Monday, January 26, 2015

Daddy's Rock Star!

I packed up the boys' old clothes last week.  Aside from the infant onesies and sleepers I had given to a friend after my supposed last baby Alex outgrew them, I had everything tossed haphazardly into the boys' closet.  Some stuff was in garbage bags, some stuff was in wine boxes (ahh, wine.... sigh), but most of it was just out and loose, a barely contained hurricane of memories and dried spit up stains.

What a task, to organize and then give away a piece of the boys' forensic history.  Every outfit reminded me of some special moment from the past four and a half years.

Baby Andy, closing a huge real estate deal.

One year old Dragon Alex, winning the hearts of the public.

I did not save any outfits for sentimental reasons.  I had to draw a line in the sand; we are packed to the gills in this house.  I only saved items that I could reasonably see dressing my daughter in.  Easy task, right?  Very difficult.  Of course, any newborn items in duckies or yellow or green were a given. Every gender loves a good duck!  Sometimes even Chris and I share yellow and green clothes between us!  Completely neutral.  But then some items threw me into dicier territory.

Cue the "Daddy's Rock Star" onesie, the one with the picture of a drum kit on it.  It's navy blue, and it's clearly for a boy.  But, honestly.  Can't girls play the drums?  Can't my daughter be the rock star? After all, Andy's already setting himself up for a lucrative career in real estate, and Alex will likely be a mascot for a major league baseball team or the local cell phone store, so it's probably my third and last that will likely be the musician.  I stared at this onesie for a long time before putting it into the save pile.  This is the kind of mom I want to be.  Although drums are a bit loud, I may have to discourage that particular instrument anyway.

And then "Bananas For Mommy."  Again, it's obviously a boy outfit.  It's got a monkey on it.  Boys wear monkeys, girls wear cats and... unicorns?  But I'm pretty sure Baby Sister will be bananas for me, as I'm a great person and a bit of a pushover when it comes to candy and juice.  So, yes.  Save. She will be bananas for Mommy.

Yet I had to be careful, because soon I was saying, "Can't a girl like [trucks, dinosaurs, being handsome, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, wearing cargo pants, etc)?"  And that for sure is a slippery slope.  It's one thing to be a champion for a girls to be rock stars and find monkey-related produce delicious and an apt way to describe love for their mother, but if I get carried away, pretty soon people might be commenting on my three boys.  When one of them is a girl. Which may or may not be perceived as a problem.

And so I saved certain clothes and packed up others, filling boxes and bags to give on to the next baby boy that's been announced.  The boys' closet looks incredible right now- clean and clear and totally under control except for one bin filled with duck stuff, rock star stuff, and banana stuff.  Oh, and all of the boys' old footie pajamas, because who gives a crap about whether or not this girl sleeps in dump trucks.  I mean, not literal dump trucks, but dump truck print.  You understand.

I will have to amass some girl stuff soon- but only after I get the girl.  For now, I will enjoy the space of the empty closet and the slow punchy movements of my baby in my belly and my two boys snuggled on either side of me.  There's still plenty of time before we're a family of five.  Four and a half and a closet waiting for a couple of ruffles is just fine for right now.

Monday, January 19, 2015

It's a.....!

The brain looks good.  The heart looks good.  There's the stomach.  Great.  These are all perfectly interesting organs, but I'm not here to look at some fetus' bladder.  I throw out the phrase "some fetus" as if it's not my fetus, the little fetus that's been wiggling and kicking and making itself known in my growing belly.  I'm glad all of these organs are there, of course, and that they all look normal. But there's only one organ that I'm interested in.  There's only one part that I care about.  And this infuriating fetus, with it's perfectly shaped brain and sleepy looking eyes, is being a total asshole and keeping its legs as tightly crossed as fetusly possible.

It's getting to the point where I feel like the ultrasound tech is going to tell us we have to come back tomorrow.  She shakes the transducer against my belly.  She makes me lay on my right side, then on my left side.  Chris kicks me near the kidneys for good measure.  All for nothing until finally, gloriously, my itty bitty child uncrosses its legs.

"There it is!" the ultrasound tech announces grandly.

"The penis?  Where?"  I am fully prepared to hear that she is proclaiming that it's my third son in there, the Abraham or Adam to my Andy and Alex.

"Nope.  The labia!  It's a girl!"

What!?  Are you kidding me?  Is this for real?  It's a girl?  It's not another boy?!  Oh my God!  How is this even possible?  I thought for sure we were incapable of producing anything but boys!  Check again!  Look everywhere for that penis.  Are you sure you didn't mean "lapel?"  As in my son's lapel on his tiny little fetal suit, the one he wears when he carries his briefcase?  Are you sure you didn't mean "label," as in the sticker that says, "Boom!  Boy!"  Are you sure you didn't mean testicles? Really?  Holy.  Crap.

