Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hot Mama

You know that slogan for Motherhood Maternity? "Motherhood. It's hot!" It sure is. Hot as in, retaining about ten pounds of water yet still somehow peeing every hour on the hour, having a face as round and swollen as a balloon, calves the size of an elephant's, and galumphing around in a near-constant state of clammy sweat due to the ninety degree weather. It's hot as in, hair that's frizzing up uncontrollably, partly due to the heat and partly because I no longer have the will to try to tame it with anything but a rubber band. And nothing is so hot as getting heartburn every time I eat ANYTHING and then make the mistake of lying down afterwards. Hot is taking a quick shower and then feeling weak and nauseous afterwards and needing to lie down and drink a glass of water.
Heidi Klum I am not. My hair is not sleek and my face is puffy and un-made-up and beginning to break out from the humidity. I am dressed in shorts and T-shirts which are inevitably grubby by the time Jim gets home. I am somewhat tan from my few ventures outdoors recently, the one silver lining of all this sudden summer. At least I tan easily. But overall, I feel as sexy and hot and stylish as, say, a beached whale, slowly and miserably dying in the sun. I can't believe I still have at least two and maybe three more months of this.
But I am grateful that I am still pregnant and with no pre-term labor signs yet other than a few random Braxton-Hicks. A girl Jim works with just had a baby very early- it weighed around two pounds, I think. That must be incredibly hard and stressful to have to deal with visiting a newborn in the hospital and pumping breast milk and worrying constantly while also recovering from birth yourself. My prayers are with her and her family.
And so, even as I am miserable and sweaty and so SICK of being pregnant today, I am also very grateful that this little guy is still safely ensconced in my belly, even if he (and my intestines) are getting more and more cramped every day! You just stay put for now, little one. Maybe get off my bladder, though.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More About Worrying Later

I worry that the kids will kill themselves skateboarding, and I worry that they'll never try skateboarding because they'll be too worried. I worry that if I stop worrying then my children won't be safe — that my worry actually, magically keeps them safe — and then I worry that it's my very worrying that will pull danger towards us.
Catherine Newman ended her column this week by admitting the above. Few things I've ever read have rung truer in my brain than these sentences. It's such contradictory and frankly crazy thinking, but these two thoughts- I MUST worry! and also, alternately, My worry will jinx us and lead to tragedy!- are always somewhere in the back of my mind. Anyone else?
(I have a whole post about worry and kids, but Addy's waking up right now and I don't have time today. Later, I will obsess some more about it, I promise!)

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread and Disposable Diapers!

Today we embarked on a two and a half hour car trip to Michigan, and what do you know, that portable DVD player is worth its weight in gold! That was the best, quietest road trip we've had with Addy since she was a year old and decided that her carseat was the enemy. True, we had to listen to the sounds of Veggie Tales and Baby Einstein, which numb you out to adult conversation in the same eerie manner that they do at home, but it was a small price to pay to also have the blessed sound of silence from the carseat.
I definitely recommend the purchase of one of these bad boys to anyone with small children who may have to drive further than a half hour at any point in the near future. Especially if you only have ONE kid who has no one else in the backseat to entertain her, or if you have multiple children who do NOT entertain each other but only antagonize each other. Either situation is ideal for portable digital entertainment! Two thumbs up!
Side note: If child/children in backseat eventually fall asleep, portable digital entertainment is also not too shabby for the passenger in the front seat. So see that you bring suitable media for adult riders as well as your stash of sing-a-longs for the kids.
Unfortunately, I have no real brand recommendation to offer. I couldn't even tell you off the top of my head which ours is. I just know that the concept and product in general is excellent. Overpriced, yes, but excellent, and in ten years I bet those suckers will be as commonplace as cell phones. No minivan will come equipped without one! The only potential problem I could see is if you had a wide range of ages in one backseat, and the ten year old was threatening to leap out the car window if they had to sit through a Sesame Street movie one more time just to keep the toddler happy. Or vice versa. You probably wouldn't want the kindergartner watching some PG-13 fare which the teenagers had brought along. Definitely a conundrum there, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Circle

