Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This.Here.Baby- An Update

So today we had an OBGYN appointment. Mom dropped me off and took Laylabug for a ride in the car while I went in to see the Doctor. My blood pressure was better and worse all at the same time. The top number had dropped some from the moderate bedrest and the bottom number was still scary high.

My Dr asked how I was doing with the list of "no-no's" she had given to me and I was as honest with my replies. I've had lower back issues off and on for 3 or 4 days now. By today it's pretty much constant discomfort sprinkled with abdominal cramping...otherwise known as pre-term labor.

The Dr after some Q & A thinks that my high stress night (post family birthday dinner) probably re-increased my stress level and that's what started me further down the path I am on. She increased my list of bedrest rules and got me set up for a 24 hour urine test (to confirm I have pre-eclampsia...she's pretty sure I've moved up a level into that from just high blood pressure) and a sonogram to rule out IUGR because she said at this point she'd be shocked if they didn't have to move up my c-section date.

So I've got weekly OBGYN appointments from now on. I've got a sonogram on the 14th. And I've got strict instructions that if my blurry vision gets worse, or I get a headache I can't cope with, or upper torso cramps of any kind that I immediately go to the hospital because at this point the baby is far enough along she could be born and avoid me going into full fledged eclampsia or toxemia. She sees no need for me to turn yellow and loose liver function again like I did with Layla and she says we're on that path again...lucky us...

So if you're in the due date pool at work...the end of April is looking better for your odds.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thirty something

No makeup. No presumptions. No disillussions of grander. No way I'd go back and do parts of it again. No regrets about where I stand at the moment.

No longer in my twenties.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Birthdays and Cats

My family birthday dinner accidently exposed Layla to too much cat dander and we spent that night listening to our toddler scream while writhing in circles trying to claw off the flesh from her face, hands and feet in a half asleep craze of itchiness. It was an on again off again experience that was unpleasant to the 9 months pregnant woman toting a toddler that she's not supposed to be carrying and for the daddy who is worried about his wife and daughter and had to get up the next day at 4 am for work. It was a long night.

A night spent talking over the whimpering toddler about how the only time we have this problem. A night spent talking about how ridiculous it is that we're still talking about it months later. Mostly, a night talking about what to do about it.

By the next morning I was beat. Mom was coming in the morning to help watch Layla and had to manage most of the morning because I just didn't have the strength or the flexibility in my already high blood pressure. We decided a car ride might be in order and the result was some yard sale finds (I'll post about that later) and lunch at Mr. Pickle where I introduced my mom to the Hot T which is my favorite sandwich.

Naptime was much needed. I am not sure how Jon managed to get up for work at 4 am and still be awake at my birthday dinner with George and Devon without taking a nap. I took a 2 hour nap and still woke up physically spent. But dinner with George and Devon was awesome.

Before dinner, Jon and I picked up a few baby registry items and I spent a little birthday money. After dinner, we got to hang out with them a little more. I'm glad I paced my birthday celebrations I don't think I could have managed one jam packed day.

Today brings lunch and pedicures with a girl-friend. This will be the last stop on the birthday bandwagon (tonight we have an event to go to but it's not birthday related). Turning 31, minus the cat dander was amazingly simple.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Center of Family Functions

(this picture was taken the other day when layla was perfecting her sprinkle eating technique)

Last nights pizza and cheesecake with the family went over really well. My dad, my mom, my grandfather & his girlfriend and eventually my dad's girlfriend came over to join the yummy food. Layla enjoyed an evening of being the center of everyone's attention. Then she stayed up way past her bedtime which she also enjoyed.

I am definitely 9 months pregnant. I was pooped by the end of the evening and I didn't even have to really do anything.

Tonight we have dinner with another couple we love to hang out with. It's an Outback night. Yummy!

Friday, March 26, 2010

TGIF w/ a side of pizza

Yesterday, Mom took Layla and I on a "few" errands while she was here helping out in the morning. It was my last paycheck from work and being as I went out early I hadn't really had time to stock up on everything I expected to.
After the bank we hit all the usual suspects... Walmart, Costco, and the grocery store with a small stop in the middle to grab LaylaBug some lunch. Considering all that we packed in a 2 hour shopping trip Layla did pretty well. I on the other hand came home tired...down right pooped.
I thought I might nap with Layla but she kicked me out of the bed so I found myself downstairs with my feet up browsing the internet and entertaining myself with Facebook (we've all been there). I got my first SDI check in the mail and opened a gift from Sarah for Miss Anyah *cutest tiny dress EVER*.
Quiet time rolled into time talking with Jon when he got home from work and that rolled into BBQing hamburgers outside while Layla was distracted by a Pixar flick (we really need to get Toy Story 1 and 2 she loves her a Pixar movie). By the end of dinner I actually turned to Jon and announced that I had to go upstairs and lay down for a minute. It took stripping myself naked with the fan on high for about a half an hour to feel normal again. I overheat WAY to easily.
I was downstairs in my Pj's with everyone else watching Mickey Mouse clubhouse by 6 pm and counting down to bedtime for no other reason than it's been a long day and today will be a long one as well. But today is long in a fun way.
Today my family is coming over with pizza (and mom got cheesecake) to celebrate my birthday here at the house. As I predicted at the beginning of the month, at this point I feel very pregnant and I am super glad that I opted for one night here at the house where I don't have to do anything.
Plus...there is nothing better than a night of pizza and cheesecake.
(Unless you're Layla in which case playing with the dog would be better...but the dog wasn't invited)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Letter to Layla at 2 1/2 Years Old

My Daring Little LaylaBug,

So in 3 days you'll be two and a half and boy is that evident in the way you act. Terrible two's aren't actually terrible though. I think they should rename them Testing 2's being as you try to get away with everything you know you shouldn't at least 2 times a day. You are the child that doesn't care about impending punishment, it just doesn't phase you enough to make whatever it is not worth it most of the time. You don't like thinking people are mad at you, that will make you cry. But, that's about it.

