Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dear Gracie: Part 2

Little lady, you are pure drama. From when I was 6 weeks pregnant and afraid I was miscarrying, to the 50+ hours I was in very painful "early labor" with you before you were born to this very day. You are the epitome of a drama queen.

You were born on a Monday morning by scheduled csection, but I had regular contractions for several hours starting the Saturday morning before. I was excited by the prospect that you might be making your entrance into the world all on your own. Grandma and Grandpa drove all the way from Syracuse only for the contractions to all but stop.

I tried not to be too disappointed, but the contractions picked back up early Sunday morning with a vengeance. This was the pain I imagined labor would be like. The contraction started at the top of my belly and spread down like a wild fire. Like hands wrapping around me from back to front. Sitting here now, I find it hard to describe the pain, although I know it was acute. I think I've already blocked it out. I found that standing and bracing myself on a piece of furniture made them more bearable, so every 5-10 minutes I was hopping out of bed, breathing deeply and feeling like we would be meeting you in a few hours.

Around 3:30 that morning I took a shower which felt amazing, then around 5 I decided to call the on call doctor. She told me since I was so overdue (8 days at that point) that you needed to come out, so I thought for sure this would be your birthday. We called a neighbor to come stay with Mia and drove through the quiet early morning streets to the hospital. I told the woman at the front desk I wasn't leaving without a baby (which makes me cringe in hindsight), but when the doctor checked me a few minutes later and told me I was only half centimeter dilated, I nearly had a nervous breakdown. You can be in this much pain and not progressing? They kept me there for an hour, hoping I would progress, but I knew I wouldn't. The thought of having to endure those contractions for the next 24 hours until my csection made me weep. Because I had had a csection with Mia no one thought it would be a good idea to induce me. There was no one available to perform a csection that day since it wasn't emergent. So my options were to get admitted, get something for the pain and sleep for a while hoping I either progressed on my own or that someone might be able to perform a csection later, or leave with a prescription for Percocet to take the edge off the pain. I hadn't slept in nearly 2 days. I almost let them admit me, but I imagined that I ultimately wanted a drug free birth, women get to 10 centimeters without medical intervention, and I can't make it past .5! I felt like such a wimp.

I left with the prescription, went home and slept. I felt like I was on a boat in the ocean, riding the waves of contractions, but too tired and out of it to care.

At my last doctor's appointment at 41 weeks I had discussed my options with my doctor and we'd decided that since it didn't look like I would go in to labor on my own, a repeat csection was the best option. I left confident that you'd be born the 21st, and I felt satisfied that I'd waited as long as I was comfortable waiting. I'd given my body the chance to expel you on its own.

And then my last weekend with Mia as an only child was hosed by this "early labor." I was mad. I went to bed at 7 Sunday night, weeping because I was too tired to put Mia to bed, but happy we had spoiled her so in the weeks before.

I woke up around 4:30 Monday morning and got up to watch TV in the living room. Your dad came out to check on me at around 5 at which point I ran to the bathroom to throw up what was left in my empty stomach. I laid in bed until my parents came to watch Mia, too sick and exhausted to even take one last pregnant picture before going to the hospital, but glad I'd shaved my legs the day before. The thought of walking all the way to the maternity ward from the car exhausted me, but somehow we made it. I was given a bed in triage and something to help with my nausea. Our nurse tried to make me laugh, but every time I had a contraction I got increasingly angry like "come on, baby! We're trying to get you out of there, can't you just give me a break!" There was a hold up with the OR and we waited what felt like an eternity.

Finally they brought me in. I remembered how nervous I had been going into surgery with Mia, this time I was giddy with excitement that it was almost over, that I wouldn't feel the pain of contractions anymore. It took forever for the resident to get the spinal tap in. Everyone asked what your name would be. The anesthesiologist also had a daughter named Grace. Once I was numb they asked if I wanted them to wait to start until your dad got there and I told them to start cutting, so your poor dad had to walk in to the sight of my innards. I just laid there holding your dad's hand, so excited to finally see you, to finally move into the next phase of our lives. I felt the doctor bear her whole weight on my rib cage, and just like that you were being held up in front of us, and I was telling your dad to take a picture and trying to memorize your face and saying "She doesn't look like Mia!" You didn't cry, just let out a little mew. You had a full head of dark hair and your forehead and nose were squished from being so low in the birth canal. I kept asking how much you weighed, sure you'd be a big fat baby from all that extra gestation, but you weighed the same amount as your sister at birth. You did however, have over an inch on her. You also had long fingernails. I joke that you were growing hair and fingernails in there for the last 9 days.

