Sunday, June 28, 2009

O. M. G. Also, I Quit

Fonzie threw up his entire breakfast today while we were eating lunch. He's a big dog, you know, so his meals are big too, which means that the enormous pile of regurgitated meal was... big.

Jim put Eli down for his nap after lunch. Ten minutes later, he went in to find that Eli had torn off his diaper- his FULL dirty diaper- and stepped in the contents, before running all over the room and his bedding. Man do I wish we had held off on that "moving him out of his crib" business another week or so.

While I was scrubbing the rug, wiping down the entire wood floor, sanitizing the tub wherein Eli had undergone Feces Removal and soaking the bedding, I heard a yell of alarm from the den, followed by the rapid pattering of Addy's feet as she announced, "Eli broke the computer!"

While he hadn't broken it, he did manage to climb onto the desk chair and rip several plastic letter covers off the keyboard of Jim's laptop.

Also, the other day Eli pooped in the bathtub. For like the fifth time.

These are the kind of days that I feel 100% glad, not even a tiny bit sorry, perhaps even downright CELEBRATORY, that I am not pregnant.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Out of Breath

This week, rapid fire:

-moving my old twin bed to our house from my parents' house
-setting up twin bed in Addy's room
-moving Eli's dresser INTO Addy's room and moving a bunch of toys OUT of her room
-coaxing Eli to sleep in the toddler bed in the same room as his sister
-coaxing the kids to play with their toys in the official play room (Eli's old room) rather than dragging every basket and car and ball back to the living room
-coffee with a friend I haven't seen in awhile
-drinks with another friend I haven't seen in awhile
-sadly little exercise

Today, rapid fire:
-two farmer's market visits
-grocery shopping
-sweeping off the front porch of an enormous mound of seed pods and dirt, throwing away a dead hanging basket and replacing it (and WATERING it so it doesn't meet its predecessor's fate)
-Jim giving Eli's hair a fade without letting me know about it first
-going to a cookout
-going to a concert at the coffeehouse
-going to a fireworks display

Sunday, June 21, 2009

To My Baby Daddy

Happy Father's Day, Jim! Thanks for all the times you're patient when I am losing it, rational when I'm frantic, stern when I'm being a pushover, fun when I'm boring, and awake when I'm sleeping! I would never want to parent without you. Hope you had a great day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer Lovin'

Wow, it's been a few days... That's what happens when you have ten loads of laundry to catch up on. TRUE EFFING STORY. And half of them were covered in sand. And then I ran out of dryer sheets halfway through. And then I swept up huge piles of sand. Repeatedly. And that was pretty much where I've been! In the laundry room.

Man, I'm loving summer, though, sandy laundry and all. I love how everything seems more fun. I love how you can just throw on sandals and go, no coats-hats-mittens routine slowly killing your desire to do anything but huddle around the TV together in quiet apathy. I love evenings spent sitting out on the deck or porch, talking and watching varying ages of kids run by in a blur of sweaty hair and Popsicle drips. I love weekend trips, and I love coming home from those trips knowing that soon enough there will be another. I love driving in the evening and watching the horizon slowly melting into tangerine and hot pink. I love that I seem to miraculously be getting a tan this year. I love that everyone wears less makeup, less perfume, less everything. I LOVE watermelon.

(Do not love: sweaty hair, sweaty backs, working out and then emerging from the gym, already sweaty, into a swamp of humidity outside. Do not love: applying sunscreen, reapplying sunscreen, the smell of bug spray, bugs period, mowing the lawn, listening to the dog pant pant pant all day long while ignoring his water dish like an idiot.)

Know what else I love? This summer, Jim's family and we are eating dinner together three times a week. Mondays I cook, Tuesdays his sister cooks, Thursdays his mom does. Then the kids run wild outside together until it's time to go home for bed, which is so awesome I can barely stand it. I get so excited on those nights, thinking, "Oh my gosh, after dinner the kids are COMPLETELY OCCUPIED. I can just sit here and talk to grown ups and they can go swing with the big kids and be free from nagging adults and OMG IT COULDN'T BE MORE PERFECT."

What are you loving about summer?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Oh The Places You'll Go! (Oh The Laundry You'll Do!)

We stuffed the van to absolute max capacity Thursday night, picked up one of our nephews, and headed northward for the Canada cottage once more, achieving roughly eight miles a gallon due to the staggering weight of three milk-filled children, two adults and a loaded cooler. Oh, and the shocking amount of STUFF I felt compelled to bring, terrified as I was of being stranded in the Canadian wilderness on a rainy day with nothing but a deck of cards and a can of bug spray to entertain three kids.