You are a child of high spirit. You are usually happy and by happy I do mean over the top zealous for life happy. When you are not happy though you tend to throw the biggest tantrums known to man...which I am told is part of that 2 year old thing. You are very sensitive to the emotions of others and usually get upset if someone else is upset. You are also very very stubborn just like both Mommy and Daddy...so at least we can relate to you.

You love to dance... to anything... the radio, movies, songs you make up and sing to yourself. You love to repeat your ABC's and count things. You love to sing parts of songs you've learned from your favorite movies (currently you do a smashing version of Super Trouper from Mama Mia and a lovely C is for Cookie because we like to mix things up around here). I actually think 90% of your current rapidly increasing vocabulary is from a love of music and nothing else. While you'll learn words because you want things and you're smart... you'll learn entire phrases from a song in moments.

You have an undescribable knack for finding ways into things you shouldn't have access to. You can open, climb, and contort yourself into the strangest places. This is especially entertaining because you are fearless so hiding in a closet, writhering under a bed or standing on your tip toes at the very top of a chair while reaching with both hands and holding on to nothing...it doesn't bother you one bit.

While Daddy and I sometimes make you stop your wild and carefree antics for your safety it has become clear that we will not be helicopter parenting you. This is evident by the fact that several times a week we have to remind a Grammi and/or tell a store clerk or stranger that you will not and do not fall while doing daring stunts. In fact, you usually only hurt yourself when you're being absent minded and trip on something random. You have yet to hurt yourself jumping of stairs two at a time, tumbling over objects, balancing on the back of furniture or otherwise testing the faint of heart with your adrenaline issues.

Other things that you are passionate about right now include but are not limited to...chocolate in any form, pepsi with ice (which you steal when we aren't looking), running and jumping into people's chairs to take their seats before they can sit down, drawing with markers, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (which has lead to a love of polka dot dresses- which you call Minnie Dresses), going for rides in the car, baths with bubbles, getting away with murder while you are with Nannie and last but not least dogs.

In fact you are so in love with the concept of a dog that you pretend to be one. You point them out on the side of the road. You ask to touch every one that gets close to you. You watch movies about them. You play with stuffed ones. You have an excellent lone wolf howl and a decent bark and pant down for pretend play. You also rock a game of fetch.

You have picked certain things that you associate with people and love doing only with them. You like to walk holding hands with Daddy in public places, you like playing with him at the park and sitting just like him (right as close as you can get to him) on the couch to watch movies. You are a HUGE daddy's girl and are overjoyed whenever he comes home from work. You like to cook with Mommy, I set you on the counter and mix/stir/make chaos all while yelling "cooking" over and over. In fact, you get quite upset when I don't let you cook with me so I am always looking for something you can help with. You also like to play with playdough and color with Mommy. We spend a lot of time color small bits of each page of a coloring book. You've developed skills already which rocks. You color parts of things now and I can tell your working on it. You have a special place in your heart for Nannie, probably because she lets you play in the car, never says no and has a lot of access to sweets but... Mommy tries not to bias... with Nannie you spend a lot of time getting horsie rides on her legs, climbing all over her and directing her through games that only you and her understand which usually involve playing with something that is not normally a toy (like an umbrella or a hair clip).
Other things of note, you have better hand eye coordination than most kids I know. You can eat with a fork or spoon without issue, you can pour liquids, spoon solids and use tongs. You have excellent balance but also great stamina for running (even with Asthma and cat allergies). You can throw a ball and almost always hit where you are aiming. When you try you can catch things. You kick in a straight line.
You have come back to sleeping in our bed after almost a year of sleeping in your bed in your room. This transition happened when at Thanksgiving/Christmas everyone was sick, and you were going to preschool (which gave you a ton of anxiety) and to top things off we got new ghetto neighbors behind us that make a lot of noise. You will nap in your room if we ask you to but you have no interest in sleeping there at night and react to it as if we were asking you to sleep outside alone. Mommy doesn't like that it scares you so you've been permited to sleep in our bed until further notice. Perhaps we'll work on potty training first...that seems like more fun...NOT.
Two has been such a wonderful age to know you. Mommy hopes that she can remember the great parts forever. The way you show affection with big open armed hugs, the way you pucker up for kisses and then turn away and laugh at the last minute, the way you fill with joy jumping on the bed or the way you melt into the pillows when you fall all the way asleep. I hope that I can always remember the way your eyes sparkle when you're excited about seeing Daddy and the way you giggle with all of your soul.
And I hope that some of the things that are true about you now stay with you forever. I hope that you stay vibrant and confident. I hope that you remain full of life and willing to love without limitations. I hope that you always know you are safe where we are and that no matter what we will always love you...because how could we not... you are perfect just as God gave you to us.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