We were wheeled into a recovery area where your sister and grandparents came to meet you for the first time.

The first few days in the hospital were actually quite lovely. Nothing like the stress and fear I felt with Mia. You and I were alone a lot while your dad was with Mia. We studied each other. You would  (and still do) just look up at me and stare as if thinking, "so that's who you are!" and I looked at you the same way. You nursed well right away, slept for long stretches, and fussed all day. We can't have it all, I suppose. But you seemed to expect the least from me in terms of bouncing and rocking as if you knew I was recovering. The recovery was so much easier this time. I took you for walks around the maternity unit several times a day.

Now here we are 2 months later, and I couldn't really care less at this point how you came into the world. You are beautiful and alert and healthy and I feel like you've always been here.

You are still a little drama queen. Your emotions vacillate wildly without any warning. One moment you are cooing and smiling at me, the next you are shrieking in discontent with no rhyme or reason. We labeled you as colicky when you were a few days old, but really I think you're just dramatic. Luckily the fussiness seems to get marginally better every day.

You require exhausting levels of bouncing, walking and butt-patting when you are fussy or over-tired.   To get you back to sleep in the middle of the night I am up doing deep-knee bends and smacking your bottom so hard your dad can hear me in the next room over the white noise. I cannot wait until you are old enough to sleep train, because here's what I do not want to be doing at 2am: cardio. As I've been writing this, I've got you strapped to my chest, sleeping, and I've had to stand up and bounce you half a dozen times as you rouse and fuss.

You've been a decent sleeper from the get-go. Even in the hospital you were sleeping long stretches. You wake up once or twice a night. The only problem is, there has been no improvement. You're sleeping the same now as you were the day you were born, so I'm convinced I'll be waking once or twice a night FOR. EVER. And, it's not SO bad, but really, I'd love just the glimmer of hope that one day I might not have to leave my bed for 8 hours at a time.

As much as you fuss, you are also a very smiley baby. You giggle while you're falling asleep. You smiling wildly at curtain rods and the underside of the shelves over your changing table and occasionally at your mom and dad. You give me your best smiles at 2am, and it is hard for me to turn out the light and try to put you back to sleep when that is often the only alone time I have with you all day. You love the changing table. You love being naked and taking baths. You love white noise and really like to stare at anything red. You love staring at the shower curtain and the zebra toy that hangs from your bouncy seat.

You hate the carseat and riding in the car. If I put you in the stroller I had better be ready to keep you moving at all times. You do not like to stand still.

You are already stretching your 3 month sleepers. You still seem so tiny, but you are so much bigger than you were.

I hold you up on my shoulder and you lay your little head down and I inhale your little baby scent which is every bit as good as everyone raves about and I am intoxicated by you. I cannot wait to see how your personality develops. You are more alert and interactive every day. I forgot how fast the milestones happen at this age, and it makes every day so exciting. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dear Gracie: In Utero

6 weeks
Two weeks ago yesterday I took a pregnancy test while your dad was at work. I just couldn't wait any longer.

The worst symptom right now is that I constantly feel like my last meal is sitting in my throat. I'm burping and tasting my last meal until the next meal at which point I'm starving so I stuff myself and then regret it for hours afterward. And the cycle continues. I don't feel as nauseous as I was with Mia. It really is morning sickness this time that dissipates as the day goes on, not the all day nausea of last time, and I have yet to throw up, so that's a win. I don't have the food aversions I had with Mia, instead I want eat EVERYTHING in sight. I am starving all the time and everything sounds delicious.

I have a feeling a lot of this will be comparing this pregnancy to Mia's, I think because I'm so amazed that they are already so different. I know I'd heard that, but I guess I didn't really believe it.

