Wednesday, August 29, 2007

How much and how little changes

N at about 5 months old before she could crawl, walk, speak, yell, hit, give off attitude, sulk, or whine.

N today on our drive home from Nana and Pa's house where she spent the afternoon and refused to nap, which resulted in her throwing a grand mal fit and hitting me when I picked her up (ahhh, she missed me), which resulted in me carrying her out of my parents' house likety-split and not allowing her to eat Nana's grilled cheese.

And here is my 2nd little person (35 weeks) who will start out so sweet and gentle and tiny but will eventually become a little psycho when all tired out just like his big sis.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I REALLY don't know what I'm doing...

but who does?

Maybe it's the pregnancy hormonal shifts or something, but it occurred to me this weekend that I really have no clue what I'm doing as a parent. I know I have my momentary blips where I question what I do in certain instances, but it has been awhile since I thought, "I am a total fuck-up in the parenting capacity."

N and I had a rough week last week; I blame it on the pool no longer being open so I'm all out of whack in terms of activities and schedules. Without the physical workout at the pool, N was refusing naps, and I don't do well with alterations in my routine. Anyway, it just felt like she and I were butting heads the entire week over anything and everything.

Yesterday, D, N and I did go to the pool (the last day--sniff, sniff) for a couple hours. As it neared 3:00, I told N I was going to the bathroom to change into dry clothes and asked whether she was gonna come. She ignored me and kept playing in the kiddie pool. Ok, no big deal. When I returned to our chairs, D and I packed up everything and told N we were getting ready to go and to come on. She ignored us. So he and I picked up everything into our arms, told N we were leaving now, and starting walking towards the gate. Oh shit, said N to herself, They are serious. A tear or two later and she was with the program, although she complained that she was all wet, at which point I reminded her that I asked if she wanted to go to the restroom to change clothes and she ignored me.

Anyway, something set me off and I was awash with the realization of floundering in this job. Maybe it was what I perceived as a "LOOK" from another parent upon her watching D and I with bags in hand walking towards the exit. Or maybe it was just that everything I proposed or did with N last week seemed to end up with her being testy or giving me attitude and then me having to discipline. Sometimes ya just get sick of feeling like the heavy all the time.

So that left me questioning my entire parenting strategy...if we can call it a strategy. What is my strategy? I don't know whether my parenting philosophy is indicative of laziness or efficiency. It is hard to tell.

I try to let N make her own choices and deal with the consequences of those choices (although I warn her what the consequences will be).
I try to be simple and straight-forward without giving her any room to fudge or beg or whine on her part (as in "You can have 1 cookie now and nothing else until supper, do you understand? One cookie is it.")
I use time-out as a way for her to cool off.
But sometimes I don't know whether any of this is actually working?

I know some parents use charts and rewards, but I am not into these for 2 reasons: One, it just seems like work to keep up with a chart, and I know I wouldn't be consistent with it. Second, I don't want N to behave a certain way only because she knows a treat or a toy will follow. So as much as I'm not into disciplining in this form, I still wonder if maybe I should. Maybe there is some magical "tool" I haven't read about that I can try? What other suggestions can these brilliant experts give me for dealing with my child that won't result in me hating her and her refusing at some point to let me have a relationship with my future grandchildren.

So last night was spent searching the library catalog and Internet for books and tips on disciplining 3-year-olds....particularly tired 3-year-olds, which is akin to clipping pissed off tigers' toenails I suspect. I'll let you know when I find the magic bullet.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Another pregnancy wall

Yep, I've hit the "How much longer do I have to feel like this?" stage of pregnancy. Only 34 weeks, and I'm there.

Little man keeps trying to find room to move, but there is none to be found. I doubt my skin fibers can stretch much more. I can only imagine how uncomfortable it is for him if it is this uncomfortable for me.

Eating is becoming drudgery. While I am hungry, eating only makes me feel more distended, even when I only consume something small like an apple or a couple of crackers. It really sucks when I let myself go too long without eating and then eat a full-sized meal out of sheer starvation.

