Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Name That Baby!

Perhaps you have heard that I am working on a new baby. In all fairness I’m sure no one is surprised. Yes, it’s true. I am 28 weeks today. I believe it is the first week of the third trimester. You know what that means. Time to start getting uncomfortable again! But for the last time…presumably.

If you were not previously aware, this baby is a girl. I always thought naming girls would be easier than naming boys. That doesn’t seem to have been the case here. Both the boys had their names as soon as we knew what they were, or earlier in the case of Sully. Lily took a little longer. This one is proving much more problematic.

I had a girl name I liked picked out before we knew she was a she. Dave went with it, I guess not thinking that it might actually be a girl. As soon as the ultrasound tech told us and left the room he vetoed it. So uncool. That name was Estella Grace, to be called Ella. I still like it and it’s still what Connor is stuck on as he seems to be telling everyone that’s her name. Never ask a four year old to keep a secret.

From there we went to Isla Odessa. I like it, but unfortunately there are some issues with each of those names. If your spouse can’t remember how to say the baby’s name, that’s a red flag. It’s supposed to be pronounced ‘EYE-la’ but mostly he says it ‘EEE-la.’ He still spells Lily with too many l’s to this day so let’s not have him saying his next kid’s name wrong. The problem with Odessa comes from my mom who knew an Odessa, but she was the hired help.

Or maybe she was the ill-tempered poodle. Either way, bad connotations there.

Dave keeps suggesting Bridget. My mind goes straight to Bridget Jones, which I like as a book. However, when I see my new baby I don’t want to automatically see her as a slightly overweight, alcoholic British woman. I think that’s fair.

He likes it, though, so I was open to compromise. I told him that we could use it as long as we didn’t call her that. He seemed ok with that. And also I got to pick the spelling. Deal. So our latest incarnation is Brigitte Indiana whom we would call Indi. I liked it at first. I have wanted to name a girl Indiana for a long time. Unfortunately, it never occurred to me that it just might not work, maybe because I never thought I’d get to do it. Now that I have, though, I don’t really like it. It doesn’t flow, it doesn’t fit with the others’ names. It’s just kind of…off.

So now I’m back to, hunting for the right name. There are a few that I like, but there’s always a problem. Maybe somebody already named their kid that. It’s her middle name, but I do not want them to think that they had any influence whatsoever in the naming of my child. Just trust me on this. If anything I’m mad at them for taking my name before I got to use it.

Or it’s the name of a girl that Dave knew once who used to do, well, let’s just say she did bad things.

Or it’s somebody’s ill-tempered poodle.

I’ve been sending Dave lists of names today via text and I’m sure every time his pocket quacks he’s cussing me. He’s at work. Most of the names I’ve picked are fairly classic, but then there’s a few that are definitely ones you’d remember. They would lend themselves to good nicknames, though. I’m sure if it continues like this for much longer I will be forced to poll the audience. So stay tuned!

Also it has occurred to me that while I’m sure no one wants to buy more of my offspring MORE baby shower stuff, I sure do miss the food that comes with the gathering. So I have decided that it would be most awesome if there was a kind of you-don’t-have-to-bring-a-gift baby shower. There would still be food, but more people would come because it’s free cake and punch, dude! And also no stupid games that I can’t stand. It’s win-win! Of course, if someone just WANTED to bring a gift I wouldn’t refuse it. That’s just bad manners, after all.

The invitation would probably be via Facebook, but not in status form. I’m not real sure about a Facebook baby shower open invitation. There’s no telling who might show up as you’re essentially inviting everyone on your friend list. How many of those people do you really know? One would assume that only the people you intend to come would see it as a clear invite, but you never know. Maybe that piercer/tattoo artist guy has a day off and wants to score some buttercream frosted goodness and some fizzy pineapple punch. Hey, you invited him…and 462 other people. Hope you ordered a big cake.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hey, The Tooth Hurts

Hey! Let's try this again shall we? I was told by a few people that this post didn't make a whole lot of sense so I fixed it. It should make total sense now. As much as it ever did.

Believe it or not I have actually written several blogs posts over the last month. However, I cannot actually prove that because I have posted approximately none of them. For whatever reasons, after having written them they just did not seem worth putting up. That’s comforting, right? I have actually been saving you from subpar writing in the month of October. October held Halloween, which spawned almost a full week of stomach viruses, and my 29th birthday, which went by almost totally unnoticed. So I guess I’ll have to wait another year on that full day at Spa Sydell.

Although it can’t be counted as happening in October, something somewhat big did happen. On November 2, I had a tooth pulled. That may not sound very big to anyone else, but it was huge for me. Over the last six or seven years I have seen Dave get a few teeth pulled and I also saw all the suffering that led up to said extractions. In the meantime, one of my molars was quietly chipping away in the back, the #31 to be exact. Oh, that’s right, I’m dentally literate.

After so long that tooth started to hurt on occasion, which led to my ultimate boycott of Kettle Chips. Damn, those things are crunchy. Then about a quarter of it just. Broke. Off. O holy Jesus. Luckily no one saw my imminent panic and freak out. So from then on I did my best to chew only on the left and keep all food debris out of said tooth hole. This led to my boycott of Milky Way bars. Damn, those things are sweet.

Time went by and I adjusted my eating to the gaping chasm in my tooth. Don’t ever let a holey tooth run your life. Then you can’t eat things like Kettle Chips and Milky Ways. I’m starting to wonder how I managed to lose twenty pounds.

With the onset of the Halloween stomach virus I had a thoroughly miserable week. First Connor got it and then Lily got it. Then Sully and Dave on the same day. That very night I chomped down on a French fry that would render me helpless and whiny for the next two days. Late that night as I tried to go to sleep I writhed in pain and I sobbed, having never felt comparable pain to what was going on in my lower molar region. I’ve heard people say that mouth pain is unlike any other kind of pain. They’re right.

Into the night I became the next to fall victim to the stomach virus. So I had two types of discomfort going on and I still managed to be mommy the next day while Dave went to work. Let’s face it, Mama has limited options. I ate nothing all that day. I just couldn’t. I can cope much easier with an empty stomach than with a throbbing face. That damn tooth made my throat and ear hurt right along with it. Misery loves company I guess.

I did not go to work the next day. I called around to dentist offices begging someone to fit me in. I ended up being accepted to the place I had intended to go to all along, as they had done Dave’s dental work and he loved them. However. There’s always a however. I had to have permission from my OBGYN for them to pull that confounded tooth. Written consent. So I called the doctor’s office and got a busy signal. I got that busy signal every time I called for almost two hours. This place has an automated answering system, there’s no reason for a busy signal. So I had to take Lily with me and actually go to the office. I told them I had been calling and they said yeah, their phones were down.

You don’t say!

They gave me what they would’ve faxed to the dentist, which just ended up being a list of medications I couldn’t have. Sigh. Shortly thereafter my mother picked me and Lily up and we went to the dentist. They worked me in and I was out of there within an hour and a half. They are awesome.

I could give a pretty long narrative about that hour and a half spent at the dentist, but I think I’ll save that for another post. I will say, however, that they really need to pick a different wallpaper in some of those rooms. It tripped me out, yo. But when all is said and done I am very proud of myself for doing the one thing I had been dreading for years. Now another tooth hurts.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Today I am 26 weeks pregnant. Depending on which online birth calendars you are reading, next week will be the first week of the third, and hopefully last, trimester. If you’re reading a different one, that starts at 28 weeks. Why can’t they agree on that? I guess it’s in line with that whole nine months or forty weeks debacle.

I am finally wearing some maternity clothes, you’ll be happy to hear. Mostly just one pair of pants. I got them for my birthday, they are size small, and for some reason they blouse out in the back. Y’know how when you were a kid you would wear a t-shirt in the pool and it would get that Quasimodo air hump in the back when you swam? No? Just me? Well, it’s kinda like that. Like there’s supposed to be more of me back there to fill it out. Oh, well, they fit everywhere else. I’m not really complaining. A shirt almost always covers it.

Our still tentatively named baby girl is very active. Unfortunately, the shine is off the apple in that area as I guess Dave feels that you’ve felt one baby kick, you’ve felt ‘em all. I guess he’s right. But I am keen to remember that this will be the last baby occupying this space. It will! Don’t laugh!! I’ve never said that before!

I have still not gotten any pictures taken of myself. Even just the stupid bathroom mirror ones that let you see how extremely messy my bathroom is with the crayon on the walls and what looks to be a toothpaste handprint on the mirror. Oh, like your bathroom’s perfect. I’m going to petition Rosa to take some before it gets too cold, for that, too, is upon us.

As much as I love Christmas, it is wreaking havoc on my pregnant hormones. I have been turning on Pandora on the Christmas music station and at least one song per listening makes me cry. You all know how much I like to cry, let alone admit to it. I just love Michael Buble, apparently so much that I feel the need to weep over it.

One last interesting pregnant side effect: I no longer seem to have much control over my arms and hands. I have sustained about half a dozen bruises in the last two days simply from my hands, elbows, and arms just kinda doing what they want. I could do without it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Uterus is Half Full...Half Empty?

Twenty weeks, boys and girls.  That’s how pregnant I am.  Halfway.  I wish I could say that it feels like just yesterday that I found out I was pregnant, but I’d be lying.  A lot.  I found out I was pregnant at five weeks and it feels like every bit of fifteen weeks since then.  That’s ok.  I can’t imagine it’ll be the same from here on out, but you never know.

Before I got out of bed this morning I was trying to think of something cute to post today to commemorate the halfway mark.  The only thing that really came to mind was posting pictures of food that I could probably only eat half of.  I’m just going to say I was still asleep at that point.

It seems like over the last weekend I all of a sudden got pregnant.  Not make sense?  On Friday I felt like I always have for the past four or five months.  By Monday I felt pregnant.  Twinge in the back, hard to get up, can’t catch a breath pregnant.  WTF?  What just happened here?  I believe I am now showing.  I should be at five months, grumble grumble.   Though I did have a dream last night where my OB told me I had lost more weight.  It wouldn’t surprise me if it were true.  That seems to be how I roll.

