Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First parent-less class. A milestone for both TG and me.

TG took her first without parent class today. She was the only kid that didn't look around for her parent. I was pretty proud. She was also the youngest and the only kid without any experience. She held her own though and I'm pretty proud of her.
So far, it's a small class which I like and hope we can take to our advantage. She's still very young and her attention span isn't quite there yet with the 3-4 year olds in her class but I know it will eventually. She was extremely outgoing and was pretty pumped the entire class. She followed instructions well. She of course was the first in the group to want to jump ahead before all the instructions were doled out. She was willing to try most things and knew when her comfort zone had been surpassed but didn't meltdown. She simply told the instructor that's it and stopped at her threshold.
There was one boy who seemed to be taken with TG and did the usual, I'll tackle you and bump into you because I like you routine. She seemed to take it in stride and knew he wasn't being malicious.
I think we may have found our summer class. It's a bit on the expensive side but I think we both need this. We both like the instructors. The facilities are nice. She's like a sponge now and this is a great learning experience, physically, emotionally and mentally. I'm comfortable with not being a part of the class here.
I wondered how I'd take that and I was really comfortable with this. I think it also helps as this class doesn't tell you to just leave and come back in an hour. You can stay and watch behind a window. Another mother told me the first parentless class she took her child to, they told her to leave and not come back into the building until the class was over. She said that was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for her.
I asked the instructor for the general schedule for each class and common terminology so I can add it to our daily conversation. I figure the best way to take advantage of this class is to incorporate and discuss on a daily basis. Just like with school, I can't expect my child to get the most out of something without being an active part of it and trying to incorporate it in our every day.
At the end of the class, TG received a green stamp of a star award. She immediately grabbed my hand and asked her teacher if I could have one. I declined but hey, maybe I should have gotten one too. It was a big day for both of us.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Where Mama and Pantrygirl converge

ONE EGG LEFT?! For a nutritious breakfast, TWO eggs is the minimum requirement! And I have but ONE, which is ONE shy of TWO! And it is TWO that I need! Curses! I must immediately purchase some eggs, for I need to have breakfast, and without the eggs I cannot have the breakfast that I so require! -- Mojo Jojo, The Powerpuff Girls

I just have a small little rant to make.
My child is not a crunchy granola health fanatic.
Yes, we eat organic.
Yes, we eat mainly homecooked foods.
I don't keep junk food in the house but we do have on occasion, organic cereal o's, homemade ice cream and dark chocolate.
We don't drink colored drinks or soda.
She is allowed a 3 ounce cut glass of grape juice every now and then as a treat.
We go out and we do eat pizza on occasion and she may even have pancakes that aren't whole wheat at the diner.
I don't deny my child anything non-processed.
If we are at a party, I let her make most of the decisions on food and she usually sticks with the good stuff.
I'd like to think that some of the decisions she is making so far reflect our views on food and health.
I know eventually peer pressure and consumerism will sneak in.
So, it annoys me to no end when I see a child at the local park at 10am after mass or on the subway eating processed crap for breakfast.
In the past three days my husband and I have witnessed children no more than 5-6 years old having a can of coke, a bag of lays and a plastic sand bucket of carmel and other junk sweets for breakfast.
Folks, are you kidding me?  Do you think the most important meal of the day should be fillers with absolutely no nutritional value?
My MIL often tells us about her neighbor's grandkid who has a steady morning diet of pouched mini frosted donuts and soda.  I couldn't fathom that was true and now I see folks with my own eyes giving their kids salty and sweet processed snacks for breakfast.
Now, I know we are blessed by the Lord with the ability to make what I think are healthy breakfasts for our kid and some folks may not be able to whether it's time or finance.  Times are tight I know but for heavens sake, couldn't you make a quick egg for your kid?  One egg.  Scramble it and slap it onto a piece of bread.  Mobile breakfast.  Or make some oatmeal with fruit and pack it in a container to eat on the go.
Yes, my daughter sometimes tells me she doesn't want to eat breakfast but we also talk about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  She calls it, brain fuel as we have said before in order to do the things we want to do during the day, we need the energy found in good food to keep us going.
Thankfully, she seems to understand this.  Of course, it took one day of her not eating her breakfast to have her realize how grumpy she became and how hungry she was as the day went on.  Yes, she doesn't always eat a full breakfast but I think that's normal too.  Sometimes I don't want to eat all my breakfast either.  I just remind her that if she only feels like eating a nibble, that's okay but she may feel tired and hungry earlier later on.  She makes the decision whether she eats a little more and she determines the consequence.
I may not give my kid soda or fried chips but that doesn't mean you shouldn't.  I'm not hear to deny you your right as a parent to do what you think is right but the next time you think about grabbing a bag of Lay's chips to give your kid for breakfast, consider saving it for perhaps an afternoon snack instead.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Inquiring minds want to know...

