Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Lessons of Spring Break!

I took a week off work in order to spend time with my son and use up the ever valuable "day care voucher" for a discounted week (Limitations may apply, inquire within.) I was looking forward to a whole week with my favorite little man, and as my belly grows larger, I'm becoming increasingly aware of the fleeting time he has left as my only baby. Wisely, I took off the same week as my neighbor/ one of my best friends, which, in the end, became a saving grace of sort as I handed her freak out after freak out to deal with. I think she's considering putting her house up for sale now after a week of having to deal with me, but lucky for me, the market sucks.

Andy and I had a lot of great moments this week. Tons of cuddle and playing time and more yelling of the word "Mommy!" than I thought one little boy was capable of. I got to see Andy's face light up and his little legs kick in excitement from his seat in the stroller whenever we took a walk and the park came into view. I heard him call out "Whee!" every time he flew down the slide. He had a blast playing at the Round Lake Children's Museum, and I know he loved seeing our neighbors so much. All I'd have to do was mention little J's name (J being one month older than Andy), and his face would break into a huge smile as he ran to get his shoes. Yesterday, when we were hanging with them in their kitchen, J's dad came in and gave both her and her mom kisses. Andy expectantly puckered up his lips and presented his face for his own turn. My neighbor very good-naturedly kissed Andy as well after an appropriate pause, and I realized that Andy believed the neighbors were family. Which, in a way, they kind of are.

Is that the hammering of a "For Sale" sign I hear?

Aside from all the great, sweet moments shared between Andy and his Mommy, though, we had a couple rough patches. And I had a couple of major realizations. Here they are, in no particular order.

* Keeping Andy occupied when he's not in day care is going to be difficult. Add in the fact that there's going to be a new baby for me to care for, and suddenly the task seems insurmountable. Andy grew bored very quickly of all of the at home activities I presented for him and would ultimately seek out his shoes and point at the door for me to take him out. Which would be fine if I had all the time and all the perfect weather in the world to take him out as he pleased. But I don't, and telling him no resulted in a lot of screaming and crying. The at home activities- the Play Doh, the coloring, the car racing- all worked for about five minutes until he'd smack them away disdainfully. I grew desperate a couple times, filling a large bowl with soapy water for him so that he could play with the bubbles. This resulted in a lot of soapy water on my floor, but Andy's interest in messing with the bubbles lasted a full twelve minutes- an eternity- and, hey, my floor needed a mopping anyway. I also tried to tempt him with plugging the Donkey Konga drums into the old Game Cube (how could he NOT love this??), but even his interest in banging along to a monkey was fleeting. Shocking, I know.

* Andy thinks that he's the boss. Chris had been on my case for some time now for not disciplining Andy when he needs it, and I've mostly brushed off his criticism, because Andy is my perfect little baby and I have a running list of excuses for every ill deed he commits. Well, this week, the error of my ways came rushing up to me like a dog smelling beef in my pocket. I'm not doing either of us any favors by letting him get away with hitting me when I tell him no, or by half-heartedly telling him no and then letting him do something naughty anyways. I need to be stricter with him. Otherwise, we'll have repeats of our incident in Wal-Mart this week, which was the most embarrassing half hour I've ever spent in a Wal-Mart. And THAT is saying a lot, since I vaguely remember peeing my pants in a Wal-Mart when I was a kid. Or maybe that was Venture. Who remembers Venture?

* Andy will NEED a schedule of activities. This is going to be more difficult than it sounds, since I'll have the newborn and a missing income. But, this is something that is going to be very important for both of our sanities. I need to secure a two year old preschool program for him and also find other things he can do, either with or without me, for cheap at the park district. He loves other kids and people and needs to be in a setting, at least for a few hours a week, where there are structured activities in a safe setting. I'm terrified of Andy not having day care anymore. Day care keeps him busy and happy. And, as his mother, I'm afraid that I can't offer him the same busy and happy atmosphere. Does that sound like a terrible thing to admit?

Andy at the Children's "Museum."

