Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Letter to 2010

Dear 2010,

I wanted to take a moment to properly introduce myself. Last year, I think that I got off on the wrong foot with 2009 and it was never the same after that. Turns out there is really something to be said for getting your foot in the door right off the bat. So I figured I'd take a few minutes and let you know a little bit about me.

Your seedy cousin "2009" or the "09" as he liked to be called was sort of a bully. While most of my battle scars from interacting with him have healed I'm still a little tender to the touch. I took my licks like a good girl though so I hope you can see that I've been whipped into shape and no further training from you on "obedience" will be needed.

I'm actually very excited about meeting you. I see your resume and the words "new decade" fill me with hope. You've got all sorts of potential. It's not every day that a person comes across a whole new decade. You could do so much with the time you've been given and that's exciting. But, I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that.

As for me, I am excited to start a working relationship with a year that understands me. I like change and challenges just as much as the next gal but I can see you relate to my need for some stability and tradition. I'm looking forward to small victories and quality time with my family.

Hopefully, this year will bring job changes, life changes and a few thousand diaper changes (withhout any blow outs). I'd like to think that this year we will have the opportunity to turn our little family unit over from survival mode to celebration mode.

Already it's looking better. How could it not... I mean you... you look amazing. I'm not just saying that because I want you to like me either. I am not that kind of girl.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stars Hollow

Jon bought me season 1 of the Gilmore Girls on DVD for Christmas. I've been averaging an episode or two a day. It's been wonderful to have something new to watch, and something adult to watch that I can see in front of my daughter without worrying about her picking up dirty habits. She already knows how to "make kisses" thanks to the teenagers at the Stanislaus County Fair so that Rory Gilmore is old news. Making out with her toys was only amusing when she was 1 now that she's 2 she prefers to pick up choice phrases and use them at the most embarrassing time possible.

Stars Hollow is some place I would love to live. Everyone knows everyone, there is a huge sense of community involvement and everyone has a best friend...if not a few best friends. As someone who formally had a huge circle of friends and now has like 2 or 3 people I talk to on a regular basis, the appeal of a magical TV community that gathers around when times are tough seems well...magical.

So while my daughter wishes she was a fairy in Pixie Hollow and spends her spare time practicing her Tinkerbelle angry face I can relate, because even at 30 I have a Hollow of my own I'd like to visit.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

21 or is that 22 weeks

Well, Anyah has made it past the half way mark in her gestation. I don't know why, but for me the passing of the 20 week mark usually signals the change from worrying about miscarrying constantly over to worrying about nesting constantly. I don't really know why that is. There is no reason I would be less likely to miscarry now that I was 2 weeks ago. And with over 100 days left before Anyah arrives (hopefully) there is still plenty of time to sort tiny pink socks and set up cribs but as predicted by previous experience, I find myself focusing a lot of time and energy on fighting the urge to stock her dresser and plan her diaper bags.

As with most things, as the worry gets easier, the pregnancy itself gets more um...trying. I am enjoying Anyah's movements and her fiesty desire to only kick me when I have to pee and have no way to get up from my desk at work and go. It's like she knows.

I am not enjoying the fact that my whole body is sort of itchy (which last time led to turning yellow and having a baby very early) or that I have pregnancy insomnia because I can't stay comfortable. I wake up at least once an hour all night long and I'm so over that already.

On other happy notes, I've managed to avoid any further edema by being very selective of what I eat and how much water I drink. Basically, I got over being so sick I couldn't move and now that I am taking the time to listen to what my body naturally tells me, it's telling me that putting my feet up isn't nearly as helpful as eating a lot more fruits and veggies.

And so that's where we are at... I am trying to teach Layla to say Anyah. She's stubborn about doing things when you ask her to so I figure it will take the next 4 months. At least it will give me something to do so I can distract myself from the nesting urge to purge half the things we own to make room for a tiny human.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Free at last

Today I am blogging at 6:25 in the morning in my livingroom on a new laptop. My mom got me this lovely mini netbook for Christmas for two reasons...ok...3 reasons... 1 she's awesome, 2 I started a book I'd really like to finish writing but it is impossible to write a book while being trapped in the kitchen with a toddler climbing all over you, and 3 she's awesome.

We were blessed that a friend of ours no longer needed his wireless router so Jon hooked that up for me last night and now I have the ability to do some awesome things, like blog on a regular basis while the baby plays or to let Layla skype with her cousins in South Carolina. I'm very excited.

