Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's the little things...

One of my favorite things about Ben right now is the amount of joy he takes from such relatively little things in life. Here are a few examples:

-After he eats most of a sandwich, we let him open it up and pull it apart to (messily) eat the rest. He LOVES it!
-Today, we were driving home from a friend's house and, per his request, we drove down the ALLEY instead of the street...SO COOL!
-One of his all-time favorite activities right now is to take the cushions off the couch and drive his cars along the bottom of the couch. He can literally play at this for hours!
-Flour...plain, white, baking flour is one of his other favorite things now. We put some flour on a baking sheet, and then drive cars through it and scoop and dump it...so much fun!
-He is seriously in love with washing dishes right now...and oh SO helpful!
-He loves singing songs together in the car when all three of us are driving somewhere together. He likes to decide who sings when...Daddy first, or Mama first, or everyone together.
-He still loves to snuggle every day!
-He loves it when he pretends to be either a kitten or a baby and I play along really convincingly.
-He loves to answer my questions with a fake word, or take a word like "play" but say it in a silly way like "plee!".
-He loves any food that can be dipped. For example, he didn't want his turkey for lunch yesterday, but when I let him dip it into his orange juice, he then ate a ton of it!!
-He loves to talk about foods that he "doesn't" like, and then he will try it, and go on and on with me, back and forth, about how we are both so surprised that now he "does" like it! (Especially cottage cheese!)

He's pretty much just tons of fun these days!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The calm before and after the storm

Great news...I woke up today, and it appears that I am still human! I don't feel anywhere near "healthy" but I do feel human again, so I am very excited! Now I can think about recovery, and start gearing up again for this baby. It's funny, we were so ready for her to come a couple of weeks ago, then last week's terrible illness arrived and basically erased an entire week from my life and brain and consciousness. Now today the sun is shining, and I feel like the first breath of health is returning to my body, so I am praying for a few, restful days to recuperate so that I can be refreshed and ready for the little one's arrival.

Thanks so much to everyone for the kind thoughts and support this past week!

And a million thanks to my mom...I don't know how I would have survived if it wasn't for the help with Ben so I could rest!

Also, a million to Aaron...I slept 12 hours Fri night, and then took 2 naps on Sat, and still went to bed early. I slept 11 hours last night, and already feel a nap coming on. He has taken full parenting duties, and instructed me to rest as much as possible, and I think it is finally what is turning the tide. Ahhhh....sleep!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


You know it's a terrible day when you find yourself sitting on the floor with your toddler, and you are both crying uncontrollably. He's having a tantrum, and you are the sickest you have been in probably over a decade. This was the state of the Schiltz house at 10 a.m. this morning. And I am not exaggerating at all. In fact, I should probably add, in the interest of full disclosure, that we both had disgusting runny noses, were extremely in need of baths/showers, and one of us was naked.

All I can say is that this was a dark, dark day, and that I survived by the grace of God, the help of my mother who came over for a couple of hours around lunch, the help of Aaron's mother who sent a box of cookies that pulled Ben out of another tantrum later in the day, a sweet visit from my brother, and some kind words from friends who called or offered help. And, of course, my husband who took over when he got home from work and sent me to bed.

In the end, though, I have survived it. The baby is blessing me by continuing to stay in rather than come out (who would have ever guessed a couple of weeks ago that now, at her due date, I would be praying for another week of pregnancy?!!) I am going to take that MUCH needed shower, and then I am going to bed! This day is GONE! I think I hear a choir of angels singing!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Well, we are playing the "baby waiting game" around here, as I'm sure you all know. To be honest though, I'm actually still feeling well and haven't yet hit the "baby come out!" point anyway, so things are good!

I did learn a little lesson in patience, though. Last Thursday, Feb. 7th, was the same day of pregnancy on which Ben was born. And, though I am fine with this little one taking all of the time she needs to be ready, I had spent this entire pregnancy assuming that I would have her before the 7th. So many people tell you that second babies come earlier than first ones, and I had already dilated and progressed so much at that point, that I really was expecting to not be pregnant anymore after the 7th.