House Arrest

Not being able to drive is driving me crazy. I just thought I'd let you know. It's not the part where I have to let other people drive me or the part where I can't go anywhere without making arrangements...that part isn't so bad. It's the part where you can't do anything spontanious and cool. For instance, this morning my daughter got up and wanted to get dressed and go bye bye in the car...but um... Mommy can't drive. So instead she got up, got dressed, and then she played downstairs and looked longingly out the door a lot. I used to drive occassionally just for the time alone, now I get alone time in the shower...maybe... it's interesting. Jon is working his butt off to make me not go insane and to keep his own sanity in the process.
Today all the patience at my house is taxed. Everyone has had a long week. Everyone has been surrounded by people all week. No one has had the pleasure of sleeping in. It's not pretty. AND, I get to sorta escape for a little while. My mom is taking me to see Alice in Wonderland for my birthday this afternoon. I have visions of buttered popcorn dancing in my head. I also have a husband who rocks. He's working 6 days in a row this week and ending with my birthday/the wrestlemania gathering and he's still gonna watch the toddler without complaining so I can go to the show.
Speaking of things that are pretty and taxing... that kid right there. This picture is from last week. Her Nannie bought her some Ghetto-rrific glittery butterfly hair clippies and she insisted on wearing the WHOLE package at once. That's 14 butterflies if you are counting. That's 6 colors. That's very hard to fit on a tiny head. Mommy made it happen though with this fabulous up-do which is shown with her favorite pj's but later was even sported to the grocery store once she got dressed. It didn't survive naptime though...thank you Jesus. And she hasn't made me do it again...praise the Lord. It was so tacky...so tacky. But, they tell me tacky is cute when you're two.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Every Day A Lil More Hippie

So I've become obsessed with spending time on Etsy looking at wonderful handmade and vintage things that I would love to own. The thing I've learned from all my browsing is that I would really love to own something that might cost a little bit more but that will benefit someone who is doing an art they love.

I know... I'm becoming such a hippie.

Here are some things I've fallen in love with recently...

The Granny Hobo Bag in Brown and Cream Fillagrees on Pale Turqouise by Ally Bu

Cherry Heart Stoneware Pottery Pendant by Red Crow Arts

Organic Baby Wrap in Olive and Blue by LoveyDuds

Silver Random Wire Stud Earrings by Twisted Designs

Silver Bar Name Stamp Pendants by Artofsilver

Stargazing Print by Julie Fain

Deluxe Supernatural Mary Winchester Protection Charm Bracelet by Laughing Vixen Lounge

oh there are so many more...but these will get you started on some awesome shopping adventures...

Holding Out for a Hero Bracelet by SpaceHappy

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Million Little Things

I am going to be home for awhile. Some of that time I'll be on partial bed-rest (like now) and some of it I'll be recovering from having a c-section (a few weeks right after baby) but some of it is just time for bonding. In fact, that's what they call it here in California. Bonding time.

So I have been thinking of a few things I'd like to do during that "bonding time" other than sitting around the house getting to know each other. With Jon's flexible scheduling at work we often have time midweek to throw something in. If we can afford it (which is a big if right now when I don't know how much my compensation will be while we're out) these are some things I've been thinking about doing.

Some more local and small scale things I am looking forward to include...

  • Toddler Story time at the local library once I can drive again
  • The return of the Downtown Turlock Farmer's Market in May
  • Being able to go to the park and actually keep up with my toddler because I am no longer very pregnant
  • Taking Layla to a place where she can paint pottery
  • Swimming Lessons at the local city pool

Most if not all of the things on this list I am looking forward to doing with both my girls (maybe not the swimming lessons) because I think it will be good for Layla to see that you can still do a million fun things while sharing Mommy with your sister.

Any ideas for other things I could try in the area?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Next Weekend

Next weekend I turn 31. That day my daughter officially earns the half in 2 1/2 years old. The next day I turn 9 months pregnant. Funny, I always thought adult life would be like this but I never thought it would be exactly like this.

Being home (while forgiven of the stresses of working) adds a different bundle of anxiety. Twenty four hours a day with a toddler, spending all your free time with either you mom or your husband (no matter how much you love them) and not being able to do anything by yourself or go anywhere alone...well... it's exhausting...for everyone. Add to that an unknown decrease in income yet to be determined between SDI and my supplemental disability insurance, some HR paperwork that just keeps trickling into my mailbox and the constant destruction of my carpet that can only be caused by a small person who knows you're already busy... well... it's going to be a long 5 to 6 weeks.

This week should be a fun one though. Layla's 1/2 birthday post will be up a day or two early because I will be enjoying some birthday fun this weekend. Friday night my family is coming over for pizza and cake. Then Saturday night we have dinner with another couple. Sunday I get 2 fun things in one day... lunch and a pedicure with a girlfriend followed by a Wrestlemania gathering we've been invited to. Yes, I am a wrestling dork, yes, I am excited.

What about you? Any fun plans this week?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Only Child

Layla is in her last days as an only child... something that I am very aware of as a mom and as someone who spent most of my life as an only child. I know she's probably too little to remember the ice cream cones and the time "racing" around the front yard to get my attention. Right now she worries about stealing my attention away from my conversations with other adults, the phone, dinner making, the laptop screen...and soon there will be another little person in the mix. So I guess I'm being a little more cuddly in bed and a little more willing to let bedtime be a little later than normal while my only puppy pretends to play fetch.

I worry about what it means to have two babies...a concept I've never had to personally deal wiht on my own. But mainly, I worry about losing a little of that spit fire girl with the stripped tights and the polka dot dresses that I spend so much time with lately. I hope she never feels like 1 of 2. I want her always to have the confidence to be who she is and to love wildly and live freely.

In that same time I worry that she will take time to adapt to feeling like part of a bigger family because I want her to know the feeling of companionship and love that comes with the comfort of having a sibling so close in age...a constant comrade if you ever really need one. I want her to always know that they can be 2 verses the world. Together.