Fortunately for my 1/2 Unisom every night, I sleep ok, but I awaken to pee every 2 hours or so. Walking has become a joke because it either makes me feel those darn Braxton-Hicks contractions or causes dude to lay on my bladder, thereby resulting in repeated bathroom breaks.

Yeah, I know every pregnant woman has gone through this or is going through this now, but this is my blog so I'm gonna vent.

My friend M delivered her son this week, and seeing his picture on the web nursery made me feel a little giddy, an emotion I rarely experience. Wow, I'm gonna have a son. How cool! A little one again which is nice to think about when I'm having an "I don't like 3-year-olds" moment. Not that I'll especially like the rigors of having a newborn around, but perhaps the 2 ages will distract me from each other at all the right moments (and who says I don't have an ounce of optimism in me?).

N got a postcard today from her preschool teacher telling her in which class she will be. Kinda makes me sad--my little girl is starting preschool. So in addition to doing a baby scrapbook, I'll have to start a school scrapbook for her. As if I will have any time for hobbies.

I'm planning an "All About Me" September to celebrate my birthday mid-month. I've got a massage, a haircut & color, a baby shower, and a prenatal yoga/labor & delivery prep class scheduled for various days throughout the earlier part of the month.

The end of next month I anticipate hitting the, "Get this fucker outta me" wall, so I'm keeping my planner open.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I have gotten to be a psycho skeptic when it comes to reports about antidepressant use during the prenatal and postnatal periods.

Earlier this week I received a BabyCenter email newsletter, and there was a Reuters news blurb about antidepressant usage during pregnancy being associated with "preterm birth." Oh no, the worry button had been pushed upon reading the headline.

As I read through the brief report, it said women who had taken antidepressants for at least 50% of their pregnancies had an increase in preterm birth. Preterm birth was defined for the AD users as 38.5 weeks (as compared to 39.4 and 39.7 weeks in the other groups of women).

Ummm, maybe I have misread the pregnancy books, but isn't 37 weeks considered full-term? So women who took ADs were pregnant a week and a half longer than full-term if my math is accurate.

I know LOTS of women who have been induced or have undergone c-sections between 38-39 weeks of pregnancy, but they aren't considered as having their babies pre-term, so why is there a difference for women on ADs? I don't pretend to know.

Plus this study was conducted on 90 women. That ain't a whole lot of babies' mamas.

I guess what bugs me is that the headline makes it seem critical, urgent, terrifying. Every pregnant woman worries about delivering her baby pre-term, and this is especially true of a woman taking any kind of Rx medication. To read that ADs usage puts one at higher risk for premature delivery is frightening, but then when I realize that, at least according to this study, the pre-term labeling is erroneous, it just makes me mad.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thank heavens I didn't go off my meds...

because if I had I would be far more spastic than I am right now since my mom informed me this afternoon that my dad has melanoma.

They saw the surgeon this past Friday, and Dad is scheduled for surgery on Monday. His prognosis, based on what the dermatologist and surgeon can see, is excellent, although they are going to scan his lymph nodes just to be cautious.

My parents didn't tell me until now because they were afraid I'd freak out and worry myself half to death, which I am doing a little bit, but not as much as I would if I wasn't on my AD. I just keep telling myself, "There is nothing you can do about it except hope and pray that everything turns out fine." And knowing doctors, I think they tend to err on the side of cautious, so I don't think they would be giving him an overly bright prognosis if they had any reason to suspect it was otherwise.

Still, it is pretty fucking scary to hear MELANOMA. Basal cell and squamous cell big deal. But the BIG M is another story.

Anyway, I was kinda down already because Shanks (our cat) is going to have surgery next week (dental cleaning but still going under I am worried if he will come out ok, and if not, how would I explain it to N), plus the pool is opening at 3:30 p.m. now which means my whole routine is out of whack (as in what the hell am I gonna do with N now?). Top it all off with the news about Dad, and I am just having what is starting to be a really cruddy 2-week run (until we get news back on his lymph nodes).