So, to be frank, I was a cranky, crabby person all day on Feb 7th! I would not have wanted to be around me! My apologies to Aaron and Ben, and anyone else who had to be around me! I kept thinking, "What is she waiting for? I know she's more than capable of being outside rather than inside!! Why do I still have to be big and pregnant and uncomfortable? I am never able to make real plans because I don't know when I will be in labor? I'm so tired of preparing for labor, too...let's just get this done already!"

And then, on the morning of Friday, Feb 8th, I found out why she was waiting...Ben woke up sick with a fever! I am SO glad that there wasn't a newborn here needing love and attention, when the one we already have was very needy and very sick! I'm so glad that she was safe and didn't get exposed to any germs, and I'm so glad that I got to just hold and soothe and cuddle Ben with undivided attention through his fever and sickness one last time. Even though I know he would have been fine, I would have felt so bad for him having to be taken care of by someone else. When kids are sick...they just need and want their mamas!

He was a little better yesterday, and seems nearly 100% today, so I figure that if she hangs on until at least tomorrow, then we will be relatively germ-free again, and she can come safely when she is ready.

So, as we approach our due date of Thurs, Feb 14th, I will just keep being patient, and belive in my heart that she knows when her birthday should be, and that she will let me know when it is good and safe for her to be here!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The End of a Pregnancy...the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

Well, tonight at midnight I will hit the 39 weeks mark, which is the day that I delivered Benjamin. It is surreal to have made it here, because part of me assumed that, because this was a second baby, she would come a bit earlier than Ben did. But it has acutally been nice to have a little more time than I first thought I would. I was very ready for Ben to come by this point, but I have only just recently begun to feel "ready" with this one. It's amazing how every pregnancy and every baby truly are different.

Now that this pregnancy is coming to a close, I thought I'd reflect a bit:

-I am SO lucky and SO thankful to not have so many of the yucky end-of-pregnancy curses that so many women get. No swollen hands or feet, no carpal tunnel or high blood pressure. No sciatica or nerve problems. No round ligament pain at all, which really bothered me with Ben's pregnancy. No yucky rashes or even stretch marks yet. I'm not even that big, honestly. My uterus height is still at 35 cm, but baby looks great, so, since everything is looking good, I can just enjoy being on the smaller side.
-This baby is getting so close that I can just love her and enjoy the idea of holding her soon with all my heart! We're past so many of the worry points in pregnancy, that there is a pretty great chance that we will both be healthy and together soon.
-I still have a pretty good amount of energy.
-I have eaten WAY better than I did with Ben, and I feel so healthy for it and am proud of myself!
-I have gained exactly how much weight I wanted to (I'll tell you only if you really want to know!)
-The house is clean (mostly, Ben did just dump a bowl of raisins onto the floor this morning that are still waiting to be picked up!)
-I can breathe pretty well now that the baby has dropped, and my heartburn is MUCH better.
-I really haven't had any aches or pains other than my back, and one spot where I get kicked a lot from the inside (it's a pretty amazing feeling, for anyone who is male or hasn't been pregnant! But sometimes a certain spot can get a little sore.)
-The baby is wonderfully active, so I never have to worry if she is ok.
-She gets hiccups all the time, which I think is so cute! I can tell what they are much better this time around.
-I think I am more emotionally ready to welcome a baby into my life this time around...I know what it means to do so.
-She is generally in a good position for a nice, anterior delivery.
-I have really enjoyed doing the HypnoBabies program as preparation for birth. I definitely feel relaxed and ready to take on labor (most of the time!)
-Prenatal yoga is still AWESOME!
-The baby's things are clean and ready.
-We have a name that Aaron is in LOVE with, and I think it is so sweet how much he wants this name!
-I am already 4 cm dilated. I LOVE that my body goes ahead and gets some of the work of labor taken care of for me before I have to deal with a single "real" contraction! I think this is one of the luckiest things that happens to me! My heart goes out to every woman who has to start at 0 or even 1 or 2.

