Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Welcome Mat

Here's my new WordPress site. With my very own domain name and everything! I'm all grown up now.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Parenting Isn't Hard?

I read this article a couple days ago on Blogher and had been mulling it over ever since- the title is the same as that of my post, minus the question mark. The author is a mom who has one child, aged two months at the time of publishing. I'd rather not recap the whole thing, so if you want to get what I'm talking about, maybe click on over and at least skim through it. The comments section is interesting, too!

I agree with the general gist of what she's saying. I think people do disrespect children's essential personhood quite often, myself included. No, they don't have the same rights and responsibilities as adults, but they are human beings and should be treated as such. They shouldn't be interrupted when they're trying to explain themselves, they shouldn't be jerked around and manhandled unless their bodies are in imminent danger, they shouldn't be screamed at for unavoidable accidents, they shouldn't be berated for being hungry or needing a bathroom at inconvenient times, etc.

I have to remind myself of this all the time; it's especially easy to be empathetic now, when I myself am often hungry or need to pee with ridiculous frequency. But my requests are always respected, whereas a kid pops out of bed saying they're hungry despite having had dinner and a bedtime snack would probably be snapped at and sent back to bed, right? People trust me that I know my body; people often think kids can't be trusted to know what they need, or that they're trying to be manipulative.

But the thing is... sometimes they are. And as the caretaker or parent, sometimes you just have to feel it out and listen to your instincts, not your emotions, whether those emotions are ones of pity or guilt or frustration. You have to know the kid, and know the situation. This is something no outside observer can do. So some passer-by might think you're being way too permissive, or way too harsh, and either way they might be right depending on what transpired in the moments, hours, days, and YEARS before the five minutes they happen to be witnessing.

That's why I personally felt some of the content of the "Parenting Isn't Hard" manifesto was a little judgmental and simplistic. Yes, some things, beating your kids or calling them awful names, are always inexcusable and wrong. Other things, such as angry impatience with childishness, or a seeming overreaction to one act of misbehavior, well... maybe the parent IS a jerk who acts like that all day long and never interacts lovingly with their child. Or, maybe they've been putting up with misbehavior all day long and trying their best to correct it and redirect it and stay positive and they themselves are hungry and tired too and they just snap a bit. It's not anything they're proud of, but none of us is our Very Best Self all the time. It doesn't make us abusive parents.

I also found the "is this how you'd treat another adult?" rationale a little weak. I used to spout this example all the time, myself- before I had kids and actually realized how unfair it is. Because see, another adult wouldn't wake me up every morning by calling, "Mom, come WIPE me now!" Another adult doesn't whine because his little brother got the bowl he wanted, dither between the remaining choices for thirty seconds, and then, just as the cereal begins to hit the bowl, change his mind and want the other one. Another adult (hopefully) isn't demanding and oblivious to others, doesn't burst into tears at the slightest disappointment. An adult doesn't gripe and moan every single day as you are trying to help them get through necessary routines such as hair brushing or shoe tying.

Adults are in general far more polite and rational and easier to be around and interact with, so no, one doesn't usually feel the mounting impatience, the urge to yell at them to settle down or to hiss in frustration when they spill their third drink of the day after being repeatedly asked to be careful. And the adults that DO still act like kids, the ones who leave giant messes and talk loudly at all hours of the day, with no respect or awareness of the needs of others? You complain about and avoid at all costs, right? Because that crap is exhausting! It's rude! It's considered antisocial! And sometimes, despite our best efforts, despite knowing that these are children and it is our job to slowly civilize them, we still get worn down and feel unappreciated and disrespected and sometimes we do not treat our kids as we would another adult. Are these our proudest moments? Nope. Are we embarrassed by them, especially when other people witness them? You bet. Am I an abusive mother because I have on occasion steered my kid's shoulder just a little more firmly than necessary?

Well, you tell me. If you read the article, what was your take?

Edit: I also found this piece on Blogher in response to the original article, and really liked what she had to say.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Honey Badger Don't Care! And Neither Does Baby.

Hey! That ticker down at the bottom says our baby girl will arrive in approximately ninety days. And, I would bet at least fourteen less than that, though who knows. Maybe these progesterone shots will work SO darn well that my cervix will stay closed up like a tomb until thirty nine weeks. I keep dreaming of this, though I'm also trying to mentally prepare myself that bedrest is still possible, that these shots don't guarantee anything. I don't want to be devastated if I go in for a thirty or thirty two week check up and find out that my body has begun the early labor process and that the little munchkin has settled into zero station already, just like her older siblings did. And at least I have the comfort of knowing the bedrest would in all likelihood work to prevent a premature birth. It seems like as soon as I get horizontal and get the baby off my cervix things always settle down. So there's that. But just please, please, please, dear fetus o' mine, not before next weekend and not before my baby shower!

And not before I get this house organized. Here I am, a week from the big Third Trimester of Craziness, three weeks from the point when I went on bed rest in my last pregnancy, and I have done nothing in the way of nesting or preparing save for the few baby dresses and onesies hanging in our closet (with the tags still on.) Oh, wait, that's not true. I did... register. Which I said I wouldn't do. But then I was at Babies R Us to look at yet another cosleeper thing (the kind you actually put in the adult bed with you, but it's like its own little bed within the bed?) and as I wandered around, I was getting a little overwhelmed thinking about what I needed to remember to stock up on and what might be nice to have this time around. And then I thought, well, what the heck. Give me the little clicker. If nothing else, it'll be an online checklist for myself to remind me that before we bring this kid home it would be good to have some new burp cloths and newborn pacifiers, and that I really want one of those little eight dollar foam bath pad things because every baby tub or seat I've ever had was a giant space sucking pain in the butt. Also, it was totally fun to scan things. Eli was very impressed with my clicker.

But I have yet to even make a real LIST, you guys, not one single list of Things To Do Before Baby and Things To Clean Before Baby and Irrelevant Things To Panic About Before Baby! Every other birth has warranted multiples of such lists floating around the house and my brain, and this time I just keeping thinking, "Eh, plenty of time to get to all that." Except now there's kind of NOT, not with the trip and potential bedrest and the fact that I'd prefer to do stuff like cleaning out my dusty, disorganized cupboards before my belly gets ridiculously giant.

On the other hand, I can always do that after she comes. Or never. The baby doesn't care! That's my new motto.

Oh and PS Jameson's cold is back, or he has a new one, or his allergies are going crazy or some such shite. Remember when I said I was gonna burn all the things? Yeah. That formerly white-ish couch is first on the list. The amount of mucous in this house is just unreal. (Heh. Shoulda had that as the title of this post. That's grabby right there.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Wednesday To Me. Seriously.

How did I not know about this website?! I am so happy right now.

Pinterest, You Are Drunk

Seriously. Please to enjoy, if you haven't already. Particularly entries in the Reasons You Are Still Single and Trying Too Hard categories. Oh, and this one, which adorably details one perky housewife's cleaning schedule in such excruciating and unfathomable detail that upon reading, I instantly wanted to stick my head in my (not spotless) oven. And I even normally like cleaning and do it fairly regularly, but... who dusts their ceiling fans and steams their grout WEEKLY??

My guess is it's the same lady who pinned this picture.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

That's A Lot Of Reasons

Well, Easter seems to have cheered me up a lot, and having some out of town people coming into my house got me back into cleaning mode a little bit (also forced me to fold and put away the PILES of laundry sitting around.) We all know having a clean-ish house helps one's mood enormously. Still haven't hung those pictures, but at least my room is dusted and I have clean sheets! I also have children's candy baskets to sift through sneakily. (For yes, while I'd like to think that the Easter-related lift in heart is solely based upon spiritual refreshment, I do imagine the little treats laying around the house have something to do with it too.)

Unfortunately I forgot that a day of toting around laundry baskets and vacuum cleaners can really wreak havoc on pregnant hips and abdominal muscles, right? Up until now I had been gloating about how this pregnancy's been pretty kind to me in terms of joint pain, but then yesterday evening I realized that's probably just because I've been a lot LAZIER during this pregnancy than any other. Heh.

Other reasons for increased perkiness include but are not limited to:

-The fact that the boys are mostly recovered from their ten thousandth snotty nosed cold this winter, and the germs from said cold have been cleaned from the furniture and clothes. Also? SO HELP ME this had better be the last round of it or I'm just going to give up and BURN everything like they did in the old days after scarlet fever epidemics. Do you hear me? I WILL BURN ALL THE THINGS.

-We have found a couple of teenaged girls (one of whom can drive herself here, can I get an amen) to help us out this summer. It sounds a bit indulgent and all, especially when we're already shelling out money to add on to our house, but here are the sobering facts: come July, I will have a brand new teensy baby nursing round the clock, plus our backyard will be all torn up and unusable. So unless there's someone to help me entertain/occasionally drive the older kids to the pool and playground and such, poor Addy and Eli are going to be watching a LOT of TV.

I want to feel like I can do it all myself. But... there's just no way I'm going to be up for my usual SummerFun! routine of schlepping everyone around to picnics and pools and zoos and play dates and ice cream parlor trips multiple times a week. Er, not that kids HAVE to have that, obviously, but they at least need to play outside and get some exercise and interaction, and, as I said: entire backyard will be unusable/dangerous construction zone. Because did I mention we're also regrading the yard back there, since we're digging everything up anyways? It's been a hollowed out, swampy mess for a long time, but no longer!

The other reason a babysitter is kind of crucial for us is that Jim is planning to do a lot of the inside finish work on the addition himself, which means even when he's home, he won't always be available to help me. So the babysitter who can help out on nights and weekends is going to come in very handy, I imagine. I only hope our chaotic household and my sleep deprived, hormonal, saggy stomached self doesn't scare her off having kids forever! Ha ha, just kidding! Mostly.

