Monthly Archives: January 2009

Fourteen Weeks (The Soundtrack of My Life)

Do events in your life ever inspire a song in your heart? You know, like when you watch your college roommate head out the door with a guy who is so obviously not for her and you spend the rest of the day singing, “I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No”?

Yeah. The past couple of days, I can’t get the jingle to Hungry, Hungry Hippos out of my head.

It’s a race, it’s a chase, open up and feed your face…

As I enter the fourteenth week of my pregnancy, I have developed a serious desire to eat. All. the. time. Yesterday, I consumed a ridiculous amount of sour dough bread. Today, I couldn’t resist my desire for comfort food. And, by “comfort food,” I mean anything covered in gravy.

Mmmmm, rich, meaty, liquid yumminess…

Fortunately, so far, it doesn’t seem to be showing. In general, I’m barely showing anything at this point. I can see the difference, but only if I’m stretching my clothes across my stomach. If I had decided to go along with Sean’s evil plan, our families probably still wouldn’t even know I’m pregnant (he suggested just waiting until someone noticed and said something about it). I keep wondering when I will look pregnant. My sister-in-law is starting too, but she is five weeks ahead of me. Of course, she is also two pregnancies behind me. I’m never quite sure what to expect. When I was pregnant with Wyatt, I really didn’t look pregnant until I was six months along. It hasn’t taken that long since then, but I do seem to stay small early on. I always laugh as my midwives tell me that I may just get my small baby. Then I pretty much explode at the end, and birth nine pound monsters.

In other pregnancy news…

My OB/midwives office called this afternoon with the results of my test for Fifth’s Disease (so called because, at the time it got the name, it was the fifth most common childhood disease–original, huh?). There is nothing better than being told that you are immune to Parvovirus (what causes Fifth’s). Seriously, as someone with three dogs, it is just a little funny to be told that you don’t have Parvo (yes, the dog Parvovirus is different than the Fifth’s disease one). Anyhow, I am over the moon happy to know that even if my kids had Fifth’s disease, it shouldn’t be a concern for the baby. One less thing to feel paranoid about.

And, with one less thing to occupy my brain capacity, I ventured last night into territory that I swore I wasn’t going into this early. I brought up the subject of names with Sean. He definitely has an opinion on a boy’s name this time. The past two pregnancies, we had planned on Laila if it was a girl. Sean said he isn’t “feeling” that name so much this time. When I told my mom that, she all but jumped for joy (she’s never “felt” it). Then, I told her the girl’s name that he and I were talking about.

She’s now rooting for Laila.

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Filed under Baby naming, pregnancy

You’re Welcome

Every once in awhile, I run across something that just cracks me up and I have to share.  A comment on my post yesterday did just that. I introduce you to:

Really Bad Parenting Advice

It is a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the weird things parents do. Totally up my alley, and my sense of humor. It is not always my language, though (you are forwarned if you don’t want to read occassional swearing).

I’ve only read a few parenting tips so far, so I’ll probably be checking back throughout the day. It will definitely go on my google reader account (although probably not my blogroll, only because I haven’t updated that in soooo long–I read way more blogs than what I have listed).

So, there you go. Read. Laugh. Enjoy. You’ll thank me.

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Filed under Just for Fun, Parenting

The Exhausing Personality of Boys

The night before last, it started to snow. It snowed enough that by yesterday morning, all of the schools in our area were closed. It snowed enough that (gasp!) Sean came home from work two hours early.

Yesterday evening, the snow changed to freezing rain. It didn’t change back until early this morning. Throughout the morning, the new layer of thick ice was covered by a crap-load of snow (we ended up with about a foot). Sean agreed to hold off on going into work so that the snow plows would have some time to do their jobs. That, and he couldn’t deny how badly our driveway needed shovelled. He and the kids bundled up and set to work.

By the time the driveway was done a couple of hours later (and Sean came in looking like the Abominable Snow Husband), things on the roads had gone from bad to worse. Our county and the ones surrounding it had upgraded from a Level 1 snow emergency to a Level 2 snow emergency–basically, the difference between “It really is a bad idea to be out driving right now,” and “Honestly, if you’re in your car and someone isn’t dying, you are a complete moron” (in case you are wondering, it tops out at Level 3, or “We are now going to ticket and fine you for your stupidity if we catch you on the roads”). I threatened to hide keys. Sean accepted defeat and agreed to stay home for the day.

He showered. We ate lunch. We got the kids down for quiet time. He collapsed on the couch, complaining of how exhausted he was from shovelling.

Later, as activity was being restored in our house, Sean looked at me and said, “We should take the kids to the Playland for dinner tonight.

Seriously???

The man would not survive a week as a stay-at-home mom. This time of year, especially, I can go days without seeing the outside of the house. Yes, it gets old. Yes, it can be depressing. But I have to do what I have to do, and by the time we do school, feed everyone (three times a day, thank you), clean, and do everything else that has to be done on a daily basis, well, even if I found the time to get out, I probably wouldn’t have the energy. But him? He can’t make it half a day. He must. go. somewhere. Even if that means packing our children up and heading to McDonald’s on snow-covered roads.

