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Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year? Whoopee.

That Whoopee, please note, is not followed by an exclamation mark. Just a period. Because I can't muster up too much excitement for 2008 when I am this tired and grumpy. Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest and Fergie will be partying without me tuning in. I will likely be up at the stroke of midnight anyway but not because I wanna be.

G is still sleeping like crap, and N has been waking up too, so I'm getting very poor sleep. I have been having lots and lots of "2 Baby Days," as in days where all I can think is, "I've had my 2 babies so I think I'm done."

When I am this tired, I start thinking things like, "This is NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER GONNA END." G is NEVER EVER EVER going to have a predictable schedule. G is NEVER EVER EVER going to take naps longer than 20 seconds. I will NEVER EVER EVER be able to take both kids to someplace fun that N would like to visit because I can't handle keeping up with her and having him suckling at the same time. When my brain is operating in this mode, it is plenty hard to look forward to 2008.

But then I remember that just a little while ago, G was waking every 2-3 hours religiously all night long. Within the last 2 weeks he has mostly had 5 hour stretches, and 1 night even had a 6-hour stretch. So things will get better. Things will improve. He is only 3 months old.

So I will try to will myself positive thoughts about 2008 because it is gonna fly...even the times when I am tired and grumpy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Santa Didn't Bring Me Jack Shit

Santa is an ass-hole, really. I asked for 1 thing. 1 measly little thing, and he didn't come through.

All I wanted for Christmas was for G to sleep through the night. Didn't happen. In fact, last night he slept horribly, waking up every 2-3 hours. He is at the 3-month mark so perhaps this is that alleged growth spurt babies are supposed to have around this time.

I am trying hard to accept that G is not N (the perfect sleeping 8 hours a night at 4-weeks of age baby). He has his own design and plan.

But damn, Momma needs some sleep, boy!

Maybe the Easter Bunny will answer my prayer.

I'm Drowning...

...In a sea of toys.

So Christmas is over, and I am glad. Today I took down the decorations from the family room and shoved it all in the basement. I could not wait to get it out of my sight. D says I was so sick of it because I put it all up the weekend after Thanksgiving. My reasoning is that if I wait until mid-December to put up decorations, I might as well forget it. I am still gonna want to take it down immediately after Christmas, so why bother putting it up for only 2 weeks' time??

And then there were the piles of gifts. Some people can leave their presents under the tree for days and days and eventually find homes for them. Not me. Christmas Day after breakfast I started organizing stuff and putting items into their new homes. It is just too much chaos for my brain to handle. It makes me anxious knowing that things don't have a home. I've read about drug addicts getting the creepy crawlies (like bugs under their skin), which describes exactly how I feel when looking at stuff just lining the walls of my home in gift bags and boxes.

I have also started a yard sale stack---all of the things I no longer want or gifts I can't use or don't like.

Now I am biting at the bit to get a small bookshelf for the family room to store toys. I have been pulling out every clear Rubbermaid container and wicker basket I own for storing Polly Pockets and Barbie clothes and Little Pet Shop animals.

I told D to say to me next year, "Remember that N and G are gonna get gifts from Mamaw, Nana and Pa, cousins, aunts & uncles and great aunts & uncles, so do not go crazy on the gifts." I could not believe how much she got in 2 days' time. Unbelievable. It sorta makes me feel sick. Although I just blogged about having fun buying toys for her (which I did), it is kinda like a one-night stand. You enjoy it while you are doing it, but after it's over, you feel pretty weird and gross and think, "Why did I do that?"

In general, I am not a person who loves to shop. I rarely buy clothes or shoes because I have my favorite 5 shirts and 2 pants that I wear for a couple days and then wash --- although now that I'm being spit up on on a regular basis I am having to wear some not-so-favorite shirts. My joke is that my clothes can walk themselves to the hamper by the time I wear them a couple days and decide to put on something clean.

I have very few chatchkies or "pretties" in the house, and most of the ones I do have were given to me...like at our wedding 10 years ago....which means I may not even like them but I can't see spending money on decorative stuff. I love those Pier1 tall vases and think a couple of those would look so cool on my entertainment center, but I ain't gonna pay $30 + for empty vases that I'm just gonna look at at.

Anyway, following the Christmas holiday I always begin this weird purging thing where I go through my house and select the items I really don't like anymore, never did like to begin with, or just want to get rid of because they are taking up space. It drives D nuts because I make him go through his closet and drawers. We've been doing this 10 years now--he should be used to it. One day I will get him to sell these huge ass speakers he has. It is on my list of things I want to accomplish before I die along with going on an African safari.

Of course I type all this about not liking to shop and what-not, but my mom and I plan to hit the mall tomorrow so I can look for a Mikasa crystal frame, spatulas, potholders, my desired bookshelf, and some other items I "need."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Father freak out

D said he wasn't freaking out when G wouldn't settle down. D said he was just frustrated. D said he knew I'd blog about it and say he was freaking out. Yep--D was right.

D is a good dad, especially this 2nd time around. He is much more hands-on. Part of this is because he is more experienced. Part of this is also because I am not so anal and "all about the baby" like I was with N. But D is still a dad, and there is, in most cases, a definite way a dad will handle things as opposed to mom.

Case in point: A fussing baby. Now every mom I know is a really good baby dancer. The dance is always the same: the baby sway. Even if mom wants to sit and watch HGTV on the couch, she will perform the baby sway in order to calm the baby. A dad is different. A dad will try desperately to stay sitting on the couch watching a ballgame or sci-fi show or movie (which usually results in baby getting more fussy). Dad will reluctantly walk with the baby around the house, all the while being a little ticked that he can't stay seated on the couch and do baby-duty.

Case in point: Kid at the playground or pool. (NOTE: There are some mom exceptions to this case; see my summer blog about pool moms). I have seen dads "watching" their kids at playgrounds, the zoo or pools. Most of the watching is alleged watching. In truth, the dad is reading a book or sleeping but because his body is in the vicinity of the child(ren) then he can say he is watching them. Yesterday at the zoo I saw a dad reading a book while his kid pestered my kid and tried to start conversations with D, who was actually watching N as she maneauvered the playground equipment.

That is probably the worst thing about dads (and moms) who allegedly watch their kids---the conversations their kids try to start with anyone who is breathing. They are so hard-up for attention from any adult, they jabber away at another parent who is tired from actually watching his/her own kid. I used to feel compelled to talk to these kids, but now I just ignore them or say something glib and then ignore them. Sometimes I even say, "Why don't you go bug your mom or dad?" But they usually just keep on blathering about frogs or chapstick or alien spaceships.

Everyone knows that dads are just different. Evolution sets them up to not be so kid-oriented, really. The whole premise is to "hit it and quit it"---spread seed far and wide, and then go off with the other men and hunt monkeys. They don't adjust well to the women's role of childcare. Of course, there are some men who love being in the caretending role and some women who aren't hands-on mommas.

My brother is the most hands-on dad I know. I guess what makes him seem more mom-like than dad-like is the fact that he doesn't ask, "What do I do?" or wait to be told. If the kids need a bath, he just does it.

I used to get so pissed when I'd hear a mom say, "My husband is babysitting the kids." But then I had kids, and I realized that most dads are, in fact, just babysitting their own kids.

So I know D wasn't freaking out, although I have to admit I was wondering whether I'd go to the basement and find a dead G after having been shaken to death or thrown into the wall. I know my tolerance for crying spells and tantrums and lolly-gagging is much higher than D's because I live it every day, although there have been plenty of occasions when D has come home from work to find a VERY grouchy wife.

It takes a momma, daddy, village and lots of alcohol to raise a child.

House envy

This past week I developed house envy after playing bunco at a friend's new home. It is a REALLY nice pad--it even has built in bookshelves and cabinets in the family room (a dream I've long held).

My house is nice but we've been here nearly 7 years so the newness and excitement has worn off. I've been here long enough to decide what I would absolutely change if I was able -- 4 bedrooms all upstairs, bigger garage, larger family room. We've also been here long enough to have shabbed up the carpet and fixed the roof and furnace. So seeing a new house makes me green.

I always think of D as being the big spender in our home but I think I truly deserve the title because if given the opportunity I would do the following: 1. have a 3rd child and 2. move into a new house, both of which cost FAR, FAR more than any tv or technological gizmo D has ever purchased. I'd also throw in a mini-van to make the debt truly unbearable.

When I shared this thought with D, he said, "Yeah, and I just wanted an Xbox." Of course, he has the Xbox-- we'll see whether I get a 3rd child, new home or minivan.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Keeping Baby Off the Pole

After N was born, D and I watched a Chris Rock comedy show where he said his job as a daddy of 2 daughters is to, "Keep his baby off the pole." D and I joke about that, especially when N shakes her booty at us or, even more endearing, when she turns around, wiggles her bottom at us, and then spreads her butt cheeks with her hands.

