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?

Thursday, February 09, 2012


Well thank you all for the name love! :) Still not totally decided, but that one is DEFINITELY on the Real Possibility list.

Also, guess what? Two awesome medical things: I finally got my blood work results and I don't have an active case of Fifth's Disease (they said I had enough in my system that I must have had it somewhat recently, but not recently enough to hurt the baby? I didn't totally understand on the phone, but I'll try to clarify at my twenty week appointment) AND my doctor found a pharmacy to order the progesterone shots from for WAAAAY cheaper than the first place. Like, fifty dollars a vial instead of four thousand. Yeah. What a racket the pharmaceutical industry is, AMIRIGHT, but I'm trying not to fume about that and to just be happy that I'm going to get to do them after all, and not in the process screw up our insurance premiums for ourselves and everyone else in the company. But still. RACKET. ANGRY FUME.

Another awesome sorta-medical thing is that I did another doula birth yesterday! Overall it went really well, and I got very nice scores and remarks on my DONA forms that the doctor and nurse have to fill out. The doctor, admittedly, had to fudge his a little since he wasn't actually there for the delivery (nurse: "try not to push!" baby's head: halfway out already) but the placenta delivery was pretty rough, so at least he got to see me doing my thing with her for that half hour or so. The actual baby came out way faster, let me tell you!

The crazy part was that it was an induction (poor NST at forty weeks) but the first bag of Pit they gave her didn't work. For almost eight hours they were upping the dosage every half hour and yet she wasn't contracting at ALL. Finally the doctor suggested switching to a different bag in case the first one was somehow faulty, and then, voila. Within an hour we had hard labor, and a baby in another four. It was ker-azy. She did a wonderful job not stressing though, her husband and mom were fantastically helpful, and the nurses were very good, too. They were really encouraging and facilitating her to move around as much and however she wanted to, despite all the cords and monitors she had going on. We managed to get her in a lot of good, productive positions and to work that baby down quite quickly once the Pit finally kicked in. QUITE quickly, in the end! Never saw a nurse deliver a baby before. It was kind of exciting.

I'm really glad I only have one more birth scheduled before my own baby comes, though. I was only there with her twelve hours, and on the road about an hour and a half, but today I am so exhausted I can barely stand. Being pregnant really cuts down on your physical endurance! A real news flash there, I know. You're welcome.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012


What do we think of the name Magnolia Jane? (Amazingly Jim actually kinda likes it too, so it's a for-real suggestion and not just purely of my own fantasy.) Possible nicknames being Maggie (Maggie Jane!) Nola, or Lia. Is it a little too out there, especially with our other kids' names? Or does it work? I feel confident that the nicknames work really well with the others, especially Maggie and Lia. But is Magnolia veering from the "elegant and old fashioned" category into the "excessively flowery/unusual" category? I'm especially looking for opinions from people from the Midwest, because I know full well that in many other regions of the country it'd be a perfectly lovely choice at which no one would bat an eyelash. But, around here the push towards older, stronger sounding names hasn't caught on full force just yet. Several of my choices from the original name post were weird enough for this town, but I feel like this one might really be pushing it. On the other hand, I absolutely love it. So there's that. But if you know me well and genuinely hate this name or feel it doesn't "work" with our family, please be honest. I'm sure there are names YOU love that I don't, so you're not going to hurt my feelings.

Side note: what is UP with me and the constant posting lately? I am totally in that second trimester happy space, right? And you should see my house, with the dishes done every night and the carpets vacuumed on a regular basis! It's astonishing!

Ahem. *brisk hand clap* Back to the name!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Before and After

So all my kids appear to have inherited my insanely wild and thick hair, in texture if not in color. This means that a certain baby/toddler has been long overdue for a haircut for a few months now. And this past weekend, while the older kids were bowling with their cousins, Jim and I bravely got out the trimming scissors and took him from this...

...to this.

It was basically the hack job you must expect when trying to wield scissors around a squirmy baby's eyes, of course, plus he has this funny cowlick thing on top of his head that meant when his hair was wet it really did look straight across his forehead, but when it dried it was, y'know, not so much with the evenness. So I just keep sort of swooping it off to the side and tousling it a bit. Also, it's really hard to get good pictures of a haircut when every time your kid sees the camera he flings his head backwards and begins cheesing like he's trying to win an award for The World's Most Enthusiastic Smile.