Now while you might see the words "new laptop" and think how the heck can you get a new laptop and have a bah humbug Christmas let me just say that how you feel about what happens to the people you love can have a HUGE effect on how you feel about everything that happens to you. Now I know that Jon will eventually get a very late Christmas gift and I know that people out there might have it worse than me. That doesn't make my suck feelings about Christmas any less sucky.

But, Christmas is over. I packed it up yesterday while Layla spent the day being spoiled by Grandparents and eating things that kept her cranked up until passed bedtime. I put it away and looked at my sparse shelf tops and clean floors and a huge sigh of relief could be felt through my entire being.

I then sat in my rocking chair and watched a DVD or two and waited for Anyah to move in my belly (she doesn't move nearly as much as Layla did so I have to be VERY patient) and then we had dinner while the baby tried to spread a thin layer of plastic toys across my newly cleaned floor. It was my kind of evening.

This week is a short week at work and I'll be back on the phones so I am glad about the shortness of it all. I have my regularly scheduled day off (Wed) and I also get off Friday for New Year's. We actually have plans this year...weird.

I am feeling better. Not enough better that I will say that I am well but enough better that I don't feel like an OBGYN should have Anyah on a monitor to make sure I am not killing her by coughing both of us to death.

I am thankful for those who kept us in their prayers during the WORST month. I am also thankful for a new decade and a new year which are just around the corner because I am hopeful that we have finally earned ourselves a good one.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bah least it's over

This year we had a hard Christmas season. Christmas eve I finally got a bonus from work only to be informed that because of a company policy I wasn't aware of it would be smaller than I expected. Ok... at least I finally got it. I take it home and give it to Jon to go deposit at the bank with instructions to come home and order his Christmas gift because the check was finally here. On his way back from the bank a tire blew on my car. My car is our only reliable vehicle (Jon's is on it's last leg) so he returned home on the spare broken hearted. New tires equals no Christmas present for Jon.
And that is how on Christmas morning there came a moment when I was opening gifts from Jon and my mother and Jon was opening...well...nothing...because mom had pitched in for Jon's gift and I was to get the rest of it...and well... the grinch stole our Christmas.

There were great moments where Layla opened gifts and ohhh'ed and awww'ed and those moments were magical but mixed in with those moments were things like my Dad being over an hour late for Christmas dinner because of someone else's actions. Moments where the baby turned off the oven mid way through making the turkey and I wasn't sure how much longer it needed to cook because I didn't know when it got turned off.
I'm still hacking up a lung intermittenly and Jon is sick and was without much in the way of Christmas gifts but he actually put on a good game face for his daughter. Which makes him a better parent than me. I spent most of Christmas cursing (not always under my breath) and wishing it was over.

Guess what? It never ends. Layla who skipped a nap was completely over being awake by 6:30 so we went to bed. I couldn't catch my breath from coughing so I went downstairs around 7:30 to get some cough syrup while she was sleeping. She rolled off the bed. DRAMA! There was crying and vomiting and lots and lots of "daddy no go" and eventually around 9 she was all the way asleep and I could go to sleep.
This morning... I've spilt a drink on my carpet and my kid slipped in her tights on the kitchen floor and gave herself a huge bump on the back of her head.
So it's an M&M with breakfast day while Daddy goes to price new tires. And by the end of the day tomorrow I hope to have all the signs of Christmas packed away so I can let it go and by next year it can go back to being the most magical and loving holiday in my world. Because really, I usually love Christmas, I promise, it's just this year...we weren't ok.
At least we're good enough to admit it. Also, a special thanks to my mom who kept calm during all my chaos, gave loans and otherwise saved our ass because without here there wouldn't be this picture of Layla opening a gift from Mommy and Daddy while holding a chocolate santa from her stocking in her mouth...good times.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dashing through the Snow