* I'm going to be VERY busy. Busier, even, than if I just went to work. I was very busy with just Andy this past week, with little to no time to myself. So, factor in the new baby- and, shit, this summer is going to be bananas. I'm going to need to make it a point to have at least one night to myself per week, where I can hopefully meet up with a friend, have a big old glass of wine, and reminisce about the days where I used to be able to pee alone.

Speaking of peeing alone, now might be a good time to mention that Andy peed on the potty by himself this week! He totally initiated the action, took a whiz in his little pot, and even- I swear- reached for toilet paper afterwards. That happened on Thursday (or was it Wednesday- what day is it today?), and while I've placed him on the potty several times since then, he's not replicated his awesomeness since then. No worries, though- he's not even 21 months yet. So, I'll keep offering up the potty for now and we'll see what happens.

This week has had me wondering if it's the best idea for me to stay home from work. There, I said it. Here's the problem, though. I believe it's best for me to stay home for the new baby. It killed me to return to work after three months with Andy. But I'm not sure it's best for me to stay home with Andy, who has grown used to his day care weeks with his friends and teachers. So, how do I balance that, I wonder? By taking my time off from work, enjoying my children, keeping Andy busy as best as I can- and then re-evaluating when the time comes and finding a new job and new schedule that works for me and my family. It would be wonderful to find a two or three day a week job, or something with some flexibility where I can feel like I'm doing it all- being with my kids enough, getting out enough (making some money won't hurt), and letting them do their own thing with their own peers enough. That being said, I do think a vital part of this "plan" is quitting my full time job now. Giving myself a clean slate, as it were, to allow me to figure out a near-perfect life for all of us. So, in that respect, I'm on the right track for what I want and what I think is best. But, it's scary that my plan is basically a non-plan. At least I know that I don't want to work forty hours anymore. I've done it for a year and half with Andy, and it's been too much. But maybe... fifteen or twenty would work? We'll see in time, I suppose, after I've been home for a while and have had some time to see how the other half lives.

I guess I should have this new baby first, and then go from there. That's step one. And I've got over two months until that first step is taken- so for now, I'll enjoy standing where I am now, with my whirlwind of a first born, the last weeks of the full time job I've held for almost eight years, and the mystery of what lies ahead slowly unfurling before me.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Twenty-Six Weeks Down...!

I've just passed the twenty-six week mark. The third trimester is approaching "fast and furious," just like that movie, "Gone in 60 Seconds." I'm still wrapping my head around the fact that I'm going to be a mother of two. The fact that this little boy in my belly is hosting his own dance party helps with the realization of what's going on, but it's still surreal. Andy is my baby. And now I'm going to have Andy- plus ANOTHER baby? For serious??

I'm doing pretty good so far. I'm less of a fat slob with this pregnancy than I was with Andy. For the most part, I'm still wearing normal jeans and dress pants for work. The fact that they are unbuttoned and held in place with a tummy band is neither here nor there. Long before this point with Andy, I had abandoned all semblances of normal pants and had converted my wardrobe into a rotating cycle of sweat pants and yoga pants- even for work. I think I did that around thirteen weeks- I threw in the towel pretty quickly. Now, that's not to say that this pregnancy wardrobe is all cute and perfect, because it's not, not by a long shot. With this unseasonably warm weather we've had, I've found myself ill-prepared and have basically been taking Andy outside while dressed like a knocked up bag lady. I just don't have a lot of (any) summer clothes that fit. You'd think I would, considering Andy was born in July. You'd think I'd have tons of summer clothes from my first pregnancy. Well, I don't. I dressed like a mentally ill bag lady confused on what season it was that time, and this time is shaping up to be no better. If only I weren't so damn cheap. I just hate the thought of buying clothes that I'm only going to wear for a small stretch of time. At this point, though, I don't seem to have much of a choice, although if I continue to wear my bag lady preggo clothes and just keep an open guitar case around, there's a pretty good shot that I could make a few bucks from other people's pity/ disgust for me.

