Confidence is something I'm lacking lately.

I hate to admit it, because it sounds completely shallow (and maybe it is), but I'm pretty sure it has something to do with how I'm looking since the birth of my daughter.

I feel heavy. I feel puffy. I feel unkempt. I feel like no matter what I do, I'm not going to look good. I don't want my picture taken (which is going to really stink in a few weeks when we have family pictures)...heck, I honestly don't even want to go out in public.

The way I move? I swear the only way to describe it is 'lumbering'. I am uncoordinated - more so than usual.

I see other moms who look so put together. Their hair is done in some other style than a thrown up ponytail and it isn't doing the nasty postpartum shedding thing. Their clothes are crisp and actually have waistbands that don't result in a muffin top.

They don't sweat profusely doing mundane things like grocery shopping.

They get time in the day to take care of themselves (I bet they even get to go to the BATHROOM by themselves...jerks!).

I know I have a lot to be thankful for, and believe me, I am.

I would give so much to feel good about myself again. I hate how much my physical appearance ties into how I perceive myself.

But it does. That's an unfortunate fact.

I don't remember feeling this poorly after my birth of my son. After he was born, I went back to work. Though I am thankful I have the opportunity to be a stay at home mama, there was something affirming about having a job outside of the home. I dressed up everyday. I got to speak with adults on a daily basis. My brain was used for something other than housework and playing Thomas the Tank Engine OVER AND OVER.

I guess I can't have it both ways. And if I had to choose, I guess I'd choose to be exactly where I am right now. At home with my children. I know raising them is the most important job I'll ever have.

What needs to happen is me finding a way to thrive in my current situation. And when I figure out how I'm going to do that, I'll let you know.

Right now? I'm going to figure out how to get in a LONG shower. You know, maybe I'll shave my legs AND wash my hair.

Extravagant. I know.


And I Have a Preschooler.

As I write this, I am hiding in the bathroom. This week...no scratch that...last few weeks have been rough. Nothing I can't handle, but I have shed a few tears, which is quite the feat through my Zoloft armor.

Last time I bitched...errr WROTE...it was all about the woes of potty training. Then lo and behold, one day G just runs into the bathroom, climbs on the big toilet and announces 'Mom, I'm pooping!'

And that was that. He is fully trained now. Even wakes up dry, though I'm still putting him in a Pull Up at night. You know, just in case.

Once he got the whole potty thing, I thought we were home free. We started preschool for three hours, two days per week. And those three hours? Glorious. I was able to run all my errands, even grocery shop and use coupons effectively (this seriously requires concentration, it's no joke).

My happy little bubble was abruptly burst when I received a call during a doctor appointment for the babe. G was having a very difficult time, and had been since he started. Screaming, crying, ignoring the teacher.

And not making eye contact. That right there freaked me out the most.

After meeting with the teacher, we decided that either me or the hubs would gotpreschool WITH G.

So that's what I've been doing the last few weeks, wearing the babe in the Moby wrap.

A few colds later, G's teacher said I could try leaving him there last Thursday. And THANK GOD, he did okay. Not great, but he made progress.


So thats what I've been up to. Fun, right?

Being a parent is hard sometimes. But when you see improvement? All the tears and work are totally worth it.

- Posted from my iPad! I know!


The Poop Chronicles

I would really love to be able to say I have more to talk about than poop.

But I don't. My life revolves around poop right now.

Potty training is going really well. Except for number two. G absolutely refuses to go in the potty. Not even for chocolate chips. Not even for TWO stickers. Not even for a chance to go to the train store.

Clearly, I'm not above bribery.

The other day while at my parents, I had the bright idea of letting him go in their raspberry patch and eat to his hearts content. I mean, there's no way he'll be able to hold it once he's eaten his weight in raspberries.


Wrong. He held it and held it and held it. He ran around the yard clutching his little bottom. He begged for a diaper.

I finally convinced him to go poo poo in the yard like a doggy. Then I followed him around with a shovel. Not one of my proudest moments.

And yes, I know this is questionable parenting. But seriously, I can't deal with the poopy undies. Beyond gross. (I did see Thea's suggestion on my last post to let G change his own poopy undies and I've taken it under advisement).

Preschool starts in about three weeks. Admittedly, I don't think we're going to have him fully potty independent by then, we may have to postpone enrollment for a month or so.

But good lord, I could really use those three hours, two times weekly to chill. And by chill I mean run around like a madwoman trying to run all the errands that are nearly impossible with two kids in tow.

And I also fully realize that if my son ever reads this post, years down the road, he will be mortified and will probably be putting me in a horrible nursing home.

But really? He really should be changing MY poopy underwear. It's only fair.


I'm Really Reaching Here, People

I need to write and I am so, so stuck. The term 'writer's block' is so cliche. But yeah, I think I've got it. That, or I'm brain dead from my ingenious idea to do potty training bootcamp whilst juggling a super cute yet super needy baby.

The potty training. Oh. My. Stars. Talk about frustrating. We've been working at it for about a week now, and only in the last four days have I seen progress. Except yesterday was a total regression and cleaning poop out of underwear now nears the top of my list of possible tortures for P.O.W.'s. Nasty.

But I charge ahead...the only way G is going to preschool is if he's fully potty trained. We toured a preschool on Thursday that I really loved and I think will be a good fit, but he's got to be fully independent in the bathroom. Oy. My great hope is that his desire to go to school (and he talks about it constantly) will override his stubbornness over toilet training. I know he can do it. The kicker is if he WANTS to.

