Monday, November 30, 2009

It's a wrap

Ahhh, the end of November. Hopefully the end of my family's sick spell. The end of blogging every single day for NaBloPoMo.

This morning N went back to school, and D went back to work, and Mommy did a little happy dance that my life is back to "normal."

So far today has been good. Especially since it started out with a friend bringing over a chocolate cake since I had complained about not having good chocolate around the house on FB. (The Fonz loves you, T!!!! You rock, but you know that!)

G had his 6-month appointment with the ENT, and then we headed to Target for diapers. Back home for lunch. I was able to wrap some Christmas presents since both boys are napping at the same time.

I don't have very many Christmas gifts to buy, what with being done with the kids and nieces and nephews. So maybe this week I will be able to tackle the remainder when Nana comes over. I need a bunco ornament, 2 secret Santa gifts for D's family, gifts for my parents and my MIL, and, finally, a gift for my family's extended Christmas party.

Wednesday is H1N1 shot day at N's school, so I will be going there for that to hold her hand (or hold her down) when she gets the shot (which I'm going to request given her persistent cough).
I let N decorate the basement with Christmas decor this weekend, and it occurred to me that most of the Christmas stuff I have are things I have been given. Not things I have purchased on my own. Heck, truth be told, most of what is in my house has been given to me. It is hard for me to buy whatnots because I can very easily talk myself out of them.

Anyway, I have been thinking that maybe I should purchase a couple things for my mantel, some Christmas decor I really like. But then the uber-frugal monster in me thinks it is sorta stupid to spend any money on decor that will only be up for 3 weeks or so. I hate having these internal battles.

I am planning for D and I to purchase a new mattress very soon after the new year. We've been sleeping on the same one for 11 years, and it is so humpy when I lay M on it, his head is usually higher than his feet.

This post has been quite random, but now that I'm not stewing over sickness and being cooped up, I've just got so much to plan and think about......

Which feels really nice.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Angels among us

I have some really, really good friends. A whole slew of them fixed meals for our family after M was born, and by that, I mean friends brought meals over for almost an entire month. I didn't have to worry about cooking until November rolled around, which was very much appreciated especially given all the sickness in my house and my infected incision.

Two friends have been especially wonderful to me, and I think of them as my angels.

My neighbor H is a stay-at-home mom of a high schooler and a son who just started college. One day we ran out of orange cheese (cheddar), so I called to ask her if she was gonna go out during the day if she would pick up some orange cheese for us. She brought over a chunk of orange cheese that she had at home and still fetched us some sliced stuff later in the day.

The other day, after having read about being stuck in the house again with sickos, she called and said she was going to the grocery and what did I need. I told her a gallon of organic skim milk and a fifth of vodka. She brought the milk and by declining to buy the booze prevented me from getting totally wasted and having my children taken away by CPS. She is always looking out for me.

And then there is KB, whom I have known since I was 14. Her sister, KL, and I have been dear friends since freshmen year, but KB and I have become more friendly since our oldest daughters are a couple of months apart in age.

KB, in addition to bringing us a meal after M was born, emailed me and asked if she could bring over some library books and dvds to help us weather the housebound crazies. And then she let me vent for a few minutes on the front porch when she dropped everything off. She also gives me all her old magazines so that I have something to do with my brain while nursing or watching the kids play. Ya know, for when seeing Thomas the Train go around the track for the 11 millionth time doesn't thrill my intellectual mind.

I always knew female friends were important, but since having my kids, my mom friends have been my salvation. I have my husband and mom to listen to me, but my husband has never been a mom, and my mom hasn't been in the "trenches" for a long time (long enough to forget a whole bunch of shit). But my mom friends live it everyday.

Their support has meant, and continues to mean, so, so much to me.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Needs being met?

Let me just preface this by saying that D already said to me, "So have you blogged about how pissed you are at me?" I don't yell or scream, but there sure ain't no hiding when I'm not happy about something.

Last night D stayed up until 1:00 a.m. playing Xbox games. My problem isn't with his playing games. My problem is that at 7:24 in the morning, I am "expected" to deal with all 3 kids while he stayed in bed (eventually he got up but it was after I had nursed M, gotten G up, changed his wet sheets, gotten myself dressed, and gotten 2 baskets worth of laundry ready to go downstairs.)
I mean, I was tired too and would have liked to have stayed in bed, because even though I went to bed a little before 10:00, I was awoken at half past ten because G was crying. And then I was awoken at 1:00 to nurse M. And then I was kept up until almost 4:00 am by M who wouldn't fall asleep. Sometime during the night I also dealt with N who had a coughing spell.

But to be perfectly honest I think I'm mad at myself as well because as I was getting up dealing with the kids and regular life (because I never get a weekend), a part of me wants to coddle him, thinking to myself that I ought to try to be quiet so he can sleep. I shouldn't turn on the bedside light because the glare will bother him.

I know D works hard and needs down time. Most Saturdays and Sundays, when G naps, I spend time with N (and now M) while D watches movies or plays computer games. So that is a couple hours per day most weekends. And then in the evenings, after the kids go to bed, D has tv or gaming time until he comes to bed. I don't demand "couple time" or expect him to sit with me. I try to be a pretty easy wife. I know him well enough to understand that he uses his games to decompress.

I guess right now, given that I am sleep-deprived and on almost 7 days inside with sick kids, I am just so tired of giving. I give to my family all.the.time. Feed them, wash their clothes, nurse them, change their diapers, prepare their food, pay the bills, call the insurance company, buy the toilet paper and toothpaste, make sure there is toilet paper in the bathrooms, buy groceries, purchase Christmas presents, and on and on.

