Water Bottle revisited

2 Aug

Three years ago, I shared how my oldest son was getting made fun of for his choice of water bottle.  He chose a Rapunzel water bottle for school and was mocked by the boys in his class.  He was very sad and asked if he could get a new water bottle.  

RJ was a child equally in love with cars and trucks as he was with dolls and stuffies.  He loved Disney princesses up until a few weeks after he started school.  I’m not saying I wanted my child to love princesses for his entire childhood, but I don’t think it was a coincidence that RJ started to avoid “girly” toys and colours shortly after he was exposed to peer influence at school.

I’m wondering if we are in store for a repeat this year.  This is the lunch kit that JP just chose:  

 And this is his new water bottle:  

 JP loves everything.  Cars, princesses, batman, minions, nail polish, dollies, stuffed animals, lego.  He loves everything and doesn’t see things as boy items or girl items.  
He is an amazing child full of love for pretty much everything and everybody.  

Seriously.  The kid even loves hubcaps.  

How long before the boys in his class make fun of him for his water bottle?  How long before his shining personality gets stomped down just a bit so he isn’t quite the same boy he has been up until now?  Will that even happen?  Will he keeping liking his favourite toys (Polly pocket, baby dolls) and TV shows (Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse, Littlest Pet Shop) at home in secret like his older brother.

I guess we’ll find out soon.  School starts in a month.

Marie is in the Walleye

29 Jul

The Walleye is Thunder Bay’s local arts and culture magazine.  If you pick up this month’s issue, you’ll notice an article about someone very special.    

 Turn to page 30 

  

  

    
I’m always excited to see a friend of mine succeed at something he or she enjoys.  

Marie is not only a personal friend, but is also an Eating Dirt favourite. You’ve seen her here a few times and you’re likely to see a lot more around these parts in the future near and far.  

 
R3 knows he is even cuter next to Marie’s work!

Visit her on Facebook if you’re local for a great customized order.  Visit her on Etsy to order downloadable files from anywhere in the world!

Pink

27 Jul

While out walking last week, JP started chatting up some elderly ladies who were passing us on the sidewalk.

JP chats up every single person we pass and about half of the time we are drawn into lengthier conversation.  He’s such a charmer.

JP was dressed like this:  

 
And R3 was dressed like this:  

 
One of the ladies said, “Oh, two little girls, how nice!”

I responded with, “I have three boys, these are the younger two.”

She replied, “Oh, I saw the pink shoes and the pink soother and I assumed they were girls!”

I said, “Hey, it happens!  We like all colours in our house!”

My kids could be girls.  Maybe JP could be a little girl who wanted short hair and likes Bowser from Mario.  And R3, well he’s a baby.  Babies are gender ambiguous as far as I’m concerned.  But it’s just annoying how the presence of two pink items branded my boys as girls.  I don’t mind when people misgender my children, but I do mind people assigning gender to colours.  

I’m not terribly annoyed at two elderly ladies who grew up in a different time.  Im just annoyed at the world: annoyed at the parts of the world who rigidly ascribe to prescribed gender rolls rather than let children be who they are.

Two Months

26 Jul

Dear R3

You started out your second month of life by “waking up.” It’s as if you had to finish off your third trimester before you could officially be a newborn baby. But once you passed your due date and the one-month mark, you became more alert.  
At the two month mark, you still spend most of the day and night sleeping and you still fall asleep almost every time you drink a bottle, but you’re becoming more picky about where you sleep. You will sleep forever in our arms but the transition from arms to crib/any surface is getting tricky. We are starting to work on having you nap in your crib and have had moderate success. You are waking up a out three or four times a night and usually going back to sleep easily after a bottle. You are averaging 2-4 ounces per feeding now and feeding every 1.5 – 2 hours during daytime hours.  
You weigh over 8 pounds now and have grown out of most of the newborn clothes. You’re wearing the 0-3 size now (though most are too big) and outgrown the newborn sized diapers. People say you’re tiny, but I know you’ve grown because I can measure it! When you were first born, I could encircle your upper thigh with my thumb and pinky finger. Now I can barely make a circle around your thigh with my thumb and middle finger. There are a few little rolls on your thighs and a teeny double chin. We have lots of visual proof that you’re getting nice and big!

  

We are still waiting for a responsive smile from you. You still spend a lot of time staring off into space but you are trying so hard to focus on faces that are close to you. I think we’ve seen a teeny tiny smile in response to our attempts, but mostly it’s just staring with confused expressions on your face.
Your crying is getting a little louder and more insistent. Now that you know a bottle is usually coming, you get very angry when it takes too long. Your neck is getting pretty strong and you can lift up your head for short periods of time when on your stomach.  
Since you’re becoming more alert, your brothers are starting to try and play with you. Of course, you are barely paying attention to them (aside from a few wide-eyes stares) but they think your incessant grunts, sneezes, and erratic arm/leg movements are hilarious. They also love sticking their noses in your mouth because you instinctively start sucking, this makes them laugh and laugh. Then they see the disgusted look on your face (Hey, this isn’t a bottle!) and laugh even more!  I hope this laughter now is an indication of what’s to come!

