Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How soon we forget.

I worked for about 10 years with old people and generally loved them. Sure, they had their quirks (don't we all?) but really enjoyed helping and listening and comforting them.

Now I have been old-person-free for three and a half years and I guess my tolerance has waned a bit. I attended a very lovely Ladies' Candlelight dinner at our church, and endured this conversation and did not really find it too funny at the time. Now, with a few days of distance, it's beginning to amuse me and thought I'd share.

The dinner is pot-luck and part of the fun is seeing what people brought and raving over all the yummy food. I brought a Mexican layer dip, which my sister-in-law makes for our family functions and we all love it. It is a base layer of cream cheese, then salsa, then cut up tomatoes and yellow and red and orange peppers and sliced black olives and then covered in mexican-blend cheese. It is fresh and simple and delicious with tortilla chips, which I also brought.

So this is verbatim what happened to me as I put my dish down on the table when I arrived.

(Two old ladies approach. Both bend over and carefully inspect my dip and hover over it the whole time we are talking.)

Lady 1: Oh, what's that?
Me: It's a mexican layer dip. It's got cream cheese and salsa and fresh peppers and shredded cheese.
Lady 1: Oh, is it Italian?
Me: No, It's Mexican.
Lady 2: Is that black olives?
Me: Yes, it is.
Lady 2: Oh.... I don't eat black olives.
Me, trying to be helpful: Well, they're easy to pick off, if you'd like.
Lady 1: What's all over the top? Is that coconut?
Me: No, it's shredded cheese.
Lady 2: What did you say was on the bottom?
Me: Cream cheese.
Lady 2, dismissively: Well, I don't eat cream cheese.

(Two old ladies turn and walk away.)

Monday, March 23, 2009


So Thursday is our departure day for Disney and I am most excited about taking a break from the every-day-ness of the everyday.

(This was our biggest complaint about renting a house for the week on the Cape last summer: a little too much real life creeps in when you are unloading dishwashers and making sandwiches and doing laundry and making beds. We did get an email last week from the rental company who carries that listing for summer rental and I admit: I sighed quite wistfully at our lack of ocean-going this summer.)

Of course, there is tons to work to be done to get ready: summer clothes and shoes to choose, purchase and wash before packing, pulling out the hand-me-downs for Jenna, and buying some new summer maternity clothes for me and fretting about how huge they look. (I am juuuust starting to pop out a little but am getting a head start for summer, when I will surely explode with baby-ness.) I spent the whole day sorting, trying on and washing and folding and piling laundry, as well as making lists about what has to get done before we leave, making a haircut appointment for Michaela, changing our dental appointment, hiring the neighbor girl to feed the cat and picking up from the weekend. Yeah, I know: thrilling stuff.

I am so excited about not having to cook, nag about routines, make beds, check email, update Facebook and my blog, do any volunteer work, go grocery shopping, open mail, and do laundry. I am ready to just stroll around, be warm, wear flip flops and capris and sunglasses, breathe the Disney air (which my friend Angel swears is infused with some type of happy drug) and watch my children and husband have a blast. And relax. And order many, many meals off of a menu. And not have to clean up afterwards.


Completely Random PS- I bought real-sized carrots for the first time in years; you know, the long kind Bugs Bunny eats instead of the baby carrots. And I was shocked-shocked- by how much more flavor they have. Very rich and sweet and carrot-y. Michaela is in love with them, like they are a strange, exotic new vegetable she's never tried. Poor deprived girl.

If I get this excited about carrots, I think it's clear how much I could use a vacation.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Transitions and Transformations

You find out you're pregnant. You stare at that little white plastic stick and are amazed at how monumental that little extra pink line is. Your head starts swimming with questions and excitement and anxieties and I can't believe its. You pray and you pray and you pray.

You start to not feel real well. You get nauseous. You have to swallow these enormous prenatal vitamin horsepills for the good of the baby and you gag on them. You puke. You are tired. You are bone tired. You are barely able to make dinner, you are barely able to keep the house picked up, you are barely able to hold onto the routines that help your household run. Your kids are wondering what has happened to their mommy. You are cranky and irritable. You are trying to find foods that will help you feel better. You are tired of figuring out what you want to eat. You are really sick of seeing Pizza Hut commercials on tv, because every time you've been pregnant, they make your stomach turn the worst. You live on bread and toast and bagels and cottage cheese and egg salad. You think, What have we done? What were we thinking?