Sometimes I'd like for D to say, "Hey, go lay down and rest. I'll man the ship." Even if I choose not to rest, it would make me feel good that someone, for once, thought of my needs. Without me having to ask it or demand it. I need someone to understand that I need to decompress regularly too.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Letter to the Queen Bitch of Sickness

Dear Queen Bitch of Sickness,

While I should probably thank you that you haven't visited really serious illness upon my house, I have to say I am really fed up with these low-level yuckies that keep invading our family space.

In the 7, yes 7, weeks since M joined our crew, we have had the following illnesses:
  • N sick 3 times--2 respiratory viruses and 1 viral pneumonia (along with sinusitis)
  • G sick 3 times--2 respiratory viruses and 1 pink eye
  • M sick 2 times--fever and pink eye
  • Me and D sick 2 times each with respiratory viruses
I can appreciate that you and your germ legions are just trying to survive. Aren't we all? But I really need for you to go find some crows or snakes to sicken instead of my family. I just ordered a bunch of used DVDs to get us through the winter, and we've already watched them to the point where we have memorized all the dialogue.

This morning's visit to the doctor with all 3 kids in tow will probably run me in the low $400s, what with the kids not having reached their deductibles this year. And the med costs for this week are standing at $150.

So, please, would you kindly just go fuck yourself???

Thursday, November 26, 2009


This Thanksgiving Day, I am grateful for certainty.

In my life there have been very few things about which I have felt certain. I expect many people feel similarly. I was certain I wanted to marry D and certain that he was a decent, "nice" guy who wouldn't hurt me. At twelve years of marriage and almost 15 as a couple, I know my feeling of certainty was right.

Career-wise, I didn't feel certain about anything until 1998, when I decided to get my MAT and become a middle school teacher. I loved teaching and someday I will get back to it. I feel in my heart I was meant to help kids learn.

Regarding children, before D and I married we didn't know if we wanted ANY kids, or if we did, we only wanted one. About three weeks after delivering N, I felt certain I wanted 3 kids. Illogical? Yes. But there it was.

And so we had G, and I still felt like I wanted another child. Maybe when G was 2.5 or 3, I could beg, plead and badger D into agreeing to conceiving another one.

But then M came along. An unexpected gift.

And now I feel certain that I am done with my childbearing. And I am happy about it. Even if something were to happen to one of the kids (god forbid), I am done.

Yesterday, I put up all of the 0-3 month clothes, since M was busting out the seams on them. I felt no sadness, no pangs of longing or grief. I felt relief to know that at some point relatively soon I will be passing along these clothes, having more empty space in my closets.

Moving onto the next stage of our life as a family, even though M will be an infant for quite a long time yet, is something I am finally ready for.

For certain.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Another day

Of being in the house. N is still feeling punky, and I feel pulled in 3 different directions.

She wants to snuggle and cuddle. G wants me to play. M wants to be held and nurse. Unfortunately, I cannot do these things at the same time, and most of the time a certain 7-week-old monopolizes my time. I wish I could make him understand that I can't hold him for 14 hours a day, but he just don't get it. G has been acting out a bit, I think due to being cooped up and having to watch M monopolize all of mommy's time.

Last night I made a wine shop and grocery run with M to get out of the house. Partly to avoid the pre-Thanksgiving rush and partly to rebalance my psyche.

Tonight M will accompany me to meet a friend for coffee. This is one is totally for my sanity.

I feel like such a wuss but being stuck in the house is no fun in general. Being stuck in the house due to illness is simply miserable.

Is it almost spring?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One hell of a day

I love my kids beyond words. I also profoundly hate being stuck in the house with them for many days in a row, which is what is happening now that N has been diagnosed with sinusitis and bronchitis. It doesn't take me very long to start going bonkers.

After watching The Wiggles and The Smurfs over and over again, I got desperate. One of the songs on the Wiggles' dvd is Six Months in a Leaky Boat and features Tim Finn, so I began my quest to relieve extreme boredom by researching Tim Finn and the song, which inevitably led to looking up the history of the Wiggles and the backgrounds of the members. Good god, you know you've reach pathetic when you research the Wiggles. I know more about Murray, Jeff, Anthony and Sam than I care to.

When I wasn't uber-bored, I was uber-frustrated. M kept fussing, and G was just being a 2-year-old pain---screaming, not knowing what he wanted, and pestering his sister and brother. I called D and asked him to come home for lunch, but OF COURSE, he had a lunch meeting. I think men plan lunch meetings just to ensure that their SAH wives have no choice but to not get a reprieve during the day.

We hadn't put up the pack-and-play, and weren't planning to because it takes up so much room, but I finally broke down today because I need a jail for G. I was wrestling with that contraption while G and M screamed. Fortunately, N seems to know when she is sick that momma is about 27 seconds from insane so she usually treads pretty lightly.

When D came home he was given instructions to occupy G. He is now dealing with all of them so that I can have some blogging therapy. He knows I don't do well with sick days. Hell, he would blow his brains out after half an hour of this shit.

Can't wait for tomorrow.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quest for shoes

I rarely ever buy clothing or shoes. I did purchase two pair of yoga pants at the end of my pregnancy with M, but that was a matter of survival. The last two weeks of pregnancy require desperate measures, people. I think the last pair of shoes I purchased was in 2007, when I was pregnant with G.

However, having 3 kids now, 2 of them ages two and under, has made me even more cognizant of how quickly I need to be able to move to prevent the toddler from hitting, sitting on or painting the baby.

I can't even mess with velcro straps on shoes. I need slip-ons. The above cosmetic job took all of 23 seconds.

I had ordered a pair of skimmers from L.L.Bean but was terribly disappointed. They felt hard and inflexible and were promptly shipped back.

