Monday, September 28, 2009

They were the best of times...they were the worst of times

Remember earlier today when I wrote about these being the sweetest, best days....the days of my children's youth?

Between the hours of 5:00 pm and 7:48 pm........

I tried to remember that when N was crying because she wanted to watch all of Barbie Thumbelina and still go outside after supper. And I had to explain to her that she has to sometimes make choices.....there isn't enough time to do her homework, watch all of the DVD, eat supper and go outside.

I tried to remember that when G started fussing that he wanted to eat but then refused applesauce, raisins, pizza rolls and a slice of cheese.

I tried to remember that when G kept crying over something related to his new digger, but we never were entirely sure what the problem was. But he just kept crying and carrying on and throwing the digger every opportunity he got.

I tried to remember that when 7 minutes after I got N and G to the park playground, N starts doing her St. Vitus' dance which is indicative of imminent urine leakage, requiring me to haul both kids and my 38 week pregnant ass halfway across the park premises to the bathrooms.

(After I complete this post, I will be printing a sign in large, bold letters: GO TO THE POTTY BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE!!! and taping it to the back door.)

I tried to remember that upon returning home when I ran bath water since N got muddy at the park, and G pitched a grand mal fit because neither D nor I would let him put his new Mac truck in the bathwater.

And now, at 8:39 pm, both of the children are in bed, either asleep or lulling themselves there, and so peace reigns once more. And so my head starts to think once again...."these are the best days."

I think these are the best

I was never a big 10,000 Maniacs fan because it always sounded to me like Natalie Merchant was singing with a wad of half-chewed crackers in her mouth. Nice voice, but I often couldn't make heads or tails of what she was saying.

Still, I was able to understand enough to think of their song These Are The Days when I began mulling over this particular blog idea.

These are days you'll remember.

Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this.
And as you feel it, you'll know its true that you are blessed and lucky.
Its true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.

I rarely think about the next stages of my life....when the kids are in school full-time and what I might decide to do to fill up my waking hours. And that is because I believe these days, when the kids are young, are the best and sweetest. Without question, they are most physically and emotionally demanding because little kids need their parents for everything. Many times I feel like my head will explode if I hear, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" repeated one. more. time.

But there will come a time when the kids won't be as cute, as curious, as loving, as sweet as they are now. And I know I will miss it. I suspect D will too, although I know he aches for the time when they hang out in their rooms and don't interrupt every conversation he and I attempt to have. I would be a liar if I said I don't get tired of dealing with little people all day long....that sometimes the best part of my day is when they are both sound asleep in their beds.

Still, last night, writing in G's baby book about his 2nd birthday celebration, I looked back at each month of his first year---what he did, how big he was, what he looked like---and it made me happy to have experienced that time and sad that it flew by so quickly. It certainly wasn't easy. I mean the boy didn't sleep through the night more than 5 times until he was 14 months old. But overall, I'd have to say it was mostly joyous, and I'm guessing, but I don't think joyous describes living with teenagers.

So I'll savor these days. Including the last 9 of my final pregnancy.....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lady Yo-Yo

When I was first diagnosed with OCD and GAD, I really did wonder if I was crazy or heading quickly in that direction. But my therapist said the old adage is true, "If you think you are going crazy, you aren't."

Still, having trouble regulating one's moods is no picnic, and I am finding that I am very aware of my internal yo-yoing which is very, very intense at the moment. I find myself at the top of the roller coaster one day and the next I am at the pit, heading into a curve.

This damned weather helps not in the least. The dreariness, the rain, do nothing for my state of mind. My physical tiredness and inability to find a comfortable position no matter which way I sit, stand or lay plays into it too.

And then there are the weekends, when all four of us are together, and this stresses me out as well. Because in a week and a half, there will be 5 of us in the house together, with the older ones still hollering "Mommy! Mommy" (while Daddy is right there and totally able to open the yogurt or put the train back together). And while I will no longer be lugging around a baby in my abdominal cavity, I will be post-surgery, breastfeeding and still sleep-deprived.

As I've said many, many times, my memory is poor, and so I cannot remember how I felt emotionally at 38 weeks with the other two. With N, I know I was a nervous wreck, but I could sleep and rest as often as I needed to. No other children with whom to contend. With G, I was so stressed about him being breech, I don't think I focused too much on anything but trying to get him to turn and preparing myself for the possibility of a c-section. Plus, I had only a 3-and-a-half-year-old who at the time was very into watching Disney Princess movies and content to do that all day long.

Now, I have a 5-year-old who takes after her mother in being a very poor self-entertainer, and a 2-year-old who is spending increasing amounts of time throwing fits. And so when I am with both of them on the weekends, it is emotionally draining. Because all the while I am thinking about adding a newborn into this stew.

