Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On a tear

I have some favorite blogs that I enjoy reading, and one of them is Swistle (

However, lately she has been blogging about decluttering her house. Now I am all about decluttering, but reading about how much clutter she has really gives me the heebie-jeebies. I got a little light-headed when I read about her getting rid of 6 garbage bags full of junk (like broken toys and what-not).

You see, in general, I hate to shop, which cuts down on a lot of clutter. I also go through periodic decluttering tears; I am in the midst of one now.

I think it is the result of G getting older and me having a little more time to see just how much crap I've let pile up since his birth.

Hence, the quest for built-in bookcases/entertainment center in the living room.
Hence, putting a variety of items on and to get them the hell outta my house.
Hence, going through baby clothes and consigning everything I don't absolutely love.

D is of the stock that hangs onto things for eternity--his Papaw has a garage and basement full to he rafters with god knows what. I guess, technically, I come from that stock too, because my parents have 2 gigantic rooms in their basement full of stuff they don't use, haven't used in a really long time, and won't ever use again. But I hate hanging onto most stuff, except some sentimental things, like yearbooks, photo albums and some childhood knickknacks.

But it gets a little exhausting because the more decluttering I do, the more I want to do (I am obsessive/compulsive after all), so I look at stuff we actually use on a daily basis, like the kitchen table and think, "Do we really need this?" That is when I know I have to stop. Find something else on which to focus. Ah, a birthday party coming soon. And N starting preschool again soon.

Yes, I see an end in sight.

Home Improvement Proves a Pain

So I got it in my head that I wanted to have a built-in bookcase/entertainment center in our living room because I don't have enough storage space. Prior to kids, I had my photo albums and some knickknacks in our current entertainment center, but now those are in my closet and every millimeter of space is loaded with toys, games and videos.

I have long had an affinity for built-in bookcases, so this was a no-brainer. Our current cabinet is way too short and deep for the room. And it is a darkish woodstain, so it looks out of place right next to our white mantel. But it didn't bother me much until I started not being able to put toys away each evening because they didn't have a home other than the floor. I can totally handle not being able to see my living room floor as long as I know that everything has a home, a basket, a shelf, a cabinet where it lives should I opt to move it there so I can see my carpet. But when things don't have a home.....I start to get hives.

So in June, I called and had some cabinetmakers and a remodeler come out. And then I had to wait for their designs and estimates. And then I had to talk to D and we decided whom we wanted to do the work. And then I had to call. And then D and I had to sit down and figure out exactly what we wanted. And then I tried faxing the remodeler the papers, but our fax machine is crap (or I don't know how to use it, so I'll go with the former explanation). And so they left by snailmail a couple days ago.

Here it is almost August, we sent the remodeler our idea and are waiting to hear back, get a contract, and a start date.

The problem is that once I decide I want to do something, I want it done yesterday. Unfortunately, life doesn't work like that. So then I am just in a state of funkiness and limbo until the work is completed. Which feels like it may be when I am too old to care.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

1st Birthday Anticipatory Sadness

I have issues, but what else is new?

G is now 10 months old, and I am already feeling a little sad about his 1st birthday in two months. How can he possibly be coming up on a 1st birthday? This year has simply flown by too quickly. My baby boy will soon be a toddler.

On N's 1st birthday, I teared up when everyone was singing "Happy Birthday." Such a happy occasion, and I was sad. Of course, I was clinically depressed at the time, so I thought it was that. But with the Big One looming for G, I feel sad already. Sad that this time is passing so, so, so fast.

I enjoy him immensely. He cuts a swath of destruction on our 1st floor within 10 minutes of waking in the morning and gets into every crevice of the house to explore, but I find it hilarious. With N, I found her explorations aggravating because I was 1.) unmedicated and 2.) unused to having my home be demolished in the way kids demolish a home. I guess now that I have gotten used to my home being a small version of Toys-R-Us, I can handle the extra bit of mess than G creates.

And he is just a happy boy. He has a deep belly laugh. Tonight he watched N banging on the garbage can, so he pulled himself up and started doing the same. Oh how proud he was of himself. Just laughed and laughed every time his chubby little hand hit the lid.

My friends with boys said I would adore him when I felt all weirded out after the "Here's my penis" ultrasound, and they were right. I do adore him, and partly just because of his boy-ness. One of my favorite things is when I lay down on the floor, and he tackles me in his attempt to get to the other side of the room. I am simply an object for him to conquer on his way to his trucks and balls and noise-maker toys. He is generally grunting and growling as he's tackling....all boy, all the time.

He is a bubber (I don't know what this is, but it is a term N coined that seems to describe G in a nutshell).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dude and UnDude

This afternoon N was fiddling with the cats' collars, which are laying on the desk in the kitchen. She told me, "I doed (dude) Gonzo's collar, but I un-doed (undude) Shanks' collar." I love me some preschooler speak.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happenings in our home

G is working on more teeth, I suspect. Drooling fool and tugging at his hair and ears. I hope to heck it isn't ear infection because he is still taking his antibiotic.