Ok, so really it's uncharacteristically bright and sunny outside for the Central Valley in fog season at 9 am but still. This week has been busy and fun already. Sunday George stopped by to give Layla her Christmas present and on Monday night Santa came (pictures of both events are available on Layla's site if you have access). Then on Tuesday (because I'm finally starting to feel a little better) I enjoyed a visit with my mom, a couple slices of pizza and watching my darling daughter mash donut into her hair.
Today is my day off. It's also Layla's last day of preschool and I am picking her up before lunch. While she's at school I've started making pies and when those are done I am going to run a couple errands in town. If you live out of town, your Christmas gifts will probably be late, I'm running behind. I can't help it... I was sick, pregnant and poor all at once. At least things will finally start getting back on track now that we've lost a $400 a month childcare expense. That puts one into the Christmas spirit pretty quickly- I call it the healing power of New Year hope!
This afternoon Jon works and so I am hoping that while Layla naps I can get some house work done. Nothing too fancy because I don't want to over do it and end up back on bed rest but at least enough to clear up the evidence of donut vs hair on floor in the living room and possibly put the laundry away. Jen is going to stop by today and I can't wait to see Baby Mia. She's so squishy and adorable!
Tomorrow I work until 3:30 but Jon is home with Layla as he is off until Sunday. When I get home tomorrow night my mom is coming over to spend the night so she can share the joy and the workload on Christmas morning (thanks mom) and then Christmas morning will soon be here! I can't wait...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Making A Mark

Today I started another round of meds. I was supposed to start yesterday but I have a lot of anxiety about taking medication while pregnant. Although the Dr researched it I still went online and researched it myself just to double check. This is a med used for serious infections and pneumonia...if it doesn't work...well then I have pregnancy induced asthma which is it's own can of worms.
Meanwhile my house fell into disarray again and Layla has carved her name into the furniture. Last night we ventured out for a 2 hour get together with family and I now feel like I could curl into a ball and sleep forever...if only I could stop coughing long enough. And, with that lovely news, tomorrow I go back to work.
It's a short week this week. I work Monday and Tuesday. I am off Wednesday. I work Thursday and then Friday through Sunday I am off for Christmas. I am counting down the seconds until Friday...not because I am overwhelmingly excited about Christmas but just because I want this to be over already.

Mark Christmas off the calender... it's time to be finished.
It will be better next year. This year will always be the year I was pregnant with almost pneumonia and a job that doesn't believe in letting you off without guilt. The year without a bonus, where the baby was sick and Jon was sick and everyone barely made it through with 4 gifts wrapped under the tree. And that's ok. Memories of making it through the tough times usually help you remember to celebrate more during the easy ones. They leave a mark, not one you can see, but one that lasts forever.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's Natural...Parenting...

One of the things I was HUGE about when Jon and I became parents was that I was going to listen to my kid. I am not and will never be the person that makes my kid eat things they don't like (I don't care how good they are for you) or sit at the table until they have 1 more bite of vegetables. I won't force them to sleep someplace they aren't comfortable and I won't make them hug or kiss people if they don't want to (much to some grandparents broken hearts). We don't spank unless you have put yourself into mortal harm and we don't use a lot of time outs (although it happens- she is still a 2 year old). Listening is something Layla does when we speak because it's something we do when she speaks. For the most part that works for us.

The thing is...I think people force their kids to do a lot of things they aren't ready to do. I also thing parents force kids to do things because they like them or believe in them when really they just don't matter that much. So your kid wants to wear a different jacket. Ok, it's a jacket, take the spare in the car just in case she's/cold and get over your concept that the little darling was going to match tonight. It's a battle not worth fighting.

I pick my battles.

Not to say Layla has never been forced to do something she doesn't want to do. But, usually we work with her to gradually work her into it and she knows that she can take a moment or two to buck an idea if she needs to and that I will listen and try to work around it to the best of my abilities.

I feel there is a huge difference between teaching your child obedience and teaching your child to conform to every rule. Some rules apply to everyone but sometimes, it's just not for you and I get that. I want my child to know she can contest things she doesn't believe in. I want her to know her opinion matters even though she's only 2. I want a child who doesn't feel forced to do what all the other kids do just because someone said that's what people do.

And I try to use what I know about my child to keep her from being in situations where she has to overcome being overwhelmed.

Last night we skipped Layla's Preschool Christmas Concert because half the house wasn't feeling well and the other half really just needed some time to run around in her pjs and decompress from a day at preschool. Preschool saps Layla's spirit sometimes. They force her to do things she is not willing to do. Friday they tried to force her to nap even though they knew Nana was going to be there at noon to pick her up, and she spent the rest of the day acting out. While every kid needs to nap, and we do have a nap schedule at school and home that match, I think forcing a screaming kid to lay down doesn't make them have peaceful and restful sleep, it makes them angry and exhausted...just like it makes us while we try to do it.