I have decided my role as momma is to keep N from becoming like either of the Spears girls. Good night! Lord knows there are plenty of train-wreck families in the world but none so public and pathetic as the Spears.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Playing dress up

There is nothing that makes Christmas more fun than having an almost 4-year-old!






Poor G. Already subjected to being a drag queen by his older sister.

Overboard spending

I have a history of being TIGHT with money. My father-in-law used to make fun of me constantly because of it. I think he usually referred to me being so tight I squeaked when I walked.

Well, this Christmas I have gone spending crazy on things for N...well, crazy for me, which for many people would just be a drop in the bucket. I started looking up stats on the Internet to see how much parents spend on their kids on average. I read anywhere from $100 per kid to $400 per kid. I nearly swallowed my tongue when I read the $400 amount. Maybe I haven't gone as hog wild as I thought???

N is just at that great age when she loves such cute toys--Barbie and Disney Princess toys and Polly Pocket. Everything is pink and purple and just sickly sweet. As a female, it has just been alot of fun to walk through the toy store aisles at all the girly things.

I guess it balances out because I have spent hardly anything on G. I mean, he's nearly 3 months so he doesn't care--the best toy for him is his fingers. I wasn't going to get him anything but I figured he'd have to wait until September for birthday so I got him some 6-9 month toys.

After purchasing a toy for a 5-year-old male neighborhood friend of N's this fall, I have decided that D is responsible for purchasing all gift items for G once he gets into decidedly boy toys. I will give him a set amount of cash and tell him to knock himself out. Boy toys do not look fun AT ALL. Everything is black or brown or orange (yes, I know every girl toy is pink or purple--but I like those colors). There is nothing appealing to me about cars, dump trucks, or Transformers. Mostly it all gives me a headache.

I guess despite my worries about developing cash-flow problems, I should really savor this time. All too soon I will be trying to persuade N to ask for something not so slutty from the mall boutiques and trying to find one gizmo for G that costs less than the GDP of a small African nation.

Preschool "rules"

With this being N's first year in preschool, I don't know the rules of engagement so I always feel like a putz. There have been any number of occasions when I seem to have crossed some invisible preschool "etiquette" line.

Ex 1: One day while dropping N off, the mom in the car in front of me got out to help her son into the building with the snack box. There wasn't a car in front of her, so I pulled in front of her leaving plenty of space behind me for someone else to also be able to drop off. Although there were about 6 cars waiting, NO ONE moved, which left me wondering whether it is incorrect to "cut" in line for drop-off when someone is helping his/her kid in.

Ex 2: Awhile back, N had an upper respiratory thing--fever, running nose, stuffiness. She started ailing on a Wednesday, but was fever free by Friday. So on Monday I sent her to school. At pickup, her teacher tells me her nose was running alot that day. Was that her nice and subtle way of telling me to keep my kid home? Hell, if I wait for N to get rid of a runny nose (clear mucus, mind you), I would send her to school the first and last days and that would be it.

Ex 3: Every child periodically brings a snack to school. N gets to pick what she wants to take (although I push fruits and veggies). This time she opted for carrot sticks. Since I have never found individual single-serving baggies of carrot sticks, I put 4 carrots in each little plastic snack bag. When I picked N up, she said they had had carrot sticks, Goldfish and chocolate chip cookies for snack. Her teacher had made the cookies, but I wasn't sure if the Goldfish was because some kids hate carrot sticks or because I didn't put enough sticks in each bag?

I'm sure I'm making a deal out of something that is totally not, but I just feel like such a dweeb when it comes to a lot of this preschool parenting business.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Melt my heart

Last night when I was laying in bed with N before she fell off to sleep, she said, "You're the best mommy in the whole world." Dang...and I was such a grouch all day to her. I wish I could be as forgiving of myself as what she is of me.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Crap Mom Award

Today---after 2 evenings of poor sleep coupled with the mental stress of what I "should" be doing to make G a good sleeper---I could win the Crap Mom of the Day Award.

I didn't start out the day as Crap Mom. I took N to see a musical for kids about Rudolph while my MIL watched G. I felt like a pretty decent mom. I even managed to do a couple puzzles with her when G took his 5 minute nap of the day.

But then when G wouldn't nap today long than said 5 minute interlude, I started to get panicky about him being a poor sleeper. Which made me irritable. Plus, as the day wore on I just kept feeling more tired. Plus, N woke up early today so she has been a little annoying as the day has worn on. If she said, "Mommy, watch this" once, she said it 10 BILLION times.

I had D bring home Chinese food. We finally put G in his swing and he slept for a bit. I put on some of my music and N threw a grand mal fit: "I don't want to listen to your music!" Then when I came down here for 4 minutes of peace, N followed me and wanted to sit on me while I typed and either look at family pictures on the computer or at the Disney Princess web site I sometimes take her to.

So I am grouchy as hell, tired as hell, which puts me in line to win a blue ribbon for crappiest mom of the day.

I gotta survive people!

I have been losing my mind for about the last 2 weeks, and here is why: G's whole sleep thing. Now the boy is doing alright for an 11-week-old. Most nights he has an early stretch of 4 hours, followed by another 3. He has had 3 nights in which his first stretch was between 5-6 hours--so technically, he has "slept through the night" 3 times. I have him sleeping in his car seat in the co-sleeper so I can get to him easily to nurse.

So what is the problem?

"Expert" advice, suggestions and opinion.

I took G last week for an evaluation of his torticollis. The PT told me I need to have him sleep on his back...not particularly for his neck but so he doesn't get into "bad" habits. G's pediatrician also said at his 2-month visit to try to get him sleeping on his back. So in my head I am hearing the SHOULDS: You should be putting him in his own crib. You should be taking him out of his carseat.

And those SHOULD voices just make me irritable because G sleeps horribly on his back, if he sleeps at all. And when G sleeps poorly, so do I. And I am the one who has to function during the day with G and N, not the PT, not the ped. Hell, the PT is due to deliver her 1st child on Monday--she knows SHIT about parenting. She doesn't know true tiredness yet. She doesn't know that despite her best efforts, her baby is gonna be the boss of her.

So I have decided to mentally tell the PT and the ped and all the sleep experts to go fuck themselves and the horses they rode in on because I need my goddamn sleep and if G ends up being 14 and pretzeling himself into a carseat then so be it. I'll pay his chiropractic bills.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A night out alone

Last night D and I went to his company's holiday party. Fortunately it was casual. Nothing gets my panties in a twist more than having to put on a dress, hose and heels. (Actually, lots of things get my panties in a twist so I don't know how accurate the above statement is).

I nearly fell asleep in the car on the way there. G had been up alot Thursday night so I wasn't sure how lively I'd be.

Once we got there, we met up with one of D's colleagues and his wife whom we socialize with outside of work. It was so nice being able to talk without being interrupted by N or having to pop my nipple in G's mouth. I blathered on the entire night... between being tired and having a small glass of wine my brain was definitely on autopilot. (Fortunately my friend S reads my blog so she knows just how bonkers I am).

Oh, yes, and add to that the wasabi. The company had food stations set up, and one was a sushi station. I got a little wild with the wasabi. After the burn had opened up a small hole in my sinus cavity and penetrated my brain, I remembered that I am a nursing mom. Holy crap! G is gonna hate me.

D and I didn't talk much. Well, D never talks, and I kinda got all of my "news" out in the first 6 minutes of the car ride. I have to say being a stay-at-home mom doesn't produce a whole lot of newsworthy topics for discussion with one's spouse.

But it was still nice to get out, be away from the kids, and get free food.

Easily amazed

I am forever amazed by N.

First, she knows the first stanza to the song Ro sings at the beginning of Barbie as the Island Princess. Now we don't own it, but on the two occasions we rented it she did watch it approximately 17 trillion times, but still. Today she started singing it...and it has been weeks since we last rented it. I realize she is able to remember it because, unlike her mother, she doesn't have to remember doctor appointments, grocery lists and when bills are due. Her head is just a giant sponge.

I am also amazed at how much she picks up from me. I'm not aware of much of what I say until I hear her say it. For example, the other night she was talking to D about movies. D teases her alot about her princess fetish. He tells her that he thinks princesses are really scary! Anyway, they were discussing movies that she liked. She said something to D about the movies he likes. She said, "You know, Spiderman, Cars, whatever."

Today she started hopping on one foot. At G's 2 month appointment, I had perused the 4-year developmental "skills" and saw hopping on one foot listed. I thought to myself, "She doesn't know how to do that." Uh, apparently she does.

It is just so funny to me to think that nearly 4 years ago she was a big blog of baby like her brother is now, and now she is this cool, mostly enjoyable little person.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My day from HE Double Hockey Sticks

I should have known today would be on the sucky end of the spectrum because G slept nearly 5.5 hours straight last night before his first feeding. Nothing good ever follows an unexpected good night's sleep.

At 6:00 a.m. I nursed G for the second time during the night. I was freezing and had to cover both of us with the comforter. You know what is coming, right? At 8:00, D woke me to say the furnace had died. That is sucky happening numero uno.