My FB updates have been indicative of my yo-yoing. One minute I am excited about having the baby. The next I am complaining about being exhausted. The next I am bitching about my children.

I know it has to be hard for my family...I try my hardest not to explode or gripe too much in their presence, but when momma spends most of her morning being a lump of flesh on the living room floor, it is obvious things aren't "right." Of course, I haven't been a "fun" or particularly "energetic" mom in 3 years, since becoming pregnant with G. By the time I weaned him and he started sleeping better at 14 months, I was a month shy of getting pregnant again. So that was a short-lived period of time.

And I know this is a struggle for me....on the inside. I blog about my feelings, but since no one but me lives inside my head, I am the only one who knows the extent of the yo-yoing. I feel like a terrible bore due to the incessant pregnancy thoughts or postpartum adjustment thoughts, but that is simply where I am. And this phase is hard and the next will be harder. But I will cope. Because what other choice do I have?

Friday, September 25, 2009

2 years tomorrow

My dear sweet boy,

What did I think having a son would be like? I think I was mostly worried about handling your parts during diaper changes, but I was also concerned that I wouldn't know how to interact with you since I was so used to mothering a girl.

I quickly got used to being peed on in "fountain fashion," and I found that relating to a baby, whether boy or girl, is the same-- Nursing and snuggles and goo-goo baby voices. And so I stopped fretting and have just tried to enjoy you....

You became a little boy overnight, or at least that is how it feels to me as you turn 2 years old tomorrow. I can see that you look at the world differently from want to see how things work, where things go, how things happen. Like the day you kept pouring sand through the umbrella hole in the sandbox and ducking underneath to see it fall out the bottom to land on the patio. Over and over you did this.

And you like to bang and crash things together, be it your body into something or your cars into each other. Most everything you do physically is with seeming intent of hurting yourself as badly as possible. Somehow that hasn't happened yet, but you are no holds barred when it comes to running, jumping, flopping, pouncing or landing.

But you are also sensitive and sweet, giving N hugs before she gets on the bus, being concerned when someone has a boo-boo, loving on babies you see at My Gym or the library.

Most of the time you are very happy little boy, smiling and eagerly playing. You love to play with your numerous cars, lining them up on the couch. You love to play chase with your sister whenever the opportunity arises. You love to read books, especially when they are about Lightning McQueen or Thomas the Train.

And you talk alot....more than I think even your sister did at your age, but you have her to sing you songs and listen to. You've gotten to the point where you request songs in the car just as she does when we head out on the road. You ask for Sheryl Crowe's Real Gone or as you put it, "Queen Song" (since it's from the movie Cars).

As I prepare for your new sibling to arrive, I worry that you will become sandwiched in the center and suffer all those "middle child" issues I hear about. But hopefully you and I will adjust to this new family dynamic well, without too many problems.

You are a delight to me, and I am so happy I have been able to experience you and all your boyness. I know there will come a time when I will no longer understand you because you'll adopt grunting as your primary form of communication, and you'll probably be stinky alot of the time, and you'll talk about cars and sports in terms too complicated for me to comprehend. But you will be a delight to me then too.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What you think you want, and what you get

The problem with taking 2 naps during the day is that at 5:15 a.m. the next day one is wide awake and mulling over potential blog posts. So now at nearly 6:15 a.m., I am writing.

For some reason in the shower last night I began thinking about how in high school I really wanted to be voted "Most Likely to Succeed." That just seemed like the best superlative award possible, an award that would almost ensure one's success in life, or at least that is how I thought of it at 17 years old.

What I got was "Most Leadership." And, I admit, I was a little disappointed at the time.

In college, I received a monetary award my senior year for being what amounted to most distinguished student in the English department. What I wanted was to be voted most distinguished in the Economics department (I double majored). Again, a little disappointed.

So here it is some 20-odd years later, and in thinking about these awards, I have a totally different perspective.

Success to me at 17 is not the same as success to me at 36. I became a teacher and then a full-time mom, not an ob/gyn as I thought I might in senior year of high school. I've been on the board of my MOMS Club for 3 years and counting. And am I completing a doctoral dissertation on the theory of mercantilism? Nope, but I'm writing my little blog about my life and thoughts.

At this stage of my life, I know that what has gotten me "further" is having leadership skills and being astute in English, in writing.

I don't know if this is karma or god's grace or what....taking me to the "best" places for me.

And I recognize that life sometimes throws kinks in even the "best" places, the unexpected, the tragic. I know full well that I have somehow avoided these....although I would say I have been "threatened" by them or their potential and yet not had to cope with their full intensity.

I suppose maybe I'm thinking about what I thought I wanted and what I've gotten because of my two littlest ones being barely 2 years apart, which isn't the spacing I would have selected had the choice been handed to me. But like other things in my life, what I "got" actually made more sense and was not a disappointment once I got some perspective and wisdom and looked at them objectively.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

When life makes you realize you've got it good

I know without a doubt that I've got it good.

