Friday Night Closet Hunting

You know that dress?  The one hanging in the back of your closet.  The one you’ve had for so long, it’s practically vintage.  The one you keep passing over during Spring Cleaning because it’s beautiful, timeless, classic and one day, you WILL wear it again.

Then comes the magical moment when you’ve worked up the courage to try on the dress.  You inspect it on the hanger, hold it up to yourself and start to feel the confidence welling up inside you that it might actually zip up.  You slip on the dress, adjust it so it’s just right and start the zipping process.  You know that wonderful, thrilling moment when the zipper easily reaches the top of the dress and you admire yourself in the mirror wearing a dress from years ago you never thought you’d wear again?

Yeah, me neither.

Back of the closet dress FAIL.

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Checking-in

Just a quick post to say, “Hi!  I’m still here!!!”

***waves frantically***

I’ve had so much on my mind and I think to myself, often, I need to blog about this…

Then someone cries, or whines, or poops…or cries and poops at the same time.   It’s usually the baby, but not always…

Baby C is suffering from the dreaded 4 Month Wakeful Period that I swear didn’t exist.  It doesn’t matter though, because I’ve decided to become a vampire.  That way I never ACTUALLY need to sleep again.  Do I have that right?  Vampires don’t sleep, right?  I never got into the whole Twilight thing so I’m a little rusty on my vampire trivia.  If I’m being serious, I still totally adore Baby C and recognize this, too, is only a phase.  Even if it’s shaving years off my life.

Baby C is 4 months old today and she’s doing fab.  She’s laid back and relatively easy-going.  Little A is doing great also.  She can be such a sweet little girl.  She can also be such a little hellion.  I recently took her to her first movie…Madagascar 3.  I kind of had an out-of-body experience sitting in the theater with her…her with her own popcorn, drink and skittles.  I can’t believe my little A is old enough to go to the movies.  We had a blast.  I really enjoy being out alone with her, she’s totally different when she’s by herself and now that she’s almost 3-and-a-half, I can actually hold a pretty good conversation with her.  She loves her little sister, no doubt, but one-on-one time with mom (or dad) is invaluable.

The whole “Hubs started his own company and doesn’t have an actual job right now” thing is going ok.  Actually, it’s going fine.  My “handling” of the whole thing is only going ok.  At least once per day I have a minor panic attack.  Each time I swear to myself tomorrow will be better.  Each time, I fail.  Bummer.  It still remains to be seen if this whole thing will be a success, but having him home (not traveling for work) has been amazing.  I love not having the stress of him having to fly out every few days.  He’s working pretty much non-stop.  The ideas just keep coming to him and he keeps acting on them.  I can only hope I maintain my end of the bargain and remain supportive and not melt into a big pile of dramatics.  I suppose I also need to get my business up and moving…because I have all this spare time and all.

Here’s Baby C today, at her 4-month photo shoot.
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xoxo,

B

Week 37

I hit 37 weeks last Friday.  My appointment with my doc went well.  Blood pressure is great, fetal heart tones sound perfect, I was measuring about 38 weeks (which is still perfect for a 2nd/3rd timer), Baby C is still head down and I’ve even made a little progress in the cervical department.  I even worked up the courage to have a brief (very brief) discussion with my OB about my desire to avoid the epidural as long as possible and my desire to not be tied to a bed the whole time I was in the hospital.  She said that was fine, I just needed to request intermittent monitoring and that she would give them permission to do so.  Yay.  So, on the medical side, things are great.

