My husband and I shared the news with Isabelle nearly three weeks ago. We spent the next two weeks calling our families to share the news. Then, we shared our announcement on Facebook last week. Now it’s time to share the news with my Slicer friends.
We’re expecting a baby this fall!
My first trimester was filled with fatigue and nausea. The past three weeks were going better. However, yesterday I received a diagnosis of placenta previa that will make my pregnancy a bit more high-risk. Overall, I feel good, but I’m a bit nervous about what’s to come. (Aren’t most expectant mothers nervous?) As I’ve said since I found out I was pregnant, I’m proceeding with cautious optimism.
But, on to the fun stuff. Naming the baby!
Isabelle wants to be involved. Take a listen to this audio recording to find out why Isabelle will not be in charge of picking her future baby brother’s name:
Isabelle is excited about being a big sister! She is constantly talking about all of the things she wants to do and share with the baby, which is adorable. She kisses my growing belly and talks to the baby at least once a day. All that said, she’s not going to be in charge of naming this sweet boy once he arrives. That will be up to me and Marc!
Isabelle has been wiping off kisses — as a joke — for the past few weeks. It’s playful and funny. It doesn’t offend me one bit. However, I like to pretend I’m offended. This morning I captured an exchange between the two of us about wiping away the kisses I give her.
Like any mom whose kid has CAS, I am always listening to my child’s speech with heightened awareness. Lately, I’ve been noticing Isabelle has been having trouble with the vowel sound in words like first, fur, glitter, hammer, her, Jersey, and sure. (New Jersey is the one that initially triggered my concern since Isabelle has been saying “New Joisey,” which sends shutters up and down my spine!) I’ve tried correcting her, but I haven’t been able to correct her mouth posturing. Therefore, I brought this issue to the attention of her speech therapist this morning.
Isabelle’s speech therapist worked tirelessly to determine where the problem was occurring so she shuffled through a bunch of /r/ words with vowels. She determined the issue was mostly with the medial /er/. Now, I have word lists and am armed with ways to help Isabelle fix her mouth so she can pronounce the words correctly (i.e., encourage her to pull back her lips into more of a smile when she says the medial /er/, rather than allowing her to round her lips when she makes that sound).
Like all of the articulation things we work on, this will take practice and patience. I know we’ll get there. A little humor will go a long way. So, in that vein, here’s part of a funny conversation I overheard between Isabelle and her speech therapist when they were trying to fix up the pronunciation of Jersey this morning.
“Mommy!” Isabelle called from the hallway at 6:45 a.m.
I couldn’t imagine what she wanted or needed before 7:00 a.m. (That’s when her OK to Wake Alarm Clock turns green, signaling it is okay to come into our room.)
“What’s up?” I asked when I came face-to-face with a wild-haired curly girl wearing pink bear pajamas.
“Well, can I bring my Trixie book to Mo Willams?”
Last night, right before bedtime, I informed Isabelle my parents would be taking her to see Mo Willems at the New York Historical Society this summer. I informed her she could select one book to have him sign. Apparently, this had been on her mind all night since she couldn’t decide which one to pick when I told her last night.
“Sure you can,” I said.
“So he writes the Trixie books?” she asked.
“Yeah, he writes all of the Knuffle Bunny books. And he writes the Elephant and Piggy books and the –”
Isabelle finished my sentence. “And the Pigeon books too!”
“That’s right. He writes three different series of books you know, plus a few others.”
“That’s a lot of books!” Isabelle chuckled.
“It sure is!” I responded.
“Oh,” she laughed as her curls bounced. “He might be busy that day!”
I laughed, delighted by her insight and thankful she might have an understanding of why there’s going to be a huge line she will have to wait in to get her book — whichever one she decides to bring — signed.
I swim laps — twice a week — after dropping Isabelle off at school. There’s a pool in the same complex as her school so she likes to accompany me to the locker room before I drop her off with her teacher.
I have no idea why she likes going to the locker room. Let’s be honest: it smells like feet. But she enjoys watching me put my things away in a locker before I take her to class. Most of the time no one is there so we just chat for a few minutes while I put my things away. No one is being hurt by this (except for her olfactory sense) so I indulge her locker room requests whenever we get to the complex with time to spare.