-Speaking of construction, it is tentatively slated to begin next week. Next week! What the what. I kind of can't believe it's actually happening. Of course, some snafu or another will probably come up with weather or building permits or equipment breakdowns or something, so for the moment I'm adopting an I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it attitude to prevent unwarranted giddiness, but still. The ball is steadily rolling.

-Okay, this is a big one: next weekend we're actually going away without any kids for two nights with some friends of ours! We rented a house in southern Michigan near a bunch of wineries and little artsy towns and we're just going to relax and hang out, pretty much. It's kind of an anniversary present for both of us, since theirs is April fourteenth and ours is May fifteenth. We had, before having surprise babies and building additions put a dent in our budget, been planning a longer vacation with them this summer, somewhere a little more tropical and exciting, but at this point I'm just happy this trip is happening at all.

-Lastly, I found out my sister and mom are throwing me a baby shower! Isn't that so so nice, for a FOURTH baby? I'm especially excited because with my first baby, I ended up on bed rest after all the parties had been planned. So the out of town one got cancelled, and the one we did have was held in my living room while I laid on the couch. Still sweet of course, but different than I had imagined. I haven't registered or anything this time, obviously, since it's not like we need much of the big stuff (plus FOURTH BABY, greedy much?) but since Addy was born in the fall and this baby will be in the summer, I suppose we could technically use some supplemental clothing items despite having already had a girl baby.

The best part, though, is that this shower will be all about celebrating the baby herself, and how excited we are for her arrival, despite all the surprise and commotion in our lives right now. At my other shower (for Addy) we didn't even know the sex, so it felt a bit like a give-us-a-gender-neutral-baby-item-and-in-return-have-a-slice-of-gender-neutral-cake party! Not so this time. Flowers and fun colors and a pink and white checkerboard cake all the way. And not a single boring-but-practical registry item for someone to feel obligated to buy even though it's no fun!

Also, I'm telling you what, even if I AM on bed rest again for this one, I will sit up long enough to attend this party, I don't even care. I've done this laying around business enough times that I'm not so terrified anymore of breaking "the rules" a little here and there.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Litmus Test

Here's how I know when I'm tired vs. when I'm maybe a little depressed: I don't feel like dusting, and I don't feel like rearranging or decorating. Even when I'm tired, those things still sound like fun and I usually find a way to do them, even if general housework is suffering. And my house? It is dusty. Especially the bedrooms.

I'm not someone who buys a picture and takes two months to get around to hanging it. Usually it happens within an hour of getting home from the store. But I have had two little coordinating canvasses for my bedroom (which my sister found for five dollars apiece at T.J. Maxx- that WAS a fun day) sitting in a corner for almost two weeks and I just have not once felt motivated to get up and hang them.

I am really not liking these progesterone shots the longer it goes on. Either my pain tolerance is getting worse or my hips are becoming covered in scar tissue and there's just no good place to stick a long needle anymore without it hurting. Each one seems to be sucking more and leaving more lingering pain. But worse than that is that I'm pretty sure the extra hormones are what's responsible for destroying my coping mechanisms the last few weeks. You guys, I cry all the time. I cannot stop crying about stuff. Some of it makes sense, but a lot of times it doesn't at all, and it's just getting annoying, frankly. Also, once it starts, I seem incapable of shutting it off and snapping back to normal. I just... I really dread another ten weeks of this. That's all.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Jim and world at large,

someecards.com - I hope having an unborn fetus in my womb doesn't turn you off

Dear Me,

someecards.com - Sorry you're due during bathing suit season

Dear Robert Pattinson,

someecards.com - I wish the cast of Twilight had to fight in the Hunger Games

Dear Kids,

someecards.com - You won't be this cute forever
Might be time to improve your sucking up skills a bit. Just sayin'.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


-Yesterday I unwisely took all three kids, as well as of course my increasingly cumbersome abdomen and general crabby disposition, to the grocery store with me. Eli ran away over and over again, got put back in the cart basket, kept standing up and whining and getting removed from the cart basket, scampered off again, got put back in, etc. Addy was wound up from just getting out of school and was dancing and singing and chirping and generally being technically well behaved but still quite annoying in a crowded store at five pm. Jameson was fine until he somehow unscrewed the cap from an entire quart of cranberry juice and dumped it down my pants and all over aisle eleven.

Upon checking out (and sending the older two, who were beyond hyper at this point, to go ride the pony before my eyes popped out of my head in exasperation) the lady at the checkout looked me up and down a few times, then said not sympathetically but more as an admonishment, "You came here with all three?! You really have your hands full!" I couldn't even feel insulted, couldn't muster any the public has no tolerance for small children! kind of indignation. She was right; it was a rookie move and I should have known better. Next time I don't care WHAT we're out of or how urgent it seems: no more than two kids are allowed at a store with me at one time.

-One of our at-home progesterone injections finally went awry. I don't know what happened, but this week the shot felt awful; it hurt going in and hurt afterwards, and it bled like crazy for about ten minutes, which has never happened and freaked poor Jim out. I wasn't too alarmed (hey, it's just blood! I have plenty more!) but it was weird, definitely. We kept having to change bandages and apply pressure. And, of course, it was the one time a kid wandered in on us and witnessed the whole thing. Eli has always been the nervous one about shots anyways. I'm sure witnessing an accidental blood vessel puncture will help the situation!

-I'm always a bit of a hypochondriac even at my best, but being pregnant really makes me fidgety. All the little things that are pretty normal during pregnancy but are sometimes, rarely, a sign of DANGER, drive me just nuts. There's the random naggy headaches on just one side of my head, despite drinking my weight in water and not consuming any headache-trigger food items. My right leg that keeps going numb out of nowhere, and just weird leg sensations in general. The sudden heart accelerations and skipped beats. I know rationally all of these are pretty common and explainable. All the extra blood volume wonkiness causes headaches, nerve and vein pain in one's legs is increasingly common the bigger your uterus gets, especially if you're at all deficient in calcium or potassium. Even the heart stuff is actually pretty normal during pregnancy.

But every time I notice the weird feelings, I startle and think, brain aneurism? Blood clots? Pulmonary hypertension? And then after a few seconds calm down and remind myself, no. Unlikely. Just gestating. But I hate the added worry that not only am I myself in greater (though still statistically small) physical danger during pregnancy, but if anything happens to me, my unborn baby is in danger too. I feel almost irresponsible NOT worrying, if that makes sense. How would I feel if I brushed off some funny feeling and then lost the baby?

Look, I know it's pointless to worry. Destructive, even. But I do feel there's usefulness in being ALERT to symptoms of problems, so I guess for me there's just difficulty in finding that middle ground between not being completely nonchalant about one's health yet also not catastrophizing every little thing. It's like once I have noticed something out of the ordinary, I can't simply take note and then file it for further observation- no, I have to first go through the worst-case scenario checklist and rule out imminent death. It gets tiring after awhile, you know?

-I am crabby right now because both older kids were at a birthday party for three whole hours today, during Jamie's nap time, so you can imagine the glorious plans I had for all that child free time. Yet instead I got one of my stupid naggy unbudging headaches and spent the entire time in bed trying to rest/hydrate it away. Unsuccessfully, I might add. And my dumb leg is numb again, AND all the leftover pizza got eaten without me, AND it is freezing outside again and all my winter maternity clothes are already put away. SULKING.

-On the plus side, though? Hunger Games was not disappointing. I still love the book way more, but I was fully prepared to be underwhelmed by the movie and I was not. I think it did about as good a job as a film can in trying to capture a novel's essence. Of course there are things you don't "get" until you read it and of course there are lots of little things left out of the movie, but it was still satisfying and I felt all of the characters were well cast, so I was pleased.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Allergies, Home Additions, Hormone Shots... Definitely A First-World Problems Post

The state of everything:

Health: I think my allergy flare up was maybe a cold. My misery level has ratcheted way down, even though the weather is still going bonkers in terms of temperature fluctuations, so I should still be a mess and I'm only kind of mess. Heh. Also, Eli and Jamie, who I thought were enjoying some nice hay fever symptoms as well, seem kinda-maybe actually sick (sorry, Jess!) I became convinced when Eli told me today that he didn't feel like going to swim class and could he just stay home. That has never happened, so...

House: We worked on drawings again last night with the new contractor and my brother in law, an architect. He's going to give us two final options to choose from, one with an extra little nursery/office off of our room and one without but with a bigger bathroom, and we're going to make a choice, and that will be IT. And then on to the actual digging out of crawlspace and laying foundation and tearing our backyard all to hell! I feel really bad for the neighbors whose backyard butts up to ours. They're trying to sell their house this summer, and our yard is going to go from it's usual muddy, unmown, toy strewn state to something so very much worse. I feel like we should offer to buy them a fence or something.

Pregnancy: Twenty five weeks tomorrow! Other than being ridiculously tired all the time despite sleeping eight hours every night and often napping as well, I feel pretty ok. Baby likes to hang out breech and randomly stomp on my bladder, so I'm just waiting for the day when I pee myself in public, but other than THAT... My belly is just cute big right now, noticeable but not large enough to be alarming strangers or anything quite yet. It is, however, large enough to make me never want to bend over to pick stuff up off the floors anymore, so unless I go drill sergeant and make the kids pick up, our floors are constantly littered with random junk. Whatevs. I'm tired of yelling at them about everything else to bother nagging them to clean!