Then there’s the REST of pregnancy at week 37.  I don’t really want to complain.  I’m thrilled to be at this point, obviously, and I’m not even feeling super anxious or ready for Baby C to make her appearance.  I figure I’ve still got a week or so left.  But honestly?  I’d forgotten just how tough these last few weeks are.  Pregnancy is generally kind to me (except that whole stillbirth thing)…I don’t put on a lot of weight and I don’t seem to have to deal with the majority of complaints that I hear from other pregnant women.  I keep comparing this pregnancy to my pregnancy with A and while there are a lot of similarities, I’m noticing some differences here at the end.  I started my leave from work at 37 weeks when I was pregnant with A.  Barring some financial emergency during my leave, I didn’t plan to return to work so the majority of my pregnancy was spent focusing on getting out of a job I didn’t particularly love.  My focus was different than it is this time around.  So I was done working at 37 weeks, which felt AWESOME, and I had her at 38 weeks exactly.  It just didn’t leave much time to wallow in self-pity and moan and grumble about pregnancy woes.  Plus I was 3 years younger.  Doesn’t seem like a lot, but man, 3 years sure does seem to make a big difference in the pregnancy world.  So anyways, I’m just generally uncomfortable this time around.  Baby C is quietest when I’m up moving around or laying on my back (I know, I know, a big no-no) she seems to do the Elaine dance (Seinfeld anyone?) at night when I try to settle down on my side.  It’s like I’m having uterus spasms or something.  Not generally painful, but Baby C likes to hit me in my hips…A never did that.  Baby  C also spends a great bit of time with some sort of appendage wedged in my ribcage.  My ribs are actually sore to the touch…odd.  I’m also starting to swell a bit, nothing crazy, but enough that I just had to switch to a plain silver wedding band and tragically, can’t wear my Aggie Ring. I’m more upset about the Aggie Ring.  I’m also just not sleeping.  I love sleep.  LOVE IT.  Right now I’m logging a solid 5 hours, but toss and turn the rest of the night.  Since Hubs isn’t traveling right now, I refrain from grunting when I try to roll over at night, but believe me, if he wasn’t here, it would sound like a pig farm in my room at night.  Baby C is still really high and I figure she’s long.  And I have a short torso, sooooooo, that just doesn’t leave a whole lot of room.  Things just hurt this time around that didn’t hurt last time.  I’m not sure what to do about it except just deal.  I was REALLY uncomfortable last night, more so than usual.  Hubs kept asking me if I was ok and I finally asked him to stop asking me.  I don’t want to complain.  Just let me be and I’ll be fine.  She’ll come when she’s ready, I’m really in no hurry and I REALLY want her to come on her own.  I don’t want to be induced.  It’s a good feeling this time around, to be ok with her coming when she’s ready.  With A, I hit 37 weeks and was like, “Ok, you can come out now!”  I tell people all the time that my best advice is to really enjoy those last few weeks because you have no idea how big of a change you’re getting ready to endure.  So I’m working really hard on enjoying these last few weeks, pregnancy woes and all.  I got together with a group of girlfriends on Sunday evening at a local restaurant for a small shower.  It was super sweet of them to love on me and while I didn’t expect any gifts at all, I got a few new things for Baby C…including a handmade Aggie teddy bear and Aggie blanket, which A promptly confiscated and claimed as her own.  I’m thrilled that Baby C FINALLY has something special of her own.  Well, sort of, as soon as we can get A to part with them.

I can tell we’re getting close as my “nesting” has reared its ugly head.  In odd ways though, for example: went to Target today to buy body wash and shaving cream.  I noticed we were getting low this morning…heaven forbid we run out at an inopportune time because my husband is clearly incapable of getting a few toiletries from Target and I guess I’m going to be chained to my house?  I squeezed in an eye appointment today so I could refill my contact prescription and get my glasses adjusted.  I also decided I absolutely HAD to get a haircut this week; thankfully my guy was able to get me in on Thursday evening.  I just had one not long ago, but it feels poofy and I had a slight panic attack this morning thinking about how I was going to get my hair cut with an infant here.  I scheduled a vet appointment for Maggie on Saturday morning and I’ve decided to tackle the cleaning of our master shower…probably today at some point.  My freezer is stocked with frozen meals and for some reason I have 3 huge boxes of nursing pads.  Now, none of these tasks/things seem unusual…it’s the panicky feeling of not getting them done that is my clue my head may not be working right.  Especially since my house is basically a disaster zone and I STILL haven’t packed my hospital bag.  At least my glasses won’t be crooked and I’ll have good hair.  Hubs is nesting too…only he’s decided that this weekend he’s going to give our yard a complete overhaul.  We have a big yard.  Go for it buddy.

I’m braving a bikini wax today.

