All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


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Where Our Babies Come From – PAIL Monthly Theme Post

This post is my contribution to the PAIL Monthly Theme Post.  For more information about PAIL, please click here. Everyone is welcome to read, write, and comment!

I grew up in a “no questions” household – and not because we weren’t allowed to ask questions.  No no.  Because we had no questions* – because everything, and I mean everything, was presented to us at a very young age so that there were no mysteries.  Everything from “what your dad does for a living” to “where babies come from” was shared and discussed with us in a very mature, adult, matter-of-fact manner.  There was nothing to be shy about or ashamed of in our household because everything was discussed.  Everything just WAS.

My dad read at least one book to us every night before bedtime, and one of the books in that rotation was, you guessed it, “Where do Babies Come From?”  The book** explained it in honest detail, there was no mincing of words or making it sound all flowery and beautiful.  The dad’s parts were referred to as his “penis” and “testicles,” as they should be, and the woman’s parts were referred to as her “vagina” and “womb.”  Dad would mess with us and say things like, “then the daddy puts his peanuts in the mommy’s vagina,” and we’d pipe in and say, “no, Daddy, it’s his PENIS, not his peanuts!”  Dad would say that the egg travelled, “to the woman’s broom,” and one of us would holler, “no, it goes to her WOMB!”

We got it.

We knew it.

We knew where babies came from, and from a very, very young age.  I don’t remember NOT knowing where babies came from.  I don’t remember the first time this book was read to me, and neither does my older sister.  It was just part of life, and our parents (mostly, my dad) made sure we knew.  We were just told not to go to school and talk about it.  And we didn’t  😉  Not out of shame, but because we were told that other children should hear it from their parents like we did.  Made sense to us!

Other topics were just as open in our house.  Drug use (we were told that they assumed we’d try marijuana in college, but that we weren’t to let it be a habit and that nothing else was worth trying – we all honored this), alcohol (we were told that we should always call for a ride if we even thought we may need one and that we wouldn’t be in trouble), smoking (they did beg us not to do this), birth control, etc.  Everything was an open topic.  Sure, you could ask questions if you had them, but our family was so open, that there usually weren’t many questions to even ask.  Most things had been covered in great detail, and in a very relating manner.  We knew that neither of my parents were their “firsts” when it came to sex, and we knew all about their marijuana smoking past.  They related their stories to us in hopes that we would take them to heart and end up not screwing up too much.  And… I think that worked.

So yeah – I grew up in an open household (too open at times?  YES.).

Back to the topic at hand – babies and their origins.

B and I plan to take the same approach with our children as my parents did with us.  Baby making is scientific (even when babies are conceived in a bedroom full of LOVE) and it’s matter-of-fact.  We need to find a book on this that does the topic justice, like the one my parents (my dad, primarily) read to us.  I can’t find that book anywhere which is sad, because it had great, artistic illustrations and like I said, explained it so well.  There will be no secrets when it comes to baby-making and we won’t call it stupid things like “the birds and bees.”  We will call it what it is.  S-E-X.

I don’t plan on having kids who ask me where babies come from, because they will know.  They will know early.  Matthew will know VERY soon.  I just need to find the book.**  But it won’t stop with the one book on where babies come from.  Long ago, I researched books on IVF to explain to children how they came into the world.  I found a couple, and they looked OK, but not necessarily exactly what I’m looking for.  My quest continues but I do expect to supplement the “where babies come from” book with an IVF book and just go from there.***  Again, this will be started very soon and there will be no need to discuss the big question of “WHEN?” to have this discussion with our children.

I feel really, really good about this!

As our kids get older, I’m sure they’ll ask questions like, “why did you have to do IVF?”  We will be honest.  We will be open.  Heck, we’ve been open and honest with everyone around us when it comes to this topic, so why wouldn’t be honest with our children about it?  They will be told about our struggles, our one attempt at an IUI, and our multiple rounds of IVF – and this will all be presented in a way that makes them realize how much they were wanted – and not how painful the journey was to get to them.

There will be no secrets, because there already are none.

* I did have a FEW questions about sex and I did ask them.  One of them was, “how does the man’s penis get firm enough to put in the woman’s vagina?”  At a young age, I knew that a flimsy piece of flesh couldn’t just be shoved up a tiny hole and it work.  The other question I asked my dad (with my older sister present) was, “what is oral sex?”  I was in junior high and I thought it was phone sex.  I’m not shitting you!

** Look what I just found on Amazon!  Where Do Babies Come From?  This is on its way to my house right now, for the bargain price of $4.00!  Will be fun to see if it’s as great as I remember  😉

*** The book I am leaning towards to explain IVF:  I Can’t Wait to Meet You

 

 


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The Monday Snapshot – Rough Housing!

Last week, while Matthew was fighting a nap, we got to rough housing a bit on the bed. He started it, and I kept it going. So fun!