Up until last week, I was going mellow route. Asking everyday if he wanted to wear big boy underwear. If he said no, well, that was that. But now we're going whole hog. I'm OVER changing a 3 1/2 year old's diapers. Barf.

Er. So after that HUGE digression, yeah, I'm needing to write, for my sanity, but all that is on my mind is, well, poop.

In an effort to try to break out of my brain lock, I'm just going to do one of those random posts. Yes, I'm totally indulging myself. Whatever. And I'm doing bullet points, cause I like them and I'm the boss of this blog.

Let the randomness begin!

- I'm in love with quinoa. I make a bunch and mix it with roasted veg and balsamic vinaigrette. So good, hot or cold. The rest of my family won't touch it, of course.

- Can I just say I am SO tired of this post pregnancy body? Nothing fits. I know I need to exercise. I'm planning on starting the C25K program. I just need to figure out if I can take the baby in the jogging stroller yet - I think she may still be too small. But back to the body hate thing - getting dressed is such a chore. I used to love putting outfits together. Now I want to wear muumuus. Waistbands are torture.

- A few weeks ago I had the realization that I haven't worn heels in forever. I used to wear heels to work everyday. Now? They are all sitting in my closet blanketed in a layer of dust. It's tragic. And yesterday, I considered dragging out my fifteen year old Birkenstocks because my feet are killing me with all this baby pacing. It's official, I'm going crunchy. If I wear wool socks with my Birks, please track me down and kick me in the shins. It's just not acceptable.

- I got my first crown last week, narrowly avoiding what would have been my first root canal. The saddest thing is that I actually enjoyed my time in the dental chair and found it relaxing. It must be a 'mother of young children' thing.

- My son accidentally watched the Honey Badger on YouTube. It was an accident, but now he is obsessed with honey badger. I will let him watch it, with the sound off. Mother of the Year, right here. I'm balancing it out with the Duggars. He is also obsessed with them and can name all the kids, in order. So proud.

And that's all I've got. I'm so tired and my brain hurts. If anyone has any questions or ideas for posts, please share. Seriously. Inspire me, I'm begging you!


My Dogs are A$$holes

Before I had children, I scoffed at people who unloaded their pets once baby arrived. Our dogs slept in our bed, enjoyed doggy day care, thought nothing of climbing up on the couch.

Basically, I was an idiot. And we created two monsters. Stinky, hairy, loud monsters.

We have two dogs and two cats. The cats know their place. They have acclimated to moving even further down the totem pole quite nicely.

The dogs are going down kicking and screaming. Make that barking and whining.

Sadie, the elder and supposedly 'smarter' (according to my husband, I have
my doubts) of the dogs is the ringleader. She has coordinated several jailbreaks from the backyard that have resulted in a trip to doggy jail. You'd think we had them chained up or in a 5x5 pen.

Oh no. No no no. Our dogs have our ENTIRE backyard. And it's not small. What have they done with this expanse? Dug it up, destroyed landscaping, crapped on every square inch. Thrown themselves at the gate until it splintered and they could squeeze out. Littered the grass with the plush dog bed they disemboweled.

Then, when they finish their rampage of destruction, they camp out against the sliding glass door. For hours. Forget playing or running out some energy.

Since they can't be left outside when I'm gone under threat of escape, leaving the house becomes a huge exercise in dog proofing. No diapers, clean or dirty, can be accessible, or said diaper will be shredded and strewn about the living room. This also goes for nursing pads and used kleenex.

They are walking purveyors of filth. I sweep, I'm not even kidding, at least five times daily. I need to buy stock in Swiffer. If I do something as stupid as mop, they will track in mud immediately. Even if it hasn't rained in days.

The dogs have recently taken to pacing up and down the hardwood floors, scratching at their collars, shaking and incessantly licking their genitals (loudly) JUST as the baby is about to go to sleep.

This is what is going to push me over the edge, I swear. If you've ever had a fussy baby, you know the all encompassing rage that overtakes your being when someone/something messes with that babe's sleep.

Of course, we won't get rid of the damn dogs. My husband thinks they keep me and the children safe. My son adores them.

So they stay. Even though I might accidentally shave all their fur.

- Posted from my iPad! I know!


Live from Tissueville, It's the &:$;@!@ Summer Cold!

I swear I don't just come here to complain.

Okay, maybe I do.

But ugh. The plague has descended upon our house. First G had a runny nose last week. Then the husband had a cold. Then me. Mine consists of a gross phlegmy cough, a faucet for a nose and sore throat.

So I figured we were all done.

But this morning, G woke up and five minutes later put himself back to bed. I knew right away that a) the apocalypse was imminent or b) he was sick.

One wrestling match and armpit temperature later, it was confirmed. Fever. It hit around 102 and at that point I employed the perennial mom move - the Tylenol full nelson. This kid is not compliant in taking medicine, ever.

We're now hanging out at around 100.

The little prince is splayed out on the couch, demanding 'babies' - this is the Duggars. And clearly another post where I explain why he knows them AND ALL THEIR J NAMES is forthcoming.

For now, I'm crossing all my fingers and toes that the baby stays healthy. A two month old with a fever is panic inducing.

And also, G must be feeling better cause he's back to annoying the heck out of me.

Lay off, kiddo. I still feel like garbage. Thanks, your momma.


Happy 4th and Stuff (Mainly Stuff About Screamy Baby)

It's July 4th already. This summer is going by way too fast and with far too little sun for my liking.

But today, it's perfectly gorgeous outside. Which for Northwest Washington on the 4th of July is extremely rare...possibly a sign of the apocalypse.