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fair Freaks: Why I Shouldn't Worry About Being a Good Mom

Last night, D, N, Mamaw and I went to the fair. The weather was rather cool for August and so comfortable, so we decided to visit the midway like we did last year. N had such a blast in 2006 we thought she would enjoy visiting again.

Like last year, we asked if she wanted to ride the ferris wheel, and she was gung-ho. I wasn't able to ride due to the pregnancy, but that was ok because I got to people watch, and there are few things more entertaining than watching people at a state fair, especially in the midway.

I saw your standard teenager groups....all girls, all boys, boyfriend/girlfriend groups, but the really interesting ones to watch were the pregnant couples and the parents with young children.

Let me backtrack for just a second:
For a long time, I worried about whether D and I should have more children given my OCD/GAD and medication needs. Was it fair for me to subject my child to the genetic predisposition to anxiety disorders? Does taking meds make me not a very good mom? I fretted over these question endlessly, but just let me just say that after seeing some of the people at the fair who have elected to reproduce, I know that not only should D and I reproduce in an effort to balance out the freaks with normal people, D and I should have at least 15 kids because it looks like the freaks are winning out.

I saw moms and dads there with infants so young it looked like they were just discharged from the hospital and decided to make an elephant ear stop at the fair on their way home. I saw pregnant moms who, from the look in their eyes, were possibly on their 6th or 7th cup of Miller Lite. The men with these preggo gals (I don't want to assume these dudes were the babies' daddies) had that thug blend of saggy clothes, tattoos on most of their appendages, and very pissed off looks on their faces. This is the fair, guys....SMILE!

The couples with youngish kids (6 and under) were all nursing beers as they strolled around. Whenever a kid, usually a boy would do something even slightly annoying to a parent, there came a SMACK of the parent's hand followed by a scowl and yell or at least a grumble. And I think I'm a bad mom when I even think to myself, "Child would you knock it off" whenever N is being particularly difficult.

Anyway, this year I didn't see anyone with a large python-like snake around her shoulders or have to dodge a drunk, so it wasn't too thrilling but I saw enough to make me think I need to be a little less hard on myself when I don't live up to my high standards of parenting. I could be like a whole slew of people and have no standards of parenting.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Musings from the past week

There is no particular theme to today's blog. Just kinda random musings, but here is a general outline:

  • Why I am so forgetful
D and I had an epiphany this morning as to why I cannot remember anything from one second to the next and keep having entirely too many "Duh" moments: it is all the testosterone G is pumping into my system. D said I have been behaving like him...forgetting stuff, zoning out, basically acting like a man. I know I gripe alot about men and how I don't get 'em, but if this is what being a male is actually like I kinda feel sorry for them.

  • Ob Visit, 33 weeks
Saw another new doctor yesterday, but my standard response was, "Everything is fine." Amazingly, she didn't psyche me out about anything. Hurrah!

  • Doula
D and I had our first meeting with our doula, S. I guess my brain has settled down a bit because I am feeling pretty relaxed about the birth....other than a slight fear that dude will not be head down. I have started my acidophilus and pure cranberry juice regimen (ick) to hopefully ensure a negative beta strep test in 3 weeks.

Sometimes it seems a little weird that someone I really don't know is going to share my child's birth with me, but it totally works and creates a bond that never goes away. I guess maybe it is like strangers who experience a major trauma together have a shared, intense connection even though they may not stay in touch or become friends after the event. If and when they do see each other, there is that immediate bond.

S is very relaxed and even-keel, which is totally what D and I need and like.

  • N's spelling
I know lots of smart kids, but I am biased so sometimes when N does something unexpected, I think she is a certifiable genius. Anyway, she and Nana and I went outlet mall shopping earlier in the week. We were planning to visit what I thought was a toy store with the word KIDS in the title, but I told N we had to visit the potty beforehand.

She asked where the KIDS store was, and I said I wasn't going to tell her until after we had used the potty. As in most outlet centers, the store names are on the fronts of the buildings. We were on the left side of the street, and the KIDS store was on the right. She looked up and said, "There it is. K-I-D-S, KIDS store."

