Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Post-Christmas Post

Well, Christmas is over.  And it's just as well.  Months of planning and anticipation and in a week, it's all done.  Here is a photo that captures the magic.

I like the way my (extended and nuclear) family handles Christmas.  It makes it lower stress.  We tried going to 3 different places on Christmas Day once, and I swore never again.  So, a week before Christmas, we went to my aunt's house to do Christmas with my mom's family.  It was  nice and low-key, and because it was on Saturday, we could stay until a normal, decent adult hour.  However, because it was a week before Christmas, I had to get some baking done by then and I had to have some gifts purchased and wrapped, but spreading the deadlines out actually helps.  The kids received a few nice gifts that day and really got a chance to enjoy them before the rest of the onslaught began.

Thursday was our nanny's last day of work before the holiday, so that was the day the kids gave her their gifts and she had brought a sack full of things for them too.  So, they had those gifts to enjoy fully before more items arrived.  The children displayed approrpriate amounts of gratitude and thanks at all gifts received (though there was a close call with some clothes).

Mr. Long-Suffering and I both had Friday off of work, and it was nice.  I mean, just lovely.  I got a visit from a friend from the old neighborhood (someone who can keep me honest and remembers when I used to rat my bangs).  I prepped Christmas Eve brunch, finished up some more cookies, and we finished wrapping presents.  I do not think I left our house the entire day.  Perfection.

Saturday was Christmas Eve, and I hold a brunch on Christmas Eve morning.  This started after the year I swore "never again".  We realized that we would not see my mother over Christmas if we didn't come up with something else, so brunch was born.  Originally, it was just going to be us and my mom and her husband.  However, my husband invited his parents one year, so I invited my dad.  All in all, it was brunch for 10, and it was perfection.  My dining room table holds 10 in a cozy, cramped, family fashion, so it was just nice.  The food was good - though we did realize it's mostly me who drinks the mimosas since most of the champagne was left.  On Christmas Eve morning, we exchange gifts with my mom and the kids get to open the gifts that people we don't see sent to us (like my sister, some out-of-town friends, etc).  Again, the kids got a chance to enjoy their gifts before being made to go somewhere else.  This arrangement even ensured that both Bobo and I got to have naps.

Christmas Eve dinner has always, always been spent with my dad.  And when he was a boy, Christmas Eve was the bigger holiday in their family, so that is what we do.  We have Christmas Eve with my dad and his family.  It was just us and them (and I prefer the intimate gatherings and low-key celebrations).  We had a lovely dinner of lasagna (and we have always had lasagna as long as I can remember from way back when my father's mother was the one making dinner) and cookies for dessert.  I lounged on the couch and in a chair and did not lift a finger.  People served me food and waited on me.  Again, completely lovely.

We got home at my bedtime, I put the cookies and milk out for Santa and directed Mr. Long-Suffering on where to find the gifts that needed to be relocated under the tree, but I went to bed (crying because none of my pajamas fit and it wouldn't be until the morning when I would get new this, I told him that I obviously needed to go to bed because anyone who would cry over pajamas is obviously overtired).

I woke repeatedly through the night.  Elves?  Santa?  Chills, urgent trips to the bathroom, back ache, diarrhea, more, not chilled... too hot...I stripped off the sweat pants I wore to bed.  Eventually, I fell asleep and the didn't get up until about 8 (which is crazy, ridiculous late).  Chuckles was up a bit after 7, looked down the stairs and told us all about what wonders he saw, but we made him wait for Bobo. 

When Bobo got up, I took my sorry self (now wearing pants) down to the living room and plopped on the couch.  We did stockings, presents, and had brunch leftovers.  I stayed on the couch and put batteries in things.  Eventually, it was time to head out to my in-laws' house.  I got myself dressed, made Mr. Long-Suffering pack up the food and gifts and load the car and get the kids dressed.  We all got in the car and I said, I think you ought to swing by the hospital and drop me off for monitoring.  Take the kids to your parents' so they can get some lunch and see their cousins, then come back and get me (it's all very close so this wasn't a crazy request). 

So, I sauntered into the ER on Christmas morning (I had actually phoned the on-call doctor in advance so L&D would know I was coming).  I was whisked away in a wheel chair by a man named Joseph.  I was given a bracelet and two fancy belts to wear (and a gown!).  I propped myself up in the bed with cable TV and started watching "A Christmas Story".  This is when things started to go...not the way I had planned.  I figured they'd hook me up to a monitor for an hour, then let me go. 

