It’s been a dreary month. Ari and I have been continually sick – first him, with a high fever for a couple of days; then me, with a bad cough and sore throat that caused me to lose my voice for over a week and miss way too much work until I finally went to the doctor and tested positive for strep throat and got antibiotics; then him again, with a fever, cough, and runny nose; and now I’m stuffed up, coughing, and tired again. The weather has been cold and wet. Ari’s missed a lot of school and activities because of weather and illness, and we’ve been cranky and cooped up together inside a LOT. I’ve let him watch too much TV (mostly Peppa Pig, Alphablocks, and Winnie the Pooh) and have felt like a pretty crappy mom.
So I don’t have a ton of pictures this month!
At the beginning of the month, we went to a story time at Powell’s downtown. Ari ended up crying through the whole thing. He was really excited about all of the books and kept getting angry when we tried to direct him at all. Leaving the store involved a series of meltdowns. Then he fell asleep on the bus on the way home and later we figured out he had a fever, so he wasn’t feeling well.
Then it snowed! Fortunately, I was off work for a few days so I got to stay home and be cozy. I really wanted Ari to go out and at least see the snow, but he refused. One day I bundled him up in spite of his tears and protests and took him outside, but he just kept crying so we went right back in. He still had a fever and just wanted to stay on the couch.
We spent a lot of time like this:
But after a couple of days he felt better. I took him out in the stroller when it was still slushy and he seemed to love the rain and cold, although he still didn’t want to get out and walk:
We had a fun OMSI trip with friends once Ari was feeling better and just before I was sick:
My belly keeps growing:
Ari had another eye doctor appointment. It’s a blurry picture, but I wanted to show what it looks like when he has his appointments. Here, he’s identifying images they’re putting on a screen in front of him at different sizes. He’s supposed to either point to the matching images on the paper he’s holding, or just say the names of the shapes, which is what he usually does now. The big book is there just because he wanted to read it.
We also had our big ultrasound when we found out we’re having a boy, and everything was looking normal! I wore a mask and had to take a coughing break in the middle of it but no way was I going to reschedule… Of course I didn’t know yet that I had strep and actually thought I was on the mend because I’d been sick for a week or so already. Here are a couple of the ultrasound pictures, one profile shot and one 3-D:
One day Ari wanted me to draw an “angry face”, then he went and added “feet” and arms!
Another day, it stopped raining and I felt like I just HAD to take advantage of the drier weather and pick up the soggy dog poop in the yard. (I get really crazy about this task – one day when I was just getting sick and hesitating to call in to work because I was out of sick leave time, I was extremely fortunate to be put on call, and it was a sunny day and Ari was in school or something, so I went out and picked up poop and felt like the luckiest person in the world that things had worked out for me to be able to be home getting that done on the one dry day in the forecast, after letting it all accumulate for way too long because of the weather. I was out there practically singing “Hallelujah” the whole time!) Anyway, I usually won’t deal with the dog poop if I’m home alone with Ari because I don’t want to have to touch him before I’ve washed my hands, and I don’t want him running around in the yard before it’s been cleaned up. But these have been desperate times with all the rain, so I got brave and took him out in the sandbox. It worked out really well for a few minutes, but then he started whining that he couldn’t build sandcastles by himself and needed my help, then he had to go get his ball and stepped in poop on the way there, then he wanted me to play catch with him. But I got it done! And he finally got out of the house.
And the baby-growing continues! Apparently I have an anterior placenta attachment this time, and that tends to cushion the baby’s movements so I haven’t been feeling much. I’ve heard that can be really nice later on, but right now I have to keep reminding myself that there’s really a baby in there, and it’s so reassuring when I have an appointment and get to hear the heartbeat. Every now and then I get tickles inside, but I’m pretty sure I felt some strong kicks by this point with Ari.
Another OMSI trip, and a couple of pictures of Ari helping out at the grocery store:
Ari’s language skills keep developing. He’s been telling the stories of his books, especially Hug and Goodnight Gorilla. He likes to point out how characters are feeling, especially sad (usually he says “because he misses his mom”, which is usually but not always the actual story line), afraid, surprised, or happy. It’s fun to see him reasoning things out and explaining concepts. One day he was talking to my parents on Facetime and we were teasing him about letting them do something that would have required their actual presence, and he said they couldn’t do it because they were “still on the phone.” Another day, he was either having us hold his “snowman video” or not letting us hold it – I can’t remember which – and we asked if Andrew could hold it, and he said “No” because “he doesn’t have hands.” He’s been talking to his dolls a lot and doing funny voices to have them talk, too. Sometimes they’re telling each other the rules for things, and sometimes he’s telling them. One night he said to his fox doll something like, “I’m sleepy, fox. I want to put your hand [he always says “your” instead of “my” in this situation] in Mommy’s shirt but Mommy says don’t put your hand in her shirt.” He’s been using bigger words and talking things through more. It’s strange sometimes to hear things like, “I can’t find my brachiosaurus, Mommy. Do you know where it is?”
He’s been talking a lot about my being sick, asking when I’m going to be “all the way better” and doing things like stroking my arm very softly to try to help me feel better. His teachers said that at school he talked about Mommy “not feeling well” and needing to rest. He must have the pregnancy mixed up in those thoughts, too, because one day he lay on his back on the couch and said something like, “I have a baby in my tummy. I don’t feel very well. I need my temperature. You have to take my temperature.”
We had our winter conference with his teachers, and they talk about his “storytelling” and imaginative play, usually involving animals, and how quickly he learns new stories or the words to a new song. They describe him as “deeply joyful and loving” and report that his “gentleness, interest in tending to other’s feelings and sense of humor attract many friends.” They say that he is “an observant, cautious and curious explorer” and that he “has a contagious smile and truly loves laughing with friends and teachers and involving them in a joke or conversation.” They continue to tell us that he avoids conflicts but they are teaching him how to speak up for himself instead of just crying when someone does something he doesn’t like. (I notice the language they’re teaching him when he’s at home and says, “I’m using that!” or “I don’t like that, Andrew!”) I love his school! He has such an attentive, nurturing community there.
I’ve been taking Ari to some toddler music classes that he seems to enjoy. Maybe he’ll get into music and theater when he’s older! I tend to assume he won’t play ball sports because of his vision, but we’ve also been told several times that he has impressive “aim” when he’s throwing balls, which he still loves to do. There are so many activities I want to try out with him to see if he likes them, but I also don’t want to be on the run to different classes all the time! Right now we’re just doing the music classes and the library story times, and I want to fit in another series of swimming lessons (or at least a few trips to the pool) before the baby is born.