Your sister is a high maintenance, spirited little thing, so I thought surely my second kid would be more laid back, but so far it is the complete opposite. You will not sit back and be ignored, not even now when you are barely the size of a sesame seed. I have been bleeding on and off for a week and terrified that I am losing you. I have had blood drawn, saw your tiny flickering heartbeat on a sonogram, then back to the doctor yesterday. We'll have another ultrasound in a few days, but I am worried about you every minute of every day. Already. You and your sister are trying to kill me.

10 weeks
I've had 2 more ultrasounds since 6 weeks and you are growing on track and seeing your heart beating away gives me peace for a few days. But the worry is constant. It's sad because it's made it hard to get excited, and I haven't told very many people yet. I just didnt want any sympathy or to have to update a million people in the state of my uterus after every doctor's appointment. It turned out I had something called a subchorionic hematoma which means the placenta tore away from the side of my uterus and created a pocket of blood, but the doctor said it appears to be shrinking and is not concerned.

I feel like we need to start telling more people in our families because we're going to be seeing them all over the next few weeks and my stomach is already starting to pop out and I don't want anyone gossiping behind my back!

The morning sickness has been much less this time around. I haven't thrown up except for the stomach bug we all got a few weeks ago which also made me worried for you. But the indigestion and gas pains are almost as bad, and I'm constantly starving, but also exhausted. So all I do is eat and sleep and by the end of this I'll be the size of a house.

Before I even took the pregnancy test I had this feeling that I was pregnant and that you are a boy. I had neither of those intuitions with Mia. In my head I refer to you as "him," and "he." It's weird because before I got pregnant I always pictured us having 2 girls, but now I'm doing a 180 and will be bowled over if you don't have a penis. Especially since this pregnancy is so totally different than with Mia.

I wouldn't say I have cravings, but I mostly want salty foods. The sushi (cooked, of course) with soy sauce I ate yesterday was nearly transcendent. Cold cereal and chicken pot pies are becoming my staples.

And there's nothing that really grosses me out like with Mia (raw chicken and olives), but I'm not very interested in cheese, Mexican food or fried foods.

16 weeks
I am now roughly the size of a house and I'm already uncomfortable. I try not to think about it too much or I want to cry because it is going to get so much worse and I have more than 5 months and a lot of hot, humid days ahead of me. Oof. I also feel a bit like a fraud because I'm not even sure I've felt you move yet, and at this size shouldn't I at least be feeling you move? I'm probably about the same size now as I was at about 24 weeks with Mia, and by that point I think even your dad could feel her move.

I have started to get my energy back, at least, but yesterday a sinus headache knocked me back on my ass again. I rarely got headaches when I was pregnant with your sister, something that made me rave about pregnancy. With you I am getting bad headaches once every few weeks and all I can do is drink my single cup of coffee, take some Tylenol and wish for death.

Wow, I am a bag of fun right now!

It's just that I had this vision of how I would be pregnant in the summer and be all beautiful and glowing in a tank top and a skirt. Instead I am lumbering around like a whale. I have fat arms and acne and the maternity pants I bought won't stay up nor will the shirts stay down. It's attractive, I tell ya.

I am also just so much more paranoid this time around. I know what's at stake here. I know the joy and love that comes at the end of this and I can't stand the thought of anything going wrong on the way there. With Mia I took for granted that she would be healthy. Now I am anxiously awaiting the anatomy scan in 3 weeks. With Mia I looked forward to it to find out her sex, with you, I just want to know that you are healthy. That's all. I said before that I have a feeling you are a boy, and I worried that feeling that way I might end up being sad if you turned out to be a girl, but honestly, I don't care. I really mean that. I will be so thrilled either way. The idea of Mia having a sister is thrilling, as is the idea of raising a boy. I am excited for either outcome. In a way it's almost more exciting this time because I think it will have more of an effect on our family, if that makes any sense.

We have been talking about names. We have a few boys names that we like, but cannot seem to find any girls names we like.

20 Weeks
When I was a kid I liked to imagine I would grow up to have twin girls and then a boy. Later on it evolved to just have two daughters, then a son. When I played house, that's how my family looked. I even had a dream once when I was a teenager that someone told me they could show me my future and it involved a husband and a young son playing in a pool in the yard and two older daughters inside the house. I've never forgotten that.