Maybe it's a really pregnant thing to worry. Maybe it's a mom thing. Maybe it's just a me thing. But it tells me I must be on the right path because I know if I am thinking about it then it wouldn't accidently slip passed me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Yummy Things

Wednesday night it officially happened... I reached the end of the internet. Ok so maybe that's an exageration... I reached the end of the "free" space for my blogger accounts. I think I cried. I know I swore. Luckily, my mom had been asking about birthday gift ideas earlier in the week so I emailed her and said..."hey how about blog space" and she said "ok". Yipee!! Of course, the alternative would be no more Bug & Bean pictures on the internet so she was pretty much trapped.
But, she paid for it yesterday and today we have LOTS and LOTS of picture space again. So without further ado I put up more pictures on Bug and Bean and we'll have some wonderful pics up today of Layla's first licked ice cream cone and of her running around at Nannie and PopPop's house...which is what we're doing today.
Not being able to drive you sort of get stuck at home a lot. By sort of, I mean that I leave the house for 10 to 20 minutes at a time if someone else feels like Driving Miss Daisy would be fun. So today is a nice playdate for the little person (layla) and the old person (pop-pop).
Mom is in the kitchen right now frying chicken and making artichokes. Yummy! I might gain some weight this pregnancy after all... and it only took me 8 and a half months to get started!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Unluck of the Irish

Today started out with amazing potential. The hubby got up with Laylabug and they played in her room for awhile so I could stretch my sleep a little after a long night of not being able to get comfortable (it's an 8 1/2 months pregnant thing). Then Laylabug and I watched Princess and the Frog and ate leprechaun gold sized pancakes with extra butter. There was a bath time filled with laughter and there wasn't much fuss when it was time to pull up the toddlers hair. Lunch was eaten without protest. Even naptime (while slightly whiney) went down pretty easy. But, Layla took a pretty short nap...only about 30 to 45 minutes. She was still in a lovely mood though.

When Laylabug came downstairs the front door was open and I had told her earlier that she could go outside after nap so when she put up a valiant request (shoes on & sunglasses in hand) I grabbed my camera, cell phone and half a pepsi and headed outside to be a good sport. Now I must add at this point my child is wearing an adorable short set but I am fresh out of the shower with a sundress on (without a bra) and no shoes on but I figure it won't matter.

She finds her bike in the garage and peddles it around a bit. It's the first time she's actually been able to successfully peddle alone, her legs are finally long enough. After awhile the white trash neighbors keep driving in and out and I talk her into going to play in the shade with chalk. I attempt to sit in a nice chair in the grass but am drug by one finger onto the concrete to draw as well.

At this point the afternoon is lovely, there is a breeze and my kid is happily coloring with chalk on the sidewalk. Although, I am having some discomfort because I'm way too pregnant to be sitting on concrete I just suffer through it sending texts to my mom (who ended up taking longer than expected to show up at the house to help after Jon went to work) and trying to keep my kid from drinking my entire pepsi.

Laylabug alternates between running in circles around me (I blame the pepsi) and drawing with me on the sidewalk. She jumps around on the porch, dings the wind chimes, digs in the dirt a bit and dispite being uncomfortable I am thinking this is WONDERFUL.

Then the cat came. The neighbor has cats. I think she has 3...there might be 4. They are mostly outside cats and I spend a lot of time being bitter that I find them in my back yard, or their feces in my front yard or worse yet...their furry little faces rubbing on my front screen door when Layla gets too close to the door. With a kid with SEVERE cat allergies that sort of stuff pisses you off. They are pretty much stray cats she feeds, they seldom interact with them or clean up after them. Pisser.

So the first 3 times the cat comes up I try to scare it off with normal tactics. I use the "sk sk sk" scare a cat away noise the first time, I shoo it away with my hand waving the chalk box (because I can't touch it and touch Layla), I throw a pepsi can at it in a moment of desperation...then the 4th time I actually pour an entire bucket of water at the cat and it runs off to the neighbors yard.

I decide that was too close for comfort so I start packing up the kid, the chair, the electronics, the chalk and as I am carrying that stuff into the house I give Layla a watering can to water the dead flower pot on the porch until I can come back for her. Getting a toddler in the house takes 2 hands.

When I round the corner to get her I am just in time to watch the cat rub her shoulder. Her bare shoulder which is wearing the cutest top ever which will not protect her from the cat. I freak out on the cat and it runs away as I am screaming. Then I try to act like it's not a big deal. Layla is already scratching (30 seconds into the encounter) and by the time I trick her into the garage and shut the door behind her 3 things have happened.

A minor fit has started because she doesn't want to go inside yet and the garage door starts to be pounded by little angry fists, when not pounding on the garage door she is scratching her face with both hands and mid protest...a scream gets stuck and is replaced by a wheeze. (Probably 3 minutes into this experience).

I throw the kid over my shoulder and take her kicking and screaming into the house. I try to give her liquid albuterol (by the way, ever try to swallow while you can't breath...it was tragic). I wash her face and shoulder. I turn to see her vomit all over the kitchen floor. I give her benadryl instead. Then I try to calm her down.

There are 3 problems at this point. 1. She still wants to go outside so she's pissed 2. She's itchy and she now knows that doesn't have to happen. 3. She's still a little wheezy.

I get in a movie and we calm down enough that I can change the blow out diaper that is a result of screaming and medicine. So far we have one every time we take the asthma med. And I watch as my kid slowly cranks up.

The label on albuterol should say "the good news is they'll breath, the bad news is you'll want to smother them". When Laylabug takes it she sometimes gets shakey, sometimes moody, mostly she gets a little crazy. I think it's an adrenaline thing.

Mom arrived and off and on the rest of the night we battled the worlds longest fit. Laylabug got so itchy she stripped naked and insisted on staying that way until bedtime. I had to lather her down twice with lotion and she may or may not have gone to bed with chocolate on her face 45 minutes later than her normal latest ever bedtime. All the while, I've been having stress contractions (there were only 3 things the Dr said not to do and I did 2 of them in a row trying to save my kid from El Gato... I picked up a heavy object (more than once) and I did something stressful instead of laying on my left side when my vision got blurry from my blood pressure going through the roof).