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Holy hell, I originally posted this from my phone and it uploaded the FULL SIZE photo.  No – you do NOT need to see a close-up of my pores!  Sorry about that!

This is my contribution to the Monday Snapshot over at PAIL.  Go and check out the fun!


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Bedhead

Matthew had a rough nap today, as evidenced by his hair when he woke up.  😉  Seriously, this boy’s hair lays so perfect most of the time, and he has NEVER had “bedhead.”  I have expected him to have some difficult hair every once in a while given the fact that we keep his hair pretty short and trimmed, and he has a LOT of it.  Matthew’s hair is THICK.

I thought he looked so cute with his “bedhead” today, that I didn’t even try to fix it.  He looked like a bona-fide little boy, rather than a toddler.  A little surreal, but sweet!  We took him out to the mall and to dinner with his sloppy hairdo, and I loved it!  I finally took a photo at dinner because it was still standing on end.  HA!

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I paid for this photo with his screams for me to give him my phone once he saw it out. I did not relent! Thirty seconds later, Matthew did relent. Score one for the tough mama!

One of these days, I’ll get around to writing a real post – you know – one with substance?  We’ve had a rough week that started out with a poor decision on my part to take Matthew to his favorite lunch spot (Chipo.tle) and get him mild salsa with peppers, along with his favorite guac in the whole wide world.  I will never get him that salsa again – the guac is fine and he can handle that, but that alone.  That stupid salsa set him, and his naps, back for two damned days.  We were both crying in the afternoon after a short, 45 minute nap.  The next day was not much better – a 1.5 hour nap and tears as he woke up again.  Geesh!  I’m happy to report that yesterday was blessed with a BEAUTIFUL 2.6 hour nap and the last two nights, he’s slept well over 11 hours.  My sanity has returned.

Now, if we could just get him to eat something besides fruit, eggs, and string cheese (and Chipot.le, of course) – life would be back to “normal!”

Lunch with Daddy - look at that happiness with his Chipot.le pork, salsa, and guac.  We ALL paid for this lunch over and over again.  Poor kid!

Lunch with Daddy – look at that happiness with his Chipot.le pork, salsa, and guac. We ALL paid for this lunch over and over again. Poor kid!

Mom trying to salvage a nap.  This was heaven, for about 2 minutes at a time before he would scream out in tummy pain.  Stupid Chipo.tle salsa!

Mom trying to salvage a nap. This was heaven, for about 2 minutes at a time before he would scream out in tummy pain. Stupid salsa!


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Kids These Days

My son is growing up way too fast.  I spent my morning paying a deposit and registering Matthew for pre-preschool.

YES – that’s PRE-preschool.  Also known as “Parent’s Morning Out.”  This is a program designed for kids whose parents stay home with them who miss out (my words, not theirs) on the structure of daycare.  Yes, we chose to not put Matthew in daycare, but in making that decision, we knew he’d be missing out on some key social skills that kids his age are learning in daycare.

Like taking turns.

Like standing in line.

Like sharing with not just a friend or two, but lots of friends at once.

Like eating nicely at a table with other friends.

I have a friend who is the mother of 4 – and her fourth is just a month older than Matthew.  Her other three children are 10, 8, and 7.  She has raised great kids who are thriving in school and in their extracurricular activities.  Her 19 month-old listens to her very intently and follows instructions like you’ve never seen from a 19 month-old.  This friend used to be a first grade teacher.  She knows her stuff.  So when she says, “you should sign Matthew up for this,” I listen.  This friend and I grew up together and she, herself, was raised by a “retired” teacher (her mom decided to quit teaching when she was born).  Teaching grade-school kids runs deep in their family, so when she raves about this or that program, I run home to research, and most often-times, sign Matthew up!

So today’s outing was to get him registered for PMO for September – a program that is already full at this point for the coming school year.

Which made me ask my friend today, “when do I need to get him signed up for preschool?”

Ummmm… YESTERDAY.

We had a quick chat about the various programs in the area.  The public programs aren’t that great (and I knew this on my own) and are too rigid, not terribly warm and nurturing.  I am not a fan of the public school system HERE, but my friend is.  The fact that we both aren’t fans of the public preschool programs HERE says something!  So we discussed the private programs and there are so many to choose from, that your head could spin.

And mine did.

We want Matthew in a very particular, highly competitive public school downtown (it’s called the Downtown School – truly) or a small private school downtown.  We’ve narrowed it down to theses two particular schools and just need to sort out how to get into the Downtown School or whether we prefer the private school over that one.  Not an easy task, but we have time on that. We can’t even get on the list for the Downtown School until Matthew’s third birthday.  I’m not sure how to work through all of this when the time comes, but again – I have time.

What we don’t have time to sort out is preschool.  I’ve got the PRE-preschool things done, but what am I to do for preschool?