I always wanted 3 children, but then after Mia was born I started imagining only having 2 children, but still it was those 2 girls. 

Then when I actually got pregnant I really just FELT like you were a boy. Something TOLD me you were a boy. I subconsciously referred to you as "he." So I started trying to imagine our family differently, but I also kept myself open to the idea that I could be wrong.

All of this is a very long-winded way of saying I WAS wrong, but my past premonitions are coming true, because you are a girl. I am going to have those 2 girls I always imagined, and I am just so excited for it. 

I always wanted a sister (still do). So I just can't wait to watch you and Mia grow up together. You will both be daddy's little girls. There has never been a dad better at being a girl's dad than yours. And you will both be my little side-kicks, my little partners-in-crime. Oh, I just can't wait. Sisters!

And the anatomy scan put my mind so much at ease this time. All of your parts are there. You're growing. It's so much more real now.

I feel you rolling around and kicking away now. Last night your dad was even able to feel you for the first time. 

This second trimester has not been the cake walk it was with Mia. Being pregnant in the spring is hard because I get sinus headaches with the weather changing so much, and the gas and heartburn/indigestion I had early in the first trimester has come back with a vengeance this past week. And the restless legs that only really bothered me when I was tired when I was pregnant with Mia are now keeping me up at night.

24 weeks
I'm finally feeling the second trimester honeymoon stage I remember. I have energy, I feel you kicking away in there all day long, and I'm not TOO uncomfortable yet. 

We are still discussing what to name you. As with Mia, I feel like there's a perfect name out there, we just haven't hit on it yet. Right now it's between Grace, Elise, and Tess/a. 

26 weeks
I've been so paranoid and superstitious to admit it, but I think it's important to write in this manifesto of misery, that I am also totally in love with you, little girl. I have been trying to imagine what you will be like. Will you be a spitfire like your sister? Or more sensitive and quiet? Will you have blond hair and blue eyes or dark hair, like me?

I worry that all of my anxieties about this pregnancy are seeping into as you grow inside me. It's the last thing I want for you. I want you to be carefree and fearless like Mia. I don't want you to be a jumble of nerves like me. 

I get more and more uncomfortable by the day. Rolling over at night is a Herculean effort already. I don't sleep very well. The heat of summer is making my feet and hands swell. And my boobs are like something out of National Geographic.

But there you are kicking away throughout the day. And I couldn't be happier, truly.

It's so different this time. With Mia I couldn't wait to get to the finish line, but this time I'm taking my time. I know what's at the end and I am excited, but also terrified, and I feel like I need to savor this time with Mia alone as much as possible. Soon you will be here looking up at me expectantly, and I hope I'm enough for the both of you. I hope I have enough love to envelope the two of you so no one ever feels left out or excluded. I hope you love each other beyond all reason and words. With you, I believe now that our little family will be complete and I simply cannot wait. 

30 weeks
Up until the last few weeks I've felt the opposite of ready for your arrival. I've felt like maybe I'd need longer than 9 months to prepare. I've been scared, excited, but very apprehensive. In the last few weeks I've turned a corner and I am READY. If I knew you'd be healthy I'd wish for you to be born tomorrow. I am so done with being pregnant. I am more excited than scared now. I've checked off most of the items on my to-do list and now 9 months seems way too long. 

I am pretty uncomfortable. It's so much harder this time trying to wrangle a little person while pregnant. Bending over to put on Mia's shoes sometimes makes me feel like I might puke. If I drop something on the floor lately I stand around considering for far longer than is appropriate whether it's worth it to bend over and pick it up or not. 

You seem to never stop moving around. I remember Mia being active, but there are days where I feel like you are literally moving every minute. And it feels different this time because a lot of you'd movements are really low, like you've found my c-section scar and are trying to make an exit. 

At my last doctor's appointment he said you are head up. If I had to guess, I think you have your feet down and your hands under my right ribs. The doctor is not yet concerned that you're not head down, and I'm not stressing it either. The plan has been to try for a VBAC this time, but at this point it doesn't really matter how you get here. I just can't wait to meet you. 