In the meantime he just looks very very old and I am sadder than I've ever been about a kid's haircut. He's been acting pretty toddler-ish for awhile, but now he even looks like one. Oh, Jamie James. I wish you could've stayed a baby for a little longer.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Meet The Baby

Here I am yesterday, at seventeen or eighteen weeks. This is the bump first thing in the morning, so imagine it a lot rounder by the end of the day! I feel kind of narcissistic posting a bunch of belly pictures, but I also feel very compelled to document this pregnancy a little more carefully than I have in the past, since it'll probably be my last. Yeah, just jinxed myself even saying that, didn't I? :)

And here are the ultrasound pictures from the 3D scan. She's in the breech position still, and for once I'm carrying kind of high. It makes it harder for me to feel kicks or distinct movements, since her head is basically butted up against my stomach and her fluttering legs are high enough in my pelvis that they aren't actually making direct contact with my bladder or anything. Not that I'm complaining about that! But it makes her movements just feel like vague, stirring sensations most of the time rather than definitive jolts like I'm used to from the boys, who liked to hang out low in my uterus and kick at my cervix all day long! Addy was more like this baby- it took me until the twentieth week with her to notice any fetal movement at all.

I know a lot of people think ultrasound pictures are kind of weird, or kind of creepy looking, especially this early, but I just think they're amazing. Especially after going from a six and half week scan of what basically looked like a jelly bean with stubs of arms and legs to THIS, a real BABY, albeit a very bony and kind of alien looking one. But the fingers, the toes! The perfect little ears! And I already think she looks like Adelay. :)

Friday, February 03, 2012


So here's something wild: I am eighteen weeks pregnant today, according to the sonographer from my 3D/4D ultrasound. Or seventeen, according to my first ultrasound. We'll just see. I know it doesn't make much difference, for someone who has uncomplicated pregnancies and delivers around their due date, but for me, someone who is only allowed off bed rest at thirty six weeks, and who is only allowed to have a water birth if I make it to thirty seven weeks (this is considered term and even a few days earlier is preterm,) that week kind of matters, so I am eager to get it nailed down one way or another.

Either way, that's approaching the mid-mark of pregnancy. Firmly in the second trimester. Really and truly pregnant, not just bloated and tired and late for a period. How are things going so quickly? Fourth pregnancy is sure different than the first, when I marked off every single day impatiently, and felt ready to burst with impatience by twenty weeks. This time I am just now beginning to wrap my head around the reality that there is going to be a BABY here this summer. Another real live baby. Somehow that fact lingered only in the recesses of my mind until last week's ultrasound, when I saw my daughter's face, her long fingers and stretching limbs, and realized there is a real-live person inside of me, a person who is going to be here before I know it.

I'm starting to get that second trimester energy surge I guess; besides the physical ability to do more than the absolute necessities, I am also planning and thinking again, as opposed to what I had been doing the last few months, which was to shelve anything other than absolute immediate concerns because I could barely handle the day, let alone six months in the future. But now I'm starting to think about certain realities in a problem solving way rather than a stressy, panic attack having way: for instance, assuming the remodel is not move-in-ready when baby arrives, how long can she sleep in our room in the cosleeper before she outgrows it? If she does outgrow it before we're ready to switch bedrooms around, will I just sleep with her in our bed (doubtful; I don't sleep well at all this way) or put her in the crib and move Jamie to the toddler bed and move Eli to... a cot in Adelay's room? Also, where will I set up the baby's clothes and diaper changing station while she is nursery-less? We don't really have a spare dresser at the moment, but if I moved some stuff around I think I could theoretically fit all of both boys' clothes in one dresser and free up our changing table's drawers for baby girl's stuff...

These really aren't huge problems and will easily be figured out at some point, I know. As I said, I'm just pleased that I am able to consider them without immediately derailing into a meltdown about too much stuff! and too many kids! and not enough room! That's my point, I guess, is that I feel like I'm making progress. I'm accepting that everything will not be ideal and perfect when this baby is born, and that it's ok. It will still be fine. We'll work it out.

In fact, not feeling compelled to put together the perfect little girl nursery before the baby arrives is a blessing in disguise, perhaps. Much less work to do for everyone, and we all know the baby couldn't care less as long as she's warm and has a boob nearby, right? And it'll be kind of fun, getting to choose decor and paint colors after a baby arrives; I can match it to her personality a little. AND I'll actually get to do stuff MYSELF (which I prefer,) instead of hormonally trying to direct everything from the couch while on bed rest, which is how the last three baby rooms got put together.