Then, N fell down the entire flight of stairs on her way to breakfast. I was right behind her and saw the whole thing. I have never been so scared in my life. She was frightened but unharmed, thank goodness.

Then, my pictures from Olan Mills were supposed to be in today at 10:00, but were not, so I dragged both kids into Meijers for nothing.
Then, N's afternoon playdate with her neighborhood friend was canceled.

No---none of these things was horrible. We survived. We have money to pay for the new logic board for the furnace. N was unharmed by the fall. The pics will be in tomorrow. It just made for a whole lot of eye rolls and exasperated sighs from me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Stream of consciousness post

Maybe it is all the holiday stuff going on...the lists of presents to buy, food to make, and so on, but my head is all over the map of late. So here goes:

Recently I saw the sister-in-law of a friend out at the grocery (during one of my Calgon moments). She said something on the order of she was a great mom when she had 1 child and only a so-so mom with 2 kids. Her statement really got me thinking about how I am and who I am as a mom.

There was a time when I might have agreed with my friend's SIL. When it was just me and N, especially when she was very young, I was all about reading to her constantly, and doing baby signs, and engaging in anything that might help her develop into a genius. G won't get even a half of the attention I slathered on his sister for 3.5 years. But I don't know that all of my "work" made me a good mom. It made me an involved, perhaps overly involved mom. A mom who didn't give her child the opportunity to figure out how to entertain herself. I imagine most first-time moms do similar things with their oldest child.

Ok, then my friend G's blog said something about how she let her son watch 3 hours of tv after he suffered through his 4-year-old shots. That got me thinking too.

When N was a baby I was the no-tv nazi. She watched nothing until she was over 2. Now the tv is on all the time...literally. Sure I can blame some of this on having a 10-week-old baby. That glorious run of 15 weeks during mid-pregnancy when I felt good, N and I were busy and the tv was hardly on. I imagine once I am getting better sleep and G is able to sit up, the tv will lose it's current place as "god of the living room." I read my friend's blog and thought, "God, I am a sucky mom." But then I thought, "Oh well. I don't care. N's brain hasn't turned to mush yet." In a year and a half, she will be in school all day and the tv won't be on because she'll have homework and early, early bedtime. She may as well enjoy it now.

So my posts are really dull right now because, as noted, my thoughts are all over the board and I can't concentrate well enough to have a decent, coherent run of them. Sleep deprivation does a number on one's online pursuits.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Passing too fast (and yet not)

Yep, it is already happening. I am starting to get sad that my baby G is growing up. He is 10 weeks old...smiling like crazy, starting little cooing conversations, putting on nice little rolls of baby fat. With N it seemed like forever getting to 1o weeks. Not so this time around.

And yet, I still "wish" for a time in the future when he can sleep without being held or sleep for 4+ hours (and I mean from the end of a nursing session, not the beginning). I am extremely frustrated with myself for thinking this. In all likelihood, G is my last child (as D told me, "I can't think of anything you can bribe me with that makes me want to have a 3rd child"), and so I want to cherish his babyhood.

But there is so much about babyhood that I simply find annoying....like the insufficient snippets of sleep. Or not being able to do anything for myself or with Norah or to the house because I have to hold him in order for him to sleep longer than 10 minutes. The little "shoulds" come poking out..., "Carrie, you should enjoy this time since it passes so quickly." The shoulds are quickly followed by the guilts.

I think what I'm feeling is just part of the human condition...wishing for the next stage because of small aggravations and then looking back at how sublime even those aggravations were.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Grocery Store Calgon Moments

Yes, visiting Kroger has turned into my get-away from my life as a stay-at-home mom. Sad but true. I open the refrigerator eyeballing the milk levels closely. Only 1 cheese stick left???? I'll just run out to the store!

Since G was born I haven't attended bunco or book club. Anything happening at night has been off limits because sleep is just too darn valuable. Either G is sleeping better or I am just adjusting to being tired all the time, but I'm planning to attend December events.

I have a haircut this Saturday (my first since well before G was born--I look like a shaggy dog), so I am gonna relish that.

Since I can't get out as much as before, I have taken to buying myself Us, In Touch and People magazines whenever I want. There are 2 categories of things I generally will not buy for myself even though I love them: Starbucks coffee and celebrity gossip magazines. When my mom asked what I wanted for my birthday I actually said a Starbucks gift card because I just can't justify spending $5 of my own money on coffee.

Anyway, I am finding that I have to treat myself however I can whenever I can since my ability to get away is hampered.

Entourage

Britney has one.
Biggy Smalls had one.
N has one too.

Her entourage...the hangers-on. In N's case, it consists of 2 bears, a pink poodle, roller-skate girl, and one of an assortment of Disney Princesses. These go with her everywhere. She is a multiple-lovey gal, I guess.

The 2 bears are whom she calls 1st Bear and Other Bear. Both are bear-blankets that she got as an infant. Technically, 1st Bear is her second bear; Other Bear was the one she had before she was born. Mamaw bought 1st Bear when she couldn't find one identical to Other Bear (in fear that Other Bear would eventually get lost). They both stink to high heaven because it requires considerable negotiation to get either of them bathed. Both have silky edges that N rubs between either her pointer finger and middle finger or between her middle finger and ring finger. It is very sweet to watch her rub her bear blankets to relax.

The pink poodle she received recently at her preschool friend's birthday party. Roller-skate girl is a cheap McDonald's kids meal toy. The Disney Princesses are these rag dolls--she has Aurora, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Belle and a Snow White that you turn upside down to be an Aurora. She sleeps with a different one every night. She'll say, "I'm gonna sleep with someone else tonight." When D is within earshot, I always say, "Yeah, me too." I used to get eye rolls but now I am ignored.

Because the entourage has grown so much, it has become more of a problem. When it was just 2 bears, it wasn't a big deal. But now N can barely see where she is walking because they pile up in front of her face. When she gets to the car, she can't climb in because her arms are too full. I refuse to lift her in so she has to toss them into the car. And on those occasions when D or I has to carry her half-asleep from the car to her bed, it is a nightmare. She is a solid 40 lbs, so managing her gangly body is hard enough without juggling her dolls and animals too.

Lately N has been coming into our bed during the night. We let her stay until she falls asleep and then D carries her back to her room. With G sleeping in the co-sleeper, I know she feels isolated. Anyway, that is one for another post.

The problem with her coming into our room isn't that she is coming, but she and her crew come. Bears and dolls end up under the sheets, pillows, and twisted in the comforter, which is a problem in the dead of night when she refuses to go back to sleep without everyone being accounted for. And that damn roller-skate girl is hard pokey plastic, a real bitch to rollover on.

Anyway, just one of those cute and yet annoying quirks of having a child.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What a little cutie!


Heiney Butt Hand Sanitizer

I am constantly telling N to use hand sanitizer because she just wants to touch G, especially his hands, all the time. She knows it drives me nuts when she touches his hands, so she'll touch them, give me this mischievous look and say, "Can I do this?" Aghhhh!

Anyway, tonight at Mamaw's house I was talking about hand sanitizer and how I want to start hosing her in it when she leaves preschool before she hops in the car. N said, "Are you talking about heiney butt sanitizer?" I said, "No, hand sanitizer. There is no such thing as heiney butt sanitizer."

At this point, she digs her hand into her underpants and starts fiddling with her heiney butt. Moments later, she pulls her hand out and says, "See?"

So in our house, I guess hand sanitizer is heiney butt hand sanitizer.

This led to a continued discussion of viruses, and we discussed Norovirus, since my MIL just returned from a cruise. N said, "Are you talking about me? (I guess due to the similar sound of Norovirus and her name). I said, "No." She then asked, "Are you talking about my heiney butt?

The age of 4 is gonna be wild.

I REALLY hate it when...

my almost 9-week-old is sick even more than when my hubby is sick, I have discovered. Because when D is sick, I am just annoyed. When G is sick, I am worried.

He has apparently caught the creepy crud that started with N, went to D, and then came to me. The poor dude has deep congestion in his sinus and chest. I called the pediatrician, and they said, "Suction his nose." I kept telling them there is nothing there to suction, unless I purchase a 18-inch tube to jam up into his sinus cavity. I wish his nose was all mucusy so at least when something came out I'd feel like I'd been able to help him a little.

We are trying to keep him upright at all times, so tonight he will be sleeping in his carseat again, something I swore I would never do after the whole torticollis thing with N. You do what you have to do to get through the night, right?

Tomorrow is his 2-month "well" visit (yea, right). I think I am gonna start hosing N down with sanitizing foam before she gets into my car after preschool. I love it that she adores G but I am about ready to knock her out because she kisses on him, gets in his face and touches his hands. This having 2 kids business is hell on a hypochondriac.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I hate it when....

D is sick. And he knows it.

This morning he said, "I'm a real pain when I'm sick, aren't I?" I said, "Yes, you are. I'm glad you recognize it."