My friend told me of the program that she sent all of her kids to.  It sounds awesome!  Now, the one issue, which is the same issue with almost all private preschools in the area, is that there is religious education tied to the program.  We are not religious.  I think we can work around this by using it as a way to introduce religion to Matthew (I fully believe in presenting options and letting the child decide for him/herself what they want to believe, when the time comes) and get those discussions going.  The bottom line is – if we want him in private preschool, we’re looking at one of these faith-based schools and that’s about it (aside from preschools at daycares which I’m just not sure about aside from one in particular).

Or is it?

The private school (which is not religious) we’re heavily considering for kindergarten-8th grade has a preschool.  I don’t know anything about this preschool but have requested information.  We have friends who send their kids to this school (and the dad sits on the board) and they are in LOVE with the school, but he told me the other day not to waste my money on the preschool because, “it’s just preschool.”  GAH!!!!  Then there are the Montessori schools but they are crazy expensive and I truly wonder if they’re worth the money.  So – we’re likely back at faith-based preschools.

Again, I sort of like the idea of introducing the topic of religion now so that we can have educated discussions about it in our home, but how much is too much?  I went to Catholic high school (all-girls, at that!), and I LOVED the Re-Ed part of it.  LOVED it.  But that was in high school, when they focus on world religions, death and dying, the Holocaust, etc.  I pretty much think preschool is just going to focus on Jesus and Christianity.  Not necessarily what we’re going for.  We’re going for a world approach to religion in this family.

(For the record, if I could pick my religion right now and just make it so, I’d be Jewish.  Love most everything (that I know) about that faith!  I love their CULTURE and traditions.)

This particular preschool has a phenomenal curriculum and education is their focus, not religion.  This is in line with my experience with Catholic high school – education first, religion second.  I’m OK with that.  I believe that’s how it should be.

So yeah, my head is spinning.

I did sign Matthew up for the wait list for preschool for both 2014 and 2015 (depending on when we’d start him) at the church.  It doesn’t hurt to have your kid on a waiting list for one of the top programs in the area.   We will for sure get in if we decide to go with this school.  I was told that had I waited a few months, that we would not likely get in.  I think this may be a sign.  In the meantime, I’ve also requested information on the preschool at the non-religious private school that we fancy so much.  I will also look into the preschool at the one daycare that we sent Matthew to when he was a baby (the kids there impressed us immensely, as did the preschool teachers).  Either way, I think we have our bases covered for preschool.

What about kindergarten, or Pre-K, now?

Well, I also signed Matthew up for the faith-based school’s AWESOME kindergarten program that we could use as a pre-K experience for him (if we decide not to start him in traditional school (kindergarten) until he is 6 – in 2017) or a full replacement for kindergarten (if we decide to start him in first grade in 2017 at the age of 6).  From what I’m told, this half-day program is so terrific that kids coming from it are way ahead of the kids who attended full-day kindergarten at the public schools.  The kindergarten decision is a non-issue to me because it gives us the time we need, and the education and teachers to help us, to decide if he’s ready for kindergarten as a young 5 year-old, or a young 6 year-old.  I know I’ll need help making that decision and sending him to this particular school’s kindergarten program will provide me the guidance I will need to make that very difficult decision.

So here I am, with an almost 19 month-old, signing him up for pre-preschool and getting him on waiting lists for preschool and kindergarten.  Holy smokes – I’ll be signing him up for his SAT’s and ACT’s before I know it!

QUICK UPDATE!  B reminded me of a program that our friend sent her son to downtown at the Science Center.  They focus on science and hands-on learning, which is right up our alley.  We will be getting on their waitlist tomorrow!


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The Monday Snapshot – One More Christmas Present!

B has a wonderful business partner who he has actually known for 12 years now.  They worked together when B first got out of college, and she recruited him to his current company three years ago.  B loves his job immensely and we are grateful for her every day!  She is a wonderful woman with an awesome family – the type of family you want to emulate.  She and her husband (who is a nurse – do they get any nicer than that??) have two boys who are very tender-hearted.  They LOVE Matthew and Matthew loves them.  The boys (13 and 10) picked out a Christmas present for Matthew and would not allow their mom to give it to him until they could be there to watch him open it.  So this weekend, we took Matthew to watch one of the boys play in a basketball tournament (OMG Matthew LOVED watching the boys play basketball!) where he got his gift afterwards.

Those boys picked out the PERFECT gift for Matthew!  Turns out that they had one when they were his age and loved it for years – and just had to get it for Matthew.  What did I tell you?  Tender-hearted boys (even if the older one tries to act tough most the time – HA!)!  When these boys see Matthew, their faces just light up and vice versa.  It’s so special!

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This is my weekly contribution to the Monday Snapshot over at PAIL Boggers.  Check out the other cute Monday memories here!


