Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I'm not sure if this baby is super stubborn and not wanting to be born or just being uber-polite and giving us plenty of family time before the big arrival. Either way, it's been a waiting game in the Schwartz household as baby continues to incubate past his or her due date.

Right after I finished up work, I went into hyperdrive trying to get all the loose ends tied up. I'd spent the majority of my pregnancy focused on living a busy life and not preparing for the new one, so the week of preparation was much needed. I finished up the nursery, finished up Jack's new room, transitioned Jack to his
new room, finished up craft projects, completed and handed off nonprofit work, packed for the hospital, baked goodies, and tried to keep the house immaculate.
I found time to do small things I'd been meaning to do... small things like super-glue a bit of trim back on a curtain, clean off the top of the dryer, and finish Jack's one year photo book. I decided to weed every flower bed in the yard....something that hasn't been done since early July and weeds were so tall in places they'd smothered one small tomato plant. But baby didn't come and the doctor told us to stay active.

So we did. We cleaned out the basement. We cleaned out the garden shed. We cleaned up the foyer. We cleaned out toolboxes and our tool closet. In-between projects, we tackled area parks and hiking trails sometimes trekking three to five miles a day in two separate walks. We took Jack to the park, to the apple orchard, and on his first trip to the zoo. We've watched our share of TV and played a few games of Scrabble. I'm eyeing cleaning out the garage for another project; Dave...not so much.

We also bought into the old wives tale that eating spicy food helps induce labor. I made supreme nachos that had no less than a half-jar of my grandmother's hot sauce and a half-jar of home-canned hot jalapenos. Our noses and eyes watered even more the next day when Dave made his father's spicy buffalo wings more spicy than normal. I made a dynamite Shrimp Etouffee, but I decided to double the amount of cayenne pepper. It was good, but it was definitely too hot to truly enjoy like we wanted.

Our baby-induced stay-cation has been so far a productive and enjoyable one where we've completed household projects and enjoyed some pre-expansion family time. But like all good vacations, we're somewhat ready for this one to come to an end so we can adjust to a new normal that always seems just a few days?....hours?....away.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A family on the verge

It's presumably the last week the Schwartz household will be a family of three. To document this, we had family pictures taken by one of our favorite photographers and even though Jack was being a tad cantankerous, she captured some beautiful images.

Speaking of cantankerous, that is Jack. The almost 18-month-old has a mind of his own and he doesn't hesitate in letting everyone know it. Currently every morning we have quite a fight on our hands getting him to take off his pajamas. Why? Because his pajamas have his favorite thing on them--Cars. He will hold the pants and pull as you are trying to pull them off while yelling "no!" "cars!" "cars!" "nooooo!" I've resorted to going through all of his clothes trying to find something with cars or the only available substitute, balls. This is hard because I've shied away from the cars-balls-construction equipment wordy t-shirts.

It's tougher when we don't know what he wants, and that's often the biggest source of conflict. He'll scream and cry "no" and some other sounds when we're trying to figure out what it is that he's trying to communicate so vehemently. A fit could commence where there's more screaming and gesturing and unintelligible words. That's when we try to distract him with, of course, cars or balls. Of course, we know some fits Jack thr
ows he knows exactly what he can't have and that makes him plenty mad.

Jack's best friend is his Daddy. From the moment he gets up until he goes to bed, Daddy is frequently mentioned, asked for, and cheered. When we go to get him up in the morning, Jack runs to the side of the bed, yelling "Dad-dee!" When Dave comes in the door from work, Jack is waiting and doing his happy dance while yelling "Dad-dee!" Today as I put him down for a nap, I asked Jack, "You know who loves you, Jack? Mama loves you." To which he replied "Dad-dee!" Right now, the boundaries are Dad-dee is for all fun and Mama is for everything else, which includes taking off those beloved car pajamas.
While he might look like an angel, Jack has a curious nature that often shows up in a destructive way. Yesterday he took his goldfish crackers and ground them into the freshly-cleaned carpet with his hands. The day before he dumped them in the bathtub before climbing into the tub to stop them into bits. The day before that, he was practicing nosediving on our bed and nose-dived right into the footboard and busted his nose. I'll come into the kitchen to discover he's quite proud that he's standing on top of the table. It's not unusual to see him dragging things places just to see how it works there--like moving his rocking horse into the bathroom or trying to climb up in his Little Tykes car that had been moved to a chair for vacuuming.

If there's one thing Jack loves better than cars, it's balls. We no longer allow throwing balls in the house because of too many close calls with a real baseball. Sometimes when the TV is off, he'll stand in front and point "ball" "ball" wanting to find a ball game. He has a hockey stick that he walks around with hitting balls and yelling "goal!" With just about anything Jack has in his hand, there's probably an 80 percent chance it will be airborne when it leaves his hands.
Currently, we've been transitioning Jack to his new bed and his new bedroom and talking about the new baby. We practice holding the baby, putting it in the bassinet, and above all being "nice" and "gentle" with the baby. After a week, he's sleeping in his new bed but he's still throwing the baby around. We're working on it. And we have to. We only have a few more days to go.