Every day at least once or twice, I find myself beginning one little chore, like, say, returning Addy's shoes to her room, and end up wearing a path around the circular layout of our house, picking up first one thing, then another. Here's how it will happen: "I'm going to bed," I'll say, around ten. I pick up my water glass or empty cereal bowl or whatever I have out and take it to the sink. While there, I'll see that there are just a few other things in the sink as well, so I'll load them in the dishwasher and start it up. Then I'll notice a spot of jelly or something on the counter, so I'll just wipe that up, and then go ahead and wipe the other counters, too, while I'm at it.
Then I'll decide that the washcloth has about had it, so I'll head to the laundry room to throw it in the dirty basket. Whereupon I will realize that I threw a load in the wash three hours ago and never put it in the dryer. So I'll hurry up and get the dryer started before the wet clothes start to reek of mildew. And when I turn around to leave, I'll trip over some random blocks or toys, so I'll gather those up and pile them outside Addy's door.
There I will finally make my way to the bathroom to brush my teeth and get ready for bed, but while there I will notice that at some point Addy has pulled all my lotions out of the drawer for the hundredth time that day and arranged them carefully in the bathtub, so I'll have to stop and put those away before getting down to actual bedtime preparation. At last I head for my bedroom, but when I get there I will realize there is a basket of clean clothes on the bed that needs to be put away. I'll do that, and then return the basket to the laundry room. Then I'll realize I'm thirsty, and decide to head back to the kitchen for a glass of water.
There I will spot an ant on my clean counters and kill it with a napkin. I'll throw the napkin away, and realize that the trash bag is full. I'll tie off the bag, take it to the garage, and then put in a clean bag. Then I'll get the water I came for, and actually go to bed. Maybe. Assuming I don't spot an empty Popsicle wrapper in the living room or a half-full sippy cup lying in the playpen. Then it's back to the gauntlet!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Putting Out Fires

Why do annoying little mishaps seem to happen in groups? It can't just be, "Oh look! Addy has figured out how to open her dresser drawers and throw every item of clothing onto the floor while I'm not looking!" 'Cause if it was just that and nothing else AFTER that, then the original incident would be kind of cute, maybe, and certainly only minorly frustrating. But to have it immediately followed by Addy dumping her bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch all over the couch, before I had even gotten around to cleaning up the empty-dresser mess, made both things seem neither cute nor minor. And then, to take Addy off to have a bath in order to remove the coating of sugar and cinnamon from every square inch of her body, and have her pee all over her bedroom rug before I could get a clean diaper on her, then freak out and run in circles wailing about the pee running down her leg... Well, that didn't make it better.
I was getting truly irritable, and the only way I could maintain my Mommy cool was to think in steps, and not think beyond the step I was on. First, wipe pee off child and put on a diaper. Second, clean pee out of rug before it sets in. Third, dress kid and get her set up with a movie so I can proceed to steps four and five, cleaning up cereal on couch and cleaning up clothes off of floor. So I was happy that I came out of all these minor setbacks to my schedule without having a major meltdown. But I was not happy about the way that my morning seemed to have literally disappeared without my doing one single thing on my actual to-do list.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Grooming Habits Meme!

Except actually, I want ALL of you to reply to it, so while I'm going to tag a few bloggers who I think would enjoy doing this one, I still want comments, too! If you want, just choose a particular question about which you have something to say, and don't feel obligated to answer every single one.
I wanted to do this questionnaire because I was thinking lately about how much my definition of "getting ready" for the day has changed since becoming a mother! This meme covers things from makeup to leg waxing to how much money you spend on yourself, now vs. pre-children. Here goes:

1. On average, how much time would you estimate that you spend on your daily grooming routines, from brushing teeth to showering to any sort of hair/makeup fixing?
I would guess roughly forty-five minutes, when I average in the days I actually take time to blow dry and put on makeup and stuff. Most days, though, it's probably more like twenty minutes.

2. How much time did you spend before having kids on grooming habits?
At least an hour. Some days more.

3. Do you wear makeup every day?
No... I definitely used to, but since Addy came along, priorities have shifted!

4. If you do the makeup thing, do you buy the expensive stuff (department store, Sephora, etc.) or do you head for the cosmetics aisle at the drugstore?
When I was in high school, I used to spend probably half my paycheck on makeup and facial products at Clinique, but now I am strictly drugstore!

5. Do you have a "mom" hairstyle which you fall back on routinely?
I cut my hair really short while I was pregnant with Addy, so that I never had to dry or style it, but it has since grown past my shoulders, so now my usual hairdo is a ponytail. Oftentimes a WET ponytail.