After asking FB friends where they had purchased comfy shoes, I headed out yesterday to Dillard's and checked out the brand names they had recommended. I began trying on various pairs and quickly realized that part of the discomfort is because my feet have apparently stretched out as much as my midriff.

I had N with me so I couldn't putz around, although I'm not a putzer anyway. I walked in and said, "I want slip on shoes that are extremely comfortable. Don't care about the cost or brand. Go!" Within 15 minutes I had a lovely and uber-comfy pair of Merrell brand shoes and was eating cinnamon pretzels at Auntie Annie's.

Now that is the way I like to shop.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Infant obituaries

Even when I don't have a newborn, I hate seeing obituaries for babies in the newspaper. (Yes, I read the obits. And, no, I am not 82-years-old as some people think you have to be to read the obits.)

This morning I saw that there was a 9-week-old baby girl who died, and that makes me so sad. And worried.

They never say whether the infant died of SIDS or some genetic disorder. Whether the baby had been in the children's hospital. Usually, they only say that it was an infant and don't give the specific age at all.

I'm certainly no fan of the newborn/early infant stage, and the threat of sudden death is one of the reasons (in addition to the sleepless nights, uncomfortable breastfeeding and general neediness of the wee babe). I feel much more relaxed as the baby moves towards that half-year mark.

I must admit, and I am a bit ashamed to say this because it seems like I am feeding on other people's misfortune, but even though reading the infant obituaries makes me worry, they also somehow put my mind slightly at ease. Because I know infant deaths are pretty rare, so my mind "reasons" that if I see that a baby has died, chances are better that my baby won't.

I don't dare delve into the psychological depths that would explain how reading infant obituaries makes me feel relieved and worried at the exact same time. There is, after all, a reason I am psychotropically medicated.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


This morning N and I did a wee bit of the Give Thanks. Walk. for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. It didn't take me long to feel tired given my early morning parties with M, and N wanted to jump in the inflatables instead of going around the walking track multiple times. It was a good morning for a 5-year-old, all things considered: Krispy Kreme doughnut, coloring book, and jumping in an inflatable. We stopped in to visit Papaw at his home and Mamaw at the tennis shop afterwards.

Doing the walk, plus next week's holiday, has me thinking about all the things for which I am thankful, but I have been trying to think of all the little things, the subtle things that often slip by when one starts counting their blessings.

1. This week when I went for my 6-week postpartum check and overheard a doctor talking about Clomid, I was thankful that I was able to get pregnant with my 3 children easily, without needing hormones and drugs and tests and technology. I am thankful I didn't have the worry of infertility.

2. I am thankful my parents stressed a strong work ethic, frugality and budgeting, and education as they were raising me, and I hope I do a halfway decent job of passing these values onto my children. In the midst of an economic crisis, it eases my mind to know we have savings and aren't in debt.

3. I am thankful that I have my mom's "youthful" genes. When folks say I haven't aged (much) since high school, and my pregnancy pounds slip off fairly easily, it helps me from feeling frumpled and funky, which is easy to do as a stay-at-home mom since I have no reason to brush my hair, put on makeup, or wear nice clothes that will become poop, puke, and piss-stained.

4. I am thankful that my OCD doesn't involve hoarding. I hate clutter. Even though obsessing is a real pain, at least I can keep that to myself. My children will learn the benefits of neatness and organization, which I think will help them in the long run.

5. I am thankful that my husband has low wife standards and doesn't balk about my non-sexy underwear and pajamas, my middling cooking skills, and my grouchy moods.

Of course I am also thankful for the BIG things: my family's good health, our home, and the fact that we are only modestly disfunctional.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Why I stay at home

I have been a stay-at-home mom for almost 6 years now, and during that time I have come to a number of conclusions about this "job."

First of all, it is really, really hard. Not a logistically hard balancing act that working mothers face, figuring out who picks up whom and when and who takes off work and when. Staying at home is a tedious, mind-numbing hard---spending all day with children, trying to find something to entertain them for all of the 20 seconds of their focused attention, listening to them fuss and whine and yell, "Mommy," and show great impatience. It is emotionally draining and mentally dull.

Secondly, the decision to stay at home has more to do with the mom and her need/desire for control than anything to do with the children. My nieces and nephews all go to daycare and have since they were 12 weeks old, and they are all intelligent, well-balanced, decent children. Daycare has certainly not been detrimental to them in any way. I like to think I engage my children, offering them unique opportunities and helping them learn, but the truth is, they would be far more stimulated at daycare....especially the younger ones since they don't have my undivided attention. I don't have a "plan" for our days, a routine in which they learn their letters, colors and numbers. G and M will likely be in preschool before they begin to grasp these concepts.

The reason I wanted to stay at home and have stayed at home is because I cannot stomach the idea of someone else being with my kids all the time. I want to be the first one to see them smile, coo, rollover, crawl, talk and walk. I don't want to have to have quality time with my kids; I want quality time and crappy time. I don't want to miss any parts of their childhood because I won't get any of this time back. Honestly, I couldn't tolerate the guilt I'd lay on myself for being away from them every day. When I look at M at 6 weeks of age and think of having to leave him all day, it just breaks my heart. I know plenty of working moms likely feel this way, but they are able to disengage, and I know I would not. I would be even more of an emotional mess than I already am.

Plus, it would piss me off highly that someone with much less education than myself and no real vested interest in my child (as in having given birth to them) would tell me when I should put them on a sippy cup or potty train them so they could move up to the next "room." I want to make the decisions about my children's development. All the decisions, even the stupid ones that make no difference in the long run.

When I first started staying at home, I was a lot more judgmental about women who chose to work, but I have decided that my decision to stay at home is not selfless. It is selfish, really, because I am doing what is best for me, emotionally and psychologically. And that is what any mother has to do to be a successful mom---do what is best for her, what gives her happiness, because to do otherwise is going to make for an unhappy mom and, therefore, unhappy kids.