35 weeks
If I thought I was ready before, oh man am I ready now. Come on out whenever little girl! 

The doctor says you are definitely head down right now. He says you are low so he'd be surprised if you flip around, but we're going to have another ultrasound in a few weeks just to calm my fears and I can't wait to see you again! 

The doctor also told me he'd let me go up to 2 weeks past my due date to go into labor on my own which scares the crap out of me. I feel like I've been pregnant forever! The idea of being pregnant for 6 more weeks seems like an eternity. I'm just so ready to get this show on the road, to meet you, to be sleep deprived, to watch your big sister get to know you, everything. So, any time now. Early is fine with me. 

Lately I've been feeling nauseous with an upset stomach in the mornings and then have pretty bad heartburn in the evenings. You must have a full head of hair in there! Your feet are up under my right ribs and sometimes it feels like you're pushing with your feet and your head presses on my cervix, which I'm sure you can imagine is pleasant. I often feel like I've got an octopus in there. 

Your uncle Ben, Aunt Sarah and cousins moved nearby a few months ago, and all of our neighbors have pledged to help out whenever we need, and it feels so good to have a little community around us that already loves you.

37 weeks
Full term now, baby girl, and I am soooo ready to meet you. Any time. Come on out! It feels SO different this time than with Mia, so much less surreal. I could not imagine meeting my baby last time, could not really grasp an actual human swimming around in my belly. This time I picture you in there, head near my left hip, feet tucked under my right ribs. You are RIGHT there, whole and perfect. I can actually imagine seeing your face for the first time. I don't know how you will get here, I try to imagine it both ways; csection or naturally. It just feels so REAL this time, like I am a ticking time bomb and it could literally happen at any moment. With Mia I don't think I really believed it was going to ever happen.

I am so tired right now. I don't sleep well. I wake up every time I roll over but am only really comfortable sleeping on my right side. I get up a few times to pee and have trouble getting into a deep sleep. I need a nap almost every day now. Making it through a day without a nap feels like a huge achievement. 

I gained a lot of weight, but I'm just too tired to worry about it. I think I'll go for a walk to make up for it, but my hips ache, my pelvis hurts and I just want to lay down.

Poor Mia just wants me to run and play with her and I feel terrible always telling her I can't physically do so many things right now.

Your dad has been working long hours lately and is looking forward to your arrival to take time off from work. I know it won't be a vacation, but I can't wait to have you here and to have him home and just have our little family caccooned in our house together. 

37.5 weeks
We got to see you on an ultrasound yesterday, and now I can't stop looking at the 3D pictures we got and staring at your sweet face. I am already so in love with that little face. I cannot wait to see it in person. 

You are head down, now all you have to do is come on out! You had your hands in front if your face. It looked like you were sucking your thumb. 

The pressure I feel on my hips, my tailbone, and pelvis is pretty unbearable right now. I never had this with Mia I guess because she was breech and I think you are lower. It literally feels like it could happen at any moment. I never anticipated labor with Mia, partly because we had a csection date and partly because I never had any sort of signs of labor other than a few Braxton Hicks contractions. This time I really feel like it might happen any time and the thought if going on like this for weeks makes me depressed. Come soon!

38.5 weeks
A few days ago I reached a point where I'm utterly and thoroughly DONE. I'm so emotional and hormonal I want to cry every day. I have Braxton Hicks contractions all day and they come even more frequently in the evenings. I thought that meant progress, but today the doctor says I'm not dilated at all. I know that doesn't necessarily mean much, but I just wish I knew that my body knew what it needed to do. I am so desperate to see your face. So we made a tentative plan to schedule a csection for October 21st. I got into the car after the appointment and cried at the thought of being pregnant for nearly 3 more weeks. I KNOW this is the right thing to do. I KNOW I should give you and my body a chance to come out on your own, but I also know the risks and this really is the best plan. But now I just want to hibernate for the next 19 days and not have to see anyone I know who might comment on my still-pregnant state.

I'm just so ready to move on, to get this show on the road.

39.5 weeks
12 days or less, that's my mantra right now. 