And then.

Then you start to feel a little better. Your stomach is quieter. You are not quite so tired. You notice one day that it's 2pm and you are still upright instead of laying down. You start doing a little more. Your spirits are better. You are less cranky and less irritable. You make a whole dinner, from scratch, and actually eat a little of it. You start telling people that you are pregnant and bask in their joy and excitement. You start getting more excited, too. You go to the doctor's and everything looks good. You start to be less anxious. You talk about the baby and slowly, ever so slowly, your brain starts making room for this extra person who will be joining your family. You start to get a clearer view of you family of the future. You love the way it sounds when you hear yourself say, "This is my third." Instead of wondering how this baby will fit into your life, you now can't imagine life without it.

You begin to fall madly, deeply and fiercely in love with this growing baby inside of you. You start to feel, ever so subtly, the branches and vines and tendrils of mother love start to wrap themselves around this baby, your baby, this concrete expression of love between you and your husband, and these branches bind you and this baby together. Forever. Unbreakable.

And that's where I'm at.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Star-Struck Citizen.

Jenna is at this moment walking around the house in her Sleeping beauty shoes, Michaela's old dance recital costume (complete with turquoise tutu) and a silver sparkly sash around her head, sort of early-seventies-hippie style.

These are my instructions:
"I am married to Ba-rat Obama because I love him. And he is very nice. You pretend to be Ba-rat Obama and be the helper at stool today.

Are you being Ba-rat Obama?!!? Because we need to do our show in which you save me!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A la Groundhog Day- the movie.

So yesterday I brought M to the doctor's and she has the left ear infection. We went to CVS and got flavored Amoxicillan to save the day.
Jenna wakes me up at about 3:45am and tells me her ear hurts.
So today I brought J to the doctor's and she has a left ear infection. We went to CVS and got flavored Amoxicillan to save the day.

Thankfully, I do not have any more children with ears.

For a little comic relief, I thought I'd compile a list of some of the phrases that have been uttered to me in the middle of the night, rousing me out of a dead sleep, over the past week or so.

My ear hurts. (Michaela)
I have to pee. (My bladder)
Is my hand gonna break? (Jenna)
There is a bee in my room. (Jenna)
My tooth is really, really loose and I'm afraid I'm going to swallow it. (Michaela)
Cough, cough, hack, hack. (Jenna)
I wanna watch tv. (Jenna)
The tv's not wor-tin'. (Jenna)
I have to pee!!! (My bladder)
My ear hurts. (Jenna)
This is the worst night's sleep I've had in a long time. (Danny)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Down for the count.

Dan is out of town on business for the whole week. We miss him already.
Jenna has been fighting a virus that causes her to spike fevers every 12-15 hours or so, causes her nose to never stop dripping and has interrupted her sleep- and my sleep- every night since Thursday.
Michaela woke me up at 3:45 am with a very sore ear. We went to the pediatrician today and she's got an ear infection and is on antibiotics.
Even my mom went to the doctor today for bronchitis and my dad came home from work early- an extremely rare event- not feeling well.
And me?
Oh, I'm just gestating, sleep deprived, worried about my kiddos and battling the never-ending fatigue and sour stomach.

We're falling apart around here. Thankfully, it's all fixable.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It was a quiet and restful night.

It was a quiet and restful day, too, now that I think about it. I call them "gestating days"... days where it appears that my major accomplishment will be growing the baby inside of me. Nothing more, nothing less. Just gestating.

Days like this make me wonder how I will handle having an infant again. I like to play this little game with myself: I stop in the middle of something and think, What if you had a three month old right now? Who was crying? And needed his/her diaper changed? And it goes on and on. And the answer I always come back to is the same: I'd deal with it and do the best I can. Of course, I won't feel like puking every few hours, either, so that's got to make it a little easier.

