was GOOD. He put things in the cart, he only picked up a few things that we weren't getting, and those he put back without complaint. He even put back a huge chocolate bunny he'd grabbed off the shelf (right at his eye level, hahaha, such perfect placement) with a minimum of coaxing. Who knows, maybe he will find that same bunny in his Easter basket, since he was such a good boy!
When we got to the checkout, I handed him things from the cart and he put them on the conveyor belt (had to look funny, considering we were both on the same side of the cart, but it kept him busy and useful) and then he even pushed the cart to the end of the checkout and stood with it!!
I must have caught him at the perfect age where new responsibilities are a wonderful new game, another way to be a Big Boy, so that he never stopped to think - "Wait, I don't get to ride anymore - AND I have to push the cart? How did I get hosed into this?" I told Husband, to be sure we're consistent and that Kittyboy doesn't figure out that he COULD still fit in a cart, that his new job is pushing, period. No more hauling him up to shoulder-level in and out of carts, I just can't do it, pregnant or not.
And what a sweet little helper I have! I can't believe it! That went SO much more smoothly than I expected!


I have to say, depression with just cause for such is a new experience. And there does seem to be something freeing about saying, "You know what, there's a perfectly good reason why I don't want to get up in the morning, don't want to do anything when I do get up, and don't want to eat. It's called being in mourning. IT'S NORMAL."
After having rescheduled and adapted the summer and fall around pregnancy, realizing that different arrangements are now unnecessary is depressing. I was looking forward to actually wearing maternity clothes this time around - I'm already back into a skirt I had stopped wearing because it'd gotten a bit too tight. Kittyboy was disappointed when we told him, but not upset - then we went to see a friend's one-week-old and on the way home he suddenly started whining, "Mommy having a babyyyy?" and we had to have That Conversation all over again. It must have sunk in just then, that THAT'S what Mommy was going to have, and now isn't.
We'd also thought that the timing of this pregnancy was just perfect. PERFECT. Our insurance, as sucky as it is, had an out-of-pocket maximum that would have been met in the first couple of appointments and scans and whatnot - the rest of my pregnancy, INCLUDING hospital stay for however long it took, the caeserian, NICU stay if necessary, would have been covered (I called and asked them this when we were first pregnant, just in case we would need to save our tax return for medical bills). We know we'll have this insurance until the end of the year - we don't know if next year Husband's company will have decided it's cheaper to pay fines than cover insurance, and we'll be on lovely wonderful Medicaid, oh I mean socialized healthcare, and who knows what THEY'LL cover, not that I'm bitter about yesterday or anything.
Given the fact that, well, nothing's "leaving" yet, and my getting back into this skirt, I wonder if I'm reabsorbing instead of having a normal miscarriage. It's unlikely, but theoretically possible, and the only reason I can think of why my waist is maybe as much as an inch smaller without ANY bleeding whatsoever.
That's something else depressing - going back into the same clothes as before, like everything's just back to normal, when it's not and it shouldn't be and I'm supposed to be having a baby and I'm not.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sad news.

The word "news" has been in all my latest blog posts, hasn't it? It's all about things changing, for good or otherwise.
We had our first sonogram today. It was our first appointment, I was all excited to get "baby pictures". The exam and all went smoothly, we liked the doctor (whom we were meeting for the first time) and he ordered three pages worth of labs gearing up for this somewhat exciting pregnancy. Then he sent us for the sonogram. The tech found my uterus, then said hesitantly that she could see the yolk sac but the baby wasn't eight weeks. "Okay, so we figured the due date wrong." That happens, it's cool, right? She kept looking and looking. She called in another doctor. Turned out that what she was looking for and not finding was - a heartbeat. I think she and the doctor must have said it four or five times, different ways, that this baby had no heartbeat. Heart should have been beating. Wasn't. No heartbeat. There should be one. There isn't. Baby measures 7 weeks. At 7 weeks there should be a heartbeat. We can't find one. I was just staring at the monitor thinking this was impossible. I was pregnant! There was a baby! I was throwing up in the morning as recently as Sunday!