I took a picture of her mid-throws-of-anguish because some people still don't get it but it makes me want to cry to look at her tear streaked miserable little face. I don't feel like parent of the year already being as I couldn't protect her from the cat or make the horrible feeling that caused the tantrum of all tantrums go away. I don't even want to talk about the tantrum, it makes me have contractions and it makes my heart hurt.

I hate cats. I really dislike irresponsible cat owners. You want a cat...keep it at your house in your yard. If I had a dog and it hung out in your yard you'd throw a fit but if it's a cat people just act like it's no big deal. Those people, they need to live my life for one night...

So much for St Patricks Day

All Home

So I've been off work now for um...5 days... and while there has been a lot of resting there has also been a lot of getting stuff done so that I don't have to think about it anymore. After all in 6 weeks give or take there will be another baby in this house. A small one- that probably expects to have clean clothes ready for it.
So the resting is being alternated with Jon and Mom helping me get things done. Whether that's a trip to Target or a trip to take in my SDI paperwork depends on the day. It's been interesting. I especially like that I get to nap with my Laylabug today and any day that I darn well feel like it for awhile.
Today being the day of all things Irish we had leprechaun pancakes (very small- gold coin size) of which Laylabug ate about a million. And tonight I might see if Mom wants to have corn beef and cabbage tacos like my Grandma Darlene used to make being as she's been nice enough to offer to come over on the nights when Jon closes and help me get the toddler to bed.
I've moved into the uncomfortable phase. Just in time for my birthday. Good thing I opted out of big birthday fun for something smaller...with cake.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The reality of parenting

There are strechmarks under my shirt. Their are crumbs under my kitchen table. Something is probably staining or crunching into my carpet at any given time. There are things piled at random in the bottom of every closet. If you come over without calling first you'll probably find the livingroom looking sort of like this.

The reality is that parenthood is not glamorous. You don't wear make-up to play with the play dough. You sport a pony tail more than you do the polished look of the hair straightener. Sometimes you spend so much of a day in your pajamas that when you finally do get dressed you just clean into new clean pajamas.

It's not that parenthood is lazy. It's not that parenting is so hard that you can't get it all done. It's that at some point you love someone enough that spending quality time with them is more important than the 5 minutes to apply perfect eyeliner or that extra trip to the store is worth. I do not sit home all day and wait for life to happen. I am swallowed alive by life at any given moment and living it is a full time job.

Parenting is practical. It cleans up at the end of the day. It gets dinner on the table. It knows when to brush it off and when to kiss it to make it better. Parenting is picking battles and picking up things you can't identify off the floor before you vacume.

The reality of parenthood is that it's about choices. It's about how you sleep, what you eat, what you say & how you say it. It's about learning from your mistakes.

Maybe the reality is that your learn to find beauty in the mess.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Baby Shower for Anyah

This is Sarah, she threw me a shower at one of my favorite places to eat with some great family and friends (oh and Miss Mia, Jen's daughter...she's even cute w/ stink eye)
We call Anyah "bean" so my mom made favors with jelly beans in them.

The girls/ladies brought my lovely gifts for Anyah and a wide assortment of wipes and diapers.

Miss Jen got me a lovely ducky cake.
It was a wonderful meal with a small group of wonderful people and wonderful gifts. More pictures are available on Bug & Bean. Thanks!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Important things of note

Yesterday was my last day at work. I ended up leaving early because I had an OBGYN appointment to check and make sure my blood pressure wasn't too high after my fender-not-bender. At my appointment, the general conclusion was my eyesight is bad enough that I shouldn't be driving and if I can't drive I can't get to and from work...so I'm home. He said to take partial bedrest and gave me a don't do list that wasn't very long. He sent me home and I called work and started sorting out SDI paperwork which I'll still be working on Monday. I'm a little worried about being out so early and when I'll have to go back post baby. I'm also a little worried about money. But, I'm not worried about dying in the car so that's a nice change.

Jon's cousin Sarah made the trip up last night to throw me an awesome baby shower today. We had it at a local mexican food place everyone loves. My mom made the cutest little favors and Jen got an adorable cake and it was good times. Anyah got some great stuff. (Pictures probably tomorrow I'm tired now and I have heartburn so I am not putting forth the effort).

After Sarah left to head back home we ended up running Layla to my mom's for some free babysitting/Nannie time and we went out to visit with our friends George & Devon who I always love hanging out with. Then we returned somethings we had gotten duplicates of to the Target and got some other things that we hadn't recieved off the registry. We also finished the shopping for Layla's Easter basket so I don't have to worry about that holiday anymore.

So now it's just the count-down to my birthday and a few small errands that need to get run tomorrow. Anyone want to take a pregnant lady that can't drive to Walmart and the grocery store?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stressful Stopping

So every single OBGYN appointment for a few months now I mention to my OBGYN that my vision is very blurry, I can't read far away, my depth perception is wonky and I have no night vision. On every single visit he tells me it's just high blood pressure symptoms from swelling in my eyes and not to panic because it will go away after the baby is born.

About a month ago I stopped driving in the dark. For the most part I only drive when it's necessary anyhow...to work and back, to the store, to the bank...stuff like that.
Today after work I was exhausted, it's been a long week. I took Layla to McDonald's in broad daylight to get her a happy meal for dinner and me a burger so I could rest this evening instead of making dinner.
I obviously can't be trusted to drive in broad daylight anymore, I sorta clipped a pole. The McDonald's employee blew me off when I mentioned it. Something about that's why the big poles are there.
I panicked in the parking lot. I couldn't get Jon on his cell or work number for a minute there. There was no structure damage to my car, the pole or the people in the car. So I nervously, cautiously, at the speed of an elderly person...drove home.