Seriously, between the pregnant (with a girl) hormones and the extra hormone shots each week, I am like a walking, talking poster for the symptoms of PMS. Except it's all. the. time. I'm irritable, I'm easy to cry, I'm exhausted, my feelings hurt easily... I'm definitely not doing as well emotionally during this pregnancy as I did the last one. I mostly felt kind of serene then, floating above all petty concerns in my little Madonna and child bubble. (I mean, I'm sure I had my moments, family who are rolling your eyes. I just didn't feel crabby as a general state of mind.) I know I have extra stressers this time that I didn't have then, but I still wish I could snap myself out of it. I feel extra pressure (from myself of course) to enjoy this pregnancy, this newborn phase, this nursing phase, because it's probably the last time. But it seems like our house is just destined to be Chez Crazy this summer, and the baby will be plopped right into the madness! Poor little Magnolia-Liberty-Vienna-Evelina-whatever the heck her name ends up being. :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Enforced Nap Time!

Hey, I have a poll that has nothing to do with baby names! Have you ever drugged your kids for a flight or long trip? Or do you remember your parents ever doing it to you?

I keep reading/hearing lately about the controversy re: people giving their kids Bendryl before long flights to avoid any meltdowns and the subsequent annoyance of strangers. It's something I had never even thought about, but I haven't flown with a child since Addy was six months old, and we didn't worry at all since she was a very mellow baby and it was only a two hour flight.

Apparently some people think it's a normal "parent" thing, kind of like lying to your kids about how much candy YOU'VE eaten, and that it's harmless. I know my own sister, who lives in Charleston, once complained bitterly about a screaming toddler on her flight to the Midwest and wondered aloud why on earth the mom hadn't given him some meds before the flight. She seemed to think this was standard practice when traveling with kids. I even remember my doctor saying something before the flight we took with Addy about how if we wanted to give her a teensy bit of Bendryl it "wouldn't be the worst thing."

Other people think it's appalling and they can't believe people would so breezily discuss drugging their own kids to avoid having to deal with them. I have to admit this was MY first reaction. (One comment I read about it did give me pause though: this guy said something like, "Heck, I take Bendryl before flights! Don't tell me drugging my kids is inhumane. I say the flying experience now IS inhumane, for everyone, and we should all get to be as knocked out as possible!" Hard to argue that one.)

Several doctors and pediatricians weighed in too, both for and against, so it left me still unsure if it's something I'd ever consider for my own kids. At the moment my plan is simply, "Don't fly, ever!" but I know that may necessarily change at some point. So what do you guys think about it? Is it creepy and potentially dangerous (giving it to too young of kids, overdosing, etc.) or is it simply doing everyone a kindness?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Upon Waking From My Drug Induced Coma

1. The early spring has done great things for my mood in general (although unfortunately, the pregnant weepies have really hit me hard all of the sudden. I have cried every day about some stupid thing or another for like a week straight.) Howevs, I kind of forgot about the fact that I have some sort of adult-onset seasonal allergy b.s. that hits in spring and fall like clockwork. I always forget, until it reminds me with a BAT OVER THE HEAD. Oh, the summer of Jameson's pregnancy it was hellish, epic, couldn't breathe for weeks on end, and in fact hours after delivering him when they asked if I wanted pain pills, I practically grabbed the nurse by her scrubs and said, "Screw that, I want CLARITIN!" Ahem. Anyways, it's sizing up to be like that again. I am officially miserable unless I take a Bendryl, and then I'm officially comatose and sleep for three hours. It's not a workable solution. I know plenty of people take Claritin through pregnancy, and I'm starting to think I might have to if it doesn't improve soon. I'm going through a box of tissues a day, can barely wear my contacts because my eyes itch so bad, and I look and sound like I have the world's grossest cold so it kind of sucks going anywhere in public.

OK now internet, work your charm and erase the problem I have publicly complained about!

2. Having a daughter sure has it's perks. Every time I go shopping or get dressed up she has an opinion, and since she's little it's usually still positive. I went shopping for my niece's birthday today and when she got home she was absolutely gushing over what I had chosen. Such a nice little ego boost, especially when your other kid's only contribution to the shopping was to whine, hide in clothing racks, and yell, "I hate that! It's ugly! Let's gooooo!"

3. I love Christina Perri's song "One Thousand Years" so much I think I want it as the background song to our birth picture slideshow (because yes, I loved the one my friend made me after Jameson was born so much that I'm already thinking about this one!) I think the lyrics are actually quite fitting, but it's such a romantic sounding song. Plus it's from TWILIGHT, which is... weird? Yes/no?

4. I stumbled upon a couple of names today to add to the list. One of them was Evelise/Evelyse, and immediately sent me into raptures because it combines the Evelyn sound and the name Elise, which has been on our middle name list forever but which I found a bit abrupt-sounding for a first name. And then I remembered, hours later, that it presents the exact same problem of Eli's full name (Elias): our last name starts with an "St-" sound, so anything ending in an "s" gets blurred in and sounds confusing when you say the full name, unless you really enunciate and speak slowly (as though to an idiot.) I wish I had realized it when we were naming Eli, but at least he almost always goes by his derivative (which we chose first and worked from) and not his given name.

5. HOWEVER. The other name I found I still love, a lot, and amazingly both kids enthusiastically endorsed it when asked their opinions. That hasn't happened yet for even a single other suggestion. And Jim liked it too, so it is on the list! I like it so much in fact that I'm not going to tell (I KNOW!) because we decided we're going to keep our final choice/choices a secret. We've never done that before, and I think it sounds fun. Assuming the kids play along, of course.

I will tell you that it is three syllables, it is not an invented or blended name (like Adelay or Evelyse!) but it is definitely unusual. It's a place name, it starts with a consonant, and it is not at all hard to pronounce or spell. It's very elegant. Any guesses? (Maybe if someone actually guesses it I'll crack and tell.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Good Talk

Thanks for the ideas, everyone. I think I'm going to plan a play date, sit down with some coffees, and have the topic "come up." Then I'm just going to go with a combo of honesty- "Addy's been getting a little anxious about being late recently, and it seems to be more of an issue as the school year progresses"- a bit of diplomacy- "That's why I've been a few minutes early picking up (blank) lately; just trying to make sure Addy doesn't feel nervous that she's going to be late"- finished with the hard bit that I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and say- "so I'm thinking maybe I'll just take her from now on, and I'm happy to take your daughter too." Or possibly I could soften this a bit, something more like, "Of course I love the mornings when you're able to take them, but if you're going to be any later than 8:45 it might be better if you could just let me know so I can go ahead and take Addy myself." Sound ok? Not friendship ending or outright offensive?

And now for a total and abrupt subject change: oh my GOSH you guys, I am losing my dang MIND salivating in anticipation of The Hunger Games. I'm waiting til Sunday, when I'll be seeing it with my sister in law and niece, and I keep listening to the released singles from the soundtrack and just about fainting with excitement. Also, I would never have known about The Civil Wars (the band, not the tragic piece of American history) if it weren't for the song "Safe and Sound," which continues to blow my mind every time I listen to it. I don't always go for folksy, banjo-involving music (sometimes, just not as a hard and fast rule) but be still my heart, is that song some kind of freaky combo of lullaby, goosebump-chills and sexy or WHAT?

ME LIKEY. I can't wait to buy the soundtrack and wear it out, as obsessing over things is one of my long established favorite hobbies.

I promise I won't name the baby Katniss, Primrose or Rue though. Ahem coughcough *maybe as a middle name?* clears throat.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Done and Done!

I did it! I have now attended three births as a doula-in-training, or whatever the term is, and gotten good reviews on all of them, so I have now finished all of the big, daunting stuff on my DONA checklist. I still have a few odds and ends to finish up, mostly essay writing and collecting character references, and I need to attend a breastfeeding class as well. There's one perk from the unexpected pregnancy: I won't look at all out of place at the breastfeeding workshop! But the really big hurdles- the three days of out of town classes, the lining up of three births, the attending of the births and all the necessary caveats being fulfilled (for instance, you have to arrive at the birth at the beginning of "active" labor, or by four centimeters dilation, and I just barely made it on this last one! Also, only one out of the three can be a c-section, so after my first birth I was holding my breath praying the other two wouldn't be!) are completed.

The birth went wonderfully, only five hours of labor and another pushing phase so rapid that the nurse very nearly did the baby catching- the doctor literally flew in just in time to slap on some gloves and support the head as it crowned. It was the mom's second birth but first one attempting to go drug free, so I was very proud of her. The nurses and I kept saying that we couldn't believe she had ever requested an epidural her first time around, since she seemed to have an amazing capacity for coping with labor pain on her own. I never even heard her mention wanting one this time; in fact, she barely made noise at all beyond glancing up at the her laptop screen between contractions to reassure her husband (who was watching via Skype from Afghanistan) that yes, she was ok, but yes, it really really hurt. That part was so cool- the laptop screen was right over her shoulder during delivery, so he got to see the baby lifted to her chest almost as if he was there, and he cried just as if he was there, too. :)

She had planned a water birth, but ended up getting out of the jacuzzi right at the end for the delivery since the doctor wasn't there yet and the nurses aren't allowed to deliver the babies in the tub, apparently. She didn't seem too disappointed though- I think by the end who really cares as long as you can push! It was cool watching someone labor and transition in the water. It really brought back memories of Jameson's birth, and the vivid, specific feeling of rocking on my hands and knees in the water, feeling him rotate and move down my spine. This mom chose basically all the same positions I did, so I had this weird de ja vu, watching her. I also now have new understanding for how hard it is physically to support someone while they're in the water. All that leaning to rub the mom's back and squeeze her hips gets exhausting! So, you know, thanks four months in advance, Jim and Stacy!

