Friday, July 31, 2009
The girls and I went to Michael's craft store on Wednesday and bought tons of projects and supplies which kept two little girls busy for two days straight. I have been trying to get to my sewing... the basket of fabric seems to watch my every move and is starting to mock me when I don't pay attention to it.
Yesterday I tried making the Premier Blanket of my baby blanket collection- gorgeous minky dot light blue backed by brown flannel- and even tried to fancy it up by trying to bind it with flannel-backed satin binding. What a disaster. The whole thing was slippery, uneven, and a general hot stinkin' mess. So I cut my losses, ripped the whole thing apart and started over with a more simple design and it came together better. I tried to use it as a teaching moment for Michaela, who frequently gets frustrated when things she sews don't turn out exactly as she planned, and showed her how I messed up and how I started over. Today I made another blanket and am about to clean up for the day.
Michaela has a friend over and they are making more plans for the afternoon. I want to get to the library with Jenna as I am desperate for some reading material. And have to pay off my late fee from the last batch of books I got. And returned late. I consider it a donation to the library.
And that's the scoop from here.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I have a terrific mental checklist goin' on right now, spurred on by my impending arrival and the work that I want to get done prior to his arrival. Here are some things that I've been able to cross off the list recently.
1. Baby's Name: Check.
Dan and I have FINALLY chosen a name that we both agree on, after numerous conversations, State-Department type formal meetings, concessions, negotiations, consult with outside sources (most of which were ridiculously non-helpful), FOUR baby name books and lots and lots and lots of patience. I'm pretty sure that if you gave us another 32 weeks, we could solve the whole "who gets custody of the Jackson kids" debacle as well as the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.
We did get lots of help from a wonderful book called The Baby Name Wizard, which has both a reasonable dictionary-type list of names, their origin, popularity, and a small commentary on the feeling of the name (feminine, strong, out of date, etc.). But the most helpful part of each entry includes suggested sibling names, so we looked up the girls' first and middle names and actually found the name we chose from there. The rest of the book lists Style Families of names which was also very helpful. We are apparently "New Classics" type of baby namers. If you know anyone who is pregnant, buy it for them.
2. New OB: Check.
I had my first appointment with my new OB practice yesterday and am happy to report it went very well. People were all friendly, both the nurse and the doctor acknowledged how hard it must be to switch this late in the game, and the appointment was uneventful. At one point I was describing briefly how I had back labor with Michaela, and he said, shaking his head quite ruefully, "Yeah... back labor SUCKS." How can you not love that?
He reassured me that this practice and my old practice have similar philosophies and procedures and that I really shouldn't notice too much of a difference. I did ask what they did in the case of women going past their due date, and told him how I had Michaela 15 days late, and that I was SURE that no one let women go that long past due anymore, right? RIGHT??? RIGHT?? And he answered "Oh, NO....." in the same tone that I honestly couldn't tell if they really didn't or if he was just humoring me. I laughed.
I go back in two weeks and see another doctor in the practice.
3. Baby in position: Check.
Probably the best news I got at the doctor's appointment was that Baby Boy is in a head down- tushie up position, ready for delivery in a few weeks.
4. Toiletries for Baby: Check.
I went to Walmart the other day and purchased all the stuff one needs for welcoming a baby home: diapers (including the newborn kind that have a little cutout for the healing umbilical cord... sooo cute!), A&D Ointment, bath supplies, bottles, Infant Tylenol and Motrin, a few little hats and washcloths, all the kinds of things you stock your diaper bag with.
5. Linens for Baby: Check.
The following day, my mom and I and the girls headed up to Babies R Us and bought the sheets, changing table covers, and bassinet sheets I needed, as well as a Bundle Me carseat cover for the baby in khaki, instead of Jenna's pink one, and a very nice Sit N Stand stroller for carting the kids around. In a pinch all three kids can go on this one, which is great for Michaela's "tired legs" we often hear about. It's waaaay better than my Ghetto Double Stroller, which is a regular travel system stroller with the back pushed flat so both girls can sit in the seat and I can walk faster than .0006 miles per hour through a mall store.
Still on the list: finishing up Michaela and Jenna's baby photo albums, sewing the rest of the baby blankets, sewing a pillow for the nursery, scrapbooking Michaela's baptism pictures in an album, getting stuff down from the attic, picking out paint color for the room...
