Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thank god she says funny stuff....

Otherwise, I'd probably kill her. Yep, I'm talking about my 3-year-old. D says on a regular basis, "What are we gonna do about her?" As if I know?????

I should have known when she started coming up with all sorts of cutesy remarks that it would soon be followed by attitude. It's like you can see her brain developing just from how her language and attempts to control the universe mimic and parallel each other.

So these are some of her comments from the last week of so...

One morning I was checking email while N was sitting on the office floor looking through her alphabet scrapbook. She was on the C is for Cousin page. As she pointed to each picture, she would say, "Me, Hubert, and Pierre," and then the next picture she'd say, "Me, Flossie and Bessie." At one point I asked her, "Who was that?" She looked up at me in an exasperated fashion and said, "Mommy, stop rewinding me."

Following our neighborhood yard sale (which I coordinated), I returned half of everyone's fee since we collected so much money. N walked with me around the neighborhood delivering the envelopes. At one house, there were 2 small, black chairs on the front porch. When the woman answered, N said, "I like your chairs. The are black, just like you."

One afternoon we were watching The Little Mermaid show on one of the Disney channels. Ursula transformed herself to look skinny, so I said, "Look, now she's skinny." When Ursula went back to looking like her normal self, Norah said, "Now she's puffy."

Sunday night on the way home from Mamaw's house N was talking about the days of the week, I guess since we always go to Mamaw's house on Sunday evenings. She started saying her version of the days of the week. D started snickering to himself, but it took me a minute to process what she was saying. She said "Tuesday, 3sday, 4sday," and so on.

One of N's favorite Disney films is The Little Mermaid II. One morning, we were playing on mommy & daddy's bed, when N said, "Stop criticizing me!" Aside from being confused since I wasn't criticizing her, I wondered where she had even heard the word. When I asked, she told me that Morgana on Little Mermaid II says it. So who says kids shouldn't watch a bunch of tv?????

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Party Pet Peeves

There is nothing, NOTHING, that bugs me more than being invited to a party, wedding, or shower by someone whom I really don't know.

How does one know that one doesn't know someone who sent an invitation:
1. You don't recognize the name or address, even upon opening and reading the invite.
2. You don't see or communicate with the people often (as in at least once a month or more).
3. You don't have a long history of significant relations with said person (even if you don't talk or email or see each other once a month).
4. You know only the person's name who sent the invitation. You don't know how old they are, how long they've been married, what books they might like, some difficult experience they have lived through, have a long-standing relationship with the family, anything of any prominence.

If D, N or I rarely see, hear from or speak to someone, we should not be invited to anything they are hosting.

I know sometimes people send invitation purely out of courtesy because they don't want anyone to feel left out. I never mind feeling left out because I usually would prefer not to attend if it is someone with whom I have virtually no relationship. It really doesn't phase me one bit---ask people who actually know you and care about whatever it is you are celebrating. Don't waste paper and stamps on me and mine.

If I don't know you, chances are I don't even have the ability to like you (since that requires getting to know someone). And if you do send me these pointless invitations, it is only going to make me NOT like you because it seems like you are just fishing for presents.

This invitation craze is especially aggravating now that N is in the picture. This is one of the things I DREAD about her starting preschool. I don't want N to be invited to 12 other kids' birthday parties for a number of reasons:
1. I don't want to shop for 12 kids birthday gifts. (Yes, I am both cheap and on a budget--hello---stay-at-home mom here---I don't poop money.)
2. I don't want to invite 12 kids to N's birthday party in reciprocity.

Now there are some birthday parties I am more than happy for N to attend. Her cousins' birthdays--no problem as she only has 3 cousins. Her little neighborhood group of friends that we see every week and sometimes many times a week (but this is a small group, mind you---I might feel differently if we were a group of 30).

I guess I have long understood the difference between friends and acquaintances and how these 2 are fluid and change with time and circumstances. Some people, though, seem clueless on these issues.

