Hello friends! I’m sorry I’ve been incommunicado so long. Let’s see, what can I catch you up with? Well, our vacation is obvious, but I’ll summarize that in another posting, with lots of pics of course.
First, news about our new junior on the way. We went for our 20-week diagnostic ultrasound (standard for your healthy low-risk pregnancy) the other week. All looks good with junior – all the expected limbs and thumb sucking and activity. And as for gender? Well………. it seems that everyone (except for me) was right!
We’re having a little BOY!
(The pictures are quite clear.)
Facing head-on. Yes, they look like Skeletor at this age, because you see the eye sockets and they don’t have all that cute baby fat yet. I have a very similar picture of Aili at the same age, equally scary. And look how cute she is now! In this pic you can see his right hand is up beside his face.
The boy parts. For some reason I was far more reluctant to post pictures of Aili’s parts on this blog. Already I’m parenting them differently! This picture can be a bit confusing, but we’re looking at him from below. You can see one thigh going up towards 1.30 or so, and the other leg going out towards 9.30. In between is the ‘evidence’ sticking out. No mistaking that! The black circle is his little bladder all filled up with fetus pee.
I have to admit, that at first I was a bit disappointed that our little junior was a boy. Partly because I enjoy being a mommy to a girl so very much; partly because I don’t quite know what to do with a boy when more active, boyish tendencies come out; and also partly because I just somehow envisioned myself having two daughters, and now I have to re-shape my mental picture of my entire family forevermore. Johnny, however, is delighted. As we left the ultrasound clinic he said “I think I’m going to be able to relate to this one better.” Aili is just like her mommy – she wants to snuggle up with a book, kiss her stuffed animals, doesn’t seem to enjoy the outdoors all that much, and isn’t a terribly adventurous or active child. Suits me just fine, but I married Mr. Activity!
It really hit home for me when he wrote on his Facebook status: ‘Johnny is dreaming about doing adventure races with his son.’ It was a real kick in the rear end for me to be reminded that our family is ours, not mine, and to see that this is really the right thing for us. I’m still re-framing, but I think that our matching salt-and-pepper shaker set of a daughter and a son will be just what we need, even though I haven’t quite adjusted to it yet. I don’t think that either of us knew just how much Johnny wanted a son, and I hope that this new O will be the sporty little adventure racer he’s dreaming of.
Now I have to start the process of selling Aili’s adorable little clothes, and investing in BLUE ones! I’ve been through her stuff in the attic (boxes of it) – and found only six items that were sufficiently gender neutral. Everything else has pink, flowers, or ruffles on it. Boy, I dress her girly. Fortunately most of the big stuff (car seat, etc.) has been selected gender-neutral specifically – just in case #2 ended up being a boy!
So that’s our biggest news. We’ll soon start to convert the guest room into a new nursery soon. And yes, the walls will be blue. Was there any doubt?
Which leads to other things going on – – the house appears to be falling apart around us. The window in the guest room needs to be replaced before the nursery can be converted (for some reason that window is the only one in the house that hasn’t been done), we need to get rid of our guest bed, the hydro mast that brings power into the house through the roof is so ancient it’s rotted through and thus leaking through the roof, and after all this snowfall, the retaining walls holding up our driveway and lawn in the front yard are really showing their age with cracking and leaning. This is going to be an expensive year. I guess that’s what we get for buying an old creaky house!
The good news is that Johnny finally got a cortisone injection in his wrist, and is showing the remarkable recovery predicted by the doctor. It’s been a long a frustrating road; he hasn’t even been on a bike since last August! After 3 visits to a GP, hundreds of dollars with a physiotherapist and massage therapist, and a visit with a hand and wrist specialist, he was referred to a plastic surgeon to get a cortisone injection. After all this waiting, we were enormously disappointed to hear that the soonest appointment he could get wasn’t until MAY! Ultimately we bypassed the extremely frustrating Canadian medical system and paid a private clinic for the service. I called on Thursday afternoon, he had the shot on Saturday morning. That fast! I am further convinced that no opponent of the two-tiered system has ever been frustrated by a long, painful, and limiting injury. Not enough to end your life, but enough to substantially limit your life and activities.
Tonight, 8 days post-injection, Johnny used chopsticks without pain for the first time since August. Hooray!
Aili, as always, is our joy and delight. She continues to grow and change so quickly – although it’s the sort of change that you see more obviously if you spend a lot of time with her. When they’re teeny tinies, a few weeks can make such a difference in their size and appearance. But when they’re over a year, the changes are more subtle.
She’s becoming very proficient at walking, and the only time she falls is when she’s trying to walk one direction and watch something interesting that that’s a different direction. She’s trying to run now too. Eek! She copies almost everything I do, even though most of the time she has no idea why she’s doing it. We have to be very careful about what we do.
The most dramatic changes have been in language. She easily picks up new signs after being shown only once or twice, and sometimes quizzes me on the pictures in her books! Her signing vocabulary is limited only by my lack of knowledge. She’s also saying many more words, including:
Ba Ba (Japanese word for grandma),
… and I swear that yesterday she said “I did that” twice and today she said “Hi Katie” to her stuffed cat. I have also heard ‘yes’, ‘fish’, ‘Lee’ (instead of Leo), and she tries very hard to say ‘tree’ and ‘zipper’.
We *may* be biased, but we think she is more adorable with every passing moment. I’m glad when it’s bedtime, but then I miss her when she’s sleeping.