Now when I go to get out of my chair at work the first couple steps are pretty funny to witness.  The first footfall is accompanied by a sharp pain in my lower back, the second is my other knee buckling, but by the third or fourth step I’m all right and walking normally.  The process to get to that, however, is entertaining.  Usually by lunch time my back is aching as I sit.  I have a little pillow to put behind me, but my damn chair has a gap between the back and seat cushions and usually it just gets wedged between them and does me no good whatsoever.  It gets better if I get up and walk, but too much of that starts to hurt, too.  I remember this game.  It’s called “You’re Not Going to Win, Stupid, So Quit Trying.”  I’ll lose for another few months but I will triumph in the end.

So now apparently I’m pregnant, yet still sitting pretty in my size 6 Old Navy jeans.  That’s right, homey.  Still not wearing maternity.  I think this is the longest I’ve ever gone into a pregnancy without wearing any maternity at all.  I’m all right with it.  Somewhat out of character, my husband told me a few days ago that in the next few weeks he wanted to take me shopping for maternity clothes.  He quickly added that I couldn’t go anywhere where t-shirts are, like, $50.  So I said Motherhood and he said even they were too expensive.  New flash, Ace, they’re the cheapest it’s gonna get unless you go to Wal-Mart and, sorry, but no.  Some things are fine to buy at Wal-Mart, maternity is not one of those.  Oh, well, it’s the thought that counts.

Last week at my trip to the perinatologist in Atlanta, the little doctor man told me that my placenta was low and that there was a pocket of blood beneath and on top of it.  The ultrasound tech who scanned me before he came in had asked if I had had any bleeding.  I asked her if that was a common question they ask or if there was something on the screen indicating that.  I don’t think she quite knew how to answer that as she stuttered a little.  She explained what the doctor would also tell me later on which made total sense to me.  If, when all that mess was happening, they had just given me an ultrasound like I wanted we could have all seen what was going on and that would have taken care of it.

I understand the concept of low-lying placenta.  When you start spouting off phrases like ‘blood lake’ it’s pretty obvious that you think I’m an idiot who can’t comprehend terms like subchorionic hematoma and placenta previa.  To be fair, most women have no idea what those things are, but I happen to so, yeah, I felt a little pandered to.

The guy didn’t say placenta previa exactly, just low-lying placenta, but I know that’s close.  He also said that since there’s blood beneath it that it was possible that I might bleed again before it’s all over.  OK, but the reason will be obvious this time and it won’t be nearly as alarming.  He told me no (and this is a direct quote because I would never say this) ‘hanky panky’ for the next like two months.  How hard is it to say pelvic rest?  You just have to make yourself sound as old as possible?  He went on to say no exercise or working out.  I know Dave saw the look on my face after he said that, even if the doctor didn’t notice.  It was shock mixed with “Yeah, right, I’ll try THAT.”  I will not be stopping any kind of exercise that I feel comfortable doing.  He can just get over it.  I know the risk involved, that there could be bleeding afterward, but no one led me to believe that it would be at all detrimental.  He finished up by saying I should have another ultrasound around 26 weeks to make sure it had ‘healed up.’  Uhh, is this a wound I’m not aware of?  I have my routine anatomy scan in town in two weeks.  I’ll just ask then.

So yesterday at work I looked up placenta previa and read up on it, even though no one said that I had it.  Just good to have all the information.  I tried to tell Dave about it last night and I knew I shouldn’t have, but did it anyway.  He’s always convinced that I’m going to die giving birth, so why I gave him one more pebble to add to that nest I’m just not sure.  He partially heard me as he was playing guitar with a look of utmost panic on his face.  I think the only thing he heard me say was that extreme loss of blood and death could occur.  I added that it wasn’t likely, but he was already focusing on how he was going to raise four kids on his own and plan my funeral.  Oh, well.

I also told him that this time around I wanted to see if I could do it without an epidural and he looked at me like I was the stupidest person in the world and asked me why I would want to do that.  I can’t really blame him.  In the past, I myself have talked about how pointless it is to give birth without pain meds these days.  If you don’t have to feel it, why would you want to?  I get to answer my own question on that now.  Because even after having three children, I don’t know what five centimeters and onward feels like.  I’m not saying I won’t change my mind at the time, and if I do I’m not going to feel bad or ashamed or that my birth was “stolen” from me.  Ugh.

I told him about water birth and he told me no, that the baby would drown.  Initially I thought this, too, l but then I read up on it.  I explained how it worked but he still looked skeptical, like he wanted to believe me but that there was no way that was true.  It doesn’t matter anyway because there are no facilities nearby that offer that and we don’t have the space at home, nor do I have the desire to do that at home.  Dave didn’t want to clean up after it.

I also mentioned that sometimes placenta previa makes a c-section necessary and he said something about how it’s getting harder and harder for women to have babies the normal way.  I corrected him and said that it’s no harder now than it ever was, there’s just a lot of medical intervention and impatient doctors now who want to get home to eat dinner and watch Honey Boo Boo.  I mentioned alarming c-section rates and then just changed the subject.  I don’t think he quite understood what I was saying.  Even on topics like this, he’s convinced that he’s right and there’s no point in challenging him.

So as much as I might like to do things differently this time around I probably won’t get to.  At your first OB visit now they make you sign a contract that agrees with all the things they require you let them do including constant fetal monitoring and an IV.  You are not allowed to walk around and you must lie on your back pretty much the entire time.  My only way to combat these ridiculous conditions is to labor for as long as possible at home and go to the hospital at the last possible minute.  I’ve never done that before.  My first labor started with my water breaking and I was induced for the other two.  No induction this time.  Let’s just see what we get dealt.

Oh, and Craver baby #4 is a girl.

Monday, October 1, 2012

When I Grow Up

Remember this?  When Do I Have To Grow Up By?  No?  Go back and read it then.

The main idea of the aforementioned post has not really changed in the two years since it was written.  The only thing that has changed is the number of job possibilities that have newly sprung into my head since that time.  Yes, there’s more now.  It doesn’t help me in the least.  In lots of situations limits provide us with freedom.  There are no limits here.  I wish there was somebody you could pay to pick two or three of the choices in your mind and just say “OK, these are your only choices.  Pick one and shut up.”

One of my newer job revelations is actually something I’ve been interested in for a very long time.  It just never occurred to me that it could be a career.  For years one of the things that has almost always been on my mind is physical appearance.  I do know how shallow that sounds, yes, but hear me out.  You’re lying if you say you’ve never been concerned with your own appearance.  Losing weight, diet, nutrition, cardio, weights, all that has always been a preoccupation of mine.

When I became a Zumba instructor I realized how much I enjoy helping people get into better shape.  A few months later I decided that I would buckle down and stop silently complaining to myself about the changes I wanted to make and do it.  That’s what Dave has always told me.  Any time I would say how I wanted to run a mile in ten minutes or how I wanted to lose thirty pounds, he would tell me to stop talking about it and just do it.  It seemed kind of mean at the time, but it was good advice.  Especially since I got to use it on him later on when he complained that his chest wasn’t big enough.

Not long into my Zumba classes I had a few people asking for help and advice on losing weight.  So I told them what I knew and had read and sent them on their way hoping to have helped.  However, as they thanked me and turned to leave I wondered if I should have added “but I’m not a professional!”  Why would I want to say that?  I don’t know, so that maybe if my instructions didn’t work they couldn’t quite blame me?  No, I knew that my advice was actually good and I don’t think a certified professional would have given much different gospel.  I just didn’t feel like I had earned the right to dispense it.

Around the same time as my classes started I decided to stop talking about it and do it.  My goal was to lose thirty pounds in six months, a goal I felt was reasonable.  Five pounds a month is a little more than a pound a week and that’s not considered unhealthy.  I had already prepared myself that it wasn’t going to be instantaneous.  Results were not going to be obvious but that they would come.  And they did.  I recorded my measurements each month or so and only weighed myself about as often.  Daily weight fluctuates with water and, for women, cycle and I don’t think it is mentally healthy to weigh yourself daily, nor is it safe for your scale after you fling it through the window and into the street.

I won’t get into the little details, but I used what I knew and somehow manifested some will power and I managed to lose twenty two pounds.  However, the inches lost far outweighed the weight loss.  I lost 38.5 inches total from my body.  That’s more than three feet of space.  To me that’s just astonishing.

I wanted to be able to help other people achieve that.  I looked into becoming a personal trainer and dietician.  There wasn’t really any official schooling involved.  All you really have to do is buy the books, study, and take the test through ACE or AFAA.  Yeah, it’s not cheap but it’s much more affordable than a four year degree.  So for a while that was what I wanted to do.  Then of course my mind changed because of what was going on.  I went back to writing and thought perhaps that was the path for me.  I really hate how indecisive I am.

When I got pregnant in June of this year my fitness and weight loss goals obviously had to be put on hiatus.  A lot of people might consider pregnancy and the state right after giving birth to be a huge setback in a journey of weight loss.  I am fortunate enough to see it much differently.  I see it as a fresh start, which is exactly what I needed.  Right before I got pregnant my attention and determination had waned considerably and I stopped doing what needed to be done.  I had a brief surge in my motivation and it is reflected in my June measurements as they were my smallest to date, but then I got pregnant.

If you’ve read my posts then you know when I get pregnant I start getting all kinds of ideas about doing things that I can’t while pregnant.  Running being the most prevalent.  This time around it has extended to burlesque dancing.  Definitely not something you want to see a pregnant chick doing.  I feel that this is kind of like that, but not really.  This is something that I’ve thought about before, the only different is that I want the formal education that goes with it.

Recently I read a pretty popular article on MSN and Huffington Post.  That article stated that by the year 2030 that 50% of Americans are projected to be obese.  That’s half, yo.  HALF.  That’s like one out of every married couple.  Does that scare anyone else?  That said to me that healthcare is going to be an even more stable field to work in firstly.  With the fat comes the disease; high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, all manner of debilitating health issues. 

I know I won’t be part of that 50%.  That probably sounds arrogant, but here’s why I say that:  I won’t be part of the obese 50% of Americans because I won’t allow myself to be.  That’s why I am so confident in saying that.  Moreover, I won’t allow my kids to be in that number either.

That number petrified me when I read it and it inspired me to want to help beat that number back even more.  Half the population being fat is simply unacceptable.  I told Dave all this a few nights ago and he said something to me that pushed me more, though I don’t think he meant it to.  He said “I know what your thing is now.  Your goal.  You are waging a war on fat.”  I can’t help but think he said this to make it sound a little frivolous and stupid, but he was right.  There it was.  Never able to really put it in words (Shocking, I know) Dave was able to.  Sean, our roommate, made it even better when he said that it was a good war to fight.  It’s true.  Someone is going to have to battle this.  Really, it looks like half of the country is going to have to battle it, but someone has to guide the resistance.  Why not me?