Anyway, I just had to vent because in addition to N being invited to something by someone we really don't know at all, she was given the invitation 2 days before the event, so even if I cared enough to send her, I don't have time to actually go out and purchase a gift and rearrange my plans for the day of the party---which is further evidence that we were an afterthought, so why give N an invite in the 1st place. I'd rather someone not invite her than me feel all of these peevish feelings.


Lousy Mother Mode

Maybe lazy is a better word. Or maybe negligent, although that is really too harsh because I'm not letting N run in traffic.

Last night I slept that explains my tiredness today. I hadn't planned on doing much today anyway because I am hosting bunco tonight, so I needed time to prepare food, etc. The only "fun" items on the agenda for N was to go to the pet store to get cat food and litter.

She was gonna help me make pumpkin muffins this morning, be my sous chef, as I call her, but I didn't have any baking soda, which required a run to my next-door-neighbor's home to borrow some. This trip resulted in a splinter in N's hand, which then led to her paralyzing fear when she saw mommy approaching with the tweezers. Said fear sucked the life out of N, so she was on the couch interested only in watching kid shows. I knew my cooking assistant was down for the count, so I had her soak her hand in epsom salt and warm water while I fixed the food and called D to come home for lunch so he could help me perform minor hand surgery.

Food prepared. Lunch eaten. Splinter removed successfully and with few tears on all out parts. N and I headed to Blockbuster to get DVDs for N and D to watch tonight in the basement while bunco is going on upstairs. Then onto the pet store, which was highly entertaining for N...visiting the cats, birds, ferrets and fish. A baby kitten was starting to fall asleep so she sang a lullaby to it--very sweet and cute. Finally, a run to the grocery for last minute items (which was also semi-fun for N---driving the mini car at the front of the cart, riding the mechanical horse, and picking out Mickey Mouse cheese).

And then home again. Both of us on the couch. Me quickly falling into a nap, while she watched Pinky Dinky Doo. Upon awaking, I took her upstairs to read a couple books and get her off to nap.

So why do I feel like a lousy mom? My low energy...napping...not really playing any games with her like grocery-store or Barbies or CandyLand (although she didn't ask me to play anything---she was pretty content just to lay low and watch tv).

I used to really get on myself about those times when I didn't give her undivided attention (like I'd have this I'm a lousy mom thought many, many, many times a day), and I have gotten better. I've gone pretty easy on myself since becoming pregnant. I guess those darn "parenting expert voices" in my head pipe up sometimes about "quality time."

Of course, when I get all of my thoughts down in front of me, I realize how totally ridiculous I'm being. I spent nothing but time with N all day, as I do everyday. I met all of her basic needs (clothing, safety, food). She did get to do some fun things like pick a Disney Princess DVD and visit the pet store. I read books to her before nap and talked to her today.

Heck, that is more than a lot of kids get in terms of attention from their parents or outside activity in an entire week. I guess that is why it is good for me to journal like this, so I can see just how unrealistic I am being about how I mother my child.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Baby Boy Thoughts

Both D and I wanted to know the gender of this little dude, but there is something to be said for having a husband who can commit to an actual name. I really can't blame him totally because I am not haranguing him like I did while pregnant with N. I guess I am just too busy or too tired. Oh yes, and we have a little person in the house who makes it nearly impossible to have an adult conversation. We usually just wait until bedtime to talk, and then we are too tired to talk.

The other day I thought Silent Bob might be a good possibility, but D just gave me a look. Hey, it's better than Segundo.

I did purchase a pregnancy memory journal for this guy, although I fear he will never care enough to read it in all his guy-ness (and will I have a good enough relationship with his wife to actually give it to her?). I really need to get over this preconceived notion I have of little boys. I just cannot wrap my head around male thinking and behaviors. As much as squealing and drama trips annoy me, I understand them completely and can relate. They are exhausting for sure, but comprehensible to me.