The explosions in our neighborhood have been consistent for about a week now. Nothing says patriotism like blowing stuff up, yeah? I'm so glad neither my children or my dogs seem bothered. Cause then I'd totally be that neighbor calling the cops.

Funny how lack of sleep and a fussy baby will make you the crazy, stick in the mud neighbor.

Just so you know, I've been blogging in my head for weeks. It's just that none of it makes it here. Typing whilst rocking a screaming baby is impossible.

I have still yet to pinpoint why my babe is so screamy. I'm off dairy, she's on reflux meds. I'm considering going gluten free for a while to see if that helps. I know that MY body seems to function better when I'm not eating wheat.

Here's what I'm scared of: she's simply a high need baby. That's Dr. Sears' nice way of saying super duper don't ever put me down fussy. (I'm reading The Fussy Baby Book right now and it's like it was written about my child. Shoot.)

The best way I've found to cope is to wear her. All. The.Time. It works, and it frees up my arms. I've been using my Moby Wrap, which G calls the 'pocket.' If the babe is crying, G says 'Mommy, put baby in her pocket.'

And I do.

So basically, I'm totally morphing into a crunchy mama.

Breast-feeding, co sleeping, cloth diapering, baby wearing. It's kind of awesome to realize that getting back to the basics is do-able, even for a domestic flunky like me.

And cloth diapering is saving us so much money. Which rocks.

I have so much to write about. Probably boring stuff, but I get to do a lot of thinking whilst pacing.

And I'm mastering typing on the iPad while moving.

Multitasking is awesome.

- Posted from my iPad while baby wearing!


Houston, We Have a Screamer

Apparently I jinxed the heck out of myself by proclaiming I have an easy baby.

Yes, my sleepy little angel has been replaced with Fussy McScreamerson. It all started a few weeks ago. I mentioned her fussiness at her two week well child visit, thinking maybe I'd have to give up dairy or that the doc would recommend gas drops.

But he whips out a prescription for an antacid. Thinks she has reflux.

I was not convinced. Her symptoms simply don't show reflux. But I told him I'd try it. Two weeks in and nothing. In fact, I'd say it's (whatever 'it' is) worse.

Last Thursday I called and left a message for the nurse asking if I could stop with the reflux meds.

The great news is that the nurse that called me back is also a lactation consultant...I didn't know my pediatrician's office even had one. I spoke with her at length.

Here's the thing: I've always been an overproducer when it comes to breastfeeding. Sounds like a great thing, right? Yeah, not so much. The lactation consultant directed me to an article on the La Leche League website that addresses problems surrounding overproduction of breast milk. The basic take away is that baby gets too full on the lactose rich fore milk and never gets the fatty hind milk. This leads to gas, horrible poops and overall fussy baby.

And seriously? Reading the list of symptoms and effects on baby? It was like reading a word for word description of both of my kids.

So, since Thursday I've been following the article's advice on how to make sure baby gets the right balance of fore milk and hind milk while trying to curb my crazy Bessie boobs.

I've noticed a little improvement in baby. She still has a witching hour...okay, hours. So I'm not ruling out colic.

But I'm hoping once I get the milk factories to stop working overtime, we will see more improvement.

Cause I know I'm not cool with the colic. Eff the colic.

- Posted from my iPad! I know!



Hey there.

Um. Hmmm. What day is it? Where am I?

I need to face facts. Newborn bliss has faded. I am tired and my life revolves around boobs and poop.

Don't get me wrong. I adore my wee babe. But good god, I forgot how annoying massive boobs are...seriously. Ouch. And how little sleep I can have and still (kind of) function.

And last week, I hit a big wall and ended up calling my doctor, sobbing. I actually scared myself...anxiety like I'd never experienced, crushing anxiety. And I was so irritable and impatient. Forget about a short fuse...I had no fuse.

Suffice it to say, my doctor immediately wrote me a prescription for antidepressants and scheduled me to come into the office asap.

At first, I was absolutely gutted that I needed help. That I couldn't handle things on my own. I don't like to ask for help.

To be honest, I'm still struggling with it - I didn't have PPD with my first child. Why now? What's different?

Logically, I know that this is something I can't control. It's an imbalance. My hormones are all out of whack. And my doctor assures me it'll get better.

Emotionally? I'm kind of pissed. I'll get over it, and I know I made the right decision in seeking help.

For now, I just want to enjoy this precious short time that Baby C is sweet and tiny. I need to remember to soak it in...time is fleeting. I don't want to wake up from this haze and realize I've missed anything.

- Posted from my iPad! I know!


That's It. No More Books.

I knew this day was coming, but I wasn't prepared. I knew the time would come that my child would open his mouth and say something embarrassing. In public.

Today, upon meeting a woman with gray, curly hair, he exclaimed "Hi old lady!"

And then, just in case she hadn't heard him the first time, he referred to her as "old lady" for the next twenty minutes.

I tried to brush it off...he thinks everyone over the age of 30 is old, I said. But I knew that he was calling her "old lady" because she had the same hairdo as the Old Lady in Babar.

I won't be telling her that. Cause I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be taken as a compliment.

- Posted from my iPad! I know!


I Left the House With Both Kids...Where's My Medal?

Yesterday, I attempted my first solo two child outing. First to the pediatrician for Baby C's two week checkup, then to the drugstore.

Honestly? I'm still breaking out in the sweats just thinking about it.

I literally tried to plan everything out on Sunday night. I laid out all of our clothes, packed up the diaper bags with snacks and bribes. I got up before the kids and got a shower. Everyone was fed and dressed and out the door on time.

