Friday, April 29, 2011

Back in Action

Back from vacation - see pics here because I am too lazy to upload them right now.

Visiting my hometown is like entering a completely different world where life moves much more slowly and everyone is perpetually cheerful. It's like Mayberry, but with tipsy wine-tasting tourists and shops selling $250 jeans.

Wandering around our property never fails to recharge my batteries and erase the LA burnout that perpetually plagues me, the consequence of a small-town girl living in a big city. Note: I say "our" property because when my parents kick the bucket - sorry, Mom - it will be MINE, all MINE!!! Seriously, if my brothers inherited the place, they'd probably accidentally burn it down within a month.

Carter was obsessed with Grandma and Grandpa and spent the majority of the trip calling to them if they walked out of sight for even a few moments. If my mom left the room it was "Grandma going? Grandma doing?" This was quite a jump from out last visit at Christmas, when he had yet to say their names and spent most of his time talking about Santa and snowmen and oogling the enormous Christmas tree. He was alternately enamored with and terrified by "Tilly Doggy," the very friendly yellow Lab that is my parents' current baby, and we visited a nearby winery/biodynamic farm where he got to see chickens, cows and pigs, pilfer strawberries from the gardens and (best of all, if you're Carter) dig around in an vast amount of dirt.

Easter was a huge hit, and Carter is still enjoying watching footage of his first egg hunt, which he calls his "eggie" videos. He sought out those little colorful eggs like a pig rooting for truffles (except cuter) and was amazed at the Easter Bunny's final offering, a massive basket of toys and treats and a huge, beautiful German paper egg, the same one that I used to hunt for as a kid, filled with (you guessed it) more toys. I finally got to dress him up in some fancy duds (Babushka's bunny cardigan - gaaaah! adorable!) which was very satisfying for Mommy. All told, a good time was had by all. That afternoon we took a walk past my old elementary school and wandered up into the redwood forest nearby, where we stopped to introduce Carter to his first creekbed, the same one I used to catch salamanders and tadpoles in as a kid. He was fascinated by throwing rocks and leaves into the water and following the leaves as they drifted downstream. It made me very, very happy to see my city boy out in the wide open spaces.

And now - back to the grind. Our trip culminated in Carter's eye infection (I blame the pigs), keeping me home yet another day last Tuesday. I have never been so glad to return to the office - administering eyedrops to a kicking and screaming toddler is a special kind of hell.

Now I'm already looking forward to our next vacation, a trip to Seattle in June. After all, I'll have two kids soon, and who knows when the hell I'll be able to go anywhere. So in the meantime, bring it!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Hot diggety damn! We are flying out of town tonight, off to see my family for my birthday and Easter. That's right - it's time to blow this popstand, folks. Like a fine cheese, I am improving with age and this year I intend to do it up RIGHT. I'm not quite sure what that means, given that I am 20 weeks pregnant and can no longer stay awake past 10pm, but I'm fairly certain it involves mass quantities of carbohydrates. Bring it on.

Carter is very excited about the Easter Bunny, "eggies" and, most importantly "Tilly Dog," my parents' yellow lab. I am excited about wandering around through five acres of forest searching for my Easter basket, which I have done almost every year since birth. Yes, my people take Easter very seriously.

A disclaimer for potential robbers/thieves/ne'er-do-wells: before you commence with the burgling, please note the following:

1. all of my jewelry is from Target
2. all of our furniture has been salvaged from street corners or dumpsters
3. instead of a television, we entertain ourselves with shadow puppets on the walls.

Do your worst.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sibling Rivalry

So far, Carter seems to be vaguely aware that he is going to be a big brother. As the months roll by, I plan to reinforce the concept with books, videos, a babydoll, what-have-you, but right now I am content with just casually mentioning the baby in mommy's tummy occasionally. I don't really want to bonk him over the head with "MOMMY'S HAVING A BABYYYYYYY!" just yet.

An acquaintance of ours has two boys about two-and-a-half years apart, and her pediatrician suggested that she not even mention the new addition until a few months prior to her due date. At that point, she asked "Hey - do you think you want a little brother?" Her son nodded. Every so often after that she'd ask the same thing, and he would once again reply with an affirmative, until voila! Baby came home. Basically, her ped didn't think she should make a big deal of it too soon - something about build-up and anxiety and yadda yadda. Maybe I stopped listening after that point - oops (this conversation was had months ago, pre-pregnancy, or I would have paid better attention...probably).

Throughout my first trimester, the Roo was ultra-clingy - all Mommy, all the time. However, as I cruised into trimester two the tides changed. First he attended my 12-week ultrasound, and was alarmed at Mommy lying on her back while the small figure gyrated on the little screen. Then, only days later, I finally weaned him at 18 months - a process that I thought would be much harder than it ultimately was. One night I just explained that Mommy's boobies didn't have milk anymore, and the next day he stopped asking to nurse, just like that. But with nursing went our nightly cuddle time - suddenly he just wanted to go to sleep on his own like a big boy, with no need for Mommy's snuggles and singing. Then my husband started getting up with him bright & early at 6 a.m to give me another half-hour of much-needed rest.

