Thomas the Tank Engine

This is officially one of Maxon’s favorite things. Luckily, it’s not like EVERYTHING has to be Thomas this and Thomas that but he definitely enjoys what Thomas things he already has. And it’s not just Thomas but the whole gang on the fantasy island. I think he likes the trains because they are the perfect size for his little hands and he can experiment with how they magnetically stick and move together. I don’t mind indulging the interest since the cartoons are short and slow-moving, it’s a genre of books we can get into, and it gets us to do fun things like check out train museums. One of his favorite Thomas “books” is actually a catalog of Thomas toys and accessories we got with the purchase of some other train. (Side note to marketing peeps: Ease up. I just bought one of your darn products. Give me a couple days to digest before showing me what else I need to buy in order to create another Thomas tyrant in the world.) Since we like to read books (and apparently catalogs) over and over again, he’s learned the names of other trains. Lately, when he’s assembled all his other trains, he’s been asking where Gordon and Henry are and I have to remind him that we don’t have them and they are only in his books. He then surprised me with “I go buy Gordon? Henry?” So then I asked him, “do you have money?” to which he replied “no…”. Last night, when he asked where Gordon and Henry were and I went through my usual schtick, he came back with “I go buy Gordon. I buy Henry. I buy Money!”

Running alongside Thomas to catch a glimpse

The Third Trimester, Revisited

At 28+ weeks

What’s The Same

The sweet tooth. Oh, the sweet tooth! I could have something sweet for every meal of the day and then a little more for dessert. Of course, I still wouldn’t turn down a bag of chips.

Weight gain/belly size. Well, now that is. I think I got a head start on fast pace at the very beginning but somewhere in the early second trimester, things have evened out. Of course, since this pregnancy really started to show itself over the fall, the wardrobe is different and not for the better (see below).

Lack of problems. I was blessed once again with no morning sickness. I did experience a big energy drop in the first trimester but have recovered nicely. However, we’ll save the motivation factor for the next section.

Home renovation. Yup, we’re at it again! This time we are building a master suite over the kitchen and enclosing the area we currently use as our bedroom as a second proper bedroom for you-know-who. We thought we were giving ourselves plenty of breathing room by initiating things over the summer but of course you don’t plan on having to wait for other people to do their part so here we are right now with nothing to show except a very large ditch in the backyard with which to bury the power lines [someday]. We just got an email that hammers are swinging on Monday. For bonus points, here is where we were at 28 weeks when cooking Maxon.

What’s Different

Better nutrition. I just completed the glucose tolerance test and also checked my iron levels and passed both with flying colors. I was surprised by the result of the latter since I had low iron with Maxon and assumed I’d be further in the hole this time. I credit my nutritional inventory on better prenatal vitamins (no more Target knock-offs) and this year’s project to eat organic, local produce and grass-fed beef through our CSA.

Alarm on permanent snooze. This is absolutely, positively, no-bones-about-it because of Maxon. If the little man chooses to sleep in, by golly, we are ALL going to sleep in. Instead of the early gym visits before work, I now drop Maxon off at school and then hit the gym about mid-morning. Somehow, even with an unpredictable toddler, we are managing a little more sleep. Yes, we are hoping our bodies are banking it now!

Feeling more baby movement. I thought I was a little delusional thinking I could feel this baby at 16 weeks but when I got confirmation that the placenta was in the back (instead of against my belly), there is no mistaking the difference in what I am able to feel. This kid is ON all day, all over the place, and testing for weaknesses. The right side is apparently still where the party’s at.

Less belly discomfort. At this point, I’m fairly certain I had to support my belly with a wedge-like pillow in order to get comfortable. Rolling over was already a chore. Perhaps it’s because my ab muscles are not quite at-attention now and are totally okay with needing to relax and stretch a bit to accommodate all that reside within. Whatever it is, I’ve moved the extra support to between the knees to give the sister hips a break and I find myself sleeping much better than before. However…

More pelvis discomfort. The belly’s fine. The hips are okay. The lower back can be alleviated if I can shake them out every now and then. But oh me, oh my, some days I just feel like I might split in two if I don’t sit down on a cushy couch and put my feet up immediately. And be spoon-fed grapes mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Less working out. Yeah, perhaps I should have been more clear about hitting the gym in the above bullet point. I’m fairly pleased with myself if I get to the gym twice a week. It’s not so much energy level but time, time, time. The time to work out before was a luxury as well as a necessity. Now, I count cleaning, grocery store trips, and laundry as necessities that require that same time.