6. How often do you get your hair cut? Do you get any coloring/highlights done?
I am very sporadic about haircuts- maybe every six months. I used to get blond highlights, but my hair grows so ridiculously fast that my roots are showing in a week, so I no longer bother with that.

7. Do you use salon products on your hair regularly, or ever?
I've bought a few things in the past, but definitely not on a regular basis.

8. Do you shave your legs every day? If not, how often?
I probably shave every three days. Sometimes less than that, if it's winter. And I have dark leg hair, so I should probably be an every day-er, but it takes too long!

9. Do you routinely get treatments like waxing, brow shaping, manicures, pedicures, or massages?
No, just once or twice a year, when I get gift certificates for massages.

10. Did you USED to do any of the above routinely?
I used to get massages once a month. I really do miss it, but between paying for the actual service and hiring a sitter to watch Addy, I can't really afford to anymore.

11. Are you loyal to any particular brand of skin care, hair product, or makeup? If so, do you feel it's truly worth it and makes a difference in your appearance?
I am a big product junkie- I love trying new stuff. I could stand in the toiletries aisles of the drugstore forever choosing the perfect face wash or scrub or whatever. The only thing I always have on hand is St. Ives Apricot Scrub, or the store generic of it. And in the summer, I always use Clean and Clear's Dual Action moisturizer- it's the only thing I've ever tried that keeps me from breaking out but never makes my skin feel dry. And lately, I have become a convert of Dove hair products. I think I will stick with it from now on. It really smells amazing, I think, and the scent kind of lingers all day, almost like a light, clean perfume.

12. On average per month, adding in the cost for everything from body wash to razors to hair cuts to new mascara, how much would you guess you spend on your own personal care and keeping? Did it used to be more?
I would estimate between forty and fifty dollars, all things included. And yes, it definitely used to be more!

Okay, I tag Jennifer at Playgroups Are No Place For Children and Shauna at Pass The Chocolate!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

This Is What Gives Us A Bad Name!

"Heavenly Father, we pray that this one who needs this divine help will write their needs on page two of this letter and will place this blessed, biblical, Acts 19:11,12 Handkerchief and this sealed Bible prophecy under their side of the bed as they sleep tonight.
"Let Thy power from heaven descend upon this home tonight and tomorrow night, after this one has mailed their most pressing needs back to this 56-year-old church ministry. We pray that they will break open this sealed prophecy after sunset tomorrow. Amen."
So read the back side of an envelope addressed to "Someone connected to this residence." (All bolding and italicizing is as per the original copy.) The front side of the envelope announced, "God's Holy Spirit instructed us to loan you this to start turning things around for you. So, here it is."
Within was further bizarro talk about this amazing, "fifty-six year-old" church ministry (the name of the ministry is never mentioned) which claims that if I only write my needs on this paper handkerchief they have so thoughtfully sent to me, bless it with prayer, and then tuck it under my pillow, that God, like some sort of grown-up Tooth Fairy, will pay special attention to my particular requests. It was truly mystifying. They kept siting this one random Scripture reference which included the words "apron," "handkerchief," and "miracle," claiming it as a direct command to their church's elders to bless and then send out these paper handkerchiefs, thereby in effect offering miraculous prayer-answering power to the world.
The envelope also included a "sealed prophecy," but cautioned me not to open it until the following morning, and then only after having slept upon my prayer-soaked handkerchief. If I dared to scorn the handkerchief, or had an unbelieving spirit, I was instructed to destroy the prophecy still sealed, as it was "of a spiritual nature." Implicit in this command was the sense that I was risking a bolt of lightning to the head if I tempted fate by prematurely tearing into my own personal prophecy!
I immediately did so, of course, all devil-may-care, and found within the most generic "personal" prophecy ever. The statement above the prophecy demanded, "Tell us if this is not you!" And then went on to ask, "Are you facing big decisions? Do you sometimes feel there is a greater purpose for your life than you have yet discovered?"
Come on- who DOESN"T that describe? What kind of a loser would I be if there were literally NO decisions facing me, and I didn't feel there was some sort of purpose I had yet to fulfill? "No, nameless fifty-six-year-old church ministry of handkerchiefs and prophecies, I am CAREFREE right now! Absolutely zero choices facing me, not even what to wear today! And as for unfulfilled purpose? Nah... I'm good! In fact, I plan on living the remainder of my life on this couch eating breakfast cereal out of the box and watching Nick At Night, that's how confident I am that there is literally nothing left that I am meant to do!"
Sadly disappointed in my prophetic destiny, I tossed the papers aside. But then I glanced again and read that, after writing a prayer request on the handkerchief and then, of course, LITERALLY sleeping on said request, I am to send the handkerchief back and I will receive a FREE SPIRITUAL GIFT which will greatly enrich my life! I might just have to do that... I can only imagine what greater mysteries of faith this fifty-six year-old church ministry has to unlock for me!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It Takes A Village