I've got a great husband who dislikes sports as much as I do. The only reason either of us knew there was a game between UL and UK yesterday was because of reading FB and Twitter (he's a twitterer). And I thought they were playing basketball, not football.

I've got 2 beautiful kids and 1 beautiful fetus who exasperate me and yet bring me utter joy at the same time.

I've got a nice home, a solid education, good health (overall), and savings in the bank.

But even when you know you've got it good, if you are hard-wired to worry, you find something to stew over, and for me, especially with a new baby coming, that worry is money-related. But my worry isn't, "How are we gonna feed 3 kids?," it is more on the order of, "How long will it take us to put $10,000 into this new baby's 529 plan?" (which we have done within a year of the other two's births).

In the grand scheme of things, this isn't even worthy of being a worry. I recognize that fact perfectly.
But everyone gets tunnel-vision, thinking their "issues" are critical.

Recently, though, I had occasion to review my insular thinking. I saw a former student of mine, a girl (I say girl because I taught her when she was a girl and have a hard time thinking of former students as anything other than kids) who was simply the nicest, hardest-working student. Simply kind, thoughtful and an extremely hard worker. She was my student in 6th grade and my aide in 7th and 8th.

She has had a challenging life, even as a kid, but never allowed that, at least to my estimation, to affect her negatively. I never, ever saw a chip on her shoulder.

She is about 19 now, expecting her first child, a son and scared to death. Working at a local restaurant. She had to drop out of college due to family obligations.

It was a delight to see her, but I felt for her because of her circumstances, because of her youth. I had my first child at 30, had been happily married for over 6 years, had a master's degree, my own home and nothing but security, and I was a fucking nervous wreck. I cannot imagine how I would have felt at 19.

It dawned on me as I was driving home that maybe I could help her out somehow. Share some of my immense fortune of baby boy her in some small way. So I called the restaurant, asked to speak to her again, and told her I'd like to help her out, if she was comfortable with that. She said she was, and did call me after she got off work, and we talked about her pregnancy and what she had and what she needed baby-wise.

I don't know how my offer felt to her because I wouldn't under any circumstances want her to feel like she's my pet "charity" case. This is certainly not my thinking. But she was always a "favorite" of mine as a student, and I just feel compelled to help her out, if in no other way than letting her know that I want to help if I can. Like it would almost hurt my heart if I couldn't do something for her.

So the ball is in her court. I have packed up items for her and will wait to hear what her work schedule is so I can drop baby goodies off. I hope she calls me back.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

You'd think my pregnancy is a terminal illness

Because I act as if I must get all my affairs in order by Oct 7th. I must get every t crossed and every i dotted or.......what? What will happen if I don't?

Really, it doesn't matter, just as it doesn't matter with regard to a terminal illness in any way other than psychologically. How does the saying go, "A person's inbox is never empty." And that is true. There is always, always something that creeps up needing to be done.

But still I keep trying to ensure that everything I can possibly think of, especially related to N and G, is completed.

I got my class over with at the end of August. Got the transcript. Got the baby stuff ready. Got G and N new shoes for fall. Have their Halloween costumes either in the works or already purchased. Still working on getting some things wrapped up for my MOMS Club. Have the mini-van. Got cabinets installed in laundry for extra storage. Have my fall/Halloween outdoor decorations out and flowers planted. Collected money for N's school fundraiser.

STILL waiting on hubby to sand & paint behind the bookshelf in basement. And now he has 2 shelves to hang in laundry room.

Next weekend is G's 2nd birthday and party, so today I bought stuff to make appetizers and his cake. His gift was purchased in May, or was it April? I am nothing if not an organized fool....most of the time.

And I'm hoping to take the kids on a hayride and pumpkin picking the weekend before the baby arrives....because I'm crazy like that.

So I know that I am as ready as I'll really ever be because in the next 18 days more things will crop up, more things I will think, "I just have to get this done before the baby comes." But I don't, not really.

And just as when G was born, I thought it would take me forever to be able to leave the house with a youngster and a baby in tow. But it didn't. I managed to get out better than I ever expected to. As long as I had diapers, wipes, some snacks, my wallet and my boobs with me, I was ok. Everyone could stay clean and well-fed.

This time will be the same, I'm sure. But in my head, you'd think my last day on earth among the living is Oct 6th.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Music memories

I hadn't thought about Jeff Buckley in ages, but someone mentioned his song, Lover, You Should Have Come Over, on a friend's FB update, and so I had hubby put the album Grace on my Ipod.

