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!)