I really, really do not know what I would be doing right now if we didn't have helpful relatives around. And also a husband with a flexible job. This week alone, I have had four, count 'em, FOUR medical appointments. Tuesday, dentist at eleven and physical therapy at three thirty. Today, OB appointment at eleven, physical therapy at three. I have left Addy with my sister in law twice, as I wisely planned these events around the days she works from home, this morning Jim stayed home to watch her, and Tuesday my little sister came over right after school and before her evening job to stay with Addy. This is how it works. Some people have nannies. I shamelessly beg favors of my relatives. Thank you, everyone!
Also... I got to thinking today (at my twenty four week appointment) about how, assuming this baby decides to follow his big sister's example and pop out around thirty six weeks, I have approximately twelve weeks until child number two arrives. Also figuring in that I have about a fifty percent chance of going into preterm labor and needing to be on bedrest again like last time, this actually only leaves me EIGHT weeks to prepare!! EIGHT!! That is not such a long time, my friends, not such a long time at all. I actually felt my heart speed up a little when this fact dawned on me. How has time flown so fast?
At least we have Addy's new room all put together. Jim assembled her bed late last night, I moved her clothes and diapers and stuff in this afternoon, and she both took a nap in her bed and is currently asleep for the night on it. Sure, it took ten minutes of back patting and soothing talk, and then another two or three minutes of standing outside the door with a tight chest listening to her scream hysterically and bang on the door, but... Suddenly the screaming stopped as she gave up, climbed back into bed, and calmly resumed drinking her water. Just like that.
Only hitch in this new arrangement is that her room is now sharing a wall with the bathroom. Which means I have had to pee for about two hours now but am still holding it, in fear that the flush of the toilet is going to wake her up, and then I will be repeating tonight's earlier bedtime episode, but with extra, drawn out emotional trauma. I may just go out with the dog before bed and pee on a tree for tonight. Really don't want to rock the boat.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I'm Still Here

Dear blogger friends, I am sorry I have fallen off the wagon. In the interest of hosting Mother's Day cook-outs and going to the dentist and physical therapy and keeping up on laundry and switching Adelay from the nursery to her new bedroom, I have been one sorry slacker with the posting and commenting lately. I offer my apologies, and I am trying to catch up on everyone's posts.
I have many things to mention, so today's post is going to be completely unthemed, just a list, in the order that they pop into my head, of all the things I've been wanting to tell you guys lately.

1. I made a traditional English trifle for Mother's Day, complete with sweet, ripe strawberries, sherry-soaked pound cake, and REAL whipped cream which I WHIPPED MYSELF. And it was fantastic, it truly was. I have decided that though I am not such a successful baker, perhaps the secret for me is no-bake desserts. From now on I will stick to recipes with ingredients which need only to be whipped and layered and soaked in dessert liqueurs!

2. My friend Renee got me Season 10 of Friends as a surprise, for-no-reason present, and it may be my most favorite gift ever. First there was the unexpectedness, which always heightens the pleasure and the niceness of a gift, in my opinion, and then there was the perfectness of it, because I was really getting sick of the seasons I had. All friends and romantic partners of bored pregnant women, take note! TV series make excellent gifts. Because while we enjoy chocolate, we are prone to heartburn, and while flowers are lovely, they die. We cannot drink your wine, we cannot even drink your coffee, and our attention span is that of a toddler right now, so books longer than a magazine article are pretty much out, too. But episode after episode of a twenty-two minute long sitcom? This is the gift that keeps on giving.

3. If you happen to buy a so-so brownie mix, and it comes out tasting a little too floury, a little too dull, and not rich enough at all... Well. Drizzling copious amounts of chocolate and caramel sauce over the top of it while it is still warm and allowing it to soak all the way through the cake is a not too shabby way to jazz that pan of brownies right up!