I get that Preschool has 12 kids in a classroom and the rules help them maintain order but my kid is a rule follower in general... she loves circle times and eating at the table and even getting her nose wiped. She's that kid. If she's fighting you, it's because she thinks something is adamently wrong with what is happening. She's 2, so that could be anything both logical or irrational but still... would it kill you to take 3 minutes to calmly explain it to her and wait for her to adjust to the idea. Because she'll probably do it...if you give her a second to do it on her terms.

Unrelated, next week will be Layla's last week at Preschool for awhile. We have the opportunity to have her stay home with Nannie for awhile and it seems like a much more natural fit for our family style and our budget. Parents worried about paying for daycare and power in the same month are not fun to live with I'm sure and mommy would be much more comfortable with a 3 yr old in preschoool who can communicate her worries and frustrations better.

I'm relieved that we've been blessed with the opportunity to let Layla go back to a natural flow of development that Mommy is much more comfortable with for awhile. Even if the natural flow destroys the house and eats too much sugar sometimes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

But what does it mean??

Just as with Layla we wanted our next baby to have a name that meant something. Where last time we had a name long before the baby ever came, this time we picked the name right after we went home from the ultrasound.
Anyah is Slavic and it means "by the grace of God". Joelle has two meanings (Slavic) "the Lord is willing/the Lord favors you" or European "created in joy".
We liked both names and their we picked them.
Having a second girl does a lot for our family dynamic. Two girls in one room and sharing toys is much easier than doubling up on co-gender items and trying to figure out what age people shouldn't share a room with someone of the opposite sex.
Budget-wise there is a huge sigh of relief because with the exception of my small registry for Anyah at Target we won't be needing much else, we've already got a lot of stuff left over from Layla. I am totally ok with the concept of hand-me-down clothing until a child reaches school (as long as it never happens on special occassions).
Lastly on the Anyah front today... I've had 9 people ask me how to say her name. It's pronounced like "onn yah" with the middle name Joelle which sounds just like it's spelt "joe elle".
And all I know about that.

It's a....

And her name is Anyah Joelle. More pictures to come later!

Official Menu Like Post

Christmas Day I usually make something in the morning for Jon, Layla and I to eat and then I start up the turkey for around lunch time. This year, in an effort to not pass out while coughing, being pregnant and cooking... I'm keeping it very simple.

For Christmas morning I am going to make Monkey bread. I've heard a lot of good things about the monkey bread (which contains no monkey's or banana's so I am not sure why it's called that) anyhow I am going to try it and some sausage because my daughter...she hearts the sausage. She'd eat a whole pound of sausage if we let her.

Then for the big meal I'll be making Turkey, Grandma Gerty's Cornbread Stuffing, Giblet Gravy, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Deviled Eggs and Courtney's Corn Casserole. I will also be warming some nice premade rolls and opening a can of cranberry relish. As usual I will put forth the effort to make a pie for each my dad and Jon (which they will kindly share with the rest of us) from 11 dishes at thanksgiving down to 6 dishes at Christmas. I nixed a pie and I gave up the much loved homemade rolls that never turn out right when you're making a big batch. I feel like I am forgetting something... I think it might be half my menu.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ho ho moley it's almost here!

Well Operation Hard Rock Candy Christmas has not let up but Jon and I still have our ... well... I'm sure we still have something. Let me think... oh yes I remember it's called a plan. Where Christmas Spirit sometimes falls short the plan can often make it look like you still care AND you're still pushing through.

*Please hold while I cough up a lung *

Ok where was I? Oh the plan. So today is officially 8 days until Christmas and if you're like us (poor and behind schedule due to a sickness) you probably haven't finished making your list and checking it twice.

Luckily, some people are helping us pull our weight because Lord knows I don't want to pull anything right now.

Our next 8 days looks like this...

Today- Jon closes at work and Layla and I will be attempting to do our Christmas craft...finally
Friday- Sonogram at 8 am followed by a Dr's appt and a full day of work. Layla's Christmas Concert at 7 pm for Preschool.
Saturday- Work a full day (with potluck) then a going away dinner for my cousin who is moving back home after going to school here for about a year
Sunday- Panic induced heavy breathing and attempting to finish all Christmas shopping and shipping because I really don't have any time to do it before then.
Monday- Start prepping Christmas Dinner
Tuesday- Make pies after work and there is a Cookie Exchange at work
Wednesday- Christmas Eve Eve is Layla's last day at Preschool for awhile (more in another post soon) and it's also the only day my friend Jen and I both have off this month so we're doing something...something might be code for eating cookies and talking in my living room (depending on how tired we both are at this point)
Thursday- Hello Christmas eve... I work, Jon probably works (he usually does) then we will let Layla open 1 gift and go to bed early because the next day I get to get up and make Christmas
Friday- Christmas!!