I know how to lose weight.  I can tell you how, but I can’t make you do it.  That’s the hard part.  I’m going to be reading and researching and studying all this anyway, why not do it for a living?

As for writing, I can still do that.  See?  I just proved it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gotta Have A Gimmick

So here’s the thing.  With pretty much every pregnancy of mine, somewhere towards the middle to end I get the itchy feet.  Not literally.  I’m not over here hopping around with Athlete’s Foot or anything.  I get antsy.  Slowly, the physical things I can put myself through diminish.  They become fewer and fewer until it’s all I can do to get out of bed and go through the motions.  That’s the bitter end usually.  As that starts to happen I start to develop delusions of grandeur.  Usually this involves running.  A 5K, 10K, marathon, whatever.  As I dream of this, though, there is a voice in the back of my head reminding me “dude…you hate running.”  I mean, it’s whispered but I can still hear it.  Yes, it’s true, I hate running.  I really want to like it, though.

This time, however, as I am a day away from being 18 weeks, the itch has begun but it’s not running I’m thinking of.  Usually I don’t start to think of things I physically can’t do until…well, I physically can’t do them.  There’s not really anything like that yet.  Almost at the halfway mark and I’m still working out every week.  Maybe not as many times as I was six months ago, but I’m still there doing Zumba and lifting weights. 

People still can’t really tell that I’m pregnant, which is actually kind of disconcerting.  I rant on this a good bit because I don’t really understand it.  With all of my other pregnancies I started out weighing between 150 and 160, overweight by medical and statistical standards.  I would gain very little weight, have an average size baby, and two weeks later weigh ten pounds less than I started.  It was a great thing.  My body seems to have the innate ability to use everything I have already in stock before it starts requiring outside inventory.  Every other time, though, I was showing by now, and that’s even with having been overweight.  My mother insists that I was not overweight, but I’m 5’4.”  That is not tall enough to comfortably weigh 160 unless you can also bench press 160.  I could not.  Sorry, I was overweight.  I’m ok with it, you should be, too.

A year ago I began recording my weight and measurements, started using MyFitnessPal to log what I was eating and keep track of the calories, and I started to lose weight.  All it took was a conscious effort and it started happening.  When I started doing that on August 19, 2011 I weighed 152.  When I got pregnant in May of this year I weighed 132.  Granted still ten pounds shy of my goal, but I’m not really sure even now what that might’ve looked like. 

The point is I weighed about 20-30 pounds less than I usually do upon getting pregnant.  I needed to prepare myself for what my body might be about to do.  Surely, I wouldn’t gain such minimal weight this time around because there wasn’t excess laying around for my body to use.  I figured I’d start gaining weight pretty early on and start showing a lot sooner, this being my fourth and all.  Oh, life, you continue to teach me that I really don’t know crap.

I have kept recording my measurements every month and I let my doctor’s office watch my weight.  As of my last week’s appointment I have gained 16.5 inches and LOST two pounds.  WTF?  If you understand that, then please explain it in the comments.  So I’ve gotten bigger and yet I’ve lost weight.  See why I’m so baffled?  And to top it off, I still don’t need maternity clothes and most people have no idea that I’m pregnant.  Though I believe I am now at the point where it looks like I’m just getting chubby.  Everyone’s least favorite phase of pregnancy.  So maybe, just maybe, I’ll be showing my Thanksgiving.

I know it sounds like I’m just bitching and that the women who gain 50 pounds would love to have my problem.  I asked the doctor last week if my weight was anything to be concerned about.  My weight has been the same up to last week where it dipped slightly.  His answer made me recall that this guy is a hippie.  He said he wasn’t worried and then he said he’d tell me the story of one of his favorite patients.  He said that this woman got pregnant and started off not feeling well so she lost 70 pounds.  Not 7, SEVENTY.  He had to clarify that number.  Meanwhile I didn’t think I had misheard him, I was just noting that she had seventy pounds to spare.  He said then she started to feel better and she gained 140 pounds.  So in my head I’m thinking, so she actually just gained 70 pounds total.  He went on and said that you’d think that severe weight loss and then gain would have hurt the baby, but she had a perfectly healthy seven pound baby.  So my inner monologue is commenting that she must’ve still had like sixty pounds to lose.  I know that’s not why he told me that, but it’s just where my head goes.  So clearly he’s not going to worry about my paltry little two pound weight loss.  My body is totally efficient, perhaps a little too efficient, but it takes care of itself pretty much without my knowledge or consent.

I realize I’ve gotten off on quite the tangent here.  I’ve written a post within a post.  It’s postception.  Enjoy your two for one blog entry!


My crazy thing I’m planning for my fourth and final pregnancy?  Nope, it’s not running.  It’s burlesque.  Let me just clarify briefly here, that Cher-Christina Aguilera movie that came out a few years ago?  That is not burlesque.  That’s just a big flashy movie that people didn’t watch.  Real burlesque roots go back to the turn of the century.  Wait…two turns of the century?  Not this last one, the one before.  It has enjoyed a revival in the last twenty years thanks to entertainers like Dita Von Teese.  Even if you don’t know burlesque, you know who Dita is.

Burlesque troops have sprung up in key places like Vegas, New York and Texas among others, resurrecting and reinventing burlesque.  Sadly, Atlanta has not really taken up the call to burlesque.  It’s not the hub that Austin or Dallas is, though it really could be.  Burlesque is comedy, and music, and of course, girls.  Have you got where I’m going with this yet?

I know that you’ve probably never even heard of someone saying that after they have their fourth child they’re going to embark on a career of scantily clad dancing.  Don’t worry; I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say it either.  So I’m the first!  Hard to equate this with running 26.2 miles, isn’t it?  It’s challenging in so many more ways.  Not only do you have to be in pretty good shape, you have to be creative, you have to dance, you have to have confidence, and most importantly you have to be able to accept your body.  That’s the great thing about burlesque.  Some of the best performers are not the rail thin, socially sought after forms.  These are girls that have a little something to them, and their confidence in that makes them so much more awesome.

I know also that a lot of people are probably going to be terribly disenchanted and unhappy by my admission of what I want to do, maybe even disgusted.  That’s ok.  I’m not doing it for them.  I’m doing it for me.  Every (or at least most) mother knows what it’s like to have to put yourself last.  Not because you want to, but because it’s what has got to be done.  At my house, everyone eats before I even think about feeding myself.  Kids, husband, whoever.  Kids get clothes and shoes first.  Necessities are first, wants are last, and Mommy’s wants are dead last.  If we don’t do it, no one will.  Trust me, too, when I say that I will not see my kids go hungry or cold just so that I can have those new giant ostrich feather fans.  We have to put ourselves first sometimes, though.  Do I intend to make this into a career?  Only if it does it all by itself.  I’m not about to slap on some pasties and go looking for an agent or anything.

I know this will probably be looked down upon, kinda like some people sneer at the people with a bunch of tattoos or multicolored hair.  I do hope, though, that someone might be able to see this as a positive thing and encourage it. 

Of course there’s always the chance that this is just something to content myself with while I’m pregnant.  Heard about me running any marathons?  Yeah, me neither.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Damn You, Otis Spunkmeyer

So school is in full swing, yes?  Have you been hit with the first fundraiser of the year yet?  Well, it’s coming, baby.  School started the second week of August around here and we the first fundraiser has already come and gone.  One primary school received the materials on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.  Damn, that’s a tad early, isn’t it?  And what were they selling?  Cookie dough.  Tubs of cookie dough.  I hope I’m not the only parent that saw this and said “…why?”

I remember getting the catalogs for fundraisers when I was in the third or fourth grade.  I didn’t ever really pass them along except for the sporadic half-hearted sales pitch to a grandparent.  It was usually a Sally Foster fundraiser and the items for purchase were shiny foil wrapping paper bedecked with snowmen, sometimes some candles, and of course the tins of little chocolate teddy bears and peanut butter cups.  There was always a little flip-through of samples of the wrapping paper so that you could see what you were paying $38 for, although they didn’t tell you that it didn’t come on a roll and that it was about six square feet of paper folded into a square.

I can remember going through the catalog and circling the tins and boxes of ‘gourmet’ chocolates that I wanted.  There were usually those peanut butter cups that just never did taste like Reese’s, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered peanuts, maybe buckeyes, and those chocolate turtles.  They just looked so good surrounded by holiday d├ęcor on their cut glass pedestals.  Sadly, though, when they finally came 6-8 weeks later they were sealed inside their plastic bag inside the tin, each about as big as a silver dollar, and there were only eight of them.  It only left you to wonder, what did I (my mother) pay for this?!  And they were gone before the first commercial of Xena: Warrior Princess.  Sigh.

Throughout my school years I saw a few different fundraisers, even fewer that I actually participated in.  In middle school band the big money maker was always the candy sale.  Once a year or so each band member was given a cardboard briefcase with an assortment of chocolate. To be sold at one dollar a piece.  I don’t think any adult saw just quite how dangerous this was.  You’re giving a bunch of 12 year olds one hundred candy bars and telling them to sell them.  Not once on the box or the paperwork does it say “Do Not Eat Your Fundraiser.”  Generally, that’s how the majority of this gets sold.  Perhaps those in charge knew EXACTLY what they were doing.

We were given this haul to sell, presumably door to door.  I know of very few people who ever did that.  Your biggest sales demographic was in the cafeteria.  After having eaten what they could of that day’s soy burger, your classmates would turn to you, the peddler of the only known REAL food in the room.  Once word got out that the band was selling candy again, kids would come at you as though you were a crack dealer.  Hands full of spare change were offered up, crumpled dollar bills, and occasionally tens and twenties as well.  Then the school passed the rule that you couldn’t sell at lunch so it was back to eating it all yourself.  Except for the Zero bars, those were the ones you either ate last or not at all.

High school band fundraisers started to get a little weirder.  Once our band partnered with an independent candle maker.  For just five dollars you could have a candle that reminded you of Christmas snow, a rendition of a Victoria’s Secret perfume, or your Grandma’s apple pie, provided that she ever made one.  Around Valentine’s Day we had to volunteer to sell heart-shaped fudge in an abandoned corner of the mall.  After I graduated, they started hocking cheesecakes and then, of course, the cookie dough.  The same damn cookie dough they told my kids to sell just a few weeks ago.