Well, the on-call doctor wanted an hour of monitoring, an internal exam, and a fetal fibronectin test.  Mr. Long-Suffering returned (and hadn't dropped off the food, the gifts, the diaper bag or anything except the children).  The nurse did the fetal fibronectin test which is a swab that has to sit in the nether regions for 60 seconds and then gets removed.  It was one of the most pleasant (least unpleasant) tests I ever had performed down there.  The internal exam however was awful.  If there is ever a next time, I am going to request someone other than Stubby perform the test.  I want a former piano player with long, slender fingers. 

I continued to be monitored.  The monitoring is rather neat.  There are two belts and three lines on the chart.  The top line was the baby's heart rate, the middle was some kind of fetal movemement monitor (which in this case just showed a solid black line the whole time because Muse is a bit of a hyper wrestler) and the bottom line in a uterine activity monitor (contraction monitor).  The bottom line was up, it was down, it was spikey and in a sine wave.  It was all over the place.  There was no pattern and no rhyme (and certainly no reason). 

The hour of strips from the monitors were sent to the on-call doctor (whom I had never met).  The results of the tests were sent to her as well.  It turns out my fetal fibronectin was positive.  Negative is super awesome and means there is a statistically insignificant chance of pre-term labor in the next two weeks...positive doesn't tell you anything...could be today...could be 3 months from now.  From my internal exam, my cervix was soft and dilated a fingertip.  That's not bad, but hard and closed completely would have been better.  And now I was bleeding (thanks, Stubby!). 

So, the on-call doctor ordered blood work, IV fluids, a urine culture, and a diagnostic ultrasound.  If I thought the guy at the perinatalogy practice who didn't give me a guided tour of my uterus was bad, this was worse.  During diagnostic ultrasounds, you aren't even allowed to look at the screen and Mr. Long-Suffering couldn't come with me (so he watched A Christmas Story instead).    The ultrasound tech apologized about that, but said because of the kinds of work they are doing, he couldn't tell me anything and wasn't allowed to let me look.  But he did say he thought I'd still make it to a late Christmas dinner.

It took the IV team two tries to get an IV in (and I have lovely veins, I swear...I donate blood without missing a beat).  Everyone accused me of being dehydrated.  This is not my first redeo.  Of course, I had been drinking water and laying on my left side for almost a day by this point. The blood draw was fine, but I noticed my arm still wasn't healed from the one-hour glucose screening I had on Thursday (whose results I still haven't heard). 

The blood work came back unremarkable, the urine culture takes time but I could see that I clearly was not dehydrated (which was everyone's main concern), and the ultrasound showed my cervix was >4cm, but I was still contracting-ish on the monitor.  So, I was staying the night.

At this point, I started to cry.  Just a little.  Because really, spending Christmas night in the hospital by yourself is pretty sad.  I texted my friend, texted my sister, called my mom (who is not a comforting and reassuring presence in times of stress but once my sister knew, I had to tell my mom) who freaked out not helping me at all, and I sent Mr. Long-Suffering to go have Christmas dinner because his parents were making the kids wait until we got there to open their presents.  I got to have chicken piccata, peas, and cheesecake on a hospital tray.  The nurses did bring me pudding and Lorna Doone cookies, though (let's hope the GD screening was clear).

My sister-in-law texted me photos of the kids opening each gift and of my husband opening his.  My sister texted me pictures of my niece trying on all her new clothes in a fashion show plus pictures of food and fun.  My best friend joked with me that I would do anything to get out of going to the in-laws'.   My mom called and fretted.  I watched more of A Christmas Story (it was on again and again and again). 

The on-call doctor showed up.  She is genetics perfection.  Apparently she is smart since she made it through med school, she was gorgeous - young, great hair, had been a cheerleader in high school in Texas (I was now watching the Bears-Packers game so it was relevant).   She is the reason other women sometimes feel inadequate.  I asked about steroids (betamethasone) for lung development.  She said that everything looked OK, but since I wasn't her patient and my strips still didn't look great, I would be here overnight and my own regular doctor could deal with it in the morning.  She was very honest about it.  She said that right now, I wasn't a candidate for the steroids.  I had never heard anything bad about them and wasn't sure why they wouldn't be used, but she said that they lower my immune function and since they thought I had a touch of something, that would be bad, and they can cause pulmonary edema in the mother.   All-in-all not warranted yet.