Monday, July 27, 2009
So we started on Saturday with a hike on the Indian Ladder Trail, which is gorgeous. After much initial resistance from Miss Michaela, who insisted she would be practically eaten to death by bugs on the trail, we all piled into the family truckster and headed out. Dan actually walked the trail with them and I, in my ridiculous non-hiking state, went about halfway and then had them come back to me at the end.
Jenna and Michaela at the start of the trail
Michaela hits the trail and gets nary a bugbite
Oooohhh... who got Photoshop software for her birthday???
Photographic evidence that I was there
Michaela checks out the view
Despite her concerns, no bugs were even found on the trail (at one point, Dan says to me, "Whew, I don't know, Mommy... if I get any more bug bites I'm going to have to quit!!" with lots of drama and Michaela actually smiled AND rolled her eyes at the same time) and we agreed it was a beautiful hike and lots of fun. After the hike we headed to the pool for a swim.
Yesterday we went to church in the morning and then headed downstate to celebrate Uncle Michael's 30th birthday. We had a great time, ate lots of yummy food, and even swam at their complex's pool. (Aunt Jaime, Uncle Michael and Uncle Jimmy sure are troopers!) The girls had a blast playing with cousin Olivia and Aunt Jaime and Uncle Michael's dog Quincy. (I'm not sure Quincy will ever be the same after all that "playing", but he looked like he was having fun until he pretty much collapsed on the dining room floor with exhaustion.)
Uncle Jimmy and Olivia
Uncle Michael with his nieces
Friday, July 24, 2009
"Uhhh.... Daddy?" I answer.
"No," she says, all exasperated. "He's your HUSBAND, not my boyfriend."
"Oh, I get it..." and I name off two or three boys in her class that I know pretty much drive her nuts.
"NO, no, no... this is an easy one. Guess."
So I give her the answer she's looking for, which I knew all along: her friend Michael.
"Yes!" she answers triumphantly.
"How about you, Jenna? Who's your boyfriend?"
Calmly and confidently Jenna answers, "Barat Obama."
Later in the same trip, Jenna starts whining.
"Please stop whining, Jen," I tell her.
"But I JUST STARTED," she answers.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
On top of her dresser: four of my favorite pictures of Jenna. The littlest frame is a picture of her at about three days old. The back two are at about seven months, the one on the right showcasing her eating her first Oreo cookie. Everytime I see these picture frames I smile. I have a shelf in the girls' new room to put these pictures on so we can still enjoy them.
Her wallpaper border
Over her changing table
A closeup of some items from her baptism
Monday, July 20, 2009
Ugh. I feel AWFUL. I am NEVER doing this again! How do women do this over and over?
(Incidentally, we went to a kid's park that has rides over the weekend and Dan went on a swirling ride with Michaela and was sick to his stomach the rest of the day. I tried to use it as a teaching moment for Dan and told him to imagine he felt like this for 10 weeks, and then he has an idea of what the first trimester of pregnancy is like. Oh, and while he's at it, cook us all dinner. He wasn't very amused.)
In my second trimester of pregnancy, I remember thinking:
AHHH! I feel AWESOME!!! I feel INVINCIBLE!! I am bringing LIFE into the world!! I could do this again and again and again! I never want this pregnancy to end!
In my third trimester of pregnancy, I am thinking:
When is this going to be OVER?!? I want to see my baby! I want to hold him and kiss him and love him! I want to lay on my back again! I want to be COMFORTABLE again!! I am NEVER doing this again!*
*Also included in my current internal dialog: Gotta finish cleaning out the nursery. Where is my blue baby bedding? Better get that down from the attic and wash it. Do we still have a bassinet? I need new sheets for my bassinet. Better get to Babies R Us soon and get some stuff. And bottles, right. I need to get bottles. And changing table covers. And nursing pads. Ugh. Not looking forward to that all over again. Should go to Walmart and get all of that stuff. Gotta look at the paint swatches and choose a color to paint the nursery. Will we have time to paint the girls' room also? And that changing table. Yuck. Where can I get a new one? Gotta look online. And get the baby toys out and cleaned. And get the clothes organized. And get the diaper bag ready. And clean the car seat and base... Wait. What was that twinge? Is that a contraction? Am I going into labor?.......
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
1. My mom was shopping there a few days ago, as she often does, and brought her cart filled with Wally's goodness to a checkout station. She shops there frequently enough to know who is pleasant and who is to be avoided in the checkout line, but her regular people were not available so she tried a new associate.
"Can you bag your stuff?" this associate asked her.
Taken aback, my mom tried to make light of it and said something along the lines of "Oh, I'm too old!" and laughed.
