Tuesday, April 29, 2008

One Of Those Weeks

You know that saying, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all?" This is the best explanation I can offer up for my blogging absence. Every time I had the urge to sit down and type, it would have ended up one long list of complaints. And while those can be amusing, even MY ability to find the humor was beginning to be stretched. So I decided to just rest the 'ole fingers for a while until I had a more positive (or at least, not homicidal) perspective.
Without further ado, I present Last Week's Highlights:

-Busting my hump cleaning and getting the kids and the dog out of the house for a showing on Monday only to find out from our realtor the next day that the people drove by with their realtor, decided they didn't like the looks of it, and didn't even come in. After already having seen "the looks of it" from the online video tour! People suck. The end.

-Addy acting up at her tumbling class, to the point that I was blushing and apologizing to the other moms for being such a disturbance. Going to pick Eli up from the on-site daycare to find him screaming. Realizing I had no cash to PAY the onsite daycare.

-Having to call in an exterminator on Wednesday to finally take care of our Ridiculously Large Ant Problem, which I have been (fruitlessly) attempting to combat without the use of deadly poisons being sprayed around our house for over a month. This involved a can of pesticide exploding all over our driveway, and of course having to keep the kids out of the house all afternoon during their nap time.

-Another showing on Friday, which apparently accomplished nothing, as I have heard no feedback.

-Terrible sleep all around from Eli. One night Jim had to sit up and play with him for an hour, between three and four AM, because he screamed every time he was laid down, didn't want to nurse, and just apparently needed to hang out and chill with someone.

-Any attempts at weaning have been excruciating and unproductive. I'm beginning to get nervous about the whole situation, as we're supposed to be gone from the kids overnight in two weeks. Anyone had any luck with cold turkey weaning?

And a BONUS anecdote from this morning: Dog running away, chasing dog in my pajamas, driving around neighborhood to find him (didn't,) and Addy throwing horrible temper tantrum and slapping me in the face.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Things Currently Saving My Life

So, where to begin? The house is preternaturally tidy, and there are bottles of pink goo chilling in the fridge. So, to clarify, more showings, and one kid with a sinus infection, another with an ear infection. It's been a fun week.
But it was very nice the last few days, and I dragged us all to the playground three days in a row, which was lovely. And also hilarious, because all three times we went, no matter if I was there with my sister, my SIL and one of my friends, or complete strangers, I ended up talking about pregnancy and birth. It's the inevitable conversation. "So, how old is your daughter?" I may ask, gesturing to the stocky, dark haired girl running around with Addy. Upon hearing she is three, I mention, "Wow, she's tall for her age!" The mother nods vigorously. "Yeah, you'd never know she was a preemie. They had to take her by C-section, eight weeks early...." And we're off, trading birth stories. It's like the secret password into the mom club.

I'm so tired and out of it right now. I laid awake last night, after finally getting Eli to bed at eleven thirty, suddenly panicked because I couldn't remember if his dedication at church was THIS Sunday or next. If it is this Sunday I'm kinda screwed, because I literally have bare cupboards right now, and I had invited all our family over for lunch and cake to celebrate. Looks like we'll be celebrating with takeout chicken! It is now eight forty on Sunday morning, and I still am not sure if it's today or next week. I tried to find it on the church website and the domain name was being refreshed or something and won't be available for forty eight hours. COME on! So now I'm just waiting until it's a reasonable time to call Jess. I'm assuming she'll know for sure, since her son is getting dedicated too, and like a normal, good mom, she'll probably have made some kind of MENTAL NOTE about it. Gaah.

Can I just say, in a whisper, that Eli is the worst sleeper in the world? I cannot remember the last time I slept for more than four hours at a time. I haven't had a full night's sleep (full, for me, being at least seven hours) in over a year. And our dream of somehow weaning him and helping him sleep through the night with formula is pure fantasy at this point, at he still refuses to touch a bottle until he is on the brink of starvation. He was so stuffy and miserable this week that I actually had to feed him expressed breast milk through a freakin' MEDICINE SYRINGE so he wouldn't die of thirst, as he had refused to nurse for twelve hours straight.