He has the creepy crud that N started with last Wednesday, except when D gets it it is always worse and lingers longer than hers ever does.

And because he is a man he wears a look of utter despair and misery for what would be diagnosed as a head cold.

God, I really FUCKING hate cold & flu season.

Health insurance hysteria

I hate this time of year because D's company always makes changes to our health insurance. We are caught in the cycle of rising claims and costs, just like everyone else in this country. The latest is that our deductible is $4000.00 per year, then we pay 20% with a maximum out of pocket of $10,000. Jesus!!!!!

So early this morning when I have finished nursing G and should be falling back into slumber until my next milk machine wake-up call, I am fretting over health insurance, envisioning all of the various catastrophic illnesses that will cause us to have to fork over $10,000 for numerous years.

The days of living lives of luxury are limited, I think. People will slowly go back to living lives of survival--food, shelter, clothing. No big-screen tvs, vacations, etc. At least my family will.

Owner's manual needed

Yes, I need a manual for dealing with N and all her 3-year-old glory. We've had two recent episodes that have left me wondering just how many years of therapy she will need to address her issues with her mother (and how many I will need to address my issues with my daughter and how I parented her).

Yesterday's issue involved her lack of desire to poop on the potty. She pees on the pot no problem, but she will not EVER poop on it. I have tried giving her M&Ms after a successful poop, but she doesn't bite. I tried offering Polly Pocket dolls for every 3 times she poops; again, no bite. She will poop in her underpants and then sit in it, squooshing it everywhere making a gigantic mess for me, and she doesn't care. I don't even know she's pooped until I smell her or see the big bulge in her trunk. Most of the time she refuses to come to the bathroom to get cleaned up, leaving me to drag her there stinking all the way.

So drag her is what I had to do yesterday. Once in the bathroom, she wouldn't cooperate by standing on the stool, so I basically flopped a big mound of poop onto the floor and said, "Ok, we'll just leave it there and you can keep the poop stuck to your butt and legs." N didn't like the idea of the poop being on the floor, so I cleaned that up. When I tried to get her clean, she kept putzing around, not standing still. Suffice it to say, she ended up hitting me so I grabbed her by the arm and drug her out of the bathroom. She lost her footing and fell, with me still dragging.

I felt awful because when I put her in her room she said,"Mommy, you hurt me." I intended to give both of us a time-out but I felt so horrible I just went back into her room and hugged her. She said, "Mommy, I'll be a good girl and cooperate." GUILT. I told her she is always a good girl, but it really frustrates mommy when I have to clean up her poopy messes and she doesn't stand still and cooperate to make it easier. I told her I don't get mad at her pooping in her underpants, just when she won't let me clean her up. GUILT.

And then today we visited my aunt, who gave N a My Little Pony candy. I told N she could have it after dinner (this was nearly 5 when she was given the candy). When we got home, N got her pink scissors and tried opening her candy. I told her she couldn't eat it until after supper, but she proceeded to keep cutting, so I took them and put them on a high kitchen shelf. N dragged a dining room chair into the kitchen with the intent of getting her scissors, so before she could, I hid them on a high shelf in the living room. Undaunted, N grabbed my scissors. I got her off the chair, put my scissors up and told her if she tried to open the candy again, I'd throw it in the outside garbage can (since I figured she'd go kitchen can fishing for them).

G started fussing so I started nursing him. N took this as her opportunity to push the envelope. She kept asking me where her pink scissors were and saying she wanted to eat her candy. At one point, she was poking me on the arm and smacking me with the little bag of candy. I tried to ignore her, but she figured she had a captive audience since I was nursing. I unlatched G and set him on the sofa, grabbed the candy from her hand, and headed for the garage with her sobbing on my heels. The candy landed in the outside can, and N was again taken upstairs to her room. I went back to nursing.

When I got back upstairs to her, she again said, "I'll be a good girl." And again, I told her she is always a good girl and I always love her but she is making bad choices and that frustrates mommy to see her making bad choices.

So I don't know if what I do is good or bad or harsh or firm or anything. All I know is that I feel like I have to set boundaries for her. I simply can't allow her to walk all over me and not have consequences. It is unsanitary to let her sit in poop for hours, even if she is totally ok with it. And she cannot hit me or anyone else.

I know I would earn an "A" for effort on this whole parenting gig because I try hard to be consistent and firm but still let her know that I love her to death. The learning curve is really fucking steep.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

BLAH

I hate sicky days. Knowing that I can't get out of the house sends my mood straight down the flusher. Plus, the weather today is cold, windy and overcast.

N and G are both asleep which is good because neither one right now is particularly great about staying unconscious at night--- G because he is a newbie and N because she doesn't want to miss anything G might be experiencing in our bedroom.

N seems to be feeling slightly better today. She is still camping out on the sick bed (our pullout sofa bed) and not eating much, but she hasn't barked like a seal and her fever has lessened.

After reading my friend G's blog about a privacy screen for minivans (like what are in limos), I decided I would invent a similar screen for co-sleepers and bassinets.

It would be a plastic dome that encases the sleeper or bassinet similar to Snow White's coffin that the dwarfs make her. It would be temperature-controlled and provide ample oxygen. It would also have a small speaker on the side. Any baby grunts, gurgles, snores or breathing that might wake the parent unnecessarily do not make the sensor go off. However, any wheezing, failure to breathe or crying would make the sensor turn on the speaker so mommy would awaken and tend to the infant (of course, I guess if there is no breathing a Hal-like voice would notify the parent as to the situation).

I told D about my idea and he thought most parents wouldn't want their babies encased in plastic at night. I am not one of those, however. I could sleep quite well knowing my son is being electronically monitored and that I might actually get 3.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep again before I hit middle-age.

Ok, gotta go back to monitor the kiddos.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

CRAP! It's croup

So I've kept the nutso anxious thoughts about SIDS and horrific baby illnesses at bay but now N has the croup so I am internally freaking out.

I didn't even realize N wasn't feeling well until we were on our way across the bridge to visit a Christmas ornament store. She sneezed a couple times, and I noticed that she just looked bleary-eyed. By the time Nana and I got a little shopping done she had that wheezing breath about her and had a frog in her throat. That is always what happens when she gets the croup; it is like an instantaneous infection.

Late this afternoon she had a barking seal spell and was crying and the whole time I could see the droplets of spittle flying across the air and landing just inside G's nostrils. And then I was envisioning him getting sick and having to be hospitalized because he is so young. Aghhhhh! No parent likes for their child to be sick, but now with G I am especially dreading illness not only for what it will do to him but how many panic attacks I will suffer worrying over how it will impact his health.

I know I offered to nurse him more today in the hopes of conveying more white blood cells into him to ward off sickness.

By the time I got N to bed I could tell she was feeling better because she was dilly-dallying, and you generally have to feel pretty ok to putz around rather than just collapse into bed.

My hands are already cracking and painful as a result of extensive hand-washing since 1:30 this afternoon, and I am eyeing every doorknob and cabinet pull as if it should be sand-blasted prior to touching to remove any virus that may lay in wait there.

Being a hypochondriac is a pain but takes on a whole new level when a newborn is in the house.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Please don't be like me

It's not that I think I'm a bad person. I know I'm a decent human being with admirable qualities, but as I am always with me and have always been with me, I also know my quirks, faults and foibles.

At brunch today, my friend shared her anecdotal theory that 1st born children are like their dads and 2nd born children are like their moms. Now D has his share of weird qualities...namely his sense of humor which N does seem to have inherited since she finds him immensely funny...but he is so much a better, more even-keel person than I am. N tends to go-with-the-flow like D and enjoy low-key things like staying in and watching tv all day in her pajamas (something D too would find equally enjoyable).

And so I pity G if my friend's theory is true. Hopefully his boyness will keep him from being a raving moody bitch of a dude. Unfortunately he already seems to have high-strung, tightly-wound tendencies, such as screaming his head off when my nipple doesn't get into his mouth at the instant he starts fretting for milk. And wet or dirty diapers just seem to undo him...I can see him relax as soon as a diaper change is imminent.

Poor, poor G.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

God, I love 'em


Even when my boobs hurt and I can barely keep my eyes open while driving because the gentle rocking lulls me nearly to sleep and I hear, "BUT MOM," too many times a day to count.

I am so lucky to have my children (we take too many pictures like these and I'll start thinking, "Yep, I definitely want a third."

Friday, November 9, 2007

Perhaps I CAN do this...

I guess I am doing this...being a mom to 2 kids.

Some days are better than others. I keep saying if I could just start getting 4 hours of sleep between putting G down to bed and waking to nurse him I'd be golden. This may never happen as it seems I delivered the most wakeful baby on the planet (at least at night).

But I have been getting out solo with the kids....to the post office, to the grocery, to playdate. My social life is nonexistent, which is ok since I really don't have the energy to do anything after 6:00 pm. I turn into a pumpkin, and a grouchy bitch of a pumpkin at that.