My niece goes to the same school as my boys and word had gotten to my mother about the cookie dough sale.  She demanded to know why I had not asked her to buy some as I stood with my hetero life-mate perusing razors at Wal-Mart. Uhhhh…I don’t know?  Actually, I did know.

When each of my sons brought home the order forms for the cookie dough I told myself right then that this was not something I was going to do.  Why, you ask?  Why would I not take advantage of the opportunity to help out my kids’ school?  Well, friend, I’ll tell you why.  Because I’m not going to ask, let alone insist, that anyone buy a product that I myself would not buy.  I would not pay $16 for a container of dough that would make just 36 cookies.  That’s $2.25 per cookie, as my handy calculator tells me.  Just…no.  I can make them a lot cheaper than that.  Granted, they would not have the Otis Spunkmeyer brand of approval, though.

My mother then informed me that it was the grandparents’ job to buy from these fundraisers.  I countered that I wasn’t about to try to convince her to buy two pounds of raw cookie dough; it’s inane.  I won’t do it.  I went on to say that when they sell something that someone might actually want I will get in on it. 

That’s the thing, too.  If you work in an office setting, you will eventually be accosted by a coworker whose kid is selling something.  I always hated the kids whose parents did that.  I wouldn’t ask my mother to do that; I felt like it was cheating.  I was under the mistaken impression that this was something we were supposed to do by ourselves.  No, no, the real goal here was to sell as much of that crap as you possibly could, no matter who was asking strangers to buy it. 

I never want to be the parent who starts sentences with “My kid is having this fundraiser at school…”  Maybe that makes me a bad parent.  I remain firm, however, in that I will not advertise a product that I myself would not buy.  Unless there is a great deal of money involved.  For me.

  Has your child already been given fundraiser paraphernalia?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Stylin' and Profilin'

What is your Mom style?  Ever thought about it?  Of course you have, because magazines are always displaying pictures of celebrity moms and outlining their style.  Are you the soccer Mom?  Are you the cool Mom?  Or are you the dreaded yoga pants Mom?

I am none of these, though I feel that I may fall more closely in line with the soccer Mom than any other.  As I was looking at one of the afore mentioned articles online today, naturally I started thinking about how I dress, or rather how I dress when I show up at my kids’ school.  Most often I am dressed for work and that for me entails jeans and usually some type of solid color tee.  That’s me, that’s how I dress.  It’s not that I wouldn’t like to dress nicer, but since I work in a warehouse m the position doesn’t really lend itself to a wrap dress and heels.  If I can’t climb up into a forklift wearing it, I’m not wearing it.  Hot, I know.

I would like to start wearing nicer clothes but there are so many reasons that I can’t that it’s not even funny.  Firstly, I can’t afford to just go buy nice, new clothes.  If I get to buy new clothes they had better be functional and they had better last.  Next, why am I buying these clothes?  Just to wear when I pick up or drop off the boys at school?  Seriously.  That provides its own comments and I won’t enumerate them.  Lastly, even if I did for some reason come up with the money to buy nicer clothes , the first impression window has closed.

You know what I’m talking about here.  I’ve already seen these people daily for over a month now, longer in Sully’s case, and they see how I dress on average.  If I suddenly show up with my brood wearing a pencil skirt and a button down, maybe even with jewelry God forbid, they’re going to wonder what’s up.  Perhaps not out loud or to me directly but they’ll wonder.  What has prompted the wardrobe change?  Job interview?  Funeral?  Lottery winnings?  It would just seem a little odd to now all of a sudden change my whole style. 

To be honest, I wear what I’m comfortable in and because it suits my lifestyle presently.  If somewhere down the road I no longer work somewhere that requires the use of a pallet jack then maybe I’ll get the opportunity to dress a little nicer.  Hopefully it won’t seem out of character. 

Really, though, if I did win the lottery I’m pretty sure I’d be wearing the same kind of clothes, just maybe have a few extra pairs of jeans and some non-holey sneakers.

Monday, September 10, 2012

This. Is. Craverland.

Today there will be more than one post up for your perusal, if all goes according to my plan.   The first one is now, obviously.  The second will probably be this evening.  It’s a special day and you’ll learn why later.

So I thought I’d do a little state of the union here in Craverland.   DeathMetalMommyville, if you will.  It is a time in which I am profoundly glad that I’m sure two-thirds of my kids will not remember.  Things are…stressful.  Not really so much for them, but there’s no way that it doesn’t affect them somehow.  Connor and Sully go to school every day, and Connor is never happy it’s the weekend as there is no school.  Sully is progressing and Connor gets in trouble about weekly for fighting.  Sigh.  He’s four, he doesn’t get it.

Lily is bouncy and happy and getting funnier every day.  She even had two successful trips to the potty yesterday sporting her new Hello Kitty panties, which she insists on taking off while she’s sitting there.  Lily is not a problem.  The problem is what to do with her.  I can’t afford daycare and there is no longer anyone to watch her at home during the day.  Dave has gotten a job (that he is doing completely awesome at, might I add) and so has Uncle Sean, Lily’s second favorite man o’ the house.  They work at the same place and pretty much the same hours.

Much as I hate it, I had to ask my parents to watch Lily all last week and they did it because they are fantastic grandparents and knew that I would probably have a nervous breakdown if they didn’t.  Oh, it’s coming.  However, I may have found someone to watch her who does not charge as much as all the other daycares.  She was formerly a nanny to a doctor and she lives a few houses away from us.  It’s just the paying part that I worry about.

Since there is no one at the house during the day that means there’s no one to pick the boys up from school either.  After school care is offered at the school and is a lot of fun for them.  However, it also costs money.  About $35 a week for them both.  I remember there being after school care when I was a kid, but I had no idea it cost money.  Why would I?  Money is not something that occurs to a kid and that’s probably for the best.  I don’t want my kids to be aware of our money troubles at all because I don’t want them to worry.

I can remember being in elementary school , and my sister informing me that our parents were not doing well on money at all.  After that I constantly worried about it.  I didn’t exactly know how to worry about something like that because it was a number game to which I did not have the numbers.  My head just worried “we don’t have enough money.”  I never want my kids to think like that, even if it does happen to be true.  That’s the parents’ job to deal with, not the kids.

On top of all that, I can never seem to make headway on any chores.  There is so much laundry that I don’t think it is actually possible for it all to be clean at one time.  I really don’t believe it.  Our dishwasher hasn’t worked in months so now I’m the dishwasher and, sorry, I don’t do it every day.  Yes, I know that’s awful, but I’m rarely home!  When I am, the kids are, too, and they need to be attended.

So, no, the dishwasher is no longer functional.  It gets better.  Saturday night I went to toss a couple of grilled cheesers together for supper and noticed that when I went to ignite the burner on the stove it wasn’t clicking.  I could smell gas, but nothing was happening.  I looked up and noticed that the clock on the oven was off as well.  None of the appliances plugged into the power strip on that wall were working.  Of those, the oven and refrigerator.  Of course, the two main appliances aren’t working.  I had to call Dave where we was working at the track in Woodstock and tell him.  He told me to flip this switch, unplug this, turn this off, reset that, plug it back in.  None of it worked.  A breaker wasn’t tripped either.  He said he’d look at it when he came home.  That’s usually about one o’clock Sunday morning.

We didn’t have a lot of food to begin with but now what little we had, we had no way to cook.  Scared yet?  I put the kids to bed and went to sleep myself.  I awoke some hours later to banging around in the kitchen.  I almost got up to tell whoever it was to keep it down, but just went back to sleep.  I had to get up once after that to get Lily some milk.  It wasn’t until the next morning that I noticed the refrigerator was now plugged up half way across the room.  Dave had moved it to a working outlet.  We’ve figured that it’s the outlet that needs to be replaced, as things work when plugged up other places.  Just one more thing to add to the list headed “Things That Make Me Want to Kill People.”  That’s Dave’s list.  Mine is entitled “Things That Make Me Cry Harder.”

Another fun little occurrence is I believe my wallet has been stolen.  Luckily there was no money in it.  Why would there be?  But it does leave me driving without a license, so I’m driving very…let’s say cautiously.  Another word is slowly.  Incidentally, I recently heard a few people discussing the ridiculous things you have to have to get a new license now.  Six forms of ID?  Really?  Well , one was my license…so that’s out.  Birth certificate?  That costs money to obtain.  Naturally.  I’m really just hoping that one of the kids grabbed it off the table and absconded with it, to be found at a later date.

At times I find myself stressing about who’s going to watch the new baby when the time comes, as well as Lily.  I try not to think far into that, for fear of hyperventilating.  Like I don’t have enough to worry about already.

Speaking of new baby, Connor has insisted the whole time that it was going to be a boy, but all of a sudden now he says it’s a girl.  We’ll know in a few weeks.  I am a few days shy of 17 weeks so that ultrasound is coming up.  I’m starting to wash what maternity clothes I think might fit me.  I still don’t really need them yet, but just in case.  I’ve been taking my measurements once a month or so ever since, well, ever since last August really.  I just haven’t stopped and now they’re going up.  I have increased about 16.5 inches all over since the beginning of June, and as luck would have it, mostly in favorable locations.

The trade-off here is this time around I’m a good bit more emotional.  I think that’s mostly due to current situations and extra stress levels.  However, in any other way it’s just as though I’m not pregnant at all.  Except for the dizziness and oddly low blood pressure at times, nothing’s much changed.

So that’s what’s going on here.  How are things with you?

Don’t forget to check back this evening for a bonus post!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Come On Ride the Train

There comes a time in every parent’s life when he or she must consider the inevitable.  Potty training is the inevitable.  It must happen.  And unless you’re one of those nuts who claims to practice elimination communication, you get very excited at the thought of not having to change diapers anymore.  However, your heart stops and you have an anxiety attack at the thought of prompting that eventuality.  Why?  This is the process of taking a child who has never known anything but relieving himself in his pants and prompting him to all of a sudden do it somewhere completely independent of himself.  And to top that off, that place makes a very loud noise when you’re done, or, if you’re at Wal-Mart, sometime in the middle of the act itself.