  
  

Birth Story

16 Jul

I went to see the obstetrician/gynaecologist for my six week postpartum visit today.  I actually mis-counted and it was really a seven week postpartum visit but I don’t think there’s a hard and fast six week rule.

Unfortunately my blood pressure is still high so I will continue taking medication for the next while.  I’ll check in with my family doctor soon and hopefully as more time passes, she and I will be able to get my blood pressure back to normal.  If this ends up being the new normal I’ll probably have to make dietary changes and exercise more consistently.

Other than the blood pressure, everything else seems to be fine and dandy.  I felt very strange about this final visit to the doctor who delivered my babies.  My time as his patient is over as is my childbearing stage of life.  Saying goodbye to him was like saying goodbye to a big part of me.  The end of an era, if you will.

I know it would be dangerous for me to jeopardize my health by being pregnant again, but it still feels so harsh to admit that I’m done.  Despite the lack of sleep, I love the baby stage and I know how blessed I am to have experienced it three times with my three great boys.  I feel a strange sense of loss and melancholia that I think a lot of women experience after the last baby.

I wrote out the birth story and thought this would be an appropriate time to share it.  I know some people love birth stories and others do not.  This is as much for my records as it is for those that geek out about all things birth and baby related.  Feel free to skip on by if you’re not interested but also, don’t worry, because I kept it fairly clean.  

I apologize for the formatting, I can’t seem to get my blog posts looking nice when I use my mobile device.

Birth Story: May 26, 2015

  
Jason and I arrived at the hospital at 7:45 in the morning and I went inside to let them know we were there; Jason waited outside for Leanne, the doula. We were all settled into the labour room shortly after 8am. I changed into the gown, went to the bathroom, and was hooked up to antibiotics shortly after 9am.  
I was surprised that I didn’t have my water broken right away, like the last two times I was induced.  Doctor P said I needed antibiotics in me first because I tested positive for strep B.  Doctor P and his resident Catherine were there briefly and said they would come back in four hours (after a full round of antibiotics) to break my water.
While the antibiotics dripped into my IV, I enjoyed talking to Nurse Karen and Doula Leanne. I was having minor cramps at this point but it was barely enough pain to cause discomfort.  
My antibiotics were replenished around 1:15-ish and the doctor and his student were back around 1:30. The med student checked my cervix and said I was 3-4 cm dilated. Then doctor P used the sterile hook to break the water and the Pitocin was turned on. Both the exam to check the cervix and the breaking of the waters was extremely uncomfortable and rather painful. Doctor P said he would be back in a few hours to check my progress.
After about ten minutes, contractions started coming quickly. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for months so the difference between those and actual labour seemed pretty obvious. Nurse Karen seemed satisfied that labour was starting up and it was already what they referred to as active labour. The contractions seemed to last for 30-45 seconds at this point and were coming every two minutes. I knew it was ‘serious’ because I didn’t feel like having conversations anymore.  Jason and Leanne sat beside me, on either side. I squeezed Jason’s hand during every contraction and Leanne was rubbing my right leg.
Around 2:30-ish, I broke down and asked Leanne to fetch the nurse to see if I could try some gas. I wasn’t exactly clear about what the gas was but I remember I tried it out during my second labour. At this point, the labour was extremely painful and beginning to feel unmanageable. The nurse came in and helped set up the gas and said, “It doesn’t actually help much with pain but it’ll give you something to do, something to concentrate on.” And she was right, it didn’t do much for the pain, but it did help distract me a bit. 
Around 3pm, I felt like I needed to push.  I didn’t think enough time had passed and thought I might be mistaking the feeling.  But the urge increased and the pain was unbearable and I screaming and crying.  I was very surprised because I wasn’t as vocal in my other labours.  I also wondered why the nurse or doctor wasn’t coming to check.  Just as I was about to ask Leanne to go get the nurse,  she came through the door and said, “Are you pushing?!” Then she ran back out and a few seconds later a bunch of people poured into the room, including the doctor.
I was just holding onto Jason and Leanne and keeping my eyes closed and breathing the laughing gas and trying to do what the doctor was saying. He was telling me not to push so I tried my best not to push. I felt him clip something, which I later saw was a little length of the cord. The cord had been wrapped around the baby’s neck and he cut part of it off and tossed it aside. After that, I was able to push and once baby’s head was out, he kind of slithered the rest of the way.  
I saw him get taken over to the little baby work-station and he was purple and slimy and small. Leanne tried to take a picture but they told her no pictures because they had to work on him to get him breathing. I’m not sure how long they worked to get him breathing, but they eventually did, thankfully. They brought him over to me for a few seconds so I could see his tiny beautiful face and then they whisked him off to NICU.
After the baby was taken away, the doctor stood around for awhile as we were waiting for the placenta to come out. He didn’t seem happy with how long it was taking so after while, he did a few tugs and pushed on my abdomen. It was a tad uncomfortable but it came out fine and in one piece. Nurse Karen showed me where the doctor had punctured the amniotic sac with the sterile hook and then she said I could touch the placenta if I wanted. Sure, why not? I like gross goopy things.  
The doctor was holding pressure to me after the placenta came out because there were two small tears and he wanted to see if I was going to need a stitch or two. The tear at the bottom stopped bleeding but he determined that the little tear at the top need some help. He numbed me with a shot of something and put in a single stitch. The whole placenta delivery removal and stitch procedure made me very anxious and nervous and I was trying very hard not to freak out. The doctor kept reminding me to stay calm and it would soon be over and done. It was a huge relief when it was all finished. 
Then I made everyone pose for pictures because I don’t let anyone get away that easy.
The pictures were taken with a ‘real’ camera and uploaded to my computer. Then my computer died so I can’t actually post any fun labour room pictures.
It didn’t really register until later that my baby wasn’t with me. Leanne left around 4:30 (I think) and I recovered for awhile and then ate the supper they brought me. And then I was wheeled to the NICU with Jason so we could see our baby. This was about three hours after he was born. I didn’t expect him to be attached to so many wires, but he was still incredibly adorable.