The overnight was fairly uneventful.  My blood pressure was 89/47, which is typical for me and I assured them of that.  My IV continued to drip at the slowest rate known to man.  It was a series of minor inconveniences that just made me irritable.  By morning, I had gotten some sleep, but the contraction monitor was showing regular contractions a minute apart.  The nurse was very concerned.  She mentioned tocolytic drugs to stop contractions.  She headed out to call my regular doctor.  Nothing happened for a while.  My mother-in-law and mother descended upon my house like a welcome plague, and Mr. Long-Suffering came back to the hospital bearing my stocking which had facial wipes, a toothbrush, hand lotion, and chap stick...all the things I wanted.  My stocking was hung from the IV pole with care in hopes that soon I wouldn't be there. 

My doctor showed up.  He said I was not in pre-term labor, and he was surprised to see me in the hospital since I am usually so level-headed about these things.  Mr. Long-Suffering didn't like the sound of that and defended, "You can imagine how bad she felt if she thought she needed to come in."  They both nodded and agreed.  My doctor said that even with all the activity on the monitor, my cervix is over 4 cm and there is almost no chance of pre-term labor when the cervix is longer than 3 cm, so I am good.  He said as soon as the crampy feeling ended, I was free to go home.  I felt like crap and basically said so.  I was kept until I was able to say I felt good enough to go home.  I was also told that if I feel this bad again, it is OK for me to come back and be monitored again (don't think I'll ever want to do that again since this turned into some kind of 30 hour ordeal).  I ate lunch, took a nap, and got discharged just as soon as the lady three rooms down pushed out her baby and the nurses could get back to me.  (Did you know that people cheer when you have a baby?  I had no idea there would be applause.  Every time I have had a baby, the people looked grave and worried.)

So, I went home, people fixed me dinner, and I sat on the couch.  I called off work the next day (well, I worked from home since I was supposed to be 4 people this week) and took a 2+ hour nap.  Another guy asked if I could cover for him Thursday and Friday.  I said, "No."  I felt really good about putting boundaries in place and not taking on any more work until...not 5 minutes after I said no, the announcement came out from the secretaries that the father of that man had passed away on Christmas Eve and Thursday and Friday were the services.  I called him today and told him I would do what I could (since there is no one else), and if not, it would just have to wait until we were all back.  Today is Wednesday, I think.  I came to work for a bit today since there were some papers I needed to consult and didn't have them at home.  I was released from the hospital without any restrictions, so I can work as I feel able (I am still sick apparently).

So, that was Christmas.  It wasn't how I had planned on it going, but it will be a memorable one.  I'm glad it's over.  I'm ready to take down the tree and burn it, but alas, it's artificial, and I am not taking on any lifting or organizing projects this week. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I forgot Number 11

This should have been front-and-center in my last post.   It is such giant, important, earth-shattering news, I cannot believe I forgot to mention it.

Houston, we have a loose tooth.

Chuckles has been claiming loose teeth since the beginning of kindergarten as kids in his class were dropping teeth left and right.  I assured him the average age of losing the first tooth was 6.5 and that he was doing just fine.  And yet he'd still make me try to wiggle things that weren't even the slightest bit wiggly. 

So, when he told me he had a loose tooth Monday morning, I was skeptical, but I dutifully stuck my index finger in his mouth and poked at his bottom, front tooth.  And it moved.  Ewwww. 

I was so proud and sad.  My kid is losing his BABY teeth.  That means he's not a baby anymore.  Why I would be proud, I have no idea because even naughty, disrespectful kids lose their baby teeth, but that's what I was.

I assured Chuckles that Santa and the Tooth Fairy are old friends, and if they both have to visit our house Saturday night, that would be fine (they might even enjoy catching up and the Tooth Fairy will remind Santa to brush after a night of cookie-eating). 

