Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Are these not the cutest cut out cookies you've ever seen? I took pictures of them at every angle, so here! Look again!

I baked these for my sister's baby shower two weeks ago, and then she and my mom and I decorated each individual baby booty. It's the tedious SLASH sticky kind of task that usually makes me want to stab my eyes out, frankly. But I couldn't help but have fun because they were turning out just so cute, and it's so rare that I experience either baking success or artistic design success, much less a combination of the two.

My sister Laura is officially thirty seven weeks along tomorrow, so baby watch begins again around here! It's her first baby, a boy, and I get to be there to help him be born (er, moral support only, no ripping sheets and boiling water scenarios.) I am beyond excited. Though I will be sad to no longer see her adorable baby bump. Seriously, it's the cutest pregnant belly I've ever seen. Like she swallowed a watermelon, no? My stomach NEVER looked this adorbs.

Jameson (i.e. Wubzy, in case anyone was curious about what ridiculous nom de plume we had stuck this particular child with) was very excited by the sight of his cousin in utero.

Friday, December 24, 2010

And To All A Good Night

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Not The Worst Mom EVER

This is a time of year when everyone is busy, I know. So while I am not COMPLAINING, I will say that if you have two preschoolers and a still technically in the newborn phase baby and are nonetheless trying to have a fun! and festive! and meaningful! holiday season, you might on occasion feel like your head is about to explode and that NO ONE has any idea how much behind the scenes work goes into keeping the family Christmas in the style to which it's become accustomed. You'll also have the Magical Memory moments, too, of course, and it makes the head-bursting worth it, but the fact remains that your head is no longer intact. (What was that one weird but also weirdly accurate little sing song rhyme I remember little girls saying when I was a kid? Something including the line, "Mama had a baby and her head popped off!" Anyone remember that? Anyways, now I understand the origins of that particular oddity perfectly.)

Jamie isn't sleeping well again, after a week in which he slept for five straight hours every night and I was starting to feel like a normal person again. One night he even slept SEVEN (7) hours in a row. When I woke up I felt like I'd been given crack cocaine or something. So! Much! Energy! But of course then I made the classic mistake of telling a few people that he was sleeping well, and now the last three nights we've been back to three feedings a night and Zombie Mommy in the mornings. Yay.

We're continuing to have a rough time with Eli, also, and my patience is seriously beginning to dwindle re: pooping in pull-ups without even an attempt to use the bathroom. Which happened THREE (3) times yesterday. Oh, and in the bathtub too! I've had a few days lately wherein I felt like between the two boys I did nothing but wipe butts and try to quiet screaming fits. Oh and soak dirty clothes of course.

Eli was being so obstinate at bedtime the other day, running naked from me and screaming, etc., all while Jameson wailed from his crib, that I finally lost it and broke my cardinal rule by smacking his butt to try to get his attention. Naturally, he just screamed even louder, then ran off and smacked his sister. Ah, the vicious cycle of poorly thought out and heat-of-the-moment corporal punishment! Then I sank to the floor of the nursery, trying to console Jamie while the other two ran wild, and cried for awhile, feeling like the worst, most inept mother ever.

I had that feeling in the store the other day, too, when Eli began tantrumming about a three dollar Nerf football identical to the one we have at home. I said no, explained that Christmas was coming and he'd get new toys then, and tried to move on, but he screamed about it the entire. time. we were in the store. He was still wailing at the check out counter when Addy asked if she could have her promised treat of Smarties. I said yes, but that Eli didn't get any since he hadn't been good in the store per the arrangement for treat-getting. I immediately wished I HAD just given him the dang candy when his screaming ramped up again, this time in fury over the candy. But, my auto-pilot parenting kicked in and I quietly explained that he could try for candy another day but wasn't getting any on this trip. Then I just ignored him as he wailed and thrashed in the cart. I was sure, though, that the entire store was thinking either a: I must be a mean mom since my poor kid had been crying for twenty minutes or b: my kid was a total brat and I was a lousy mother for not getting him to straighten up. My face was red and I stared straight ahead grimly as I waited my turn while the sounds of Eli's tantrum filled the air.