4. Saturday night, Jim painted Addy's playroom, soon to be her bedroom/playroom, a brighter shade of yellow. Before which, I spackled the thirty or so nail holes and toy dents which were ruining the otherwise acceptable coat of paint currently on the walls. I LOVE seeing a fresh coat of paint. And I really love that I didn't have to DO any of the actual taping or painting or cleaning up. This was an excellent Mother's Day gift. And now I feel like we're really doing the big stuff to prepare for the new baby. One room down, one to go!

5. Addy's new toddler bed (take two!) arrived Monday evening, and it was actually the RIGHT bed in the RIGHT color. Whew. So tonight we're setting it up, and, with any luck, Addy will be out of the crib. I am a little sad but mostly excited, because I really do think she's ready and will be okay with it.

6. I have now gained eighteen pounds. I am about twelve pounds from where I was when Addy was BORN. Which means I can only gain four pounds a month from now on, if I am to gain the same amount this time. Which is basically to say, I am SO going to be gaining more weight this time. And this is fine. Really, it is. It will be good and healthy if this baby is bigger than Addy was, for one thing. Not, like, five pounds bigger. But maybe one or two. What I have a problem with, however, is that my THIGHS appear to be pregnant.

7. There are large black ants taking over our house. I really don't have a lot to say about this, because it's not funny, it's been almost two months, and I am about to scream. And yet I can't set out traps because the last time I did, Adelay tried to eat them. So all I can do is obsessively smash ants all day long, and obsessively clean up crumbs and food bits to try not to attract the ants. But still they come. It's like being at a picnic all day long, minus the watermelon and the fun.

8. Yesterday at Wal-Mart, I saw just the classiest thing ever! In line in front of me was a young dad with his little baby boy, laughing and playing. I smiled benevolently and thought, "Aw." And then I glanced at the conveyor belt, upon which lay his single purchase: a giant box of Trojans. Which, while hard to ignore, lying there in all its glory, was not an inherently negative thing. His son looked to be about three months old and the guy wasn't wearing a wedding band, so safe sex was probably a good idea for him. But then a minute later, I saw him drive by the front of the store as I was walking out, in his rusted out truck, with the carseat, forward facing, in the front seat! Despite my previous attempt to judge not lest I myself be judged, I gave in and judged him quite sternly to be a white trash loser out to go break a condom, and probably not with his son's mother, either. And then I laughed all the way to my car. Only at Wal-Mart...

9. I am so stinking tired of our dentist. And tired of not having dental coverage on our health plan. Since switching to our current office (because, ironically, the old one was getting too expensive!) they have raised their fees twice. In one year. It now costs me ninety-three bucks to get a cleaning. When paying out of pocket, this is insane. I know for a fact there are other offices in the area which charge about half of that. So, annoyed but resigned, I am now beginning yet again to search for a new dentist.

10. Yesterday was Jim's and my third anniversary. It was simple, but nice. We went out to eat and exchanged cards. But it was really fun. We haven't done anything just the two of us, no friends or family or baby, in a long time. It turns out we can still do the old conversation thing pretty darn well. And hey, three years- we've outlasted most celebrity couples already!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mommy Dearest

Happy Mother's Day, everyone! Here's raising a glass of... Well, sparkling grape juice for me, and something slightly more refreshing for the rest of you, in honor of another year! I hope you all got a little love from your husband and kiddies, and gave out a little love to your moms and grandmas. I hope some of you even got breakfast in bed!
And I really hope none of you had to cook today. Or that you at least had help!
I wish everyone kids that take nice long naps today, eat all their food instead of throwing it on the floor, and go to bed without a fuss. And who tell you how sweet and beautiful and kind and patient you are.
I wish you, also, husbands that do the dishes and and maybe bring you flowers and tell you that they're the luckiest guys in the world to have you.
If they haven't done so yet, allow me: All of you are great, and our families are lucky to have us!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Night of The Living Dead

