Friday, May 29, 2009

Gulf Shores, AL Vacation pics, Tuesday thru Friday

N at Fort Morgan.

If a bird had shat on me, I don't think I would have recovered. Fun for the kids, but razzed up my OCD a bit.

On Wednesday, we took the ferry to Dauphin Island and visited the Estuarium.
Both kids had a blast!

Dinner at LuLu's. G and N both enjoyed meal breaks to play in the sand.

WARNING: Young and old hottie alert. See below:

Gulf Shores, AL Vacation pics, Saturday thru Monday

There is 1 bikini shot of me. Can't really have a Sports Impregnated Swimsuit Edition when you are chasing 2 little ones.

Monday a.m. at Gulf Coast Zoo.

N feeding the goats.

An exasperated N, upon realizing a goat has pulled the cup of food completely out of her hands.

That villianous goat.

A family of monkeys at the zoo.

Head. Meet Wall.

One of those days.
N was a royal pain in my pregnant ass.
She was fine until G woke from his nap, around 4:15. Then she started pretend crying and asking me, "Is that a fake cry?" It went something like this....

"Bwaaah. Waahhh. Wah. Is that a fake cry?"
"Waaah. Bwah, Wah. Wah. Is that a fake cry?"
"Wahh. Bwaaaah-Waahh. Wah, Weee. Is that a fake cry?"
"Hrrrrr. Bwaaah-Weee. Wah-Wah. Is that a fake cry?"
"Yes." (Blood pressure rising.)
"Booo--hooo. Bwaaah-wah. Hrrrrr. Is that a fake cry?"
"Yes." (Dear god don't let me kill her.)
"Bwah-boo, Woo-Hrrrrr. Is that a fake cry?"
"Yes. Will you please stop?" (Because by this time, Repeat is starting to imitate his sister doing her fake crying routine.)
"Hrrr-woo-boo. Bwaaaaaaaaaaah. Huughhhhhh. Is that a fake cry?"
"Seriously. Stop. Enough."

I finally gave myself a time out in my bedroom just to get the fuck away from her, but she followed me and hollered, "Mooooom. Mooooom. Mom. Mommy. Mommmaaaaaaaaa," until I made her swear she would stop fake crying and generally irritating me.

But this episode set the stage. I was irritated, and she was intent on being aggravating, so by the time D got home, I was toast. The cherry on top of it all was when she called me a "loser" because I wouldn't do the see-saw with her, and then followed it up with sticking her tongue out and swiping at me with her teddy bear.

It is these situations that make me yearn for the day she goes away to college.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Coming up with a name

Baby-making is the fun part.
Baby-naming. Not so much.
At least in our house where whatever name I throw out gets lambasted by my 5-year-old and my 40-year-old (who acts like the younger one by coming up with all sorts of goofy name-related jokes).

And people wonder why I just do whatever the fuck I want as if hubby has no say. He has ample say. He just wastes it on goofy retorts.

We are thinking of the names "Donovan" and "Catherine" for middle names. But I have certain rules about first names--Nothing that can be easily shortened into a nickname. Nothing that starts with an N or a G, since the other kids' names begin with those letters. Has to "go" with D's last name, so "L" names are mostly out of the running because they just sound weird to me. And the names should be similar in origin to D's last name or to other kids' names. For example, a name like Arabella or Qumar totally wouldn't mesh with the Old English/Irish origins of N and G. Oh, and it can't be in the top 100 names on the Social Security listing of 2008.

So here is what I've come up with for a boy :
  • Hugh Donovan (but someone said this sounded like a soap opera character's name, which TOTALLY turned me off it, but I'm desperate so it's still on the list, unless D keeps saying, "I like Hugh (huh-you) too," whenever I say I like the name Hugh.)
  • Keith Donovan
  • Quinn Donovan
  • Rhys Donovan
None of the other R names I had go with Donovan. Too many n sounds (Renn Donovan, Roan Donovan).