I have a couple things that I want to focus on in the third trimester. At the top of that list is Andy. It's so funny how different your second pregnancy is from your first. When you're pregnant with your second, your top concern is still your first. That first born child gets a starring role in BOTH pregnancies- or at least that's how it's been with mine. I want to enjoy the time I have left with Andy as an only child. I want to prepare him the best I can for life with a baby. And I'm still pretty concerned about what's going to happen to Andy when I go into labor. Where's he going to go? Who's going to take him? How is all this going to go down? What if I go into labor suddenly and there's just no time to get Andy set up with someone else? What if I have to give birth to the new baby while holding Andy and trying to explain to him that I don't have any juice boxes handy right now, so he's just going to have a wait a few minutes while I push out his brother?

This is a real, true fear. I should probably write myself a note to include "Andy's juice boxes" in my hospital go bag.

The other things that I need to focus on in this final chunk of time is just getting all the paperwork set (pre-registering for the hospital and filling out my maternity leave forms) and buying the few new items we'll need for the little guy. That's kind of it. I just need about an hour and I'll be all ready for my new baby. So different than Andy. With Andy, it was like preparing for a seventeen course dinner party for twenty while starting out with nothing- no food, tables, napkins, invitations, anything. This time around, it's more akin to having a couple friends drop by when my kitchen is pretty much stocked with wine and cheese. All I need to do is run out for the crackers and wash a few wine glasses. And pick up some of those gigantic maxi-pads, too.

You know, for after... the party.

I am getting excited about having this baby and meeting him. In what surprising ways will new baby be different from Andy? It's all too much to fathom, and I know that I will be truly blown away by this new, wonderful (I assume) little boy and all his unique and individual attributes- which are now too mysterious for me to imagine.

Soon to be a big brother.
There was a long period of time in my life when I couldn't imagine having kids. When I didn't really care for them or particularly want them. I can honestly say, though, that becoming a mother was the single most amazing and greatest thing to ever happen to me. Not a day goes by that I don't look down at Andy and feel like the luckiest person in the entire world. I love that boy with every fiber of my being and with a fierceness that I didn't know was possible. And to think that I get to do that again, with another baby- that my heart will grow even bigger to tightly cradle both of my sons- well, it's the best feeling in the world. I'm not one for being sappy, and it's much easier for me to make a joke out of things or to find something to be bitter or to complain about. But, in this instance, there is no joke, no bitterness. Everyone should become a parent. It's awesome.

Well, maybe not everyone. I have a running list in my head of people who should have their tubes tied or their junk snipped. But, for the most part, if there's any part of you that wants a baby- I hope that you are blessed enough to have one.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Andy Reluctantly Dives Into Swim Lessons!

Andy started swimming lessons earlier this month. The lessons were a gift from his Aunt Jessie and were meant to be a way for them to spend some time together as Andy dove into his assumed career as an Olympic swimmer. Expectations for Andy were pretty high. Obviously, he would love swimming, and, clearly, he'd be great at it. He'd be swimming laps around the pool by the middle of the second lesson and would invent some new swimming style by the end of the third lesson, a kind of rowdy side stroke that involved simultaneously eating a string cheese.

We were wrong.

He's had three lessons so far. I've been present for two of them, and watching Andy crying and whining in the pool, calling out "mama" for me to come and get him OUT of the pool, not being willing to at all participate in the dumbed down activities the other babies were participating in (i.e., splashing), and just generally acting miserable and pathetic has been much too painful for me- which is why I opted out of going to the third lesson at all. One of the reasons that I opted out, anyway- the other just selfishly being an overwhelming desire to stay home alone for two hours so that I could vacuum the upstairs, drink two cups of coffee, and read a whole chapter of a novel. I never thought I would miss being able to vacuum, drink coffee, and read ten pages of a book in relative peace. Never. Then I had a baby.

Of course, the third lesson is when Andy stopped believing he was being tortured and started actually enjoying himself. Jessie sent me a text at one point to say that he was actually in the water and LAUGHING. Which just goes to show: if Andy is to enjoy himself, it's best if I'm not there.