There are books, blogs, videos and probably a lot more resources to help you potty train your youngling.  From what I understand there is also a dance and a DVD that goes with it.  I’m only going by hearsay on that one as if there is a specific choreography to flag someone as to needing to go I don’t want to know.  Wouldn’t it be a better use of your effort to teach the kid to poop where he’s supposed to instead of teaching him some 16-step terpsichorean dance step?  Just a thought.

Currently, I have one child trained and two not so much.  Connor was potty trained within about two weeks of starting it.  That’s not to say there weren’t some pitfalls and interesting places that were chosen to be just as good as the toilet.  I say it took two weeks.  It actually took two weeks from the time I instituted the policy.  He had been going numero uno in the potty for a while, but simply wouldn’t stay for a twosie.

I took to the internet for help.  I read on a blog about another blog who had helped her potty train her own child.  To my shame, I cannot for the life of me remember the name of this blog or its owner.  I feel so bad about that.  At any rate, what she suggested was a sticker chart.  Once the sticker chart was full, your child would receive a formerly agreed upon prize.  I knew nothing about sticker charts so I just made my own out of a piece of paper, a ruler, and a pen.  Now I know that there are websites almost solely dedicated to these things.  Oh, well, mine was free.

I bought some foil star stickers and laid out the plan to Connor.  Every time he successfully used the potty he would get a star on his chart.  After it was full, some 16-20 stars later he could have a pet fish.  That was our accord.  I really didn’t think it would work, to be honest.  I figured Connor would be too smart and willful to let a little something like a blue star sticker to conform him.  Turns out, he wasn’t.  I could not believe just how excited he was to earn those stars.  He was so excited, in fact, that he completely forgot about what the end result to filling the chart meant.  So I didn’t feel the need to remind him.  He finished his chart, was potty trained, and never got a fish.  To be fair, he also never asked about it.

Leading up to the institution of the sticker chart were numerous incidents out o’ potty.  I don’t want to call them accidents because they weren’t.  You don’t intentionally remove your pants to poop in the doorway and call it an accident.  Then not only did you defecate in the hallway, you lied.  One faux pas at a time please.

The only incident that I feel compelled to note, or even remember, happened one evening just inside the doorway to Connor’s room.  I don’t know how he managed to do this, but it seems as if he just decided to mount the wall for this particular deuce.  I didn’t see it happen so the sheer mechanics of it are mind boggling.  (For the record, this is kind of gross, but you are reading a post about pooping in the potty so you really should have seen this coming.)  It was a normal elimination as far as one goes except it was partly propped on the wall.  I had to get Dave to verify what I was seeing.  The phrase ‘chocolate banana’ may have been mentioned.  To this day, I have no clue how he did this, but it is the only time I distinctly remember.  It was kind of weird.

We didn’t buy any fancy potties that sing when you flush them or use them or however that works.  We did buy the little potty seat with the yellow ducks on it that sits on top of the regular potty.  I just think that having to transition from a little potty on the floor to a big one is too much.  Start on the big one, just adjust the size so they don’t fall in.  Nobody likes a wet tushie.

PeePaw even made him a potty stool so he could reach better.  It was blue and had a picture of a tow truck on it with Connor’s name.

I don’t think Sully is ready to potty train yet.  Dirty diapers still just don’t seem to phase him.  I will probably give it a try with Lily soon since she is a girl and a few months away from being two.  The only interest she has shown in any potty is splashing in the water and tossing things into it.  I don’t believe a sticker chart would register with her this early.  Maybe if I gave her new shoes.

I know this, though I really, really hope to have at least one of the diapered kids trained by next February.  Because that’s when we add a new size diaper to the pile.  Newborn.  Three kids in diapers.  Ever done it?  I have.  If pressed, I’ll do it again.    The only thing is you can’t have a regular diaper bag.  You need a diaper duffel bag.

Anyone training their kid or thinking about it?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What A Difference A Week Makes

I have been mysteriously absent from my blog and all websites for the last week.  Today is my first day back at work.  Where have I been, you ask?  Was I on a cruise to Puerto Vallarta?  Panning for gold in them thar hills?  Auditioning for Ruby Revue Burlesque?  Sadly, all no.

Last Tuesday I had to call my OB and have them squeeze me in for an appointment.  There have been some bleeding issues that made me panic and gave me an ulcer so I thought perhaps I should let the professionals sort this out instead of consulting Dr. Google, which I did anyway.  So I saw the only doctor at my practice that I have not met in over six years being a patient there.  I’ve only met one of the others once and that was because he delivered my second child.  Saw him for all of fifteen minutes and never again.

Anyway, the doctor whom I saw was very nice and the only female doctor there.  She tried to explain to me what she believed was going on in layman’s terms, the simplest words she could find.  Metaphors and references to overripe fruit were made.  I don’t know if she thought I was stupid or if she was just so accustomed to having to talk like this to patients.  Finally she said ‘subchorionic hematoma.’  Oh!  OK, that I got.  Why couldn’t she have just said that to begin with?  It was described as a pocket of blood that forms when the embryo implants.  Wow, I summed that up way better than she did.

When I was pregnant with Sully, my least favorite person at my OB’s office told me that I had a subchorionic hematoma and sent me to Atlanta to a perinatologist to check on it.  That perinatologist told me, with unconcealed disgust, that I didn’t have one and never did.  That is why I no longer care for the woman who told me that.  Well, lo and behold now I actually had one and it made itself known.

The doctor told me no heavy lifting, no overexerting myself.  So I told her about how much I work out and what my job entails and she wanted to take me out of work until my next appointment.  That was a month away.  No dice.  So she took me out for a whole week.  I had a note so it was legitimate.  I took the note back to work and went to pick up my kids from school.  My coworker was none too thrilled with my news, asking just what was so important that I had to be out for a whole week.  So I replied “Pregnancy complications.  You want some more details?”  He declined, acting as though he was just asking an innocent question and how dare I get offended.

This had never happened before.  All of my pregnancies have always been pretty non-descript, nothing to write home about.  I work until I physically just can’t anymore and then about a week later I have a baby.  Six weeks after that I go back to work.  Like clockwork.  So, naturally, this whole thing stunned me.  It’s like, you’re pregnant, you’re pregnant, you’re pregnant, you’re BLEEDING while pregnant…Whoa, rewind that please!  The first time it happened I immediately started coping for the impending miscarriage.  How could you bleed that much and not miscarry?  After a day it was fine.  One week later, here we go again.  That’s when I went to the doctor.  Then they took me out of work.

It would be nice to be a stay at home mom, but I know it’ll never happen.   Not when a fair share of the bacon being brought is brought by me.  I could even settle for a work at home mom, if some big website stumbled upon my blog and just HAD to HAVE my wit for their site.  It could happen.

But I’m back at work now and cleared to work out again.  It sucks not being able to work out.  Confession: I let my heart rate go over 140 beats a minute.  Sorry, I’m not going to stop just because I got pregnant.  They can have my Zumba when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.  There’s an image.

Have you had pregnancy complications that freaked you out?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Maternity Yarn

If you follow my Facebook, aside from being pretty bored with my lack of activity, you might have seen yesterday that I posted a casual, yet desperate mewling for maternity clothes.  You can go back and look; it’s still there.  If you’ve read anything else I’ve posted about being pregnant, you would know that there is almost not a reason for me to ask for maternity clothes as I am not showing at all at three and a half months.  There’s still time, I know.

Yesterday I tried to do some laundry and be generally not so lazy.  The thought of the garbage bag full of maternity clothes had flitted in and out of my mind for some weeks now.  I opened it up and started pulling it all out, one by one.  First I noticed how musty everything smelled.  Just a passing thought.  No, there doesn’t end up being a petrified squirrel trapped in full-panel slacks or anything.  Just musty.

The first thing I unearthed were the jeans that have seen me through each and every pregnancy.  I held them up and thought…Holy crap, these are huge!  There’s no way I can wear those!  Just like that, the panic that I had seen coming was here.  At the start of all my other pregnancies I weighed about 155 or more, which made the fact that I never gained more than 15 pounds with any of them that much more reassuring.  I started this one at a svelte 130.  Yeeeeah, safe to say that some articles of clothing just may not fit until the very end if even then.  I had been a little apprehensive about it, sure, but then it hit me as a hard fact.  Essentially, I have no maternity clothes.  Oh.  Holy.  Jesus.

I ended up  unloading four or five pairs of jeans, one pair of slacks, one pair of shorts, and a slew of solid color shirts, long sleeve and short, and a few sweaters.  I will definitely wear the sweaters, though, fit or not.  I found the pair of jeans that I wore to every OB appointment, partly because I thought they looked cutest, partly because I got to wear them tucked into my boots, and partly because it took the guesswork out of the being weighed.  I held them up and, again, thought, oh my good lord, these are huge!  Was I this big?  And no one thought to tell me?  Of course, they were probably afraid that I would eat them.

I’m kind of sad now.  Not just because I have no maternity clothes, though I will get to that briefly, but because the familiar clothes that always saw me through pregnancy were suddenly unavailable to me.  Perhaps it is largely due to hormones, but that made me sad.  The overalls that I fought so hard against for two pregnancies yet ended up liking for my third?  I don’t think I’ll be able to wear them this time. 

Man, losing weight can really cost you!  Before starting what you believe to be a successful weight loss regime, make sure you have the money set aside to purchase new clothes when the time comes.  That’s my PSA for this post.

So yet again I have a problem that 90% of women simply don’t want to hear and don’t give a damn about.  My clothes are too big.  I could make it sound worse and say “I’ve lost too much weight and now none of my clothes fit!”  I said that in a whiny voice, too.  I file this problem with my other problem of not being able to find a bra that fits, as my rib cage is too small.  I know, boo hoo, right?

So I decided to just cast my dilemma out there into the Facebook pond and see if I got any nibbles.  What I said was this:

“Anybody getting rid of maternity in sizes XS or S?  I know it’s a long shot.”

And it is a long shot.  Such a long shot, in fact, that you’d need a scope for it.  The most common sizes sold in this country in maternity wear are on the bigger side of the spectrum.  Plus-size maternity clothes have soared in popularity and are no longer hideously ugly if not nonexistent.  So if you’re a bigger gal who is knocked up, you’re in luck!  I am not in luck.  Yet another problem no one wants to hear.  It’s ok.  I totally understand.