Mr. Whatever He'll Be Called (MWHBC) is all about movement. From everyone I've talked to who has carried a boy, this seems to be the norm. He just jostles and bounces and rolls constantly. N didn't do this kind of gymnastics. She would stay quiet and then nail me with a fish or a foot. MWHBC doesn't pack as much power (at least not yet), but I am chronically motion sick.

I am hoping to wrap up N's room by the end of the month so I can start on his room. Right now it is the catch-all location--boxes, baskets, vacuum cleaner. Thank goodness I don't work because I would never get all this done.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Creative juices

Geez, I think I watch too much HGTV for my own good.

I am not talented in any true artistic fashion...I cannot draw much more than a straight line and have no ability to hammer, build, sew, etc. Some people have legitimate artistic abilities innate to who they are. And then there is me, who has no particular ability but is willing to try anything that involves paint and walls at least once.

So awhile back I had decided to do an underwater theme in N's bathroom, figuring this would be a good gender-neutral theme should another baby enter the picture. It is finally finished and although it looks definitely unprofessional and "homemade," I am proud of it nonetheless. N will look back on pictures of things I did in her rooms and think, "Well, she wasn't talented, but she certainly tried stuff and had a good time doing it." She will also recognize that her mother was extraordinarily cheap.

Now I love the look of professionally decorated anything. It is put-together and seemingly perfect. However, I am far, far, far too cheap to actually do anything super nice like this. Plus, I like for things in my home to mean something, not be an accessory someone else picked out for me. I wonder sometimes if I would be any different if money were no object.

Of course, I feel the inside of my home is pretty much like how I am on the outside of my person, and I am certainly not a put-together kind of person. I am a go to the grocery in the same outfit I've been wearing for 4 days already because it doesn't smell yet person. I am a so what if I painted a chair with this outfit earlier is good enough to go out to dinner in person.

In addition, I experience 2 feelings upon looking at anything nice and even remotely "expensive" for myself or my home: guilt and a massive headache of practicality. The guilt always says, "You don't really need that. Think of all the people in the world who live far, far below your means and have nothing. Save the environment. Don't buy it." The headache part always reminds me of how quickly I get bored with things, and if I only spend a little money on them, I won't feel guilty (so much) if I don't spend a whole lot.

That is alot of internalized voices to take shopping, so I just usually find something I like for cheap and get the hell out of the store.

Anyway, tomorrow I am starting work on a princess mural in N's room. You can purchase paint-by-number murals, but after looking at some pics, I think I can do it without the kit (and avoid spending the $40).

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Holy Shit!!!!!!
My blood glucose level was NORMAL!!! I repeat: NORMAL!!!!

I received a call this afternoon from Trish (a nurse) who told me the news. I said, "Are you shittin' me?" Probably not the standard reply she gets when she calls other patients with their blood work report. The range is 65-139, and my number was 117.

If carrying a boy means I don't get GD, then bring on the male babies.
Of course, my dr. may decide to test me later just in case, but daggone, I am excited.
However, I'm not going on an Eskimo Pie bonanza because you just never know. I will, however, partake of wedding cake at this weekend's family wedding.

I have started to call doulas about attending the birth. It seems like so far away, but I know I better get going now. I couldn't believe when my dr. said that at my next appointment, they would get me registered at the hospital. Another reminder that a baby is going to come out of my body at some point in some form later this year. I am so good at denial.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Gestational diabetes, Part I

Everyone I know has heard the story: how I only gained 11 lbs while pregnant with Norah and had dropped 21 lbs by 4 days postpartum. How I couldn't even chew sugarless gum for the last 14 weeks of the pregnancy. How I had to check my sugar 4 times a day. How I didn't even eat cake at my own baby shower.

Of course, I think there are some who hear this story and think I am belaboring the point by still discussing after 4 years (which I am....hello...I am obsessive). And there are some who may think to themselves, "Well, I gained 43 lbs during pregnancy and still haven't lost the last 8. Whatcha bitchin' about C?"