Once we were at the pediatrician? Uh, yeah. G was in full on three year old drama mode. And? We got the evil nurse. We've had her before, and it's clear she's not a fan of children. She's asking me questions about the baby, none of which I'm actually able to hear, let alone answer. She's giving G the stink eye. I'm contemplating kicking her in the shins.

Somehow the pediatrician fails to notice G is being uncooperative and does nothing to speed the visit along. He does, however, give the baby a prescription for antacid since she's seeming to have some screamy, gassy tummy issues.

Which means we have to hit the drugstore on the way home.


The baby is crying inconsolably upon leaving the doctor. Once we made it to Rite Aid, I found the most deserted place in the parking lot and nursed her. She did not fall asleep, but she stopped crying.

Okay. I can do this, I told myself.

I got a shopping cart. But here's the thing...the carts at this store are miniature. As in, not meant for more than one kid, especially not my three year old who is the size of a five year old, and my massive infant car seat.

So the infant seat is perched on top of the cart, by the handle (don't worry, I made sure the seat clicked onto the cart. Safety first.) And G? He's scrunched up in the lower part of the cart, his knees by his ears.

The pharmacist takes the script and our insurance card and tells me 15 minutes. I set a timer. Seriously. I did. They've tricked me into 25 minutes before. Ice got two ticking time bombs and I'm not messing around.

We walk around for about 10 minutes. I'm strategically avoiding any aisle with toys or candy. So we basically hung out with the maxi pads.

At this point I've got a whiny little boy and a newborn whose upper lip is starting to quiver. I am paged to the pharmacy where I'm informed my child is not on my insurance.

Forget the preschooler...mama's going to throw herself on the floor and have a tantrum.

It's game over at this juncture. I haul the kidlets back out to the car and we go home. I eat peanut butter straight out of the jar then call the insurance company, then my husband. Paperwork for baby's insurance? Never submitted. Stab.

(Insurance is all straightened out now, meltdown averted...and I didn't eat the frosting sitting in our fridge...yay me!!)

This morning? I woke up determined to show that drugstore who's boss. While I was at it, I decided to give the grocery store a go.

And I survived. No baby, little boy or mommy meltdowns. Okay, I resorted to animal cracker bribery. Whatever gets you through the shopping, you know?

So I guess my first outing with both the kids was pretty much a fail. But tonight, baby has her tummy meds and we've got milk and bread.

I feel so accomplished.

Little victories.

- Posted from my iPad! Typing with your thumbs is NOT FUN.


Happy Berfday to Me!

Thank God for Facebook because I pretty much entirely forgot today is my birthday.

I've been a wee bit busy.

But I logged on this morning and was floored by all the birthday wishes. Lots and lots of love. And yes, I cried a little. Are you surprised, really? I figure I can't listen to the radio, watch sappy commercials or any episodes of Glee or Extreme Home Makeover until my hormones stabilize.

What am I NOT teary over? Getting older. Today I'm 33. I don't want to be perpetually 29. And my early 20's? Fugeddaboutit. You couldn't pay me to do that again. Except for the sleeping in part. Yeah, that would be okay.

Right now is good. It's where I'm supposed to be, I can't imagine things differently. I don't lead a glamourous life. Things are most definitely not perfect. But I'm content. Content, for me, is way better than over the moon happy. Super happy makes me nervous. I walk around waiting for the other shoe to drop. Am I a pessimist? My preferred term is REALIST.

Today has been nice and mellow. It's sunny and beautiful outside. My husband is home and planting my vegetable garden (awesome gift, no?). Baby C had a newborn photo shoot this morning. G has been helping Daddy outside and is covered head to toe in dirt. I'm thinking we'll barbecue tonight.

To some, this may sound boring. But I think it sounds perfect.

Happy birthday to me, indeed.



Today I woke up and realized that my little girl has been here one week already.

And cue the postpartum tears...

I'm thrilled to report that thus far, many of my fears about going from one to two kids have been unfounded.

Knock wood.

Honestly, the transition has been fairly simple. G has embraced his baby sister and has been so loving and protective. He has his acting out moments...but don't all three year olds?

Baby C has been, in my opinion, and from past experience...ahem...dare I say it...easy.

I may have just totally jinxed myself.

She's a great sleeper, barely fusses and just seems to have a mellow temperament. I have to actually wake her to eat, most of the time.

I'll be honest, I've still had my moments. Don't you just LOVE hormones? Gah. Honestly, I kind of didn't want to leave the hospital last Wednesday when I was discharged. I mean seriously, they have a menu and you can sit and order room service and I got to laze around in bed all day and not worry about dinner and laundry and it was SO quiet. And I had amazing nurses who didn't even piss me off when they woke me up every two hours to take my vitals. Then I realized the hospital was like staying in the most expensive hotel ever. So, I came home, to reality. As soon as I got home, I was happy to be here, to have my entire family intact and under one roof. Plus, my husband has been really amazing and supportive. I feel very lucky this last week that he's home and able to take some paternity leave.

For the most part, I feel calm and like somehow, I have my stuff together.

Then again, I'm still on narcotics. So I'll let you know how I'm REALLY doing in a few days when I totally stop taking them. I know there will be that moment at my one week post surgery check up when the nurse asks how I'm doing, how I'm really doing, and I'll burst into tears. And then they'll offer me the happy pills.

Believe me, if I though I was for reals experiencing PPD, I'd have no problem with the pills. But by and large, I'm a happy tears person at the moment.

Like right now, I'm looking at this picture...

Totally crying. And this one...

Come on.