I did, however, get a lead on a possible pair of jeans from a friend with a nine month old.  Fingers crossed.  Still waiting to hear how much she wants for them.  Maternity is not cheap.  This we know.  I have been pretty successful looking for maternity on eBay before.  So I tried again.  I would just like to go ahead and wonder aloud here why, oh why, there would be maternity clothes filed under Men’s Clothing and Unisex Clothing.  So I put in the search for jeans and size small.  Quite the hodge-podge I got back.  I saw a pair of pants that cannot have been from the last fifteen years.  Y’know how now maternity pants have the whole panel choice going on?  These had a big U-shape of stretchy material in the front.  Like a kangaroo.  Yours for only $5.99!  On the brighter side, I also saw a pair of Seven for All Mankind maternity jeans for $25.  Then again, there were only three bids on them and there’s no telling how far up that might go.  No bids on the kangaroo pouch pants, though.  See, it’s hit or miss, but worth looking.

Money is tighter now than it has been with all my other pregnancies, but hopefully it is about to improve.  Even so, I can only see myself getting to buy clothes one time and just hoping that I can use some of what I already have later on as I expand.  With that thought in mind I am going to wash all my maternity clothes and hang them up just in case.  And when this pregnancy is a recent memory, I will sell and/or give away my maternity clothes.  Because, as I said in another post, I have benched my ovaries for any remaining seasons.

Incidentally, this was my husband’s take on my having to buy maternity clothes.  “You’ll just have to do it gradually, y’know, like twenty bucks a month.”  That told me that he either had no idea what clothes cost or he really didn’t give a crap about me needing clothes.  I’m pretty certain it’s the former.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Are You Retiring Your Uterus?

Have you thought about what it will be like when you are reproductively finished?  Are you at that point already?  Have you retired your uterus?

Every couple comes upon the time when they feel that they are done with the babymaking/having.  They close up shop.  Sperm and egg will no longer converse.  For some it might be something of a relief, a chance to breathe a little easier, a light at the end of a little shorter tunnel.  For others it may not be an easy choice.

It didn’t occur to me that at some point I would have my last child and be done with it.  After I’d had number three, it hit me.  I remember laying on the couch with her asleep on my chest and getting all I could out of it as I thought, this may well be the last time I’ll get to do this.  I made sure to enjoy it as much as I could.  Though I never told my husband, the concept that I was done having babies just was not right yet.  Three kids COULD be enough, but it just didn’t feel like I was done.  He, on the other hand, was done.  He didn’t want any more kids until all of ours were in school or until we could better afford it.

Now that I am pregnant with little number four I know that this is my last child.  It is right and I am ok with it.  It’s not unsettling or even really very sad.  A year ago I thought that when it was official that I was done that I would be really depressed.  I’m not.  Even with all the crazy things going on right now I know that this is the end of the line and that’s how it is supposed to be.

Since I know that this is my last pregnancy I’m trying to appreciate it more than I usually would, but I have to say that things are harder this time.  Not with me or the pregnancy, just with the situation.  This pregnancy is different from my others.  Duh, right?  Every pregnancy is different, blah blah blah.  Mine at least resemble each other.  Not that this one doesn’t resemble the others at all.

I’ve read just about everything that pertains to me and pregnancy on the internet at least a dozen times.  These sites really need new stuff.  I’ve read the very same articles with this baby than I did with my first five years ago.  Splurge for some new material BabyCenter!  Give me the go-ahead and I’ll start writing!  I’ll do it right now!  Anyway, a lot of the things it talks about happening, never happen to me.  It’s like reading about milestones that you wait for that just never seem to happen.

I haven’t gone into labor sooner with any subsequent kid.  I don’t start showing sooner, even despite being a good bit lighter this time around.  I am just shy of 14 weeks and still not showing.  I’ve had three kids!  I know I should look at this in a more positive way and I do try to, I just have to remind myself.  I wanted to take weekly pictures of myself starting from the beginning, but it has yet to happen.  It’s just as well, I guess, nothing’s really changed.  Generally, I don’t allow pictures of me while I’m pregnant.  I realize now how stupid that is and it makes me sad that there are no pictures of me pregnant with really any of my kids except at the very tail end, the requisite maternity pictures two days before birth.  Yeah, I would look back on any pregnancy pictures and comment on what a whale I was but at least there would be some documentation to show my kids that I did once incubate them.

No, I am exception to the pregnancy rule generally.  Nothing happens sooner, or more, or worse.  I just go on about my daily business as though I’m not pregnant because it won’t start getting in the way for about another 15 weeks.  So I will continue to work and work out until I physically am incapable.  Ever seen a pregnant woman do Zumba?  Me neither, but I can’t imagine it’s going to be very pretty.

I seem to have gone off on a tangent.  So to sum up my original thought and topic here; I really thought deciding to not have more kids would make me sad but it didn’t because it’s the right time.

Wow, this could’ve been a much shorter post.

Did putting your eggs out to pasture make you sad?  Is that an odd phrase?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Contrition Thy Name is Me

Is your happy place a real place?  Or is it a state of mind or a feeling? I just got finished scanning Twitter for the morning and came across a tweet by one of my favorite writers Christine Coppa (@JDSMOM2007).  It said ‘When life Sux wear red lipstick.”  I love that.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be red, or even lipstick at all.  The main point there is to take care of yourself at least a little when everything is going wrong.  I know precisely the lipstick I would use, too.  It’s a lip pencil from Sephora.  It is bright fuchsia with sparkles.  It is far too lurid to wear most of the time, but it makes me so happy to wear it.  I don’t wear it all the time because Dave usually gives me hell for wearing bright colors, telling me I look like a child playing with makeup. We all need to be able to find a little happiness.  When money is nonexistent, laundry isn’t done, kids are screaming, things look hopeless…this is when it is most important to find a little happy place.  I am in pretty dire need of a happy place these days, for all sorts of reasons.  One of the few things that would make me briefly happy, I get ridiculed for.  Wow, that’s really not fair. I am thirteen weeks pregnant and only now am I starting to not feel quite so tired.  I’ve let the laundry pretty much go and that was a colossally bad thing.  With three small children plus my husband and myself, I will NEVER have all the laundry done.  NEVER.  And I’m just adding to the pile with number four here.  Dave got a new job a couple weeks ago and they are scheduling him every day.  The pay isn’t great so the more hours the better so I really know better than to complain.  I know he’s happier working because being a stay at home dad was never really his thing.  At least once a week I would get a call at work from him bitching that the house was a mess.  I always said the same thing, how was I supposed to clean it when I wasn’t even there?  That was just never good enough. So for the last two weeks Dave hasn’t been home almost at all but when he gets home, in true Dave fashion, he complains that the house is dirty.  Again, him, not me.  Then he goes on to say something that is very familiar.  “I can’t clean it if I’m not even here.”  Hmm, I wanna say I’ve heard that before…somewhere.   It hasn’t registered yet in his head how that has always been my most valid point as well.  I guess I’m supposed to be magic. We no longer have a functional dishwasher so we have to do them ourselves.  Correction: I have to do them myself.  I’ve been the only one doing them lately.  I never like to use pregnancy as an excuse but it does make you tired.  Some days it’s all I can do just to stand for a prolonged period of time.  As for laundry, it looks like a Laundromat threw up in my house.  Everywhere.  I am the only one who does laundry and, as I previously stated, I have been somewhat more than lax on it.  I admit it. To add insult to injury, the flies have set upon our house.  Seriously it looks like one of the plagues in there.  Of course, I have to hear the bitching about it as though I caused it or can do something about it. I didn’t write this to complain about my husband though I do realize that’s what it looks like now.  My main source of anguish right now is the state of the house.  Mostly because of the fact that I am constantly having to hear what a dumpster it is.  Not my wording, merely a quote.  Honestly, I think that even if it were sparkly clean I’d still have to hear some type of complaints because, well, Dave just really does not like the house we live in.  And what’s worse is, we are in no position to move.  There are some things I would like to have fixed, the assorted holes in the walls for one.  Some fist sized, some big enough to put my 19 month old through.  I challenge you to find a square foot of wall lower than four feet off the ground that is not covered in crayon.  I also take the blame for that. Some things were already kinda jacked up when we moved in.  The walls are in terrible shape.  In the kids’ room, you can tell there was once a border put up because that is where the paint changes color.  That, and there’s still strips of it here and there.  That I can deal with but there are grease stains and what I perceive (and hope) to be food caked on the walls.  That was there when we moved in.  I have no idea how to go about cleaning it. My theory is if you live in a house you’re ashamed of then you have no reason to make it better.  If cleaning it is only going to better it by like 30%, there’s almost no point.  Now if the walls were patched and clean and painted nice colors, I would want to keep the rest of the house nice. I want to take more pictures of my kids, but I don’t.   I don’t because we are usually at home and there’s no way I can take a picture without getting some ugly house in the background.  The massive hole in the wall or the crayon mural.  Our furniture is all mismatched but there’s nothing that can really be done about that right now. It’s damn near impossible to work a full-time job, be pregnant, and maintain a clean house with clean laundry when you have three little kids.  I’m not sure it’s fair that I’m expected to either.  If you have kids then you know what it’s like at least to some degree.  You clean the living room, sweep, and by the time you get back from putting up the broom it already looks like you never even touched it in the first place.  How do you fight that?! I am asking anyone who reads this to share.  Comments, advice, stories, sympathy, copious amounts of chocolate, whatever you’ve got.  Help me see that I’m not the only one.  I really need it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Little Stretchy Pants, How I Love Thee

