Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkin Patch '09

We took Abs to the Tanaka Farms pumpkin patch. It's becoming a bit of an annual tradition for us to go with our friends, the Gills. They have a little boy around Abs' age and they have so much fun together. Here are a few pictures from our day:

She was such a little adventurer and had no problem ditching us to explore all the many rows of pumpkins.

We were amazed at the size and weight of some of the pumpkins she brought us. She's so buff!

This picture is actually a large pumpkin pile. Abs climbed up to the top pretty much by herself. She was so proud. When she reached the top she yelled, "Abi-dah yeah!"

"Are you trying to smuggle out a pumpkin? hahaha." Never heard that one before...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Toilet Training

She's a toilet reader!  (sorry, Sandra)

I started toilet training today (she actually calls it a toilet and I like it better so why correct her with an incorrect word?).  We introduced it last week because she kept asking to go "pee pee" on the "ta ta" so we bought her one her size mainly because it's difficult for me to pick her up and put her on the big toilet and hold her there for 5 minutes at a time.  

Today was the first day we really went for actual toilet training (instead of just when she asks) and I have to admit I wasn't as consistent as I hoped to be.  There's something about toilet training that is very intimidating to me.  I was hoping to put this off until late winter/early spring under the excuse that it will be difficult to toilet train her with a new baby in the house.  Really it's because I wanted to wait until it had a better chance of succeeding on the first try.  

I think I'm intimidated because it's almost a mark of parenthood.  Walking, talking, interests--those are all pretty much up to the child.  But toilet training and eating habits seem to have my reputation as a mom at stake--at least it feels like it.  I think it's because I've overheard so many conversations either praising or looking down on a mom for one or both of those things.  For example:  "Can you believe he's still in diapers?!  He's almost 4!" or "Maybe if her mom didn't cater to her tastes she wouldn't be so picky."  

Why do I care so much what other people think about my parenting skills (or lack thereof from time to time)?  Many of the people doing the criticizing either haven't had a toddler in the house for 15+ years or have never had kids!  I hope she does well with the toilet training for a number of reasons (save money on diapers, milestone in her life, convenience, she's so proud when she does it, etc.) but I'm really disappointed in myself that other people's opinion of me and her is actually one of the reasons as well.  

Screw the hens.  I refuse to be irritated with her for going at her own pace, continuing to need diapers for a while and/or having to give up and start over when she's a bit older.  Personal pep talk done, now off to the frog toilet for another round of magazine reading and motivational speaking.  

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Family Cookies

Yesterday we made cookies as a family. Abs was so excited!

I was so impressed with how well she followed directions and let me help her instead of her usual demand to do things by herself.

The airplane was her favorite shape to cut out, most of the wings even made it to the oven.

Abs was very clear about which cookies were hers!

Overall she seemed to have a great time. I think that I am learning to be more flexible. Activities with Abs typically make about 5x the mess and take about 3x as long to finish but my goal is for her to enjoy the process, not for the end product to be perfect. I love that we have started to do some small things together, this is one of the aspects of having a daughter that I was looking forward to. I don't know what I'll do if she turns out to be uninterested in sewing, cooking and creating in general but I guess as long as we can find things to do together it doesn't really matter what they are.

Friday, October 2, 2009

pondering labor

So now that I'm close to my second delivery I find myself thinking over the first. I think overall I had a good experience (for labor) but if there are ways to make the second one even better then I'm all for it. Here are a few things that I liked about my labor with Abs (and some pictures of parts of the experience):

Induction: I liked having a little bit of notice. I was very late, of course, which is why they decided to induce me but it seemed to take some of the paranoia out of the way. We were able to go to Disneyland the night before and celebrate our last night as non-parents. My parents had an 8hr drive to get to us so it was great to be able to give them enough notice that they made it for the labor and were even able to bring Jared some dinner (I wasn't allowed to eat and was incredibly jealous). I also liked knowing that when I went in they weren't going to send me home. When you are in labor they will sometimes send you home if you're not progressed enough and we live too far for me to be comfortable with that so we probably would have hung out somewhere near the hospital--not a fun thought considering the pain.
Epidural: Most people seem a little irritated with Jared when they first see this picture. It is exactly what it looks like--Jared is doing a superman pose on a rolling stool while I'm in labor. Before that we were playing volleyball with my pilates ball. We were playing and goofing around because for the first several hours of labor I didn't really feel anything. In fact, I thought the labor had stopped but during that time I dilated about 5 more centimeters. That was before my epidural. After that they broke my bag and then boy did I feel it! When it got really intense I got an epidural and I loved it. I went as light as I could handle it so that I could feel to push and while the labor wasn't exactly a breeze from that point on, it was much more bearable.
Softing Time: This is a full hour that Kaiser gives parents to bond with the new baby before they take her away to be bathed and immunized and stuff. While I didn't really get to enjoy this time because I spiked a pretty good fever and was getting stitched up, Jared got to spend almost the whole time holding Abs and falling more in love with each passing second. It was wonderful to hold, look at, and feed her so soon after labor and I believe that it was the beginning of the incredibly strong father-daughter bond that the two of them still share.

So there are a few of the things I liked. Here are few that I didn't like and will try to make sure it's different this time around:

My first nurse didn't speak very good english. On top of that she mumbled, had a strong accent and took forever to respond to our page when I was stuck in a 7 minute contraction that almost caused an emergency c-section. This time I'll request a different nurse if I don't like the one they give me.

The painkillers just made me sleepy. I was advised to try painkillers before I went with an epidural and I feel like they just made everything foggy. I couldn't sleep but I couldn't really think either and that bothered me. I'll go straight to the epidural this time if things get too difficult to bear.

The nursing staff after birth was awful. They wouldn't let any of us sleep so even Abs was awake for the first 27 hours after birth which made her impossible to feed and she screamed so much from being tired that we couldn't sleep either. Then when I finally got her to sleep the first time and was able to fall asleep myself they came in and demanded to take vitals on both of us. They woke her up and she screamed for the next 3 hours! I was so angry and so anxious to leave the hospital and get home where we wouldn't be bothered. If possible this time I will just tell them "no, come back later". As the mom I should have some say in the care of my child, right?

Chances are that this will be a very different labor and delivery than what I experienced with Abs but I think it's good to have a mental note of a few things I liked and disliked just in case. It could be any day now and it could be in a few weeks--at least I've given it some thought. Now I just need to get her things ready, buy last minute supplies, put the car seat in, pack my bag... etc. etc. etc.