-The weather forcast is awful for the next few days, so unless she waits, we will again be having a baby and bringing her home in frigid temperatures.
-I am having tons of cramping, which just doesn't feel nice! Labor...either start already, or leave me alone! Especially tonight when I am going to bed!
-I have to go to the bathroom a minimum of 3 times per night....literally...I'm not exaggerating. (And you should SEE me crawling over Aaron to get out of the bed in the middle of the night. He has repeatedly offered to switch sides, but I like my side...the poor guy just has to deal with a gigantic, groggy, very-pregnant lady flopping around trying desperatly to get off the bed.)
-Tying my shoes has become a major feat of acrobatics!
-Getting off the floor would be much more easily accomplished if I had a rope and pulley system installed in the house.
-My back hurts...escpecially if I have been driving in the car.
-To keep my posture in good shape to continue encouraging anterior placement, I can sleep in exactly 1 position...all...night...long. It just sucks!
-And speaking of sleep, I need about as much as my toddler needs these days to survive. I start to get panicky if I am awake after 9:30 p.m.!
-Also to keep my posture in line, I have to set the seat in the car like an 80-year-old! I am so upright I am practically leaning forward! Aaron laughs at me each time he sees me get in the car. (I would laugh, too, if I could see myself.)
-Speaking of seeing myself, there is a lot of myself that I haven't seen in months! (It's just weird to have no idea what your stomach looks like at any point below your belly button...seriously...pull up your shirt right now, look at your stomach beneath your belly button, and imagine being completely unable to see it. See, it's weird, right?)

-Up until last weekend, I would have said "My feet!" But thanks to Helen and Tony, I was able to get an AWESOME pedicure at Elayna's last weekend, and, if I do say so myself, my toes are looking beautiful!!! Thank you so much, Nana and Papa!!!

Monday, February 4, 2008

What a great day, Mama!

As you all know, we are getting pretty close to the arrival of our much-anticipated and much-loved second baby. There is a big part of me that is just so ready to meet her. I can't wait to have her in my arms and to kiss her little face and feel her little back...and just generally adore her. However, her arrival will, of course, end life-as-we-know-it around here for both Aaron and I, and expecially for Ben. Because of this, I have been almost hyper-aware of every sweet moment that Ben and I have been sharing lately, and today has been an especially good day.

Here, in an insufferable amount of detail, is our great day:
(Read this unbelievably long post at your own risk!)

Ben slept in till 8 a.m., which was an amazing gift in and of itself! And, after waking up rested and refreshed (which for me is quite a feat at this stage in a pregnancy), he and I both started our day together in wonderful moods! We snuggled together on "Mommy and Daddy's bed" for quite a while, and then he played his favorite game of "Excuse Me, Mama, I Need to Drive My Cars on the Couch", while I made us our current favorite breakfast: waffles/wheat corn cakes (whichever we have in the freezer) with raspberries on top. He and I just sat together and ate and talked about everything and nothing. Then, he had a marvelous time mixing the remains of his raspberries into the remains of his syrup and drinking it! Nothing like a little sugar high to finish up breakfast!

After this, he asked to play his new favorite game which is to "Go in Ben's Room and Talk." (Yes, this is exactly what he calls it..."Can we go in Ben's room and talk?") He made this game up last night when Katie Grealis was visiting. He just took her into his room, and hung out for a while, talking. Well today, we played this for almost an hour. He just kept walking around the room and talking about anything that came into his mind. He showed me every nut and bolt and spring on his crib and talked about how he has "used a screwdriver before to build this crib...right here, see Mama". He talked about every stuffed animal in his crib and about how he will snuggle with them. "See, this is my horsey and I snuggle him when I take a nap. And this is my blue bear, and this is my white dog. Yep, it sure is!" He talked about the little step stool in his room and how "it is just perfect for me". He just kept going and going! He is SO chatty these days.