And he is pulling up on everything. Baskets, people, appliances. This evening he pulled up on N and pulled down her skirt, which she thought was hilarious.

N FINALLY got sick of listening to Yakety-Yak and other music from 1958 in the car. So we have now moved on to Johnny Cash. Ring of Fire and Daddy Sang Bass are her favorites. We've also been listening to music from O Brother, Where Art Thou---her favorite on that CD is In The Jailhouse Now. We are so vintage lately. Below is a pic of my introduction of N to Wonder Woman.

N does a mostly good job of playing with G, but sometimes she is rough, which results in me fussing at her about being gentle. And then she gets frustrated at me because she isn't trying to hurt him and it makes her feel like I'm saying she is intentionally being rough or mean to him. And then I get frustrated with her for bugging with him when I am trying to get a shot of him doing something by himself. And then she gets frustrated with me for giving him more photographic attention than what she feels he is entitled. Endless bouts of frustration with one or the other of my children is the theme of most days, it seems.

But sometimes I am able to get in a shot of G by himself.

But it is because I have taken N aside for her own little photo shoot. Today was her showing off her new rainboots from Target. She also got a new swimsuit. I suspect these items will be worn together on our ventures to the pool.

G sees the pediatric dentist tomorrow and N sees Dr. K next week. I think I'll just lie and say we are done with the paci even though we are not and won't be for a long time. N pooped eventually of her own accord, and I daresay she will do the same with her paci. And if she doesn't we'll have to fit her for an orthodontic appliance to get her off it (as I had to do to give up thumb-sucking at age 10. YES, 10 years old!). Given my history of oral gratification, I ain't frettin' over her being just 4.5.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shhhh, I don't want to jinx this

I'm keeping this on the down-low. G has slept from 10-7 and another night 11-8 in the past week. I put him down between 7:30-8:00, so this long stretch is after his "before momma turns in" nursing session. I think this is what elation feels like.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Time-warp and other DVD-related fun

For some crazy reason, I had a hankering to watch Xanadu with Olivia Newton-John, a movie I just adored when I was a youngun. Fortunately, Family Video had it, and so now I have turned N onto this Hollywood jewel.

D asked me if it was as good as I remember, and of course the answer is a resounding NO! It is dumb as heck, but I was a kid so what did I know. And it was the 80s, so the clothes were actually funky and cool back then. Now they just look like stupid 80s clothes. Poor Gene Kelly---he must have needed money pretty badly to sign on to this project.

N, in her kidness, thinks Xanadu is a pretty great movie, though. She likes Kyra's glittery princess-like costume at the end. And her favorite muse is the black girl with the hair knot on top of her head. I even caught N singing ELO's "I'm Alive" one day while playing.

We also rented Ice Age: The Meltdown, so N's other song of late has been her version of what Sid the Sloth sings to Manny the Mammoth, "If your species will continue, clap your hands." N can't say sp words very well, so here is how her song goes:

If your sfeces will continue clap your hands...Clap, Clap
If your sfeces will continue clap your hands...Clap, Clap
If your sfeces will continue then your face will surely show it (SNORT!!!!)
If your sfeces will continue clap your hands.

I was a good mom when....

Today at the pool I was talking to a mom who has a 4-month-old baby girl and a boy who will be 5 in the fall. N and the boy played together last summer, so the mom and I chatted pretty frequently then. I found out she was pregnant at the very end of the summer when G was nearly done cooking.

I asked her how she was adjusting to having 2 kids, which led to us talking about how we try to make efficient use of the 3 hours we have between morning and afternoon baby naps to do fun stuff with the older kids. Unfortunately, this efficient use means we are constantly saying to our older kids, "Let's goooooo," "Come oooooon," "We have to moooooove along," basically haranguing them to death. Nagging. Whatever.

Which got us talking about how with one kid, we were "fun" moms. Maybe uptight at first, but pretty fun and easy-going by the time the kids were 2.5 years and older. And then child #2 comes along, and mom turns into the person who really sets limits and doesn't let the older child get away with anything his/her heart desires.

Sometimes I feel badly about this....that I was fun and now I have to set more limits with her. But I am usually able to swat this thought aside by the reality that she will be better able to handle life if she has to take her little brother into consideration.

Before G, if something didn't bother me or make a big deal to me, I let her have at it. But with G, I have to consider his well-being. She can't scream like a banshee when he is napping--she has to consider him. And while she may not like it that she used to have a more carefree existence, I keep telling myself it will help her in the long-run.

And all this talk about having 2 kids made me think about how easy-peasy it was when there was just N, although I was SOOOOO spoiled and didn't even know it. Like when she didn't nap and I didn't get my 2+ hours of "downtime." I would pitch a fit because she screwed with my time. And now I never get downtime. I wait until both kids are in bed and hope to hell that they don't stir until I've read my email, blogged a bit and checked Oh, and showered. And had a snack.

I am sure my friends with 3+ kids are laughing as they read this because I have it so easy with 2 kids and don't even know it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Waah, waah, waah--I'm a baby.

What follows below is a very childish, highly immature rant, but it's my blog, so there.