No, I know that's not entirely true. I'm sure a couple factors contributed to Andy's sudden okayness with being in the water. One: it was his third lesson. Perhaps Andy's just a "need three tries to get used to it" sort of guy. I think Chris may be that kind of guy, too, which is why I keep pressuring him to try pistachios two more times, because, really, what kind of fascist hates pistachios? Two: Chris decided to get in the water with him with this time, which may have helped with Andy's comfort level a bit, especially because Chris didn't make Andy do the things the other toddlers were doing. The teacher would have the other toddlers sit on the edge of the pool, sing Humpty Dumpty, and then fall face first into the water. Meanwhile, Chris told me, he had Andy on the opposite side of the pool where they worked on solving the riddle where you have a goat, a wolf, and a head of cabbage and need to get all three safely across the water in an inconveniently sized rowboat.

And, three: I wasn't there to "rescue" him, so perhaps Andy decided to just suck it up and see what this swimming stuff was all about.

Andy has two more lessons left, and as much as I want to see Andy enjoy himself in the water, I may just opt out for the remainder of the lessons and let Chris and Jessie deal with it. If I could actually get IN the water with them, it might be a different story, but in my current, enlarged state, there's no way my pregnant ass is getting into a bathing suit. There are just sacrifices that I'm not willing to make. I don't need all of Highland Park pointing and laughing at me, thank you very much. I am okay with waiting until post-baby to venture into the pool with Andy. And venture into the pool I will. I do really want Andy to be comfortable in the water and grow up knowing how to swim. I personally didn't learn to swim until I was eleven or twelve, and even now, there's only a 50/50 shot of me making it out alive if someone threw me into a lake. Or a pool. Even if that pool were only four feet deep. I'm just not a good swimmer, okay? Lay off, already.

Although, I'm not sure Chris will be up for taking Andy back without me again. I sent the two boys out the door this past Saturday morning with Andy's swim bag, full of vital swimming supplies, such as swim diapers, swim pants, and a towel. Chris got Andy into the changing room at the pool, though, only to discover that I had neglected to pack any baby wipes. As he was changing Andy's regular diaper for a swim diaper, Andy immediately decided to pee, and before Chris knew what was happening, Andy was afloat in his own urine, which was now sloshing off the sides of the public changing table. Not knowing what else to do, Chris mopped up the pee as best as he could with Andy's shirt and a diaper, but Andy was still admittedly soaked in a fair amount of pee when, in his swim pants and swim diaper, he got into the pool some five minutes later. The state of the changing table was not much drier. In all the hubbub, Chris threw out Andy's pee-drenched t-shirt, which explains why, some time later, Andy walked into our kitchen shirtless and without shoes. Well, I guess that just explains the shirtless part. Still waiting for an explanation on the lack of shoes.

So, note to self. Double check the swim bag before sending them on their way. And, note to Chris. Double check the swim bag before you leave the house.

I hope Andy enjoys his next two swim lessons and that he retains a little of his newfound tolerance for when I'm ready to get into the pool... later this summer... or early this fall. Anyone know how one goes about holding a newborn while safely wrangling a toddler into the pool? I'm going to need a lot of help, folks. A lot.

And I should probably get in all the vacuuming, coffee drinking, and book reading I can before new baby arrives this June. Right? Right.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Glucose Tolerance? Tolerate This!

At 24 weeks pregnant, you have to take the one hour gestational diabetes screening. They give you a syrupy orange beverage to down, and after an hour, they draw blood. If your blood sugar level comes in under 130, you pass. If it comes in between 130 and 200, you are considered glucose intolerant and have to roll again and move ahead to the three hour glucose tolerant test to see if you have gestational diabetes. If the one hour test comes in over 200, you don't even get to bother with the three hour test- congratulations, you are officially, gestationally, diabetic.