I think I can't possibly get more uncomfortable, then I wake up the next day more swollen, more crampy, more hormonal than the day before. My hips ache constantly. The skin on the underside of my stomach feels severely sunburned because it's just stretched to the limit. I waddle, feeling like I'm carrying a bowling ball in my private parts.

I barely sleep anymore. Restless legs wake me up just as I'm drifting off to sleep. I'm only comfortable sleeping on my right side. When I turn over I immediately burp and get raging heartburn. I'd so rather be up feeding a newborn than this crappy sleep. But if the Old Wives Tales are right you'll come out with a full head of hair. 

I'm still not dilated, but the doctor says you are really low, as low as you can get without SOMETHING happening, he says. This feels like some sort of progress at least. It feels like you know where the exit is and YOU'RE doing all you can to get out, but my body has not gotten the memo yet, which is extremely frustrating. If there was ANYTHING I could do at this point to start labor I'd do it. 

I daydream constantly of the moment I'll first see your face. I imagine Mia meeting you for the first time and my heart nearly bursts. Your sister lifts my shirt and sings you lullabies. She talks about how she will feed you and rock you. 

I know we have a csection date - an end date, and I was really believing that I didn't care how you came into this world but the farther I go the more I WANT to do this naturally. I so want to know the excitement of realizing I'm in labor and rushing to the hospital. I want you to choose your own birthday... Just don't wait too long.

My excitement has completely eclipsed my fear now. I think about how my dad is notorious for peeking at his Christmas presents before Chriatmas morning and I've been known to snoop too. I'm not good with waiting and anticipation. It's not that I don't like surprises, I love them when I'm not expecting them. But being pregnant is like being forced to carry the most awesome Christmas present around for 9 months attached to your body. Except you only have a vague idea of when Christmas actually is. 

To be continued...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Day in the Life, Before Gracie

We have a new family member, Grace Louise was born October 21st. I'm still trying to write about it and her, and of course there are a lot of emotions there. I wrote this Day in the Life post back in September and never posted it. I thought it would be interesting to see how my day changes once the baby is here, and good God, this day seems downright leisurely to me now.

6:45 - Mia wakes up screaming for Daddy. She must have had a bad dream. Jeff gets her, changes her diaper and brings her to our bed to snuggle.

7:00 - Jeff gets up to take a shower. I get up to empty the dishwasher and make coffee. Mia goes to the living room to look at her books. 

7:20 - Jeff is making eggs and toast for everyone. I am discussing with Mia how we don't talk about butts and poop in public. 

7:30 - We all eat. Mia eats an egg, 2 pieces of cinnamon raisin toast and a banana. Breakfast is generally the only meal we don't have to bribe/coax her into eating.

7:50 - Jeff leaves for work after many hugs and kisses from Mia. I clean up the kitchen and sweep under the dining room table while Mia sweeps behind me with her little broom. 

8:00 - Mia watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on our bed with a cup of milk while I take a shower, put on makeup and dry my hair.

8:30 - I turn off the TV to protests of "but something else is coming on!" I take the sheets of my bed and throw them with all the towels in the wash. Mia goes into the nursery and reads all the books on the bookshelf.

8:45 - I get Mia dressed then fix my hair and get myself dressed.

9:05 - Brush my teeth and get our shoes on and we're out the door to Mia's toddler gym class. On the way we discuss how Mia will share the purple rug during circle time with a little boy named Jack who also loves purple.

9:15 - We're at gym class where Mia mostly wants to rock on a seesaw-type-thing while all the other mothers comment that I'm "still pregnant!" There's circle time and then the kids play with a parachute.

10:15 - We stop at a grocery store near our house to pick up a few things I couldn't find at the "fancier" grocery store yesterday. We see another mom and boy from gym class. 

10:45 - We're back home. I call to make Mia an appointment to get her haircut this afternoon. Then I go downstairs to put laundry in the dryer and another load in the wash. Mia sits on the couch with a stack of books. 

11:00 - I sit down to play on my phone for a minute and Mia sees that as an opportunity to climb on me.

11:10 - I make lunch - dinosaur chicken nuggets for both of us because I can't think of anything else for myself.  We eat early, mostly because I'm starving by 11am. It used to be because Mia woke up so early in the mornings, but now I've just gotten used to the schedule.

