Thursday, January 31, 2008

Third Time's A Charm

Last year Grayson was having some problem with his white blood cell count. Each time we had his bloodwork done, it was elevated. We always found the results amazing because other than colds and an occasional fever, the kid is never sick. He's never had an ear infection, has only had to take antibiotics once (just before he turned one), and he only just recently had his first stomach virus.

At his two-year-old doctor appointment, we knew we were going to have to have the bloodwork done again, but Grayson got his flu shot that day, so we were told to wait until the following week. Well, that week came and went, and then the holidays arrived, and then Grayson was really sick (that stomach virus I mentioned), etc., etc., so we didn't have the blood drawn.

Tuesday Dominic was off work. Since getting the blood drawn requires one of us to hold him still, we decided to do it that day and have Dominic hold him. When we arrived in the room, the technician had planned to do it herself with Dominic holding him. The look on my face must have convinced her to get some help because she asked someone to come in with her. They blew his vein with the first stick and Grayson was screaming. He's not only crying, but also yelling that it's hurting him. Ugh. The other technician tried it on his other arm and they were able to get the blood.

The next day Grayson woke up with a stuffy nose, so I just knew he was going to have another elevated white blood cell count. When we got home today after visiting a preschool, there was a message from the doctor's office to discuss his results. I was dreading it. Once the doctor got on the phone I was waiting for the bad news again, "His white blood cell count is high, you're going to have to have the blood drawn again. Blah, blah, blah." But to my surprise, that's not what he said at all. He told me everything looked great!! EVERYTHING!! This was great news. So, we finally have that behind us and I'm very glad it's a happy ending.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Preschools, Ack!!

I'm hoping to get Grayson into an excellent preschool that will then get him on the fast track straight to Harvard, Princeton, or Yale and boy, is this quite an ordeal.

Just kidding. All I'm looking for is a nice place where he can learn how to count to 100 and how to play with other children, while also discovering that there are viewpoints in the world other than mine. You would think I was asking for a million dollars to fall into my lap (although that would be nice right about now, too).

I have seen the parents on television who are eagerly trying to get their child into the best of the best preschool. This requires numerous interviews with the parents and the child, enormous application fees which don't even guarantee a spot in the school and are non-refundable, and then a wait for an acceptance letter. Yes, an acceptance letter!!! If these poor kids are already under this much pressure at three, I can't even imagine how much worse it is going to get.

Luckily, I have discovered there are quite a few schools in our area that seem to meet my and Grayson's needs. And getting into them isn't going to require any of what I mentioned above nor will I have to stand in line at 4:00 AM hoping to get in quick enough to get him a spot or sit on a waiting list for months. Don't get me wrong, education is very, very important to me and I look forward to Grayson's school days, but the kid isn't even three yet. Do I really need to begin pressuring him already?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Appreciating My Son

These past couple weeks have been pretty rough on Grayson and me. Not only because we have both been sick, but also thanks to the holidays, our routine was completely off kilter since most of our normal events like playgroups and gym class have been canceled. As a result, we have been stuck in the house, which means the basement since that’s where we are living right now. Since Grayson is a very social kid, just like me, we’ve been going a little stir crazy.

During this time, I was emailing one of my friends back and forth. They have also been pretty sick over the holidays and we were exchanging battle stories. While we were discussing our holidays she wrote something interesting, “Two is such a fun age.” As I read it, I laughed out loud and then I told her how amusing I found the statement. She then pointed out how funny her daughter is now and how she is able to reason with her, unlike when she was one.

I thought a little more about this and then started to reflect back on the past couple weeks and how really great Grayson had been. Sure, we had our tough moments, but overall we really enjoyed our time together. This prompted me to think more about why I love my son and why I am going to try even harder to appreciate him as a two-year-old. Here’s my list:

He’s hilarious and he tells you so. Now that he speaks in sentences, he says the funniest things and he tells me all the time, “I funny, Mommy, I funny.” Perfect.

He says please and thank you. And very rarely needs to be prompted. This is something I take pride in because manners seem to be disappearing a bit nowadays. He's also really big on saying "bless you" after you sneeze. And after you cough. At first I was trying to distinguish between the two, but then a friend of mine said, "sometimes coughs need blessing too," and I realized she was completely right.

He loves to go to church. Pretty much every day he asks to go to church. I’m sure he doesn’t understand why we go to church at this point, but I’m also sure that when he’s 16-years-old, he’ll probably be fighting me rather than begging to go, so I’m going to appreciate it while it lasts.

His energy is unstoppable. I am amazed at how he can continue to go and go and go. Because of this, he motivates me to do the same. Then again, do I really have a choice??

He enjoys music. He would much rather listen to music than watch television. He also loves to sing and when his Daddy and I practice singing with our group at church for our contemporary services, he really has a blast. Just today I saw him mimicking our drummer as he tapped his drumsticks together, counted, and then started playing his drum. We had always planned on starting him with guitar lessons, but we may have to rethink that!!

He has a mind of his own. This one is hard to appreciate as he pushes my buttons, argues with me, and fights me on almost everything; however, if I take a moment and really think about it, I know I’m raising a strong, independent thinker and that will serve him well as he becomes an adult. And also, all those challenging moments are making me a better person and mother.

This year at Christmas, he got more excited over the tree lights than the gifts themselves. I had mentioned in my previous post about how hard I had worked to have the gifts under the tree for him to see when he awoke on Christmas morning. I did this because his face lit up the first time we turned on the tree lights and it continued to do so the entire month before Christmas. I really thought he would be incredibly excited over seeing the gifts and couldn’t believe he didn’t seem to care at the time. At first I was disappointed, but the more I thought about it, the greater it became. He found appreciation more in the “spirit” rather than just getting toys. I hope he always feels that way.

He tells me he loves me all the time. I remember the first time he said I love you and it has only become better each time. I don’t think I will ever be tired of hearing it. The best sentence someone could ever say!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Holidays Are Behind Us Once Again

Even though Dominic and I are in the middle of construction, we chose to still host our family on Christmas Day. As my brother said, this was the 50th consecutive year Christmas has been hosted in this house. The house may not be the same as it was 50 years ago, but it’s nice to know we were able to keep up the tradition. Luckily it hadn’t rained in a few days, so the mud had turned to dirt for the day and it made it much easier for people to get in. I’ve started posting construction photos for you to view if you’re interested. You can click here to view them and the link is also listed on the side of the blog.

As for the rest of the holiday week, we had kicked it off by visiting Dominic’s sister Maria in Baltimore and had dinner with his family. Grayson had a blast playing with his cousin Paul that day. I survived singing in the Christmas Eve cantata at church. I was very worried I was going to get sick, but that actually came later in the week, luckily.

Grayson enjoyed opening his gifts on Christmas, but I think he was more excited about tearing the paper rather than the gifts themselves. He had been so excited when we put up the tree I thought he would really love to see all the gifts Christmas morning, but the first words out of his mouth after he woke were “I wanna eat.” Go figure.

His favorite gifts were definitely his ride-on gator (which we bought from my sister), his football helmet (he hasn’t wanted to remove it), and his iPod player that is a stuffed elephant.
Unfortunately, Grayson got rather sick the next day at my mother’s house during her open house. This started a very rough week for us. Although I survived our first stomach virus, I’m still sick today and it made New Year’s Eve a little harder for me to handle (but I was still up until 1:00 AM), I’m still very miserable and we missed our gym class today because I just didn’t feel up to leaving the house. Hopefully this will pass soon and we’ll be back to normal.