With Andy, I failed the one hour with a 131. By one stinking, miserable little point. I suffered through the three hour and passed no problem. The three hour is awful. You fast all night long, go in without having had anything to eat, have your blood drawn, drink a SUPER syrupy orange beverage, and then have your blood drawn three more times in one hour intervals. By the time you're done, you're starving, ready to pass out, and your arms look like they belong to some hard core intravenous drug user, not a whiny, timid pregnant mother. Then, after you do the final blood draw at the three hour mark, you get in your car, slap yourself into not fainting, eat a six pack of cheese crackers, and then drive to the nearest Burger King and order a number one with cheese, plus a milkshake.

If your blood levels are okay for at least three of the four blood draws, you pass and can go on living your regular, non-diabetic lifestyle. You get a free pass for consuming as many sugars and carbs as you can in the next three months before baby arrives. I'm pretty sure the doctors encourage outright carbo-gluttony once you get that passing grade. If you fail more than one of the blood draws though- well, now your carb loving ass has a real problem.

I passed the three hour just fine with Andy and went on to birth a healthy baby boy after gaining a whopping 45 pounds through the span of my pregnancy. I guess you could say I won.

This time around, I wanted to make sure I wouldn't fail that one hour screening by a lousy point, so I prepared hard for it. On the day of the test, I ate a semi-normal breakfast, drank a ton of water, and then went on to have a high protein lunch consisting of three hard-boiled eggs and a string cheese. I felt like the office weirdo during my lunch as I shamefully hunched over my stinky eggs and limp string cheese during my break. I could just imagine my co-workers talking behind my back as I burped up eggs for the rest of the day. "Did you see what Jackie was eating for lunch today?" they were likely murmuring. "She's seriously lost her mind. What's she going to have for dinner tonight- the rind of a lemon and a couple of steamed raisin skins?"*

After consuming my high boredom, high protein lunch, I drank so much water that my stomach hurt and then, around 2:30, drove to the doctor's office. I had to stop four times to pee. My plan was to enter the screening with enough protein to completely break down the sugars in the glucose drink and also have enough water floating around my body so that my blood would be as diluted as possible. I'm clearly not a doctor, and I obviously don't know what I'm doing, so if none of this sounds like the right way to approach a simple screening, then there's a reason for that. It's not, and I'm an idiot.

I failed my one hour screening not by ONE stinking little point but by FORTY-EIGHT stinking little points. At an impressive 178, I was definitely on the wrong end of the glucose tolerance scale, and when the nurses called the next morning to deliver the news and tell me that I had to take the three hour test, they did not sound nearly as upbeat about my impending prognosis as they had two years ago when I'd failed the screening with my 131.

My first response was sheer panic. I'm pretty sure I blurted out something about all the eggs that I ate, and then I asked, "Can we just pretend this didn't happen, and can I opt out of the three hour test?" The nurse's reply was to lecture me about the dangers of gestational diabetes and how it can result in a still born baby. Now, I may not be up for dealing with my own problems or having to make any sort of sacrifice for my own benefit- but at the still born baby comment, I grumbled that I'd be there on Tuesday morning, slammed the phone down, and then immediately walked into the bathroom to scream into a towel.

I don't want gestational diabetes. I was a thousand percent sure that I didn't actually have gestational diabetes, and would have maintained this staunch... denial... even if my screening had come in at over 200. I started this pregnancy at 110 pounds, have only gained 15 pounds, and have felt, for the most part, fantastic. I have zero of the risk factors. I don't think it's a fair test to make me consume 100 mg of pure sugar on an empty stomach and then make a judgement about my health based on how my body reacts to an unreasonable situation that it would never be put in otherwise. When's the last time I sat around and consumed 100 mg of pure sugar all by itself with no other protein, etc? Add to that the sheer stress of having your blood drawn, and now I have a new problem- my blood pressure is through the freaking roof. Stop putting needles in me. I don't like it, and my arms hurt.