I went to work and told all my coworkers about my discovery, and then asked them what the tooth fairy was paying these days.  We've settled on a $2 bill for the first tooth and a Sacajewa dollar coin (if available) for each additional tooth.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Three things (that might turn into more things as I get going)

  1. I told you about the MaterniT21 test that looks for fetal DNA in the mother's blood to determine whether there is a Trisomy (13, 18, or 21) or even cycstic fibrosis, yes?  Good.  Well, did you know that if you google it (as of last Thursday), the first 5 or so links are to Pro-Life websites?  I have nothing against Pro-Life people, though I profoundly disagree with their opinion and often their tactics, but this is ridiculous.  Seriously?  I mean, it's a test.  It gives you information.  To say that people shouldn't get the test or that it should be illegal is ridiculous.  I want the test.  I want the test enough that I faxed my ob 42 pages of journal articles about it because he was having trouble sorting through the bing results (which were even more heavily Pro-Life than the google results).  And you know what Pro-Life people?  Pretty much no matter what the results of that test, I am not terminating.  So there.  Nyah.  You ought to trust women to make sound medical decisions in the best interests of their families.  The End.  And nyah.
  2. The same technology that can allow you to test for fetal abnormalities can also be used to determine fetal sex and fetal paternity (very early...maybe 8 weeks or so).  So, I can see that there are times and places when the technology might be abused.  And you know what?  I still don't think that the test should be supressed.
  3. I watched football on Sunday (since I pretty much put myself on couch rest this Sunday on the advice of my favorite midwife who told me Saturday that what I was experiencing at a family Christmas party did not sound like typical Braxton Hicks contractions, and maybe I ought to slow it down).  Chuckles often talks about how when he grows up, he wants to be a Green Bay Packer (much to my disappointment because We Are Bear Fans and Packers are our arch-enemy).  But, I did tell him that I would root for the Packers if he were one (and that was about the only way I would).  Anyway, during this Sunday's Bears' game, Johnny Knox got bent in half backward where the hinge was his spine.  I am glad he lived, and I cannot believe he isn't going to be paralyzed after that, but I did tell Chuckles that maybe he might like to be a dentist or a test pilot instead of a football player.
  4. I told someone that I would be proud if my son joined the Air Force (or the Navy, Coast Guard, or Marines but not so much the Army).  This person was shocked that I find a career of military service to be something to honor.  Well, it is. 
  5. I did end up making some cookies from scratch and I made some toffee and Turtles, too.  But I am taking it easy now so I might only make two more batches this week.
  6. I am hosting brunch on Saturday (Christmas Eve) morning for the grandparents.  We're having mimosas, coffee, egg nog, French Toast casserole, two kinds of quiche but both will have bacon, fruit, and a chocolate Kringle.
  7. I haven't started wrapping presents and am seriously considering asking my husband to do it, but I do like him to be surprised on Christmas morning when he sees what he got for me and the children.
  8. In my little corner of blogs I have ben reading since back when we called the internet The World Wide Web, there is a little mini-baby boom going on (of second and third babies).  I'd like to state for the record that I am the farthest along and, hence, can be considered a trendsetter.
  9. I'd like to end with some photos. Remember my first market price lobster? Here it is.  I will call him Grabby. 

  10. And this picture is my three men looking out the window at the airport watching the ground crew paint lines.
Lastly, 11 years ago, for Christmas 2000, I purchased Mr. Long-Suffering his first digital camera.  I didn't know anything about them, and he didn't know he wanted one (and I wanted to know why the camera didn't take normal discs and what kind of racket were they running making me buy some other "non-standard" kind of memory cards?).  Anyway, here is a photo of me from that Christmas.  I am showing off my new diamond earrings that I got that Christmas, but all I keep noticing is how nicely maintained my eyebrows were back then.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Let's Have Some Fun on the Internet

I started online shopping in 1998.  At Christmas.  To buy my dad a calendar.  I bought his yearly calendar every year from Barnes & Noble until Amazon started carrying that calendar a few years ago.

My shopping history with amazon goes back to 2003 (which I just viewed since amazon keeps your buying history).  In 2003, I purchased 3 items:  ISO 9001:2000 Explained, ISO 9001:2000 Internal Audits Made Easy, and The Mother of All Pregnancy Books.  That must have been some year (and I was not pregnant at any time in 2003, so I don't know why I bought that one book other than I was eager to have a baby after having been trying for some time already).

In 2011, I purchased 75 items (excluding gift cards).  The range of items is wide (from vitamins to food to curtains to books and toys to clothes and cosmetics to magazine subscriptions, home & garden items, tools, and cloth diapers).  I've been quite impressed with them (and their affiliates and partners).  I always do Free Super Saver Shipping if it is available.  Oftentimes, the items arrive the next day or the day after (I don't have amazon prime or Amazon Mom).   When they do take longer, the merchants often throw extra stuff in the package to make up for the time delay.  You never know what you're going to get (I have the same experience with Oriental Trading Company). 