11:15 - I coax Mia into eating 1 nugget and a few chunks of pineapple. 

11:30 - I clean up the kitchen and wipe down all the appliances. 

11:45 - Mia is bouncing around inventing games involving balloons and a princess book and pushing Minnie Mouse around in a doll stroller. Finally she settles on coloring at the dining room table. I ask her to color a face, and for the first time ever she draws something that resembles a face! 

12:05 - Mia gets an alphabet puzzle out but starts throwing a fit over it after a few minutes. I think it's time to read books and wind down before nap time but Mia disagrees. Loudly. I tell her maybe she'll go straight to bed without stories. There is much crying. I realize most of this tantrum is due to the fact that she didn't eat much lunch, so I convince her to eat 2 more nuggets and then tell her we will read 1 book (instead of the usual 2) before naptime.

12:25 - After a book and a diaper change Mia is in bed for a nap. She doesn't normally go to sleep this early, but she was being such a pain, I figure it can't hurt. She seems to go right to sleep. I watch TV on the couch. It's the first day in a while I don't desperately need a nap while she naps.

1:15 - I go downstairs to pay some bills on the computer.

1:45 - I take care of half a dozen other little tasks - activating a new credit card, taking sheets out of the dryer, portioning a big package of ground beef I bought yesterday, etc.

2:00 - I decide to sit down and read my book for a few minutes, something I rarely do.

2:20 - I hear Mia grunting and waking up.

2:25 - I go in to get Mia. She's still in a cranky mood so I leave her in her room to put clothes in the dryer. When I come back upstairs she requests that I make her a paper airplane and get her a cup of milk. Then we sit and look at books for a few minutes.

2:45 - I put the clean sheets on my bed and put the clean towels away. Mia likes to help me make the bed. Then she rolls around on the bed wrestling with the pillows.

3:10 - I get Mia some crackers and we're out the door to get her haircut.

3:25 - Haircut time. Mia gets a braid, spray that smells like cotton candy and sparkles in her hair.

3:45 - Back in the car en route to the playground near our house. Mia makes friends with a 17 month old boy and exclaims over a 2 week old baby in a stroller. 

4:45 - Back home I start the grill and start making dinner - cheeseburgers.

5:00 - Mia is watching The Cat in the Hat while I prepare dinner

5:25 - Mia and I eat. I coax her into eating almost half a cheeseburger, some pickle slices and a clementine.

5:50 - We go outside to play and immediately our 5 year old neighbor rides over on her big wheels to see if Mia can play. We go over to play on her swing set.

6:05 - Jeff comes home and goes in to eat quickly while Mia and the neighbor kick some balls around in the yard and I chat with the neighbor's dad.

6:20 - Jeff comes over and I go home to fold laundry.

6:45 - Jeff and Mia come inside. I start Mia's bath while Jeff cleans up the kitchen. Jeff comes in when he's done to wash her off because it's hard for me to bend over for very long. 

7:15 - Mia runs naked in to the living room, clean and teeth brushed. She stops short and gives me a look that I take to mean she is about to pee on my rug so I rush her into the bathroom where she pees in the potty. We make a big deal and give her M&Ms. 

7:20 - We get Mia's night diaper and pajamas on and brush her hair

7:30 - Mia and Jeff are playing a game called "Bear," where one of them goes under the dining room table pretending to be a bear in a cave, the other pretends to be going on a walk near the bear cave at which point the bear jumps out and chases the other person around the house.

7:40 - Time to read stories. Mia picks out 3, one for her to "read," and one each for Jeff and me. It's the same 3 Clifford books we've been reading for the past 3 nights.

7:55 - Jeff tucks Mia in. 

8:00 - Mia yelling that Jeff forgot to turn on her fan (he didn't).

8:02 - Mia yelling that she has to go pee. I tell her that's what her diaper is for. Probably not the best way to get a potty trained kid, but eh, I'm tired.

8:05 - Jeff goes downstairs to work out and ride on his bike trainer. I plant my butt in the couch to watch TV and play on my phone.

That's all I wrote, but I assume the day ended with me getting in bed at about 9:30 and reading until about 10... and sleeping for 8 hours. Sigh, that sounds lovely right about now.