The associate stared her down and said, "You expect me to scan AND bag????"
So my mom resisted the temptation to respond like this: "I am sorry that you have made a succession of possibly not very intelligent decisions that have brought you to this place, working a minimum wage job for the largest retailer in the world. I am sorry that the idea of actually doing your job is distressing to you. I am sorry that you are not happy in your vocation. The physical set up of the checkouts at this fine establishment actually makes it impossible for me to do what you are asking, as you would have to scan the item and then hand it over the belt to me where I would then have to place it in a plastic bag on your side of the register.
So yes, I do expect you to scan AND bag."
2. My friend Tom was at Walmart the other day, getting a quick change on a flat tire. While he was waiting, he bought a few packs of gum and was checked out by a young man covered in tattoos- one on his arm displayed his own name, the other arm showing off someone else's- who was rather sullen and withdrawn and perhaps also dissatisfied with his lot in life.
After scanning the gum, as Tom was paying, the associate mumbled to Tom:
"Looks like you're gettin' your chew on."
I love Walmart.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I have had an interesting day today, pregnancy-wise. I had an appointment this morning with my OB and everything is fine. The baby's heartrate is gloriously strong and steady at 140 and I am measuring exactly where I should for 30-31 weeks of pregnancy. I told the doctor that was great because I'd prefer to only be pregnant for another 9 weeks instead of ten. I also got the wonderful news that I passed my glucose test and will not have to endure the three hour test that I did with Jenna (okay, so ENDURE is a tad strong... you drink the sugary orange drink, wait a while and get your blood drawn at certain intervals. It's mostly just boring and anxiety-producing, thinking that you may have to go the rest of the pregnancy with less sugar and carbs. I mean, you can't drink, smoke, do recreational drugs... chocolate is really the only vice one has available.)
So then my OB sits down and tells me he has "a curveball" to throw at me and I start wondering what the heck he's talking about. It turns out he has some kind of "medical issue" going on that he just found out about and can't deliver babies for awhile, so he has to transfer me to another practice for the last 10 weeks and delivery.
What a bummer.
I am trying to sort out how I feel about all of this, and mostly I just hope that he's okay because he is a fantastic human being. Then I start to feel all disappointed that he won't be part of this baby's care and delivery. Then I feel anxious that the new 6 doctor practice he is referring me to isn't quite as warm and fuzzy as my OB's practice (he's a one man show). Then part of me says to suck it up and move on- the important thing is that the baby is healthy and delivered safely, which I am sure will happen by the new practice.
But you know, I am a LITTLE hormonal and wigged out by the whole thing. I should have my first appointment with the new practice in two weeks, so stay tuned for updates.
One of the BEST parts of having your third baby is that people generally refrain from saying incredibly stupid things to you that spike your anxiety when you are pregnant with your first baby. Lots of times you can see women salivating when they see you, ready to pounce with some comment like "JUST YOU WAIT!!" or "Aren't you scared about having the baby with the nursing shortage?" or "Let me tell you MY labor HORROR story..." and this time, you can stare them down and say confidently, firmly, and calmly, "It's my THIRD baby." and they instantly back off. You are no longer fresh meat for their fodder and they go, "Oh, how nice..." and skulk off, moving on to their next target.
It's very primal.
However, I did have an interesting interaction with a woman last week. The girls and I were in Joanne Fabric Store checking out what fabric was on sale. A quite normal, 70-ish looking woman was sitting on a bench near the fabric cutting table and I see her eyeing us walking towards her. Just as we are passing her, she blurts out with a certain level of brusque-ness: "Whaddaya got in there?" and nods towards my belly.
Whadda I got in here???? My precious new baby, ready for me to love and raise and cherish for the next 60 years, that's what I got. I was kind of taken aback by her manner, so I answered, "A watermelon."
"HA!" she snorted. So I said, "It's a boy."
"Hurrumph. Two girls and a boy. That's a rich man's family."
"I certainly hope so..." I answered, not ever hearing that expression before and wanting to move on from this convo. Geesh.
But overall, I am feeling great, just more tired at night and slower to move. The enormous growth I was experiencing a few weeks ago has slowed so I feel a little more in proportion size-wize to where I should be. My blood pressure is good, my weight (for the first time since puberty) is fantastic and my appetite is decreasing since my stomach is getting crowded out by uterus and such. The only real issue I am having is the hip pain I talked about in my last post. So far, my back is holding up okay, the weather has been cool so I'm not all swollen and puffy and I am still trying to get as much done project-wise as I can. I cut the fabric for my first two baby blankets and sewed my first pillow for the nursery. Jenna is mostly all moved into Michaela's room (only her shoes and stuffed animals are left) and then I have to rearrange the playroom shelves to be better uses of space.