Hearing those songs is like being lifted out of my skin and spun back in time to the mid-1990s. I don't remember who introduced me to Buckley, but it became a love affair that I thought would never end. Hearing the songs on Grace reminds me of so many things.... a trip to New York in college with an economics professor and some other students for a conference, meeting and dating my husband, carrying N (I told you my love affair spanned a big ole chunk of time).

It is a tremendous feeling when a song or songs transports you back in brings a piece of you thought long-dead back to life.

Duran Duran songs reminds me of my childhood....from 3rd grade onward, dancing in the school talent shows, watching their videos on Mtv (when videos were actually shown on Mtv).

High school was my rap and R&B phase. Straight Outta Compton, Nothin' But a G Thang, I Wanna Sex You Up, Keep on Movin'---I spent so much time dancing. Best shape of my life in high school. If only I had that much energy now. Every weekend I spent dancing at the Maze.

And then college was grunge. How many times did I listen to Pearl Jam's Ten??? How cool did I think I was to skip Shakespeare class to see them in concert (the only college class I ever skipped)? College was also Tori Amos' Little Earthquakes.

In general I have a truly terrible memory, but hearing songs from my past reminds me of so many experiences, so many people. Loves and losses at love, school, confusion, sadness, joy. And the shame is that I can't convey to anyone the waves of memories that overcome when I hear this music, these particular songs.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Some of my MOMS Club friends gave me a shower today for baby #3. They had intended for it to be a surprise, but I kinda fudged their plans (insert evil sounding laugh here). So they had to spill.

Even though I wasn't technically surprised, I was surprised to have a shower for this baby at all simply because it is my third. It is a wonderful gesture, though, because every baby is a blessing and a gift and deserves to be celebrated. Maybe this one even more so because it is my last.

My friends were extremely generous and thoughtful----lots of diapers, a couple outfits and some baby necessities, like bibs, towels and receiving blankets.

I also received a bag of marbles, since I have apparently LOST MINE! (And the picture of me below with my marbles shows just how right on P was in giving them to me!).

Another reason why it is nice to have a shower for every baby is because if you keep a pregnancy journal, the third child doesn't feel like such an afterthought based on the lack of entries. Each of my journals allots like 4 pages for shower information, and with N's journal, I filled that sucker up. I had a family shower, friend shower and workplace shower. We needed everything and got everything.

When G came along, I had a MOMS Club friend shower. He was my first boy so I needed boy clothes and various "blue" accessories.

But this one is my third child and either my 2nd son or 2nd daughter. There is really nothing I need, per se. Well, certainly another set of arms, but c'mon. That section would have been left blank or I would have had to write in really big letters, "MAMAW GAVE YOU A SLEEPER."

I have decided that journal publishers need to offer baby #1, #2, #3 and even surprise baby pregnancy journals. Below is why....

Journal Entry Examples for each of my children:

My first thoughts on discovering I was pregnant with you was....

N---Oh my god, I can't believe we got pregnant so fast!
G--Oh my god, I thought I'd get pregnant immediately and I didn't so I am thrilled to finally be pregnant.
#3--Oh my fucking god, I can't believe I got pregnant on the pill.

My thoughts on my pregnant body as I carry you...

N--This is totally amazing, seeing you grow inside of me.
G--Oh, I forgot how amazing this is, and seeing your sister learn about you growing inside me is so neat.
#3--Is my ass really that fucking big, and what are the chances it will shrink given that I will be caring for three kids?

When I imagine you being born I think....

N--I hope I have the world's most perfect birth because you are a treasure, and I so want your entry into the world to be wonderful, peaceful and memorable.
G--You will bring so much adventure to our family....being a little brother to your big sister. Your birth will change our family dynamic.
#3-- A vacation from cooking, cleaning and dealing with your siblings!! Hot DAMN!!

See, one's mentality changes as one moves from the thrill of a firstborn to the birth of a third or fourth or 19th....

Not that it isn't a miracle. It always is, but you get over the miracle faster with each one because the reality of being a mom to other children doesn't give you the time to savor the miraculousness of it all.

And I think these goofy journals should reflect that.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

36 week dr. visit ----Genuine excitement

I got to have my 4th ultrasound for this pregnancy today because the doctor thought the baby might be small and was thinking he/she was transverse (as I have been for a long time).

As it turns out (and I realize there is a pretty good margin of error on ultrasound weight this late in the game), baby is "weighing in" at 6 lb, 13 oz., putting him/her in the 65th percentile. Head down, butt up, legs nearly poking out of my uterus on the right side of my rib cage.

My c-section is scheduled for Oct 7th at 2:30 p.m., and I am genuinely excited.

Genuinely excited? My dear Carrie, weren't you genuinely excited by the births of your other children?

The answer is a qualified yes....