These are the sort of nights that make me terrified of adding a newborn to our little family equation. Weeks can go by without a hitch- Addy goes to bed between eight and nine, I got to bed between ten and eleven and fall asleep to Friends, and Jim goes to bed at whatever ungodly hour he finds himself finally tired. (I would do this too, but then I'd be heading directly to bed after dinner.) And then it happens: something wakes me up, or Adelay, or even worse, both of us, and then it's anyone's guess how long it will wake the two of us to settle back down for the night.
Last night, for example, I turned in around ten thirty, propped myself up on my giant pillow which keeps my uterus off my spine and also allows me to breathe even with my current head cold, and popped in the tenth season of Friends (thank you, Renee!)
Sleep came quickly, interrupted only once by a quick, semiconscious trip to the bathroom. These are so routine and mindless as to not really break up my sleep rhythm any more. Open eyes, heave self out of bed, shuffle to bathroom with eyes only half open, pee, return to bed. Sometimes I'm back asleep within one minute. This trip was no different. But the dream I had when I did return to sleep was so alarming as to jerk me from sleep into a land of wakeful paranoia, roaming through the house, checking all the dark corners for intruders, and finally, unable to help myself, prowling into Adelay's room.
I dreamed that I was in bed, asleep, and was then startled from sleep by noises in the baby's room next to us. I woke Jim up and insisted he go in and check. When he did, he returned, shaken and cradling Addy, to inform me: "There was someone in there!"
The intruder somehow disappears before anyone sees him, but Jim tells me that when he walked in, the guy was holding Adelay and packing her stuff up in a bag. The rest is all a weird blur- police come, lights are on all over the neighborhood, neighbors and friends huddle in our living room while I make coffee. Adelay is clinging to my body, frightened, and I am holding her with an equally terrified death grip. People keep saying, "Thank God you woke up in time!" and the police are asking us who we know who might have wanted to steal our child.
We don't know, of course, and so the police begin rooting through all of our things, looking for pictures or clues. I am freaking out, naturally, and ranting, "We are moving! Far away! We have to change our names! We cannot let this person find us ever again!"
Adelay, still clinging to me like a baby monkey, pees through her sleeper, and I am stricken with guilt that I have further frightened her. I rush off to change her diaper, and that was when I woke up.
And lost my mind. Because upon waking, in a cold sweat, I managed to calm down and convince myself it was all a dream, and then just as I was drifting back to sleep, I heard noises from Addy's room! Now what was I supposed to do? I tried to tell myself it was just her, restless from a dream or something, tossing and turning, but in the back of my head I kept hearing, "What if there's a kidnapper in there? What if those noises are that creepy man opening and closing her drawers just like in your dream? What if the dream was a sign from God so you can rescue your baby?"
It didn't take much of this before I jumped out of bed and hovered outside her closed door, weighing my options: Possibly wake her up to reassure myself that she is not being stolen, or take my chances and let her go back to sleep, then live with the guilt for the rest of my natural life if she actually IS being kidnapped. I went with the first choice, being as I was half awake and not especially rational, and also had crazy mama bear hormones still surging through my body. Once I decided to go in, I practically had to restrain myself from breaking down the door with my shoulder instead of quietly turning the knob.
And there he was! Oh wait, no. There no one was, except of course Addy, tossing and turning loudly, her head buried under about thirty blankets. I crept closer to the crib to pull the blankets off her head and back around her legs, and she suddenly sat upright, smiling at me broadly and holding out her arms to be held. Clearly my footsteps creaking on the floorboards had been the straw that broke the camel's back for her, sleep-wise. But I gratefully scooped her up and accepted her warm hug, reveling in the fact of her safe, unkidnapped self. I carried her back to our bed, hoping we would both fall asleep again in short order now that we were comforted by one another's presence, but this was a dream even more far fetched than the interrupted child snatching.
She bounced around gleefully, poking Jim in the face to make sure he was aware of her joyful presence, and finally settled in with her head cradled in the crook of my neck and her feet in Jim's ears. She remained there for a while, her breathing growing deeper, and I resigned myself to a stiff neck, but just as I was drifting off, she was awake again, springing around like Tigger, poking her stabby little fingers into my facial orifices to determine their location in the dark. She stared in awe at the slowly circulating ceiling fan, every so often shouting out its name and pointing.
After about forty five minutes of this, I couldn't take it anymore. Every time I thought we had both found a comfortable spot, my arm would go numb, or Adelay would toss abruptly and kick me in the kidneys before saying in a completely wide awake voice, "Mama! Daddy!" I finally scooped her up and regretfully tucked her back into her bed, where she instantly fell asleep again. Apparently the excitement of the overhead fan is just too much, even when one is entirely exhausted.
Note to self: Upon waking from scary nightmare involving one's child, maybe just listen at the door for awhile. Maybe DO NOT go stomping around like an elephant, wake the kid up, and then take her back to bed just to comfort yourself that she is alive and well. Child is not a security blanket, but a person, a small, sweaty, kicky person who does not cosleep well.