Sigh.

Is it any wonder that daddy is the fun parent? He has pillow fights and takes them to McDonalds for dinner. And me? I’m the tired old hag that cooks food with vegetables and tells them to make their beds.

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Filed under Daily Life, Parenting

The Beauty of Bribery

Before Christmas, I wondered whether or not a Wii would be a worthwhile present for kids as young as mine. Can I just say, the first time we plugged it in after the accident (it was in the car with us) and it fired right up, there was much rejoicing (from kids and parents both). And when my Guitar Hero guitars still worked–well, I almost wept.

All of my kids have a blast with the Wii. The biggest fan, by far, is Wyatt*. Really, I’m not at all surprised by this–it goes along with his analytical nature. That child has figured out how to get the Wii Sports game to do things that we had no idea it could do. And when Sean bought the Lego Star Wars game? He and Noah pretty much stopped interacting with the rest of the family.

As I watched Wyatt easily spend the entire morning going from one game to another (hey, at least he was doing something active–it is butt cold around here right now), I knew that things would have to change. So I decided to institute some new rules. Namely, no Wii until your bed is made, toys are picked up upstairs, and the toy room downstairs is in reasonable shape. Some days, the Wii doesn’t get turned on at all (it is amazing the havoc four boys can wreak on one room). Other days, like today, it gets turned on fairly early (but doesn’t stay on all day). Wyatt, however, has gone from the kid who whined, complained, and avoided cleaning at all costs to the kid who has his bed made before he comes out for breakfast. We are talking a huge change in attitude.

Along those same lines, we decided that this past Saturday needed to be a cleaning day around here (OK, everyday needs to be a family cleaning day around here, but that’s not the point…). Sean told the kids that if they worked hard, they could earn a couple of dollars that they would be allowed to spend in the arcade at their favorite pizza buffet. The kids worked hard (Wyatt went military on our toilets). They earned their dollars. For the next two days, I endured darn near hourly inquiries from Caleb as to whether or not it was time to go to the pizza place.

Last night, we got our family night out at the pizza place. We invited both grandfathers to come along (technically, we invited the grandmothers too, but they both had to work). We ate ourselves silly. The kids played games. They got candy and cheesy toys out of the machines. Noah had his heart temporarily broken when Mommy couldn’t manage to win him an IPod out of one of the games. It was a great time. And they knew that they had earned it (well, most of it–the grandpas were slipping them extra quarters here and there).

You know, I’ve never been an advocate of rewarding kids for doing things that they should be responsible for doing anyhow. I feel like they should grow up understanding that it is their responsibility to be productive members of the family. But, if I had to use the infamous Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for you?” standard, well… I’m starting to see the benefit of the occasional bribe reward.

Who knows, maybe–someday–I’ll get this mothering thing figured out after all.

 

*Yes, I have decided to start actually using my kids names. My original decision not to was based on someone else’s fears. While I am still very protective of our privacy, I’ve come to the conclusion that, without our last name, no one is going to be tracking us down. For that matter, I know tons of people who use last names and say where they live, and none of their kids have been stalked or abducted, yet.

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Filed under Daily Life, Kids, Parenting

Someday Computers Will Rule the World

This year, for Christmas, Sean got me a Tom Tom. During the drive to Florida and back, we became complete converts to the technology. Not only could the Tom Tom tell us how to get where we were going, but with the press of a button it would show us hotels when we needed them and give us the phone number to call ahead and see if they had rooms available. Absolutely freakin’ brilliant. I fell in love.

Then, our car got drug upside down through water and my new Tom Tom met an ignominious death.

A couple of days ago, my replacement Tom Tom showed up. Before taking a trip about an hour from home today, I popped it out of its packaging and hooked it up in the car. Bliss!

As we drove home this evening, there were quite a few police out. At one point, I noticed Sean slowing down right as we were passing one (he wasn’t going fast, but we were in a construction zone…). As we went by, my natural instinct to check if the cop pulled out kicked in.

I looked at the Tom Tom.

I kid you not, for a brief moment there I fully expected to see a little cop car on the screen, either sitting by the road or pulling out behind us.

Yes, people, computers are taking over the world.

Speaking of which…

Last night, Sean rented the movie Eagle Eye for us to watch. It had very much of a “computers taking over the world” theme. I give it a hearty ehhhh. However, as I struggled to suspend my disbelief, something kept jumping out at me. Well, actually, they kept rolling and bursting into flames. I’m talking about cars. Specifically the numerous cars that wrecked in flipping, fiery balls throughout the movie.

Last night, I was back on the couch, sleeping with the television on.

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Filed under I think my head might explode, Scary Bits of Life

Cookie Contemplations (Random Insight Into My Personality)

Last night, I decided to make chocolate chip cookies (the natives rejoiced). I used to bake cookies on a regular basis. Due to a combination of lack of time and acknowledgement that, as the only adult home all day, I was consuming the majority of them, I just don’t make them very often anymore. But, there was a very long period of time in my life where making chocolate chip cookies did not require pulling out a recipe because I could do it without even thinking about it.