This love-fest on amazon is not a paid promotion and I get no referral fees or anything from them.  So now, here is my 2011 gift guide.

Books for Kids:  Anything from this series.  Books like "E is for Empire" (about New York), M is for Mitten (Michigan), L is for Lincoln (Illinois), G is for Garden (NJ), H is for Hoosier (IN), B is for Badger (WI), etc.  I've purchased several of these for kids and they are a big hit.

Gifts for Boys & Girls:  12 Jump Ropes  My boys happen to like to tie things up with them or pretend that they are water skiing.  I have heard of slightly older children actually using them as jump ropes.  A great bulk gift if you need stocking stuffers.

A simple stopwatch.  Do not underestimate the distracting powers of a stopwatch on a long car trip.  Or use it as a homework timer or a time-out timer.  Or race yourself to see if you can make it to the fence and back in less than 12 seconds this time.  Do it again.  And again.  And mom no longer needs to count while you run.

I've been really happy with these curtains.  I have a really wide picture window and these were the most inexpensive curtains I could find for such a ridiculously wide window.  They are not actual black out curtains but they do room darken (which is not why I got them).

I wanted the kids to love the Kid-o Bilibo (my husband calls it the Swedish Meat Helmet).  They have used the Bilibo (to sit and spin, push each other around, and race cars inside), but it's not been the go-to toy I hoped it would be.

I bought two voice changers for Christmas this year.  I am sure I'm going to hate myself for this, but I bet the kids love it.

We got a butterfly garden last year and loved it.  So this year, I bought one for someone else.  (You go online and set shipment of the caterpillars for June or so, they arrive, and you wait for them to cocoon and hatch.  It's neat.)

You need a magnetic flash light.  Or maybe you know someone who does.  Someone with a new car or a new house, perhaps.  In case of the zombies.  Or a flat tire.

Children's chewable vitamins.  Our pediatrician recommends Vitamin D for kids in the winter in our latitude.  He also said if you're going to bother, you should get one with iron too.  He said Flintstone's Complete was the way to go but those had Red Dye, Blue Dye, Yellow Dye, artificial sweeteners, etc, so I got these instead.  Also, avoid gummie vitamins (because they are bad for teeth and don't contain iron.)

Everyone needs more Dilbert in their life.

The shipping on this doll stroller has been lightning fast both times I have bought it (two days with free super saver).  I saw on another web site that perhaps I was socializing my boys to be boys (though they did have dolls already) so Bobo got a doll stroller for his birthday (which he uses to push dump trucks around) so I bought another one for Christmas for another boy.  I also think this would be a good gift for a girl since it's not pink.

I'm not sure whether this remote controlled helicopter is for Chuckles or Mr. Long-Suffering.  Either way, the reviews are better than Air Hogs.

My Dad needed his yearly calendar.  Does yours?

The quality on these light-up swords is about what you would expect for the price, but what kid doesn't want a light saber?  (And at a fraction of the cost of an officially licensed Star Wars arrived not working but I only needed waiting on word from the company about resolution for the third sword).

I hate winter.  This full spectrum light bulb is for me.  (Honestly, I hadn't seen the sun in 3 wonder I was crying and doing dishes last night.)

Gorilla Glue.  Because my husband said Santa wants him to have nice things in his stocking.  Also, J-B Weld.

Chuckles, with his own money, bought Bobo construction paper.  This made me tell the kids a story about how when I was a girl, paper only came in white, manila, or yellow if you were lucky enough to get a legal pad somewhere.  My husband called bull on me.  I was incredulous.  I said, "Sure, construction paper had been invented already but you only got it at's not like people had that at home."  Apparently, Mr. Long-Suffering had construction paper at home.  This is apparently the distinction between middle class and lower middle class circa 1982.  He probably got to use tape too.

If you buy someone a tie, you should also buy him a color coordinating pocket square.

As I didn't want to destroy my boys' nurturing side by not getting them dolls, I am also encouraging girls to look outside the doll bed.  I bought this Melissa and Doug Fire Chief dress up outfit for some sisters.  Chuckles got the police uniform last year and still plays with it often.