G is 6 weeks, so I had my postpartum check. Got an Rx for birth control but told D he's looking at 2008 for any kind of carnal relations involving me. Sex requires energy which requires sleep, and since I don't see consistent sleep in my future I therefore don't see sex in it either.

I am trying to get my Christmas shopping done since it blows my mind that Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away. N is done, my oldest nephew is done, so I've got my other nephew and niece to go. Poor G is gonna get a chew toy at best. I just can't get too excited about buying something for someone who doesn't know or care. Where is the fun in that?

N keeps saying really funny stuff, but she has gotten to the point where her funny sayings are like long-winded running commentaries which require far more energy to type than I have the energy for. Last Sunday she informed us at Mamaw's that she was getting married on Monday to the boy she loves (but she doesn't know who he is yet). When she awoke on Monday, and I told her it was a preschool day, she said, "But today I'm getting married."

After last week's incident at her friend's when I had to remove her to the front porch, she and I were talking about her possibly having a playdate with a preschool friend. I asked her what will happen if she refuses to come when mommy picks her up and says it is time to go. She replied, "I'll be put out on the porch in the cold." Momma knows how to make an impression.

And then there is her response when she doesn't agree with what we've said, such as "N, you are such a silly willy." Her reply: "No I ant."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Which Care Bear Would I Be?

Sleepless Bear?
Fucking Grouchy As All Get Out Bear?
Like How Can I Possibly Care About Anything Bear?
Somebody Make Him Sleep For God's Sake Bear?

In my last blog I said G will sleep eventually, but I have since decided this is my own personal wet dream. Here is a brief outline of my future:

  • G will NEVER sleep through the night. He will be 5 years old, preparing for kindergarten and still require at least 30 nursing sessions per 8-hour-stretch.
  • N will still be pooping in her underpants when she is 14, and I will still be peeling it off the fabric, flopping it into the commode and feeling my OCD head about to explode by the grossness of it all.
  • I will sleep again only when I am dead.
Note: There are only 3 bullets because right now all of my life revolves around my boobs, poop and lack of sleep.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Preschooler for Sale

I love my daughter so much it hurts, especially now that G has arrived and I see her trying to cope with not being the center of our family. She has been sassy as all get out with me, pushing the limits of what she knows is acceptable behavior.

Today she had a playdate at a neighborhood friends. When I came to pick her up, she refused to leave and ran away from me through my neighbor's house when I tried to get at her. When I finally did manage to catch her, she fought me on putting on her shoes, so I grabbed her, her shoes, jacket and doll and stuck all of them on my neighbor's front porch and shut the door. I grabbed G off my neighbor's couch and left.

N was sitting on the front porch, sans shoes and jacket, crying. She wouldn't put on her shoes, so I grabbed her arm and started walking her home through the cold grass and on the cold pavement. She cried, "My feet are cold," so I told her to put on her shoes. She boo-hooed loud enough to wake the dead all the way home saying, "I don't want to leave."

I know I did what had to be done. She does not get to make the rules and dictate to me what she will and will not do. But because I am spending so much time either impatient due to lack of sleep or busy tending to G, I feel horribly guilty....moreso than I usually would because I am spending most of my time being the heavy...not enjoying time with her like we used to do just 5 short weeks ago. When life is in survival mode, pleasurable activities take a backseat first.

So now my insides are all bungled up with love for her and compassion because her world has been rocked more than mine and D's with G's arrival. We knew what to expect but she didn't. And at the same time, I cannot stand her alot of the time because while what she is doing is normal and healthy, it is also highly annoying and aggravating.

This will get better. This will get better. This will get better. I know we will adapt, G will sleep eventually, N will settle in to life with a little brother, I won't be nursing 5,000 times a day forever. But on days like today, these things seem like a fairytale dream.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

10 Years

I better write this now because tomorrow is Halloween, and I never get time to blog during the day anymore.

Thursday is mine and D's 10 year wedding anniversary. The first 2-3 years of our marriage went by in a painful crawl (it took us that long to work out alot of the kinks), but time has flown by since then especially since we moved into our current home.

I am usually really good at bitching about D rather than discussing all of his great qualities, so I thought I'd post some of the reasons why I'm glad I married him.

D is a nice guy....the nice guy that never gets the girl in movies. Despite being only 24 when we married (and therefore still mostly an idiot with zero life experience) I somehow knew he would never be the type of jerky dude to hurt me. He's just a good, sensitive and affectionate fella who really adores his family.

He HATES sports just like I do, and, believe me, this fact played a big role in my attraction to him. My dad and brother lorded over the tv when I was growing up, subjecting me to YEARS of watching football, basketball, and golf. I have never had to argue with D over watching a televised game of any kind or had to hear about some game he went to see over the weekend.

D is totally ok with me being a complete psycho spazz---he sensed I had mood issues long before they were diagnosed and married me anyway.

I'm so not good at lauding him via blog, or even telling him. I just couldn't imagine being married to anyone else but him. I used to always think to myself that D is my best thing...of course, now I have to extend that title to N and G as well, but without D, they wouldn't be in the picture.

I am so very fortunate to have such a great husband and wonderful family. I'm ready to re-up for another 10.

Random thoughts from a sleep-deprived brain

I have only partial brain power these days, so my thoughts here will be all over the place.

First, I love both my children, but the same things happen with one's feelings toward an older child when a 2nd child is born that happens to one's feelings about one's pets when a 1st child is born. Before you have a 1st child, you think you can't love anyone as much as you love your pets. Then your 1st child arrives and not only do the pets move down the totem pole of importance, but you actually start to really dislike them because they are a hassle when they meow for food 11 million times a day or yak a hairball in the middle of the kitchen table. Well, 2nd baby comes along and you sorta feel similar things about your older child. (Or maybe it is just me).

Second, bonding for me is different with G. With N, I was over-the-top in love instantly (and probably the start of a not-too-healthy obsessive love on my part). Perhaps because of N, I am not seeing parenthood with rosy glasses and so my bonding with G is slower (plus I just don't like the wormy stage of infancy).

Third---I now have a closet full of skinny clothes that no longer fit me. I had to go to Wal-Mart and Target today to buy some new pants, belt and underwear. I am only 7.5 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight but I think things have shifted. I actually look like I have some hips now.

Yesterday I managed to take N and G to Hallmark, Blockbuster and Wal-Mart. While exhausted, no one cried, ran off or lost their minds. Hooray! I think I can do this.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Adjustment Update (1 month)



So the L family has a month of life with it's newest member under the belt. How are we faring?

G is said newest member so he is in his own little world of sleeping, eating, pooping, and pissing. How nice.

N really seems to like her little brother. She will check on him for no apparent reason and is eager to have pictures taken with him. She hates it when he cries and is forever jamming his pacifier into his mouth. I told D the poor boy won't say his first words until he is 15 because he will be dodging a rubber nipple until N is off at college.

Now this is not to say she is perfectly thrilled with having a baby in the house. She has been waking up at night and wanting to come into our bed, especially when I am nursing G there. And her sassiness with me has grown to new heights, which could be attributed to baby brother or just being exposed to new and equally obnoxious 3-year-olds at preschool.

D is being so helpful with G...he is so much more at ease with G than he ever was with N during her infancy. He is sleep deprived but a good cheerleader for me even on his worst days. He has some stressful projects at work so he is facing chaos on 2 fronts.

And then there is me...Miss "It Will Take Me At Least Until 2010 to Adjust to This New Life." I am tired....very nearly bone tired, although today I took both kids to my parents' house so I could nap. Feeling guilty because I can't keep N as occupied as I would like or give her as much attention as I would like, and I am patient up until about 8:00 pm when the tiredness hits utter exhaustion level. It is at that point that I simply can't stand being "on" anymore. I hear myself saying "Now" a whole lot more, as in "Get your pjs on NOW," "Brush your teeth NOW," and "Get the hell to sleep NOW."

Next week is a busy one. Monday is G's 1 month dr. visit. Tuesday is N's Halloween party at school. Thursday is mine and D's 10 year wedding anniversary (and you know we won't be doing anything to commemorate it including eating out, purchasing presents for each other or having wild monkey sex.) A peck on the cheek before collapsing into bed is all we are up for at this point.

Speaking of collapsing, it is quarter after 9, so I am due for a shower and a collapse soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Survival Mode

So I am able to keep everyone fed and relatively clean. That is about it.

Although I feel guilty not playing with N when G is sleeping because I am so tired and zonked (from every 2 hour nursing sessions at night), I simply don't have the energy to act and eliminate the guilt. And my brain is so fuzzy that the guilt doesn't bother me as much as it might normally.

N is going a little crazy, I think, from boredom. She has asked me to go to AAK to play. She even suggested going outside today to play. Now had I taken her up on any of these suggestions, she probably would have immediately gotten interested in watching the 5 DVDs I rented for her yesterday and been perfectly content to ignore me. Such is our relationship now. She turns me down when I want to play, and I turn her down when she wants to play. We are out of sync.