At art class we focused on volcanos last week.  It's a little advanced for a 2 year old but heck, who doesn't like foaming baking soda and vinegar.
My kid pronounces volcano, 'concano', as in container cano.  I guess it makes sense in her etymology.  Heck, it makes sense to me.
We tried teaching the kids the words lava and eruption.  Apparently lava wasn't popular.  A few folks like 'eruption'.  My daughter said it was 'foaming bubbles'.  Heck, again, makes sense to me.
Anyway, like all mamas, I went home and began researching volcanos and preschool kids.  You would be surprised that there isn't much info on volcanos for the preschool set.  The books are advanced.  The closest book I found was about a magic bus going under the sea to see the volcanos and even that was a bit too much for a 2-3 year old.
Still, we had fun. 
I talked about whether we though the lava (orange/red bubbles) were hot or cold.  TG said that the dial in the bathroom shows red equals hot so it's hot.  Smart kid.
We also talked about if the volcano mountain was steep.  Steep is a big thing now as she's riding her tricycle everywhere and we live in the highest point in Manhattan.
She isn't quite there yet with some of the steeper hills but she does try.  She'll say, "I need to use my can do muscles."
Yes, Can Do Muscles is her invention.  They are the muscles that can do the job.  She knows she can do it and she needs to practice using her can do muscles.   I swear my kid should write a dictionary.
The week before last we talked about clouds and the different shapes and colors they make.  We also talked about how clouds can be like sponges and hold a lot of rain but eventually it must fall down to the earth.
We took cotton balls and a small container of water and watched how the cotton balls went from light and fluffy when dry to heavy and solid when wet.  I love it when simple experiments get the point across.
As you can tell, science seems to be of interest right now so we are trying our best to keep up with it but keep it light and airy.
I think we are heading to the who, what, when, where, how and why phase of preschoolians.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mom, keeper of the family calendars

It's that time of the year again where I go researching classes for TG.  We're not like other parents in our nabe who block each day for another class.  We think it's important to allow her to have unstructured time now.  Still, I try to enroll in at least one class a semester to try something new and to learn socialization in different environments.
We're also hitting the point were the classes are getting to be longer and more expensive and less parent participatory.
I've narrowed the potential class to three choices this semester but it's a bit hard to decide.  DH's schedule and my schedule are a bit hectic this summer and the classes are not local so we need to allot for travel time.
Another issue is the semesters are getting longer which I don't feel is necessary at this age but apparently most do.
20 weeks is a long time committment for a 3 year old.
Honestly, we juggle one class a semester.  Some parents here juggle a different class every other day.  How the heck do they do that?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mommy Burnout

So I had a list of things I wanted to share and write about.
Did I write it down?
Did I tell myself to write them down?
Did I?
The old pantrygirl, BC, would beat me with a sharp stick.
The new pantrygirl, post child, says, "Eh, at least you took a shower and did something productive with your kid today."
Dad's day was nice.  I was a total grumpus but DH was a darling and spent the morning after mass with TG allowing me some much needed 'me' time.  Now 'me' time was a massage or a bath but it was still much appreciated.  I got to continue work on restoring my computer.  I also got to casually eat an entire vat of homemade guacamole while sorting through the mail and recyclables.  jealous 
The following day, DH took TG out for a continuation of Daddy-Daughter day allowing me to work in peace and quiet.  (Something I can't do in my office as the construction crew out my window has brought in something that sounds like a ginormous spindle saw grinding it's way to the center of the universe.)
DH could tell, I was heading towards burnout and even with his insane workload, he realized for the sanity of the family, I needed to be able to work and sort through mail and laundry sans kids.
You know the picture of the kid pulling on the Mom's pant leg?  You know the videos of kids talking non-stop to their parents?  We have hit that stage of development.  I swear, TG spoke for 5 minutes straight without stopping for air the other evening during dinner.  It was a rare night that DH was with us so it was a bit easier for me than other nights.  He kept listening intently than looking up occasionally if he needed an interpreter.  Sometimes I got it.  Other times, I sadly admit (mommy guilt), I tuned out and only caught bits and pieces.
Can you fault me though?  I spent the entire day with this toddler that has a million questions and a fascinating imagination.  I'm totally impressed and proud of her imagination but it's also extremely tiring to try to keep up with her.  She gets frustrated that I don't get that she wants me to say 'knock knock' in a certain cadence and tone and she loses her schmidt.  She can't fully express how she wants me to say it so she gets frustrated.  I get frustrated because I swear I've said, 'knock knock' 15 times and each time it's the same as she has said it but it's still not what she's looking for. 
My favorite line, "You need to pretend Mommy.  Are you pretending?"
Yes, honey, I'm pretending to be sitting in your fire truck tricycle with you. 
Sit on the trunk.
Mama can't sit on the trunk.
Why not?  Pretend.
I am pretending.  I cannot sit on it because baby and I can't fit in your trunk.  I am pretending to be in your trunk.
Oh, ok.  Fine.  Kneel and follow me.
She then backs the tricycle into my knees and rams the back of her seat into her incubating sibling.
Ah, the joys of parenting a preschooler.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Partly cloudy