After I had delivered N and gone through my nervous breakdown, I read a slew of books on perinatal and postpartum mood disorders, and one even mentioned that for some women susceptible to OCD (or with undiagnosed OCD), developing gestational diabetes actually throws them into full-blown OCD because of the constant checking of blood sugars and obsessive thinking about diet and exercise.

So while I think I will handle GD better this time around, it still scares me, in part because it is such a pain, but also because it likely will set off some anxiety (shit--it already has).

I was having some pre-emptive anxiety this a.m., but my doctor didn't bite. She said, "Think positively," as if my insulin and pancreas care one iota whether I'm thinking positively that I won't have GD. I am all for the power of positive thinking but I don't know that it can change my ability to metabolize 50 grams of sugary sludge.

At least this time around, if I do have it, I know there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. During my first pregnancy, I felt like such a failure, which is stupid, I now realize. Plus, I was so obsessed with having a pure pregnancy that the idea of injecting myself with insulin or taking metformin or some other diabetes med terrified me.

Sometimes I think, "Maybe there will be a miracle, and I won't have GD!," but then I think, "I could then develop something worse." I should know by Thursday.

You know you need your meds when....

There aren't many good things I can say about having OCD and GAD, especially since I have them severely enough to disorder my life. Prior to children, I had them just enough to think I was weird but not enough to keep me from eating, sleeping, functioning. A baby changes everything according to Johnson & Johnson....but the marketing team for that campaign doesn't know the half of it.

I guess I can think of 2 benefits of having discovered that now I have these conditions badly enough to warrant 1. a diagnosis, 2. a psychiatrist, and 3. long-term medication use. One is that I am much, much, much more compassionate towards any person with any kind of psychological issue. The one area of my body I thought I could control was my brain---a delusion I suspect most people have---so there is something especially upsetting to know that even your brain can turn against you. Your thoughts can become a great torment.

The 2nd benefit, I guess, occurred to me today.

I had my 24-week test for gestational diabetes so I didn't take my Lexapro in case that potentially would have a negative impact on the results. I awoke at 7:00, began drinking the nasty glucola shit at 8:30 and arrived home around 11:00 (there was some shopping in between there, so I wasn't stuck in the doctor's office forever).

My mom had come over to watch N, so once I got home, I was trying to get mom's opinion on how I should decorate N's new big-girl room. N was asking repeatedly, "What are you guys talking about?" and wiping her sunscreen-covered hands all over her newly painted walls (we were actually discussing home interiors while preparing to go to the pool). Seeing those greasy handprints on those fresh walls just about did me in---I could feel a timebomb ticking in my head---utter aggravation that might soon explode if we didn't get going soon (and soon is not anywhere written in a 3-year-old's book on how to live life).

At first, I couldn't understand why I was getting so mad over the handprints. N has left greasy sunscreen handprints on other walls of my house, but I haven't felt a rage building over it. So why now????? It really bothered me that I was feeling so angry.

AHA!!!! I didn't have my pill this morning. What relief! And so I quickly took it, went to the pool, and felt much more stable.

For a minute, I stewed over the fact that I can't keep my moods in check for 3.5 hours without my meds. What a shame that I can't control my brain and moods without having to rely on some chemical.

But I know that my irritability and frustration careen out of my control far too easily without my meds. Aside from being miserable internally and feeling horrible guilt for being too harsh, I think I would be a detriment to N's development as a hopefully, psychologically well-balanced person.

But then, I thought, "At least I have a condition where I can see an immediate need for my meds, and I am smart enough to know it is in my best interest to take them." It might be harder if I felt totally fine without my meds but still had to take them. If I had high blood pressure or high cholesterol. I'm sure as I age, I will have one or the other of these or some other silent condition, but I guess the benefit to having a condition as a relatively young person is that I can feel and experience immediate reminders of why I take the meds I do.