All G does is suck on my teats....constantly. With N, I adored breastfeeding. With G, I tolerate breastfeeding.

Tomorrow G is a month old. The month was a blur, and thank God for that because who wants to savor moments of anxiety, exhaustion and frustration. While I don't want him to grow up too fast, I will be excited when he sleeps even 4 hours at a stretch at night (at this point, N was sleeping 8 hours a night). I love my son but this wormy stage of babyhood really sucks.

N is patiently sitting here waiting for me to finish typing so she and I can look at the Disney Princess web page, so I'll be off.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More semi-twin like pics

This is N.
This is G.
This is N.
This is G.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Breaking my formulaic thinking

Here is the thing about OCD (and anyone who has watched Monk episodes will understand): People with OCD tend to be very extreme thinkers, as in things have to be either "this way" or "that way." There isn't comfort in the middle, in the muddle. For example, Monk's household items (cups, frames, utensils) have to be just a certain way...the way he finds comfort and order in them, and if they get out of that "just so" order, he freaks out.

My utensils don't have to be lined up perfectly in my kitchen drawer and my hangars don't have to face the same direction, but where I get very "rigid" relates to certain ideals I have relating to children, childrearing and parenting. Some of these have been blown wide open since my nervous breakdown in 2004 and some I am still working through.

For example, with N, I was hell bent on natural unmedicated childbirth. I was obsessed with it. There was no compromise in my head---I couldn't accept or tolerate the idea of ANY intervention. No breaking waters, no stripping members, no shot of demerol, no forceps, no internal monitoring--nothing that would veer my experience from the ideal in my head...because the ideal was safe and comforting. Now with G, given his breech position, I had to accept the possibility of a c-section and that was the reality. I don't have any unresolved, upset feelings about this.

So here is the one I am working on, although with a breakthrough under my belt.

With N, I was, again, hell-bent on breastfeeding for at least a year, and actually I said I wanted to nurse for 2 years. We had a rocky start, but then things were golden until she was about 7-8 months old. I developed a yeast infection and mastitis in the right breast at the same time and then began experiencing eczema issues on my right nipple (no wonder the poor thing doesn't work as well now). I had never pushed the bottle with N and didn't try formula with her until all my breastfeeding problems started, and she wouldn't have any part of it. So I felt trapped and anxious. How is my baby going to get her nutrition if I can't nurse her? So I nursed in pain from October to February, eventually just letting my right breast dry up and only nursing with my leftie. I was so glad to wean her 2 weeks before her 1st birthday.

So along comes G and I started experiencing nipple pain (worse with rightie) and all of those feelings of entrapment come back. How am I gonna nurse him for 6 months in pain? And maybe feeling all that anxiety was affecting my milk supply (or maybe boys just eat more than girls)? I just felt like G wasn't being fully satisfied by nursing and my poor nipples just can't tolerate him nursing and nursing and nursing (I guess these would be cluster feeds).

So Friday night, after nursing G from 9pm until after midnight and him still not being satisfied, I let D give him 2 oz of formula, after which G fell sound asleep and was happy. Now D felt great giving him a bottle--finally he can satisfy a need the child has. And there I stood watching my baby take a bottle of formula SOBBING. Having to leave the room numerous times to go blow my nose because I just felt awful. And then after getting G off to sleep, D had to hold me and listen to me blather on in between weepy outbursts.

How do I feel now?

Still working through it. Obviously, I can't tolerate the idea of G being hungry, and if my milk supply (despite drinking Mother's Milk tea and taking Fenugreek capsules) isn't cutting it for him, then he needs supplementation. And I am doing everything I can (see parentheses above) to help boost my supply and nurse him. But I also have to accept that maybe a compromise is ok---for whatever reason, my nipples cannot handle nursing him in back-t0-back feedings every hour. My breasts need time to rest and fill back up with milk, and if this means giving him 2 oz of formula a day, then so be it.

Sure, it isn't what I prefer or would want, but my experience with my son so far is that he seems to have an agenda all his own that makes my "plans" spiral quickly down the toilet. Didn't want a c-section ever; had a c-section with him. Didn't want to give formula; giving formula to satisfy him and keep my nipples from feeling and looking like chopped ground beef.

I believe I have met my match.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Relearning and Re-Remembering

Mother Nature is a tricky bitch. A brilliant gal, but tricky to the core. She makes women forget all the unpleasantness of pregnancy, birth and early child-rearing so that we want to do it again and again.

Although this is my 2nd child, G might as well be my first because I am completely clueless as to what he and I are doing. I forgot how often N nursed. I forgot how badly my cracked nipples hurt. I forgot how much N slept during the day and how little I slept during the night.

D says he is going to start recording crying spells (G's and mine) and the other sundry parts of this new baby experience so in 3 years when I start talking about kiddo tres, he can whip out the tape and persuade me that it is so not a good idea.

D has encouraged me to try to sleep when G sleeps, but that is impossible. Sleep when the baby sleeps is only useful with your 1st child. Although N has been wonderful with him, you just never know what a 3-year-old might do with Play-Doh and her baby brother's nasal passages while mommy snoozes on the couch.

I visited the lactation consultant yesterday and got some nipple ointment so keep your fingers crossed that I am on the way to speedy healing. I also learned breast compression for my "dud boob" (the right one is seriously LD) so hopefully that will prevent G from getting so pissed and trying to yank off my nipple out of frustration.

Checked in with my therapist too. I have my good moments and my depressed moments (sometimes within the course of an hour), but I can say I feel more assured this week than I did last week. Getting N to preschool Monday and Tuesday of this week on time and without incident was affirming. Tomorrow I might try to get an allergy shot with both kids in tow.

Baby steps.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My kiddos

G getting a body scrub.

N after having a body scrub.


N laying on a blanket.

G laying on a blanket.


Mommy & N

Mommy & G

So they aren't twins, and we suspect G has a big honking Langford nose, but they both resemble older gentlemen with receding hairlines (their Papaw Tommy).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pics of G



When G isn't hollering, I may get time to post some pics of both he and N during infancy. They look strikingly similar.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My demons

Well, as much as I hate to admit it, my demons are rearing their heads again. I had hoped my medication would prevent any weirdness, but I think the stress of a new baby coupled with breastfeeding difficulties and lack of sleep are taking their toll.

I have my psychiatrist appointment in 3 weeks but realized I need more immediate help so I'm starting back into therapy this coming week.

D has been instructed that his role is a cheerleader, reminding me that I'll get through this and things will get better, yada-yada-yada. He and my mom are both concerned because I am obsessing about breastfeeding and getting back into the mindset of "everything for the benefit of my kids even if it is to the detriment of myself."

I am really struggling with nursing, and I'm not sure if it is because G has the jaws of death munching on my breast tissue or because my skin is so ultra sensitive (or a combo of these). I see a lactation consultant at my ob practice on Tuesday a.m. for help. Regardless, the pain I feel triggers unhealthy, negative thinking.

I want to nurse for 6 months (preferably more, but I'll feel like a champ if I can go that long), but I fear that I will continue to feel such extreme pain and will want to give G formula and then feel like the world's worst mom for giving up breastfeeding. In my head formula equals poison, which I realize is TOTALLY irrational, but that is my mind for ya.

So I am stuck right now in a cycle of pain, fear of wanting to quit nursing, guilt over possibly stopping nursing before 6 months, and sadness over the whole thing (the pain, the fear and the guilt). And the worst thing is that I do recognize that if I did decide to give up nursing it would be after doing everything in my power to salvage it and would only be done because I simply couldn't stand the pain anymore. But that doesn't make a difference to the rest of my head (the nutso part that is much stronger right now that the reasonable part). The only thing that matters to the nutso part is that I would have quit (and thereby let my son down).

None of these thoughts are healthy but that is what my mind does to me. I have felt myself slipping back into depression and hopelessness. I should have known some kinda shit would hit the fan because I coped really well with having a c-section. I am clearly not coping well with nursing or mothering 2 children. I am in a constant state of guilt right now, over what I have done, what I have failed to do, and what I may either do wrong or fail to do in the future. I thought I had worked through a lot of this stuff after N's birth, but I clearly have some more emotional and mental housekeeping to do.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Exposing Myself

No, this post doesn't have a thing to do this breastfeeding in public and being reprimanded by Applebee's employees.

It is about having sent the link to my blog to various family members so they could read about G's birth story (and all the other sundry details of my life).

My mom checked out my blog, which is a little weird. She has always known I am a nut-job, but I think reading my thoughts is a little too much for her. She thinks I am bonkers for worrying about how good of a mom I'm being to N and G. I don't know if this is because she thinks I am such a good mom that I have no reason to second-guess myself or because it is just fruitless to stew over everything the way I do (or maybe it is a combination of both).

Anyway, as I've noted before, this blog is therapy for me so that I don't have to go to my therapist and drop $58 per week. It is critical for me to get my thoughts down where I can read them and process them rationally. Plus, since so many of my issues are mom-related, it gives my mom friends a place to offer support, and, Lord knows, I need all I can get.