But! As I miserably collected my bags, two different people stopped to tell me I was doing a good job being consistent and not giving him the candy to hush him up. They both went on and on about how lots of parents are too lazy to foll through and that it made them happy to see people sticking to their rules even when it would be easier for everyone to give in. It honestly nearly made me cry. I had felt so sure everyone around me was wishing that my raggedy crew and I would just LEAVE already, and then they were telling me I was doing well! It was like a shot in the arm for my unraveling morale.

So yeah, it didn't make the rest of the day a ton easier, and Eli continues to struggle with the big-brother transition phase. But every time I feel that brain-exploding sensation, I try to remember the nice people in the grocery store who reminded me that for the most part, I am doing okay. My kids will be okay.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quick, Hurry!

This is way last minute and I'm very sorry for that, but I'm sending out our holiday card tomorrow and I'd love to send one to any of you guys, if you want to email me your address speedy quick to Disclaimer: it's a CHRISTMAS card, since that is the holiday which our family and everyone to whom we are sending cards celebrates. But if you celebrate something else, I will still send you a card, and don't be offended that it says Christmas, ok?

I will just say, it's a pretty cute card. And a letter included! I'm pretty sure it meets almost all of Swistle's holiday card requirements for maximum points. Except the glitter.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yes, This Site Is In My Reader. And It Should Totally Be In Yours.

This post of gift ideas is freaking hi-larious. Feel free to mail me any of the gifts on this list, for, sadly, it is all too true that I would love any of those items.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More Pics

Here are some recent Eli shots I love. His expressions were very natural at this particular shoot; I know when I look at these pictures twenty years from now I'll think, "Oh yes, that was three year old Eli. The cheeky monkey." (Also, his hair: I KNOW. He needs a haircut. The shag has gotten a bit too shaggy for cuteness. But we are unsure how to cut it while still remaining true to the... integrity? of the long haired look. And I am way scared to take him to an actual stylist. I seriously think he'd lose an eye in the process.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Comparing Notes

Theoretically speaking, is it so wrong to wash kids' sheets only every two weeks in the winter, since their entire bodies are covered in socks and pj's and they're not really sweating much?

Also, should I be disturbed that every time I've baked Christmas cookies so far, they've only lasted about three days?

And here's a rhetorical one: Is it totally awesome that I looked up how much caffeine is safe while breastfeeding and it turned out to be a much more generous amount than I used to think?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

On Second Thought

Aw, my kids went and got all sweet after I posted my crankiness.

I was laying on the couch yesterday afternoon, since there was nothing else to do while I was holding the just-rocked-to-sleep and oh so irritable baby and knew better than to try to lay him down. I was feeling tired and bored and frustrated by the things I should be getting done instead of just laying there. Meanwhile, Eli wandered up and climbed into a blanket at my feet, sucking his thumb. Then he randomly leaned over and patted my thigh. "You're a good boy, Mom," he whispered comfortingly.

Later, at dinner, Adelay asked to say grace, which she did very well, complete with "and thank you for helping Mommy make our food." Afterward, she told us very seriously, "After I go to bed tonight and you guys leave, I am going to say more prayers. I am going to say thank you to Jesus for mommies and daddies and grandmas and nanas and papas and grandpas. Also cousins and aunts and uncles and doggies, and little brothers. I love my family!" Then she went on about everything else she was thankful for: toys, food, our house, her school, her teachers, while I sat there practically welling up at the sweetness. It was so nice to hear some gratitude after I had just been complaining about feeling invisible to my kids. It seems they do love me after all. :)

Luckily, The Baby's Head Still Smells Amazing

Boy, I'm just a real Pollyanna these last few days. Seriously though, there have been many omg-my-head-is-going-to-explode-with-frustration moments recently. The baby hasn't pooped in two days, so he's basically grinching and fussing nonstop all day. He only sleeps in little increments here and there, no real naps even in the car, and thrashes his angry little head into our shoulders and then bonks himself and screams and makes us feel terribly bad for him and also terribly sorry for ourselves. I am really dreading the diaper blowout that is inevitably coming, let me tell you. And hoping there isn't something WRONG with him. I don't remember the other two ever getting, er, backed up when they were this little.