I used to spend an awful lot of time thinking, "Maybe someday I'll get off my meds," and sometimes I have a moment or two of this now, but mostly I just know I am a much happier and healthier person with them. And as much as I'd like to not need the meds, I can't control my hormones or my brain chemicals or the fact that I've got a double-sided family history of anxiety and/or depression. I control what I can control...and that is getting help, being responsible to my family, and taking the best possible care of my brain as I can.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Just whatever stuff

I've just got a lot of little things to muse real focus here, which is kinda how my life is in general.

I did get N into the 2-minutes-from-our-house preschool that was recommended by 2 women I know. So she will be away from me for 5 hours a week come fall. Once I received a return call and knew she had a place, I instantly de-stressed and felt totally ok with her going. Yesterday I took her to a local children's consignment shop that was offering activities for the kiddos while moms shopped. She worked on a project with the lady conducting the crafts and read a book with her. Not once did she cry, run out to find me, nothing---which made me feel so proud of her. I think I often underestimate her, but then I remember that most of my anxiety over her is in my head and has virtually nothing to do with her abilities or personality or anything.

My neighborhood gal friends gave me and another preggo friend a surprise baby shower Wednesday night, which was a lot of fun but also caused me a some anxiety. Seeing those little baby clothes brought to the forefront of my consciousness that I will be having another child. Jesus, Maria and Jose!!!! I am so good at not thinking about the reality of becoming a 2nd time parent. The delivery stuff doesn't phase me, but the aftermath.....that is some scary shit!!!!

We are in the midst of starting lots of home improvement projects to prepare for baby and just get stuff done before our lives come to an abrupt stop again...just as they did a little over 3 years ago. Tomorrow is paint-the-princess-room-pink day. I have to finish a repair and repaint job in the basement. Then it is power-wash the patio and seal, paint and prepare baby boy's room, and landscape around the patio. We'll get it all done by fall, but it is just a lot of stuff hanging over our heads.

N suggested the name Poke for baby brother while we were watching Pocahontas last weekend, and I'm beginning to think this might work. I have given up on looking at baby name books because I keep picking out the same names over and over. D comes up with winners like Segundo, which makes me question how I ever got pregnant at all given that I conceived this baby with an idiot. Hugh is totally out of the running since D didn't like it at all AND my mom pronounces it "Who." She simply can't say Hugh. I call N "Bug" or "Buggy" all the time so I guess my name for boy will be "Poke" or "Pokey." I'm just gonna wait until D is ready to have a serious conversation about the name which may be 20 minutes before we are due to leave the hospital.

N is flower-girl ready for next weekend's wedding. She has her dress, a new white hair bow, and white ballet slippers. She got her haircut yesterday, and I'm sure I'll be able to talk her into a little pink fingernail paint towards the end of next week. It should be fun. She has been working on the Hokey-Pokey with her Hokey-Pokey Elmo (a toy that had been shoved in the closet due to lack of interest for months and months--as I am starting to clean out her closet, she is rediscovering all sorts of toys). We were informed there will be no Electric Slide or Macarena, but the Hokey-Pokey is on the dj list. Sorta like Stella, I totally lost my groove during my pregnancy with N, and it seems the same thing has happened this time around too. I guess I must have some semblance of hips normally because during pregnancy I can't shake my thing for nothin'.

Enough rambling for now.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Internal battle of the hybrid Slacker/Alpha Mom

I think I am predominantly an Alpha mom, like maybe 60%---the kind who generally has things together, organized, etc., or at least I give off that vibe to others.

Maybe it is my meds (and who cares if it is), but I am also a pretty fair Slacker mom---the kind who probably leaves the tv on more than it should be on, who sometimes doesn't get her kid dressed until lunchtime, and who never remembers to brush her kid's teeth or hair before heading out for the day (although N does get a good scrubbing at night).

The funny thing is how this hybrid state applies to my dilemma over preschool. The Alpha Mom in me has been worrying over whether or not to send N to preschool. Is this the right time? Is she too young? Will she adjust well? I finally decide to bite the bullet and start calling places. In preparation Alpha Mom looks online for questions to ask preschool directors when I call this week. And then once I start reading I morph into Slacker Mom.