Some friends and family have suggested I put G in a PDO so I have some time alone with M, but I can't even do that. He will go to preschool in 2011, when he is 3 (getting ready to turn 4), but nothing before then (I don't think). Even though he drives me nuts a lot of the time, I want to be with him....for better or worse.

My children will spend most of their lives not wanting to be with me, so I want to savor these times when they do.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

6 weeks

Yesterday I had my 6-week postpartum check. Incision is finally healed and infection free. Nipples....well, I'll let you know if and/or when they heal up. Uterus is back to normal.

And I got the go-head to "resume sexual activity." Does every woman chuckle when her doctor gives her the thumbs-up, or am I the only one who has ZERO interest in sex? Between being sucked on 10 times a day, lugging an infant and toddler around, and not getting much sleep, I do not under any circumstances want to be touched in anything even remotely resembling a sexual way.

Fortunately I don't have to worry about turning down my hubby because D is on the "I do not want a 4th child" plan and has become a monk until his vasectomy. I did get the name of a urologist, so sometime in the spring I figure we can go in for his consult, and he can get the boys snipped around March (when M is 6 months old).

Emotionally and mentally, I am feeling better about adjusting to this new life as a mom of 3. I am venturing to playdates if they are at someone's home. And I can manage taking G and M to the grocery or other quick errands. I'm still not up to taking all 3 of the kids out by myself, and I suspect I won't be until M is weaned or walking.

But at least I feel like I can cope. And even manage to sweep the kitchen periodically too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crazy ass dreams and other stuff from this morning

  • This morning I dreamt that I was having an affair with one of my Economics professors from college. D somehow found out about it. I was wracked with guilt. Somehow I managed to also get a parking ticket that cost $120 from parking in a gravel lot while having said tryst.
  • After waking, I got G out of bed. I was wearing a nightgown a friend handed down to me that shows cleavage. He touched the top of my decolletage and said, "Too big." Some boys would disagree but whatev.
  • Got some smiles from the newest kid on the block. I think it was genuine because he kept doing it over and over. It's a good morning when you are greeting with faces like these.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Disciplining toddlers

Here are the things I know for sure about raising and disciplining children:

1. You pick your battles because unless you do everything can become a battle.

2. You tap into unknown reserves of patience you didn't know you had.

3. Your monthly budget for alcohol increases tremendously.

Every so often I peruse a parenting book, searching for something to help me manage the newest "challenge" my kids throw at me. And what I find is that even if something sounds good, sounds like it would really work, if it doesn't jive with my inherent nature, I'm just not gonna do it.

For example, I am not a rewards person. I do not have the patience for stamps, stickers, suckers, or promises of what-nots from the Dollar Store. There are lots of parents, and by this I mean moms, who use charts and rewards to discipline their children or potty-train them. And while I've tried to do this, I am never consistent about it, and therein is the problem.

So what I've determined for myself is that I am ok with the parenting philosophy of, "They will do it when they are darn good and ready."

For example, I began introducing the "potty" concept to N when she was 2 and started becoming interested in the potty. I bought her a potty and let her sit on it in front of the tv or on the deck when we were outside. I asked my pediatrician when I should potty-train, and she said, "Don't bother until 3," and so I didn't. N was fairly quickly pee-pee potty-trained, but it took her until she was 4 to poop on the potty. I tried promises, bribes, whatever. But I inherently do not like the idea of bribing kids to do something they will do on their own in good time irregardless. Although I sometimes wondered, I knew she would not graduate from high school in pull-ups.

I did, however, get very sick of her pooping in her underpants. So eventually she and I came to an agreement. When she had to poop, I would put her in a pull-up, which meant she could do her business, and I wouldn't have to scrape poop out of her underpants. A win-win. And eventually, she did poop in the potty and never looked back. But our little "poop in the pull-up" arrangement saved both of us alot of headache.

I know parents who potty-train by taking their children to sit on the potty every 10 minutes. I can only speak for myself but I've got better things to do than visit the potty every 10 minutes for god knows how many months. But that is me and my choice.

Another thing I am not good at is demanding that G say he's sorry if he hits another kid. I think it is kinda dumb when parents ask a toddler to do this because we all know that toddlers are about this close to cavemen. They might say it, but they certainly don't mean it or understand it. And so my philosophy is to tell G that "we don't hit because it hurts." I ask him to give the other child a hug or something along those lines. But any attempt I might make to rationally explain the Golden Rule to G is a waste of oxygen.

I also don't subscribe to the notion that toddlers should "learn" that some things are off-limits, like the DVD player. I certainly don't want G screwing with everything in my house, but I also don't care to spend every waking moment of my life watching him like a hawk and fussing when he messes with my DVD player (or priceless vase or whatever). So I have made my home completely child-proof. If I don't want him destroying it, I have gotten it the hell out of his way. I have accepted that my house doesn't belong to me for the foreseeable future. And that is ok because I don't want the hassle of trying to keep him away from various untouchables.

I pick my battles....for my own sanity.

And so that is my advice for any parent of a toddler. Determine for yourself what you can and totally cannot tolerate. And then parent accordingly using ideas from books or friends or whatever.

Oh, and increase that booze budget.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The big little man

I noticed while scrolling through my blog posts that I haven't written too much about G. It has only been a little over a month, and the middle child is already getting short shrift.

So here is what he has been up to----

Pics of G from Halloween night.
ABOVE: His 1st choice of costume--Mr. Monkey.
BELOW: Enjoying his spoils!