I think the one thing about this pregnancy that I'm fighting is the inevitability that I am subjecting myself to another round of exhaustion.
It's still fairly in my mind.  Most moms have that lovely ability to forget about the crazies that are associated with a newborn.  We aren't waiting that long so although it's not as fresh as it would be for Irish twins, it's still in our memories.
Anyway, things are well and we're pretty happy.  It's hectic as usual but we know it will be fine.
Actually, it's not the exhaustion so much that I'm thinking about but the damn blur.  Yes, I have an official name to it thanks to Mommyland.
It's the damn haze you live in the first three years of your child's life.  It's as if you have permanent vision problems in your head.  You're so busy juggling a million things, parts of your brain that control clarity can become distorted.  For an introvert with logical tendencies, this drives me freaking nuts.
I am wholeheartedly jumping back into the damn haze.  I made the choice. 
Now I'm not saying I'm out of the haze now, so I suppose that's some solace.  Honestly, I don't think Moms get out of the haze completely but I was at least feeling a little back to normal.  Ah, the beauty of motherhood.  The guilt, the joy, the stress and the haze.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'm a mommy penguin

It's been a crazy week. I know it's not going to let up until the end of July. That's why I keep praying for patience and guidance.
This semester is a doozy for DH and he's starting to show it more and more. It's human and natural but it is also very hard for someone who loves said person to be in the fray of it and not be able to do anything.
I've learned to take a step back, allow him to vent and just let him be.
It's made tougher by the fact our daughter sees this and is a compassionate person and wants to 'help' her daddy as well.
I know it will be fine and the Lord will guide us but for now, we must take it one day at a time.
On the incubation front, ToF is moving around like you wouldn't believe. I relay it as an inside joke as ToF and I are pretty much the only folks that know about it. We can proclaim it but really, you don't know what it feels like unless you have a human being inside of you doing somersaults.
TG is on a pretending to be a penguin kick. She's a penguin that likes fish and oranges and being curled up in my pink pregnancy pillow. (Yes, the same one that DH bought for me on Valentine's Day many moons ago.) I'm mommy penguin and obviously, daddy is daddy penguin.
Her friend, Ev, is on a baby sea lion kick. As a baby sea lion, he doesn't speak. He's a quiet sea lion.
Hey, this is the time for the imagination to blossom (psychological development-wise). We're going with the flow. Heck, I think I mentioned TG's fascination with a 4-5 year old spiderman that frequents our park. Kids have crazy imaginations and that's so cool. I hope it doesn't become stifled.
On my front, aside from the stress of watching my spouse stress out, I'm just trying to take things one thing at a time. I'm working on my plays well with others and I'm trying to enjoy the moments. Oh and I'm also shlepping to and fro with my 30+ lb bag.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Happiness and a 30+ lb backpack