I’m no waxing virgin.  I’ve done everything from eyebrows to bikini to brazilian for years now and frankly, I don’t find it to be that bad.  The lady I go to came highly recommended by a few people and she’s great…which makes a big difference.  Not only is she skilled and quick, but we chit-chat the whole time I’m laying there in a slightly compromising position while she spreads hot wax on my nether-regions and rips my pubic hair out.  While not at the top of my list of fun things to do, waxing doesn’t normally scare me.  It does today though.  You see, I’ve apparently been doing SUCH a good job practicing my Hypnobirthing relaxation techniques that some intruder came into my bedroom, acquired a pair of steel-toed boots and kicked me, repeatedly, in the crotch.  I had no idea this was happening (since I was so relaxed and all) and wasn’t aware of the damage that had been done until the next morning when I could barely get out of bed and hobble to the bathroom.  It was the kind of pain where you expect blood, bruising and swelling, only upon closer inspection (not that close, really, I’m 35 weeks pregnant after all), everything looked fine.  Obviously a more likely scenario is that my body is like, “Oh, yeah, I remember this.  Let me go ahead and stretch those ligaments and open up that pelvis ahead of time for ya.”  More likely, yes, but not NEAR as much fun to tell people.  Or perhaps there’s a head sitting in my pelvis and pressing down on my cervix.  A girl can dream.   So while the pain is a little better than it was a few days ago, I fear the pain that is still there might make this upcoming bikini wax a little nightmarish.  It really doesn’t matter though, because I’m apparently growing a rainforest down under and I can’t accept it any longer.

I went out this past weekend and spent what I consider to be a ridiculous amount of money on nursing attire.  I needed nursing bras, a few nursing tanks and wanted some nursing pajamas for the hospital, around the house and basically the next year of my life.  This stuff, rarely, if ever, goes on sale so I was forced to pay full-price, except for the pj’s, which were buy 1 get 1 free.  For some reason, the last time around, I decided I didn’t need nursing bras or breast pads or any of that fancy-schmancy nursing attire.  And I didn’t for a few days.  Until my milk came in.  I was perfectly fine in the hospital fighting the cups of my bra down so I could feed A.  Once I got home I pretty much went braless and it took me days, DAYS, to discover that when A nursed on one side I was, quite literally, spewing milk from the other side.  I could not for the life of me figure out why my shirt and boppy were wet…and why my child’s clothes were wet.  The story I love to tell is my 20-something sister sitting on the couch with me while I’m nursing…I have no shirt on and no bra (I lack some of the basic ins and outs of modesty people…especially around my family) and I’m squirting milk out of one boob.  My poor sister…I’m pretty sure I scarred her for life.  (She also sanitized the pieces of my breast pump for me.  The hilarious images of her boiling my breast pump parts in the kitchen and removing them from the water with tongs still makes me smile.)  Thankfully she had enough decency to say, “Um, can I get you a towel or something?”  I was too busy laughing to answer her.  I found it incredibly funny at the time, and still do.  I had tears rolling down my face I thought it was so funny.  I still didn’t get it though.  I remember looking down as the photographer was leaving after A’s newborn portraits and seeing a wet spot about the size of a nickel on my shirt.  I was like, “What the hell is that?”  She was 2 weeks old at this point and I STILL hadn’t figured out my boobs were leaking.  I wasn’t totally ignorant either.  I took a class and read several books specific to breastfeeding.  For some reason though, I figured the rules didn’t apply to me.  I don’t remember when I finally decided I needed some nursing bras and breast pads, but it took waaaaaay too long for me to come to that conclusion.  I’m set this time around though.  Except for one thing…