With N, I was excited, but as she was my first, I was also terrified of birthing a baby, terrified something would be wrong with her given her 20-week ultrasound, terrified of not being able to deliver vaginally without drugs, terrified of everything and anything having to do with the process and responsibility of becoming a mother. Need I mention this was prior to the establishment of my relationship with Lexapro?

With G, I was excited, but at 37 weeks I discovered he was breech, which brought with it a whole bunch of weird unknowns, like whether he would turn on his own, whether the chiropractor visits would help turn him, whether the doctors would be able to turn him during a version, etc. So while excited, I was also a whole lot uncertain how things would go down, which kinda distracts one from the excitement part.

With this baby, I don't know the gender, so that opens up a whole new realm of excitement (and thank you to my friend K for encouraging me to be surprised just once). Plus, I've done the vaginal and the c-section, so I know what to expect....there isn't a whole lot that can surprise me (please gods of the universe, don't make something really weird & funky happen to make me eat the aforementioned words.)

While I think it is a little sad that it has taken me 3 pregnancies to feel this kind of satisfied excitement, I am glad that I can say that, for once, I do not feel scared.

Monday, September 14, 2009

36 weeks, and I'm SO counting down

This is my last pregnancy, and at this particular moment in time, I am not sad about that.

I have begun to deal with indigestion and heartburn, two symptoms I never experienced during my other pregnancies.

This little imp is also the type of baby that rolls and stirs to the point that one sees limbs moving across my mid-section, again something that did not happen in my other pregnancies. I always thought it was so cool when a pregnant mom could really see limbs moving across her abdomen. And it is cool, but in my case, extremely uncomfortable and, at times, downright painful. I don't know if it is this baby's positioning, this baby's insistence to move around as much as possible, or that my uterus is finally roomy enough to stretch.

While I spent much of this pregnancy either 1. distracted by school (mine or N's), or 2. stewing about handling a 3rd kid, in these last couple weeks I have found myself becoming increasingly excited about having another baby. I know G's first year went amazingly quickly, and I expect this 3rd's ones will fly past even more so.

I told D the other day that, all things considered, it is really a good thing that I got pregnant when I did, accidentally as I did, because if I wasn't currently pregnant I would be starting to harass him about trying for a third, which would have resulted in many hurt and hard feelings. Because I really wanted 3 kids, and he really did not want 3 kids. So our surprise baby has saved us from a marital showdown, I guess.

And with this 3rd one, I know I am ready, when the time comes, to move onto the next stage in our lives. I know, had G been our last, I would have always wondered, dreamed, regretted not having a 3rd child. I would have felt that I was missing something. But I don't feel that way. I feel like I will be ready to get rid of baby items, ready to start having family vacations with older children, ready for their next stages of development.

There is something really calming about feeling a sense of contentment in the midst of a life-changing event.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting my jollies

There is no question that I am a nerd. But N going to kindergarten has brought to my attention just how big of a nerd I am. Not that I ever really forget that I'm a nerd, but I've got a big enough ego that I can convince myself that I am nerdy and yet brilliant and cool too.

One of the big highlights of my day, aside from when the kids go to bed, is when N comes home, and I get to go through her folder to look at her work and read any notes that have been sent.

Tonight was N's elementary school's Open House, and I was all excited about seeing where she sits and looking through her papers and doing the little "family" assignment the teacher asked the parents in attendance to do.

On our way out, I stopped in the library to ask when the kids would be able to start checking out books and to see when the book fair would be (Oct 23--huzzah!!!).

I keep thinking a full-grown, sexually active (ok, well not so much at the moment) woman with an advanced degree should probably not be as "into" kindergarten as what I am into it. But I just cannot help but love it.

N's teacher sent home a monthly reading log for us to do together the other day, so this afternoon I reserved a bunch of books for us from the library. Exciting stuff. And I am not being sarcastic. It really was kinda exciting for me to find some new and unusual books to share together before bedtime.

Being in N's school tonight makes me think about the things I loved about doing book orders and reading books with my students and helping them do neat projects. Mind you, I don't mean to suggest I want to go back anytime soon because I also clearly recall how much damn WORK it is to teach. But it was always something I found immensely fulfilling.

Of course, at this stage, I can't even volunteer to be a room mother because I am a little swamped with little ones...or soon will be. But eventually I'll be able to do things at N's school....or when G is in school....or when #3 is in school. At some point, I'll be able to satisfy my love of education jollies more sufficiently.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Worries and guilty admissions

So there are two things on my mind that I need to spill.....not that spilling will make any difference. And be warned---the worries one ain't a pretty do not eat or drink while reading.


Last week N had a stomach bug of some sort. She had diarrhea and upset tummy. Prior to this her bowel habits were totally normal, but now things are still....hmmmmm....a little loose.

And this has me worried. I'm not spazzing off (completely) or making an appointment with the doctor, but I'm finding myself asking her alot whether she's pooped and what it was like, etc. And I know from whence this concern comes.