The tech, perhaps at a loss for what else to do, got our new OB. Looking back, I feel really sorry for him. He looked about as young as the med student who was shadowing him, and it can't be news that he often has to discuss. When he came in, he looked as blank and shocked as we were (as the DOCTOR in the room, that can't be a good feeling). He said it was a "missed miscarriage", that this happens spontaneously and without known cause in about 1 in 4 pregnancies in the first trimester, that there was nothing anyone "did wrong" to cause it, that it should have no bearing on future fertility, etc. He ran out of things to say.
He added that sometimes the very early ones (there's no way to know, but sometimes...) are because of very serious chromosomal problems, and that it would be better for it to happen now than later, when it would be harder. I started breathing deeply and resisting the temptation to do or say something I would regret (Husband said afterward that in fact I had looked homicidal). Doctor looked rather anxious - my guess is he realized that perhaps between inexperience with miscarriages and the fact that his first language was demonstrably not English, he had gravely misspoken - and restated. He was not saying, "The baby might have had problems anyway, better to not carry it," which is what I had essentially heard. He explained that there can be problems SO grave that the baby would not have lived long even IN the womb, and that miscarrying at 7 weeks is relatively easier - on the mother's body, at least - than at 15 or 20 weeks when there is a body of more significant size to be dealt with. And the early-early miscarriages that are never explained include those, though there's no way to know how frequently.
Okay, so he meant well, he probably doesn't often get called into a patient's first sono to explain a lack of heartbeat, and he has not been at this long. There's not much you CAN say. Husband found something online, anecdotal, about not finding a heartbeat at seven weeks and finding one later, but I didn't have a shred of morning sickness yesterday or this morning, and felt ill this afternoon. Pretty sure the doctor is right.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Good preschool news!

Starting Monday, Kittyboy can have his cake and eat it too! (though I made the mistake of using those exact words in his presence, and he was confused and disappointed that CAKE was not actually happening).
Several e-mails were exchanged over the course of the week - Kittyboy's not BEEN to school since Monday because he either didn't sleep or had tummy troubles - and he will be starting next Monday in the afternoon class. He gets all morning with Daddy - gets to take Daddy to work - and THEN gets to go to school! It'll be with slightly older kids, but as his teacher said, "He does show us every day that he's got some awesome skills," so he'll fit right in. She got right on the question of whether he could move to afternoon, bringing it up with the special ed director, possibly because I said "If he can't move or the move doesn't solve the problem, I can always homeschool." Of course he's fine AT school. School is fun. He likes it, every morning he's happy to go. It's when he gets out and finds that once again, he's missed out on the whole morning and Daddy's already gone, that we have a problem. Seemed like every day was a new day, and every day he was let down all over again, and it just accumulated, and built-up stress can make you sick. Tuesday we kept him home because he slept so little the night before, and Thursday night, he was asleep just fine with no problem and slept through the night. Happier, too. And when he went to the doctor Wednesday and we explained EVERYTHING, the doctor said he didn't look or act sick - but that when doctor came in the room, Kittyboy (curled up on Daddy's lap) just kinda looked depressed. Interesting off-the-cuff observation. And he said absolutely, stressful changes can wreak havoc in little kids, and it all sounded like psychosomatic symptoms from stress. "Is he clingy at home? Fussy, hard to please?" Hoooo yeah. And then Thursday and Friday, he was SO HAPPY. I told him today that starting Monday, he could go back to school, but he would have all morning with Daddy and take Daddy to work and THEN go to school, and he was just thrilled to little boyish bits.
As far as nap-time - nap? What nap? He barely does anymore anyway. And he'll be home before 4, he'll have time for one before dinner.
Ahhh - thank God!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I hate preschool.

Okay, the whole speech-improving thing has happened. Kittyboy is now his own narrator. Not necessarily a coherent one, but it helps to know his books and viewing habits, and it's so funny that he just talks ALL THE TIME. He talks to his toys, his toys talk to him, his toys talk to each other, sometimes everything and everyone is apparently talking at once, and he talked for a non-verbal friend at the playground. He said "Hi!", boy said nothing. Mom said boy doesn't really talk yet. So Kittyboy helped out. "Hi!" Silence. "Hewwo, what you doing? I cimbing! See you yator!" And I laugh in the face of the "but he won't be socialized!" argument against homeschooling. I have watched him at the playground, and he appears to be the friendliest and most outgoing child there. I love watching him run up to older kids (kids who've probably been in daycare, gone to preschool, etc), say "Hi!" and get NO RESPONSE. I tell him that they've just not learned social skills yet. :)
But we're what, four weeks in? And every afternoon, without fail, we have the same conversation. "Daddy?" "Daddy's at work." "Daddy not be at work?" "Daddy has to be at work. Daddy is at work every day when you get out of school." "Daddy be at Mommy-Daddy House?" Every single day at noon, since school started. "School", if you can call it that, takes place from 9:30-12. Husband works at 12, until 9 at night. Kittyboy goes to bed between 7 and 8. So basically, he doesn't GET Daddy during the week, but for maaaybe two hours first thing in the morning. And he's not "getting over it" or adjusting, he's increasing the requests. It's not getting better. It's getting sadder.