Then I think about how fast this is going. Already. And that? That kind of makes me sad. But I'm excited. Even a little proud of myself for soldiering through this first week. Having the realization that I might be able to pull this mother of two thing off...for reals.


Mama of Two

We arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am yesterday. After changing into my super sexy hospital gown and answering a battery of questions, I was hooked up to an IV and the fetal monitor.

My in laws arrived at about 6:30 to keep us company. My step mother in law was engrossed with the baby's heartbeat. It was going from about 160 bpm to 120 bpm every few minutes.

Guess what? I was having contractions. Which I think is pretty awesome for two reasons...I could hardly feel them AND whether or not we had chosen the date for the planned C section, yesterday would have been baby's birthday.

At 7:30, I was wrapped in a blanket and shuffled across the hall to the OR. I was sick with apprehension over getting my spinal. I sat on the table, clutching a pillow, tears streaming down my face. B held my hands and the anesthesiologist talked me through the procedure. The worst part? In all honesty, it was the anticipation. My anesthesiologist was a total rock star. I started having major anxiety because I couldn't feel my chest raising when I took a breath, and she showed me that if I placed my hand on my chest while breathing, I could show myself I was, in fact, taking big, full breaths. It was like magic. Seriously.

The surgery began, and at 8 am on the dot, our beautiful daughter took her first breath.

And screamed. Best sound ever.

As I write this, she's snoring softly next to me.

She has a head full of dark wavy hair. Deep, dark inky blue eyes. Long, delicate fingers and toes. Her Daddy's full, heart shaped upper lip.

In a word? Delicious.

I wondered what she'd look like as I carried her around in my belly. Now I look at her and I can't imagine her looking any other way.

Tomorrow, we go home. And begin life as a family of four. We are complete now.

This little angel beside me was our missing puzzle piece.


Just Add Baby

I saw my doctor for the last time yesterday before we meet again in the O.R. on Monday. The appointment went well. Except for when he had a sharp intake of breath when he measured my belly. I am measuring 42 weeks. WHAT? I'm delivering a little shy of a week early.

I've got a big baby in my belly! Doc guessed close to 9 pounds. Feel free to add your guess in the comments. Please DO NOT guess how much weight I've gained. Or I might have to track you down and scratch at your face.

If you're wondering, the nursery is finally (CLOSE to) done. Done enough, I guess. The walls still need a little something. And I could have organized the drawers a little better. But considering the state my house was in last weekend, I'm feeling pretty good about what we've accomplished, and there wasn't too much yelling involved.

Also? G is happily settled in his new room and doesn't seem a bit bothered that he has been displaced by the baby.

We'll see if that continues next week.

So finally, here are some pics of the nursery. I pieced this sucker together on NO budget. Lots of hand me downs, lots of re purposing.

And I'm totally okay with that. In truth, it's more gratifying to pull something together out of almost nothing rather than just order an entire nursery out of a catalog.

The bedding IS from Pottery Barn; my lovely sisters and mother-in-law gifted us with this set at my shower. I adore it. So bright and cheerful.

We re-covered G's glider with watermelon hued minky dot fabric. I really wanted to paint the glider white, but never got around to it. The pieces on the wall were originally corporate art from my old job. They were being thrown out and I rescued them and covered them in quilting fabric.

We ditched the changing table idea and went with a regular dresser. I don't like changing tables much, they seem like such a limited piece of furniture. This dresser is from Ikea. The pad had non-skid material underneath.

Baby shoes. Love.

And the only stuffed animal I bought for the little (warrior) princess. I couldn't resist. The colors were too perfect and I adore the whole owl trend that seems to be everywhere in nursery decor.

Three days till we meet this little babe!

P.S. If anyone has any ideas for wall decor, let me know. I already thought about putting her initials somewhere, but they are C.R.D.

Which is a little too close to crud for my taste.


Missing Pants With Waistbands...

Okay, truthfully, I am missing pants.

We are t-minus six days till delivery and I can no longer deal with waistbands of any variety...regular OR maternity. And lets not even talk about shirts. Nothing is covering the belly at this point in time. I've slipped into the realm of maxi dresses, tunics and leggings.

Folks, I'm huge.

Yes, the water retention I'd staved off for so long has reared it's ugly head. Hello, cankles! I will say I'm thankful they waited until now to show up. I remember sitting in the tub at 7 months during my first pregnancy and screaming out to my poor husband, "Get in here!"

Poor guy came racing in to me pointing tearfully to my legs.

"I have elephant ankles," I sobbed.

And from that day on, it was all about the Crocs for me. That was all I could shove my poor swollen feet into...and was a GREAT look for work where I was required to dress office casual.

So this time, I'm trying to take it in stride. This too shall pass, hopefully at the hospital, in the form of pee or sweat...

I'll tell you what I'm not looking forward to - losing the baby weight. After my son, I didn't even really start losing the weight till a YEAR after he was born. And even then it was a struggle. Honestly, the factors that finally helped me drop the weight were: losing my job, caring for my dying mother in law, quitting breastfeeding after two years and training for a half marathon.

Two of those things I don't care to repeat. Stress as a diet is not a great option, trust.

So on to the ending breastfeeding - you might be like "Well, doesn't breastfeeding help you lose weight?"

In a word (or two) : eff no.

I am in the lucky .05% of women who hang onto pregnancy weight while breastfeeding. At least that's what my doc told me. Maybe he was just trying to soothe my borderline PPD.

Regardless, I will be breastfeeding this baby. I'm hoping against all hope that this time around, I can be one of those bitches who breezily says "I breastfed and the weight just evaporated."