Speaking of that, it was hard to shake off the "Holy crap, I'm going to be the one in this exact room having a baby in a few months!" thought and get my game face on for this delivery. I'm at the phase where every little thing I do triggers those thoughts though- from switching the clocks ahead an hour to getting out the next season of clothes. It all makes me think, "Yikes, next time I do this there's going to be a BABY here!"

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Ok, I'm finally getting around to the "old school meme" Saly tagged me with! It came just in time, too, as most of the stuff I wanted to blog about this week, besides the very boring "omg the weather is so gorgeous can you believe it?!" would have been grouchy/worried/frustrated/TMI. Let's just say I have dropped thirty bucks on children's chewable gummy fiber supplements and powder Miralax, and if that doesn't work over the weekend, we'll be visiting the doctor on Monday for what I can only presume to be a great deal of unpleasantness. Blurgh. While I agree with most moms that in the end marriage is the harder work emotionally speaking, I must say that parenting is overall WAAAAY grosser, starting with that first glimpse of the placenta, you know? It's just way less baby powder and hair bows and way more bodily fluids and Lysol wipes than what I used to fantasize about.

OK, first item on the list! A recent picture of yourself. This was taken by me about five minutes ago, after finger combing my hair and putting on lip gloss, as the most recent shot I had otherwise was from a month ago and was taken by Addy- thus rendering me a headless torso cradling its swollen abdomen. So, you know, apologies for the absolutely terrible lighting, lack of shine-reducing powder or makeup, and general awfulness of photo quality. Our camera is ancient. And my face is puffy and suffering from hormonal acne, so you know. It is what it is, to borrow possibly the most overused expression of our time. But! Twenty three weeks tomorrow! Almost "viable"! That always seems like such a milestone, when they reach the stage that they could possibly live outside of me if they were born. A potential preemie, instead of a fetus.

I know. I just can't even... I have no idea why I stood in front of a lamp. Or why I couldn't manage to get my face AND my uterus in the same shot without giving myself about seventeen chins, but eventually I gave up, so this is what you get! Perhaps once I finish my doula certification I should look into some basic photography classes, eh?

Moving on! Eleven things you might not know about me. Eleven? Wow. I'll try. Um...

1. I have slightly deformed pinky fingers. They're kind of permanently raised and crooked, the way you see fancy ladies (think Maggie Smith) hold their pinkies when they're sipping from a teacup? I have to really work to straighten them, and it kind of hurts. It also made playing the piano difficult at times.

2. Oh yeah. I know how to play the piano, sort of. I took lessons for almost ten years, but I was never all that proficient and haven't practiced in years, so I don't even know what would happen if I attempted to sit down and play a song right now.

3. My favorite wine variety is cabernet sauvignon. Of whites, my favorite is pinot noir. In a pinch though, I'll pretty much drink anything but merlot.

4. I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. But when I was a kid, I did secretly think it was kind of sexy looking.

5. From the age of sixteen until around when Adelay was born, I wore way too much makeup. And now, I wear way too little- so, none, usually. I tend to do this in a lot of areas of my life- I either do all or nothing. I have to work at moderation; it's not something that comes naturally.

6. I am a ridiculous-looking swimmer, though I can certainly swim well enough to brave the deep end without fear. I would really like to learn how to swim gracefully, but the truth is I'm embarrassed to take lessons at my age.

7. The few times I have tried it, I loved riding horses. In my fantasy life, I have stables (tended by someone else, obvs) and I go riding everyday, dressed like Betty Draper in season two of Mad Men. It's a good thing this is a fantasy though, because my legs are not built for jodhpurs. Though I've heard riding really tones the thighs, so maybe this problem would resolve itself after a month or two.

8. I am a terrible painter, even though I still think it's kind of fun. But I am so bad about splattering, and have ruined so many outfits while painting, that once while painting a windowless hallway in our first home together, I decided to paint in the buff. I still can't remember WHY I did that. Had I never heard of "paint clothes"?

9. Speaking of being young and crazy, I also went to a nude beach once. (I really don't spend all that much time naked now, I promise.) I didn't find it uncomfortable at all, is the weird thing. I guess I have a strong Inner Hippie in there somewhere. I think the only time I'd honestly considering doing that again is while I'm pregnant! When you're pregnant everyone thinks everything is beautiful, and all the roundness is soft and magical. Once the baby comes, though, you're stretch marked and varicose veined and kind of look like a deflated helium balloon for a few months.

10. Despite my fascination and total comfort with childbirth, blood and medical stuff in general actually freaks me out a bit. Watching that c-section at the end of my first doula birth was very rough, and even anytime one of the kids falls and splits their lip or whatever I have to really struggle to not panic or gag in front of them. Also, that time I was awake during my knee surgery I had to be given Phentanyl because I was totally getting creeped out and panicky when I could feel things being moved around, even though nothing actually hurt per se.

11. Speaking of births, my last certification client is getting her membranes stripped tomorrow morning, so I'm thinking I'll be helping at my first water birth sometime this weekend! Then, the next birth I'm at will be my own. Gulp.

Okay, that last one was cheating a bit. I'm getting tired! OK, next is to answer the eleven questions set forth by Saly:

1. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why?

Hmm. Travel writer, maybe? I'm honestly not a hundred percent sure because I do dislike the process and hassle of flying. But I love seeing new places, I love writing, and it... sounds fun? I also dislike schedules and desks and computer work, so that sounds about as far from all that stuff as you can get!

2. What is your favorite flower?

Oh, I don't know. I've always loved tulips. Snapdragons are pretty cool too.

3. What is something you regret?

The only genuine, large regret that springs to mind involves another person close to me and I don't want to go into the details. Basically, as a teenager I chose not to reveal an unhealthy situation of which I was aware. I honestly don't know what I was thinking. I must have either felt it was none of my business, or I was just too selfish and wrapped up in my own life to get involved and do something uncomfortable. I really don't know, and I still want to shake my high school self when I think about it.

4. You are in a frou frou coffee shop. What do you order?

I love chai lattes, or occasionally a mocha with a shot of marshmallow flavoring. But in general my preference would just be for coffee, with maybe some flavored creamer if I'm feeling adventurous. And I even worked in a frou frou coffee shop for a long time! But I'm just a straight up coffee person I guess.

5. What is the best thing that you cook?

I don't think I've ever made any pretense about being an especially good cook. But there are a few things over the years I've made often enough that they're consistently pretty yummy, if not gourmet. I make good tuna casserole from scratch, which may sound sad but it's one of the few things everyone in the house will eat, so I make it at least once a month. I can make a decent omelet. But I would say the one thing I feel most confident in is my salads. I can usually put together a pretty awesome salad, and I have my formula down pat: field greens or spinach, some kind of fruit such as strawberries, dried cranberries or cherries, or maybe citrus wedges, some kind of nut, and a soft cheese- goat cheese is my preference. Then I almost always use a raspberry walnut vinaigrette.

6. Where is your favorite place to vacation and why?

At the moment, probably the beach in Canada where Jim's family has a cottage. But I like to think once the kids are grown my favorite spot will be, you know, the beach in Greece. A girl can dream, right?

7. What's the weirdest thing in your refrigerator?

Hang on, let me look. We really don't eat a lot of "weird" things. Ok- I guess the weirdest thing I found was the probiotic supplements- somehow we had three different varieties. And I don't even usually remember to take the, so...

8. Do you collect anything?

Nope, not really. Too afraid of becoming a hoarder!

9. You have an entire day alone with no plans. What would you do?

Oh, you know. Eat yummy stuff that only I like. Clean, of course, because I love cleaning when there's no one to bother me. Take a two hour bath. Read read read.

10. Who is your #1 celebrity crush?

Mmm. It used to be Christian Bale, but lately Ryan Gosling is giving him a run for his money.

11. How do you like your eggs?

Scrambled usually, but NOT rubbery (this is very very important) with cheese cooked in.

OK, now I'm supposed to do eleven new questions.

1. Did you ever take music lessons of any kind? If not, did you wish you could have?

2. Do you follow any professional or college teams?

3. What type of shoe do you most commonly reach for?

4. Do you wear makeup every day? If so, is it just a little, or the full treatment?

5. What was your favorite book as a kid?

6. What's the worst injury or illness you've ever suffered?

7. What is your favorite memory with your grandparents?

8. Have you ever adopted a pet from a rescue shelter?

9. What color do you look best in?

10. What's your favorite kind of baked good?

11. What's the boldest wall color in your home?

Who am I going to tag... I honestly don't know who has done this yet or not 'cause I know it's been a week or so since I was tagged. I guess if you haven't done it yet and need a fun writing prompt, here you go!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend High

Hey! The baby's back to normal and so far no one else has gotten sick! Also, we talked to the contractor again last night and are waiting for the final quote, so, you know, keep your fingers crossed we don't have to sell a kid or an organ or something to be able to afford to FINISH this craziness. Also keep your fingers crossed that the current foundation is in good enough shape to build on to, since it had some issues about ten years ago and had to be raised on one side. It needs to be inspected before we can actually go ahead and start building, and if it doesn't look great, this whole adding on plan might very well be over before it begins. (Contingency plan: install a toilet in the garage, just like Al Bundy had in Married With Children! Not quite the master bathroom and closet of my dreams, but better than nothing, right?)

I am in a super good mood this morning. I have been feeling more or less awesome lately, which thrills me. I so wanted to enjoy at least some of this probably-last pregnancy. My house is mostly clean, like actually clean, not just picked up, and I am sitting here typing this and eating breakfast while the boys are still asleep somehow! I don't know if the time change has them messed up or what, but this morning they slept through Jim and Addy getting ready for work and school and are still snoozing away while I am sipping coffee! I *should* probably wake them up, but: no. Precious and few are the moments we two can share, dear computer.