My dad suffered from ulcerative colitis for 20 years, and in February of this year had his colon removed. He is doing fantastic and wishes now that he'd had the surgery done a long time ago. But his history has long made me anxious about developing the condition myself or having one of my children develop bowel problems. I don't spend oodles of time worrying about it, but when one or the other has some "issues," as N has of late, I get to stewing a bit.

I suspect that N already has some anxiety issues, and I know that anxiety can exacerbate bowel disorders. I dealt with irritable bowel symptoms prior to going on antidepressants. So really, it's not just the pooping, but whether her mindset is affecting the pooping that's worrying me as well.

She has become a chronic nail picker (which my dad and I both do, as well as my brother and nephew), and which I know is an anxious habit.

Which leads me in a way to my 2nd topic......


N, at 5.5 years old, still uses a pacifier. She doesn't take it to school or anywhere public. It is only used at home, and it gets put up whenever her friends come over. And my feelings on her use of it are mixed.

You see, I sucked my thumb until I was 10 years old and in order to stop had to have a special retainer made with prongs poking down from the roof of my mouth---like a gate to keep my thumb from entering. I guess I sucked my thumb as a means of relaxing, and I know that is why N does it. It calms her down; helps her unwind. Given that I find myself seeing twinges of anxiety in her, I don't want to take away something that makes her feel better. I know the money and time I've spent getting a grip on my anxiety have been more than what my parents ever spent on braces for my teeth.

But, the pacifier use also drives me nuts, mostly because family members will say things to her like, "You're too old for a pacifier," and "You don't need that." Now normally, I am a big fan of thinking thoughts like "Fuck 'em" whenever someone tells me something with which I disagree, but every parent wants his/her child to be "normal," to not be made fun of or criticized. And saying stuff like this to N is a criticism. Maybe done out of love, but a criticism nonetheless.

I keep hoping that at some point she will decide on her own to get rid of it. I used that same plan for potty-training, and eventually she was potty-trained when the time was right for her. Sure it took her until she was 4.5 years old to poop on the potty, but me badgering her to death wasn't gonna make her do it any faster. There are some battles not worth fighting because there are some things a kid just has to control on his/her pooping (hey this conversation has come full circle).

I know that if these are the biggest problems I face as a parent my life is exceptionally easy, but they cause me concern irregardless.

Thoughts on depression....a continuation of a friend's FB note

A friend of mine shared his thoughts for the day on depression and asked that others write their own. So here goes.....

I technically have never been diagnosed with depression. I am clinically diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, but when I had my breakdown (or breakthrough as I like to think of it), I was suffering from a number of symptoms of depression----feelings of guilt and helplessness, feelings of hopelessness, inability to eat, insomnia, persistent sad feelings.

To some extent, none of these symptoms were really new. I had battled anxiety and sadness for many, many years, but they would subside eventually. The grunge period of the 1990s was especially well-timed because I looked as miserable as I mostly felt in my flannel shirts and torn jeans, listening to Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain wail and holler. I was able to get along, though.

But this time was different. This time I really, truly felt like I was going mad. I was terrified someone would take my daughter from me because I knew I was "losing it."

My dearest friend had suffered from depression for quite awhile when I had my episode, and it was at this point that I apologized to her because until that time, until I had lived it, I never got it. I never fully understood what a horrible existence it is to suffer untreated or to be beginning treatment and not feel any instant relief. I guess like most things in life, it takes someone walking in the same shoes to fully appreciate the extent of your joy or sadness.

And my friend who wrote his thoughts on depression on FB? He sent me the most wonderful, caring letter, sharing his own experiences and giving me hope that I would feel better. And I did feel better over time, after some medication tinkering and therapy.

Now, as this blog suggests, I, in many ways, have defined my life by my experience with mood disorders. It defined my life for a long time before I even knew it was a combination of mood disorders that were making my life, outlook and attitude what they were. And I am happy and proud to share my experience with others, to offer hope or help in whatever form I can, because I am a much better, stronger, kinder person as a result of my experience.

I am not as judgmental. I am not as hard on myself or others. I am much more empathetic towards others who are living their own breakdown or breakthrough. And I understand what makes me tick now in a way I wouldn't have had it not been for my experience in 2004.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A little this, and a little that

Hey, I don't feel like being political. Hurrah. A non-controversial blog post for Labor Day (unless the ASPCA wants to knuckle down over how much I hate my cats....see below).

1. Went to Wal-Mart and purchased lots of cleaning/home-care items so that neither I nor D will have to run out to purchase diswasher detergent or Aveeno soap for a good, long while.

2. Have reached desperation regarding my knickers. Am this close to violating all sorts of public decency laws and just going with a fig leaf. Seriously, there comes a time when even pregnancy clothes don't cut it, and you just need to wear a potato sack for maximum comfort.