For a girl, I'm looking at:
  • Maeve Catherine
  • Tess Catherine
N always suggests names like Rachel, Christopher, and Michael. Like "normal" names. I keep telling her she can name her children anything she wants, but she insists my name suggestions are weird. As does her father.

I suspect the naming will take the remainder of the pregnancy.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vacation- I'm OVER it

I made it to Friday without maiming any of my traveling companions, but I have to say I am ready for a little normalcy.

Maybe everyone is like this, but by day 5 of any trip, I am done. Not utterly sick of anything usually, but just more than a little worn out from what everyone goes on vacation for...eating out, being away from it all, seeing new sights, relaxing (whatever the fuck that is). The only thing I am not sick of on this particular journey is the sun.

So tomorrow we head back home, where the kids have their toys, where D has his job, and where I have loads of laundry awaiting me.

On a happy shopping note, I was able to hit the outlet center and get N new clothes for kindergarten at great prices. Paid as little as 99 cents for leggings and no more than $4.99 for anything (including jeans). Bargains totally rock my world. (Good god, I am so lame.)

For now, I bid adieu to AL, to the shrimp and crawfish I have been ingesting at rates far higher than those recommended for pregnant gals, to the sand, to the sea.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Vacation far

The weather doth stinketh. It has NOT been the highlight. Cool. Too fucking cool. And not in a Fonzie kind of way, either.

But when life hands you lemons you make lemonade. (Or you stare at the goddamn lemons and curse alot, but that's not realistic when you have children who must be entertained.)

So we have been sightseeing.

Monday was the Gulf Coast Zoo, a small, but rather nice morning trip. They have numerous tigers, two bears, deer, lions and lionesses, camels, llamas, monkeys of all kinds, and more that I can't remember. N fed the goats, but one rascally one grabbed her cup of animal food at the end and took off with it. The look of disbelief on her face was priceless, as was the gloating smirk of the goat that got away.

Tuesday was Fort Morgan. Both kids liked this. G pushed his stroller all over the place, and N ran through the fort's various chambers and halls. The wind whipped us around like crazy, which gives a new meaning to the phrase, "Blow the man down."

Today was Dauphin Island, which required a ferry ride. Have I mentioned I get motion sick?? Have I mentioned I'm pregnant?? I spent a little too much time in the car on the ferry going over, requiring me to sit very quietly for a bit after we docked. I would not be a candidate for Steve Zissou's Belafonte. The Estuarium was neat. N got to hold crabs, see an octopus eat a crab, and touch preserved stingrays. On the ride back, I made sure to stand near the railing, letting the wind blow my face and keeping my eyes firmly set on the horizon. Much better voyage. D said if I had been a European colonist they would have sent me back home in a dinghy after the first day.

The best day weather-wise was when we arrived, at 5:00 pm on Saturday. Around 89 degrees and sunny. We had to stop for a restroom break, and before N had stepped out of the van, she said, "This heat is killing me." Obviously, the weather gods answered and have provided cooler than normal temps ever since.

We've had our share of crises as well, which is par for the course with young kids. Tonight has been the worst. It was apparently "injury night." We ate dinner at LuLu's (excellent mahi mahi tacos). G had a very poopy and leaky diaper. N fell on her way to the car and scraped her knees. Back at the condo, G fell off the bed and got a nice goose-egg on his forehead.

As I am typing this, I still feel like I'm on the ferry, which makes it a little hard to fall asleep. That, and I took about a 3 hour nap today because yesterday I went without.

I am hoping the next two days are less windy and a little warmer so the kids can enjoy the outside pool. But we shall see. If not, we shall make another pitcher of lemonade.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vacations, past and present

NOW: No sex

THEN: Exotic adventures (Iceland, Italy, Greece)
NOW: Kid-friendly (beach, DisneyWorld)

THEN: Awoke early (7:00 am) to take tours of cities
NOW: Awaken early (6:00 am) to sit on balcony and watch 20-month-old play with toy cars.

THEN: Visit art museums, galleries, outdoor markets
NOW: Visit zoo, playgrounds

THEN: Took planes, trains, subways and taxis
NOW: Take mini-van

THEN: Learn about culture and history via guide on tour bus.
NOW: Asked a zillion times if "we are there yet," and try to keep toddler from pulling portable DVD player off the back of the seat.