The weather was so nice yesterday that we had a picnic at the playground for dinner, and Jim got to see Jameson crawling around and sliding by himself for the first time. That poor kid was so. happy. to be feeling well and able to play again. He just kept running up to us and laughing hysterically before waddling off to climb some more. I also did some spring clothes shopping for the kids with my mom yesterday afternoon, and we (she) bought Baby Girl a bunch of sweet little newborn onesies for her first weeks, when it will be the dead of summer and I can't really imagine dressing her in more than the basics. We also got a ruffled, red and blue Americana outfit for coming home in, in case she's born on or around the fourth of July (very possible, since she's due the thirteenth and I've always been early.) If she does decide to debut on the fourth, she'll share her birthday with Jim's dad, too.

I don't know if it comes up too often, but we've turned into a fairly political family. I didn't do much this year, but Jim was in charge of eight counties this year during the primaries, and was running meetings and making phone calls quite often. I won't get into any dissertations on the constitution here, but let's just say the candidate we support is all about protecting liberty. So I was joking yesterday that it would be very fitting to name this kid Liberty if she decided to make our nation's birthday her own as well. I was really just kidding, but my mom LOVED it, so OK, what do you all think? Liberty: cheesy or adorable? Also, the ultimate name test: is this a name YOU would be OK with having, or would you feel it was a little... laden-down with meaning?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Cherry On The Sundae

So just a heads up: please believe the cautionary tales advising that if you give a child Tamiflu on an empty stomach (say, perhaps, because the child has been refusing to eat pretty much all week and its ten pm and you can't wait any longer to give them their meds,) they will probably barf it up. All over you, would be my guess, and your sweater and your carpet and your off white couch, probably without any warning when you're half asleep, so that you jerk awake to the warm, sickening feeling of puke soaking through your sleeve. This is just conjecture of course.

But the good news is that if you strip off your cushion covers (against the advise of the manufacturer's label) and soak them in a lot of baking soda and vinegar, then wash them with baby shampoo, then rinse them in your bathtub, they should be good as new! Maybe even better, given your runny nosed kid(s) have probably been wiping their grubby faces all over the couch all winter long, amiright?

Your carpet might still smell a little funky though. Maybe go buy some more baking soda.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Worst Monday EVER

So remember awhile ago, when I mentioned in passing that the baby and Jim had colds? Well, just as he entered the "surely he will be better soon" phase of the cold, Jameson got the FLU. Poor kid. What are the odds? And it took a full five hours at the doctor's office, the hospital, and the urgent care clinic to finally diagnose him! Grr. That was a fun day for everyone. I think we've now encountered every germ in the tri-county area, as well as spreading our own around.

The reason I finally brought Jameson to the doctor (which I almost never do for cold/cough stuff, even if it does drag on a bit as this one was) was his come and go fevers, which had previously been very low grade when they did pop up, and hadn't needed medicated. All of the sudden over the weekend, they'd been getting quite high, and I was having to medicate around the clock to keep it down. This seemed odd for a cold that should have been resolving itself, so Monday morning first thing I called for an appointment. I was sure he had a sinus, ear or upper respiratory infection from the cold that was causing a fever, and imagined myself quickly getting a prescription and heading home.

Instead, the doctor found no evidence of any infection, but instead just a very sick, lethargic baby who wouldn't even lift his head from my shoulder, and was running a temp of one hundred and two. He also hadn't wanted to eat much at all for the last few days, and had been sleeping very poorly due to the fever and his chest congestion. Alarmed, the doctor sent us off to the hospital to rule out pneumonia, RSV, and to do a blood work panel. Did I mention I had Eli with me for all of this?

It took forever to get shuffled around through all the different departments of our giant, labryinth hospital, all while toting a sick baby, keeping an eagle eye on my prone-to-wander Eli and hefting all three of our coats and my purse. And, you know, mah belly. The x-ray went pretty smoothly, except that they took one look at my bump and wouldn't even let me stand beside him with a lead apron- I had to wait behind the wall with Eli (who was freaking out that they were hurting his brother) while some random nurse tried to comfort/hold down my baby. Yuck.

What took much longer, and was more difficult, was the blood work and RSV test (they basically just suction out nasal secretions for that, but my kids all hate bulb syringes with a passion even eclipsing their fear of ACTUAL syringes.) We had to wait in this teensy room forEVER, and Jamie, who by this time had gotten some Tylenol and was temporarily feeling better and more active, was climbing the walls. Then, they wanted us to STAY until they had called all the results to the doctor, in case he wanted further testing done. So we got to wait another hour, during which time I took several walks to the vending machine, and called my sister to come to our house to get Addy off the bus since we clearly wouldn't be home in time.

His x ray was clear, RSV test was negative, and his white blood cell counts were elevated but not alarmingly so, just enough to indicate some kind of illness being fought off- but like, normal illness, not anything scary. Thank goodness. Basically as soon as I heard the words white blood cell count I had to use all my mental powers to avoid hitting the panic button and seeing our family in a tear-jerking Lifetime movie about a kid with leukemia.

So we were sent home with instructions to keep his fever under control, come in to the ER if we couldn't, and call the doctor in the morning to report on his condition. They didn't really have anything else to tell us. By the time we got home his fever was one hundred and three, and he was totally miserable again. I gave him meds, put him to bed, and sat around googling white blood cells and feeling tense. Within an hour or so though, our doctor called us from home and said he had been going over all the results, all the presenting symptoms, and had had this sudden thought- flu! Could we maybe take the baby to urgent care, since office hours were over, and get a flu swab done tonight?

Of course we could, what's another trip to a medical facility and another episode of holding down a sad, crying baby? Within another hour and a half, I was back home, just taking off my coat, when the doctor called to say rather sheepishly that yes indeed, Jameson had the flu, and were we possibly still out so I could go to the one pharmacy in town still open that had the children's form of Tamiflu?

Yeah... Jim made that trip. The doctor also called in some for me to take if and when I start getting flu symptoms, since high fevers can be dangerous for a fetus. Still not sure how I feel about taking that while I'm pregnant, so let's keep our fingers crossed that I just stay well (despite my clothing, hair and shoulder being used as this child's handkerchief the last two weeks!)

I'm relieved that at least we know what's wrong with the poor sicko, and that's it's nothing too awful, but man... I really wish someone had thought to do a simple flu swab BEFORE making me drag my miserable little boy to the hospital.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Another One For You

Okay, this one hit me in the shower this morning randomly. Do you guys like the name Carmandy? Here's what I want to know: does it strike you as sort of old fashioned, like a place name or an old surname, or does it strike you as modern and invented? Also, how would you spell it instinctively (Carmandy, Carmendy, Carmondy, Carmindy?) and would you tend towards the nickname Carmen? Or more likely Mandy or Mindy?

I really like this idea, and think it's a name that goes well with our other kids' names and our last name, but the spelling issue really annoys me. Also, I don't think I like the nn Mindy very well. I like Mandy ok, and I like that the -y ending goes with the other kids' nicknames, but I also like Carmen a lot. Just not sure if it "goes" as well. Carmy, maybe?


Friday, March 02, 2012

Hey! All Of These Bullets Are Positive!

Yes, here I am, posting again. I'll tell you why I pretty much become Little Model Blogger (at least in posting frequency) as soon as my morning sickness faded: because while I am no longer lying prone on the couch to prevent heaving, I am still tired and lazy a lot, and my tummy is sore and I'm always getting these painful Braxton Hicks whenever I bend over to pick things up, so... when I'm home, I mostly just want to sit around while staying semi engaged with (read: protecting from at least most catastrophes) the boys.

They usually want to play in the den, where the trains and the Legos and the Netflix access and the music reside, and so, coincidentally, does the pc. Hence here I am, blogging a boring stream of consciousness while watching with one eye as my youngest children tumble gleefully around off furniture like klutzy puppies in a cage. Occasionally, when the puppies need their noses wiped or start whacking each other with train tracks, I get up. (Or sometimes I don't even bother intervening, if the situation seems too mystifying to resolve. Ex: Eli just scolded Jamie for messing up his "best pair of pants." He was referring to the throw pillow he was holding out accusingly. Imaginative, or already abusing hallucinogenic drugs without my knowledge?)

Anyways. This post is getting even more boring and rambly than I thought it would be. I did have a few specific things I wanted to say! I think!

-Internet magic has worked again, re: complaints being resolved as soon as you post about them. I feel baby girl kicking pretty frequently now, even when I'm not holding super still and maintaining the magical perfect position. They're those weird fluttery kicks that almost make you feel nauseous, like a pinball bouncing around against your stomach, but they're noticeable and daily and I feel much better now.

-The magic also worked for the boring Girl Scouts issue. They recently did a World Thinking activity that was genuinely interesting and fun, and the last couple of meetings were focused on working towards badges and not just on running wild. There was still cherry punch, but whatevs.

-Jim gave me my second progesterone shot last night (first one he's done himself) and he was so dang good at it, you guys! He had done the alcohol swab and drawn up the meds and flicked the needle and everything, and I was holding my breath waiting and waiting to feel it puncture my skin. I finally asked impatiently, "Is it IN yet?" (yes, ha ha, little sex joke there) because all I could feel was some pressure- in my mind he was just standing there nervously with the needle against my butt, trying to gather his courage to actually break my skin and push it in. But lo and behold he had already done that and was mostly done injecting the hormone by the time I asked. The needle went in even more smoothly than when the nurse did it, because with her I can always feel when it punctures my skin, even though it doesn't actually hurt too badly.