We have still made no progress in the name department but Dan has agreed that he is being a tad inflexible and has agreed to have me make a list of names and he will pick one from the list. I ordered some more baby name books online and will be pouring through them when they arrive.
Well, I and my RICH MAN'S FAMILY are off to my parents' house to go swimming. Enjoy the day!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
My sleep is somewhat interrupted by the freaky nerve pain I have only in my right hip from laying on it, and I am left to feel quite like a tipped-over cow: all big and hefty in the middle with spindly arms and legs, barely strong enough to turn myself over. (Which is really not true; nothing on my body has been spindly since I was about eight years old.) So my hip nerve wakes me up and my brain starts screaming the theme at me, and until I fall asleep again, the theme runs through my head.
A few nights ago, it was all about Paris Jackson: Paris!! Paris!! Who will take care of her? Paris!! Who will raise Paris Jackson??? PARIS PARIS PARIS!!!!
Last night's theme? Sonia Sotomayor. Which my brain LOVES to say over and over, with a rolling "R", sort of like this:
SOTOMAYOOOOOOOORRRRRR!!!! SOTOMAYOOOOOOORRRRRRR!!!!! all night long.
Which, if you think about it, can sound kind of like a bovine yelping.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
If you wander into Joanne Fabrics looking for solid flannel, but only the printed flannel is on sale, your two daughters will want to pick out their own fabric and "sew something".
If your 4 year old gets one yard of fabric, your 7 year old will want two yards.
If you agree to help them, the next 24 hours of your life will be mostly consumed with guarding your children against sewing their fingers to their flannel.
If you are four and making a pillow for your doll, the only part you are really interested in is the stuffing part.
If you buy a new shirt for your 7 year old and it turns out to be too big, she will cry as though her heart was broken for a good half hour.
If you are 28 weeks pregnant, you understand the deep, deep irony of watching the tv show Obese and Pregnant at 10pm while eating a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream smothered in chocolate sauce.
If you watch too much coverage of the Michael Jackson Memorial, all night long your brain will scream at you: BUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO PARIS JACKSON??? ... as if YOU ALONE are responsible. Or maybe that was from the ice cream.
And most importantly:
If, while going grocery shopping at night because you can't carry food for four people up a flight of stairs anymore and you are sick of your kids begging for treats at the store, you come across Jello and you decide to make grape Jello Jigglers because it seems like a SUMMER MEMORY kind of thing to do, and your 4 year old and 7 year old want to help by pouring the powder into the boiling water, and instead of pouring, they sort of more casually TOSS it in and some of the powder falls onto a red-hot stove burner, THE JELLO POWDER EXPLODES INTO FLAMES.
Just an FYI.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Michaela designed the costumes (a cut-up pair of old tights with a doggy-type nose written on it transformed her into the Dog of the title and Jenna sported a green construction paper mask and bodysuit, also made of green construction paper taped onto her as she played The Squeaky Toy) as well as the all-important playbill.
The playbill is a two page document with the title on the cover, a picture of a dog saying "Yo!" on the inside front cover, and the following Order of Events:
2nd: Meet the Actors (with a heart drawn after it)
5th: The End
Scratched out after this is "6th: The ending song", apparently cut due to overall length. Of course- always have your audience leave wanting more.
The Show itself was fairly brief and appeared to be improvised, mostly with Michaela hitting Jenna on the back and Jenna saying "Squeak!" There was some leading around the Talking Dog as Jenna shed her squeaky toy costume and became the Owner holding the Talking Dog on a leash.
There was a big bow at the end and Dan and I clapped heartily. We were thrilled to be able to meet the actors up close after the production and serve them a quick snack before sending them off to bed.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Please call her "pretty" instead.
In an effort to reinforce this preference, if you say, "You're sooo cute!" to her, she fake sneezes and says, "Don't you remember? I'm ALLERGIC to cute."
Sunday, July 5, 2009
The Birthday Boy Aidan
Judy tries out the spray paint, with the help of a Mike's Hard Pomegranate Lemonade
Michaela and Michael, looking very grown up
Another fun group shot on the deck
Jenna works on her t-shirt
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I'm talking about the BIG MOVE of Jenna and her 5,387 baby dolls, tubs of baby clothes, baby bottles, baby crib, purses, Polly Pockets, and Other Assorted Stuff from her room, aka the Nursery, to Michaela's room, now called The Girls' Room.