All of these changes combined to create some serious crankiness in the Little Roo, directly squarely at Mommy. He had determined exactly who was responsible and oh yes, she shall be PUNISHED. Thus, the hitting and time-outs began. The heartbreaking "No Mommy! DADDY!" at bedtime.

For weeks, I was chopped liver. And then suddenly, just as quickly as before, things shifted again. For the past several weeks, Mommy is a good guy again. Mommy makes Carter laugh, Mommy kisses the boo-boos, Mommy plays the best games. Basically, Mommy is somehow a rockstar again. I'm not entirely sure why, but I'm going with it.

Is this what I have to look forward to for the next 20 weeks (yeehah - halfway there!)? Oy.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sunshine, Butterflies and Other Happy Things

It's official - Baby #2 is most definitely a BOY. I always suspected that I would have a gaggle of little boys wandering about, and so far it's proving accurate.

This also means that I got to give a big IN YOUR FACE to my husband, who persisted in believing it was a girl long after I told him weeks ago that I was 99.99% certain it was not. At one point he admitted that I was probably right, but that someone had to think it was a girl (subtext: someone has to disagree with you). Well, gentlemen - here's more proof that you should trust your ladies. It's my uterus and if anyone knows anything about the little squatter in there, it's me.

We are both ecstatic to be having another little boy. Some people (only those I don't know well) have looked slightly disappointed and expressed their condolences that it's not a girl, which amuses me. Why does everyone automatically assume that women only want girls? I've never been the girliest of girls, and certainly wasn't as a child. I was that weird, skinny kid, happiest either up in a tree, with my head in a book, or having conversations with my stuffed animals. I wouldn't even know where to begin with Barbies and dress-up. Sure, perhaps I'd like a girl at some point, but that's what #3 is for, no?

So far I am following my mother's pattern exactly - she had my two older brothers at 30 and 32, so if I have a (ahem - really awesome) baby girl at 34, I'll basically be living the same insanity that was her life in the late 70s, with three kids under age 5. Toss in the fact that I'll also be a working mom and behold the subsequent nervous breakdown. So far I am feeling fairly confident about having two kids. Of course, I'm only 18 weeks along, so there's plenty of time for the terror to set in - but right now I'm riding a happy, hormonal wave of pure excitement.

In general, the cranky-making issues of late are looking up: my ultrasound revealed a very healthy baby (knocking wood furiously), and the marginal previa is totally resolved (insert sigh of relief). My wonky eyes have been behaving recently (ditto wood-knocking), ever since I did some self-diagnosis and determined that my ultra-sensitive peepers couldn't tolerate preservatives of any kind. I switched to a preservative-free lens solution (the ONE very expensive type on the market) and TA-DA! Significant improvement. (Sidenote: anyone out there reading this with perfect vision: first of all, I hate you. Okay, not so much hate as "am bitterly jealous of." Secondly, thank your lucky stars every day of your life, because bad vision utterly SUCKS. Why my parents, who have two of the strongest contact lens prescriptions in the history of mankind, decide it would be a good idea to breed and perpetuate their maladies is beyond me.)

To summarize: healthy baby + healthy mommy = rainbows, bunny rabbits, chocolate sundaes and pogo sticks (so what if I've never actually been on one - they seem happy).

First School Picture

Looking every bit the little Russian boy that he is...

Unlike some of his little compatriots, Carter managed to keep it together for his picture, with no tears or whining (note the ball in his hands - this clearly played a large part in that). I love his sleepy little smirk.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ah. I am not feeling nearly as cranky and despondent as I did when last I wrote, so I will not be using my blog as a platform to air too many (key words) personal grievances today - although, really, what good are blogs if not to bitch and moan freely when one feels like it?

I am about 17 weeks pregnant, and just this week began to feel the first flutters of movement from the resident of my uterus. Looking back, I cannot for the life of me recall when I first felt Carter move, and somehow didn't seem to document it for posterity. Hrmph. I am going to try to keep track of such little milestones this time around. After all, I was the third child in my family, and I suspected I was adopted for years due to the incriminating lack of photographic evidence of my babyhood. Thank you, MOM. Draitser Baby #2 will not grow up thinking his/her parents stole them from gypsies.

I'm trucking along like a little round (HOLY CRAP I THINK I JUST FELT THE BABY MOVE AGAIN. OR IT COULD HAVE BEEN GAS.) piglet these days, packing in two breakfasts and two lunches daily because hot damn, I'm hungry and I can. Strangely, my increasing girth seems to have magically slowed itself - I weighed myself last week and was three pounds lighter than at my appointment two weeks prior - so it's possible I will not gain 70 lbs, a la Kate Hudson (that bitch got FAT, let me tell you).

...and with that, I am off to eat.