I parked in the garage. I let my kid play in the car with her happy meal (she likes that) and I took the picture above.
Then for awhile I squated out in the garage and scrubbed yellow paint off my car. There appears to be one small scratch, which isn't much considering how shaken up I was. So we came inside and had dinner.
I got ahold of the hubby who calmed me down some. Anyah seems to be moving around just fine (we barely bumped the pole) so I am sure she is fine. Layla may or may not have learned a new curse-word, she used it right after I did. But she's fine. In fact, she enjoyed "washin" the car with a towel with me.
All in all, no big deal...except it's a huge deal and yet a HUGE deal. My husband said from now on I only drive directly to and from work. I don't even want to drive to the end of the driveway and back. Do you know how much life will suck without driving? And I do not want to do it at all... that should tell you something, right?
Tomorrow I'll call the OBGYN and give them an earful. Blowing people off sometimes ends badly for everyone involved, this could have been MUCH worse.

Praise Jesus it was just a trial of the emotions and not something much more scary.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

What's that? Anyah...

So the first thing I want to point out is, the front of my belly is covered with stretchmarks and this photo has been cropped to hide my lack of makeup and huge ghetto booty...that's to help the other preggers out there that are comparing.

The second thing I'd like to point out is that I am 8 months pregnant and those jeans are the jeans I bought Jon's birthday weekend at Old Navy on our way home from San Francisco. They fit in August and they still fit now. It's vaguely creepy.
Today was my OBGYN appointment to check on the status of Miss Anyah. My blood pressure is still high and the Dr told me to check it whenever I could at work and let him know if it got any higher and no driving at night. Right now the plan is for me to work until April 9th or so unless something happens that would warrant me leaving earlier (like higher BP).
Anyah was doing lovely. She actually moved enough that he had to try three times to get her heartbeat. She had a lovely 140 bpm despite my blood pressure. She's measuring "small" which actually means average for a normal size person but considering how big our last baby was and how big I am the Dr was a little shocked.
I've lost 2 more lbs which I think officially means I lost all of the weight that I had finally put back on. That's fine.
I told my mom the other day that this pregnancy is completely different in many ways but the most noticable way for me (as a mommy) is that fact that last time I never felt like I looked pregnant until the VERY VERY end. And then I looked like a very pregnant very fat person. This time I feel very very pregnant looking and not so fat. I have a baby shelf that I could balance a remote control (or lots of blocks as Layla likes to) on. I'm just carrying completely differently.
So 3 weeks to my next appointment. Almost 4 weeks of work left. and a little less than 2 months until the lovely Miss Anyah arrives in person.
The only thing I am actually worried about at this point and hoping that people will pray for with me is that EMC changes their H1N1 regulations before Anyah arrives so Layla can meet her sister in the hospital. It's a big deal to me and I'd like to stop thinking about it every day.

Monday, March 08, 2010

It's a Foodie Fact of Life

I basically live from one food event to another. I get up, I think about breakfast, I go to work, I think about tea, I think about lunch, I contemplate a snack, I day dream about dinner. This is especially true when I know yummy food is in the future. I've already spent a decent amount of time focusing on baby shower menu selections that I could pick and where I want to go for my birthday lunch with Jen and my birthday dinner with Jon, George and Devon.
It is just the way I am wired. It's amazing I don't weigh 700 lbs with as much as I think about food. I think my only saving grace is I think about it and plan it more than I actually eat it...at least at this point in my life. I mean, I am, after all, a person who reads cookbooks as a hobby.

Is it any wonder then that my daughter is so zealous about food?
At least it's good healthy food most of the time (although cookies have their own dance)...
In this case it's an apple... that she picked out all on her own and dug into. I'm proud of that. My kid sitting on the kitchen counter isn't shy about digging into a crisp new apple.
My little Foodie Jr.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Pickled Pink

Layla has started insisting that you put her hair in 2 pig tails every day. She likes to help pick her clothes, her shoes and her meals. She demands to be able to throw away her own diapers and carry her own food to the table. She is now a pro at cleaning up the bath tub toys, picking up the blocks/puzzle pieces/random floor chaos with a little supervision...

and you know what that means?

My baby is turning from a toddler to a preschooler and soon enough when the new baby comes she'll start to really look like a big kid to me...

My own handy little helper.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


yes...it's a bullet blog...but there are a lot of random things I've never tied up from previous posts so this is like the to-do list of never written 1 paragraph follow up posts...