Being 2. A loud, mischievous, often frustrating 2-year-old. He weathered a cold and ear infection for 10 loooooong days, most of which was spent listening to him scream "Nose tuffy!"
This morning I put him in a pair of chino-type pants, which are gonna require a belt to fit properly. Do they even make belts for 2-year-olds? Anyway, when I changed his diaper after his morning poop, I decided to put on better fitting pants. When I returned from upstairs with the new pair, I found G's diaper on the floor and got to witness him running around the kitchen yanking on his penis and giggling.

He is so super sweet to M. He is always leaning his head on his brother, giving him "lovings." I really hope they become good little buddies to each other as they get bigger.

His new favorite DVD is Baby Einstein Neighborhood Animals. I thought I was sick of the movie Cars, but now I'm begging to watch Lightning McQueen. No more flipping baby animals, please. I borrowed a bunch of Baby Einstein DVDs from my brother to help liven things up....for me.

When we first started watching Neighborhood Animals, G kept saying, "Watch Baby Assho," which we assume was his initial attempts at saying Baby Einstein or Baby Animals. Or his disguised hateful musings on his little brother? Anyway, it was funny as heck. I was bummed when he started saying "Baby Animals" correctly.

He is going through a refusing to eat anything of any nutritional value stage, which I am totally loving. NOT! He is on the all-carb diet. I know other children do this and manage to survive to puberty so I am trying not to worry too much. I did purchase some Horizon Little Blends yogurt which blends fruit & VEGGIE puree into the yogurt. Both G and N lapped up 2 containers each yesterday. It is expensive but totally worth it if it means they get some sliver of fruit/vegetable and vitamins.

One thing is certain: G is his own little man. I got too used to having N as an obedient, easy-to-please toddler. Raising G often makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Or his.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fat boy slim

M is getting chubbier every day, and I love it. He is just feeling increasingly solid.

I am starting to like the little bugger, which is nice, because for weeks now I have merely been doing what Mother Nature intended----meeting his basic needs. There hasn't been much cuddling, cooing or canoodling (on my end). Tiredness and sore boobies do that to a person.

But seeing him get chunky as a result of those sore boobies makes me feel like it isn't all for naught.

And he has cooed a couple of times and is starting to do those fake little smiles which are totally preemptive spit-ups, but they are cute anyway. And make me feel like he appreciates his momma a little bit. A very little bit, but I'll take the scraps he throws me.

I have begun thinking a wee bit about how I will decorate the boys' room sometime in 2010, although not in specifics. I won't start thinking specifics until after M turns 6 months old, and I feel more comfortable that we've gotten through the SIDS window. I'm just edgy until my babies can roll over in their cribs. Not that we are anywhere near crib time.

We've got a long way to go, baby.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Odds and ends from the past 24 hours

In no particular order......

1. This morning, I put on a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans, and they fit. A little snug, admittedly, but comfortable. Hey, looks like I won't have to wash my yoga pants over and over and over and over....

2. Last night M apparently had a cluster feed. I dislike cluster feeds tremendously. Am I the only one who got the memo that my boobies, although feeling better due to the football hold, are still tender? What kind of god gives a person nipple eczema, by the way? The left nipple has almost healed up completely. It is the dud boob, rightie, that still looks gnawed on.

3. I ordered a pair of nice slip-on shoes from L.L.Bean yesterday afternoon. They are skimmers and cost $64, which is outrageous, but with 3 kids, I need really comfortable shoes that are really fast to get on and off. Because G could take out M in less than 2 seconds, I'm certain. I can't be messing with shoelaces or a strap.

However, I did give myself quite a frugal tongue-lashing prior to purchasing. D had just bought himself a new Xbox game, so I had to check and see how much he had spent. I quickly realized he had purchased a new game AND Xbox Gold minutes (or some such thing) and had spent over $100. So my $64 for new protect my feet and keep them warm....something practical that I will wear for years....didn't seem like such an extravagance. Well, yes, it is still an extravagance, but if hubby can buy his "toys," then by god, I can by a pair of shoes.

4. This morning, while doing my hair, I watched G do "This Little Piggy" with M's toes in the bathroom. Very, very cute. He loves his brother, almost to death, which is the concern. He doesn't know his own strength, but I am glad he is "killing" M with kindness.

5. Today's "plan" is to go to the zoo....all of us. Assuming I can get the troops ready and out the door prior to noon. We shall see.

Friday, November 13, 2009

She can't match worth a darn, but I love her

Two of N's outfits from this week.

Fierce mothering and mean girls

I know girls are mean. I've watched enough Dr. Phil, attended professional development when I was a teacher, and, hello, lived a girl's life.

By the time I reached high school, I had figured out what real female friendship meant. This is not to say I was the world's best friend, but I think I was a decent friend, and I had a circle of friends who were loyal and good to me. I tried to be nice to everyone, for the most part.

As a momma, I am just discovering the challenges of helping a young girl navigate the wilds of girl friendship.

N has a little friend at school---I will call her "Bolt." I have seen "Bolt" a couple times. She seems quiet, but beyond that I can make no judgment about her. N talks about her frequently.

It was my understanding that when it is library day, N and "Bolt" take turns selecting a book. One week N picks, and they both check out that book. The next week "Bolt" picks, and then they both check out that particular book. Seems like a good system. So since yesterday was library day, I asked N if she picked the book this time.

It was at this point N starts talking about how "Bolt" won't let N pick and says that "Bolt" is the boss of her. WHAT THE FUCK???? The momma bear in me unfurled her claws.

Now making sense of a 5-year-old's description of anything is dicey, at best, so I'm not sure exactly what the "deal" is, but my skin prickled when she said "Bolt" is the boss of her. I calmly tried to tell her that good friends give their friends choices and let them be themselves, at which point she then tried to convince me that "Bolt" is a good friend.