Holy shit! Now what surprised me is not that she spelled the letters. For weeks she has been spelling words everywhere--license plates, signs, food boxes, people's t-shirts--but she doesn't know what the words are...she has just been saying the letters. Or so I thought. How did she know that K-I-D-S spells KIDS? Maybe she just associated the bright primary colored letters with something kid-like? Who the hell knows, but I thought that was pretty darn good for a 3-year-old. (And so did Nana, but like I said, we are not the most objective parties on the planet when it comes to N.)

I sorta hate blogs this this. I love me a good ole rant about 1 particular topic, but this will have to do. Maybe D will piss me off soon.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Today I bought myself some new sunglasses, and while ordering them with the help of some dude in his early 30s, it occurred to me that men are just plain weird. Not bad weird, just "I can't understand them because I am a woman," weird.

The guy was trying to sell me on the benefits of getting polarized lenses and anti-reflective coatings and all this other whizz-bang junk. Considering my current sunglasses aren't even real sunglasses, just old Rx frames that I had lightly tinted lenses put into at least 5 years ago which are now fading, I just want some real sunglass frames with dark lenses. That is all. No bells. No whistles. I'm not going to wear these constantly--just when it is sunny (so that eliminates the months of November-February).

Anyway, he kept blathering on about how great these coatings are to avoid glare from car windows or the lake, and it occurred to me that this sensitivity to all things that then requires spending additional money for bells & whistles is limited to the XY chromosomal pairing.

D talks all the time about how smoothly different cars ride. Unless I am riding in a 4X4 truck or a bus, I can't tell a difference. He has a sensitive ass that can sense every bounce, shake or bump from a car. Just yesterday he was talking about a new Nissan he rode in with a co-worker, and it has a continuous something or another that makes it so you can't feel the gears shifting. I don't feel my gears shifting in my car. I don't feel gears shifting in any car unless I am riding in a stick with someone who doesn't know what the fuck they are doing. (Or maybe I don't notice shifting gears because I am too busy listening to a 3-year-old talk or handing her water or listening to her throw a fit because of something or another---a little distraction from a preschooler will keep one from sensing anything related to one's derriere).

I used to think D was weird, but I am slowly starting to realize this is a man thing. He is not unusual....he is merely explaining to me one of the unique qualities of the opposite sex.

So all the money we've spent these past 10 years on the extras are a legitimate requirement owing to a delicate male genetically-derived sensitivity. A few examples:
  • How high definition looks SOOOOOO much better than non-high definition (i.e., affordable).
  • How hooters/tweeters/woofers/all things that sound like pets but are really related to media make the sound more accurate and exact to the eardrums of the male sex.
  • How cameras and camcorders with 5,000 features (instead of say 50 features) makes the pictures so much more vibrant.
Ahhhh boy. It is gonna be interesting raising a son.

I love my husband, BUT

I hate to say a BUT, but there are always buts to everything. No one and nothing is perfect, and as much as it pains me to say it, this includes me. So D could start his own blog with "I love my wife, BUT," and I would understand.

Is it enough of an explanation if I say, "He bought himself an X-Box." Does that explain everything? I know some of his co-workers wives probably understand where I'm coming from because he's been telling, "So-and-so just bought a Wii," and "Another so-and-so got an X-Box." It is like a kid telling his mom who has the neatest bike or tennis shoes in an effort to convince her that he should get some too.

D comes home late enough in the day that my answer to everything is, "Whatever. I don't care," which is probably what I said when he mentioned that the price of an X-Box had dropped, and he was gonna get one.

I am not against him enjoying his life, playing computer games or occasionally spending his hard-earned money on something for himself (although I know he would argue with this statement as if his life has been drudgery since the moment he slipped the ring on my finger).

My concern, not problem, is the following:
D had a long, long, long computer game addiction that he has only "learned to better manage" in the last year or so, therefore he is susceptible to the pull of the games. Secondly, as I have mentioned to him over and over, we are expecting a 2nd child in 7 weeks, a fact that will necessitate him NOT being in the basement while I have both kids under least until things settle down.

I am just hoping that I don't have to act like a nagging mom once G arrives, saying "D, get off the X-Box and come help me." But I guess if I do, it's not like I didn't warn him. He's known about this since February, same as me.