  • Now that Layla is back on a reasonable schedule with some structure she is doing much better and we've phased from TERRIBLE 2 back to totally awesome toddler. I've decided to wait until I am home on maternity leave to work on potty training because so far the only person she appears to be interested in impressing with her pee in the potty is Mommy. Oh well...she's only 2.
  • Both of the lovely people I asked to spend time with me on/near my birthday have made room in their busy schedules for me. In addition, several people RSVP'd for my shower this week (after some prompting that yes you do actually have to RSVP - just kidding- love you guys!) so now I just need to figure out if there will be some sort of family Birthday-something-or-other. I called my dad about that 4 days ago and he said he'd call me when he got home... I'm sure he's home by now... so I think we're just putting it off.
  • I think I have decided what the Easter Bunny is allowed to bring Layla. Rest assured (some of you actually emailed me) there will be candy...there was always going to be candy it's a tradition but last year we ate candy from Easter well into June and I didn't want to repeat that.
  • Dying eggs with a 2 year old... it scares me... opinions?
  • Everytime I put something on my registry at Target I get the email from someone saying...I went to buy a fill in the blank and it says it's out of stock until the end of life as we know it. Now it's the swing. So there are 2 swings on my registry...hopefully at any given time one will be in stock, hopefully....(but I only need one)
  • My daughter has been carrying around a picture frame with a picture on one side of me and Nannie (my mom) and a picture of me and Papa (my dad) on the other side. She went to sleep with it last night in bed with us. When I asked why she said that Papa was sleepy. Papa needs to visit more.
  • I need to go to the library. I have cookbooks to pick up. It's my new brilliant idea to check out cookbooks before I buy them because I have more than a few cookbooks that I wish I didn't own even though I collect them. For instance, the Grandma's Casserole book...disgusting...anyone want it?
  • Layla seems to be having a growth spurt. I do believe we're going to be a 3T before summer. Which means, I need to get to yard sale and consignment shopping. I hate paying full price for summer clothing, it's so expensive and they only wear it for a few months.
  • My child has taken to alternating between counting EVERYTHING and singing to herself. This means she is talking constantly, usually in her own language. It's pretty cute.
  • The baby (Anyah) dropped some this week. While lightening means that labor will eventually come, WebMD says it could be anywhere between tomorrow and never so I think I'll just be glad for the break on my lungs. She still hasn't dropped all the way as I don't have horrible pelvic pressure but it was better then it was.
  • I have an OBGYN appt on Tuesday
  • Jon's student loan lein is finally paid off. Hallelujah!
  • Prayer request- EMC still has an H1N1 policy that will keep my daughter from seeing the new baby in the hospital and me from seeing anyone for 3 days. Please pray they reverse the policy before Anyah comes
  • Pop's wife has been moved to a "rehab" facility. At this point she is still refusing to do things like physical therapy (her choice but she's gonna shrivel up and lose all the muscle she has left) so that's not looking to good. Pop and mom are doing better though now that they can go visit and then go home and not take care of someone while having COPD (Pop) or Arthritis (Mom)
  • If I missed anything that you are still waiting for a status update on, please let me know and I'll add more bullets.

Love Ya!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Weekend Perspective

I have officially worked my last weekend before maternity leave. This weekend I get to stay home with my Laylabug, eat sausage & pancakes, visit yardsales and watch G rated movies. I am SOOO excited.
I happened to have last Wednesday off and Layla literally walked me to the pantry, had me get down the pancake mix and then told me what to do for 4 minutes until it became evident that our weekend tradition of pancakes while Daddy sleeps in is just a few months from her being able to do it all by herself. If she could tell the difference between the 1/2 cup and the 1/4 cup I could wait in the living room until the hot stove part.
Moments like that make me excited, I'm building traditions. I like the thought of Layla and I having our weekend traditions. It makes me remember the traditions of my childhood. My mom and I had taters and eggs when Dad was gone for deer season. My Grandma Gerty used to let us help her make biscuits and gravy on Sunday mornings while the coffee perked away on the counter.
I also love that she's learning. I mean sure 2 scoops of mix plus 3 scoops of water and then mix isn't rocket science but she's TWO so it's amazing as far as I am concerned. Or maybe I'm just excited that she likes to hang out with me in the kitchen and that she talks about "cowk-king" (cooking) with mommy like it's the most fun thing ever. After all, it's nice to share the things you love with your kids.
I can't wait until she's old enough to help chop, measure, stir and simmer with me. Then I can get started on that what if list an teach her a recipe or two from my old weekend traditions.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

What if I...

  1. travel to europe with my kids & husband to take cheesy pictures in front of famous places in history
  2. take a vacation to mexico without the kids & drink too much and eat tacos by the sand with my husband
  3. host a girls event monthly at my house (book club, recipe group, bunco?) where people can laugh & enjoy each others company
  4. taught my daughters every family recipe I know so that someday they can teach their daughters
  5. went camping in big trees with my hippie friends and played cards next to the fire well into the night while talking about ghosts and the good life
  6. hosted a catered big event for my family to have just as a family reunion once a year at someplace local so everyone would come
  7. created a piece of artwork I was so proud of that I hung it in my livingroom and smiled whenever I thought of it
  8. owned my own home where my kids hung out and swam in a pool in the backyard while my husband bbq'd and I fiddled with the garden in the summer
  9. understood my relationship with God well enough to explain it to someone else who might need to hear about it to be able to start their own relationship with God
  10. viewed my life skills and spiritual gifts more as an opportunity to do something AMAZING and less as a trial of endurance
  11. finished writing my book, even if it isn't published wouldn't it be cool to say it was done and that I know how the story ends
  12. danced in the rain like no one was watching even if everyone was watching because I really didn't care
  13. found a job that I could enjoy enough to spend the rest of my life doing it and if that job also happened to pay a respectable amount of money...that would be an even better what if
  14. my family traveled to every state so my kids could see all the cultures that exist just within their own culture
  15. taught my children to love themselves, to be confident with the skills God gave them, and to be content with an every changing life
  16. I made the world a better place for just one person
  17. had a home that became the sort of place people went when they wanted to be somewhere because they felt loved well and welcomed as soon as they entered the door
  18. saw the world both in it's beauty but also in it's places of deep need...from the beauty of Australia to the slums of Africa and everywhere inbetween
  19. could get together regularly with my favorite people and play games, eat good food and laugh at the world around us

This post is a work in progress and will often be republished/updated/edited when I feel it needs to be. It is based on the post below. Thanks!

I once made a list of 40 things to do before I was 40 because it was all the rage at the time and I had nothing better to do with my spare time...