Last week, it got a LOT worse - he started having problems going to sleep. He would cry again and again to be rewrapped, wrapped tighter, his legs weren't wrapped tightly enough, he wanted the light on, bedtime took forever and was a mess. Friday night after Akathist, friend Peyton was over and I was going to put him down for bed and then go to get Husband. I ended up taking him along to get Husband, because bed was not happening. This was not an over-tired, whiny, I-want-to-get-up cry that you could let go. He would eventually be coughing and gasping for breath. And he kept asking to go to the hospital.
Only, ONLY way the hospital request makes any sense is when you consider the following - last time he went to the hospital, the Benadryl incident, Husband was at work with the car. And had to come home in order to take us. He wanted Daddy. He also started wanting me to be in the same room with him, just for the sake of being in the same room, and Saturday required me to sit on his bed until he fell asleep for a nap. It's been over half his lifetime since he's NEEDED someone in his room to fall asleep.
When Kittyboy was not quite a year old and decided overnight that I couldn't put him down, his wise, wise therapists Rhonda and Janna basically said, "Then, don't put him down." For reasons we didn't know, he needed extra security, and should be given whatever he needed for as long as he needed it. And I stubbornly followed that advice until one day, presto, he decided he could be with someone else and was fine with that. So obviously, if he needs extra again because he doesn't have Daddy, we'll give him that extra. Husband fixed up a small table and repaired the switch on a Noah's Ark nightlight we hadn't used since Kittyboy was very small, and Kittyboy was quite thrilled when he got home from school today. I gushed to him that DADDY had made him a little green table! (his favorite color is green, he told us yesterday) And put a light on it! And the light has animals on it! And DADDY did this just for HIM, so he can have a light on if he wants to go to sleep with a light on! DADDY is just so wonderful! So I told him he could even eat his lunch sitting at his little green table with his Ark light, and he thought that was wonderful! And then he asked "Eat with Daddy??" Sigh. So we had "that" conversation Yet Again. I am very, very ready to be done with it.
But he IS asleep tonight. Without a hitch, and he decided he didn't need a light after all. So we can just do WHATEVER he needs until June, and if it does eventually come to me sitting on his bed until he falls asleep, I'm cool with that. But come June 1, June 8 at the latest if they need ALL their snow days (they haven't used one yet to my knowledge), we're done. Between the fact that he doesn't get Daddy during the week, and the fact that one of the words in his "vocab list" the week before last was "wheel"... and discussing the fact that wheels are circles (call the NY Times!!), this is just not working for us. I did have fun quizzing him on the way home that day, though - "Honey, do you know what a WHEEL is?" "Yup!" (I love when he says "yup"). "Well then! And do you know what a BUS is?" He pointed out the car window - "City bus!" (he's a veteran of those). On another block - "Schoo' bus!" Academically, it's not like he's missing anything (I giggle as I type that). I pulled up the academic standards for kindergarten - he's well on track, especially in the area of language, WOW. He knew which direction books went in probably a year ago. He wasn't two yet when you could hand him any book with print on the front and back, and he would turn it right side up. This applied to manga (Japanese comic books, they go right to left) as well, because what he was doing was orienting it so that the front cover was face up and right side up, regardless of how the book opened. We were fascinated, and so a few months later, we handed him a manga again, and got quite a kick out of his puzzlement. He'd figured out since the first time, that books should open on the right side, and so he oriented the manga correctly and then it didn't open where he thought it should. Very confusing when you're two. Silly non-Western languages that go backwards.
I'll print them (the kindergarten standards) out and use them as a rough guideline. When he meets them, print out first grade, and so on. No more preschool. He needs Daddy, and he doesn't need to be told what a wheel is.