I'm tired just thinking about it. It also doesn't include the fact that we have another friend we want to get together with before then. Or the fact that Mel and Garratt will be down and we'll want to see them. Or the fact that Jon's dad hasn't been officially scheduled in for a Christmas visit yet. *sigh*

I guess that explains why I downsized my Christmas to do list in the first place. Now if only less really was MORE!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Everyone here was sick. Most of us are better now. Layla is off at school today learning to sing jingle bells for her first Christmas concert this Friday. Jon (who is the one still sick- he fought long and hard but the sickness finally took him down yesterday) is off at work being responsible. I am home. Today is my weekday off. So far, I've blogged and gathered Christmas pictures to take the post office. And next on my list?? The floor.
Look at that floor.
This is a blog about being real. I really curse. I really eat a lot of good food. I really love my kid. And I really live with crap like that on my floor for days at a time when everyone isn't feeling well.'s here for you today.
And the worst part? I did all the fun stuff on my list first. I'm just letting that floor sit. Because, you know what, I don't want to do it!! I'm lazy. I'm pregnant and mostly...I'm HOME ALONE. That never happens. I want to watch horror movies and look at recipe blogs and totally avoid the floor at all costs.
So instead I shall tell you 5 great things that happened while I was too sick to make myself blog.
1. Layla is no longer using a pacifier (or BOOOEEEEYYYY as she lovingly calls it). We broke cold turkey when the sickness had her nose all plugged up and she couldn't breath. Two days ago she found it in a drawer and I said "oh we don't need that it's yucky" and she put it back. I will hide it away today while she's gone because I can't bare to throw it away but she's a BIG GIRL NOW!
2. Layla has started peeing in the potty. This was a choice she made all by herself. I ask about it occassionally and we had a potty out and 4 days ago she woke up and asked to use it. She did it! And mommy danced around. And now in 4 days she's done it 3 times in the morning successfully with no accidents and a couple times at school. She's such a BIG GIRL NOW!
3. My kid can sing jingle bells.
4. Turns out my genius has figured out how to use tools while climbing. She used a chair to climb to a drawer to get on a cabinet to get to a cookie platter on Friday. On Saturday she stood on her play kitchen to get a marker. Yesterday she opened the bathroom door herself, climbed on the toilet and turned on the water to play in the sink.
5. She can put on her own shoes and jacket finally. She did it this morning. For her next act, I am hoping she can finally learn to walk next to me without running away before the new baby comes.
And you thought the relaxed hippy parenting strategy was going to lead to a kid in kindergarden with diapers and a pacifer... I told you it would be ok.


If God could tell me one thing right now, I think I know what it would be. I think he's been telling me over and over and I wasn't listening. I got stuck in the big picture. I got trapped by red bank account balances, broken cars, late payments, and sickness. I kept praying and he would say "listen".
Thanks for the one word answer God.
So I listened. And everytime I would sit down and pray and listen I would get interrupted by this tiny person wanting to play. Or I would feel the baby move and get distracted. I'd let that tiny moments distraction carry me off into my big picture of all the things that aren't working out.
Then yesterday I prayed again and I heard it "listen" and I listened and as I was listening my daughter rolled over in bed and petted my face and said "I with you". She's never said that before. She went right back to sleep.
I thought of all the times at night that she struggles with her sleep and I roll over and comfort her. I whisper into her ear "I am with you, you are ok."
I was listening.
And while you're like oh great an ah-ha moment where she discovered that God is with her, let me tell you that is not what I learned. I didn't learn to listen either... I'm still working on that. But what I did learn is that someone is listening to me and when I am off in the darkness struggling she is watching me and learning how to cope with things.
So in those moments when I am gasping for air, I can look at her and know that I am teaching her resources that she will have forever. And I can pray, and I can listen and I can know that someone is always with me. Someone little, who is more than willing to distract me from my moments of pity and selfishness.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Brilliantly Normal

Sometimes life is amazing and people do extraordinary things and time itself stops and stares at them in awe. But most of the time, well, most of the time you're just going through the day to day BS in an attempt to get to a day that's brilliantly normal. Only once arriving there I usually find myself looking back and going "ok that was normal all along, what was I so worried about."