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Appendage

I started this post on Thursday night with just a subject line, and left it in draft mode so that I wouldn’t forget to write about it.  Tonight, I must write about it.

Because I let go a little bit tonight.  I am close to tears over it.

On Thursday night, we went out for B’s company’s holiday dinner.  We got a babysitter, one we trust immensely and who Matthew loves to pieces.  She’s 40 and is the SIL of B’s coworker, the one I wrote about earlier today with the two sweet boys.  “Aunt K” has no kids of her own and is truly what any kid would dream of for an aunt.  She is involved in everything they do, she loves them like her own, and she’s taught them to respect her for the adult that she is.  I think “the boys” behave better for Aunt K than they do for their own parents sometimes.  When Aunt K offered to start watching Matthew for us so we could go out every once in a while, we jumped at it.  We know that she loves our boy as much as he loves her, and tha’s a gift.

We went out several weeks ago and Matthew had not had a good day – he didn’t nap well and then had a complete meltdown when K was watching him.  Bless her heart, she did text us and said that he was a wreck and needed us.  I like that in a sitter – one who doesn’t sugar-coat it and tells you when  you’re needed.  We rushed home as soon as we could and I could not get in the door fast enough.  I found my boy in tears – sobbing tears.

When K came over this past Thursday, I was a wreck, wondering if he’d do OK without us.  I figured the prior time was a fluke, but one never knows.  He did just fine.  I texted her as we ordered (45 minutes after sitting down, which is so irritating to a nervous mother) and said we’d be home as soon as we could.  She texted back 45 minutes later saying not to rush, that he’d gone to the garage door looking for us a few times, but was nicely distracted. That’s all I had to “hear” to rush through my meal and head home.

I told the people near us that I wanted to get home to relieve the sitter, but the truth is I just wanted to get home for my boy.  B’s coworker said to text K and ask her to put Matthew to bed, but I said, “only I can put him to bed.  Even B can’t do it.”  I didn’t say it out of disrespect for B, just out of pure fact.  Putting Matthew to bed after book time (which is B’s time) is my job, and I love it.  I honestly didn’t think that K would be able to get him to settle down.

I couldn’t stand the thought of Matthew crying and wanting us.  I told B to stay and enjoy himself, and he arranged a ride home with his coworker (K’s SIL) and her husband, but walked me out to the car.  I swear, once the doors shut, we both said that we couldn’t get home soon enough.  We played all tough for the people at the table, but both of us just wanted to be with our little boy.  (Of course, when I got home, he was just fine and having a great time with K!)

Matthew is like an appendage to me.  People keep telling me that I need a break from him, that I need to take some time for myself, etc.  But what they don’t know is that he really, REALLY is an easy kid to have around.  I take him everywhere I go, and he goes happily.  He’s my permanent buddy.  We’re best friends.  We talk all day, laugh and play, and talk some more.  I take him to his activities, and he accompanies me to mine.  Being without him would be like being without my left hand – it just wouldn’t (and doesn’t) feel right.  I’m sure some people read this and think, “get a life,” but the truth is, HE is my life right now.  He is my #1 priority.  He is my JOB.  He is my son.  He is my daily buddy.

The three of us are best friends.  Neither of us wants to be without Matthew.  I’m the lucky one in this deal who gets to spend every day with him – and I’m so grateful for that.  I can’t imagine not being with him all day long.  I can’t imagine leaving him for more than an hour or so at a time.  And as much as my friends think that I NEED to have time without him, I can honestly say that I disagree.  Sure, it’s nice to run to Target on my own, on my own schedule, once in a while, but when I do that, I’m lonely because I don’t have my little chatter box with me.  The grocery store is absolutely no fun without Matthew, and I know B would agree.  That’s something the three of us like to do as an activity on the weekends, for crying out loud.

Maybe I would feel differently if I had a high-maintenance child, but when I have a mellow, go-with-the-flow kid like Matthew, it’s just easier to take him with me than to leave him behind.  I WANT to take him with me.  I WANT him in the back of the car yelling at the busses and trucks as they go by.  I WANT him in the grocery cart asking for things like oranges and tomatoes.  I WANT him hugging me from the seat in the Target cart.

It’s no secret that I control certain aspects of our parenting.  By design, I put Matthew to sleep for every nap and every bedtime.  I tell people that I’m the only one who can do it.  Because I am.

Well… at least I thought so.

I found out tonight that B can do it too.

We read a couple final books together and at the point that B usually hands Matthew off to me, he was almost sound asleep on B’s lap.  Without talking about it, I decided right then and there to let B have this.  He deserves to have this time as well.  It’s not just mine, despite what I like to think.

I kissed my boy.  I kissed B.  I told them both that I loved them, and I slipped out of the room.

I let go a little.

And I came out here to write this post.

And I cried.