Note to self for next time: we do not need a beach AND bath towel for every person. Nor do we even need a change of clothes per person per day, as everyone apparently lived in their swim suits the whole time. However, we DO need to bring more chips next time. And SPRAYABLE sunscreen, because sweet Lord, it took about ten minutes and a day's worth of teeth-gritting to hold Eli still long enough to slather him in an appropriate SPF. Ah well, live and learn.

A great beach activity for those tending toward sunburn: bury your lower extremities in sand.

Eli was happy as the proverbial clam so long as he was left the heck alone with his pail and shovel. Try to feed him, change his diaper, prevent him from drowning or blistering in the sun, though, and prepare to face the WRATH OH YE GODS THE WRATH.

Mortifying story: I was feeling all brave and decided to break out a bikini top to go with the demure, mom-ish skirted bathing suit bottom originally purchased with an equally demure, mom-ish, belly covering top. Because hey! I am young! I have worked (kind of) hard to reclaim my figure from the ravages of pregnancy! I should show it off! And also, I have been drinking!
I boldly put it on the second morning we were there and strolled down to the beach where the kids were already shell hunting. I was totally happy, basking in the sun, feeling good, when my nephew inquired politely, "What happened to your stomach? You have scars all over your belly."
"My children wrecked my youthful beauty," I replied bitterly, before throwing myself into the sea.
Oh wait, no. Something more mature and rational, like, "When moms have babies in their bellies, their skin stretches and sometimes it leaves scars," accompanied by a reassuring smile. I'm sure that's how it went.
PS: Tanning does seem to fade those stretch marks a lot. Just fyi. Not that you should EVER tan though because it will give you cancer and it's bad bad BAD.

Greg with his Uncle Jimmy, working on a fantastic sandcastle. More of a sand fortress, really. I am always amazed by Jim's patience with projects like these. I am sure the kids found his enthusiasm for butterfly stone collecting, mudball racing and giant hole digging far more entertaining than PawPaw, Aunt Nancy, Grandma's and my enthusiasm for basking in the sun while reading our novels.

Addy did enjoy taking occasional breaks from all the lakeside fun to sit with Grandma and watch her read while liberally sprinkling sand into the bag of chips. Good times!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Okay, so everyone's familiar with PMS, right? You're a little cranky, a little moody, a little hungry, a little weepy maybe. You feel fat and your skin is yucky. Perhaps someone says something innocuous to you and you take it the wrong way and feel sad.

Now. Maximize that by about ten. You're so cranky that by about two PM every day you have to literally remove yourself from the same room as your toddler so that you're not yelling and slamming things in frustration. You're so hungry that you're wearing a hand mark on the refrigerator door with all your constant searching for another snack. You're so tired that you sit down on the couch for a minute and the next thing you know it's two hours later.

You're so moody and sensitive and strung out that a week ago, you were excited at the prospect of another baby, but this week, a few terse exchanges with your husband has you convinced that you couldn't possibly have another baby right now because it would be crazy and irresponsible to bring another child into such an obviously STRESSFUL and STRUGGLING marriage. And you're so FAT and your hair is so gross, you wouldn't blame him if he didn't love you anymore.

Plus, you know, you're obviously a terrible mother who shouldn't be allowed to reproduce again: look at your current kids, yelling and climbing the walls and kicking their feet angrily against the rungs of the time-out chair in which they've seemingly spent half the day... Someone's going to come take your children away from you if these kids let loose with one more blood curdling scream while the windows are open. But actually, if either of these kids lets loose with one more pee accident on the bathroom rug, you're going to be BEGGING someone to come take them away, so it's all right.

Later, you're at dinner with your family, and spend about an hour ruminating with your brother and sister in law about the futility of life, marriage, and motherhood, making bitter, depressing comments and staring broodingly into your wine glass. (Yes, that's right, this package deal of good humor, wit and comedy is available for dinner parties! Call early to ensure availability!)

And then, a few days later, you begin thinking, "This is weird. I'm SO hungry and SO tired. This can't just be PMS. I'm so EMOTIONAL!" Then your period is maybe, say, two whole days late and then you maybe, say, buy a three pack of pregnancy tests and start weepily trying to plan how you will tell people about this baby. While eating chocolate chip cookie dough pop tarts because you are so hungry again.

Um, and then you get home from the store and you don't actually need those tests after all. Because there's no little baby in your uterus. There's just a large CRAZY woman who's crawled under your skin for a few days uninvited. Whee!

Anyone know if there's such a thing as premenstrual psychosis?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Nice People Are Nice

Hmm. There must be a more eloquent way to say that. Really, though, that's the general concept I wish to convey.