Now, afterwards, when I stood back up, it hurt a lot for a few minutes. I think maybe Jim pushed the needle a little further into my muscle than he needed to, in his concern that he got it in far enough and didn't have to do the shot over again. That after-pain kind of startled me, since the actually shot hadn't hurt at all, so I totally freaked poor Jim out, first praising him and then suddenly yelping and grabbing my hip. But it went away after a minute and doesn't hurt at all today, so, I still think for his first time giving an injection that he did very well. Maybe he should forget about software engineering and go to med school.

-Lastly, I think I may finally have birthed a child with common sense. Jameson is already the most cooperative of all three kids when it comes to having his nose wiped. He doesn't try to lick his damp upper lip while evading his tissue wielding parents, and he'll even try to wipe his own nose if he finds the Kleenex box. Also: he seems to be trying to BLOW his nose, a skill that STILL mostly eludes both his older siblings. You can't imagine how happy this makes me, as snotty nosed kids remain one of my biggest pet peeves. I think they're right up there with drug dealers in terms of social menace.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Just Get In The Van

Thank you all for your ideas about strollers and sleeping arrangements! I actually got the double stroller we do have out of the garage yesterday and gave it a whirl while I was babysitting my nephew (who's about four months younger than Jamie) and wanted to take all three boys out for a walk. It worked just fine, really, just maybe needs the wheels oiled and DEFINITELY needs hosed down! Yes, it's big and cumbersome, but any stroller is, to a certain degree, so I guess it's not a big deal. I haven't tried snapping in the infant carrier in awhile, but even if it's as annoying as I remember, it's probably not enough of a pain to justify buying an entirely new stroller. I didn't even think of this until yesterday (embarrassing) but there's also the whole being good to the planet and not wastefully buying up more and more plastic junk for no good reason issue, and I guess the double stroller not being EXACTLY what I want is not enough of a reason to get rid of it and buy another one.

I should look into more baby wearing options, though, because I am DETERMINED not to be house bound with four little kids this summer, even if I have to put them all on leashes to get out the door. I did have one sling when Eli was a baby, and he loved it but then it got recalled. I tried a few different borrowed slings when Jamie was little and he didn't like being in any of them for more than ten minutes at a time, so I kind of gave up, but it's true I never tried the Ergo! Maybe it is the magical solution.

And speaking of being determined to get out of the house, Eli just started taking a combo gymnastics/swim class two days a week, and I can already tell such a huge difference in the way our days are going. Between pregnancy and winter blahs and Eli's general lack of cooperation on outings, it has been so long since we've been leaving the house on a regular basis. But here we are, trying it again for all of our sakes, and so far I am loving it. His class starts at nine fifteen, so that means when I get up in the morning I actually have to get us ALL ready, not just Addy, and then after we drop her off at school we head to the Y for Eli's class. He gets some exercise, he's having to deal with other adults and kids (something he can always use more practice with,) I am forced to shower before two o' clock PM... it's just good all around. So far I've even taken us out to do MORE stuff after class in the mornings, too, because it just feels so good to be out and about that I'm reluctant to return! We've gone to the library and the Babies R Us and to get coffee. Just little trips, but enough to feel like I've given our days a little bit of structure and a little bit of fun.

Not to mention the delightful fact that I so often forget: if you're not IN your house all day, it doesn't get as messy! I'm always wondering how families with two careers and multiple kids in school ever manage to get chores done and then I remember: because they're all gone a lot, not eating three meals and two snacks a day in their house, and there's also not three little people throwing toys and clothes and sippee cups all over the place twenty four-seven. I think I could face the weekly dust/vacuum/scrub routine if there weren't also the endless, endless picking up and organizing and wiping of stickiness that drains the will to clean right out of me. Lately if we even achieve tidiness I call it good.

But the reduction in messes is really just a side bonus. The main motivator is that it makes such a huge difference in my mood if I'm able to get out and do something every day, and the same goes for Eli. When I try to get him to do "activities" with me at home it's usually a bust- once in the house, he just wants to watch TV, play Super Mario or play by himself with his action figures. He rarely even wants to go for a walk, let alone do art projects or whatever. But when I force us out the door and into the world beyond our street, he really has much better days in terms of behavior, eating and sleeping.

How about you guys? Are your kids happy to be home, or is it worth the effort to get them out of the house and doing stuff? Do you enjoy ferrying them around, or is it more of a hassle than anything? ('Cause I'll be the first to admit that dealing with car seats and strollers and hand holding can make even the simplest errand feel exhausting. And that's assuming everyone behaves!)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Be My Consumer Reports, Please

Well, this baby is not even twenty one weeks gestation and I'm already fretting over her baby gear. Oh woe is me and my first world problems. My main two issues are the sleep setup and our stroller situation.

Issue One: I have an Arms' Reach cosleeper that I used for Jameson, but I never used it actually attached to the bed, just as a bassinet. It was still very handy, a perfect height next to my own bed for reaching in to pick up baby, but I didn't feel comfortable dropping the side completely and attaching it to our bed. It just seemed like it would be way too easy for the edges of my own covers to end up in the baby's sleep area. So while it was fine, for the price I ended up not thinking it was any more useful than any other bassinet. Also, it was very hard and completely flat, which I know is recommended for SIDS prevention, but we all live in the real world here... most babies don't sleep well on a flat slab! So I always had to put a few receiving blankets under one end of the little mattress to get to him to sleep comfortably for even a few hours.

This new baby will definitely be sleeping in my bedroom indefinitely, both because that's how we always do it for at least the first few months and because we'll still be in the middle of the remodel when she comes and there's simply nowhere else for her to BE until it's done. Boys are already bunked up, and Addy's room is simply too small to add a crib.

I would also like to have a diaper changing/dressing station type of thing set up in our bedroom, because I don't want to be tiptoeing into the boys' room in the middle of the night to use the regular changing table that's in there. I'm not moving it because a)it's huge and heavy, b)there's no room for that monstrosity in our bedroom anyways and c)it's also Jamie's dresser. I don't really want to change her on our bed because of mess issues. So I was thinking of using the cosleeper (with it's firm flat surface!) for the diaper changing area, and finding something else for the baby to actually sleep in.

My sister used this Fisher Price rocker/sleeper thing (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=fisher+price+rock+and+play+sleeper&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9471495977838369124&sa=X&ei=NE9NT_LYNaXr0gGZweHJAg&ved=0CHcQ8wIwAQ) and absolutely loved it. It gets rave reviews EXCEPT for this flat head issue which some people attribute to their use of this device as a bassinet. I don't really know what to think... It seems like if a kid's going to get flat head from this, they'd probably get it from a crib mattress or anything else too, so I don't see that the rocker is necessarily to blame. Anyone have any thoughts on this? (Sorry no handy click links today. My Blogger button isn't working and I'm too lazy to mess with coding today.)

Issue Two: The infant carseat/carrier that we used for the other kids is still fine, but the stroller it came with as part of the travel system is completely broken. I have a small, lightweight stroller I've used for Jamie ever since the big one broke, but it's not compatible with a carseat nor would it work for a small infant. I've been thinking that I should probably look into a good double stroller anyways, since anytime I'll want the baby in a stroller, I'll likely have Jamie too and he will certainly be too small (slash RECKLESS) to walk by himself for any distance. We have a hand me down double stroller that's around six years old, a Graco DuoGlide I believe, and while it's fine, it's just really long and cumbersome. I also find it tricky to snap in the infant carrier, though it does work. Additionally, I decided after looking around online that I'd really like one that has the sit or stand option for the older child- seems like a fun diversion for a bored toddler with restless leg syndrome.

Enter the brand new Graco Ready2Grow double stroller (here's the link if you want to see it- http://blog.gracobaby.com/2012/01/27/introducing-the-new-graco-ready2grow-stand-and-ride-stroller/) It apparently has TWELVE different seating/standing/infant carrier snap in options, and it looks a little shorter and less cumbersome than the traditional DuoGlide double stroller. Has anyone by any chance tried this one yet? Or do you have another recommendation for a double stroller that would make traveling around with a newborn and not quite two year old a walk in the park? (Heh. Walk. See what I did there?)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Baby Stuff Eating My Brain

-Still no name for this baby. Not even an official top ten. This doesn't worry me much; as with the last two, I kind of doubt we'll have it set in stone until we meet her. The only problem I see with pondering names at great length like this is that you start to lose perspective. Example: today I happened across the word "Carlisle" in a book, as in "they walked up Carlisle Road," and thought, "What a gorgeous name that would be! And Carly is a cute nickname! Perfect!" And then I thought, But Carlisle makes me think of The Carlisle House, which is an assisted living facility in our town. Not the best word association. Shortly thereafter I thought, Crap. Also Carleton from Fresh Prince. And finally, Isn't there some kids' show called iCarly? Maybe that's not the best nickname to intentionally choose for one's child. But it took me an hour to think of this stuff, rather than the ten minutes I imagine a normal, non-gestating person would need to come up with it.

-In the naming vein, I'm getting very weird looks anytime people ask about our ideas and I mention the name Magnolia. I'm beginning to think it might be just a little too out there for this area. Le sigh. Much as I adore it, I don't want to give my child a name that could be a burden. Clearly I should move to San Diego, and then I could feel free to name my kids Genevieve and Dante and receive nothing but compliments. Actually, Genevieve is one I still love and would maybe consider if I didn't have a sister AND a sister in law named Jennifer, both called Jen(n.) That's just too much sound repetition, especially if we called Genevieve Genna, which I totally would, obvs.