The Hubs got onto me last night because all my new, ‘spensive nursing attire is still sitting in the shopping bags.  I can’t bring myself to take the tags off, wash it and toss a few things into a bag for the hospital.  I don’t mean to be difficult, I just have this mental block and every time I think about doing something like packing a freaking hospital bag, I convince myself I still have plenty of time.  It’s a defense mechanism and the real reason is that I’m afraid to pack a bag with nursing clothes, a baby blanket, a stuffed animal for Baby C and her coming home outfit; all this stuff that indicates I ACTUALLY EXPECT to bring home a living, breathing baby.  It’s so weird, but I’ve promised him I would at least wash the new clothes today so we’ll see if I make any progress.  A and I spent several hours yesterday afternoon with my mom.  Both my parents and my in-laws wanted to purchase something substantial for Baby C.  My in-laws bought the new glider (wonder when it’s going to be ready?) so that left a new breast pump or a new diaper bag for my parents to purchase.  I don’t need a new diaper bag.  I have an INSANELY expensive one that I adore but I WANTED a new one for this baby.  I found a gorgeous new one yesterday that my mom happily purchased for me.  I’m excited about it but it’s still sitting in my bedroom.  Haven’t even taken it out of its beautiful bag and dust cover.  I just can’t.  Not yet.  The pricey diaper bags have ALWAYS been my thing.  I used to joke with the Hubs that if I ever decided I wanted to have kids, he was going to have to agree to a $1500 diaper bag.  He thought I was joking.  No he didn’t, he knew I was serious.  I didn’t spend quite that much the first time around, and my mom only spent a fraction of that, but there’s something about making such a large, luxurious,  intentional for Baby C purchase that has me a little freaked out.  Hubs told me last night he doesn’t think I’ve actually wrapped my head around the idea that we’re HAVING ANOTHER BABY.  I think he’s right, but I’m not sure how to fix it.  I’m going through all the motions, I’m excited about meeting her, preparing for labor and delivery and finishing up her nursery, yet, I’m not sure I’ve actually grasped that we’re leaving our home with 1 little girl and coming home with 2 little girls.  And my latest irrational, pregnancy-induced, hormonal fear?  That Baby C will be born a “he” instead of a “she”.  Pretty sure the Hubs wants out at this point.  He can’t take the crazy much longer.

So, if you hear screaming from deep within the heart of Texas in the next hour…no worries, it’s just a much too vain pregnant lady getting her lady bits waxed in an attempt not to appear as a freak show for all the nurses and doctors that will see her most treasured body parts over the coming weeks.  And blah, blah, blah, they’re professionals that see it everyday, they don’t care…yeah, I know.  I’ve heard it all.  But I like to think they too can at least appreciate the effort.

What’s buggin me.

I’m a little hot-headed.  I feel like it’s been greatly subdued over the past 3 years or so; quitting my job, becoming a mom, experiencing the loss of the twins and the general understanding that most things in life just aren’t worth wasting the energy being upset about.  However.  There are a few things that have crossed my path recently that have me flustered.  I blame the pregnancy hormones.

The Mommy Wars

I’m a stay at home mom.  I chose to be a stay at home mom.  Not because I made next to nothing while working.  Not because day care costs would have eaten my entire paycheck and then some.  All that is true, but my husband and I desired for our children to be raised with a parent at home.  We thought it was best for OUR family.  We decided that’s what WE wanted for OUR children.  What you do is your business.  We put off having children because I just wasn’t ready to be a stay at home mom for several years.  I don’t run around spouting off research that supports our decision.  Nor do I get into regular debates about what makes a better parent; stay at home mom vs. working mom.  Like I said, WE made OUR decisions based on OUR desires for OUR family and OUR children.  Your decision may be different and I respect that.  With all that said, the next person to post a link on facebook about why working moms are happier or why working moms are better, they’re getting de-friended.  Keep your judgmental thoughts to yourself.  Along the same lines: Just because I’m a stay at home mom doesn’t mean we’re loaded financially.  Yes, my husband makes a nice living, so do a lot of people.  We still have to make sacrifices for me to be at home.  And we live on a budget.  Every.single.month.  Our income is budgeted to almost $0 by the time I get done directing our money to the places I want it to go.  And if my husband didn’t make the living he currently does (which I’m sure we’ll be faced with sooner rather than later given our goals) we’ll make even more sacrifices to keep me at home.