Friday, May 11, 2007

To Market, To Market...

So, here is a question, a not very exciting but oh-so-practical question, about the scheduling of one's shopping trips. Mine are completely unscheduled. I usually end up going on Fridays, a terrible choice because it's always busy, and then almost inevitably I end up having to go out again at least once during the week for something I forgot.
Here is what I want to do before the baby comes: Have a detailed list of things we need weekly, like bread and milk, fresh fruit, etc., and also a list of staple things like cereals, cleaning products, diapers, and toiletries, that I could maybe stock up on (to a certain extent- not a lot of storage space here) once every two weeks or even once a month, at the dreaded but much cheaper Wal-Mart. And then I would (ideally) choose and stick to certain days for each of these separate trips, days when the grocery and/or Wal Mart is likely to be well-stocked and uncrowded.
So the question is, how do you do your shopping? Are you a random shopper, like myself, or do you have it down to a science? If you have it down to a science, do you find that it has indeed saved you money and time, or do still end up forgetting things, and then also have the added inconvenience of having half a dozen bars of soap fall on top of you every time you open the bathroom cupboard?
Also: We do have a Sam's Club in our town, which is basically the Wal-Mart version of Costco for those of you not familiar. Are any of you members of these bulk warehouse deals, and is it worth what appears to me to be an enormous amount of hassle? Do you really save gazillions of dollars? Or do you just end up with gazillions of stale Pop-Tarts?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bedside Manners, Or Lack Thereof

This morning was my post-op visit with Dr. N, to have my stitches removed and to confirm that, yes, indeed, I am healing properly and my leg has not fallen off or exploded or anything. I had to take Addy with me, and we started off in a fine mood. The day was pretty, Addy was being cooperative, and I managed to shower and shave my legs without injuring myself or becoming unduly tired! So we got in there, were ushered from the giant main waiting room through a labyrinth of hallways into a smaller waiting room, and things went downhill from there.
At first, Addy was content to climb up into the chairs and then exult with pride over her accomplishment. Then, apparently, chair climbing grew boring. I spotted a milk crate of toys off in a corner for her (the crate looked a wee bit out of place in this massive, multi-million dollar medical facility, complete with elaborate modern art pieces dangling from the vaulted ceilings. They couldn't spring for a toy box?) The toys inside were no better- junky garage sale crap with missing pieces, and none too clean, either. They kept her occupied for awhile, though, but after an hour of sitting there, we were both getting pretty darn bored. And I was feeling pretty darn sleepy, too, as the waiting room was overly warm.
Finally, they called us in, upon which we were ushered to a freezing exam room and told that "He'll be right in." Half hour later, after exhausting every game I could think of and finally allowing Addy to chew on the good doctor's pens to keep her busy, the man himself showed up.
He was completely strung out and jittery from something- my guess would be caffeine, or stress. Or, you know, maybe coke. He was seriously antsy, jiggling his leg and getting up and down out of his swivel chair. He seemed to be talking to himself the whole time. The five minutes I actually saw him went something like this:
Dr. N, loudly: "So, everything went well! The knee looks good. The baby's good, fine. You're doing well. No undue pain or swelling." None of these were delivered in question form.
Me, hesitantly: "Um, no? Nothing undue, I guess."
Dr. N: "Now, you saw those pictures of the arthroscopy, of course. We removed a big chunk of broken kneecap. You just can't have this popping out again or you'll ruin your kneecap. I think you need knee reconstruction. So we need to get you in here again later for further surgery, that's just all there is to it. But we'll deal with that later." Stares off into the distance. Then, jumping up suddenly: "All right! Now we need to..." Trails off, apparently switching to a secret, silent language, then resumes aloud: "...Just up on the bed here."
Me: Staring in confusion while trying to keep Addy from tearing apart my wallet.
Dr. N: "Or maybe in the chair, if you're more comfortable." Sits down again and vigorously pats chair opposite himself to identify it as a sound and excellent seating choice.
Me: Sitting down, extending knee for what I presume to be a forthcoming examination.
Dr. N: Abruptly grasps end of stitches, snips, and pulls. Repeats process on other two incisions without warning. Asks Adelay, "Is this hurting your mommy?"
Me: Pause. "Um, no."
Dr. N, heartily: "No! Of course not! These women who have babies, they're tough! They can put up with anything!" Hearty chuckle follows. Stands up again. "Okay, well, do you need anything else from me?"
Me: Staring in bewilderment. "Well, um, I need to have a different brace fitted, since the last one didn't fit? And... Do I need to do physical therapy or anything?"
Dr. N: "Well, no, your surgical recovery is fine." Stares back, equally bewildered.
Me: "Yes, I know, but you just said it would be very bad if my knee popped out again. So since I can't do any sort of reconstruction or anything for quite a while with the baby and all, should I at least try to strengthen the muscles in my leg to prevent it from popping out?"
Dr. N: "Oh, well, I suppose that's a thought, yes. Okay, we'll get you set up with something." Hastily scribbles a prescription, then bustles out the door, not to be seen again.
Five minutes later, a nurse comes in and leads Addy and I down another crazy corridor, back to the hospital equipment office where I have a second encounter with The Devil Lady who fitted me with my first brace two weeks ago. The one that DIDN'T FIT. She attempts to wrestle several equally ill-fitting braces over my white, chubby thighs, before sighing and heaving and wiping her brow as though she had been freakin' wrangling a bear. "I give up!" she announces to her coworker, who promptly takes over.
The other lady got the same exact brace the first one had been struggling with up over my knee in one smooth motion. Then she helped me find the physical therapy department, which, whatdya know, was down yet another crazy hallway. I waited in line there for about twenty minutes to get my appointment set up, while trying fruitlessly to keep Addy from finding and throwing every single brightly colored exercise ball in the whole enormous room.
When I finally emerged from the maze out into the sunshine of the parking lot, I was never so happy to escape a place in my life. I was faint with hunger, Addy was crazy from being pent up, and I was wearing an enormous contraption over my leg which is going to allow me to wear only shorts the rest of the summer. Just so you know, shorts and I are not the best of friends, so this is going to be a bit of an issue.
I was so hungry by the time we left that I felt a little woozy while I was driving back to town. I was meeting my mom and sister for lunch, and called to alert my mom that if she got there first, she should tell them to send out the cheddar biscuits, pronto. I arrived just as the waiter set down a basket of warm rolls, which I pretty much singlehandedly devoured. Come to think of it, the basket may be missing, too.
I am now so full I feel like rolling myself into the bed for a nap. But I have to wait a minute, or the heartburn will attack. Ah, pregnancy. Maybe I'll have an ice cream bar while I wait...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Getting Better