Excruciatingly Tender

Yes, this is a brief blog about my nipples.

All I can say is that no matter what the books say and no matter how many lactation consultants examine the latch, a person with skin as sensitive as mine doesn't just slide into nursing (even kiddo #2) without pain.

When a voracious little bugger like my son sucks on me approximately 12 times a day for 40 minutes each time, it tends to irritate that ever so delicate nipple skin.

I continue to take my Super Motrin not for my c-section incision but for my boobs. Oh, to be one of those hardy, chesty women who suckle without incident.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Mom to 2 Panic

I keep thinking of my friend B who for months after having her 2nd child would say she felt like she was flubbering around and couldn't understand how other women seemed to do it so flawlessly....or if not flawlessly, without being on the verge of a meltdown on a daily basis.

So I have written off from now until Dec 26 (3 months) as survival mode/damage control, but despite this I find myself stewing over how G screams to be nursed at exactly the time I want to read to N for her afternoon attempt at a nap (thereby resulting in no "N and mommy alone time" as well as a forfeited nap). And I find myself worrying about how N's brain is going to rot after watching Barbie as Rapunzel and the Care Bears Big Wish Movie non-stop from now until she starts kindergarten. There is a whole slew of other worries that have been roaming around my head since returning home from the hospital, but I am too tired to remember what they are.

I guess the good thing, if one can call it a good thing is that I have been a pretty crapola mom since January, really, when I first got pregnant. We had a good 15-week run there in the 2nd trimester, but the first 15 weeks I was sick on the couch and the last 9 weeks I was too tired and uncomfortable to do anything fun or useful. So the fact that I have no energy and aren't worth a darn is really no big change for N...and she hasn't turned into a stupid vegetable during this time frame.

Thus far I don't really worry too much about how G will fare, I guess because I figure he will be used to a much less attentive mom than what N experienced. I just feel like I'm boring her, or letting her down.

This too shall pass, right? Isn't that my saying for everything?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

G's birth

G was born on Sep 26, 2007 at 1:06 p.m.

Despite my efforts to avoid a cesarean section, it became necessary. Two doctors from my ob practice tried to turn G during an external cephalic version, but his heart rate dropped really low--60 beats a minute when his norm was about 150 beats per minute. It started going back up when they stopped manipulating my abdomen, but it was a slow process. I can't imagine how stressful it was for him, but I know on my end it was utterly excruciating pain. Never have I experienced anything like that, nor do I ever want to again.

Aside from the drug I was given to relax my uterus which made me edgy and shaky, I think I was in a little bit of shock from the pain. I could sense the tension in the room when the docs heard his heartbeat at such a low level. Dr. C said, "We don't have to put you to sleep, but we need to get him out now," and off they wheeled me to the OR.

D had been a little pissed that he couldn't be in the room for the ECV, but between the pain of it and the distress, I think he would have just about lost his mind. He was a little stunned by how quickly I was moved into the OR, but he had missed what was going on in the triage unit.

Fortunately, my cousin D works at the hospital and was with me in the OR. She held me in place when the anesthesiologist, Dr. Rob, gave me the spinal and was very supportive. Now this cousin has been known to drive me a little bit nuts but on this occasion I was so thankful to know someone who knew me was looking out for me and my best interests.

I threw up during the surgery when I felt the pressure and tugging of them getting G out of my uterus. I told Dr. Rob I didn't mind, though, because wretching took my mind off what was going on behind the blue curtain. Just thinking about my uterus being flopped outside of my body is enough to start me gagging now.

And then all of a sudden, Dr. C lifted G up over the curtain so D and I could see him, and we both burst out crying. Amazing! My son! There is nothing as remarkable as seeing your child for the first time. All of the ick associated with surgery or birth was shoved completely out the window and I was flooded with joy and love. Dr. Rob had to remove and clean my glasses because they got so fogged up.

My reaction on seeing G was the same as when the doctor held N up after I delivered her despite being in a sterile OR with masked health professionals everywhere and D looking like he was going to a Hazmat conference.

D took pics while they cleaned G up, weighed him and did all the usual newborn work. His apgar scores were 8 and 9, so I was thankful. I had worried so much about whether my antidepressant use would harm him and make it difficult for him to adjust to life outside the womb. He was a very calm newborn...similar to Norah, no wailing and crying out...and he nursed like a pro in recovery.

As I write this I am only 7 days out from delivery and have my moments of panic at now mothering 2 children and my hormones are a mess so I will likely say and think just about anything, but I hope we decide at some point to try for a 3rd. Geez, I'm greedy. I am so damn lucky to have the 2 wonderful children I have.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

D-Day Looms

So tomorrow is the day---will he turn or not? Anyone want to take bets? The doctor gave me a 65% chance he will turn. In less than 24 hours, I will have a baby or I will be working on having a baby.

I am feeling strangely calm although I've had to up my Unisom to a whole pill the past 2 nights, so there is anxiety hovering under the surface.

Last night, I dreamed that G turned into the correct head-down position, but his head was down in my thigh so it didn't help my cause in any way. It was kinda creepy because I could see the specific outline of his face and hand poking out through my thigh skin.

D and I have been joking that the poor boy can't turn because the Langford Nose is getting in his way and preventing him from moving around.

I have decided not to have an epidural for the ECV because I have enough hope that this turning business will work, and I will need all the gravity I can get to force his little head down the proper channels. My hope is that I have a fairly high pain threshold if I can withstand 12 hours of pitocin-induced labor without any pain meds. When I delivered N, the nurses were amazed and some said they had never seen anyone be induced and not take anything. I guess I figure the discomfort of trying to turn him will be far less than the discomfort of abdominal surgery, so I will work to will myself calm.

It is kinda sad to know that I will soon not be pregnant anymore, although I have definitely had my fill of being this little parasite's host --- and it will be nice to see his little face.

This blog seems so choppy but I guess that is to be expected. My whole life feels choppy right now because I have no clue how anything will play in the next couple days. Will he turn? Will be be born vaginally or c-section? How will I recover physically? Will breastfeeding go ok? How will N react upon meeting her brother? How will N handle being away from me? How will I handle being in the hospital away from her?

Although none of this is the way I would have liked, preferred or certainly expected, I am ok with however things turn out. I can cope, and that is saying alot because I never believed I could cope with things that didn't go as I wanted.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

An algebraic birth

If x=2 and y=3 but your baby is breech, then 2x - 14y= too many unknowns and a head that is about to implode with all the possibilities, choices and decisions.

With N's delivery, I agonized to death over being induced at 41 weeks. Now I realize how easy I had it then when compared to what a breech baby does to the decision-making process.

Since Sep 14th, I have been reading tons and tons and tons of info about external cephalic version (ECV--manual turning of the baby), chiropractic turning of babies, various other turning methods, induction/cervical readiness, and c-section delivery.

It would be sooooo much easier if I was just the type of person who said, "Schedule a c-section," but I am not.

Unfortunately, I am also not the type of person who is willing to go to the other end of the spectrum and investigate every single avenue which might also be easier because then I would feel that I had, no holds barred, done EVERYTHING a human being could do to help ensure a natural vaginal delivery. I would have exhausted every single possibility.

But I feel most comfortable in the middle ground-- I have a fairly risk averse personality and a certain amount of laziness.

There are lengths to which I am not willing to go, and that is a quality of life issue on two fronts: psychological and logistical. I have spent too much of my life driving myself crazy trying to "make" things my way. Sometimes putting loads of effort and frustration into something is worthwhile, and sometimes it is futile, and I have only recently learned and begun to accept that this can be the case in life.

Maybe I feel this way because I had a nearly perfect birth with N so on some level my need for this has been fulfilled? Maybe I feel this way because I am on my meds and they keep me from obsessing too much? Maybe because this time around I understand the most important thing is a healthy baby? Maybe all of the above?

So this middle ground leaves me with ALOT of unknowns and possible decisions.

KNOWN : Try to do an ECV.
UNKNOWNS: Do I have an epidural during ECV or not? If I have an epidural during ECV and it is successful, then I lose the ability to walk and squat and do all those good things to get labor running better so will I then be more likely to have a c-section as a result of failure to progress? If I don't have the epidural, will the ECV be painful and perhaps be less likely to result in a turn? If the ECV works, do I have an amniotomy or have them use pitocin? Will an amniotomy maybe mean the labor kicks in better or will it only start me on the "infection zone time limits to labor" path?
POSSIBILITIES: Leave after a successful ECV and wait for labor to start on its own (but could that mean the baby could flip back to breech position and then I'd have to do another ECV or be told "you lost your chance, now it is c-section time.") Leave after a successful ECV and something possibly happen to the baby as a result of placenta problems or cord issues that might not show up for a day or two? Not leave after a successful ECV and be induced and then have to deal with all the issues of being induced (see above).