I think to myself, "I am so happy it's a girl!  It's perfect!  Two older brothers and a little sister!  It's just what I wanted.  I got it.  Wow."

And I think to myself, "Aww.  I don't get another boy.  I don't get a snuggly little guy.  I don't get that last and final boy.  What will I do with this kid?  Wow."

And of course my friends seem over the moon for me that I am getting that girl that I not so secretly wanted.  Of course, a girl is the perfect way to round out this gender-lopsided family.  But I am instantly defensive of my boys.  Of my sons who shall never think, "Mom wanted a girl."

Because I wanted THEM.  Just as they are, in all their perfect boyish glory.  I did not get pregnant to try for a girl.  We got pregnant to add to our family.

And it just so happens to have a labia.

I am still absorbing the news.  The boys were not overly thrilled to hear that there's a sister in my tummy, and when I asked Andy if he would be a good big brother to his little sister, he replied,

"Um, I was going to be a good big brother to a BOY."

Oh.  Well, I can't argue with that.

Nonetheless, I can't wait to see these boys with their little sister, to see how the dynamics work as they grow up together.  I can't wait to see Chris with his daughter.  And I can't wait to see me with a girl.  Part of me fears it will be so incomprehensibly different than what I'm used to, but I have to remind myself that they're all children, my children, and that at the heart of the matter, it will be just as wonderfully the same.  However.  It's been months since I've touched a comb to Andy and Alex's hair.  So, perhaps a few things will be different.

Eh.  Maybe I'll leave the hair combing to Daddy.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Andy's 4.5!

It's Andy's half birthday today!  Preschool has celebrated his half birthday as they would any normal, non decimal pointed occasion, and I love it.  Having a summer birthday is not ideal.  My own August birthday went by most years with zero fanfare.  When you've been out of school for two months, you don't have a whole classroom of kids to pass out treats to or invite to your basement for an afternoon of Bozo Nancy's Buckets and chocolate cake.  In fact, I can only remember having had one single friend birthday party my entire childhood.  I can't remember who won Bozo Nancy's Buckets, but I cherished that tiny party and still remember it fondly.  My other birthdays?  Not so much.

And so I am very sensitive to Andy's July birthday and Alex's late June birthday.  I think it's just plain delightful that preschool honored this day for Andy, and the kid's had a grin on his face all day.  We sent donuts to school!  He got to wear a crown!  His friends all sang to him!  His teacher even gave him a present!  I think it's ding dong fantastic.

This last and final baby of mine will likely have a late May birthday, thus squeezing itself onto the normal school year calendar in a way that I failed with the first two of my spawn.  No ding dong fantastic half birthday business for this one!  It'll be a real live, actual birthday that occurs when all of his or her friends are present and accounted for instead of off on summer vacation in exotic locales such as Indiana Beach.  What a lucky duck this third one shall be.

We find out the gender in two days.  What if it's a girl?  What will I do with that news?  I'm so used to little boys and the kind of things you have to tell little boys, such as the following.

You are allowed to make one poop joke per day.  You made your first poop joke two minutes after you woke up today.  You're not supposed to make any more poop jokes today.  Save this one for tomorrow.

Do not show your friends your penis.  Do not come barreling into the kitchen, whip down your pants, shake your penis in the air, and yell out "Surprise!"  Do not say the word "wiener" unless you're asking for a hot dog.  Do not touch your brother's penis or let him touch yours.  Do not make me talk about penises any more than I already have to.  Just leave it alone already.

How nice would it be to have a girl, a little being that is not hard-wired at birth to be an absolute animal.  Perhaps a daughter would be less interested in showing off ninja moves and more interested in say, classic ballet.  Although I can't imagine that's at all possible considering even I find ninja moves more interesting than anything ballet related.  Since this child will have two older brothers, perhaps even a daughter would just be a third act of rowdiness.  How does any child grow up with two crazy brothers and not be a little bit wild from the get-go?

Of course it would be nice and lovely to have a daughter.  Chris and I agree it would be nice.  But the other night, during the best night of the week (FMN, Family Movie Night, or Family Moronic Nonsense depending on two year old Alex's behavior), Alex and Chris were playing around during one of Andy's bathroom breaks.  Alex was giggling like crazy at being held over Chris' head and was acting the absolute, perfect visage of LLB (Lovable Little Boy or Limber Lunatic Berger), and Chris and I had the same thought at the same time.  He's the one who said it out loud.

"It might be nice to have another boy."