So ANYWAYS, to segue all this into the title, the one thing that has buoyed my spirits and kept me going the past few days, coffee and new Office episodes aside, is the discovery of this little pairing: Pillsbury crescent rolls and chocolate chips. It was in the RealSimple magazine this month as their cheat recipe, and it is heavenly in its simplicity and in its ability to satisfy my sweet tooth. You just roll ten to twelve chocolate chips (or more, if inclined) inside the dough, bake, and voila! Chocolate croissants. After the first successful batch, I got daring, adding coconut flakes, and it was just as wonderful as I had dreamed. If you enjoy chocolate and pastry together, you must try this pronto. Ideally, you would stop at two, though, and then add something sensible like bacon and eggs to round out your sugar fest of a breakfast. Ideally. But if you choose to eat four while watching Dan In Real Life- and wiping noses ten bajillion times- I wouldn't judge you. I may even have been there myself.
(Did you guys like this movie, by the way? I found it oddly endearing, despite the obvious hokyness and sap oozing out of every scene. I half expected one of them to pick up a guitar and lead everyone in a spontaneous round of Kumbaya. And yet I wanted to be adopted into their Rhode Island beach front house-living family all the same.)

Here's your mission, oh internetz. I want to hear what (fairly simple) chocolate fixes save YOUR life. Last night, croissants having been obliterated, I was reduced to eating straight chocolate chips, which, while perfectly delish, feels a little tragic and Cathy-esque. So send me some ideas to spruce those chocolate chips up into more life-saving treats!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What Doesn't Kill You...

Gripe The First: Still no word on the house, either ours or the one we're hoping to buy. I guess that's at least half good news.

Gripe The Second: In other (fully BAD) news, both children have disgusting, virulent colds and have been miserable, mucusy little cling-ons for the last two days. I feel awful for them, especially Eli, who is particularly congested and who gasps and chokes every time he tries to nurse because he cannot simultaneously drink AND breathe. He's not eating or sleeping well, and spends the majority of his waking time wailing in heartbreaking misery. You know, I always thought my mom was just being noble when she said she'd rather be sick than have us be sick, but now I get it. And it's not a purely unselfish thing (i.e. I'd rather suffer than watch you suffer.) A lot of it is just common sense, too. Given the choice between dealing with my own cold and trying to help a (shh, already somewhat cranky) infant deal with his cold, I would infinitely prefer to be sick.

Gripe The Third: Addy is being even more finicky about food than usual, which is her main symptom when ill. All she wants to eat is Cheerios and applesauce, and frankly I'm fine with that, but it makes the whole ordeal of dinner and lunch just that- an ordeal. We're trying to establish some sort of "try at least a bite" rule, but so far the score is Addy-100, Parents-1 or 2.

Gripe The Fourth: The weather around here had been glorious and sunny and warm for a few days, and I was being lulled into a false sense of spring. Then, Friday afternoon, it started raining and being cold and gray and gloomy again. I'm trying to take heart, as the sun IS currently shining, but spring has been an unfaithful lover one too many times. My heart is growing hard to her persuasive charms now- I know she's just going to betray my trust again.
But I DID put Addy's new spring clothes in her drawer today, so I guess despite my mental resistance, I am beginning to weaken yet again. What can I say? The heart wants what it wants, and in this case it wants darling little polka dot skorts and tiny tee shirts with ruched sleeves.
Oh, spring. I wish I could quit you.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Not The WORST Day Of My Life, But...