The Breastfeeding Wars

Ok.  I’m a breastfeeding advocate.  And I’m seriously lacking in the modesty department which is an important detail in this rant.  I had a really rough start with A, but stuck with it and nursed successfully for just over 12 months.  I truly enjoyed it and I will encourage anyone that asks my opinion to at least attempt to breastfeed.  However.  If you can’t, fine.  If you don’t want to, fine, that’s your choice much like my decision to breastfeed is my choice.  There has recently been a lot of attention given to women nursing in public.  This was never a huge issue with A because the few times I tried it was a disaster.  One in particular on an airplane where anyone who wanted to look had a very nice view of my left bewb.  She wasn’t inclined to eat anywhere but the rocker in her nursery.  That’s not to say the need to nurse in public didn’t occasionally arise.  It did, and I had no problem attempting it.  I also nursed a lot in my car.  I expect to be nursing in public a lot more with Baby C.  It’s just not realistic to expect to be home enough to feed her in the privacy of my home; especially with a 3 year old in tow.  Here’s the thing; if you need to feed your baby in public, great!  But please be aware that every time you nurse in public it doesn’t need to be a platform for women’s rights.  If your baby won’t stay under a nursing cover, or you choose not to use one, it’s not going against your God-given right to at least attempt to be discreet.  I don’t make it a habit of seeking out moms nursing in public but even I, a pro-breastfeeder, was slightly offended at dinner one Friday night when a lady lifted her shirt, removed her bra cup and nursed her baby on the patio of a very busy downtown restaurant.  It’s not the breastfeeding I took issue with, it’s the complete lack of tact while breastfeeding.  No attempt AT ALL to cover herself (not really an issue) or to BE DISCREET (this is my issue).  I just don’t understand the need to make such a point; not everyone is comfortable with a mom breastfeeding her baby.  You forcing it upon them isn’t going to change their mind, it will only enforce their current feelings on the subject.  So, no, I will not be participating in your nurse-in.  And no, I will not sit in the most public place I can find and nurse my baby just to make a point.  Also, I will not get into an argument about our “rights” as women to breastfeed wherever we want.  I’ll feed my baby when the need arises, nothing more, nothing less.  It’s not a battle I’m interested in fighting.  I just want to feed my kid.  I will attempt to cover myself when in public and if that doesn’t work I will at least try to be discreet.  And unless someone asks for very, very intimate details, can we all agree that stating you breastfeed is enough?  For example, posting on facebook about your husband squirting your own breastmilk into your own eye to clear up a case of pink eye is just too much information.  Nobody needs to know that.  And it gives the rest of us a bad reputation.  And it will get you blocked from my news feed.

Oy.

This day.  Oh, this day.  Ugh.  It has just been a rotten day.  First of all, it’s been cloudy/rainy here for the better part of a week.  I’ve seen the sun once in the past several days.  It’s starting to take its toll on me.  My morning started out with A calling for me on the monitor.  When I wake up in the mornings, I try to judge the time based on the light outside.  I turn the light on my clock off (it tends to give me a headache if I sleep with the light on…high-maintenence, I know) so unless I groggily reach for my phone, the light coming in from the windows is my best gauge.  This morning, it was still fairly dark so I though A just needed to be tucked in and told it wasn’t time to get up yet.  So I pulled my butt out of bed and stumbled into her room only to discover it was past 7.  Clouds.  Rain.  You see where this is going.  “I’m hungry” a whiny voice says to me.  “Ok, fine” I sigh.  “Get up and we’ll go get some breakfast.”  My day started out 90 to nothing.  She was hungry, but wouldn’t eat.  Sigh.  Life with a toddler.  She wanted to play, we had somewhere to be.  She kept asking me to play with her and not only did I not want to, but I had to get ready.  Dance classes are on Wednesday mornings and we leave at 9:30.  This week was “Watch Me Week” which means they set up chairs and invite all the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, distant cousins, family black sheep and all the random strangers they can find to sit on the perimeter of the room and watch class.  Sigh.  This has never gone well.  I warned my husband and mother-in-law that while they were more than welcome to attend, she would most likely spend the entire class in my lap.  Both of them disagreed with me, I still don’t know why.  It’s not like I haven’t done this before.  To complicate things further, I had to take Hubs to pick up his rental car this morning which threw my whole schedule off.  By the time we left the house for dance class I was frazzled, and my back hurt.  I HATE to be that way in front of my husband.  I don’t like for him to think I can’t handle it when he’s out of town.