The other thing that will always remain difficult for me as long as I am a stay-at-home mom is to see D "relaxing" in the middle of my workspace on the weekends. I don't get a weekend ever. My floors still need to be mopped or swept or vacuumed on Saturdays and Sundays. Laundry still has to be done. I still cook dinner. Toys must be straightened up. So if he disappears to the basement for a couple hours to relax, I am still at work.

He spends his week away from home at the office, so being at home for him is a refresher. Not quite the same for me.

Sometimes I think it would be easier if D went on 2-3 golf trips every year, so at least I would feel like he was getting his "down time" without me having to observe it or know that it is happening beneath my feet. I say this, but I'd still probably be pissed because I don't get a whole weekend to myself. I'd find something about which to complain.

Like I said, I do love him a bunch, and I couldn't imagine being married to anyone else because despite his computer geek life and all the remotes, cables, disks, and hard drives taking up shitloads of space in our basement, I would rather be married to him than some guy who plays poker with the boys, drinks beer, and loves football. But there is always, always gonna be a BUT.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Acting crazy

I guess it was my 2nd year of teaching during 6th Grader Orientation when I made a comment to parents about kids acting crazy in the hallways. As one particular group of parents was leaving my classroom, a father came up to me and said he was a psychologist on a mission to stop people from using the word "crazy" because of the negative connotations and how it affects people with true mental illness.

At the time I got a little irked because I thought, "This man has clearly never been in a middle school hallway filled with 200+ 6th graders during class changes otherwise he would understand that they do, in fact, act crazy."

When my issues with OCD and GAD exploded, I thought alot about this father and could better appreciate his stance on the term "acting crazy," especially when I first visited a therapist and psychiatrist. I mean, you have to be crazy to need either of those professionals in your life, right?

Now, as the 8-month-pregnant stay-at-home mom of a 3.5-year-old, my spin on craziness has changed again and mostly due to the fact that preschoolers, especially over-tired preschoolers who wake up too early and then fight a nap, are, beyond a doubt, the craziest human beings on the planet.

Clinically crazy people have real chemical issues complicated by stressful life experiences. I guess that fits most 3-year-olds. All sorts of brain wiring changes and development going on, causing them to assert their authority and control over situations and people without actually having the mental or emotional maturity to reason through their decisions or understand consequences. Yep, sounds like crazy to me.

No doubt, given the heat and my stage of pregnancy, I am lacking in patience, but there is really only so much shit I'm going to take off a 3-year-old.

The other day I had to give her a time-out in a grocery bathroom. It is amazing how I can haul her under one arm with my purse clutched in the other arm and my bulging belly leading the way as we march at a fast clip towards the must be the adrenaline rush from anger because most of the time I haven't the energy to chew a stick of gum.

And I know with N, she acts out nearly everytime due to tiredness. She is generally a really easy-going kid who just morphs into Ms. Hyde when she needs a good 2-hour nap. So I hate it that I get so pissed off because I know why she is doing it, and I feel so sad when she is crying and upset because she is my baby, after all. But DAMMIT, I got turds bigger than her....I refuse to allow my 3-year-old to run the show.

And the most upsetting thing of all: Saying this about my child makes me know that I have officially turned into my mother.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Early in this pregnancy when I first began feeling all-day sickness I said I wouldn't whine or complain because I was so glad to be pregnant. That lasted awhile, but then I felt like such complete shit I just had to vent.

Now, as I reach the later stage of this pregnancy, I have hit that wall again: the whine, bitch & moan stage.

I am 32 weeks along and while I can't say I am looking forward to delivering (since I'll then have a newborn with whom to contend), I will at least not be as physically uncomfortable as I am now (well, my boobs will be uncomfortable, but the rest of me will hopefully feel a bit better).

Either this boy weighs 15 lbs or my body has just gotten old and sad in the last 4 years. Every movement he makes just hurts. There is simply no position that is pleasant for either of us.