  
Soon I will write about the great experience I had with Doula Leanne.

Toothy

13 Jul

I’ve been waiting for RJ to lose some teeth for quite awhile now.  My Facebook newsfeed is full of 5 and 6 year olds showing off missing-tooth smiles.  I wondered if it was happening late for him and when I saw that an adult tooth was growing in behind a baby tooth, I figured it was indeed a little late.

RJ’s four front teeth have seemed pretty loose for months now but he refused to let us touch them.  The baby tooth with the adult tooth behind it was the loosest one and I thought it would be out any day.  

Interestingly, it was the tooth beside that one that popped out this morning.  

So we’ve reached another milestone in the journey of childhood:  

 RJ is showing off his tooth in a little glass bowl, his gap, and the little pillow where he can put his tooth tonight.

Check it out 

 This adorable little pillow comes from the talented Julia of Mommy Can Sew.  Eating Dirt has featured the work of Julia once before and I just wanted to offer readers a little refresher.

This pillow can hang on a hook or a doorknob and the tooth goes in the smiley-face tooth pocket.  For parents who are hoping to exchange the lost tooth for tooth fairy money, this is an adorable and convenient solution.  You know, if you don’t think you can reach under your kid’s actual pillow.  Julia can also personalize this little pillow with your child’s initial.  I decided to opt for no initial because then it can be used for all three children (I later realized that was silly because all three of my kids’ names start with the letter R).

In addition to tooth fairy products, Mommy Can Sew is also lavishing attention on the littlest member of the family!  

He hasn’t lost any teeth (he doesn’t even have teeth yet) but he is starting to pay attention to his surroundings. 

    
 There’s nothing better than handmade toys!  Mommy Can Sew specializes in the letter taggy toys but is also capable of creating special little original creations like the Dino taggy.

So cute!  

 Thank you Julia for bringing heartfelt creativity into our home with these little creations.

Bedtime Questions

12 Jul

A couple years ago, RJ surprised me by asking (as I was about to leave him in bed), “Mom, when a car is being crushed in a junk yard, do the mechanics drain the transmission fluid first?”  

I didn’t realize RJ had ever heard the term transmission, let alone transmission fluid.  

I then realized that RJ frequently asked several questions as I was preparing to leave him in bed at bedtime.  Sometimes they were easy and/or common-place questions, like, “Can I have ice cream tomorrow?”  

Other times, they were the oddest questions (for a 3-6 year old) and seemed to come out of nowhere.  I was often left wondering, what is going on in my boy’s head as he drifts off to sleep every night?

So, naturally, I started writing down RJ’s bedtime questions.

Here are a few of my favourites!

Are X-ray fish real?

Do we like ants?
Can skeletons put themselves back together?
Do turtle shells grow?
Do you think they will have the good kind of glue sticks when I get to University?
Do you think I should wear a plaid shirt to my first day of work?
Mom, do we have lots of time before the sun becomes so hot that life can no longer survive on earth?
Is the number 1000 close to….number 2?

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