See Slacker Mom thinks alot of these questions are absurd, especially when I've got personal recommendations to the 4 places I'm gonna call. I mean, this is preschool so it's not like my kid is gonna be learning physics. And do I really care what the educational philosophy is? Hell, when I had to study educational philosophy for my MAT, I was doing the Picadilly "Do I want carrot cake or bread pudding" cafeteria style of selecting bits and pieces from various ones as my own personal philosophy.

I generally tend to think that a kid's educational success has more to do with what the parents do (as in encourage, reinforce, support, question, remain involved) than with what the school is because not every school or teacher or classroom or textbook suits every kid. There are some exceptions: some really all-out shitty schools that underserve virtually every kid within the walls and some really all-out shitty teachers who benefit from the professional association. But, again, this is preschool.

Yes, I'm just lazy. I don't want to spend goo-gobs of time calling, touring, asking questions because they are all gonna to be "about" the same, some offering more, some less; some costing more, some less; some closer, some further from our home, but in general, all about the same. (This laziness is part of the reason why I never took D's name when we married. It is far too much work and too costly to contact Social Security and every other outlet that has my legal name attached. I honestly think often of taking his name but the pain-in-the-butt work of it keeps me from proceeding.)

So Alpha Mom is appalled that Slacker Mom is being soo blase about the whole thing. And Slacker Mom thinks it is so funny especially given all the fretting over whether to send N to preschool at all.

Friday, June 1, 2007

More preschool stewing

I don't know what is wrong with me.
Liar, Liar.
Correction: I do know what it wrong with me, but I don't like to admit what is wrong with me, particularly as it concerns my apprehensiveness concerning sending N to preschool.

It has nothing to do with her. Ok, maybe 10% has to do with her and whether I think she is "ready" for preschool. But the other whopping 90% has to do with my inability to relinquish control of care coupled with my denial that N is eventually going to grow up.

Lord knows, I don't want to be one of those mothers who baby their children to absolute death so that they live in the basement until they are 45 years old or simply move upstairs upon the demise of the parents. But I also don't want to push N into something if she isn't ready. Of course, given my emotional inability to get a grip, I am not the most objective judge of the things for which she is or isn't ready.

N and I have always been very attached to each other, and she seems to have become moreso in the last month or so. Maybe it stems from that walk with her neighborhood friends when she ran on ahead with them, and I stayed behind (thinking the kids would soon come back), and when she realized I wasn't there, she freaked out and ran like a crazy person all the way back crying, "I want my momma!" My poor friend A was running alongside N trying to calm her down and make sure she got back to me ok.

Or maybe it is because of the new baby coming?

Hell, I'm just going to do a pro and con list because my mind runs in circles when I try to even formulate actual sentences about what I'm thinking.

Pros of 2 day preschool:
1. N gets to experience being away from me and in the care of someone else who is not family (which may be initially difficult, but is a good thing for her.....and me....maybe especially me).

2. Especially with new baby coming, I will not be able for awhile to do alot of the things I currently do with her. At least preschool will give her more of a creative, fun outlet than what I'm going to be able to provide for a time.

3. Preschool may be a good big girl, big sister experience for her (as in, "Look what I can do that the baby can't.")

4. I will get some time alone with new baby.

Cons of 2 day preschool (and maybe this should just be worries about preschool, not really cons):
1. The timing will be bad especially with new baby soon coming. Will this be too much transition at once?

2. Will this be too much stress on me with having a new baby, as in getting my ass up and functioning enough to get N ready and going in the a.m.?

After talking to a number of friends and sitting on this post for a day or two, I have determined that the worst that can happen is that N doesn't adjust well and I have to pull her out (upon the recommendation of her teachers and the preschool director--despite my over-attachment to my kid, I would not make such a decision without it being recommended by someone who is experienced in preschool and sees how my kid reacts). And I guess, really, that isn't such a bad worst, and I am assuming the worst by thinking about the worst in general.

We might both actually adjust better than I ever would have expected. Snicker to self.