Yesterday I was rushing around in the grocery, feeling a little harried and worn out from a busy weekend out of town, three hours in the car, lots of laundry and unpacking waiting for me, and nearly empty cupboards. So of course, I ran into about four different people I knew. Two of them were awkward, let's-avoid-eye-contact type of encounters (one girl was the sister of a guy I broke up with in high school, another was the girl who dated an ex of mine immediately after me.) The third was the mom of a friend of mine, so I thought at least THERE I might get a friendly exchange. I stopped to greet her pleasantly, but she didn't crack a smile, appearing tense and hurried. She threw a curt, "Hi there" over her shoulder and returned to perusing the cuts of beef.

I must have been feeling particularly sensitive or something, but I was getting really bothered by all the avoidance and bare-bones civility. I was pondering this, glumly loading my cart with macaroni and applesauce, when I heard a cheerful voice call out, "It IS you!" Behind me was an old friend of Jim's, his wife and their two boys. These are people we only see a few times a year at weddings and reunions, but they were SO friendly, and strolled down the aisle with me, catching up on summer plans, for about ten minutes.

I felt so much better after talking to them. Now, I know sometimes you truly are pressed for time and can't spare the few minutes to stop and have a conversation. But if you can, it sure beats waving across the store. Or NOT even waving.


When I got home, I checked the mailbox, and of course there was a teetering pile of insurance statements and medical bills. (Who knew blood draws could add up to over two hundred dollars? AFTER insurance?) I sat in the front seat of the van sifting through them, feeling my energy drain again as various large "amounts owed" started hovering weightily in my head. Then I got to a Hallmark envelope addressed to me. Is it my birthday already? Some thank you note for something I totally forgot about doing?

But no, it was just a handwritten note from an older woman at our church, telling me how nice the baby shower that I hosted recently was and that she knew throwing parties can be stressful as well as fun (I did have HELP, so I felt a little unworthy of the praise, but it was still bolstering.) She even added, "I couldn't help noticing that you've kept your girlish figure. Looking good!"

Say what you will about church ladies (and I have, believe me) but that last comment made me burst into tears momentarily. Maybe it was a bit of an overreaction, but hey, I was feeling pretty low. And then, here was this sweet woman, entirely without solicitation, not only complimenting my cheesecake but complimenting my waistline as well!

I will definitely be letting her know how much her note meant to me, but I will also try to keep my eyes open for someone to whom I can pass the favor along. And hey, the next time you have a fleeting nice thought about someone, be it their brownies or their newly toned arms or whatever, let me just suggest voicing that thought to them. Sometimes we think, "Oh, she knows she looks good!" or "Everyone's always complimenting her food; she doesn't need to hear it again."

But maybe she really, really does.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Sorry, Heather

This is a little mean, what I'm about to do right here, but I swear to you IT MUST BE DONE. I will go crazy the rest of the day if I don't ask- nay, DEMAND- that you click this link and then tell me honestly what you really think of the wallpaper in Heather Armstrong's new baby's nursery.


Done? Now tell me, go ahead, just try to convince me that that design isn't basically the realization of several childhood NIGHTMARES I've had, come enormously to life on the walls of that helpless child's bedroom.

As a disclaimer, I'll freely admit it: I don't like or even get modern decor very often. For most rooms, I like things to have soft edges and luxurious fabrics and a little bit of fancy or whimsy or old fashioned to them. However I can say with a clear conscience that my terror re: above nursery has nothing to do with modern decor. It has to do with the concept of, in the semi-dark of a nursery illuminated only by the glow of the nightlight, A THOUSAND SHARP-BEAKED BIRDS diving to the ground to pluck out my eyes.

Or is it just me?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What's In A Name

This is SO random, and I cannot even remember what made me think of it (probably something like, "What should we name this hypothetical next baby or two?") but here is my Discussion Question of the day: If you could have named yourself, what would you choose? So, not that you're changing your name NOW, but that you would go back in time and change what it has been since your birth. Is there another name you think would fit better, or would go better with your last name, or is more unusual/less unusual than your current moniker?

I really like my name, generally, and I think it fits fine. (It's Sarah, for anyone who still thinks of me simply as Desperate.) I do sometimes wish it was less common, but it's not something that bothers me on a daily or even monthly basis. My middle name is Elizabeth, which I like a little better. Plus! So many nicknames to choose from.

However, there are a few other names I've always liked that I wouldn't mind trying on. Oh, or trying on Adelay! I love her name, but there are SO MANY pretty girls' names; it almost makes me want five girls, just to have the pleasure of coming up with five- ten if you count middle- lovely and unique girl names.

So, choices for my or my daughter's alternate names would be:


How about you guys? Any one (or ten) name(s) you've always loved and wanted for yourself?