I had a wonderful day with TG today. It was the kind of day I was hoping to have this week and I received it. Thank you, Lord. The day started with us heading to scope out birthday celebration ideas. I got a little mini-massage via a massage chair I think I may take on as my lover. Bonus!
Then we meandered around the city and made our way to my daughter's favorite water park. We made it home and went for a quick trip to her favorite playground and then headed home for dinner, bath and bedtime.
Sure it was hot. Sure carrying a stroller, toddler, a baby in my belly and a 30+ lb backpack (portable potty, change of clothes, food, toys, sunscreen (aka toddler essentials) etc) was a bit tiring but we didn't have any tantrums and we seemed to be really having a good time.
It was one of the many things I thank the Lord for tonight during prayers.
I wonder how it's going to be when ToF arrives. I suppose we'll try to have some one-on-one time with each child.
I just am living on the high I have with this day right now. It made me so happy that I was smiling all through dishwashing, cooking dinner and packing our bags for tomorrow's excursions.
By the way, when do the bags get lighter? Seriously. I feel like they are heavier now then before. When they were infants and pre-crawling, the heaviest thing I had was probably carrying my child. Now I'm a real sherpa just to go to an outing for more than 4-5 hours.
Anyway, the big bonus was the day apparently left a big impression on TG as she at an entire turkey leek slider for the first time. I think she even asked for more, but we quickly segued to her usual yogurt before bedtime.
I've been worried these last few days as she hasn't been eating much protein. Then again it is hot and now one wants anything too heavy in their tummies.
I'm trying a new approach. Since it's hot and humid these days, instead of packing a lunch meal that may spoil (ie. pasta w. meat sauce, warm burgers, etc), I pack plain whole grain pasta, fruits and veggie credit. Sometimes she eats the veggies, sometimes not. Either way, come dinner time, I cut back on the carb and serve mostly meat/veggie combos. We'll see how this goes.
Oh and I have a mama guilt thing going on. For the first time, I lost her lovey. I truly lost it. I think someone took it from our area or I left it. Either case, I have the backups thank heaven. On that front, TG turned to me in bed and started laughing saying that Jay Raffe's neck seems bigger. Oy, is she on to me?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Plays Well With Others Sometimes

I am not a social butterfly.  I'll be the first to say that I don't hate people, I just tend to be by myself.  I'm not to the point where I want to be completely alone with my computer but I do find social situations stressful and not as comfortable as most folks.
I suppose that's why I'm good at what I do.  I deal with logic and data and workflow builds can be explained via logic.
I know I get this from my dad.  Don't get me wrong.  I'd like to be social.  When I find a group of folks I'm comfortable with, I am very open but it takes time.  What I don't like and it's a personal innate thing is when people try really hard to be my friend.  I don't know what it is about it.  I just find it annoying and unfortunately, first impressions generally stick with me.
So I know being a parent to TG and ToF will be personal challenge.  I know I need to add the social network of parents of my kid's friends.  I'm trying.  It's not intuitive for me.  DH thinks I'm just being a PIA.  "She clearly wants to be your friend.  Why can't you throw her a bone."  "I don't need a best bud.  I need someone who isn's trying."  "Give her a break."
I'm trying.  I know I can try harder.
I just don't have logical time for it. 
And this may be shocking to some but I really am bad with small chit chat.  I find it a waste of my time.  I'd much rather prefer to stand in the elevator and wait for my floor than to sit and try to talk about the weather.  Now yes, I do have a tendency to start the damn conversations with a  hello and a hi.  {Can someone tell me what is up with that?  Am I a glutton for punishment?}
I think that's why DH thinks it's odd that I have to work at socializing. 
I know I have some personal childhood stuff to reckon with but that's fine.  I admit that.  I just don't know why I find it totally comfortable talking to someone if I initiate it but if someone tries to initiate it I get all New York 'what's the motive' on people.

Dancing to her sibling's beat

Tot heard ToF's heartbeat and started dancing to the beat. It was like a dance party in the ultrasound room.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

In love aka driving each other mad

DH and I have been testy with each other these last two days and I think I know why. Don't gag, but I think we truly love each other and that's why we're at each other's throats. This new semester of classes is heavy with intensive reading. I've been trying to help him by taking care of things to allow him to read but in the process he's stressing that his pregnant wife is walking around trying to take care of everything. He wants me to rest. I want him to do well at school and not be encumbered by the hum drum dailies.
We're hoping next week will be easier as the schoolwork for the classes appears to level off next week. Until then we try to stay out of each other's way and help each other at the same time. All I can do pray and thank the Lord for the ability to do this.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

It started out about anxiety...