I'm looking at you, Gisele.

Otherwise, running, here I come. Just call me Forrest Gump.


On Blogging

When I try to explain to some of my 'in real life' friends (and family) about the friends I've made through blogging, I get blank stares back. Crickets. Maybe a 'that's nice'.

To be quite honest, before I got into blogging, I probably would have reacted the same. In fact, I KNOW I would have been skeptical.

Over the last two-ish years, I can honestly say I've made some of the greatest friends online. Many of whom I've gone on to meet in real life. I've actually gotten on a plane and flown away to stay with people that I know nothing about, save our email conversations and what I've read on their blogs.

Thankfully, they were not ax murderers.

In my former life - meaning the life I had when I worked out of the home from 9-5 and didn't have time to email, let alone blog - the whole concept of online community was foreign,. and let's face it, WEIRD to me.

But strange things start to happen in your head when you're suddenly laid off and a stay at home mom. You feel isolated. Adult conversations are few and far between. And in real life? I'm a little shy. So meeting other moms, or even women I could relate to at all, was difficult. I'd go to the playground and try to strike up conversation, but that would usually go nowhere. My son and I had fun at playgroups...but playgroups usually consisted of me running around like a madwoman after my child. So there's not a whole lot of opportunity for meaningful conversation.

Online? I'm free to jump around to different sites. Meet people that have common interests. Have long email exchanges that fill a bit of the void I sometimes feel socially. So now, what started out as a way to feel less lonely, has blossomed and grown into some true friendships. Real life friendships.

It's pretty awesome.

This week has been stressful. I've been struggling with being super uncomfortably pregnant, tired, stressed over being prepared for baby. Things were not coming together in a fashion that was making me happy - meaning, perfectly.

On Friday morning, I was running around like a madwoman and I got an email alert on my phone. I opened it up and started crying.

My girlfriends, my online girlfriends, had gotten together and sent me the BEST baby gift ever. A gift certificate to Dream Dinners.

Why was I crying (happy tears of course)? Because these women, some whom I've never laid eyes upon, know me so well that they knew WHAT I needed, even though I had no idea.

I needed something taken off my plate. I needed to be taken care of.

And more than that, I know they put a ton of thought into that gift.

More than the gift itself, can I just say that knowing I'm loved is the best? I needed that too, so much.

I am not discounting my wonderful, long time, real life friends in any way. Because I adore them more than anything. They are my family. My sisters.

But it is so beautiful adding to that family. And I truly believe that in the last few years, the love and the friendship in my life has expanded exponentially. And it's real.

So when I get the skeptical looks over blogging and 'online' friendships, do I get upset? No. Because I know what it means to me and how it's brought so much good to my life.


Twelve Days & I'm Officially Panicking.

Please standby for a nervous breakdown, in:

5. The nursery isn't ready.
4. My house looks like it vomited on itself.
3. Did I mention the nursery isn't ready?
2. My three year old is sensing imminent and huge changes in his up until now blissful and unchallenged princedom. It's not going well.


I'm kind of going back and forth between acceptance and HUGE, irritable 'I'm 38 and a handful of days pregnant and things aren't just the way I want them and someone MUST PAY' rage.

I know my body is ready to be done being pregnant. I hurt everywhere. I have heartburn so bad that it makes my ear canals burn when I belch (which is all the time). Clothes are uncomfortable and I may start wearing caftans. Mrs. Roper chic...it's the hotness.

Mentally, I'm not ready. For some reason, my surroundings - i.e. my house - have to be completely prepared before I will let myself accept we're bringing another baby home. Logically I know that she's coming home no matter what and will not care if all she has is a bassinet, clean diapers and a boob.

But I care. Mucho.

Tomorrow, I have my second to last OB appointment. Yes, folks, this baby is coming whether I'm ready or not. And the way I'm carrying? I have a sneaking suspicion she may come early. Hold on, little girl. I need you to stay put till May 9. Do not deviate from the plan.

Looky here...mommy and daughter already butting heads. Yikes. Hopefully not a sign of things to come...


Couponing. For Real.

The other day I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients for a birthday dessert for my husband. His favorite is chocolate mousse. Pretty simple: heavy cream, semisweet chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs.

So I head over to the dairy case and am about to grab a quart of heavy cream off the shelf. Then I looked at the price and nearly pooped myself.

Are you ready for it? EIGHT DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS. For heavy cream.

I audibly gasped as I put the quart back on the shelf and reached for the pint.

Seriously, groceries. What is going on?

Okay, so I'm married to an economics major, so I have an idea, but that doesn't make the sticker shock any less, erm, shocking. I mean, between food and gas, I feel like we are bleeding cash.

All I've been hearing about these days is couponing. The show on TLC baffles me. Those people walk out of the store with a thousand dollars worth of groceries for like, thirty bucks.

Part of me would love to try couponing and be successful at it but I have to point out a few things:

- Anyone else notice that these people fill their carts with a bunch of processed food? I spend most of our grocery budget on unprepared food.
- I feel like I'm watching a glorified version of Hoarders. Cause really, who needs 65 bottles of mustard?
- Couponing seems to be a full time job. Honestly, these people are making 5 hour shopping trips, on top of clipping newspapers and printing stuff online and sorting and organizing. Yuck.

So, I have to ask, is couponing a valid option for someone like me, who doesn't do a lot of processed food and is short on tome? Is it worth the effort?

I'm totally curious, but I also have a short attention span. I need to see results, asap.

Anybody have any luck? Advice? Success? Or is it a huge waste of time? Talk to me.