Yeah.  It might be nice to have a daughter and it might be nice to have a third son.
Either way, we'll be totally thrilled and slightly disappointed.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Bowling Blitz!

Frequently Asked Questions About The Boys' First Time Bowling

1.  Do they even stock bowling shoes that fit a two year old?

Yes!  They do!  They're adorable, and the disinfectant to foot odor ratio is quite favorable.  Andy and Alex were thrilled to put on their rental bowling shoes.  Their faces lit up when I presented the special shoes, and it was a glow so much stronger than when they received their Christmas gifts from Santa nine days ago. This is either a commentary on the cheap crap Santa brought or the fact that experience trumps toys.  Either way, bowling requires significant less batteries, so in battle Christmas Vs. Bowling, bowling delivers the knock-out punch.

2.  Who won the game?

I did!  Me!  I beat a two year old, a four year old, and my much, much older husband.  I believe my final score was like 89.  And that's WITH the bumpers up.  Imagine how high my score would have been with the bumpers DOWN!  Oh, wait.  Never mind.

3.  How fast did Alex's ball roll down the lane?

The high tech bowling computer clocked his rolls at about 0.5 miles per hour.  Alex would lug his six pound ball up to the line and basically drop it straight down.  Sometimes Chris would follow and give it a nice hearty shove to get it going down the lane, otherwise it would basically meander down the lane at a snail's pace before finally coming to a dead stop right before the set of ten pins.  This slow roll and lack of really hitting anything did very little to affect Alex's pride.  He would drop his ball and turn around with a huge grin on his face, little hands clapping in approval of his mad skills with no regard to knocking anything down.

4.  Were there any mishaps?

The most amusing one that drew applause from a couple of day drinkers nearby was when Alex dropped his ball. The slippery beast rolled backwards, and he chased after it in a panic before finally throwing himself on it to stop it.  He then picked it up and was about to launch it down our neighbor's lane before Chris deftly twisted him toward our lane where the ball promptly flew down at the correct pins at a record setting 0.7 miles per hour.  Another mishap occurred when Andy, in his extreme excitement at cheering on his 3.8 mile per hour ball, jumped for joy right in front of the next lane's bowler, who had to slide to the side and alter his throw as to avoid smacking our young child in the face with his 14 pounder. This man, a very serious bowler wearing the glove and everything, ended up getting a strike on this roll, thus alleviating any guilt we might have had as parents.  Also, the boys kept sticking their head practically INSIDE the ball return, but even that turned out okay, as their reflexive head jerk worked pretty good once their ball came shooting out.

5.  Did Andy have a super great time or a super duper great time?

Andy had the best time ever, so the answer is duper.  From the excitement of rental bowling shoes to the rush of inaccurately heaving his ball down the lane, to watching in anticipation as the ball made pin contact, and to cheering on himself and the rest of us with the kind of screaming most of us reserve for Double Coupon day, Andy loved every second of it.  His form does need a little work, however.  Andy would carry his ball up to the line, swivel his body around as far as his hips would work, and then just fling the ball in the general direction of the number 12 lane.  I guess this worked pretty well, though, as he would then just stand and watch as the ball made its way down, eventually erupting into cheers once a pin or two fell over.  Go Andy!!  Look!!!

6.  Why would you reward young Alex with bowling even though he's been pooping and peeing his pants pretty much constantly over the past few weeks?

Well, even chronic poopers deserve a reprieve.  Although it's true, that Alex has been having more accidents than successes lately, leading me to believe that his truck undies have essentially become thin, nonabsorbent cloth diapers that I'm forced to wash in hot water several times per day.  I'm having a very hard time getting Alex back on track with his potty business, and as a grown woman who's tired of touching urine and feces, I'm at my wit's end.  Is it back to diapers?  Do we struggle through this rough patch and just hope there's a non-shit-stained light at the end of the proverbial tunnel?  Do we move on to some sort of star sticker system like we're in Jackie's Toilet School For Unbelievably Stinky Children?  What?  Do you have an answer?  I'd love to hear it.  As a side note, Alex did not poop or pee himself at the bowling alley.  It could possibly be that the answer is more bowling.

7. Is bowling safe to do while pregnant?

Huh.  I'm not sure.  Good question.

8.  Do you and Chris like to bowl?

Despite our horrible bowling scores, we used to love to bowl and we both used to be so much better. Our major connection back in 2002 when we first met was a shared love/obsession with the classic film "The Big Lebowski."  If you haven't seen it, then I'm not sure I want to continue my friendship with you.

9.  Will you take the kids bowling again?

Yes!  Of course!  Until mini-golf season, that is, and then we'll just have to see what the weather's like and if either place honors Double Coupon Day.