Monday, May 19, 2008

Swinging - In and Out, In and Out, In and Out

We've been working on pumping skills (when swinging) lately. For as physically agile and ridiculously adept as Kyle and Owen are, their swinging-pumping skills have always been surprisingly lackluster. Given that they -- for example -- walked at 10 months, could hit golf balls very hard and very far at 14 months (hard and far enough that one of Kyle's hits from the front yard broke a window in our house), were shooting hoops to a full height basket at 18 months, were riding Razor scooters (and doing tricks on them) at 24 months, were diving swan dives off the ledge of the pool (and swimming underwater the width of the pool) at 2 years 2 months, were snorkeling in the open Caribbean when they were barely 3, and are now hitting baseballs into the neighbors' yards at barely 4... (... you get the drift...)... you'd think that they could pump on a swing. But no. So lately we've been really trying to get them to grasp the whole pumping concept: in and out, in and out, in and out. Really, I think they just really like being pushed and have no motivation to learn to pump. But with a lot of coaching and a lot of coaxing, they are starting to get better at it. This weekend we saw their swinging skillz greatly improve. And I see this as a metaphor for the weekend for all of us: in and out, in and out, in and out.

Our emotions are like four pendulums, our tempers are swinging, our patience is swaying, etc. Again, you get the drift -- lots of fussing, screaming, tantruming, dropping-onto-the-floor-in-a-weeping-heap (I'm speaking both literally and figuratively for all four of us here!). But also lots of moments of sweet contentment, sheer happiness, empathy, and pulling together too. Kyle kisses my belly hundreds of times a day just at random, and tells me "Mommy, I love that baby inside there." Owen talks gently to the baby regularly trying to convince her to "get out of there." In hopes to find inspiration for tolerance, Braydon is back to re-reading our favorite parenting book of all time (the perfect owners manual for our particular twinados; OMG are our boys ever classic textbook SSpirited with a double capital 'S') -- Raising Your Spirited Child (click here). And I'm just basically using every single bit of self-control I have in me to try to remain calm amidst the storm. K & O are trying to be good for their frazzled parents (which is a lot for them, all things considered). And Braydon and I are trying to keep up with our wild high-energy pushing-pushing-pushing boys (which is a lot for us, all things considered). I feel like we're all in and out, in and out, in and out. And not usually swinging in coordination with one another. But we're dealing. And trying to pass the time. What else are we supposed to do?

The truth is, this is nothing compared to the waiting that we went through (all four of us) during our adoption. Nothing, absolutely nothing, compares to that. This just pales in comparison. Pales. I think about that constantly. I can't really speak for what K & O must have gone through (I hate to even let myself think about what those first eight months of life were like for them). So I'll only speak for myself here. But I can confidently say: I'd take the in-and-out, in-and-out, in-and-out emotional rollercoaster of physical discomfort, aches and pains, feeling like a beached whale, hard-to-sleep, everyone-on-the-edge-of-their-seat, trying-to-pass-time, 4-days-passed-the-due-date, weirdness of this melodrama over the in-and-out, in-and-out, in-and-out emotional rollercoaster of a literal ticking-clock, life-or-death, tiny-babies-barely-surviving-in-a-Haitian-orphanage, no-end-in-sight, sleepless nights melodrama of our Haitian adoption process any day of the week. Seriously. I'm sorry if that offends anyone out there who just doesn't get it. But it is the honest to God truth. After having gone through what we went through (and knowing the stories of so many others who have gone through much worse), I have a hard time complaining about this. It is all relative. So, at the end of the day (or the end of a very loooong past-due-date weekend, as the case may be), and at the end of this pregnancy (hopefully the end!!!!!!!!!!!) I really can't bear to complain. It just feels foolish to me -- the idea of complaining about something so relatively easy. Yes, being 9 months + 4 days pregnant kind of sucks. Yes, I'm ready to be done with this. Yes, I kind of want to spend the entire day napping. Yes, I kind of wish someone would devote themselves to catering to my every whim for the remainder of this baby-countdown. But it really isn't that bad. In comparison... it really, really isn't. And so we just keep swinging.

Here are some random (very random!) shots from the weekend. Our good camera is packed for the hospital, so we just have our old camera out -- and our photo taking has been sporadic, at best.

In other news -- interestingly, June was back with us pretty much full-time this weekend. (For those of you who don't know about K & O's imaginary friend click here for one of many posts where we have written about her.) Here are some fun facts that I've learned about June these past couple of days:

  • June's bike is black
  • June's raincoat is gray
  • June's rainboots are blue and green
  • When June "has a pee pee accident in the night" (i.e., wets her bed) she "cleans herself up all by herself"
  • When June goes out to lunch with us she always orders macaroni and cheese, if at all possible
  • When June goes out to lunch with us at California Tortilla (where mac 'n cheese is not possible) she chooses an Oatmeal Raisin cookie over a brownie for dessert after she finishes her burrito (just like K & O)
  • June has her own bedroom -- it is between Kyle and Owen's bedrooms
  • June has a peace crane hanging from the ceiling in her bedroom -- just like K & O do
  • June is not good at pumping
  • June is not K & O's sister
  • June is not going to be allowed to hold Baby Sister (she'll have her own baby)
  • June's age is variable depending on what we (or she) is doing at any given moment -- sometimes she's 4, sometimes 10, sometimes (often) she's 35 or 36. And every once in a while, June is "tweety" years old (see below)
  • June does not know how to snap, but she is trying to learn (see below)

And here's some more recent random info from our neck of the woods -- The Latest Re: K & O Twinspeak (click here for another post on this topic)