During my pregnancy with N, I stopped working at around 37-38 weeks which means I must have been feeling increasingly tired and crappy around 33-34 weeks in order to prepare everything to leave my teaching position. I guess I just don't remember feeling this pooped all the time.

I can say I feel good when I am in the pool...I guess it is the weightless effect and the coolness of the water. Plus the pool concession stand has these great ice chips that are wonderful.

Yeah, and I think having a 3rd might be in the cards. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Monday, August 6, 2007

G's room decor

How do you spell RELIEF?

I spell it this way:


  • N's room is painted and decorated.
  • G's room is painted and mostly decorated.
  • Both kids' closet shelves are organized (as organized as you can get kids' shelves).
  • The flower beds are done, with drainage tubes buried and mulched.
We had alot of other smaller projects, too boring to mention, but they are all done. Everything on my list has been crossed off.

So now I can start a new list of smaller tasks to accomplish like:
  • Get N's immunization certificate for preschool
  • Set up the pack'N'play
  • Borrow my brother's swing and exersaucer.
  • Buy the things I still have left to get for G's arrival.
No wonder my brain was starting to misfire with anxiety...I was just so overloaded with things to do. I can handle the smaller things that don't require intensive preparation, planning or manual labor. My biggest problem is writing them down as soon as I think of them because within an instant they are history.

Pictures of G's room to come.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Branching out

I just wanted to mention that I am now linked to Katherine Stone's blog Postpartum Progress (, which is a tremendous privilege.

I get automatic feeds from her site, which provides me a wealth of information related to perinatal and postpartum mood disorders.

If you know of anyone with questions about these issues, route them to Postpartum Progress.

Making the ob rotation (Why I Hate Obs, Part II)

I have a feeling now that I am going more frequently for my baby check-ins, I will have Part III, IV, V, and so on. It may run longer than various other series with which people are familiar like Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings.

So I saw a different dr. at my 31-week visit today whom I told about having more breakthrough intrusive thoughts and generalized anxiety blips. I mentioned that I just saw my psychiatrist 2 days ago. She then proceeded to tell me about persistent pulmonary hypertension and withdrawal symptoms in the newborn. I said, "Yes, I'm pretty well-versed in the research." I then told her I WILL NOT be switching meds while breastfeeding. Overall, she was pretty innocuous, but I was rankled nonetheless, and I shall explain why.

I truly realize doctors are rushed and see lots of patients. I realize they are only human and do the best they can.

However (taking a deep breath because this is gonna be a long-winded rant):

Could this doctor have taken 2 minutes to read my informed consent, thereby avoiding my 11,000,000th discussion with members of the practice of the risks of AD use during my pregnancy?

Is it written in the "How to be an OB" manual that each and every fricking ob I meet in the practice has to specifically name all the bad shit that could affect my son from me taking this medication?

I clearly must be their 1st and only patient with a diagnosed anxiety disorder because they appear to have no clue how much ANXIETY is caused by my having to listen repeatedly to their explanation of the risks. READ MY FUCKING INFORMED CONSENT and quit making me think about all the bad stuff that could happen.

Believe me, I know the bad stuff, and I have the amazing ability to make up even worse bad shit than what the current medical research to date has even discovered. It requires days and days of me telling myself that the overall risk of anything being wrong with this kid as a result of my Lexapro is less than 1%. Now that I'm having to go see the doctor every 2 weeks, by the time I've worked myself out of a series of panic attacks, I'll have to march in to see yet another doctor who feels compelled to discuss the risks.

I could just keep seeing my primary doctor, which would eliminate the aforementioned issue, but if we have to smoke this boy out with pitocin, I want to have a sense of which doctors are loose and easy-going and which ones are hard core freaks who play entirely too much by the rules.

With N's induction, I specifically picked the one doctor in the practice who was just downright always nice and helped make me feel relaxed whenever I saw her. If I have to be induced again, I want to at least have some idea of which doctor will likely deliver.

Mark your calendars now for the next installment of Why I Hate Obs, which will premiere in 2 weeks. Maybe in the movie version I can get Louis Black to play me. I know he's a guy, but he would do a bang-up job with the material.