Sorry it's been so long since I posted- the monitor of our home computer finally bit the dust, and since Jim takes the laptop with him to work (and is frequently working at home, as well) my Internet time has been severely limited. It's been weird not checking people's blogs and my own comments several times every day. Nice, also, to back off of the obsession a bit, but I miss it all the same. I feel disconnected.
I had my first day by myself with Adelay on Wednesday. It went okay, largely because she was a good sport and napped in the afternoon for almost three hours so that I could as well. I was completely exhausted from limping around after her in the morning. My knee swelled up quite a bit that night, so today Jim is working from home to help keep an eye on her. Thank goodness his and my mom were both here those first few days!
Jim is turning thirty this Saturday, so there will be a big party here with all his old college and high school friends. He and his dad have been busy putting the finishing touches (railings, more stain) on our deck that they built last summer, and right now he's off at Sears to get a weed whacker, to Lowe's to get deck supplies, and then to the grocery to stock up for the cook-out. I feel kind of bad that he is doing almost all of the prep work himself for his own party, but currently that's the only way it's going to get done. I went with him to Sears, and was planning to go to the other stops as well (so I could feel like I was helping, I guess,) but by the time I was on my feet for twenty minutes in the mall I was done. We ate at Subway and then Addy and I said good-bye and headed home for naps!
Which is where I am headed now- my bed. Possibly with an ice cream bar. The Schwann's man came by yesterday, and though I usually don't get much, I figured now was a good time to get some frozen, quick foods, since cooking big meals is not high on my priority list of things to be on my feet for right now. I have a big box of personal size pizzas, a giant bag of crinkle cut fries for Addy, and the must-have box of Gold 'N' Nugget bars for Jim and I. I think there are twelve in a box, and they are always gone within a week between the two of us.
So I guess that's about it. I am now off my crutches entirely, and I get pretty swollen if I stand for too long, but on the whole I am recovering quickly, I think. Slow but steady.