And, selfishly, I did not want to alter my diet or prick my fingers or put myself through any sort of inconvenience for the next three months. There, I said it. I don't want the label of having had gestational diabetes on my medical chart, I don't want to be bothered with carb monitoring, and I certainly don't want to test my blood sugar four times a day. That all being said, is having gestational diabetes the worst thing in the world? Nope. It goes away after the baby is born, and it's pretty common. I hear the diet is easy and totally manageable. And of all the horrible complications that a pregnant woman can having during this time, the diabetes is probably the best one to hope for. I'm embarrassed how upset I've been about this prospect while knowing what some other women have had the misfortune of dealing with. That doesn't change the fact that the prospect of being diagnosed gestational diabetes pretty much consumed my life for five days and caused me a decent amount of lost sleep. I do not deal with adversity well at all. I freak out if I get mildly unpleasant news during a routine oil change.

In addition to not dealing well with adversity, I also require a lot of blind reassurance in order to function. "Do you think I have gestational diabetes?" I asked my friends over the weekend. My friends are in no way qualified to answer that sort of question, as they are neither doctors or psychics. "No, really- do you think I have gestational diabetes? Do I look like I have gestational diabetes? Then why was that number so high????"

The only person who gave me the answer I did not want to hear was my beloved husband Chris, who replied, "Yeah, well, looks like you probably have diabetes" followed shortly by, "If I hear the word 'diabetes' one more time this weekend, I'm filing for a separation." Followed shortly by, "Hey, do we have any ice cream?"

On Tuesday, I went back to the doctor's office with butterflies in my stomach. I grilled the nurse on my odds of passing, did my first blood draw, drank my disgusting drink, and then snuck out of the waiting room and walked to Walgreens, where I wandered the aisles for a little bit in an effort to burn off some of the sugar. There was no way I was going to SIT in that waiting room and not give my body the fighting chance of metabolizing some of that crap. I bought a five dollar magazine (since when do magazines cost so much??), a big bottle of water, walked back to the doctors office, and drank my water. Right before my hour was up, I went to the bathroom, did a couple of deep knee bends, and headed back to the nurses' station to do my second blood draw.

This routine continued for another two hours. During those two hours, I had two conversations with women in the waiting room. One woman was very nice, and we engaged in a polite amount of small talk. The other woman was super weird and insisted on asking me personal questions and then showing me pictures of her sons. I did not offer to show her any pictures of Andy.

After my final blood draw, I left the doctor's office, ate my crackers in the car, and nearly passed out behind the wheel as I drove up Route 59 in search of burgers, fries, and a little piece of sanity.

This morning, I anxiously awaited my phone call from the doctor's office. I felt like a teenager waiting for a call from a boy, checking my phone ever thirty seconds to make sure I had plenty of bars and that it hadn't accidentally turned off for some reason. When at last I got the call, it was almost 10:30, and my stomach was in knots. "HELLO???" I screamed nervously into the phone as I picked up during the middle of the first ring. "It's me, did I pass???"

"Your blood sugar was so low by the fourth blood draw, I'm surprised you were able to walk out," the nurse said, sounding half amused and half alarmed. "It was down to thirty-three."

"So, I passed?" I replied, ignoring the possible medical consequences of what she had just said about my near coma-like blood sugar levels.

"Yes, you passed," she replied, and I whooped it up into the phone, bid her a good day, and hung up quickly before she could make any other comments about the state of my pancreas.

So, there you have it. I have a clean bill of health, at least when it comes to gestational diabetes, and a new lease on life. I'm going to try my best to maintain my good weight gain and to eat healthy as I continue into the third trimester of my second pregnancy, and I'm going to do my best to not be such a whiny bitch next time I have a possible, non-life threatening, totally manageable issue on the horizion. Because, let's be honest, I kind of lost it here for a bit.

Potato, anyone?

* If this doesn't ring a bell, you need to watch some of the comedic stylings of Brian Reagan.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Andy and Everyone, Sitting in a Tree!