The worst thing about the fussing is that he also hates slings and carriers in general, so my hands are basically half tied all day long. I can't lay him down when he's awake, unless I'm sitting right beside him bouncing his chair and cooing at him, or he cries. So I basically spend all day trying and failing to get even the most basic things done, which makes me all kinds of crazy. Along with the general crazy of fatigue. He'll have good spells where he's not like this, but then every week or so he'll have a bad day and then it's back to Fuss Fest again for the next few days. There is no schedule, everything is unpredictable, and I basically count it a success if I manage a shower every other day. Bonus points if the shower occurs before noon.

Also, did I yet complain about how we had to get new tires and then of COURSE they found something else wrong the car? Never fails. At least my sister happens to be a rep for a tire company, so we could use her discounts. But seriously. Oh and they also discovered that we were completely out of power steering fluid, even though I JUST had the oil changed and they said that they had checked all the fluid levels and everything was fine. Nice.

OH and if anyone knows what to do about a three year old who was once completely potty trained and night trained and now requires a Pull Up all the time and is even sometimes POOPING in his pants again, do let me know. Something besides hiding in your room and screaming into a pillow, of course. I already know about that trick. Also: wine.

Sunday, December 05, 2010


One of the occupational hazards of caring for a newish baby is frequent accosting in the supermarket or mall by middle aged or older folks (always, they themselves are shopping WITHOUT small people, I notice) warmly urging you to "Enjoy this, it goes so fast!" or "These are the best times of your life!" The worst, in my opinion, is when they ask YOU, "Aren't you just in heaven?" or "Is he a really good baby?" They always ask this so eagerly, so expectantly, that you know the only acceptable reply to send them on their way with their dreams intact is a radiant "Oh yes!"

And it's not that there aren't moments when I AM in heaven, or that Jameson is being calm and easygoing and could fall into that dubiously-named category of "good babies." But those moments, for one thing, are almost NEVER when I am out shopping in a hot, overcrowded supermarket worrying about budgets and milk letdown and my three year old escaping into women's lingerie. It's not a good time to compare my life to heaven and expect me to respond with other than a high pitched cackle.

I guess my point, which I have discussed ad nauseum with my husband, mom, friends, SIL and MIL is this: life with small children does provide probably the sweetest and most special MOMENTS upon which to look back fondly when your kids are grown and gone. But in general it is far from the most pleasant or fun phase of your life, and trying to pretend otherwise is disingenuous and sometimes downright dangerous. Certainly it is false advertising. I would not tell my friends, "Have a baby! It is so fun and fulfilling!" I would say, "Yes, have a baby! It is fun and fulfilling... And also confusing and discouraging and messy. It is expensive and all consuming and often a total buzzkill for your self esteem."

I would say that it is worth it, without question. I'm even still perfectly happy about my decision to have kids first, then go to school and decide what I want to, you know, BE when I grow up. If nothing else, given all the reproductive issues and pregnancy difficulties I've already had, I am very glad I got right on the baby having part of my life immediately, when I am (presumably) as healthy and fertile as I'm ever going to be. It's just that life as a stay at home parent, or ANY kind of parent, is not non-stop bliss and baby powder smells and story reading. It's also wet underpants and stickiness on everything and lost toys and inexplicable tantrums and feeling invisible to the very people into whom you are pouring the best of yourself every day. The view is breathtaking, yes, but the climb is all uphill.