I'm hoping that this month will some day be one of those moments I can look back on and say..."yea that was ok".

Spiritually, I'm incredibly raw right now. I fill each day with worry about the baby, work, money, sick toddlers, lung infections, families that don't work and other people's broken dreams. I am prone to cry...and I grasp for moments of calm sleep because it feels like that is the only time I am not running into the wind.

This was one of those months that has the power to be overwhelming if you think about it too much. The missing work bonus scared us. Bills were bigger than income. I went to the hospital. Layla was sick. Jon was sick. Work sucks. I kept praying for someone to stop by and be "with us".

I learned a lot this month. I have a good circle. They aren't the circle I thought they would be, but they keep calling, and stopping by, and when it really counts they know how to pray. It's brilliantly normal.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

May You

May you always be the girl with most authentic smile, the one with the purest love, and the wittiest humor. May you always be the girl who knows what she wants and loves to learn. And mainly, may you always be the girl who isn't afraid to take a professional photo with dirt under your nails.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

NOW- the 6 random things blog-I got tagged

I got hit with a 6 random things post request so here it is...sorry I'm sick, I'll come back and add links later. Feel free to take it and run with it on your blog if you need a writing prompt.

1. Everyone here is sick. Each of us a little different from the type of sick to the person we sleep next to. There is 1 ear infection w/ cough, one lung infection w/ contractions and 1 case of sore throat w/ a side of cough. Due to this, two people in this house are finally on antibiotics, one is on cough syrup and one is still on home treatment although all 3 have been to the Dr, 1 has been to the ER and that same one has seen 3 Dr's in 3 days.

2. On the day that Layla's preschool took pictures, I had no warning. We had just started...I believe it was our 2nd Monday (so day 4) and I said, oh what the heck, you can try. She had on a tshirt and jeans and she hadn't had a bath that morning. The pictures are better then the ones we planned for and spent twice as much on at the studio. Kids!

3. I can't find the book I was reading. I was reading it a few weeks back and then everything went to hell in a hand basket. Worse part, I can't remember the title. So I have been picking up books, reading the first paragraph and trying to remember if I have finished them or not. *sigh*

4. I'm a hippy. When we had our first daughter I had a few church friends and family members that commented on EVERY.single.CHOICE I made. It scared me. So I stopped telling them things... I hid my sling and used it when people weren't looking, I stopped talking about how my daughter slept in our bed for the first year. I just got quiet. Not so much on Baby Bean, her/his registery is full of co-sleeping and babywearing stuff. I'm me. I'm over it.

5. I have two sets of blogs I read. One set is in the blogs I read section here on blogger. The other set is in my Blackberry. The two sets don't mingle. I actually enjoy the ones not listed as much (if not more depending on the blog) than the ones listed here. But I like having secrets.

6. I take about 5 pictures of Layla a day. I take more pictures on special days or days when she's doing something new or exceptionally cute. Despite this tactic there are at least 10 things I can think of right now that I have yet to catch on camera or video. Did you know she sings like 6 songs now? And she knows her whole alphabet (if only she didn't say it so fast). She can count to 10. She has songs with hand motions. None of that is on film yet. And that's just the start.


I spent Sunday, Monday and Tuesday cleaning up someone else's vomit...from me...from them...from surfaces and linens. It was a bad week. I'm a mom- it happens. When I became a mom my life changed forever. Simple things prove it to me. When someone little goes to vomit now I extend a hand to deflect/catch or otherwise contain damage. Then I soothe, and I seldom panic. I do laundry and find lost comfort items and I watch the same Christmas movie over and over because that's what she needs. I do it because I'm her mom and I love her. I do it because my mom did it for me. I don't have to make myself do it, because I want to do it for her, if it has to be done.

I watch the toys pile up on the floor and the crumbs mash into the carpet because I'm needed in the cuddle department from 7 pm until 6 am daily. And I wait, I wait for signs of smooth sailing, lighter breathing, fewer coughs and no more fever. I pray, I wish and I day dream about time spent making cookies instead of making snot bubbles. It's just a reality, my reality, a mom-reality.

And when it gets to be too much I call in the back up. I am lucky enough to be a mom with a mom. So I call mine and she comes over in her sweats and she cleans up dirty children, and calms racing hearts and sits with me in the ER room at 10 pm while rude nurses make unnecessary comments and she makes jokes. And she waits, she waits for signs of smooth sailing, lighter breathing, fewer coughs and no more fever. And while she's bailed me out a thousand times since hard times hit, in more than one way, there isn't that feeling of dread to dial her number...because I know she wants to do it for me, if it has to be done. I guess I never fully understood that until I had a daughter of my own.