Stupid Things People Say #19029379003081209371987

People say the most idiotic things to you while you're pregnant, but I may have the one that takes the cake.

A little background...my son was born via emergency c-section. So this new baby will be delivered via planned c-section. And yes, we do have a date. May 9.

I thought about trying a VBAC (vaginal birth after C, for those not in the know)for about two seconds. Then I remembered how harrowing my first experience was. And I spoke to my doctor, who made me feel good about my decision to deliver via C. I know that some women like to try, but for me, I just feel better about safety, for both me and the babe, going with the C. I'm not too keen on my uterus bursting during a contraction.

So, in short, yay for people who want to give natural a try after C, but it's not for me, and it's my decision.

And with that I'll hop off of my soapbox.

So, back to the asinine things people say...

Back in December during a holiday gathering (and I can't believe I didn't think to write about this until now), I was talking to a family member and they asked when I was due. I told them the estimated date, but also that we'd pick the date for the C. He didn't know I'd had an emergency C with G.

He made some comment about how that sucks (he's REALLY articulate) and I agreed, but jokingly said, 'At least I don't have to go through labor again.' And let me just say, if I could, I would have my children naturally. I've beat myself up over it, and struggled with many feelings of failure after my first attempt.

And he looks at me, dead serious, and says 'Well, that's cheating.'

Most of the time, I'd take that kind of comment as a joke. But if you knew this guy, and that he has no capacity for sarcasm and that he probably thinks facetious has something to do with the temperament of a dog, I knew he was not at all joking.

Yeah, I pretty much wanted to kick him in his ignorant nuts.

Because he is married to someone who has NO tolerance for pain, got an epidural at 2 centimeters dilated and basically sneezed her children out.




You can't make this stuff up.

We're only related by marriage. We're only related by marriage. My children do not have any of his genes.

And that is a huge relief.


I Love Sugar But This is Ridiculous.

I am sitting in the waiting room at the OB with three other pregnant women. We are watching the Ambush Makeover segment on The Today Show and all of us are crying.

In our defense, it's a really happy/sad story (they made over a woman suffering from MS who is wheelchair bound).

Oh, hormones.

So, I'm not just hanging out at the doc for fun. No, I'm here cause I flunked my first glucose screening. As of this moment, I am a little over halfway done with my three hour screening. What does this entail? Fast for twelve hours, get blood drawn, drink a God awful glucose drink, which I'm pretty sure is similar to what they put in hummingbird feeders, wait an hour, have a blood draw, wait an hour, have a blood draw, wait an hour, final blood draw.

Did I mention you can't eat? And that the Today show featured Paula Deen this morning?

Baby girl is going absolutely insane from all the sugar. It's a orange glucose drink fueled dance party in my uterus.

This test is to determine whether or not I have gestational diabetes. Fingers crossed I pass this test!

In the meantime, I am meticulously and obsessively planning what food I am going to hoover in exactly two hours...


Because Gestating is Not Enough...

To Do List Before #2 Arrives:

1) Play Musical Bedrooms. G's room will become the nursery. Our room will become G's room. The front guest bedroom/office will become our room. Did I mention I have to clean out all three rooms and purge all the junk? I've been chipping away at it, but I have no idea how we've accumulated so much crap in five years.

2) Decorate Said Rooms. Paint. I think that's about all I can handle. I've picked out the nursery theme after about two months of agonizing. I wanted something girly but not over the top. Mostly, I didn't want all pastel - and this is what I chose:

[Yes, it's Pottery Barn. I tried to go all indie, but PB kept pulling me back in. Don't judge.]

You see that tiny bit of aqua in the corner of the bumper? That's the wall color. I think. So yes, there's a little pink, but the red kind of toughens it up a bit. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

3) Convert the Garage into a Family Room. I'm actually laughing at myself as I type this, because I think the chances of this happening are comparable to winning the lottery. We need the space so bad. But I'm thinking this will stay firmly on the to do list.

4) Have Some Kind of Garage Sale. Or, in alternative, rent a Uhaul and make a trip to Goodwill. Or have a massive bonfire in the backyard. This last option may become more viable the more stressed and crazy I get.

5) Potty Train G. Just kidding. This is a pipe dream. I've read all the books. I've tried several methods including just putting underwear on him and watching him like a hawk. Inevitably, I turn my back for five seconds and there's an accident. Am I getting judgment? Yes. Mostly from older relatives who are like, JUST FORCE HIM. Yeah. That's a great idea. I love the idea of scarring my child for life so things can be more convenient for me. Plus? I'm guessing even if I got him 'trained' by the time baby arrives, he'll regress. So potty training goes on the back burner. I'll just keep telling myself that he won't go to Kindergarten in diapers.

6) Pick Baby's Middle Name. Okay, I don't usually put my older child's name in this blog, but I'll this one time tell you (or maybe when she's born too) baby girl's name: we're calling her Charlotte. This has been our girl name for long before G was born. So now we need a middle name. I have a few in my head, but usually my ideas are poo-pooed immediately. I'm thinking maybe I won't bring it up at all and just use the one I pick when I fill out her birth certificate info? Cunning, I know. But I'm open to suggestions. I grew up with a super vanilla middle (and, let's face it, first) name, so unusual is good. Just no crazy spellings. That drives me nuts.

7) Stock the Freezer. I did a pretty good job of preparing and freezing meals before G was born and it was a life saver. I need to do the same this time, but I need some ideas. I usually do turkey chili, spaghetti sauce and a bunch of soups. If anybody has any easily freezable recipes, sent them to me...please! I'll love you forever. Not that I don't love you already...