THEN: Carried towels, sunscreen, camera and keys to beach.
NOW: Carry towels, water, food, swim diapers, boogie board, floaties, sunscreen, sand toys, earplugs, camera, noodle, mermaid Barbie.

THEN: Thought we couldn't enjoy life anymore
NOW: Know that we enjoy life so much more.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Future sex talk

For some reason, I have been thinking about how I will one day handle "sex" issues with my kids. Maybe it is because I see N growing up so quickly, starting kindergarten in the fall. Hopefully she is many, many years away from sexual activity, but I figure I need to kinda have some idea how I might present the whole sex topic to her and G and this other one.

I sorta have some issues with sex, stemming from a few childhood experiences. One is being brought up Catholic, whereby the whole sex before marriage is frowned upon. Secondly is being brought up by my mother, who allegedly was a virgin when she married (at age 33) and was terrified of me becoming pregnant prior to marriage after seeing numerous nieces get into "trouble." Thirdly was being the daughter of a very good man who despite many wonderful qualities wasn't terribly affectionate (verbally or physically).

So where did this leave me?

At around age 8 or 9 I started a lifelong habit of journaling. When I look back at these childhood journals, virtually everyone said something like, "Please God, let me start my period" or "Please God, let me develop breasts." And so God answered my prayers: I started menstruating at age 10. And it was also around that time that I became what is known in impolite company as a horndog. Totally boy-crazy. Totally.

My own take on this boy-craziness and later dating relationships is that I was looking for affection that I wanted from my dad but didn't get. It took me until I was in my early 30s to understand that my dad really does love me but just isn't good at showing it. So I think I spent a long time yearning for male whatever form that took. And with most boys, that means physical stuff.

As I've mentioned on this blog, I've also got a proclivity for subversion. Therefore if the Catholic Church and my mother said things on the order of "Sex is dangerous. Don't have sex before marriage. Having sex is bad," well then, mother-fuck, I was all about exploring sex and sexuality.

Unfortunately, this also meant that once sex was "sanctioned" as being ok, that is married sex, I kinda didn't give a hoot. I've clearly moved beyond this a bit, since I've had enough sex to get knocked up three times, but I experienced a whole world of thrills doing things considered "illicit" by the Pope and my momma. Since Catholics are all about boozing and gambling, these didn't have much appeal to me.

Of course, this doesn't mean I was loosey-goosey. My Catholic upbringing also instilled in me a tremendous amount of guilt so my sexual experiences are paltry compared to a lot of people, I'm sure.

So where am I now as a parent?

I think sex is natural, normal and can be a hell of a lot of fun. I want my kids to be safe, above all else. Pregnancy is the least of my worries, compared to HIV and other STDs. I want my children to do what feels right for them, to know themselves well enough to make smart decisions. But I don't want them to feel ashamed of sex or ashamed of their desires. I don't want them fucking anything that moves, of course, but I think there is a happy medium.

When I was a teen, the idea of talking to my mother about sex was tantamount to having my fingernails ripped out by rabid Gila monsters. It was a lecture that would last foreva. Hell, part of the reason I wasn't game to have children for the first 6 years of my marriage is because I'd have obvious evidence that I had had sex. Whenever I would say this people would laugh, "Of course your parents know you have sex." I would counter that my parents didn't have proof, and a burgeoning belly was proof of intercourse. I mean, come on, how much more sexually fucked up can a grown person be? (Probably a lot more, but still....that is a pretty stupid line of thought.)

So I am determined to not be shrill, to not make sexuality out to be scary or undesirable. Partly because I don't want to terrify my kids and partly because, if they are anything like me, acting like I don't want them doing it will only make them want to do it more.