And it may seem like the drama is never ending here but the truth is we are blessed because so is the love and the generousity of others. And while there is darkness we have always known there would be a light at the end of the tunnel... even if it's just the head of the mom-fan-club waving her cell phone like she's at a rock concert.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Even Bean has a Wishlist

So a few select people have expressed interest in my baby registery for Bean. Being as we don't know a gender there are no clothing items on the registery that I made. If we have a girl we don't need any and if we have a boy then people can jump on that bandwagon with whatever they want. But there were a few other things we'll need either way. It's a short list. I'm going to link it up here in case anyone wants to go take a look.

click here for Bean's Baby Registry link

This time we're going to give breast feeding a go again. The breast pump I had been borrowing when Layla was born got passed to another family member who (to the best of my knowledge) still uses I have no idea what I need in that department but I registered for a pump and bottles to get me started.

If you see anything that looks like it's missing, fill free to pipe up in the comments, making a registry is harder than it looks. For instance I can't find the diaper bag I want...or a diaper bag I would want anywhere.

Luckily, we have almost everything we had when we had Layla. So there is always that small blessing.

Chronicles of Sick

Last night the combination of Baby Bean in my tummy and a heavy chest from coughing made me trek downstairs at 1 am to try sleeping in a recliner. I just couldn't breath. I called in sick to work again and then called my Dr at 8 am to get a Dr's note for work just in case I need to fork one over tomorrow.
Today Jon caved and took himself to same day care. He wanted to make sure he didn't have strep because that's not good for the fetus to be around either. It's the first time he's been to the Dr in 10 years. He didn't have strep. He's also caught "the virus" and for him it went to his makes him sound better than the 2 of us with it in our lungs but I'm sure it feels just as horrible.

Antibiotics combined with a cool mist humidifier seems to have really helped Layla's sleeping situation and she no longer sounds like a 3 pack a day smoker. She slept last night from just before 8 pm until almost 6:30 this morning. Sleeping past 5:45 is unheard of for Layla most of the time. She was extremely chipper all morning and she looks like her antibiotics are helping (no more blood shot eyes and snot soaked faces) but she took an impromtu nap while playing on the couch today and watching Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Least you think I am a bad mother, I did cover her up after I took a picture. It's cold here this week. It's not supposed to get into the 20's and 30's in this part of California.

Not that I am complaining. There has been rain, and you know how much I love the rain. I also love being home with my baby (even if it's for a case of the sick) and watching Christmas movies and seeing her deconstruct a christmas cookie (eat the sprinkles, lick off the frosting, eat half the cookie, give the rest to mom). And nothing beats the adorableness of a toddler in her Christmas Pj Nightgown, slippers, a scarf and puppy dog hat singing jingle bells with hand motions...nope...nothing.

Now if only I could get enough oxygen in my lungs without coughing to sing along.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The sick day

I have lots of anxiety about calling in sick to work. I try to avoid it at all costs. So by 4 am when I was still vomiting and having contractions this morning I was in full panic mode about making that call to the office.

After spending a day nursing a coughing toddler and being a coughing pregnant woman we finally have up and went to same day care.

The same day care doctor announced we have all come down with a virus which is a result of all of layla's nasal drainage lately. In addition, she has an ear infection.

So the toddler gets drugs. The pregnant lady on the other hand has to tough it out and try to stay calm. There is nothing recommended for a pregnant person to take. Lucky me.

It's Ok though as long as layla eventually feels better.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Last Weekend

So I work 4 weeks with Saturday/Sunday off and then 4 weeks with Wednesday/Sunday off. This upcoming week is the week I rotate on to working my Saturdays. That means a 6 day work week. That also means no longer having the luxury of 2 day weekends to prep for Christmas.
So this weekend we did some things that needed to be done. But we also spent a lot of time in our pajamas. Layla and I are both nursing a cough that came up after the Christmas Parade and stuck pretty well.