3. Visit the doctor manana for 35 week appointment and will hopefully get a D-date on the calendar. Our "plan" (which I say loosely because by this time I truly "get it" that childbirth and babies are always apt to throw a wrench is whatever plan you have) is to get N off to school, go to the hospital, slice & dice and recover for a bit, have D pick N up a little early from school and tell her FIRST what the baby is.....then she can tell the grandparents and great-grandparent, and D can announce on Twitter and FB at that point. So, FB friends, you might know I've had the baby, but you won't know the gender until N knows.

4. If I don't murder my cats before 2010 it will be a small miracle. I am so, so, so, so, so fucking sick of cleaning up mustard yellow cat bile and half-digested kibble. There are wet rags all over my floors on every level of the house. I wish my carpet was a combo of shit-brown and mustard yellow (to hide all the dirt and vomit stains). I am seriously considering getting new flooring (non carpet) on the first floor next year just so it eliminates one area of the house where I have to spray neutralizer/carpet cleaner. D and I could probably afford to refloor the entire house with all the money we've spent on carpet sprays for cat "accidents" over the last 12 years.

5. G is talking up a storm. He knows when N starts singing, "Lolly, lolly, lolly get your...." that he can follow up with "adverbs here." He knows all his body parts, including his penis, but he often calls it poop (I guess he confuses a shit bulge with a sex organ bulge). He is very adept at saying, "Mommy, sih down!," "Mommy pay (play)," and "He com Mommy."

6. And Miss N adores kindergarten and is doing wonderfully well. Every school day she gets up on her own, dresses herself and then comes into my room to harass me out of bed. We're still working on getting breakfast eaten within a 5-hour time frame, but she hasn't missed the bus yet, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

7. Am more than halfway through Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I asked for #7 for my birthday as well as Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, so I'll have plenty to read over the next however many months (since I won't finish a book every 2 weeks for awhile). D has moved all the movies I'd really like to see before the baby comes to the top of the Netflix queue, although I think that there are more movies than I have weeks left in the pregnancy.

So we are wrapping things up. I am increasingly excited to meet this little bugger.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I must be itchin'

For a fight. I seem to be getting into more and more FB "rows" with people over health care reform and the President's upcoming speech. I'm not just randomly starting shit with people....unless you count my blogging, which I don't because I try to be reasonable in my writing...but I have just seen people write really mean-spirited comments. Sarcastic remarks about people's status updates and name-calling. I might "think" someone is a jackass, but I'm surely not gonna call them that on FB.

I am of the opinion that this type of behavior utterly undermines whatever argument someone is trying to make. If you are making an argument, stick to the point, the facts. Once you resort to name-calling and "mind-reading" (as in saying, "You know I'm right"), you have started sliding down the slippery slope of stupidity, and no one with any sense is going to take you seriously. The other idiots who resort to these behaviors will think you are right on, but the level-headed people of the word think you are a slimebag, an asshole, a shithead.

Of course, the level-headed people of the world are too level-headed to call you what you are because they aren't uncouth and ignorant.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Seriously people???? Really????

I find myself either saying this alot or thinking it....

First, let me begin by admitting the following:
1. Yes, I voted for Obama.
2. No, I do not think he is the Messiah. He is a fallible human, just like the rest of us.
3. No, I don't want the US to become like Communist China.
4. No, I don't think George W. Bush was the brightest or most articulate president we've ever had.
5. And Yes, I disagreed with most everything he did.

BUT, if George W. Bush had broadcast a speech on the importance of education, setting goals and respecting one's parents, I wouldn't have gone ape-shit. Because those things are important, regardless of your political affiliation. My biggest concern is that he would have messed up the pronunciation of most every word he encountered on the tele-prompter, making him look like an ass and resulting in kids not taking him seriously.

If you disagree with Obama's politics, fine. But I would think most reasonable people could see how he is a good "role model" for children. Of mixed race, raised by a single parent, and achieved amazing things both in terms of his education and his career based on his skills, not because of his family connections (like a certain president who's initials are G.W.B., but we could also lump the Kennedys in here too).

I know all the health care hubbub has people up in arms and suspicious, but I cannot help but be continually amazed at how unreasonable folks can be. I don't think we've reached North Korea style propaganda just yet.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What little I can do

I have often thought that at some point I might be interested in serving in a public office. I don't know that I've ever actually admitted that to anyone, even D.

Whenever I have this thought, though, I have to remember that even though I think I can "rumble" fairly well, my insides go all bonkers whenever I face conflict, and I obsess over it.