Then, he wanted me to put him in his crib so he could point out some of the screws and springs agains the back wall, so I put him in. Normally this is fine, but he started jumping around a bit, and ended up baning his chin on the railing, and giving himself a little bit of a bloody lip. He wasn't upset for long, though, because he then got his favorite "medicine" for a mouth injury...a scoop of ice cream! It even had chocolate chips in it, or, as Ben says, "cho - lit" (it's hard to write, but he pretty much says it the exact same way that Forrest Gump does in the movie when he says "Life is like a box of cho-lates.") After that we shared a banana, during which Ben exclaimed, "We are sharing very well, aren't we Mama? Yep, we sure are! Isn't that nice!"

We then proceeded to run to Office Max to do some "shopping" according to Ben. He was (and always is) SO good in the store. I don't have to put him in a cart, or even hold his hand. He just walks around with me and explores all kinds of things. One thing that I think helps keep him so well behaved is that I do try to give him freedom when there is no good reason not to. For example, he had a BLAST climbing in and out of all of the office chairs on display. We didn't have anywhere else to be, and he was being safe, so I just let him go for nearly 20 minutes. He had so much fun! He also insisted on handing each item to be purchased to the cashier. He has been really into this. He also likes to swipe the debit card. It's funny, it's second nature to him to see us using plastic to pay for things, but that is something I never saw once as a young child. Times sure have changed! Before we left, he did, sadly, get his hand stuck in a sliding glass door. He was standing at the door with his face up against the glass, watching a delivery truck bring in boxes, and the door suddenly opened and pulled his hand into it. He cried for a bit, but made a good recovery. No ice cream "medicine" necessary!

The library has been catching his eye as we drive past it for the last few weeks, so we headed there next. In the past when we have gone, he has mostly just stood at the full wall of windows and watched the traffic on Hampton go by. But today, for the first time really, he was VERY interested in the books. We sat on the floor next to a book shelf, and flipped through a HUGE assortment of tractor, train, and car books. Interestingly, Aaron and I have tried not to force "boy" things on him at all, and have even actively worked to cultivate interestes in both "boy" and "girl" things, but there is definitely something to the "Nature" theory over the "Nuture" theory. If given the choice, at least at this age and developmental stage, he will ALWAYS choose the machine or automobile over any other choice. After reading about 20 books, we did head to the windows and really enjoyed watching and talking about the traffic for a while. Then he looked across the street and noticed "Noodles and Company!" Oh, the joy!! Immediately I heard, "Mama, can we go eat noodles for lunch please?" It was such polite asking, and I don't know how easily it will be to get out once the little one joins us, so I gave right in without a fight! (read: Mama loves to eat here and she just got lucky that he asked for it so she could pretend it was his idea, not hers!)

He ordered for himself, "Can I have noodles, please?" And we just sat and talked and had a great lunch together. Eating is another thing that is going wonderfully these days. For the vast majority of meals, we can just hand him his food and his fork, and he will eat the meal with us perfectly. It's so nice to have him be so independent in this. It's hard to even remember the time when we had to spoon-feed him every bite of solids. We shared a couple of bites, and Ben remarked, "That's nice sharing, Mama! Good job."

We headed home and played together for a little while, then read some more books, and then he went down peacefully and quickly for a nap.

After a good nap, I had to put him back in the car because I had a speech therapy session that I needed to attend. We headed to Aaron's hospital to trade cars and do the "kid switch". Ben was SO chatty the entire time in the car. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day (a little freaky for Feb 4th, but I'll take it when I can get it), so we had the windows down. A very "stinky" school bus drove by and Ben wrinkled up his nose and stated, "I smell something!" So we then talked, at great length, about how the bus needed to go to the mechanic to get fixed and then it wouldn't stink anymore. Ben summed it all up with, "He needs to go to the mechanic and get fixed with Bess Tom!" (Tom Bess is a mechanic we sometimes use, and Ben always talks about him when we are getting a car worked on.)