I saw this Lip Stix Remix on TV's Shark Tank last year and thought it was a great idea (so did Barbara).  I didn't buy it last Christmas, but I did this year.  I got it for someone who has a favorite lip stick color and will dig the bottom out of the tube.  Now she can remelt and remake new lipsticks out of what's left behind.  You can use it on under eye concealer too.

My niece is in to Gnomes this year.  But she always likes clothes.

And Muse is getting me this baby keepsake book.  Or maybe Santa is.

I didn't buy this aircraft carrier from amazon because the price is outrageous.  I bought two of them at my local Target for Bobo and my nephew.  Chuckles has a Matchbox Cars aircraft carrier that he loves, so Bobo wanted one too, but we thought he needed one that was more appropriate for a little kid so Imaginext it was.

My mom is getting Chuckles Snap Circuits.  I think I need to learn more about how circuits work, so I will play with him.  My mother-in-law is getting him some Ninjago at his request.

Love the taste of real butter but hate how hard it is to spread when it comes out of the fridge?  If so, you need a butter boat that keeps your butter cool enough to prevent spoilage on the kitchen counter but warm enough to spread.

Did you want to share any items you've found or hot gifts for this season?  You can buy until Monday on amazon for Free Super Saver by Christmas (I think).

Monday, December 12, 2011

Different (and not in a good way)

Saturday night, I sneezed.
And then,
I had to go change my pants.  Off to go do some Kegels now.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

All is Bright

Everything is going along swimmingly.

I am 95% done with any and all Christmas shopping for which I am specifically responsible.  At some point in the next 2 weeks, my husband will announce that we need gifts for his father and mother.  I will laugh at him and tell him that I asked him a month ago for ideas and would have been move than happy in November to take care of that for him, but not now.  Maybe gift cards.  Or something from amazon.  I really do love amazon.  Really.

I've decided that Christmas cookies are just too taxing this year and I am buying pre-formed dough from Chuckles's school.  I will bake and decorate those sugar cookies myself (with help of children) and pass them off as homemade.  I feel more guilt over this than almost anything because I like baking, however....

I have been having exercise-induced Braxton Hicks contractions, and standing and rolling dough and baking just aren't sounding all that fun this year.  Other non-fun things: climbing stairs, bending over to pick things up off of the ground, and walking.  You would be amazed at how many times per day you do those things.  I am really glad that my job involves sitting for 7 hours per day (or more if I don't feel like young engineers (minions) will retrieve documents from the printer for me). 

When not exercising, I still feel quite good.  I'm not sore or anything yet, though I am apparently quite large.

We went to a gala on Saturday night.  Many, many strangers asked me when I was due.  The good news is I look pregnant, not fat.  But I thought the rule was you never ever ever (ever) ask that of a woman unless she herself has first indicated that there is a baby in there lest you potentially embarass yourself.  The food at the gala was delightful, but the wine looked deliciously off-limits.  The band was good as well, but dancing is too much like both standing and exercising, so we ended up dancing to 75% of one slow song.  Not nearly enough.  The Stanley Paul Orchestra is one of my favorite live bands in Chicago.

I went downtown for a work meeting.  There was a bit of a walk from the train to the meeting.  I walked very slowly and all was well.  I started to feel a little bad on the walk back to the train, but all-in-all, I am still capable of taking care of myself.  Although, last weekend, I wanted to ride around Target in a motorized scooter. 

Have I ever mentioned that I carry low?  Well, I do.  Very low.  Like between my knees low.  In fact, I cannot wear maternity pants that go below the belly because the only thing below my belly is my bikini area...not really the kind of place you want a lot of fabic bunching up and puffing out.  So, I wear pants with a kangaroo pouch, but I think I might need to hang my jeans up for the duration because even having non-stretchy fabric below my belly now is getting a little...pinchy?

And the outside kids are doing well too.  Chuckles continues to enjoy Cub Scouts and be indifferent toward school (which is fine, really).  He delights in locating the Elf on the Shelf every morning before his brother wakes up.  He also likes to turn on the Christmas tree.

Bobo enjoys his tumbling class, has made great strides in speech (he's using an L sound now, though he's producing it by putting his tongue against his bottom teeth), and is finding numbers and letters everywhere (that's 3 and I am 3 years old).  I keep thinking of him as a baby, but he's not.  He's 3.  Now, if only he would wear underpants....