Also, not to be all preachy and Pollyanna (but hey, I'm preaching at myself:) if my biggest concern when facing an unplanned pregnancy is where to put the multitude of baby supplies and clothes, I've really got it pretty good.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Twitter Ish

Today's thought: It's probably a bad reflection on your housekeeping skillz when you're trying to fold laundry and can't find a non-cluttered or non-sticky surface in your entire house on which to stack the clothes.

Today's other thought: The expression "like ripping off a Band-Aid" is kind of misleading. I got my blood drawn yesterday and tore off the bandage this morning, and you know what? Sometimes those suckers hurt a lot more than you're expecting!

Today's other other thought: Yesterday's name post is still waiting and eager to hear your comments and suggestions!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Big Bad Name Post

Well, I feel a little better already. A lot better, actually. So I guess probably not the flu. Well, we'll see. No point in worrying about it, I guess, although that won't stop me of course. But the lady at the lab today said Parovirus 19 (Fifth's Disease) tests take four or five days to process, so I won't know until at least Monday. Therefore, we shall distract ourselves with... baby names!

One of the reasons I really wished for a girl is that while there are plenty of nice, solid boy names that I like just fine, there seem literally to be none (and believe me, I've looked) that thrill or tempt me quite like all the beautiful little girl names I've been drooling over like chocolates in a box for the last, oh, five years. Pretty much ever since the ink was dry on a certain Adelay Isabelle's birth certificate.

We have no official list yet, so bear in mind that these are simply a few of MY favorites. However, since Jim got final choice between our two favorites with the last baby, I'm thinking this time I should get that final vote, right? So, here's a sampling of the type of names I'm fantasizing about, along with (ridiculously lengthy) notes on each:

Bellamy (Means beautiful friend in French. So far this name is getting weird looks from the kids, but I love it so. The nickname Bella actually gives me pause though because of the Twilight reference, which to me is, uh... NOT a plus.)

Bronwen (I think the spelling Bronwyn is prettier, but it's a Welsh name and the -wyn ending is masculine while the -wen ending is feminine. The reverse is true for Irish names. Just a little PSA! I want to stick to the correct Welsh form since the origin is one of the things I like about it- Jim and I both have some Welsh background.)

Cambria (I really like the nicknames Cammy and Bria so that's an extra in favor of this name. This name sort of makes me think of Cambridge University, but that's not exactly a BAD connotation, it's just THERE.)

Calista (I have always loved this name, and I like the nickname Cally, but I do think pronunciation might be an issue- for example the actress Calista Flockhart: I've heard her name pronounced both "Ca-LISS-ta" and "Ca-LEES-ta." Anyone know which is correct?)

Evelyn, Everly (I like the general sound of both these names and love the nickname Evy, but can't decide which I prefer- the one seems a bit TOO old fashioned and the other a bit TOO modern to me. I also feel a little hesitant about repeating a first initial, so I'm sort of trying to steer away from A, E and J names. It's not a total deal breaker for me though. Just a preference.)

Felicity (Ok, this is the name I have been in love with forever, basically ever since she was my favorite American Girl doll. However Jim has always been decidedly against this name, at least as a first, so my best hope is to sneak it in there as a middle name. This is really okay with me, since I also prefer any name choices to have at least one cute and obvious nickname, and Felicity is kind of tricky in that way. The only one I can think of is Lissy, which rhymes with Sissy, which happens to be one of Adelay's most common monickers around here. Any of you have suggestions?)

Isla (Love this, but there is a pretty clear lack of nickname-ability. Also I imagine frequent explanations on how to pronounce it (EYE-la, for the record.) This one is in good standing for a middle name though.)

Marlayna (This is the German pronunciation of the name Marlene/Marlena, which I find gorgeous in its original spelling, but would probably alter because I do not wish to have to say "No, not Mar-LEE-na, it's actually Mar-LAY-na" to every receptionist and secretary for the next eighteen years. I also adore the nicknames Marly and Layna. Two drawbacks- Jim finds this name extremely old fashioned, and it repeats the "lay" sound and spelling in Adelay's name. I don't know if I like or dislike this fact. Thoughts?)

Tansy (This is one Adelay suggested out of the blue, and I found it unusual and charming, and endearingly, rather than off-puttingly, old fashioned. There's no nickname possibility, though, and it doesn't fit very well with our pattern so far of three syllable names, so this one is more on the middle name list.)

Feel free to offer opinions on these, or suggestions of others that you think might suit our style! Or just tell me YOUR beautiful girl's name that got away- the one you always had on the back shelf but never got to use for whatever reason.