Andy has become quite the kissing machine. I used to have to prompt him to give me or Chris kisses, or his grandparents or aunts, but now he kisses willingly and without instruction. "Tell grandpa good-bye," I told him on Sunday, and he walked up to his grandfather and gave him a hug and a peck on the cheek, all on his own accord. The adults in the room just about melted.

Andy is especially very free with the kisses when it comes to Mommy, and over the past couple weeks, I have been surprised, repeatedly, with random kisses during random times. Last night, he stood up in the bath, but before I could chastise him for standing, he leaned over, kissed my chin, and then sat back down. Later, when we were reading his bed time story, he turned to me halfway through that book about the llama who starts school and misses his mama (that llama is such a wuss), took my face in my hands, and planted a big old juicy kiss right near my mouth. Sometimes when we are on the floor playing, Andy stops, climbs into my lap, and kisses me sweetly on the cheek as if to say, "Hey. Thanks for helping me with this puzzle, and for all the cheese crackers." I always get a kiss when I pick him up from day care, and Andy's many kisses are the highlights of my day. Even on those days when his mouth smells like an unwashed cavern of old banana and the funk of sleep.

I've noticed, though, that it's not just Mommy and Daddy and Family that earn Andy's kisses. Andy kisses his friends at day care quite a bit, from what I can gather during the thirteen and a half minutes per week that I spend there during pick-up or drop-off times. He and his day care BFF, Bobby, seem to exchange quite the large number of mouth kisses. Since I'm obviously not there all day to observe, I've often wondered exactly how much kissing Andy's getting in at day care, with Bobby, with the rest of the toddlers, with the teachers, that creepy looking janitor with the lazy eye, etc. Is it a manageable number of kisses- just a few friendly pecks here and there? Or is Andy spending the better part of his day care time just kissing away without discretion? Is that why he got so sick a couple weeks ago? Is indiscriminate kissing the source of that mysterious cold sore that popped up on his lip some time ago? I just don't know.

I did, however, get a peek into the kissing world of Andy Berger a couple weeks ago, when we drove down to the Oak Lawn Children's Museum for the day. Quick tip for the parent taking their child to this museum: It's located right next door to a Smash Burger, so go hungry. Second quick tip: Don't bother with the pocket sized thing of Purell, you're really going to want to bring one of those gallon-sized refills to keep handy. And maybe a face mask and recent print-out of your health insurance benefits. However, it's a great museum at a great price, and Andy had a freaking ball.

Did someone say Smash Burger?

Number of hours we spent at the museum: under two. Number of strange kids kissed by Andy during those hours: four that I counted.

He kissed at least one kid by way of apology after running into the tot and knocking him down. He kissed a little girl he crossed paths with, and the mother cooed, "Wow! That's her first kiss!" To which I muttered, "Wish I could say the same thing about stud over there."

He kissed the two other kids just because. And I have to admit, I did spend some alone time in the restroom and in the kiddie grocery store (excellent selection, good coupon policy), so who knows how many other victims fell prey to the loving tenderness of Andrew B.

This is all very sweet, and I'm very pleased that I have such an adorable little kisser on my hands. That being said, I am starting to wonder if maybe I need to sit Andy down and have a discussion with him about the birds and the bees and how the birds and the bees should at least know each other's names and interests before they engage in any sort of kissing. Perhaps Andy's innocence needs to be tempered just a little so that he doesn't grow up into a gigolo, a mimbo, a man so free with his attention and saliva that some of the ladies swoon, some of the ladies are appalled by his forwardness, and still other ladies simply come down with the latest communicable disease in fashion.

This is the kind of motherly problem that picks mildly at me in the night, but I know that sitting Andy down to discuss this issue is not a realistic way to get anything solved. Mainly because Andy doesn't sit still for very long, and the amount of time we DID spend sitting would just result in some Andy-Mommy kissing.

So, until Andy grows a little more, loses a little of his wide-eyed, open mouthed wonder, I have just a small piece of advice for all parents of toddlers everywhere. If you see us coming your way, even if we've never met, be prepared. Andy's about to make out with your kid. And you. And your tax accountant.