Yesterday I managed to get my popcorn cake and the whole 4 presents we got Layla wrapped. I also did house chore stuff like baby laundry. Then today I made sugar cookies with green frosting and green sprinkles. Yummy. Layla helped (as you can see).
The upside to having Wednesdays off until Christmas is it gives me a day midweek if I need to run errands when things aren't busy. The downside is you never feel like you have a day off because there isn't enough time to actually catch up on sleep.
Jon's going to make the Chocolate Chip Cookies so this is the last of my baking. I'll make Christmas dinner, but that's awhile out yet.
Ok, gotta kid is on a 4 sugar cookie-sugar high now. I gotta go help her run it off.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Simply Little Christmas

a dish I filled with fake flowers and cinnamon scented pine cones (left over from last year) on the kitchen counter
Santa got hidden on the kitchen window ledge with the other things that Layla can't touch because he's glass

after an incident with a certain toddler breaking glass ball shaped candle holders and eating advent calendar chocolates these have been resolved to live on top of the fridge

in real life, there are goldfish all over the table even when you put out a pretty christmas star thing and forget to put candles on it

that little nutcracker is one of Layla's dollar store toys

she also got these two neato things...Mr. Santa and Mr. Snowman Lantern
Sometimes she moves my decorations, that little glass ball candle used to live on the piano *sigh*

when plugged in this Santa shakes his booty and dances, last year Layla was terrified of him, this year she is really into pushing buttons so we didn't even plug him in, but he still makes a cute decoration.
pine cone garland and white lights with fake flowers and a vanilla candle..

more pine cone garland with white lights and flowers, also my Willow Tree Nativity which is by far my favorite decoration

no chimney? I highly recommend the ledge at the stop of the stairs... it's festive and your kid can't reach it. JOY... I'd say so! (BTW, next year well need new stocking hangers unless they make a "!" you can buy individually.
my village, complete with dollar store people that make it look much more complete and that don't stress me out when Layla takes them down. Also that thing above it, it's a snowflake made of jingle bells, it's my mom's she'll never get it back. I like it too much.
Our lovely tree decorated by my darling hubby...

Layla's dollar store jingle bell door hanger and a Snowman I rescued from a Good will pile after a yard sale. Plugged in he is VERY ugly because he has MULTICOLOR changing LED lights, bad plan, but not plugged in he makes a nice statue.
look more garland and pine cones with flowers...theme anyone?
There are a few things I didn't get pictures of. Layla has a cute Christmas puzzle and a pile of Christmas books. There are a few other candle things stashed in strange places or on the bathroom counter. Some kissing Hallmark reindeer that Layla constantly moves around. Stuff like that.

What do you think of the scale back?

The Christmas Lights Parade

Last night was the Christmas Lights Parade downtown. Jon and I go every year. We have taken Layla every year since she was born. Last night was no exception. Last night though, traffic was HORRIBLE. We say 2 accidents on the way there. We got a good parking spot and a decent spot right next to where the judges make announcements. And then we waited and waited.

If you have never been to the Turlock Lights Parade, let me tell you, you have to be there at least 45 minutes early to get a good spot.
Layla got antsy before the parade started so there was some whining, dancing, walking around with daddy, bribery with sugar drinks. But it worked out.

Once the parade started she wanted Daddy to hold her so she could see. She loved pointing at pretty lights and talking about them and waving at kids. She had two candy canes and eventually even stood on her own awhile and watched holding Daddy's hand.

She went right to sleep when we got home because it was passed her bedtime. Another great holiday memory and something I am glad we decided to keep on our to do list.
More pictures will be posted on Layla's site later today.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Busy Busy Christmas People

With money tight, a lot of planning goes into everything we do. When to get the tree, well that was no exception. But I knew one thing for darn sure...we may have to live on top ramen, mac n cheese and hotdogs and scrambled eggs but we were getting that baby a Christmas tree.

Layla loves Christmas already. She's surrounded by Christmas people (Jon and I love it no matter how stressful it seems to be every year) and she has been more than introduced to Christmas movies. Between Polar Express and Elf she's pretty much gotten hooked.
So off to the Christmas tree lot we went last night with a careful budget and hope of at least one decent tree in our price range. This one was an absolute steal! Jon decorated it after Layla and I went to sleep. He left off the "cheap" decorations this year and I actually like it better now that it doesn't look so crowded.
Layla was all "wow wee's" and "pretty's" this morning... so it was a success. Now if only the rest of our Christmas budget could work out without any stress. That would be a nice change.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

What's that?

Layla has entered the phase of 1000 questions. In honor of her curious nature and my lazy pregnant stature...we're going to host a little Curvatude Q & A...
If there has ever been a questions you've wanted is your time to ask it and I'll answer them all over the next couple days.
So...hit me with your best shot... fire away!