And as I muddle through these thoughts and questions, I keep wondering, "Maybe there is a reason the baby is breech" (aside from my pelvis being out of whack). "Maybe he knows something I don't," which is certainly possible because the older I get the clearer it is that I know nothing about everything.

I don't really mean what I am about to say because it is really, really not what I want, but there is a teensy part of me that almost hopes that the ECV isn't successful as a result of fetal distress so that I have no choice but to have a c-section. The decisions would be taken out of my hands. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER have I ever had a thought like this, and anyone who knows me even a little bit well knows this is a totally un-Carrie-like statement. I get it at this moment that there can be peace in surrender.

For perhaps the first time in my life I feel the exhaustion that comes with pushing for what I may not be able to control. So when do I stop pushing? And even if most of my brain and heart accepts where I stop pushing, there is that doubtful part of myself that says, "You could do more...you didn't try x,y,z...you gave up too easily."

And I have to ask myself then: Is it really giving up? I like to think with this birth I am making decisions that my head and heart can agree on in the health interests of my baby and the psychological interests of myself. After spending so many years in an obsessive quest for control of every facet of my life and finally getting off that treadmill, I can't willingly get back on.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Adult vs. child temper tantrums

Today N had a grand mal tantrum on the way home from the store.

We had met some neighborhood friends at a local play area for kids where N and her 2 little friends ran themselves ragged to and from the various inflatables. Afterwards we stopped at the store to purchase miscellaneous items: detangler, toothbrushes, vitamins. Of course, no trip to any store is complete without a visit to the toy section.

When leaving the toy department, N found a book she wanted to peruse. Fine, no problem. "After you finish looking through this book, we are leaving because mommy is starting to get tired."

Five minutes later, I am hoisting her into the cart (probably undoing the pelvic adjustment I had this a.m. at the chiropractor's) and having to listen to what will become a 25 minute concert of lament and despair throughout the entire drive home. This was the chorus:

N: "I don't wanna go home. I don't wanna go home. I don't wanna go home. I don't wanna go home. I don't wanna go home. I don't wanna go home."

N: "I want my paci. I want my paci. I want my paci. I want my paci."

Me: "Paci is at home." (The new rule is paci doesn't leave the house--we are working on slowly breaking her dependence).

N: "I don't wanna go home. I don't wanna go home. I don't wanna go home. I don't wanna go home. I don't wanna go home. I don't wanna go home."

Me: (Turns on NPR to help block out the screams coming from the backseat).

N: "I don't want music. I don't want music. I don't want music. I don't want music. "

Me: (Thinking, "It isn't music. It is talk radio.")


So how I feel at this moment is how I imagine God must feel about me, except my tantrum is a bit different and only goes on in my head:

Me: "I don't want a c-section. I don't want a c-section. I don't want a c-section. I don't want a c-section."

God: (Turns on talk radio to block out my whining).

Dealing with irrational, self-absorbed creatures can be a real pain.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Lopsided

It is so funny the things I learn about myself and how learning often makes sense of something that I never could figure out.

Take for example, N's torticollis. She was born with it but wasn't diagnosed until 2 months old. I had to do physical therapy on her for about 10 months to resolve it. This morning, for some weird reason, I remembered reading that torticollis is often caused by malpositioning of the fetus in utero (if it isn't caused by forceps use, which wasn't the case in her birth).

Hmmmm, breech is a malpositioning in utero. Any connection?

Well, according to the chiropractor I saw today, my left leg is a half inch shorter than my right leg. Strangely enough, the round ligaments on the right side of my body are extremely tight, while the ones on my left are loose. All of this together means an oddly shaped, torqued uterus and a pretty good explanation for why both of my babies have been caddywhompus in my belly.

I may well have been very lucky to have been able to deliver N vaginally...or maybe something changed after her birth to made my uterus even more odd than it was before.

Dr. L, the chiro, said she had recently worked on a woman further along than me and after 3 adjustments, her baby turned on its own. She and her colleague are participating in a research study on the Webster technique, which is what is being done on me and other pregnant women to help turn breech babies. It is pretty interesting stuff.

I definitely felt different, looser in my hips and legs, after today's adjustment. I just hope I'm taking a good attitude with it. I don't necessarily expect it to work, but I am hopeful. And even if it doesn't work alone, maybe in conjunction with ecv, it will be a success. And if none of it works, then G is just meant to be born differently, I guess.

A dear friend of mine told me G knows he has such an amazing big sister that he must forge his own unique path... she always knows how to say things that make me believe everything will turn out ok.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Feeling better

Friday was shock day.
Saturday was depression day.
Sunday has been start to cope day.

Medication and therapy are truly remarkable because were it not for them I would be stuck on Saturday. Sunday would take weeks and months to come, if it ever happened at all.

So D and I have talked, read, and tried to regroup. I feel sorry for the poor guy because were it not for me, he would likely be totally ok with scheduling a c-section right now. But he worries for me and about me (so despite the X-Box he's a keeper).

Anyway, we have jotted down our plans. Ha, ha, ha, what a funny little word that clearly means nothing.

I am going to try to see a chiropractor this week for the Webster technique and talk to the doctor on Thursday about scheduling the external cephalic version (ecv) for next week. If G turns after either one, my hope is to wait until I go into labor on my own or 41 weeks when they will want to induce me. I would just be extremely pissed if after getting him to turn, they want to induce me before my body is really ready and I have to undergo a c-section because of "failure to progress." It is one thing if G is breech and won't turn; it is another if G turns but my labor doesn't live up to the 1 cm an hour rule.

If G doesn't turn after either of these, I won't schedule a c-section until I'm at 40 weeks in the hopes that maybe he will do it on his own as my body gets more ready for labor.

Of course, we haven't talked to the doctor so who knows what her take on this whole thing will be. D is going with me to the office for moral support and to bring up any questions when my brain freaks out and my ears start to not function properly.

The whole breech thing has set off a worry spree of sorts in my head. Not a bad one, really, but that is only because of my meds. It has just made me worry more about G's health in general. Whether he'll have antidepressant-related breathing problems that will be potentially compounded by c-section-related breathing problems? Whether he'll have musculoskeletal issues from being in the breech position too long?

Despite all this chaos, I have been sleeping better than expected. I did have a dream on Friday night that I was laying on a gurney and a woman came towards me with a huge syringe and needle and a butcher knife. I grabbed the knife by the blade to keep her from getting to me, and it started to slice into my fingers. Gee, I can't imagine what might have provoked such a vivid dream????? I clearly have some issues with the whole notion of c-sections.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Breech Rant #2

Ok, so I've had a little time to start a dialogue in my head about this whole breech thing.

I don't know how other women feel upon learning their baby is breech and that they will maybe have to undergo a cesarean. Maybe they take it in stride and aren't that upset about it, but I take nothing in stride.

What I feel like doing is laying down on the floor and throwing a big ass tantrum. Dammit!! Why this? This isn't what I wanted or expected!!!!! I am so pissed that life is not doing exactly what I want it to do!!!!

I guess therapy has done something for me because I never realized how 3-year-old-ish those thoughts sound. But isn't everyone somewhere, deep down, at least on occasion a whiny, egocentric 3-year-old? I know I can't be the only one. And really, I'm so angry and disappointed I don't care if I'm the only one....which only goes to show how immaturely I am taking all this.

So my rebuttal to my inner preschooler is that what I really want most is a healthy baby. And a c-section is not the end of the world. And I will cope.

BUT cesareans scare me for a myriad of reasons. The spinal, the idea of being awake during major surgery, the fact that it is entirely clinical and not remotely "natural," the fact that I won't get to hold G immediately because he'll have to be examined by the doctors, the fact that my recovery will be longer and certainly more painful than when I had N, the discomforts of nursing with abdominal incisions, the fact that I won't be able to drive or lift things or whatever other restrictions will be on me post-delivery. There is NOTHING about a c-section that I like.

A part of me is determined to try everything I can to get him to turn, but another part of me feels so defeated, like "Why bother? You can do all this stuff and still end up having to have a c-section."

I have thought that given all the recent medical misfortune related to my family in the last month, I wouldn't trade a vaginal birth for my dad being clear of melanoma, so I guess I do still have some sense about me.

I cannot believe my job is to guide my 3-year-old in weathering life's disappointments when I do such a piss-poor job of it myself.

BREECH (do not read this post if you don't like cussing)

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

I am so, so, so, so glad I am on my medication because I would be spazzing off far worse than I am right now....

So I go in for my 37 week check today. 1 cm dilated, 50% effaced, and oh wait, I think I feel his butt. That hard lump D and I thought was his hip is his head. He is basically in a pike position....hog-tied....hands and feet up near his head with his butt down.

Ain't it just like a man to fubar my hopes & plans.

So now what???? Desperate call to my doula. See a chiropractor to try to get G to change his position. Do positioning every night to encourage him to flip to head-down. Maybe switch to high-risk doctor who will deliver breech babies. Maybe have external cephalic version done.

And definitely do a lot of praying that G decides to turn on his own.