-This whole not feeling the baby move very much thing bothers me more and more with each passing day. I know that I have the anterior placenta going on and all, but according to the 3D ultrasound from sixteen weeks along, the placenta was on my left side. What the what? I told our usual tech about it on Thursday, when she showed me where the placenta was, and she just shrugged and said, "Well... placentas don't really migrate around. And this thing is definitely right against the top of your belly." And it did indeed appear to be there, from what I know of ultrasound images, so I don't get it. I want medical science to be completely reliable and for medical professionals to never contradict one another, dang it! Is nothing sacred?!

Anyways, though, back to the not moving much: freaks me out. I feel her wriggling around at least once a day, if I'm sitting or laying just right, but it's nowhere near hard enough for me to feel from the outside, let alone try to get anyone else to feel. Is that normal, still, at this age? I know I did this not even two years ago, but I can't remember! And she seems so amazingly active at every scan that I can't understand why I don't feel that stuff more. Maybe she just gets worked up by the ultrasound vibes, but ordinarily isn't very active?

-And finally, I am beyond annoyed that my morning sickness has somehow returned! It isn't as bad as before- I've only had to actually run for the bathroom a few times- but for the last week or so, every morning and every evening (evening especially) I am very definitely, very un-ignorably nauseous. What.The.Heck.

Now please soothe my worried brow and tell me this stuff is normal.

Also send extra sympathy because the husband and the baby both have bad colds. The two MOST convenient members of the family to take ill, as you all know, are the men and the babies.

Friday, February 24, 2012

On The Fun- and Danger- Of Nicknames

So far our naming standard has been a three syllable first name, one that's at least slightly unusual, and a far more common nickname by which the kids most frequently are called. Part of this was intentional (that there be an obvious, go-to nickname) and part accidental (I didn't necessarily set out to have a three syllable name each time, but now it feels like a pattern I'd like to keep.)

The intentional part was mostly my preference, and it stemmed from the fact that with a short, no nonsense name like Sarah (mine, in case you're new here,) there are no commonly used nicknames, and so if one's friends want to call you by something more creative, they are forced to get... well, creative. This can sometimes be disastrous. Without going into the painful details, my high school nickname, by which my friends and sister still sometimes refer to me, was China. And many longer, more appalling versions of it which I won't share here because for heaven's sake I have SOME pride. (Only a very little, though. Chinese Chicken. CHINESE CHICKEN was something to which I ANSWERED.)

Now, I know that one can end up with an unfortunate nickname no matter what, but I was determined that since nicknames seem more or less inevitable, the least I could do was provide my children with a few easy and obvious shortened versions of their given name in case their friends or relatives started casting around for something special by which to call them. At this point I've been so pleased with my plan that it's an absolute essential to any name suggestion for this little girl in my belly: there must be a cute, commonly recognized nickname to accompany it. I should note though that I am aware many people feel entirely the opposite, and hated having named that were always shortened as a kid. They therefore might intentionally choose names that cannot be shortened for their own kids, and their motives are entirely as good as my own. Just wanted to throw that out there. I am not judging non-nickname-givers!

I also know that in many families, abbreviated names aside, kids often go by pet names that have nothing to do with their own name. We are in fact no different, and our kids have nonsense nicknames too- though we tend to keep them in the home, and certainly hope they manage to shed them before high school, unlike their unfortunate mom. Addy gets Sissy a lot (I do wonder what will happen to that now that she won't be the only sister in the house,) Eli is called Brewster, which was a name arrived at by a long and lengthy process no one can remember anymore, and Jamie, weirdly, I often refer to as Weasel Baby. I think it started when I realized how sneaky he is and how much silent mischief he can get into. Apparently I associate weasels with sneakiness. That's a common consensus, right, that weasels are sneaky? Or am I confusing them with some other animal? Maybe he should be called Raccoon Baby, I don't know. Weasel is more fun to say though.

What about your families? I want to hear all about your nicknames: your own, whether you like it or not, whether your kids have nicknames, and whether that was intentional or just naturally came about. Does anyone ever call your kids by nicknames you hate? (I know for us there have been several names we ruled out because we couldn't stand their common shortened forms.)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Delightfully Uneventful

It's always nice to leave an OB appointment with nothing new to report. For some reason I was harboring this fear in the back of my mind that at the twenty week ultrasound something would be seriously wrong. It just seemed like four healthy babies with no problems was too lucky, too perfect. And yet there you have it: a little girl, who very cooperatively left no doubt of her gender (yay yay yay!) measuring at exactly twenty weeks (again, yay yay yay- this pregnancy is going so fast as it is. I really didn't want to be any further along than my original due date had me, not even by that extra week the sonographer at the 3D place thought,) a healthy looking placenta and cervix (again- yay! phew!) and all body parts present and accounted for and in their proper places.

She is so active; she was doing somersaults during the ultrasound, flipping from breech to vertex, side to side, etc, and yet I can still barely feel her. My placenta is anterior, which probably explains a lot of that, but it's still disappointing. I may be happy about it later on, of course, when her movements get stronger and more painful and I have that extra little cushion.

We did the first of the progesterone shots, and it was as I remembered it from last time- the shot isn't that painful, but there's definitely residual soreness later on. I think Jim feels better about the prospect of administering them himself from now on now that he's seen up close and personal that I am totally fine with shots and needles and don't flinch around or whimper. We'll see how it goes next week, of course, without a nurse, but I think we'll be fine.

As I always do at medical appointment, I forgot to mention a few of the things that I meant to: that my old umbilical hernia, which was repaired after Eli's birth, is popping out again and really painful, and that I get sore legs and leg veins and it makes me nervous about clots and could they maybe check them just to make sure I'm not missing something? I really do think they're fine though; I just get paranoid. And the hernia, well, there's nothing they can DO about it now anyways, so I guess I just wanted someone to look at it and say, "Yep, that sucks!" The one genuinely dumb thing I did was discuss my recurrent headaches at length, and possible medications I can take, and then forgot to get my prescription for said meds as I checked out. Ah well. Not that important, I guess. Hopefully they can still quickly call it in if I get another bad, all-day-long one again. (Side note: it always seems so crazy to me that they're willing to offer my an occasional VICODIN, but ibuprofin is verbotin. All I want is a couple dang Advil and I'd be fine!)

But, normal aches and pains aside, all systems are go and this little girl is halfway baked. Which is CRAZY, but exciting.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Adelay joined Girl Scouts this school year; their troop didn't secure a leader until mid-October, I think, so it doesn't really feel like they've been doing it THAT long, but on the other hand I am already sick of it.

I didn't do Girl Scouts when I was little, but so far from what I can tell, all that's happened is that every other week we go sit in the school library while the girls stand in a circle and fumble through the pledge, do a craft (which has been either coloring or, this last week, something way too hard for them that the moms ended up doing during snack time,) then have a snack, which we all take turns bringing in and which has involved fake fruit punch with red dye 40 almost every single time. They've also played tag or Red Rover a couple of times, but in this weird, new rules fashion because no one is allowed to win or lose.

To enjoy the privilege of attending these meetings, I had to fill out MOUNTAINS of paperwork, including getting vaccination verification from our doctor's office, go to two separate orientation meetings, pay twenty four dollars for the initial fee, ten dollars for craft supplies, and am now being pestered to buy her a vest and sash, for the low price of forty four dollars. Not to mention the COOKIE SALES, which we have spent a good half of our time so far discussing and organizing and being texted and emailed about incessantly. Because, yeah, a parent is supposed to come to the meetings with the girls every time, since we have such a large group. So the kids go do their thing with one leader while the other hands us random forms to sign and reminds us about cookie sales and cookie rallies and cookie booths. I sort of feel like for the younger girls, being in Girl Scouts is basically just volunteering one's fund raising services.

I don't know. I guess I just had visions of them sitting around a campfire and learning survival skills, then making s'mores and hand crafting lanyards. Perhaps that was a little grandiose for six year olds. I'm sure the older girls really do that kind of thing. Also: its winter. Still, though, I thought it would be a little more... interesting, and organized, I guess. I seriously feel like Addy has more fun, and does neater activities, in her Sunday School class, and no one's hounding me to write checks and sell cookies there! I guess I thought there was more structure to this type of organization, and more interesting projects than "Here, color this page."

I know that we ended up with a very big troop, and the leaders have never done it before and jumped in to help at the eleventh hour, so I shouldn't be so critical. I really DO appreciate all the work they're doing, which with organizing all the cookie sales and rallies is no small amount. I just don't feel that gung ho about even selling the stupid cookies when I don't, so far, feel super impressed with the Girl Scout experience anyways. And so far it's seriously been ALL ABOUT selling cookies! I.E. parents selling cookies, since the girls are obviously way too young to do any independent sales.

Can any of you who were part of the organization yourselves as kids, or whose girls have been in it for awhile, tell me if this is just par for the course in the beginning? Does it get a lot more fun and interesting as they get older? Am I being a nonsocial crab to feel so reluctant and unwilling to try to sell cookies?

Also, does anyone else feel like the cookies aren't even that great? I don't GET it!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Phase

(Written a few days ago, at rapid, venting speed, and then posted after proofreading to ensure it wasn't excessively over dramatic and woe-is-me.)

(It might still be anyways.)

It is twelve thirty pm. I have at last put Jameson down for his nap, after plying him with sippee cups and a smorgasbord of food and ok, fine, here, have a bite of Mommy's chocolate, even, just STAY AWAKE for another hour. He has yogurt, aforementioned chocolate, and his own blood from not one but two face-plants smeared on his shirt front and sleeves. He is so, so tired.