My hope is that in the next 5+ years, I will continue to formulate a "sexuality strategy" so that I am ready when issues starts to pop up. It will be so easy if the kids are like their daddy---totally antisocial until their 20s. God help me if they turn out like their momma.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Things that amaze me

1. It amazes me that some people really talk on their cell phones as much as they appear to. I notice this in stores. They just jabber on and on without a care in the world, still apparently able to get their shopping accomplished. Almost 2 years ago, I purchased 1,000 minutes on my cell phone. When I went to re-up last year, I had approximately 786 minutes remaining. So I bought 10 more, to add to the 786, because obviously I don't have much to say. At least on the phone.

2. It amazes me that celebrities bother to get married. If I had that much money, there would be no way in heck I'd marry. Especially if I'd been with the person a number of years and already had a child (yes, I'm talking about you Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard). I can see that there are legal benefits to the middle class, but the uber-rich and famous. Nope. I figure if I'm not married, I won't feel so bad falling in lust with a co-star and having an affair while on set.

3. It amazes me that there could actually be a correct way to install toilet paper on the roll. Seriously, as long as I can unroll some and avoid getting feces and urine on my hand, I'm good. I don't care which way it rolls.

4. It amazes me that my daughter hasn't really asked how the baby got in mommy's belly. I think at one point, I said something about how mommies and daddies hug in a special way, and that seemed to do it for her. I sometimes wonder about her lack of curiosity about most everything. She can talk your head off, but it is never questions like, "Why is the sky blue?," and "Why don't turtles have teeth?" Of course, I don't think I was ever that inquisitive, so maybe it's genetic.

5. It amazes me that people buy homes that cost upwards of $200,000, and then don't keep them up. Fix the fucking roof, trim the goddamn bushes and get someone to replace the trim on the east-facing side of your home (4022, I'm talking to YOU!!!!!).

911 turtle rescue

Last night was the 2nd time in 3 years that I have rescued a turtle from imminent death on a busy roadway. It's a little weird because I don't stop for dogs or cats or any other creature on roadways, but there is something so pathetically...oh, I don't know...slow about turtles that I can't help but feel sorry for them plodding along on the concrete.

I was turning into my MIL's neighborhood after picking up G's birthday present and a Christmas present for the kids (bought them second-hand....a train table & numerous tracks/trains for G and a wooden jungle house). G won't give a darn if he sees the train setup, but N would remember seeing the jungle house for Christmas, so I had to stow it someplace other than our basement.

ANYWAY, as I was turning left into the subdivision, I saw a car stopped on Shelbyville Road, even though its light was green. As I got closer, I saw that someone was getting out to help this big turtle who was crossing the road at the most inopportune moment (really, any moment on Shelbyville Road is inopportune).

I puttered happily along to the house, glad that someone was taking pity on this poor creature and saving it. Fast forward 20 minutes or so later, I am getting ready to pull out of my MIL's neighborhood, when I see another car stopped on Shelbyville Road and the same dumb turtle trying to dodge traffic.

WHAT THE FUCK??? Why didn't the people get it 20 minutes ago?

So I pull over and don my latex gloves, which I keep in a little plastic bag filled with sanitizers, bandaids, ointments. I figure if I ever have to deal with another kid's blood at a sporting event or playdate, I'd rather have the gloves. I can handle my own kids' runny, gooey fluids, but definitely not some other kid's.

As I got closer to the turtle, I realized this wasn't a nice, harmless Franklin turtle. This was a big, long-necked, snapper. His shell was at least 12 inches long, not counting his big honking neck and tail in the back. When I made a move toward it, it lurched at me. No wonder the people in the first car didn't move him.

Time for plan #2. There was no way in fuck I was gonna try to actually pick this dude up with my hands. I value my appendages.

Fortunately, the trains and tracks were in a big plastic bin in the back of the van. I dumped everything out of it and found a snow scrapper with a long handle. Back to the turtle. Basically, I just stuck the container directly in front of him, took the end of the scrapper and lifted his big turtle butt into the bin. I could see his shell had already been knicked by tires.

When N and I saved a little turtle a couple years back on Blankenbaker Parkway, we had called the zoo about what to do with it. They said to return it to a safe spot near where we had found it, so I figured I would do the same thing with meanie, but as far away as possible from the main road.