That title is misleading.  I don’t, in fact, love thee.  I will eventually, but not right now.  I’m not talking about yoga pants or anything like that.  I’m not one of those people who wear yoga pants like they’re real clothes simply because they’re too lazy to button jeans.  For the record, that is pop culture’s reference, not mine.  I wear yoga pants to work out in.  That is all.  I just can’t walk around all day like I’m wearing pajamas.  Can’t do it.  If you see me in yoga pants in the middle of the day and I’m not working out, that means I’m sick and you should probably keep your distance. No, the little stretchy pants in question today are maternity pants.  Maternity jeans to be exact.  Jeans that my husband’s friend Jake calls ‘rubber band pants.’  They are in my future, for better or for worse.  From what I’ve read I should already be shopping for them.  Why can’t they do their own shopping? However, I do not as of yet have a need for them, even though all the websites say it’s time.  On the size and weight scale I’ve never really followed the norm.  I’m usually a good bit smaller than the articles say I’m supposed to be.  They also say that you show earlier with each subsequent pregnancy.  I have yet to take that one as fact.  Because in my case, it is a lot of bunk. It’s not that I try not to show or anything.   I’m not one of those pregorexics that you can now read about.  I mean, I’m vain, but damn.  I’m not that bad.  I might consider sacrificing some of my own health for vanity, but not someone else’s.  So the guideline for your first trimester’s weight gain is between 0 and 5 pounds.  I have lost two.  Usually that is common with severe morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum.  I have had neither of these.  At the most, I get a little queasy. I’m not going to go into great detail about this one for this post, but I’ll just touch on it enough to say I lost weight for the first trimester because there was never enough food to eat at our house.  Now we all know that you aren’t eating for two, just to add 300 calories onto your normal diet.  I wasn’t even able to eat for one.  I logged my meals into a calorie counter and journal for a week.  It told me that if I ate like that every day that in five weeks I would have lost fifteen pounds.  The whys and the hows will have to come about later.  The point is, no food equals weight loss and in this case, equals anemia as well.  Again, not getting into that yet, just stating. So as I would read my daily pregnancy anecdote I started to see it talk about how your clothes might be getting snug or how it’s about time to start shopping for maternity clothes.  Then there were tips about how to make your regular clothes last longer, tricks with pony tail holders and the like.  At that point it didn’t look like I was going to need any tricks at all for a while.  I know that every pregnancy is different, blah blah blah, but after three other kids I kinda felt like at least some of what I was reading should apply to me.  But it never really has so I don’t know why I was surprised. Googled images of my particular week would come back with ultrasounds and women turned sideways sporting small baby bellies.  How much had these women weighed to begin with?  I figured since I weighed a good bit less starting out this time that I would show earlier.  No, that’s not how I roll apparently.  I reminded myself when I started thinking like that that there would be plenty of time to look pregnant, so much so that I would start to wish I wasn’t.   Y’know how that in between time at the end of the first trimester where it looks like you just took one too many trips to the buffet?  It was nowhere near me. However, today I am delighted to report that my jeans feel a little uncomfortable today.  I have the top button undone while I am at my desk.  That says to me that it’s time to wash the maternity clothes and assess the damage.  Almost all of my maternity clothes are clothes I have worn with each of my pregnancies dating back five years some of them.  That doesn’t sound like a lot of time for jeans, really, but when you consider the increased frequency with which you wear maternity clothes you start to get a feel for just how worn some of this stuff is.  I throw jeans out when the inner thighs start to look like I’m wearing chaps.  Not before.  I can stretch a pair of maternity jeans for as long as I need to.  There is one pair of jeans that I have worn with each pregnancy and they are still in really good shape.  They are usually the first pair I’ll put on because they do not look like maternity at all.  I find that to be a plus.  One other article that has lasted three pregnancies so far is my black tummy sleeve, Motherhood Maternity’s answer to the Bella Band.  Still hanging in there.  I may need a white one this go-round, too.  My style doesn’t really change.  I’m very much solid color tee and jeans.  It’s classic and it doesn’t go out of style.  Luckily. I’ve never really been able to go the cute maternity route.  My job doesn’t really accommodate little dresses and the like.  If I can’t drive a forklift in it, I can’t wear it to work, which is where I spend seventy percent of my waking hours anyway.  So I mostly need utility items, jeans and long and short-sleeved tees.  It works, but it’s not always what I want to wear.  For such basic stuff, I go to Motherhood Maternity.  It’s the most affordable maternity store that I know of, especially when you catch a sale. Now I would love to go shop at A Pea in the Pod or some other ritzy maternity place, but, seriously, if I don’t have the money to successfully slake my own hunger then I don’t have it to purchase a $75 white t-shirt.  Don’t think I don’t hate it, too, ‘cause I do.  I would love to be one of those enviable pregnant women who always look just so, but I’m not.  Not only because I can’t afford it, but because I have three other small children to wrangle and I would end up with snot on the back of my knees and muddy footprints on my thighs.  Don’t laugh; it’s happened. I won’t continue to whine about the fact that I can’t afford maternity clothes.  I have some already, I just don’t know the state of them.  And for some reason I was just reminded that I also have a pair of overalls in that group.  It took two whole pregnancies for me to get over my disgust at overalls, but damn they’re comfortable.  I’m hoping this time around to take a page out of Girl’s Gone Child blogger Rebecca Woolf’s book and get myself into a unitard.  There would have to be pictures.  I don’t know if I’d be able to pull it off like her.  She had it going on, even pregnant with twins. There are so many different types of maternity pants, but I can’t bring myself to wear most of them.  I do not do the full panel or half panel as I think it looks ridiculous.  No matter what you’ll have that indentation of the waist band somewhere near the middle to top of your stomach.  It’s more embarrassing than a visible panty line.  I also refuse to wear what they call the Secret Fit belly style.  You’re hard pressed to find pants at Motherhood Maternity that do not have this feature.  It’s like full panel but it goes up so high that it might as well be a romper that you’re wearing, not pants.  The one time I tried some on I found them to be extremely uncomfortable.  Where the denim meets the panel started just south of my hips and was constantly trying to work its way down.  Almost like wearing underwear with elastic that is no longer elastic.  Then on top of that, there was no way to drag them back up again.  No belt loops, nothing.  Maybe it was the weight of the denim that did it, but either way they were not my style.  I stick to the no-panel and just the demi panel.  Waistbands where waistbands are supposed to go…for the most part. So for the first time this go-round, rubber band pants are on the horizon.  Oh, I’m 13 weeks pregnant.  Did I forget to mention?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Readin', 'Ritin', 'Rithmetic...

In less than one week I will be the parent of two school-going children.  Ordinarily I believe you’re only as old as you feel but statements like the previous one occasionally make me believe otherwise.  Before I wrote that and you were to ask me how old I feel I would probably answer to the tune of twenty or so.  After having written that I now feel like I should be looking for my reading glasses that are perched on top of my head which is sporting some type of Mom/Mia Farrow hairstyle, as I sit half asleep on the couch with a book in my lap and the TV remote on my knee, mouth slightly agog.  Sound like anyone you know? My oldest is starting real live pre-K next week.  I am very excited for him.  Most parents are so upset when they have to surrender their first-born to the school system.  I think a lot of times that stems from mostly worry at how said kid is going to handle the whole thing, and that’s ok.  You will see no tears from me, however.  Connor is bored at home.  He gets very little attention and is not challenged in any way.  The kids he sees most frequently are his siblings, and let’s face it, a three-year-old who doesn’t talk and a baby girl toddler who is always trying to kiss you is just not the company a burly preschooler wants. I keep telling Connor about stuff he has to look forward to at school, partially to get him excited and partially because I already am.  I had asked him if he wanted to take his lunch or if he wanted to eat in the cafeteria.  First he wanted to take his lunch until I talked up the idea of eating at school so much it was nice and shiny to him.  I don’t know why I bothered to give him the choice if I was just going to lean him in the other direction anyway.  Then I found out that the concept of eating in the cafeteria wasn’t entirely accurate.  He’ll be eating food that came from the cafeteria but pre-K classes eat breakfast and lunch in the classroom.  Oh, well.  He’ll see the lunchroom in passing I guess. I told him that when you eat at school you get something different every day.  I made it sound like a new concept when really it shouldn’t be.  That has only just now struck me as odd.  Huh.  You can go on the school website and see what’s for lunch and breakfast every day, which I love.  I have an unnatural affinity for menus and cookbooks. Connor is a little rough so I can’t say I’m not at least a little afraid of him becoming THAT KID.  You know the one I’m talking about.  The one that says off-color things to girls, which in this case might just be spouting ‘poop’ at random.  The word, not the bodily function.  The one who mixes up all their food at lunch just to try to gross people out.  The one who will punch himself in the face for a quarter, oh dear God, that’s my kid!  The one who uses any manner of body parts to make inappropriate noises to then blame on some unsuspecting quiet kid!  The one who will break into some type of breakdancing seizure at random on the playground!  Oh, WHY? Still, I feel he’s better off at school than at home.  Kids always behave better for other people than they would at home.  I daresay it’s a law. Granted, I have my own share of miniscule worries, but I feel like they’re pretty garden variety.  Like what if no one will be his friend?  Is there anything sadder than your kid coming home after his first week at school and reporting that no one will play with him?  Frankly, I don’t know but I hope I don’t have to find out.  What if someone makes fun of him?  Or worse, what if someone makes fun of his brother, who will be just a few doors down in a special ed. class?  Kids are mean, yo.  That particular worry may not be relevant for a couple more years, but I know it’s coming. I may have a couple of little fears for Connor starting school, but I’m about 97% sure he’s going to be just fine.  I feel like he’ll do well.  I’m pretty sure he’s smart for his age.  I’m not around kids his age all that often, at least not enough to glean anything about their intelligence, so I can’t really say with much confidence that I know he’s smart for his age.  I know he can count to thirteen and he knows his ABC’s.  He’s not doing calculus in his head or anything but then again I haven’t asked him to.  I know he can do basic adding and subtracting, though. So, yes, he’ll be fine.  I’m just waiting for the first note he brings home from his teacher that says “Connor ate an entire eraser today because another child told him he wouldn’t.   Just thought you should be prepared for the bowel obstruction.  Otherwise he had a great day!” Yeah, thanks, Teach.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Swiper, You Have the Right to Remain Silent