I'm having a panic attack. I know it will be fine but I've got this sudden panic that we won't be able to afford ToF. I know that all parents go through this and we will be fine. God will provide. Still, I'm totally freaking out now.
I know it's not just about the financial changes that I'm worried about. I mean, it's 4:26 am and I've been up since 2am because TG had an accident and I refuse to allow the bed linens to marinate. While I'm up, of course, like most moms I'm multi-tasking. The dishes were set to start at 1:30am. I took out the recyclables, did some work for the office, ordered some bike shorts for TG and researched some learning opportunities for TG.
Meanwhile, I woke up DH to ask his help to walk Tasha. {Although I am comfortable with it, I think late night walks should be done by DH.}
I came back from transferring the laundry from the washer to the dryer to find he went back to sleep.
I know DH does a lot. He's got school too to boot. But I also know that a great deal of energy, time and planning is done by the mother. Do I have enough resources to do this?
Can I be a mom to a toddler and newborn without completely losing my mind?
Another example, I just was greeted by my husband coming out of the bedroom asking me to go in to take care of our daughter who got her foot caught between the bed and the wall.
Ok, I get it, I usually do the nighttime parenting but I'm sort of up doing laundry and household chores. Can you help me out here?
I ran down to the basement, grabbed the clothes, threw them in the basket and ran back up.
DH came out and said she's back to sleep but I need to learn to relax.
I'm sorry but that was not what I needed after taking care of dishes, laundry and odds and ends.
I'm not sitting here watching Oprah eating bon boons but maybe that's what I should be doing to 'relax'.
And really, you are telling me to relax when our daughter wakes up crying and you come out to sign language that she's crying and I should go into the bedroom to check on her? What's up with that?
Then you begin to give me attitude that I'm mad at you but I'm not. I'm resigned. This is me. This is pantrygirl. I'm not mad that I'm up doing chores at 4 in the morning. I'm not mad that you generally would rather have me deal with nighttime parenting. I'm not mad you fell asleep and didn't walk the dog. I'm not mad that I'm working (office work) at 4am to make my life easier in the office. I'm mad because at 4am you have the audacity to come outside after coming out to not check up on me but to tell me our daughter is crying, that I should learn to relax. WTH?
Now, you are walking the dog and I'm going to finish this up so I can go to bed because I really don't want to hear you ask me what I'm doing now on the computer because clearly if I'm not physically doing a chore, I'm playing around on the computer.
Argh. Now I am angry.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Slumber Party

After prayers last night, TG looked up at me and whispered, "Mama, you are my best friend."

Now if she was older, I probably wouldn't take this the same way but since she is nearly 3, my heart melted.

30 minutes later when she has expended almost every arsenal in a toddler's sleep procrastination, I nearly lost it.

PG: Honey

TG: Yes, Mama.

PG: No more water. No more potty. No more stories. No more backrubs. No more tissues. No more water for mommy. No more songs. It's time for bed. We've been at this for 30 minutes. This is getting ridiculous. It's time to be quiet and rest.

TG: crying
TG: Yes, Mama.
PG: Why are you crying?
TG: Because I am sad and I want to cry.
PG: Ok, you can cry if you are sad. Hold onto your Jay Raffe and go to bed now.
TG: {sob} ok. …… Mama?
PG: Yes.
TG: I want to go to Central Park.
PG: It' s nighttime. Everyone is asleep. Good night.
TG: Ok.

And I don't know what happened but like that she fell out. What is it about kids? One minute they are totally exhausted fighting sleep. The next minute they are out as if someone hit them with a rock.

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Name Game

TG has now moved from calling me 'mommy' to 'mama'. It's sort of sweet. I don't have a preference really but lately 'mama' seems to be warming my heart more.

I don't know the true origin of momma, mama or mommy. Honestly I think momma and mama probably sound alike.

DH has always been 'daddy'. Sometimes we say 'papa' but that for TG it's always 'daddy'.

I think 'mama' comes from hearing it said by one of her favorite musicians.

Anyway, the point is she's making decisions now. She knows there are different 'names' and she has chosen 'mama' for me.

On the name front, i had a conversation the other day with another mom of a toddler and she mentioned how she feels weird having her kid use the first name of a parent. I agreed and said that it's a bit awkward for me as well but the majority of parents seem to be allowing this.

I tried in the beginning to use Miss or Mr in front of a person's first name. i.e. Miss Sarah. This however was fruitless as I was the only person who did this but I think I'm going to start this up again. She's old enough and I think the mom's around us understand. It's not as formal as Mrs/Mr Insert Last Name.