Well, goodness, you may ask, how hard is it to move some things from one room to another?
Not hard. But when you HAVE no more room in one room and have to move things of one daughter's down to the playroom, which has no extra room except in the closet which you haven't cleaned out in nine years, you've got quite a project on your hands.
So... we cleaned out the closet. I enclosed almost all of it's contents in clear plastic bins (it's a sickness). We put up new wire shelving and rearranged the contents. I found old photo albums of Dan's family and sorted a bunch of pictures. I found an old photo album of when his younger brother Jimmy was born and was impressed by his mom's organization. I panicked when I realized that Jenna's baby pictures were all in a plastic case somewhere, not labelled with important milestones of "Coming Home from the Hospital", "First Bath", etc., and here I was about to have my THIRD baby and God Help Me I am NOT going to be one of THOSE MOMS who does nothing with her precious baby's pictures because she is too busy taking care of her kids and so how soon can I go out to a Hallmark Store and get an album? Turns out the answer was the next day. I bought a pink one and a matching blue one for Baby #3. I worked on the album, lovingly labelled it, and Jenna proudly showed it off to anyone who would sit with her and look at it. Of course, I ended up with about 70 extra spaces for more pictures so I had to order prints online from Snapfish to fill it up and now Photos of Milestones from Birth- Age 2: The Jenna Edition are winging their way towards my beautiful, pink, Concrete Example of How Much I Love You, Jenna, photo album. I also found a Christmas-themed premade scrapbook album and threw in some pics of last Christmas. Another project done.
Whew. And that was just the closet.
So the closet looks great. We tackled the shelves in the playroom next, rearranging boxes of CD's, DVD's, schoolwork saved from the past few years, and photos. Space was discovered and celebrated.
We hit a major snag in this whole process when Jenna decided last Sunday to throw an enormous hissy fit that she had to move out of her room. "WHAAAAAT????" she asked me incredulously, blue eyes bulging from her head, when I mentioned in a totally offhand way how fun it will be for her and Michaela to share a room. "I WANNA KEEP MY ROOM!!! IT'S BEAUTIFUL!!!" and I wasn't sure what to say. Part of me felt my heart rip out, burdened with the terrible responsibility of causing her this angst with my all-together-whimsical desire to produce more offspring, and the other part of me felt like saying, "Yeah, well, suck it up, kid. We're all going to make sacrifices." What I really did, though, was reassure her it was going to be fine and then strategized with my mom later in the week about how best to do this. We agreed that moving items little by little, a few at a time, would be best... make a change, give her time to adjust, and then make another small change.
Next it was Michaela's room. She has a whole wall of shelves in her room which enjoys various levels of chaos and order depending on how anal retentive I am feeling. Several times a year, we go in and clean it out (usually when she's at a sleepover at my parents' house) and remove garbage bags full of junk from her shelves. She loves having it be neater and doesn't care what we throw out. She was an awesome trooper and not only gave up tons of toys and stuff, she even tolerated me moving it all up to higher shelves so Jenna could have the bottom shelf and half of the next shelf up. I could not be more proud of how hard she worked to help me and how eager and agreeable she was. I promised to buy her a new stepstool so she can more easily access her toys and things.
So today was a Big Move day. Buoyed by with a playdate with one of her favorite friends later in the day, Jenna was in great spirits and open to change. I had her help me decide where to place items on these fabulous, spacious new shelves that were ALL HERS. And she took her job very seriously, carrying the baby crib and the babies and the clothes into The Girls' Room all by herself. I did some of the fine-tuning, moving smaller items and finding logical spaces for them and making the whole thing as attractive to a four year old's eye as I could. She even agreed to move an armful of babies downstairs into the playroom, giving us a little more space.
It looks great. The Nursery is cavernous now, echoing with the promise of blues and browns and new things. I am going to take pictures soon of my favorite parts of her room: her name written out on the wall, a cluster of photographs, and her wallpaper border purchased five days after she was born in a hormone-induced rush to make everything that touched Jenna, my precious little second-born sweet baby girl, pink and green.
And then I'm going to take it all down and start all over again.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I guess I felt like in the chaos of three extra sons, Dan wouldn't notice.
The other good news of the dream? Labor barely hurt.
A girl can dream, can't she?