D is now down with the respiratory thing that G had, N had, and I kinda had yesterday. I felt a little under the weather yesterday, but trudged on as I always have to do since I'm the momma. Went to the grocery with D and the kids and bought a wedding present for D's coworker.

D came home from work early today and sat on the couch. Yeah, he did the dishes after supper, but then he was on the couch again until I called him up to keep N company while I nursed G and got him to sleep. When I went in to read to N, both she and D were asleep in her bed.

Now, D is not whining. He isn't being a big crybaby or anything. But I just don't feel sorry for him when he is ailing with a cold, and the truth is, I don't want him to talk about how he feels, or see him drexin' around, or anything. In my mind, he can be sick, but he can't act sick.

(Truth be told, I didn't cut him any slack when he had a diseased gallbladder. Once we knew it was a diseased gallbladder I was more sympathetic than when we thought it was acid reflux or whatever the emergency room physician thought. Am I cruel? (D---you are not allowed to answer.))

So why am I such a meany? Is it because I have gone through natural childbirth? Endured a c-section (which a woman I know assures me is worse than gallbladder surgery as she's had both and can speak from experience)? Had a ductal yeast infection and mastitis and still nursed? Had awful morning sickness and a stomach bug at the same time?

Ever since G got sick, I have been going to bed way early since I haven't known what the nights are gonna be like (as in not staying up and doing things I'd like to do like scrapbook or read And I've gotten up with the kids in the mornings, even when D was off Fri, Sat, Sun and Mon.

So when I see D not feeling so great, inside I'm saying, "Suck it up, man. My week has been shit and at least you got to sleep in and stay up playing Xbox." I guess I refuse to have a pity party for anyone else when I don't feel the love when I'm struggling with illness or tiredness or whatever.

There you have it. The adolescent bitch inside me lives large!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thoughts on the Bratz

Target jaunt helped tremendously. I may not jump off a bridge this evening.

I thought I would jot down my thoughts on purchasing N Bratz merchandise since my MIL said, "I'm surprised your mom got you those," (with a tone, or at least what I took to be a tone) when N told her I had gotten them (as well as a pair of Bratz pajamas). At Target, I also got her a pair of Hannah Montana pajamas, which N had expressly requested.

My inclination is not to buy N Bratz or Hannah Montana merchandise, but while shopping I noticed other branded character pajamas--Dora, the Disney Princesses, Hello Kitty. And I never minded buying her those. So what is the difference? I think it is because the Bratz and Hannah Montana seem more mature, not as cutesy, kidlike as the others. So my desire not to purchase her these types of pajamas has more to do with not wanting N to grow up too quickly, not about buying a certain type of branded merchandise.

And I think about my mother trying to discourage me from doing "grown up" things, like shaving my legs and wearing a bra. But by not letting me, all she did was make me want to do the things more and even go behind her back. Which is what I thought about at Target. I could buy N what I consider to be the cute, innocuous monkey pajamas, but if she won't wear them because she wanted Hannah Montana, well, then what has been gained. Nada, and I've spent money on something she won't wear (and I hate, hate, hate to waste money).

The truth is that N is growing up....and as much as it pains me not to be able to keep her in the baby/infant section of Target and watching Blues Clues forever, she just ain't gonna do it. So I can fight her growing up and becoming interested in older things, or I can accept that she is growing up and guide her/monitor her as she explores these things.

I don't let her watch the Bratz DVDs alone. I am there and watching and making comments to make her think. And warning her beforehand that if she starts using any inappropriate language or behaving inappropriately, I will deal with it.

Speaking of Bratz, I have a 4-year-old pestering me to type, so I am gonna go put her butt in bed.

Just shoot me

G is sick. It is an upper respiratory thing...a bitch of a cold, and therefore no biggie....but I haven't gotten decent sleep since Monday night (and even that wasn't uninterrupted sleep...just less interrupted than the past 3 nights). I'm talking every hour or so awake with a crying baby. Worse than newborn stuff.

So in addition to feeling my normal "down" feelings when a kid is sick (I have noticed I don't get as down when N gets sick since she is older and can at least tell me what hurts), I am also having some OCD/GAD issues from sleep deprivation. Yesterday while rocking G, I began fretting over whether he will live and thinking how I would feel at his funeral. Insane stuff, I know, but this is where my mind goes when deep lack of sleep sets in. Something about tending to a sick baby who can't communicate just messes up my head.

In a few minutes, I am taking a mental health jaunt by myself to Target. Last night, I took N to Wal-Mart and ate 2 helpings of ice cream before bed in an attempt to self-medicate (since clearly the lack of sleep is affecting my prescribed medication's ability to work effectively).

These last couple days have been "2 kids is quite enough, thank you" days, but once G is feeling better, I know I'll be back on the "I want 3" chain gang.

Further proof that my brain is near the shutting down point, I actually purchased a "Bratz" DVD for N, something I swore at one time (probably before I had kids) that I would never do. You just get to the place where you say, "I am probably fighting a losing battle that really isn't worth fighting in the first place."

Off to Target before I get into a parenting debate with my already addled mind and feel more guilt and inadequacy than I already do.

Damn germs!!!!