I know there's much more I need to tackle. Those are the biggies.

Oh. I forgot something.

8) Try Not to Lose My Mind. It might be too late...


Blame The Social Network

This is one of those posts where I have a million things going through my head but can't settle on one to write about.

My brain won't stop. It started about an hour ago, this unsettled feeling. I don't know why. What happened. Today was a really good day. Only a few meltdowns (from toddler), a birthday party for one of my dearest friend's son. Overall, laid-back busy. If that makes any sense.

After my son went to bed, my husband and I actually watched a movie together, which is super rare. We picked The Social Network - which was fantastic. (And I'm sure they took a lot of artistic license, but has Mark Zuckerberg been officially diagnosed with Aspergers or what?)

When the movie was over, the husband cut out to play World of Warcraft (I'm not even going to start on this...I'm such a WOW widow) and I got REALLY antsy. As in, it's 11:30 and I really should go to bed, but I need to clean the kitchen and put away laundry and start another load and, and, and...

All the while, I'm having a conversation with myself and it's going something like this:

"Wow, that kid is a billionaire and he's like 26 or something.You will be 33 in May. What have you accomplished.No seriously. What?"

And I'm beating myself up in my head while scrubbing the hell out of the kitchen counter.

Listen, it's not like I feel the need to be a billionaire. Not at all. Even though not having to worry about money would be a welcome change.

It's more the principal of the thing. Let's just say the dreams I had for myself when I was fresh out of college have very much gone by the wayside. So much so, I honestly can't remember what they were.

Yes, part of my plans included having a family. But I've never been one of those people that was like 'all I want in life is to be a mom.' It's just not me. I can't pretend that I'm okay with just dissolving into my family, becoming nonexistent.

I'm sure I'll feel better in the morning. I really hate when I get into these funks and start questioning everything. I think about jobs. I think about getting laid off. I think about choosing the wrong college. The wrong major (cause honestly, an English degree without a teaching certificate is really doing me NO good).

Then I tell myself I did one thing right. I picked my husband. That was good. And that wouldn't have happened if I'd gone to another college.

I guess it boils down to the feeling of being purpose-less. Okay, semi-purpose-less (how many hyphens can I fit into one word). I know that my main purpose is being a wife and a mom. And I love that. But then what?

You know, I completely blame The Social Network for tonight's insomnia. Next time I'm totally picking something that will make me feel like a winner.

In fact, I'm putting Joe Dirt on RIGHT NOW.


Purge 2011 aka I'm Crazy Pregnant

In a little over three months, I will have a newborn. Scratch that...I will have a willful, 'busy' three year old (whom I adore) AND a new baby.

What was I thinking? Panic is setting in.

How do I deal with panic? Apparently, this time around it's manic organizing. Like today. Today I went through my spice cabinet. Chucked a ton of stuff. Things I never use (whole coriander seeds?) that I'm not sure I even bought, maybe they came with the house? Spices that didn't smell liken anything anymore. That can't be good.

Then I got really crazy. I pulled out my giant box of photos from high school, and purged it by half. Yes, I tossed photographs. Which is generally against everything I believe. But I've got the pregnancy crazies, and by God, I do not need 30 out of focus photos of my sophomore prom date.

A side note, I found a receipt from The Gap in that box from 1994, for a pair of jeans. Guess how much they cost?

$34. I kid you not.

Anyway, I'm kind of scaring myself. I'm worried I'll end up throwing something important out in one of my fits. Then again, it would probably be wise to just roll with this newfound ability to shed unnecessary crap. Since in real life, I'm a few boxes of twist ties away from Hoarders.


Mother of the Year


I can't believe I let my little man's birthday pass with out a post!

Don't worry, at least we celebrated in real life. Which I guess is the important thing.

So, a few days late, Happy Birthday, G-Rex!

I love everything about you. I love that you're 'busy'. How you are so sensitive and always asking how I'm feeling.

How you say 'grayby' for gravy and 'eyegrows' for eyebrows.

How you will pick fruit and vegetables over junk food every day of the week.

That you love Wall-E and seem to understand it better than a three year old should.

That you watch ESPN with Daddy and know who Kornheiser and Wilbon are.

And your obsession with Thomas the Tank Engine? Oh.My.Goodness.

I just love you, kiddo. You've made me a better person. It is absolutely my privilege to be your mama.

I just can't wait to see you as a big brother and watch you grow.


Late Breaking News: Va Jay Jay Wand Works!

So I'm reading the title to this post and it sounds a lot like I'm writing about a sex toy. But I'm leaving it, cause I want people to be all disappointed when they come here to perv out and I'm talking about the gender of my unborn child.

You all are sick. Sick, I say!

Anyhow, I'm very late getting here to report that we are, to the relief of many family members, having a girl child. And don't get me wrong, I'm beyond thrilled. Over the moon (gag). But I have to be honest...all the boy hate had me a little up in arms and indignant.

Moving on, though. Moving on. I'm a little over halfway through this pregnancy. I don't know if it's the extra girl fetus estrogen, but I have to admit, I've been a weepy mess. Yeah, I know pregnant ladies are emotional, but I can barely even turn the television on these days without getting verklempt. Have you seen those 'Foundation for a Better Life' spots? Brutal. BRUTAL.

My little G has been sick since Sunday. There is nothing worse than the look of terror on a little kid's face when they throw up. I think he's on the upswing. Now here's to hoping I don't get sick. Where's the Purell?

This little post is going to be, well, little. Cause little dude is waking up from a nap and I've got to resume coaxing him to eat. Next up?Popsicles. For him too.