Our realtor called on Thursday to let me know we had a showing at twelve thirty the next afternoon. So, the cleaning commenced- I'm beginning to get it down to a science, actually. I should hire myself out as a professional speed cleaner. "Unexpected guests? In-laws called to say they'll be there in an hour? Let Semi-desperate Housewife come to your rescue!"
But I digress. The point was, the next morning as I was doing all the last minute things (finishing up laundry, wiping down kitchen and bathroom counters, mopping the floor, making beds, hiding toothbrushes, etc.) Eli was sick and snuffly and wailing mournfully the whole time. But, I had to have the house spotless and everyone out the door by twelve fifteen, so besides changing diapers, setting up movies, and doling out food, I wasn't doing a lot of cuddling and entertaining. It just wasn't possible. Usually this is no biggie. Not ideal, but the kids don't seem too traumatized. Yesterday, however, Eli was MISERABLE, and so I felt a combination of "Hurry, hurry, must clean" stress and "Terrible mother with screwed priorities" stress/guilt. I was in a pretty horrible mood by the time I finally loaded up the car (that's kids AND dog, remember) and headed out.
My parents live about two minutes away, so when I have a morning or afternoon showing, I've been taking us all over to their house and locking the dog in the garage. My mom has a playroom set up for the kids, plus they have a better cable package than we do, so it's kind of a nice little reward for the kids and me after the whirlwind cleaning sessions. I was really looking forward to setting Addy up with her dollhouse and laying on the couch watching TLC while finally snuggling my poor sick boy.
Alas, it was not to be. We recently had some trouble with my car, and in the process of getting it back and forth to the shop, Jim and I ended up switching cars and never bothered switching back. Which means we also switched key rings. Which means HE HAD MY KEY TO MY MOM'S HOUSE. I pulled up in the driveway, let the dog out to pee, then went up to unlock the door and felt the knowledge slowly dawning upon me. I swear you could probably have SEEN the light bulb go off above my head.
I got back in the car with the muddy pawed, wound up dog and pulled back out, wondering where the heck we were supposed to go with two hungry kids, one enormous dog, and a mom who was still in her (mismatched) pajamas because she didn't take the time to shower and didn't think anyone was going to see her. I wasn't even wearing a BRA, people, and let's just say that when you're breastfeeding, the girls aren't able to run free unnoticed. You might as well slap on a sign that says, "Hey, look at my hooters!"
So I just kind of... drove around. I decided to go to Wendy's because it was across town and I figured that in the lunch hour traffic I might just kill enough time. It worked out pretty well, except that as soon as I got the food in the car, the dog started salivating so wildly that the slobber was dropping in steaming globs into my handbag. Bon appetite! Also, I cannot even IMAGINE what I looked like to that girl in the drive thru window. Two yelling kids, giant, panting, vacant-eyed dog, piles of laundry, and me in my plaid pj's. I was really wishing for a cloak of invisibility, but I was wishing for a Diet Coke just a LITTLE bit more, so I swallowed the shame. It was thick going down, let me just tell you.
So! I finally make it home, give Addy her food and start spooning carrots into the baby's hungry little pie hole, then lastly get to eat myself. Get kids down for a nap, and feel myself slowly relaxing for the first time all day. My sister was home from school for the weekend and came over to hang out with me for awhile, so that was good too. At that point I really needed some adult conversation other than the frantic voice inside my own head.
It was seeming like it was going to be a nice afternoon after all. Then Jim called and told me that our realtor had just spoken with him. You guys, another couple is buying the house we want. The sale isn't pending yet, and they have to sell their house before they can buy, just like us, but they're moving here from Maryland and are a little more desperate than we are. So I guess they're trying to work out a land contract deal with the sellers until their home back in Maryland sells. The realtor said nothing is definite but it seems like it's going to work out, so unless we get an offer on our house, like, THIS WEEK, we're probably going to lose our deal on the other place.
This was not a happy day. I felt okay at first, all zen and "Se la vie" and "I guess it wasn't the house for us." Now I feel all bitter and sullen. My heart has its hands shoved deep in its pockets and is spitefully kicking its toe in the gravel that is this crappy situation.
To top it all off, Jim was playing basketball yesterday and sprained his ankle pretty badly. He was supposed to play in an alumni tournament at his old high school today with all his friends, and now he has to sit and watch. The disappointment is being generously ladled out all over this weekend.

Edit: AND my sister tried to make me cookies yesterday to soften the blow, and they ended up being burnt and inedible (fault of recipe, not her.) Is there no solace?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Oh, The Humanity

10:30PM- Finally get baby settled down and into bed. Fall asleep around eleven thirty after watching Seinfeld/attempting to make adult conversation.

1:30AM- Am awakened by furious screaming. Find baby sopping wet, having managed, in the space of three hours, to pee through a dry diaper, a onesie, pajamas, a blanket, a sheet, and a mattress protector.

5:00AM- Baby is hungry again, as urinating apparently works up an appetite.

8:23AM- Take Adelay to potty, where she swings legs and smiles sweetly. Finally give up and take her to her room for a clean diaper, where she promptly lays down on the edge of the bed and pees, soaking HER sheet and mattress protector, and also sending a river of pee down the edge of the bed, under the bed, and onto the hardwood floor.

9:00AM- While reaching into the fridge for the butter, knock egg onto the floor, spattering salmonella all over recently cleaned laminate.

1:30, 2:00, and 2:30PM- Adelay lets me know in no uncertain terms that napping will not be on the day's agenda. Nor, perhaps, on the agenda for the rest of her life, if the last three days are any indication. Hold me.

