Notes To My Beans

The day to day tales of my life with the beans


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Emotions

This morning I found myself a little overcome with emotions and I can’t explain why.

As I was waiting to board my ferry, I noticed a mother wrestling with her crying toddler trying to get him to walk with her to the ferry, which was leaving in a matter of seconds. And of course the kid wanted nothing to do with it.

I felt so overcome with sadness and then I saw he lost a shoe and it almost made me want to cry. Luckily someone found his shoe and returned it to the mother.

Now, I’m not sure why I felt so sad. I’m not exactly an empathetic person. I could easily blame the pregnancy hormones and maybe they did have a little too do with it. But I think even without the added hormones, I’d still feel the tugging of the heart strings for that mom.

You never think that 10 seconds scene is something you’ll go through when you’re dreaming about being a parent, but I know it’s something we’ve been through numerous times. And I can’t help but feel sorry for everyone involved. Just this morning, we went through a similar scene trying to get the bean dressed to go to grandma’s.

And then I become overwhelmed with emotion because I remember the bean. And I think about how much I miss him.

And then the little one growing inside me starts rolling around, trying to tell me that it doesn’t like being squished in my non maternity pants. And I realize that I’ll miss him too when I drop him off at grandma’s.

Maybe the woman and the crying toddler reminded me how much it sucks to be a working parent. It’s useless to complain about too much because it’s a reality that our family has to face.

But it doesn’t mean I can’t be sad about it every once in a while.

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Week 5: Good Times

Weight: 114lbs
Symptoms: Tender boobies, acute sense of smell, minor cramping
Attitude: Awesome!

It’s the start of my fifth week and I don’t think the news has really sunk in. Although I will say I’m much less paranoid about possibly miscarrying this pregnancy than I was with the bean. I guess that’s what happens with your second, even if it takes much more drastic measures to get that way.

Right now I’m blaming the tiredness on the horrible sleep schedule that the bean is keeping. Essentially, one of us needs to stay is his room while he falls asleep. And then when he wakes up 2 hours later, once the binky has fallen out of his mouth, we go into his room, give him his binky and fall asleep on a  air mattress we have set up in his room. And then we wake up every 3 hours when he inevitably starts looking for his binky. There’s more to the story but I’ll write it up another day.

So what was the point … oh yea. I distinctly remember the first tri sleepies with the bean but I think that will kick in at the 8 week mark. Taking naps before bedtime is great but near impossible with a toddler hanging around. Not looking forward to it.

My pants are starting to get a little more snug. If my sister’s second pregnancy was any indication of what I’ll go through, I’ll also be reaching for the maternity pants around the 8 week mark. That I don’t mind so much, cause they really are quite comfy!

At this point, my parents and sister know. I also mentioned it to a friend who knew we were going through IVF.

This week I go back to the doctor’s for my first ultrasound. I know I won’t see much more than a gestational sac, but I’m excited nonetheless. The only downside is that papaBeaner won’t be with me since he has to watch the bean during morning monitoring hours. I’m contemplating asking the doctor if I can videotape the ultrasound but I’m not sure there’s a point in asking for this week since there won’t be a heartbeat.

So … so far, so good!


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Shedding woes

As a full time working mom, you tend to feel guilty using the weekends for personal errands rather than spending time with your kids. So much so, that you sacrifice certain tasks that were once quite regular.

This has been my MO with haircuts. I’ve always had long hair, but I would get it cut every 4 months. Ever since I had the bean, over 20 months ago, I’ve had it cut a whopping two times. However, it might be time.

Lately the bean has taken to picking up long strainds of my hair and calling them “mommy”. It’s both amusing, but kinda gross. Or maybe it’s all gross.

Either way, I desperately need to make an appointment at the salon.


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Hair Today, Hear Tomorrow

We truly dread the moment the bean’s hair starts to creep down towards his eyes. The fact that we let it get so long before we do anything about it should be an indication of how much we hate getting his hair cut. It’s a traumatic experience for everyone involved and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

We took him to get his hair cut for the first time shortly after he turned 11 months. We brought him to a place that specializes in hair cuts for children – special toddler chairs in the shape of airplanes, cars and trains all with TV screens in front of them. What’s not to love!?! But the bean wasn’t having any of it. At that age, you chalk up his screaming and crying to first time jitters. The lady who cut his hair didn’t try to appease him in any way, although she did call over help to try to distract him but it didn’t work. But gosh darnit, he looked super cute after that first haircut.