Thing is...

I'm almost 31 now.

In 2006, forty seemed like this far off and distant place that I had all the time in the world to get to. Now forty seems a hop skip and a jump after dinner gets done tonight. Time flies when you have kids...and priorities change.

Some of the other bloggers out there have been making "bucket lists" like in that movie... a list of things to do before you die (sounds morbid).

Thing is...

I know I'd wait until the last minute to do it... I'm a procrastinator like that. You'd find me on my death bed with a web page up trying to figure out if there was anything I could knock off the list without hurting myself.


What to do? What to do?

I want to make a list... but not a list before I'm 40 or a list before I die not a to do list for life... more of an "if I had time" or "wouldn't it be bitchin if" list.

So I was talking to a girlfriend about getting older, growing up, trying out life in the hardest circumstances and about how much I miss margaritas when I am preggo and I happened to call it my "what if list".

People give what if such a negative vibe. But really, what if is just another statement of hope if you spin it the right way.

What if I did some stuff if the opportunity ever presented itself... wouldn't that be bitchin?

So I am going to work on a what if list... who's with me?

Wishful Thinkin'

There is an overwhelming urge to have everything ready at this point in my pregnancy and while I know I won't have bills paid off or money saved up I'd at least like to know that I have a stack of diapers to last awhile and some pacifiers and bottles if I need them.
It's about a week and a half until my baby shower so in the meantime I am trying to entertain my nervous energy by prepping the things I do have. All the baby clothing is clean (what we own) and in Anyah's dresser. Jon put up the crib this week as a suprise and today I put her bedding in her bed. Jon pulled the carseat out of the dark corners of Layla's closet and made sure it was on the smallest setting and then I put the little baby head liner in it for Anyah.
I am not allowing myself to look at my registry at this point, even if I add something new I tell myself I am not allowed to look. Mainly, I am not looking because I know the list of invites to my shower was very small (only people I really wanted to see/share Anyah's celebration with) and I also know that RSVP's aren't due until the 10th and at this point there have only been a few of them... so I don't want to look and PANIC because I'm sort of prone to panic in both it's smaller case and ALL CAPITAL LETTERS forms.
This weekend I am going to distract myself with trying to figure out what goes in Layla's Easter basket this year. I'm hoping after last years 3 basket holiday that this year I will be the only person making an actual basket and anyone else will pass on the tiny containers of candy because I am sort of looking forward to not having to pry chocolate away from my toddlers death grip... I can dream.
My mother will be hosting our Easter at my Pop's house. We're gonna hide eggs in the grass and eat BBQ. I'll be 9 months pregnant and I am over joyed at taking that one worry off my list.
Other none important but still worry inducing things I am currently wasting time thinking about too much...
Pop's crazy wife is in the hospital (which is actually good news because she was being ill/hurt and crazy melodramatic at his house and it was gonna kill him and result in my mom going to jail for smothering an old crazy woman with a pillow in her sleep).
My birthday is coming and I am not entirely sure the people I asked to hang out with will actually have the time for me (irrational, no?) and I am not sure what to do about spending time with family etc because I know everyone is broke but it's still my birthday, yo.
This is the joy of pregnancy hormones... you know it's crazy... but you still worry about nothing.
Just think...I'm 31 weeks...at 36 and a half weeks we had a date to induce Layla.
Gosh this time went a lot faster...

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I hear the pitter patter of tiny (giant) toddler feet across tile and before I can get out the "be careful" there is the unmistakable sound of the safe-at-second-base-slide across the tile. The thud that follows is probably a tiny little person bouncing bum first off the floor. She pauses for a second before she cries and I know what's next before I round the corner.

There are 3 stages on the scale of toddler owie.

Stage 1 is the brush it off stage and usually involves doing something silly that involves bonking your head or stubbing a body part that is easily laughed about or brushed off. These are cured (in Layla's case) with physically pretending to brush it away.

Stage 2 is the kiss it away stage. Kiss it owies usually involve stepping on something pain full, small cuts and scratches and bumps hard enough to knock your wind out but not so hard to leave a bruise. These are cured (in Layla's case) with mommy puckering up and kissing toes, fingers or knees that are then magically cured by love.

Stage 3 is the medical intervention needed owie. These can't be cured by human hands...you've got to cry it out while Mommy and Daddy decide between band-aids, tylenol and runs to the same day care. These are rare (in Layla's case) most of them are eventually ended by a distraction of sugar/movie and actual medical attention.

We were flat in stage 2 when the head hit tile though. I could tell by the type of cry. It's the embarrassed with a side of mild pain cry that all moms can detect from anywhere within 50 ft as a sign they are about to pucker up to something.

I kissed her head and her feet (because they had wounded pride I guess) and then we made dinner.

If only I could always cure what ails her so easily... if only my touch and my lips could heal her forever...magically.


Monday, March 01, 2010

My poor mom and husband

So as with last time it's nearing the end of my pregnancy and I have a lot of anxiety and I'm still high risk... the result of which is that other people are shouldering responsibilties that normally I take care of. My mom, of her own accord, ends up here several times a week when she isn't even watching Layla doing things like bathtime help or dishes occassionally just to give me reprieve. Jon is setting up cribs when I am not looking and keeping the house work under control when I get overwhelmed.

And while we're all counting down to meet Anyah, I think part of that count down is for some of us to just be able to stop worrying... at least for me.

Now my grandfather's wife has taken a turn for the worse at 78 years old and her family is all in TX so mom's burden doubled with having to help them whenever she isn't helping me.

I feel pretty crappy about it. So I guess this is a prayer request for those of us stuck in stressville...that we all make it out alive.