Which brings me to this never-ending saga of the health-care reform debate. There are many things I think could be done to reform health care. Put caps on malpractice torts. Regulate the health care industry so no one can be denied coverage or charged exorbitant prices. Mandate that everyone has health insurance (we do it with car insurance, why not health?) Throw out the whole pre-existing condition rule. Make preventative care and public health stronger than what they currently are.

I am all for personal responsibility. I live my life according to it's principles. It burns my rear when I hear of folks using Medicaid who want to bitch about their "inadequate treatment," like having to see a nurse practitioner instead of a doctor. It pisses me off that generations of families live as parasites off the welfare system.

BUT, I cannot help but keep in my head the saying, "There but for the grace of God go I." A strong work ethic, an appreciation for help when it is given, a belief in the power of education---these are learned. My parents, who both came from very meager circumstances, taught me these values. And sadly, there are many, many people in this country who don't learn these things.

And even among those who do, life is sometimes a bitch and hands you a bucket of shit to hold. I think of them primarily whenever I think of the health care reform debate. The people who hold the jobs and work and try to keep their homes and raise their families and are forced into dire circumstances because of the health cards life dealt them.

I guess I simply don't understand the reasons behind some people's arguments against a government option for health care.

Some say it will be expensive to pay for. I agree, but not doing anything is going to be even costlier to individuals and the country as a whole. When my daughter was born 5 and a half years ago, I think we paid maybe $200 for her delivery. As I've mentioned numerous times, this third child will cost close to $10,000. And I would much rather be taxed at a certain percentage than have all sorts of "hidden fees" in my private health care to cover the uninsured.

Some say they don't want the government's hands all over everything. Maybe not, but have these people ever mailed a letter through the US Postal Service? Do their parents utilize Medicare? Have they ever filed unemployment while laid off? Have they ever used the internet at their local public library or checked out books? Do their kids attend public schools? If you utilize all of these things, and have no problem with it, then what exactly is your fear with a public health care option? The government isn't going to make you use it, right? You will still have the choice of private health care, so run with it if it makes you happy.

Some people are just plain scared of the unknown, and I can completely understand this. The devil you know is worse than the devil you don't know. But the current state of health care is a pretty bad fucking devil, so I'm willing to take a chance on the other boogeyman waiting behind the door.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

To do list is nearly done

But this doesn't mean I want baby to come right now.

Here is the list I posted a couple weeks ago....

1. Buy newborn diapers -CHECK
2. Finish scrapbooking all pics from April-current -- CHECK
3. Sand & paint wall behind bookshelf in basement --this is D's job. I just gotta harass.
4. Try to repair the VCR -- CHECK
5. If VCR can't be fixed, take to electronics recycling center along with shredder that no longer works.
6. Put down more lava rock in front flower beds--CHECK
7. Buy G's birthday invites, plates, napkins, etc--CHECK
8. Schedule a pregnancy massage--CHECK

Plus, we even got around to doing the following:

Baby bed bought, put together and made--CHECK
(notice how it is sandwiched between the wall and my dresser--lovely, lovely nursery).

N and G artwork in basement (revised N's and completed G's)--CHECK

Bought myself some new pjs for the hospital--CHECK

We're getting there.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Addicted to craigslist

As I mentioned on this blog recently, I am not a big shopper, but I have discovered the joy of craigslist, especially concerning the purchasing of most things kid-related.

When N was a baby/toddler, I bought everything new, but eventually I realized that this was kinda stupid because kids have two purposes in life: 1. drive their parents nuts and 2. destroy everything they touch.

So I wised up and have since been much, much, much more adept at searching consignment sales and online for gently used and much less expensive items.

When G turned 1, I wanted to get him one of the Laugh & Learn Learning Home, which retails brand new for $80. I got one off craigslist for either $20 or $25. It is in great condition other than the little flower in the flower pot is gone.

For Christmas 2008, I wanted to get him a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, which retails brand new for $50. Again, craigslist to the rescue, where I got his for $20-25. Great condition again.

G isn't the only one who has benefited from my online shopping. I bought a big bag of Barbie clothes for $12 for N this summer (I think we counted up like 28 outfits in the bag). They weren't in super marvelous condition, but after a 5-year-old spends a couple months changing doll clothes repeatedly, they are all rags anyway.

And third baby is reaping the rewards of craigslist before birth.

This weekend I met up with a woman who sold me a really nice exersaucer for $15. Great condition, and I should be able to get most if not all of the money back out of it when I sell it sometime in the future (provided G doesn't break it while trying to launch himself off the top).

Now tonight, after an unsuccessful attempt at finding a glider for the new baby on Sunday at the half-price consignment sale, I found a white one on craigslist being offered for $30. I'm waiting to hear back as I type this.

I know there will come a time when my kids may balk at the idea of gently used items, so I'm spending wisely now and saving up for those big-ass ticket items (if they are anything like their daddy they are gonna have champagne taste).