3 months later, he was overdue for a haircut. We opted to go to a different children’s place to get it cut, but it was no better. Crying, screaming, head jerking at really inappropriate times … ugh. I don’t remember much about the stylist’s interaction with the bean but that’s probably because I was too busy trying to hold his arms down while simultaneously holding his head still. In the end, it wasn’t great, which I attributed to the new place. It was super short on the sides and too long on top. And then a week or two, once it had started to grow out, you could tell it was uneven and choppy. I decided we weren’t coming back here, not only because of the bad haircut but also because they only take cash.

Another 2 months later, we took him back to the original place. At this point, not only was his hair over his eyes and ears, but he had developed a really crazy cowlick in the back of his head. Everyone said that he looked so cute with his crazy hair but I don’t think any kid at any age (or any adult for that matter) wants to be known as the one with the crazy hair. The same woman who cut his hair the first time cut it again. She had suggested to keep his hair long so that the cowlick eventually gets weighted down and stops sticking up. papaBeaner was not too happy with this decision (he wanted to buzz him) but since he didn’t speak up, I decided to side with the stylist. Out came the scissors and down fell the tears. It was quick though and she definitely rushed it. You can’t blame her – nobody likes having someone scream in their face for too long. But I’m not sure if she was done or if she had just given up. It wasn’t the most flattering hairstyle. The front was uneven — she was attempting to layer it but since his hair is so fine, you could clearly see there were chunks that were shorter than others. And her trimming around his ears resembled Moe, from the Three Stooges. Plus, since his cowlick went untouched, it was just as crazy and wacky as the rest of his hair. papaBeaner was not too happy with the outcome, but at least he agreed that there was no way the bean was going to sit still enough to have his head buzzed without him losing a substantial amount of blood.

This brings us to this weekend, 3 months after his last haircut. This time papaBeaner was on board with keeping his hair long and to just get a trim. We got to the salon a little early and there were 3 little boys getting their hair cut – 2 of which were younger than him. And of course all of them were perfectly behaved. This made us even more nervous and rightfully so. He had the same woman, with the same reaction and the same outcome. We tried bribing him with TV, snacks and bubbles but he wasn’t having any of it.

I hate putting him through that much stress but seriously, it’s a hair cut! It’s not that big a deal and unfortunately since the bean is a boy, he’s going to have to get it cut quite frequently! But I don’t know how to get this message through to him. I mean, he’s only 19 months old and he has an acute fear of strangers. He has the same reaction to a strange touching him that I would if a spider fell on me – major freak-out. I guess the good news is that he has a better chance of out growing his fear of strangers and hair cuts than I have of out growing my phobias (but seriously, spiders are super creepy).

We’ve already decided that next time, which should be in another 2 months, we will attempt to trim his hair on our own. At least we’ll save the stylist’s eardrums although I’m not sure if the neighbors will appreciate it. Maybe if we have him watch a lot of videos of little boys getting their hair cut before we actually do the deed it will help him understand what’s going to happen. Although most likely it won’t make a difference either way.


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Thumbs Up: Melissa & Doug Large Shapes Jumbo Puzzle

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When the bean was being evaluated for Early Intervention, one of the tasks that he didn’t do so well at was the shape sorter. He owns two buckets of shapes, but he was always too clever, and he would take off the top and put the shapes in the big hole, instead of the specific shaped hole. And he also had puzzles but he would dump out the shapes and then run away when we would show him how to twist the shapes to have them fit in the hole.

So, to work on this fine motor skill, I bought him the Melissa & Doug Large Shapes Jumbo puzzle for Christmas. I’m not even sure where I heard about this from but it’s seriously great. The large knobs make it easy to hold and twist to fit in the proper holes. The bean loves it — I think it’s because he likes to know that he can do something. Once he finished the entire puzzle on his own, he kept doing it over and over again. And then he moved on to the other two puzzles.

Although he still routinely takes the top off his shape sorter and stuff the shapes through the top. Clever boy.


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Proud Mommy

The bean actually said “mommy” this weekend and my heart immediately burst from joy.

He’s been saying “mama” for a while but that’s not my name; that’s grandma’s name. Even if you ask him to say “grandma,” he says “mama”. But this weekend, as we were going through a roll-call of family members, he said “mommy.”

Now, he’s known for a while that I’m mommy — he’ll come to me whenever someone asks him “where’s mommy”. But now, when you ask him “where’s mommy,” he points to me and says “mommy.”