Later, when D got home, I asked N to explain to him about the library book. He repeated the same thing I did, about good friends don't boss their friends around. We then explained that while we know "Bolt" is important to her, N is the most important thing to us, and we want her to be able to pick books she likes from the library.

I am hoping and praying that N, eventually, has the good sense to do what she knows is right for her and not let other kids boss her around.

But this episode has Momma Bear spazzing out on all levels. Worrying about her self-esteem. Worrying whether she'll allow other girls to dictate her likes and dislikes. And I'm worrying far beyond the realm of kindergarten.

My deep hope is that just as N does her own thing in terms of the crazy outfits she chooses to wear, she will do her own thing in her life. Make her own choices. Do what is right for her. Select whatever library book she wants to read.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My thoughts on celebrities

My general feeling towards celebrities is disgust, especially those celebrities who used to be normal people prior to becoming a reality star. Because reality stars do not have talent of any kind. They cannot act, sing, dance, nor are they outstanding looking.

I would go so far as to doubt to quality of talent of those who win shows like "American Idol." In comparison to artists like Joe Henry, who have quietly plugged their craft for years and years without the mainstream hoopla, they simply suck ass.

(Well, I guess I have to lump Tom Cruise in this "no talent" category as well even though some people would argue that he can, in fact, act and he is, in fact, good-looking. In my opinion, Tom Cruise can only and has only ever played 1 character his entire career. He embarrassed himself beyond belief with the whole jumping on the couch professing his love for Katie episode. He also knows jack fuck about antidepressants and reasons why people need such medications).

I have slightly better feelings towards those I consider actors, singers, dancers, artists of high caliber, such as Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Catherine Zeta Jones, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep. These people do the "craft" because they love it. But they make an effort to keep their private lives private. However, my issue with these folks is how much stinking money they make. While they provide a worthy gift to society, I personally think teachers, firefighters, police and nurses should be paid at least as much as those who offer us bread and circuses.

I have never watched a reality show. Never. I just can't tolerate the misbehaving antics of the people. It makes me cringe. And watching Tom DeLay dance simply wasn't on my bucket list.

However, I do LOVE reading People online or in print. Cannot get enough. So even though I abhor celebrities and refuse to watch them, I enjoy reading about them. So I guess I am sycophantic in my own way.

One of my favorite celebrities whom I love to hate is Tori Spelling. She is so talentless, and I just can't get over how she and Dean McDermott dumped their spouses for each other. Every time I read about her and Dean being "soulmates" I throw up a little bit in my mouth. When they divorce at some point, I will think back with great amusement to how their souls were, at one point, mated. And while I think cosmetic surgery has made her better looking than she was, the honest truth is that she still resembles a fish.

I like to think that if I ever actually saw a celebrity I would completely snub him or her and not start foaming at the mouth the way most people do. But then I must remember that in 1993 I and some of my fellow college comrades went ape-shit when we saw Bono and the Edge sitting nearby at a concert in Ireland. Can I blame this on being 19 and drunk?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


1. Pet peeve-- When people call daycare "school." It is not school. It is daycare, or childcare, if you prefer. I don't know why folks do this, but it drives me bonkers. I could call myself a Domestic Engineer to make myself and my role sound better, but I am not. I'm a stay-at-home mom, wiping noses and asses all day long.

2. Yet another Ring of Hell Dante forgot to mention -- Sitting in the car with a 2-year-old who is screaming nonstop, waiting in a long, long line in order to get a flu shot. This trumps my former idea of hell, which was being forced to iron clothes while wearing pantyhose in heels. But we got our H1N1 vaccines (first round), so my anxiety level has declined by at least 96%.

3. Football Hold-- Discovered last night that this nursing position does not cause any pain. Holy fucking cow!!! I'm elated.

4. Sleepover-- The mom of one of N's school friends asked if N could stay the night with them sometime. I declined, even though I felt kinda jerky doing so. I'm just not ready for sleepovers with friends, especially since N isn't the one asking if she can go. If she were biting at the bit and haranguing me, I might reconsider. But I didn't let her stay the night with grandparents until she was 4. Suffice it to say, I'm not good with surrendering control. It was one of those situations where the phrase, "It's not you, it's me," was completely apropros.

5. Character flaws -- There are a couple things I wish I were better at and/or enjoyed more. One is entertaining. Hate it. The other is being thoughtful. I would love to be a more thoughtful person, like buying someone a little trinket just because I was thinking about them. But I'm really cheap. Finally, I wish I was better at being grateful. I know I am immeasurably blessed, and I sometimes think my anxiety is my retarded way of being grateful (as in, I know I have been blessed and am terrified I will lose it all somehow). But I'm not good at saying how thankful I am for my life. It is so much easier to complain about the stupid stuff.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

That's enough, now.

Dear gods,

It has been a month, and while you blessed me with a wonderful son, you have also handed out a fair amount of shit to me as well.

The c-section itself. No fun, really. Major surgery.
The infection of the c-section incision. Really no fun. I do have anxiety, ya know.
The sore boobies. Why couldn't you cut me a break on kiddo #3?
The sick kids. Twice in 2 weeks? C'mon.
The sick husband. Even requiring antibiotics.
And now, the sick me. Poster girl for Nyquil. I have a newborn so my sleep is awful anyway. And you had to go and make it worse with the coughing.

Quota of crap has been met for me for the fall.
Thank you for finding some healthy, non-postpartum lady to bother.


Monday, November 9, 2009

When I was a "good" mom

Today, while G and M were napping, I got out the videos of N when she was a baby through age 2 so she could watch what we call "The N Show." I dozed on the sick bed.

But before I zonked out, I watched some of the snippets of these videos and realized what an outstanding parent one can be of a single child. I was so attentive, so attuned to her needs. So playful, so involved.