  • "Tweety" (not to be mistaken for the word 'twenty' -- how dare you!!!!!) is a number. This number is 100% made up by K & O and does not resemble any other number known to humankind, and yet is used in their language many times every day. From what I can gather, it means 'many' or 'a lot' or 'a high number' or 'infinite.' But, importantly, it is also fluid (i.e., it is not a fixed number and can fluctuate depending on the circumstance). It is not interchanged with any other word and does not replace any real number. Examples --there are tweety caterpillars swarming around in the nest in the tree in the front yard; the ocean has tweety fish in it; a car driving too fast is driving tweety [mph] on the road; David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez (red sox) can hit the baseball tweety far; Tiger Woods can hit the golfball tweety; a very old man might be tweety years old; sometimes June is tweety years old (when she gets to do something that K & O are not allowed to do, such as cook by herself on the hot stove); K & O are so hungry that they want to eat tweety cheese; Papi is so funny that he is tweety funny; and my favorite... K & O "love Mommy tweety times around."
  • "Snap!" is a remark. Owen can snap his fingers to make a loud snap sound. Kyle cannot. Snapping has become a big thing around here. The word "snap" is now part of K & O's twinspeak. To say "snap!" while motioning a snap motion with their fingers in someone's face (sound or not), indicates something along the lines of either 'awesome! you're totally cool! hip hip hooray!' or 'bummer! you're a total drag! boo to you!' Examples -- I say, "I have an idea! Let's go play outside!" and I get two quick loud punctuated verbal "SNAP!"'s along with both boys jumping up and doing the snapping hand motion fast and furious in my face as they run toward the door; I say, "No, we're going to eat dinner soon, you cannot have any cheese!" and I get two quick loud punctuated verbal "SNAP!"'s along with both boys jumping up and doing the snapping hand motion fast and furious in my face as they give me the hairy eyeball and saunter off to the playroom; Kyle does something rude to Owen and he gets the "SNAP!" in response; Owen suggests some fun pretend game to Kyle and he gets the "SNAP!" in response; sometimes they'll be chattering together in the backseat of the car and suddenly they'll both do the "SNAP!" at the same time (in the midst of talking about something super cool or something that they think is a super downer).

O.k., that's it for today. Blogging can now officially be counted as one of my "things to do to pass time waiting for baby"!!! We know that many of you are checking in here for updates -- 697 of you yesterday, to be exact. We feel very checked-in-after, and I've gotta say-- it feels good! Thank you! Don't fret -- we'll keep you updated! ;)


Beverly said...

I understand although I have not ever given birth but as I see it, you have this baby with you and your boys were not under your control or care for 8 months. That is much harder. This baby can be seen in an unltra sound and you know once she arrives she is here. I hope for the boys sake she makes her appearance soon although I think she may be really delayed in doing things herself since she will have her brothers to dote on her the rest of her life, LOL!!


Amanda said...

Fun update :~) Hoping this is the week for you! Or should I rephrase? Hope this is the DAY! :~)

Mark and Sarah said...

Heather, first--you are a trooper! Hang in there. I'm hoping for baby sister's grand entrance tonight. Hoping! Second, I just love your boys. Of course, I've never met them, but your writing about them makes them seem so known. Tweety and SNAP are great...they are so creative. My boys are 18 months and 3 months, and I can't wait until they babble to one another and make up their own "brother speak." Thanks for posting...we love reading your blog.

Mom to 3 said...

I totally get it.

It totally sucks to go past the due date- my first child was a week late! It is incredibly uncomfortable. Not to mention all of the phone calls and comments from people "Haven't you had that baby yet?" certainly don't help.

That said, it really is a minor inconvenience compared to what millions of women the world over go through during their pregnancies--lacking proper nutrition, prenatal and postnatal medical care etc.

It must have been so hard for you to know that your babies were lacking so much in Haiti and you couldn't help them.

Thank goodness that they are with you now and that baby sister will be here soon as well.

Looking forward to the big announcement!

Anonymous said...

No worries... "pumping" is a developmentally 5 year old skill. Kindergarteners can't do it one day and "SNAP!" can do it the next. Enjoy the "Push Me" highers while you can!

Anonymous said...

No worries... "pumping" is a developmentally 5 year old skill. Kindergarteners can't do it one day and "SNAP!" can do it the next. Enjoy the "Push Me" highers while you can!

Anonymous said...

One of the 697 who checked in on you...probably more than once! Wishing you the best and wanting to say you really do look amazing for being 'over-due'. You're an amazing woman and mother!

Can't wait to hear her name....
South Dakota

Amy said...

As someone who has given birth twice (and the oldest is going to college in the fall!!?!) and who is 32+ months in the adoption process and he is not home yet, I totally "get" your post. I loved the post. I love the twin speak stuff. Try to enjoy your time with just you, Braydon, and the boys. You definitely have a better idea of when your baby might get here (week or so at the most) than I have of when our son might get here (our file was declared "lost" and is being re-done). What is the doc saying? For your sake I hope it happens soon with no problems. Hang in there.

Wendy Huning said...

I think it is so wonderful how you have one foot in the adoption experience, and one foot in the having-a-biological-baby experience. It is so refreshing to hear how an expectant mother can put her ailments and waiting into perspective, compared to other kinds of ailments and waiting...after being matched with a child in Africa, falling in love with her and waiting for one year, we learned that we won't be able to adopt her. This kind of "miscarriage of the heart" is a level of suffering which I'd never experienced, much worse than the physical miscarriage I've also experienced.
Thanks, Heather, for giving us some perspective. And best wishes for the imminent birth of Baby Sister!