He’s not yet at the point where he says “mommy” unprovoked, but I’m sure that’s coming. He’s already gotten to that point with papaBeaner. This weekend, he hopped off my lap after post-wake-up snuggles, grabbed my hand, lead me to our bedroom door, pointed at the doorknob and asked for “dada”. That was a pretty awesome moment too.


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Early bird

The bean has always been an early bird although sometimes I think we may have turned him into one.

Generally speaking, our morning routine consists of waking him up at 6:40am, changing his diapers and lately his clothes (I use to bring him to grandma’s in his pjs but lately he’s been leaking in his nighttime diaper), leaving our home around 6:50am all so I can get to work before 8:30am. More often then not, he’s already awake by 6:30am on weekdays. Maybe once a week I’ll have to wake him up (a parent’s gotta do what a parent’s gotta do) but after a minute of crankiness, and once his binky is in place, he’s usually chipper and ready to start the day.

This works out great, except for a few scenarios:

1. Weekends Unless we have something planned, we let the bean sleep as long as he wants to on the weekends. Of course, he rarely sleeps pass his usual 6:30am wake-up time. This isn’t that big of a problem since I’m also an early bird. But unlike the bean, I like to take my time getting out of bed in the morning, especially in the winter — it’s dark and cold out there! I try to have him stir himself back to sleep, but he usually doesn’t and after 20 minutes or so he’ll start talking to himself and standing in his crib. I could leave him in there but it’s too cute to not rush into his room and hug him. Plus, I know that it’s only a matter of minutes before everything escalates and he starts crying and I don’t like to wait until he’s crying to pull him out of his crib.

2. Late nights It seems that the later the bean goes to bed, the earlier he wakes up. On a normal day, we try to put the bean in his crib by 8pm. On the occasional night when we have a party, he may not get to bed until 10pm (or, in the case of Christmas and New Years Eve, at 1am). Call us bad parents for not rushing back home to get the bean in his crib by his appointed bedtime but these times are few and far between so we’re okay with it. These days, he rarely falls asleep in the car (most drives home are only 10 minutes long) which is good because when he does and we put him down in his crib without him waking up, he usually wakes up multiple times in the night crying. When we get home and he’s still awake, we still do a modified bedtime to signal to him that it’s time to go to sleep, so then he’s awake for an extra 15 minutes.

After he goes in his crib, his wake up pattern is one of two thing: he will either wake up at 8am, so he gets his usual 10 hours of sleep a night, or (as is the case on Christmas and New Years Eve) he will wake up at 5:30am over-tired and angry at the world, or more specifically, angry at me and papaBeaner. And because we have to get out of bed early to tend to a cranky bean, we’re not happy parents. It’s a miserable time for all, until the bean’s morning nap.

3. Bad nights These are usually the night when we put him to bed still sleeping, or he’s teething, or he’s congested or the wind is blowing east to west and not north to south (which is to say, it’s pretty unpredictable when we have one of these nights). He’ll wake up multiple times during the night and start crying. Best case scenario is that he’ll only cry for 10 seconds and then go back to sleep. Worse case scenario is that he cries so much that you can hear him even after I’ve shut off the sound on the monitor. This usually wakes up papaBeaner and we spend a half hour watching him through the monitor, convincing each other that it would be a bad idea to go into his room and rock him back to sleep (we’re CIO people — judge away).

Again, these are times when he’ll wake up cranky and be in a fowl mood until his morning nap and one of the few times where I need coffee in the morning.

4. Early mornings Sometimes the bean likes to switch it up and wake up at 5:30am. And I don’t mean he’s stirring. I mean, he’s babbling and standing up in his crib. And I can’t resist that. But these’s mornings aren’t so bad because he’s chipper. These mornings we’ll stay in his room and play for a while until we decide that papaBeaner’s missing all the fun and go into our bedroom to wake him up.

I get very jealous when my sister tells me her girls slept-in until 10am. Although, I feel like her girls have always been able to sleep in and the fact that the bean doesn’t sleep pass 8am makes me think that he’ll never be one of those kids that will sleep in when he’s older. Sleep is a funny thing. When you’re entitled to sleep the day away, you don’t. And when you want to, you can’t. By the time he’s a hormonal teenager, he’ll be sleeping until noon. But I can definitely wait a little longer before those days are upon us. Until then, there’s always caffeine.