It has come at last, the uneasy dance between two short naps and one long afternoon nap, and Baby isn't taking it too well. He is still sleepy and sucking his fingers by eleven am, but if I actually put him down then, we end up with yet another day of countless ten minute, fake-out kind of naps, no real sleep at all, and then an overly tired baby who WON'T GO TO SLEEP come bedtime. So I've been aiming for twelve thirty at the earliest before he goes down, and if all goes well he then sleeps until three thirty or four. He gets up, snacks, plays hardcore, and is sleepy again at eight thirty, which is the big kids' bedtime too and which is basically awesome sauce, obviously, but not without its hiccups. Basically his really tired phases keep coinciding with meals, so after breakfast, I just try to sneak food into him here and there, all morning long, so he won't be hungry by Official Nap Time even if he does disregard any attempt at feeding him an Official Lunch. Then I try to sneak food in before dinner because I know he's likely to be tired and crabby by dinner, too.

Hey, wow this is boring! I'm so sorry. I'm boring myself. Toddlers, though, amiright? They're like... they're like Rubiks cubes. Which I have never been good at. Mind puzzles, especially human mind puzzles, are not my favorite thing. Do you let them snack through the day (on healthy things!) so their blood sugars stay stable and they don't lose their minds? Do you strictly limit snacking so they'll actually eat their meals at regular times and get to join in with the family and pick up on social skills? Do you let them try to use utensils even though it makes your own dinner a tense exercise in Applesauce Flinging Prevention, or do you only give them easy finger foods so they don't get frustrated by their lack of motor skills and start to find mealtimes unpleasant? I just don't know.

I know they're not super significant either, these small decisions, but there are just so many of them throughout any given day that I end up feeling fairly overwhelmed by the time nap or bedtime arrives. And the vigilance required by a kid this age! I literally sag in relief once he's asleep, euphoric with the knowledge that I can stop swiveling my head around every couple of seconds, my ears tuned like a bat's, to make sure the baby is not actively trying to kill or maim himself. Or empty the towel drawer, or plumb the depths of the trash can or whatever new hobby he's momentarily taken up. He's not jumping off his brother's bed or licking the toilet or putting some stray earring into his mouth. He's not trying to yank dirty steak knives from the silverware basket every time someone dares to open the dishwasher. He's not sitting quietly in a dark room, methodically ripping apart his sister's pile of artwork with hawk-like concentration.

What's that? Put him in the play yard, you say? Yes, that does happen, trust me. If I decide to shower (anyone's guess!) or need to vacuum or do something that will require my attention to be decidedly not on Jamie, I do stick him in there. But unless he's kind of sleepy AND the tv is on to lull him, he stands there yelling, so it's pretty awful for everyone. He wants to be a Big Kid and play with his brother, and I know that's healthy and good and that freedom and exploration should be encouraged. I also know that the kid has bloodied his lip (in my presence, lest you think I was ignoring him while he swung from chandeliers) like four times in the last week, once requiring a trip to Urgent Care, thanks to all this freedom and exploration, so... Again with the Rubik's cube.

People always talk about kids going through phases, but I sometimes feel like it's ME in a phase lately. The pregnant with a young toddler phase, which means that any time he is resting, so am I, regrouping and zoning out until I must once again rally and take up my post. My post that is keeping Jameson safe and happy, or, failing that, at least ALIVE until Jim gets home. If he's clean and fed? Well that's just a bonus.

And yet he is so beautiful, so charming, so playful. His belly laugh is so infectious that it IS doable, this phase. It is tiring, and my standards for the house are far lower than they were even when he was a nursing newborn, for heaven's sakes, but I do enjoy him most of the time. I just also feel like I maybe deserve hazard pay.

At the very least more than two hundred milligrams of caffeine a day. That's a bunch of crap.

Narcissistic Pregnant Lady Post

You know what's a little awkward when you're in the ravenously hungry/everything finally, finally tastes and sounds GOOD again phase of pregnancy?

When your husband is religiously dieting to win a contest at work. I'm eating two lunches while he's eating raw carrots. Every day my tum pops out a little farther and his gets a little flatter. And yet I am unfazed. When we went out to eat for V Day, we were cracking the waitress up, Jim with his virtuous plate of salad greens and raw broccoli and me with my giant steak and cheesecake, every bite of which got devoured while I patted my stomach contentedly and lolled around like a gluttonous Roman. I'm amazed Jim didn't just stare at me resentfully the whole time.

I have to say, he's an awfully good sport while dieting. If I was being that strict about what I ate, I don't think I could bear to go out and watch someone else gleefully gorging on rich stuff. I'm weak, frankly, when it comes to food. I love salads and veggies and fruit, but I also love cheese and chocolate and wine. I don't generally struggle too much with weight- I'm not skinny or even really thin but my doctors both say that I don't have a weight "problem" either (i.e. sure, you could drop ten to twenty pounds but your health is fine) so that's good enough for me.

I do know that at some point, though, when I'm done gestating and nursing and when age has finally sneaked up on me and begun winding down my metabolism, that I will have to be a bit more aware of what I'm eating each day. Sadly there won't always be babies to enjoy and use up those extra fat stores. I (honestly, truly) don't care to be a Hot Mom!, but I do care about being a good role model to my kids by controlling certain appetites and by taking care of and respecting my body (i.e. certainly not forbidding sugar, but also not snarfing down an indeterminate amount of peanut M and M's each evening while catching up on Netflix.)

But hey, no need to go dark just yet! This is still definitely the fun part of pregnancy and I intend to enjoy the heck out of it while it lasts. No heartburn to speak of, hardly any nausea, headaches pretty rare again, and a body that is rounder in... many places, some of which are very pleasing. FINALLY rounder, I should add. I never seem to get that whole chestal region explosion everyone talks about in early pregnancy until more like mid/late, and even then it's not exactly an explosion. Slight swelling, maybe. I'll take what I can get.

I have a decent amount of energy, I sleep pretty well, don't really have hip or back pain; I can finally feel the baby move a few times a day! Things are good. Except for constant round ligament pain, which is really stabby sometimes and seems weird since this is my fourth baby for heaven's sake. I thought round ligament stuff would ease up the more kids you had and the more relaxed your abdominal muscles got. Anyone else who's had a lot of pregnancies want to weigh in on body aches and pains that were different or surprising?

For instance, with my first two babies I would get sudden, sharp hip pain starting within a month or so of being pregnant, and lasted pretty much the whole time. My joints were just really really loose and it felt like anytime I stepped or sat wrong my hip kind of slipped out of place or something. But with Jamie, and now this one, I've barely felt any hip pain or weirdness at all. I think my hips finally just gave up and STAYED spread after I had Eli, so they haven't had to do as much adjusting to make room for these last two babies?

I know, I know: every pregnancy is different. Every baby is different. Every KID is different. Why is it so hard to resist comparing everything?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Inclement Weather Rants

Or I could just never mop. I imagine we'd all live. So far that seems to be the risky little game I'm playing! Three weeks and counting! (Possible TLC show idea?

So, did we all survive Valentine's Day? Around here school was cancelled, WHAT THE HECK, for about three dang inches of snowfall. It's an act of WEATHER, people, not an act of GOD! Urgent weather bulletin: IN THE WINTER IT SNOWS. SOMETIMES QUITE FREQUENTLY. Perhaps, if we're going to live here where it snows, we should figure out how to live our lives accordingly. Warm up the car, drive a little more carefully, but please oh please let's still get the children to their long-awaited school Valentine's party so they don't lose their minds with disappointment and then fight with their brothers and crab at their long suffering mom because their lovingly made Extra Speshul heart-frosted and pink sprinkled pancakes don't look exactly like they imagined! *pantpantpant*

Also, school? Maybe you could find a better way to alert everyone to delays and cancellations than a mass phone call ("Due to the INCLEMENT WEATHER school has been cancelled!") sent out at five forty five am. This was not a fluke, either. This is when it is ALWAYS sent out. Elementary school? Doesn't start until nine am. So... I guess I don't understand. I realize there are a few people who have to be up that early and starting their work/daycare/school prep routines, but most people don't, so perhaps we could have a couple of different times in the morning that the alert calls are made, and we could sign up for whichever time slot works for OUR morning routine? Just a thought.

Lest you think I'm completely bitter and devoid of the Holiday Spirit, though, I should note that my very nice sister showed up (with heart shaped cake and a Valentine's scavenger hunt, no less) to babysit our rug rats and let us go out for a date, which was actually super fun and not too crowded and the food was delicious. I'm totally in that second trimester sweet spot, though, where all food tastes amazing and my appetite is... healthy. So, you know, pretty much anything that goes in my pie hole these days meets rave reviews.

Err. That sounded utterly horrifying kind of bad. Never mind. And thus I conclude my Valentine's Day wrap up and slink away in shame.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I have a boring question, but it's really important to me, because I am kind of boring. How do you wash your hard floors? (My answer: very sporadically! har har!) More specifically, with what do you wash your hard floors? I used to have this Bissell flip/mop thingy that you charged, and it vacuumed/dust mopped with one side and then washed with the other. It worked pretty well until it died a sad, motor-grinding death. I don't think they make them anymore. I also didn't like that you couldn't plug it in but had to charge the battery- the suction inevitably got weaker by the time I was done vacuuming.

So now I pretty much just spot clean it with a wash cloth or Lysol wipes, and occasionally go over it with my washable mop pads after spraying it down with some kind of hot water and cleaner solution. What I'm really pining after, especially since we're planning on eventually putting down tile in the revamped laundry area and the new dining room, is one of those floor steamer thingies, preferably one that will do the whole vacuum/wash process all at once or in separate modes.

Do any of you have floor steamers that you love or hate, and would you tell me about them?