More hatred of maternity clothing. I am just not the body type designers have in mind. Jeans are a joke and sweats are not fashionably acceptable. Many thanks to those who brought the leggings-and-long-sweaters look back!

More pampering. Monthly massages and weekly prenatal yoga. Oh yeah.

Okay, so the pants are actually the same as the first pregnancy but a little more threadbare.

Only Maxon

We are at the height of the I-do-it phase. Maxon’s expressions are either “I do it myself” or “no-no-no [Mommy/Daddy]–only Maxon!” accompanied by hands flailing by his head. He still gets his pronouns mixed up and will often ask for Mommy or Daddy to “help you”.

He has incredible memory-recall these days. I’m guessing since two-year-olds are not prone to worry about bills, traffic rules, and politics, their amazing little minds have the ability to associate related things and remember them in their proper place. One week we brought a gift to Maya’s birthday party and the following week we were toting another gift for Charlotte’s birthday and he pointed and said “present for Maya”. He remembers who gave him what for his own birthday. He told me yesterday that would need to go back to the zoo to look for porcupines (still “cocopine”) as well as bears, camels, lions, elephants, and raccoons (um, okay). We haven’t been to the zoo in months.

And try as we might to engender a love for our brisk mountain climate, he is still hesitant about snow. He wants to look out at the snow from inside but when it’s time to venture outside, he tells us repeatedly at first that he “no like it snow.” Over and over. And over. Yet once he starts stomping around in it, it’s impossible to get him of it, numb, nearly-frostbitten fingers and all. The other day, he and Mike were walking out of Target and he all of a sudden darted behind Mike’s legs and proclaimed that he “no like it steam”. He was talking about the heat of his breath against the cold night air.

No like it....snow.

There have been some improvements to his singing willingness and ability. He sings songs from the Music Man, complete with the accompaniment of our Wii guitar. Or we’ll be sitting at dinner and all of a sudden, he’ll sing a song from top to bottom, whereas not too long ago, he’d only be able to fill in the last few words of a line. Beyond the ABC song, even. Last night he wowed us with his version of Baa Baa Black Sheep. Of course, some of the words and phrases are replaced with more familiar verbiage, so instead of asking if the sheep has any wool, he asks for “wood” and the line “one for my master, one for my dame” becomes “farmer master, farmer dame”. Close enough, my little musical genius.

His school is putting on a holiday party in two weeks where the Toddlers will be performing some of their favorite hits. Or, much more likely, they will be standing there stone-faced or crying out for their parents while their teachers sing by themselves. The 15-minute gap between their show time and the preschoolers’ show time translates as much. We’ll see what willingness he is able to muster then!

Maxon’s Mountain Birthday

We celebrated Maxon’s second birthday atop Flagstaff Mountain overlooking Boulder and we really couldn’t ask for a better or more fun day. Well, actually, I could definitely ask for the food I had ordered to actually be ready and available on the day and time we had all agreed to and for the Parks Department to have given me a key to the picnic shelter that would actually unlock the door but those are minor, unsexy details. It was a chilly November morning that would not normally invoke the idea of an outdoor picnic but the promise of a cloudless, sun-drenched sky was enough for our hardy Colorado friends to don their winter party/ski wear and prove to us that one does not need Chuck E Cheese to have a good time. The shelter is less than a 10 minute drive from our house and Mike actually led the adventurous half of our guest list on a hike from our house up to the shelter while I set up for the party. The memory of seeing the party train coming up the trail still makes me smile.

The hiking party

Some chose to sit by the fire. Others chose the brisk air and sunshine.

Since we weren’t sure the majestic views would be quite enough to enthrall the toddlers for 2 hours, we hired the Music Man from Maxon’s school to swing by and lead the kiddos in some fun songs. Well, either that or just terrify them. After a rocky start (I’m looking at you, Maxon-baby), he was able to win over the crowd, toddlers and parents alike. Let’s hear it for egg shakers!

Rocking out to the Music Man

The Music Man was also kind enough to pawn off one of his DVDs, which Maxon now requests to watch every day. Every. Day.

Not a bad view

Happy birthday, baby.