Life/motherhood only gets better and I know this because of my lively seven year old who shares her liveliness at school for six hours a day and my three year old who happily lounges around with me on my gestating days and watches Cinderella with me and tells me, "I love you Mommy" while we're all snuggled up together on the couch with our blankets. Delicious.

I am beyond peaceful with the idea that this is the last time I ever have to be pregnant; this is the last first trimester I will ever have to go through; that the decision of whether we go for it and have a third or stick with what we've got is laid to rest. We're here and it's wonderful.

I have successfully shipped my husband and children off to church for the evening, have settled onto the couch (well, resettled after a brief interlude of upright-ness for dinner) and am going to flood my brain with utterly worthless television.
And gestate.

Monday, March 9, 2009

That's Trazy, Man.

Jenna has sported a very common learning-to-speak verbal quirk (I think it's a little over the top to call it a speech impediment) that has permeated the household: she doesn't say the letters c,k, or g. And now neither do we.
I can't put my fin-der, I mean finger, on when it exactly started happening, but Dan and I seem to be losing the ability to say those same letters, whether we're talking to Jenna or just to each other. It's a "when in Rome, do as the Romans do..." kind of thing. Dan really finds this speech pattern of hers to be quite adorable and has mentioned several times that he'll be sad when she drows, I mean grows up and just says g's and k's and c's like everyone else.
So in the meantime, we are doing what I'm fairly certain is the worst possible thing we can do: talk to her in the dialect that she uses with us and not modeling better speech patterns.
Just for the sake of posterity, these are some of the cutest and most common words she mangles:
crazy= trazy
Kiki the cat = Teetee the tat
Gammie = Dame-y (which also sounds like her Aunt Jaime's name)
Michaela = Mitay-la
Who stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?= Who stole the tootie from the tootie jar?
When she does something wrong= "Am I done-ah have tonse-twences?"
Net-lace (necklace), may-tup (makeup), tup-tate (cupcake), ta-wire (choir), "Tan I please have...?"... the list goes on and on.
She also had started ordering drinks/drints from Dan and I in what we call the James Bond Fashion: "I'd lite told water, in a dlass, with no ice."
Shaken, not stirred.

Baby Update: Not much cookin' in the baby department. I felt much better last week than I have in months and got up to about 85% functioning. I was actually able to make a homemade dinner last night AND ate some it! Victory is MINE!
I have also started a funny, intense craving for diet soda, which I could have easily up to this point of my life never drank again and not be too upset. But suddenly, ooohhh... it's all I want. I feel like a heroin addict, with some type of bizarre release coming over me as I take that first long, deep drink. I actually closed my eyes in pleasure one day last week as I drank it. Of course, I have done nothing but rag on Dan for the last 13 years about how his daily diet soda habit is "slowly rotting your gut away... it's poison!! POISON!" and now here I am arranging my errands so I can stop at a drive thru and score some.
Alas, I am limiting myself to only drinking it a few times a week, since the majority of ingredients are nothing close to what you'd want your fetus ingesting. Those What to Expect When You're Expecting Freakazoids would have a field day with me. (Yeah, it's an informative book and I have read it many, many times but mostly all it did was make me feel inadequate as a mom... but that's a whole other post.)
But, oh, the soda's so good. TRAZY good.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Third, Last, and Final Libutti Baby

I start today's post with a huge confession: I have been lying to you since the start of 2009. Every time I have reported not much was going on here, every time I talked about the dearth of excitement... I was lying. Because the whole time I have been bursting with a wonderful secret.

I am pregnant.

Of course, I have not felt like doing to much except gestating for the last three months, either, so in reality, not a whole heck of a lot HAS gone on here. When Mommy's down for the count, it's all about survival.

Here are the answers to all the burning questions people have asked since we started telling people.

1. My due date is September 23. Ironically, this was also Michaela's due date but she decided to hang out in my uterus for another two weeks until we kicked her out on October 8th.
Turns out Dan and I enjoy New Year's more than we realized.

2. We are definitely going to find out if it is a boy or a girl. Two incorrect guesses are enough for me. Plus we have some logistical issues as we have two bedrooms for three children and Jenna's going to have to bunk with either her big sister or little sister.