My MIL's neighborhood has a huge wooded area and pond, so I dumped him there and hoped he wouldn't get hit by some teenager in the subdivision coming home later in the night.

When I returned home, I poured bleach into the plastic bin, threw the latex gloves away, and sprayed Lysol all over the ice scrapper. And then I worried a little bit whether the turtle air in the car could possibly harm the fetus. I decided the chances of him being smooshed again were far higher than me contracting some weird turtle flu. I also worried whether he might try to eat any duck eggs near the banks of the pond (I don't know what snapping turtles eat), but then decided to eat a bowl of ice cream and get over it.

And so this ends the tale of how, if I can borrow from my friend's recent FB status update, the donning of latex gloves was actually followed by something good. (THANKS, K!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Oh, kids

I have been so busy being self-absorbed with my pregnancy and swine flu complex, I almost forget to jot down what my kids are they are changing.

N is all about The Lion King because her dance school is doing it as their ballet performance in the recital. This weekend, I rented her The Lion King 1 and 1/2, so she has been watching that repeatedly. It is funny the way she repeats lines from movies. From this one it's, "Meercat: It's what's for dinner." Another favorite quote is, "I get the dark meat," from Ice Age: The Meltdown.

I bought a Ipod nano from a neighbor and downloaded some music for the car. N likes any song from any movie she's seen. After she saw Beverly Hills Chiuahuahua she fell in love with Gwen Stefani's, "Rich Girl." I was able to get her to listen to Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" since she heard it in Flushed Away. Gonna get "Proud Mary" (also from Flushed) and hunt for others.

G is saying more and more words. Dadu for thank you. Hehwo for hello. Mow for mowing grass. Potty for... potty. I forget how neat an age 18 months or so is. He has this book called Show Me, and on each page the momma is asking the baby to show her a body part. He turns to each page, looks at me, and touches the body part the momma is asking about---nose, chin, tummy, knees, toes.

And the older N gets, the longer her legs grow, the more lanky and gangly (like her mother) she becomes, I realize I need to savor G's baby hugs for their cuddliness and frequency. I will miss it when my children no longer want to hug me....which is happening all too soon with N.

Limbo-mode (and I can't bend backwards)

I didn't mean for the title to be a metaphor for my personality, but it certainly is. I am not a terribly flexible person. I don't like change, unless I am in control of the change. And I don't like to be in a waiting mode, and yet, here I am....waiting for vacation to come, waiting for swine flu to go the fuck away, and waiting for this baby.

I was gonna wait to get my haircut but decided I had had ENOUGH of looking like a mangy mutt. So that makes me feel a bit better.

We have decided not to find out the gender of this baby, although if we see a wee willie winkie on the screen, I guess we will kinda know, although we don't want confirmation from the technician or doctor. I'm starting to think of baby names, and am still having the same issues as before. Don't want an "N" name or a "G" name, or anything that rhymes with the other two's names, or anything that begins with "L," due to D's last name. Or anything that can be shortened, although one of the names I have in mind I actually like the shortened name, but it wouldn't sound right to be a "real" name on it's own for like a birth certificate.

Here are some I've been throwing around (and nobody better steal them...friends who are due around when I'm know who you are.)

Rhys (boy)
Rowan (boy)
Ronan (boy)
Renn (boy)
Malcolm (boy)
Maeve (girl)
Tess (girl)
D'Arcy (girl)
Fallon (girl)

Course, D and I haven't discussed much because once we put the kids to bed and have some quiet in the home in which to converse, we are so stinking tired and sick to death of sound that we just go our own ways to enjoy the silence.

We also haven't discussed how we are going to "do" the bedroom situation with N, G and the new dude/dudette. I'm thinking of using lots of sheets to designate one part of the big bedroom to one child and the other side to the other, but who these children might be remains unclear (although it will definitely be the ones who currently live here or will in October--I ain't gonna pick up any stragglers just for the hell of it.)

Anyway, just putzing along. Waiting and wondering what the heck I'm gonna do with 3 kids.