Aaron said that the two of them had a wonderful time driving together and playing together in the early evening. They also got to go on a great "Run, run, run" in the jog stroller. When I got home, Ben greeted me with a shout, "It's Mama! Mama's home!" What a great way to be received! Then the 3 of us just played together and had a peaceful evening. Near the end of dinner, Ben was in his chair and Aaron and I were finishing our food when Ben decided he wanted to snuggle with me. "Mama, I want to go to you!" he requested, and then held his hands out expectantly. So sweet!

After a bath, we cuddled together on the couch and talked about our great day. We brushed his teeth, which runs something like this: First, I let him brush by himself for a minute or so. He is really starting to get a good brushing movement down, rather than just chomping on the brush, which he used to do. Then he gets to choose either Mama or Dada to help him finish. Lately, he always chooses me for some reason. Then I brush more thoroughly as we list all of the things he ate that day that we have to brush off. I don't know how the food list got started, but it has been a great trick to keep him tolerant of us brushing his teeth. He then made a quick phone call to Nana and Papa (with Daddy's help and with the phone on speakerphone to help with understanding, our most-helpful phone trick!) and he was so sweet saying, "I love you Nana! I love you Papa!". Then he and Daddy headed into his room and he went down for bed just as peacefully as could be.

The amazing thing about a wonderful day like today is that the entire day passed without a single tantrum, power struggle, or disagreement. He just went along with me and I went along with him, and it was like we were two buddies just spending our day together! Aaron and I were questioning tonight, do we think that we are finding him to be so wonderful and in such a delightful and more grown-up stage right now because we are trying to savor this time with him before we have another one who will need us, or would we think this is an amazing stage even if we weren't expecting. We both agreed that he is just in an awesome stage!! If I had been blogging when he was around 21 months old, there would have been a LOT more frustration in what I had to say. And we may soon head back in to a more difficult time, but, in the meantime, things are sure GREAT now!

Anyway, thanks or "I'm sorry" to anyone who actually sat through reading this gigantic post. I just know that these days are so sweet and I will never remember what they are truly like if I don't record it somehow. And, I am still getting the hang of blogging...this is the second time that I sat down to write a couple of paragraphs and ended up writing a book! I promise I'll get better. Either that, or there just won't be time for mini-books once I am raising 2 kids, so the problem will fix itself!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Words of wisdom...

One of the joys of raising a toddler is getting to enjoy the words that they use...especially when the words are not quite perfect!

Here are a few of the words that Ben uses "almost" perfectly:

sermostack = thermostat
yogret = yogurt
broked = broken
lasterday = yesterday
hairpane = airplane
twain twaks = train tracks
fweight = freight
sirsty = thirsty
dinosaur game = Hungy, Hungy Hippo game
good guys = police, firemen, etc.
(When he counts past 10) eleven ,etwelve, sirteen, sirteen, sirteen = 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

*I'll include more as I can remember them.

Also, he has been using SUCH polite language lately. This week, on Thursday, we had our friends Zach and Owen over to play, and Zach's mom was talking about how she encourages Zach to use his polite language throughout the day, especially during meal times when she is serving him food. Well, I think Ben must have been listening closely, because ever since then, he has been saying things like, "Thank you for giving me broccoli and turkey, Mama!" and "Thank you for washing my hands, Mama" and Thank you for giving me my juice." Also, when I am sitting on the couch, and he wants me to move so he can use the couch as a track for his cars, he will come up and say, "Excuse me, Mama, excuse me, I need to drive my cars!"

A few other random quotes:

Daddy, stomp in the snow with me!
I guess not!
There you go, Mama!
Good morning, I waked up!
Um, just not.
Yep, I sure do!
Yep, it sure is!
I don't know what THAT is.
Oh, Mama, you know I love that belly!
Can I snuggle you guys?
Let's snuggle together in Ben's room.
Drag you on the floor, Daddy!
Pick you up!
I need to take my medicine! (He sees me take prenatal vitamins every day, and is fascinated! After saying this today, he then proceeded to put 2 peas in his mouth from his lunch, take a drink of juice, and throw back his head and swallow the peas!! Unbelivable!)