I wonder how long I'm going to be able to keep this up.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

He had a choice between a hand towel or a body towel.

Ok, is it wrong of me to almost pee myself watching my husband cover himself with a bright blue penguin hand towel while sitting on the pot?
I've known for quite some time TG has mastered the art of opening the bathroom door.  DH discovered this fact this morning while on the pot.
I ran in after hearing cries of, "Honey, some help here please."
Remember DH has never and does not plan to ever allow our TG into the bathroom when he is in there for anything other than a shave.
I enter to see him trying to cover his bits with a penguin hand towel trapped on the bowl while our toddler was peppering him with questions.
I was able to compose myself to the point where I told TG we had to give him some privacy.
"But I need to use the potty."
Of course with the new white potty, she doesn't want her red portable potty.  Surprisingly she said she'd wait.
She still didn't want to leave though so I had to explain that Daddy was pooping and it would be stinky soon.  Immediately, she covered her nose and ran out exclaiming, "Tell me when you are done Daddy.  I have to pee pee."
After this morning, all I can do now is smile.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

15 minutes to put on shoes and pants but we're doing it by ourselves.

TG had her first slumber party (pseudo) this weekend.
We went up to our friend's summer home to spend the night.
The kids, Tuna and TG, had a blast.  They hiked the trails together.  Tuna picked flowers while TG asked what everything was.  Even Tasha came for the night.
The kids even took a quick bath together.  Boy did that bring back memories from my childhood.
TG is also becoming more and more independent.  She wants to put her pants on by herself.  She wants to put her shoes on by herself.  She even wants to put our shoes on for us.
She tried putting our socks on for us.
The biggest growth update is that she now prefers to use the adult toilet.  She has a stepstool/kid seat that goes on top of it so she happily toddles up to do her business.
This does save us from having to wash the portable loo.
We still use our portable potty in the car but at home, she wants to use her 'white' potty.
She also seems to have a growing attention span which falls in line with her age, I suppose.  She's not going to sit through an entire mass without wanting to explore but she can complete an art project and even help with prep work for cooking.
I was thrilled that we finished an art project together yesterday and she pretty much did everything.
We made stained glass butterflies to go with her interest in butterflies.  We spent the morning exploring the park and garden.  
Later in the afternoon, she colored in tracing paper with her markers.  She even helped me cut out a body out of black construction paper.  We then crinkled the tracing paper into balls and tore her colored pieces into tiny pieces.  We placed the construction paper body onto contact paper and she pressed the tracing paper pieces into the wings.  Afterwards, she helped me laminate it and she happily flew around the house with her new butterfly.  She even put it in her tricycle trunk, a sure sign she was proud and wanted to show off her new friend.
I'd post a picture but I'm still backlogged from my mactop crashing 3 weeks ago.  I haven't updated our family journal in ages and it's getting to be a big project now.
Trust me when I say, it's a mighty fine butterfly.
Oh, and I used to think it was silly for toddler to take yoga class.  Not anymore.
Today we went to a kids festival and TG fell in love with yoga for kids.  She did not want to leave.  She kept saying, "I want to go to class!"
Of course, these classes are downtown.  I asked the owner the name of the instructor as TG took to her and was the most interactive with a stranger that I have ever seen.  Now to convince DH yoga for kids is something worthwhile.
Finally, on the ToF front, he/she is moving around like you would not believe and seems to prefer to hang out low.  I'm hoping this means an quick and easy labor but that's probably wishful thinking.  It's funny with ToF, I get a lot of rippling.  It sort of tickles.  I don't recall having that with TG.  With TG it was more like big giant slow movements as if she was rolling over.  Imagine you rolling over in your sleep.  
I have to admit though whenever DH interacts with ToF a big grin goes on my face and I can feel my whole body relaxing.  I wish he'd do it some more.  I know he's got a lot going on though.
This semester he has two classes.  I pray every night that he does well and TG, ToF and I have patience as we do miss him immensely.  He was so excited this week.  It was like watching a kid getting ready for the new school year.  Instead of buying a new backpack and a pencil case (do kids still do that?), he went and got a haircut and bought new sunglasses.
I really am proud of him though and I just want him to be happy and find something that makes him happy.  Life is too short to be doing something, career-wise, you don't enjoy.