If you are a parent, chances are you have seen kid shows.  Even if you’re one of those militant parents who are staunchly opposed to letting kids watch TV, I’d be willing to be that it’s happened.  Most of the time I don’t really mind that a kid show is on.  Caillou, Lazy Town, Thomas, Super Why, Bob the Builder, The Wiggles, they all make frequent appearances at our house.  Yo Gabba Gabba is also a familiar sight. Since I am at work for most of the day I am not exposed to these shows.  My husband is, God help him.  He has learned how to glaze over and ignore them for the most part, though.  One day last week I was home during daylight hours and was subjected to Lazy Town, a kind of weird mix of puppets and human cast.  Now I don’t claim to know in any kind of detail these characters descriptions, but I do feel confident when I say that a puppet wearing high-waisted yellow shorts and what I perceive to be saddle oxfords whose name is Stingy, is probably bad news. This was about the time when I realized it is not good for my mental health to watch these shows.  Not because they’re kind of goofy, but because of how unrealistic to life they are.  Bear with me here.  I realize that a show where a ten year old girl with pink hair has a puppet for an uncle is not going to be terribly true to life.  I get that.  It’s not that characters that bothers me; it’s the outcome of the story. Basically you have a handful of lovable critters, puppet, animated, what have you, and then you have that one or two who is ultimately just a douchebag.  And it’s not usually the show’s villain, if there is one at all.  It’s one of the regular characters.  Maybe to illustrate that there are even good people who just happen to have deplorable personalities.  The show will revolve around this character doing something bad or wrong.   No one will know about it for a while, but then they’re found out.  They hang their cartoon heads in (mock?) shame and say they’re sorry.  The proverbial finger is shaken at them, they learned a lesson, and life is good again. Oh, God, no.  Just no. How many more episodes does it take for them to do something wrong again?  They didn’t learn a lesson!  That episode of Lazy Town aggravated me to no end.  So Stingy (like the name didn’t give anything away here) finds something that he knows belongs to that that French gymnast superhero guy Sportacus.  It’s part of his ability to know when someone needs help.  Knowing this but disregarding it, that little bastard keeps it and even alludes to the fact that he may never give it back.  He then mounts it on his car like a hood ornament after having driven it over Sportacus’ body which was acting like a bridge over a big pothole.  Seriously? Well, that little punk ends up needing help later but because he has the gadget that would tell Sportacus he needed help he was SOL.  Luckily the girl with the pink Britney Spears wig heard him yelling.  He gets saved, told what he did was bad, and is forgiven when he gives a half-ass apology.  You know he’s not sorry and that he’ll turn right around and wipe somebody else’s stuff the next chance he gets!!  What’s wrong with you people and/or puppets? Stingy committed some kind of crime, whether it’s theft by taking or petty larceny I just don’t know.  Please show some kind of consequences!  These shows tell us that if you do something wrong you should feel bad about it and apologize for it.  They don’t depict that there could be consequences. Other prime offenders are Rintoo on Kai-Lan, Muno on You Gabba Gabba, and Swiper on Dora the Explorer.  Nothing ever happens to these critters!  I am just incensed with it all. They even had a jail on the Andy Griffith show, even though the only ones they ever locked up were drunks. I can no longer bring myself to endure watching these shows.  At least I know that I teach my kids that sometimes saying sorry is just not enough. You have to pretend to feel bad, too.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

That Old Crayon Smell

It’s the second week of July and most people are still deep in the throes of summer and the entrenching heat that it has ushered in.  But I work for the board of education so we are in full new school year swing.  Teacher’s want new desks, new chairs.  Schools are ordering page after page of stuff.  Boxes out, boxes in.  Seventeen pallets of Smart Boards are coming in tomorrow.  One hundred boxes of student desks are en route as we speak.  To me, this is just work.  Nothing new.  It’s happened this time every year that I’ve been year.  I’m just glad no one has ordered new textbooks this year. This year, however, there is a slight difference in my outlook.  I have two kids starting school next month.  That means two out of three kids will be gone from the house all day.  More importantly, in my mind school equals school supplies.  The good kind.  Not stupid notebook paper and blue stick pens.  Ugh.  There’s no fun in that. I want to buy crayons and markers and colored pencils.  Pencil boxes and little scissors!  Glue sticks!  Oh, the wonder of it all!  When I was in school I always wanted to have a veritable buffet of artistic implements, though I didn’t always get them.  I can remember, though, going to Kindergarten with my standard Crayola crayons and being told that I needed the big kind.  You know, the ones that make it seem like you’re writing with a stubby kielbasa?  I guess it didn’t matter that I could already utilize a normal size crayon efficiently.  No, no, take out your green sausage links and draw some grass. I remember the first day of school when, on the way to your new class, you could stop at a table and buy a big paper grocery bag filled with all your supplies.  It was almost like getting a present.  There’s no telling what the pencils are going to look like!  It was one stop shopping, but I don’t remember how much those bags cost.  Even more interesting is that you can’t even find those brown shopping bags anymore.  So much for homemade book covers, too. So I was all excited about buying…well, crayons really.  Then I looked at the supply list and was hit with a bomb.  Our pre-k is state funded and supplies all necessary school stuff, completely rendering school shopping redundant.  Nooooo!  But…but…colored pencils!  Those big stupid, oddly shaped pink erasers!  All gone.  Man!  Stupid school. While the parent in me is relieved that I won’t have to spend what could have been an obscene amount of money on school supplies, the overgrown kid is ill at not getting to buy crayons.  Buying crayons just because isn’t the same.  It’s needing them that’s the fun part.  Knowing that there are numerous art projects that may already be planned and waiting, that’s what makes it fun.  It’s the adult equivalent of finding out that your new job requires the use of Angry Birds. So I guess school shopping will consist of haircuts, new shoes, maybe lunchboxes, and backpacks.  Connor has already informed me that he wants a purple Transformers backpack.  Uh…huh.  Which Transformer was the gay one?   Note: Crayola is not in any way greasing my palm to name-drop for them.   But I will highlight the fact that they’re products are non-toxic.  Eating their green paint will not kill you.  Live and learn.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Gilding My Lily

Is it wrong to say that I think my little girl is smarter than my boys?  It is?  Good, we got that out of the way.  It’s still what I think.  I like your opinion and all, but it’s not like you’re going to comment at the bottom of the post or anything.  That’s not me talking; that’s precedent. :D Lily was eating mashed potatoes out of a little orange bowl a few nights ago with her spoon.  My middle child eschews all silverware, which we are working on.  Mashed potatoes, for him, are a finger food.  After eating about half, she takes her spoon and tosses it and begins to eat Momo-style, manually.  I gave her the “and just what are you doing?” look.  She turns her head slightly, eyes still on me, slowly takes a handful of potatoes, pauses, and quickly jams it into her mouth.  I raised an eyebrow at her.  She then opened her mouth as wide as it would go, as if to say “yeah, what are you going to do about it?” My expression did not change and she repeated the whole process.  I couldn’t help but laugh by then.  Then she proceeded to mean mug me and then applaud. Last night she brought one of Connor’s rain boots into the kitchen just so she could put it on in front of me.  She did.  Then she walked around with it on.  Just the one.  Connor still puts his shoes on the wrong feet.  I asked him if it was uncomfortable and he conceded that it was.  Well, then….?  You’d think the next logical thing would be for him to fix it.  He won’t.  I’m not sure that he realizes swapping shoes would make it feel better.  I hope he does and he’s just stubborn. Connor was walking around the house stomping last night.  Lily started behind him doing her rendition of stomping, which is kind of a Sumo wrestler type move wherein she lifts each leg really high, kind of out to the side, as she walks. Connor will bring me a pencil and the little manual sharpener and ask me to ‘sharp’ it.  Lily will do it herself, almost successfully.  Did I mention their age difference is about three years? OK, so maybe there’s no real concrete evidence that she’s smarter than the boys, but it just seems like it. She can also attach herself to your leg like a koala bear.  She has all the talent of a strip of Velcro.  I forget why that makes her smart.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Today on I read an article that touted 13 Things You Should Never Do At A Wedding.  Among those were not RSVPing and coming anyway, RSVPing and NOT coming, don’t dress like a hooker, and don’t draw attention to yourself.  There were more; I’m pretty sure that wasn’t 13. So I started thinking.  Thinking about how very few weddings I have been to in my life.  As I am not even 30 yet, you would think that I should’ve been to dozens of weddings, as so many twenty-somethings get married for the first time around now.  Some even do it twice (hello, me!)  I can remember just a couple and they were family. The most recent being the wedding of my husband’s childhood best friend.  I wasn’t dressed like a hooker, per se, but I did stand out.  Wanna know why?  Because, as most people would assume, if the ceremony is at 5:00 then the reception is later than that and that makes it what?  An evening wedding.  As convention dictates, an evening wedding is generally more formal than a day wedding.  Apparently, I was the only one who got that memo.  I was also the only one who got the memo about not wearing cargo shorts to the ceremony.  Wow. I was wearing a bright red V-neck dress.  It was actually very traditional and tasteful, which is surprising to those of you who have known me for a while.  The hem was past the knees and I had on pearls.  I was perfectly fine.  Unfortunately, next to the flip flops, shorts, and pastels that the rest of the guests were wearing I looked like a paid escort.  Awesome.  It’s not my fault these people didn’t have a clue in hell what was going on.  So I garnered my fair share of looks that evening. One of my earlier recollections of a wedding was one that I was actually in.  About ten years prior.  It was my sister’s wedding and I was, oddly, the maid of honor.  I was thirteen and could do virtually nothing towards planning or helping.  I was too busy trying to figure out and cope with the weird underwear they told me I had to wear.  Then I proved my ignorance just a little more and proceeded to use a curling iron in something of a backward manor.  So I gave my already salon-styled coiffure creases.  I was so not meant to be a girl. The dress was lovely, though.  So much so that years later as I read countless magazines, I decided to try to repurpose this dress.  I was going to turn it into a top to wear with jeans.  How hard could it be?  You just cut it off a little past the waist and, bam!  Green satin top.  Well, it was a little harder than I had initially expected.  Mainly because of the zipper in the back that I could not cut through.  So if I had gone through with the idea I would’ve had to cut around the zipper, thus giving me the illusion of having a vestigial tail.  A little green one.  Maybe not the clubbing ensemble I had planned. The article also mentioned that you shouldn’t give a toast whilst inebriated.  I can’t say that I’ve ever done this.  I always get drunk afterwards.  It’s actually funny, if you were to see me and my Hetero Life Mate Rosa together, you’d swear we were already drunk.  And yet we almost never drink.  So I guess we couldn’t ever give a toast regardless of whether or not we were drinking.  Hmm.  Oh, like I’m going to any weddings anyway. I never had a wedding personally.  Planned several, but never had one for myself.  I couldn’t have what I wanted.  It always inconvenienced somebody.  I wanted a nice somewhat big, yet no more than 100 people, affair.  It was to have a plated dinner.  But no.  Too expensive.  We can’t do that.  Sigh.  OK, then.  If I couldn’t have my prime rib and twice baked potatoes, then I wanted something very minimalist.  No, you can’t do that.  It has to be bigger than that.  Oh, for God’s sake! So what did I do?  I went to the courthouse.  Twice.  Maybe one of my future marriages will have a wedding like I want. For some reason, my husband doesn’t find that funny.