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Pause

If you haven't been directed here already by Tessie, please let me encourage you to read this story. This beautiful little girl is sixteen months old and has been diagnosed with an incredibly rare and life-threatening form of cancer. Every time I revisit this blog to check on her condition, I get all tight-throated and weepy- I'll look up and see my own perfectly healthy, happy daughter running around playing and chattering, and I would give anything to promise Emily's parents that their little girl will have the chance to reach Adelay's age and run and play like any other kid.
So please take the time to read her story, and to donate towards her parents' expenses, which are staggering. With all the frustrations and even dangers that the internet has brought into our world, there are times, like these, when it can be a miracle worker for people who would otherwise have limited time and resources to network for support. Let's take advantage of this chance to reach out to strangers who are faced with such a heartbreaking situation.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Tedious Post With Redeeming Pictures

I don't know what to do about potty training. We have been taking Adelay to the potty, when she will cooperate, before her naps and bed, and first thing in the morning. We have a potty chair, as well as a little seat that fits over the actual toilet to allow Adelay to do her business in a way that doesn't involve wiping poo particles off a nasty little pot when she's done. I even purchased, in a fit of optimism, the requisite Disney Princess underpants. But it seems we've made little progress in the six months or so that the potty has resided with us.
She will occasionally make a deposit, if we happen to catch her with a full bladder and in an approval-seeking mood. But I think mainly she enjoys the attention of it: the stories read to her while she sits on her throne, the excuse to get out of bed anytime she calls, "Potty!" and the copious clapping and cheering upon any success. She still doesn't seem to have an awareness of when she physically NEEDS to pee, and she definitely prefers to poop in a secluded corner of the house, hunched over intently, than to sit on her potty before an enthusiastic audience.
She turned two and a half on the third, and ever since then I've been feeling this pressure that we really SHOULD be potty training hard core now. I'd been telling myself, "We should really just wait until she WANTS to use the potty and knows that she needs to, and not force it on her. Why make it hard on everyone?" But I always assumed that by two and a half, she would have reached that point of desiring it for herself. Yet it appears... not so much. She strives for independence in nearly every other aspect of her life, yet in this area of WALLOWING IN HER OWN FILTH, she seems perfectly happy to maintain status quo.
I toyed with the idea (mercifully brief) of just going cold turkey with the panties, setting the timer for every fifteen minutes and taking her to the potty all day long in the hopes of keeping them dry. But this sounds impractical, likely to ruin my couches, and frankly quite a drag for everyone concerned. Should I break down and buy the Pull-Ups? I'm not convinced that they will mean anything to her, and part of me still believes she should exhibit more signs of readiness before we really force the issue. Another part of me believes that a child old enough to roll her eyes in my direction like a disdainful teenager is a child old enough to wipe her own nether regions. Thoughts?

And, as promised:

Stripey pajamas proclaiming fealty to parents. Ah, BabyGap, how you do love your ironic humor.

Someday, when they're slamming doors and shouting obscenities at each other, I will be shedding wistful tears on this picture.

Oh, my handsome boy. Please don't break too many hearts. Especially not your mama's.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Some Stuff

-Still working out, still showing the house. Both are currently happening about twice a week. If only my waistline were wearing as thin as my patience. But alas, still no second showings. And still enough saggy flesh around my belly to enable Adelay to lovingly grab double fistfuls of it, while I remind myself, "They were worth it. The children were worth it."

-I recently concocted a little pancake/toast/bagel spread out of cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder. Which is also to say, I "concocted" my own double chin and love handles. I mean, I eat and I eat and this inner tube of fat just WILL not go away! What am I doing WRONG here?

-I just got up to find Adelay and discovered that she had climbed onto the swivel desk chair to reach the Tupperware of leftover Easter candy. There was a graveyard of Hershey's Kiss wrappers on the desk and a pleased expression on her face, as she had devoured about five of them in approximately twenty seconds. In response to the only comment I could muster ("You little MONKEY!") she nodded in satisfaction and yelled proudly, "Good girl! Good job!"

-Hmm. There seems to be some sort of cause and effect connection here, but my brain doesn't feel like going there.

-Moving on! Jim just found out he's going to a work conference in Orlando at the beginning of June, so hopefully the kids and I can go too, and we can all go to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom while we're there. This is only if I can get my little sister to come along too to help with the kids/keep me company. Otherwise, it would just be me sitting in the hotel room with two kids until Jim got done with conferences for the day. Which equals not a vacation at all. And also, this is assuming we aren't in the middle of moving by June. Frankly, I'd prefer that scenario, but Epcot is a close second. I seriously love that Tour of the World thing. It never gets old. Nor does the tour of world beers.

-The idea of weaning Eli keeps floating around in my brain. The last few nights he's only gotten up once to eat, which is markedly better than three times a night, but is still once more than I'd prefer to be getting up. Also, Addy was around six or seven months when she basically stopped taking the breast at all, so I think my body/brain is kind of thinking it should be done with the breastfeeding gig by now and is growing impatient. I really wanted to make it to a year for Eli (arbitrary, I know) but I am also really wanting my body back and desperately in need of a full night's sleep. Any advise? It can be in the form of a lecture about the benefits of breastfeeding; I won't be offended.