3. Yes, of course we'd love to have a boy but honestly I would be beyond thrilled to have another girl. I LOVE having daughters. But having a boy would bring a nice balance to the family and would do a lot to prevent Dan from bringing home a Great Dane and naming him Duke or Rocco.

4. How do I feel? Do you really want to know? How much time do you have?? The short answer is that I am never, ever doing this again. The longer short answer is that I started out ok and and got worse and worse until this weekend when I was totally miserable and useless. I am hoping and praying and hoping and wishing that I am over the worst of it now as I am in my 12th week. But it was ugly. Trust me.

5. Yes, we have a grasp on human biology and the concept of birth control. The baby was planned, intended, discussed to the Nth degree, and agreed upon by both parties. Well, pretty much.

6. This pregnancy has been more similar to Michaela's than Jenna's. I was very sick and tired with Michaela the first trimester and then sailed through the rest. Jenna's pregnancy was completely different-feeling from start to finish (I wasn't sick with her, just hungry; I also was an emotional basketcase and bought a lot of STUFF. Hormone spending, I called it.) I gained half the weight with Jenna that I did with Michaela. I carried differently and had easy labor with Jenna and back labor with Michaela. Both were healthy, just different. The only difference I see with this one so far is that I am craving lots of carbs: pasta, bread, and bagels. And everything I eat I must slather in butter or ketchup or honey. I could eat McDonald's fries, dipped in McDonald's BBQ sauce, every day.

I had my first ultrasound today and everything checks out so far. We are thrilled, elated, overwhelmed, excited, anxious, and can't wait to lay eyes on the newest member of our family!!!

The Straight-on View of Baby #3

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Who's up for a little Product Review?

1. Johnson's body care Deep Hydrating Extra Dry Skin Lotion: I bought this a couple of weeks ago and really like it. What makes it blog-worthy is the write up on the back, which I discovered a few days ago ('cause, really, who READS the back of a lotion bottle?) and am still mesmerized by.

She is a natural, instinctive
caregiver. She wants
the best for herself
and her loved ones.
She loves this rich, creamy
intensive moisturizing lotion with a
touch of oil inside, because it helps relieve
rough, thirsty skin in just one application
and continues to hydrate for 24 hours.
Her spirit is beautifully nurturing.
Her skin loves JOHNSON'S.
WOW! Is this ME? Am I the natural, instinctive caregiver? Is MY spirit beautifully nurturing? Isn't my lotion making some rather large assumptions about me as a mom? I mean, hey, I'm happy for the vote of confidence- everyone likes to be told they're doing a good job- but does my JOHNSON'S really know anything about my parenting skills?
Even so, I have to admit I love my lotion a little more every time I use it. Because it likes me and thinks I'm AWESOME.

2. Wyler's Mrs. Grass Soup Mix- Extra Noodles: I was in the soup aisle today at the grocery store and this fun little blue box caught my eye. On impulse, I threw it in my cart and made it today for lunch. It looked warm, simmer-y, and welcoming. And extra-noodle-y. How can I go wrong?
Well, I boiled it up and waited for it to cool. I took my first bite and was blown away... by how much it tasted exactly how an old woman's house smells. A little mothball, a little perfume, a little staleness and several indistinct cooked food scents. Yeah, think of your own Grandma's house and imagine biting into it.
I have no idea what Mrs. Grass puts in her soup to make it taste this way, but I was repulsed and drawn to it at the same time. I couldn't ignore the beautiful egg noodles swirling around and had to finish it.
But I didn't feel very good about myself afterwards, eating my grandma's house and all.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

'Cause that's how we roll.

Our neighbors across the street got a huge tree cut down in their front yard today.

The girls and I were mesmerized by the big equipment, especially the crane.

In a sad reflection of the dearth of excitement in our house, I took pictures of the tree removal.

Then Michaela whipped out her Hannah Montana digital camera and took pictures.

Then Jenna found her pretend Princess camera (well, she of course calls it her "tamera") and snapped a few shots.

I felt more than a little pathetic: spying on neighbor's workmen and taking pictures. Yup, that's how stay-at-home moms and their bored children roll in the Northeast on a frigid, snowy March morning. We'll embrace just about ANY break from the routine.