At just a little over G's age, she could sing the alphabet song completely by herself (without prompting) and count to 10. And at 2.5 years, she could sing William Butler Yeats' poem, Wandering Aengus, along with me. I had forgotten how whip-smart she was due, I'm sure, to undivided mommy attention.

And then there is G, who I think is a pretty smart little boy but in comparison to his sister at the same age is like Rain Man. I don't even want to consider what M will be like.

I could mope about this but there is nothing to be done about it. And I keep telling myself that G and M will benefit from the influence of siblings. I'm not sure how at this point, other than learning how to do irritating things that drive mommy bonkers.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What now?

Just when I think, "Hey, things are calming down," things starts to get chaotic again. And I hate chaos.

My incision has healed.
Breastfeeding (knock wood) seems to be slowly improving.
I have been able to get out with the boys by myself without too much trouble.

And then the kids, all 3, get sick. Dammit!

It is just a little upper respiratory thing. N has her usual fever. G is fever-free but utterly full of snot. And now little M is running a low-grade fever.

Did I say Dammit! already?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Love her to death....but

I find that I spend a lot more time than I like fussing at N. Sometimes she gives me this look, a look that says to me, "Mom, do you not like me?, and even the possibility of her thinking that makes me heart ache.

I know why it seems like I fuss at her often.

Part of it is because of the age difference between her and G. With G, he is small enough I can just grab him and make him put on his shoes or haul his ass into the car. N is too big for that. There is very little I can forcibly make her do anymore, so I have to ask her, and ask her, and fucking ask her again to get her shoes on and get in the car. I feel like a nag because I am a nag because she is 5 and putzes around like the dickens. I suspect this is just a 5-year-old thing.....the putzing, that is.

Another thing is that if she does something I don't want her doing, G picks up on it in 2 seconds and starts doing it too. It is bad enough having one child do something you don't particularly want him/her doing, but when it becomes a group effort, it can make your head pop off in frustration. But again, she is 5, so she doesn't understand how much G looks up to her and mimics her whether she is doing something great or something problematic.

Finally, and maybe I am simply expecting too much, I fuss at her because I can't help but think that maybe, possibly, she should remember a couple behavior basics at this stage of her life. Like, wash your hands before touching M. I have hand sanitizer next to me at all times. I make everyone use it before they handle him. I have sloughed off at least 13 layers of epidermis in the last month as a result of washing my hands so much. But apparently all of this goes unnoticed by N because she will hack a lung into her hand and then proceed to touch M's face. I hate to fuss at her when she is being sweet and loving on her brother, but the germ transfer just kills me.

She stayed the night last night with my mom and dad and returned home mid-afternoon today. And I hate to say this, but by dinnertime, she was driving me bonkers. Rather than sitting down while I'm microwaving our food, as I ask her to, she hangs around my legs like a cat looking for some tuna. And then after I've read three books to her at bedtime and gotten her settled under the sheets, she decides at that moment that her finger hurts and she needs a bandaid. Mind you, there is no cut, no bleeding. And the bandaids she wants are downstairs. So I make her go get them. And even though I hold my tongue and don't say anything, I suspect she can see the frustration in my eyes.

She doesn't know that the frustration is only partly because of the bandaid. The frustration also stems from my tiredness from nursing all day and waking during the night for more nursing, the fact that G has been sickly all day, which is always stressful for me.

It is for this reason that I am so glad she goes to kindergarten. Because the guilt would suffocate me if I was with her all day, every day. I know my fussing would be even more pronounced than it is now.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Major accomplishment

Today I think I finished my Christmas shopping for my kids, nephews and nieces. It is a red letter day, for sure. Did I mention I did this and M will be just a month old tomorrow????

I have gone from thinking I wouldn't be able to leave the house for months to knocking out holiday shopping 7 weeks early.

My mom came over, and we went to Babies R Us and Toys R Us with all 3 kids. This was sort of pointless because neither of us was really able to look at anything. I spent most of the time walking around and nursing M at the same time, at one point even trying to push the double stroller as I was walking and suckling. Mom spent her time shepherding N and G.

However, I was able to walk through enough aisles with N that I got some ideas for the kids.

For lunch, we met my brother who gave me more ideas for my nephews.

After mom, the kids and I returned home, and I got G down for his nap, I ventured out to Target where I proceeded to grab up a bunch of stuff and get 'er done.

Now a little tiny part of me thinks I should have browsed more, put a little more time and thought into what I was getting for the kids. The larger part of me thinks that since all the kids I'm shopping for are ages 5 and under, they don't really give a shit how much effort I put into shopping. They just like toys. End of discussion.

I will have to purchase gift cards for N's teachers, bus driver and Girl Scout troop leader. And then there are the grandparents. But the bulk of my holiday shopping is done.

I'm gonna stuff the "stuff" somewhere and not look back. Not second guess. Not feel like I have to make everyone's, especially my children's Christmas, the be-all and end-all Christmas.

It feels good to my conscience and pocketbook to be cutting back this year.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I just now finished writing a post I began on Nov 1st, which made me realize I may, in fact, be able to participate in NaBloPoMo--Ramalamadingdong (as my friend G likes to call it) since I've written every day thus far in November.

Yes, we're only 5 days in.
Yes, I still have 3 children to care for, one of whom sleeps little and suckles much.

So if I don't do it, who cares.
But this is today's post. In case I do do it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Things I love and for which I'm thankful

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd begin a little ditty about some of the little things I love in my life:

1. I love it that N selects her own clothes and none of them ever match each other. She is like a mini Mrs. Roper from Three's Company. Today she went to school in a blue and green horizontal striped top, a hot pink skirt, navy blue leggings with red and white flowers on them, and lilac tennis shoes. Her clothing choices are zany, and that is one of the things I adore about her. She simply doesn't care....