As I looked at my recipe and made my cookies last night, I started thinking about a guy that I dated shortly before Sean came back from serving a two year mission in Hungary. I was twenty-one at the time, and was enjoying the most active dating life of my entire existence. Jared and I went to church together. He was a nice guy with a really outgoing personality. He was creative the first time he asked me out (he rewrote Where the Wild Things Are to ask me on a date to the zoo). He was likable.

I don’t remember exactly how it started, but on our first date he told me that since he had taken me out to dinner, I needed to cook dinner for him. I kind of brushed it off. Our second date, we went bowling. He decided that we would be playing for dinner–as in, if I lost, I had to cook one for him. Umm, see a theme developing? I did. And I suddenly felt less like I was out having fun and more like I was auditioning for the position of Future Happy Homemaker. I honestly suspect that some man in his life at some point had cautioned him not to get serious about a girl until he knew if she could cook. Because, you know, you don’t want to be stuck for eternity eating Hamburger Helper.

Here’s the thing–I can cook (although I confess to the occasional lazy pleasure of a box with a smiling glove on it). Frankly, in addition to those cookies that I could have whipped up off the top of my head, I can put together some pretty tasty (and even healthy) meals. It really wouldn’t have been a big deal to cook for him. There was just no freaking way that I was going to. I wasn’t going to let him pester me into feeling like I had to prove myself as a woman to him.

If memory serves me, I was careful to never outright lie to Jared about my cooking abilities. I just let him make his own assumptions. And he made those assumptions to the point that he quickly decided that I was incapable of even boiling the water to make a box of macaroni and cheese. After a few more dates, I was convinced that I wasn’t interested in auditioning and he was convinced that I was completely inept in the kitchen. We stopped dating.

A few months later, he was engaged to another girl. I’m guessing she cooked him dinner on the first date.

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Filed under A Scary Look into My Mind, Idiot Files

Twelve (and a Half) Weeks

I suppose that I need to break my silent streak. It hasn’t been a conscious decision to not write. Part of it has had to do with how tired I am by the end of the day (a common pregnancy thing for me), and part of it–I think–has had to do with some lack of desire to delve too deeply into my own mind at the moment. Whatever. I need to get over it.

Last week, I had my first appointment with one of my midwives (for those who weren’t with me for the last pregnancy, I go to a practice with one OB/GYN and two certified nurse midwives). Can I just say how much I love this practice? First, when the nurse was doing my vitals, she asked if I was planning on doing the early pregnancy testing. When I told her I don’t do it, she said, “oh, good.” She caught herself quickly and said, “Well, I mean, most people who do it do it so they can do something if there is a problem.” I totally understood what she was saying–that’s why I don’t do the testing. I would never terminate a pregnancy, so why bother doing the early testing to see if there is something wrong?

Then the midwife came in. After some joking about how quickly I was back, she asked where my other kids were. I told her that my mother was watching them–an easy thing since she lives next door. “Oh, I do remember that,” she told me. “Your parents live next door, and you have vibrators in the attic!” Yep, we have built a relationship, although she was wrong. I keep the vibrator in the basement.  And if you know me and are absolutely confused by any reference to vibrators, read this post. I told her about it in the hospital after E~ was born–yes, it actually did go with a conversation we were having–and she ended up printing off the pictures and taking them to the office. When I went in for my six-week follow-up after E~ was born, the whole office knew me as the lady with the vibrator (lovely!).

After all of the initial first appointment loveliness (and her shock that I was still nursing after seeing the bruising on my chest), we got into the fun stuff. Based on the ultrasound done in the emergency room, she estimated my due date at August 3rd. Then, she pulled out the Doppler and we listened to a very healthy sounding heartbeat–when she could find it. The baby, apparently, was active. I needed that. I needed to hear that heartbeat again–to hear that the baby was active. I needed to know that everything was still ok.

Which brings me to today, and how I’m starting to feel like I ‘ve got some sort of target on me this pregnancy. I started to notice yesterday that all of my kids were sporting rosy cheeks. We’ve all had a cold, so I didn’t really think about it too much. This morning, N~ looks like he’s been slapped on both sides of the face. That’s when I remembered something. A quick check of The Baby Book(by Dr. Sears–the single most useful book you could ever own if you have small children) confirmed what I thought I remembered: a “slapped cheek” rash is a hallmark sign of fifth’s disease. Fifth’s is a really common childhood illness that is absolutely no big deal–unless you are pregnant. If a woman gets it when she is pregnant, it can be passed on to the baby and can cause serious complications. Great.

I don’t know for sure if that is what my kids have and I honestly have no intention of taking them to the doctor since there is absolutely no treatment for it. I did, however, call my OB’s office and am going to get a blood test to see if I’m already immune to Fifth’s. Chances are good that I am–like chickenpox, once you’ve had it you are immune and most people get it in childhood. Still, this is honestly one stress that I just don’t need right now. 

But, for now, all is well. Life is getting back to normal. I am almost out of the first trimester, which amazes me. I haven’t had too much morning sickness for a couple of weeks (funny how you stop noticing nausea when the rest of your body hurts). I’m heading into the easy trimester.

Please, let it be easy.

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Filed under Daily Life, pregnancy