This morning, just before we left the house, I noticed Isabelle was busy cutting the corners off of some construction paper and affixing stickers to the same paper.
“What are you doing?” I asked. “It’s almost time to go.”
“I’m gonna give this to someone in the locker room.”
“Who? There’s usually no one in there.”
“Someone will be there,” she replied.
“How do you know?” I asked.
She didn’t answer me. She kept on working until I said, “Come in to put socks and sneakers on!”
The pitter-patter of feet came down the hallway with her masterpiece in-hand. I tried not to roll my eyes. There were Bad Kitty stickers all over the paper. Just what a random adult would want from a random kid.
* * * * *
After I swiped my membership card at the front desk, I asked Isabelle, “What will you say when you hand the paper to someone?”
“You’re not going to just shove the paper in someone’s face, right? I know you do that sometimes when you give away your art. You have to say something first.”
“What are you going to say?”
Still no response as we walked down the stairs. Was she ignoring me?
“Are you going to say ‘this is for you’ or will you just shove the paper at the person?” I inquired.
“I’m going to say, ‘I made this for you.'”
“Great!” I replied.
Isabelle insisted on opening the door to the women’s locker room. “After you,” she said.
I giggled. How old is she?
We walked in and Isabelle beelined to the only woman in the locker room — who was in the middle of getting undressed! Before I could even ask Isabelle to give her a moment to get her clothes on, Isabelle walked right over to her and said, “Hi, I made this for you.”
“For me?” the half-clothed woman said.
“Yes!” Isabelle declared.
“Did you make it by yourself or did your mom help?” the gracious woman inquired as she donned her pants.
“By myself,” Isabelle said proudly.
“Well, thank you,” the lady said.
“You’re welcome,” Isabelle responded.
The lady got dressed as I unloaded my swim bag into the locker. Just as she got ready to leave she told Isabelle, “I’m going to hang this on my wall when I get to work later.”
“Okay,” was all Isabelle said. But honestly, I think that made her day.
“Will you be embarrassed to be seen with me if I wear this hat to pick you up at school?”
“Are you sure? It has ear flaps.”
“I think you look cute!”
It was settled. My daughter thought the ugly hat I grabbed at LL Bean was cute on me. Therefore, we got in line and purchased it.
Fast-forward to this morning, aka: the first day I actually wore said-hat.
Giggles ensued once it was on my hat, even though it was not clipped on the bottom.
“What’s so funny?” I asked Isabelle.
“Is it my hat?”
Even more giggles.
“That’s great. YOU told me I looked cute in this hat!”
“You look silly.”
Yeah, I know I look silly. But it is cold outside. Cold as in 19°F, but feels like 8°F. My 28 year-old self would die if she saw me walking around with this hat. I never would’ve been caught dead walking around Manhattan in something this ugly! But my 38 year-old self doesn’t care. My ears are warm. If my ears are warm, then I’m happy — no matter how silly I look.
I retained my birth name when I married my husband. Our daughter has his name. Every now and then I quiz her to make sure she knows my last name is different than her’s… just in case. But I haven’t thought to drill her on her basic information (e.g., her full name, her complete address, my last name) for the past three weeks since I’ve been convalescing after my surgery.
Isabelle and I were putting on our shoes this morning when she started talking about Halloween. (A favorite topic these days!)
“I’m gonna share my candy from Hersheypark in the Dark with Molly.”
“Oh yeah?” I asked.
She continued. “And Andrew. And Sarah. And Marc. And Stacey.”
“Wow! So that’s how you refer to me now? As Stacey?!!?”
“Yes,” she replied. “Your name is Stacey Mobile.”
“Your name is Stacey Mobile,” she repeated.
Stacey Mobile? What is she talking about? And then it dawned on me… “Did you hear Bubbe say, ‘Call Stacey, mobile’ when she was here with you for the past few weeks?
“Yes,” she replied.
“And now you think my name is Stacey Mobile?” I asked.
“That’s your name,” she stated.
I was too tired for a fight. After all, I took over being “Mommy” again this morning. That’s because Isabelle’s bubbe, my mom, went home after helping us for two-and-a-half weeks. My husband is on-call at work this week, which means I’m doing more than usual this week. I didn’t feel like myself. I didn’t want to start correcting her and drilling her. Besides — it was kind of cute. Stacey Mobile!