2. I love it that G loves going to Target. Last night on the way to dinner at Papaw's, we passed our local Target. G said, "Go Ta-yet?" I replied, "No, we're going to Papaw's. Maybe we'll go to Target tomorrow." G said, "Peeeese??" and then followed up with, "See toys?"

3. I love it that M's cheeks are getting chubby because I know I'm making enough milk for him. And babies with chubby cheeks are just really cute.

4. I love it that I am rediscovering some favorite musicians as a result of watching the used kids' movie DVDs I recently purchased from Amazon. Over the Hedge has reminded me how much I like Ben Folds, so this weekend D must upload a couple of his albums onto my iPod.

5. I love the modern version of The Electric Company on PBS. Pete Wentz and Jimmy Fallon have made appearances. So the show helps N learn words and letter sounds and keeps me entertained as well. Nothing better.

6. I love it that my cousin is coming to help clean my house for 4 months. It is a win-win. My house gets cleaned. And she makes some money tax-free. Plus, N and G get to visit with B, and they adore her.

7. I love Ellen DeGeneres' hairstyle.

Ok, that last one doesn't count. I'm getting distracted by afternoon tv.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Showin' my ass

When I was still teaching, I worked with an awesome math teacher, S. Now she and I couldn't have been more different. She was a tall, solid, crazy funny Black woman who wouldn't take shit off anybody and had the ability to get her students wound up and still be able to calm them down with very little problem. I But I learned so much about interacting with students in an urban school setting from working with her.

I recall a conversation she relayed to me once in which she told a student that this student was, "Showin' her ass." That is, showing her worst possible side.

And just this morning, when a friend emailed me to ask whether I'm really as miserable as I seem, I realized that my blog is all about me showing my ass.

Because I am not totally miserable or always miserable. I spend probably 90% of my days not being miserable. But that 10% is what I write about, and that 10% has the ability to bring me way down. That 10% has the ability to unsettle whatever anxieties I've worked to ease over the course of the day.

My incision seems to be healing up alright, although I am going to withhold judgment until I see the nurse practitioner tomorrow. I have been getting out with the boys.....we even went to playgroup yesterday. I am getting fairly consistent 3-hour windows of sleep at night (so in bed at 11 pm, up and nursing at 2 am, back down to sleep at 3 am, and then up again around 6:30 am). I have been able to keep up with laundry and even changed the sheets on the kids' beds yesterday.

But inevitably there are the suck-ass times. Like when M wants to nurse and N and G are belly-aching for food and D is in a late meeting at work (that was last night). Or when my nips are especially sensitive, and my toes are curling from the discomfort of Mr. Barracuda clamping down. Or when M doesn't want to go back to sleep after his 2 am nursing.

And I write mostly about the suck-ass times. I don't need to vent about when things are running smoothly. Plus, I am nothing if not a fan of hyperbole, so my venting is usually ramped up purely for the sake of my own penchant for exaggeration.

Monday, November 2, 2009


My neighbor, H, who has been a stay-at-home mom for 18 years was the one who said to me that being a SAHM is like living the movie Groundhog Day. I agreed wholeheartedly with her when she said this, and I especially appreciate her remark now that I went back and re-read my posts after having G in the fall of 2007.

How long did my nips hurt?

It makes me feel tremendously better to read these posts because it gives me hope that my nipples will not, in fact, fall off my body. It gives me hope that both my skin and my psyche will adjust and toughen up.

However, reading these posts also makes me remember the following:

1. I am a wuss.
2. I am a whiner.
3. I clearly have synapse problems because I can't remember shit.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The truth I dare not speaketh

Ok, so let me be perfectly honest.

I have long had a pretty lousy opinion of men. For many years my view has been that men are just kinda stupid and mean, although what appears to be meanness might just be the result of stupidness (or thoughtlessness or obtuseness).

I'm a reflective enough person that I've considered why I feel this way about the opposite sex. I recognize that these feelings are irrational and stereotypical, but that doesn't make them go away. A long-held prejudice doesn't just disappear because it is acknowledged.

I won't say I hate men, but I just don't "get" them, which is maybe why I never took too much to the god being identified in the masculine idea.

I love D, but I surely don't "get" him and how he thinks. At least weekly I ask him how he manages to stay gainfully employed because the man cannot find the ketchup in the door of the fridge. Ever. I can tell him that we are going to do "XYZ" this weekend, and after I get through explaining, he will, within 2 minutes, look at me and say, "Now what are we gonna do this weekend?"

I always felt like men were lacking in areas that meant a lot to me: sensitivity (although it is funny how I come off sometimes as a very insensitive person), physical attention, honesty (please come out and say you don't want to date me anymore as opposed to just ignoring me, like I suddenly turned invisible).

Anyway, given my feelings, it occurred to me recently that perhaps it is divine justice that I now have 2 sons to raise. Not just one, but two.

In no way do I look at my sons and think, "They are going to grow up to be idiotic men." They are a joy to me (well, except for M's suck and the current nursing pain, but I'm hoping another month and we'll have moved off the pain continuum).

But I guess I need to work on becoming more of a champion of my boys, and not just because they are my boys but because they are boys. Period.

When N came home a few weeks into kindergarten singing the ditty, "Girls go to college to get more knowledge. Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider," I laughed a deep, hard belly-laugh because, I'm not gonna lie, I love a good man-slam. But even as I was enjoying my guffaw, I felt guilty because there running around the yard was my little man from Jupiter, playing with his cars and being his adorable self.

And now I have another littler man in my life.

But I don't know where to begin, aside from borrowing library books on parenting boys and just loving G and M for who they are, even if I really, really don't "get" it.