Dance class went exactly as I expected it would, she curled up in my lap and whined the whole time.  I was close to tears by the end, ok middle…seriously close to losing it right then and there.  I was so frustrated with my mother-in-law trying to convince her to participate (like I hadn’t already said these things to her and I won’t answer the same question over and over again.  It just gives her the attention she wants so I just wanted my mother-in-law to STOP TALKING TO HER), I was frustrated that once again, I’ve got the only kid in class that won’t participate, I was frustrated that my husband was being overly nice to A when I wanted to pound her, I was frustrated that she wouldn’t sit still and wouldn’t be quiet and kept disrupting the class (“I’m hungry!” “I want to go home!”  “I want my blankie and bottle!”  over and over and over again) and I was beyond embarrassed because once again, I’m convinced everyone is looking at me thinking, “Geez, she can’t control the one she’s got, how does she think she’s going to manage an infant too?”  Sidebar: I’ve learned not to judge other parents too harshly, you just never know what’s ACTUALLY going on in their life.  A kept asking to go home, and I said no.  At one point I took her out of the class to have a talk with her about sitting still and not talking during class.  Told her that all her friends were performing for their family and if she didn’t want to participate, she had to sit still and be quiet.  It didn’t do much good, but I don’t believe in discipline without explanation…even with a 2 year old.  Anyways, I felt it was important for her to sit through the class, that by leaving she would have got what she wanted, so we stayed.  I’ve decided I’m not going next time…it’s just not worth it.  We’ll skip that week.  And the 100+ bucks we’re going to have to spend for her Spring recital?  I might as well wipe my ass with it and flush it down the toilet.  So Hubs was headed out of town right after her class, but we thought we’d stop at Starbucks for a quick cup of coffee before he left.  That went terrible too.  She whined and squirmed the whole time.  She kept complaining she was hungry so I offered her some of my croissant, but she kept demanding green apples.  I still don’t know where that came from, we don’t eat green apples around here.  Red ones, yes, tons of them, but no green.  Whatever, I grabbed my latte that I never even had time to taste and headed home.

I get home, cut her up an apple and make her a cheese quesadilla (she’s starving, remember?) that she proceeds to eat a tiny bit of and declares she’s done.  Fine, kid, whatever.  You’ve got 30 minutes with the tv then we’re both taking a nap.  Only, 30 good minutes was too much to ask for.  Because my doctor’s office called to tell me I failed my 1 hour glucose test yesterday and I needed to come in for the 3 hour test ASAP.  Oh, and I’m also low on iron, so I’ll need to start taking a supplement.  Now, neither of these things surprised me (based on my pregnancy with A), but it was just too much before noon.  I called my husband bawling.  I just felt like a parenting failure all the way around.  From my morning with A right down to not being able to stay healthy while I’m pregnant.  Also, I’m peeved at the nurse that called…I know most of the nurses at my doctor’s office but I don’t know this one that called.  She was so insistent I come in right away I finally had to be kind of rude and tell her flat out that I have a young child, a husband that travels and frankly, carving 4-5 hours out of my day to come to your office to do a 3-hour glucose test is not something I can do without some planning.  So calm the eff down, lady, I’ll take a look at my schedule and get back to you.  Geez.  Also, did you look at my file?  AT ALL?  I’ve done this before you know…

So my nap was pretty good.  But my afternoon hasn’t been much better.  My child is just in a mood today and while I think consistency is the best way to shape behavior, I frankly just don’t always have it in me.  You didn’t say please?  Fine, whatever, I’ll just get you what you want.  No, we’re not reading a book right now but since you’ve asked me for the zillionth time, fine, I’ll give in.  I know it’s bad.  But I’m just so beat-down today.  To top it all off, I get a text while I’m giving A a bath tonight from an old friend.  She had a really random question, which was no big deal, but proceeded to ask me how I was and if I’d had to twins yet.  I thought most people in my life (past and present) had gotten this memo.  I was left to explain, via text, that we lost them in March, stillborn at 19 weeks, blah, blah, blah.  She felt terrible, of course, but that got me thinking more in-depth about the girls than I really wanted to today and now I can’t shake it.  This day has just been too much.

A is still awake in her bed.  She’s been calling for me, I keep ignoring her.  Also, the dogs are going a bit stir-crazy thanks to the rain which means I’m about to blow-off my to-do list and lock myself in my bedroom.  For the record, non-pregnant B would have a glorious dirty gin martini right now.  Then probably another one with an Advil chaser.  So if there’s anyone out there that would like to have one on my behalf, please, enjoy 1 (or 2) for me.

Thanksgiving Pics

So, Thanksgiving is long past and we’re all in full-on Christmas mode, right?  Sorry these pics are a little late, but hey, what do you want from me?  I promised to share a few of the frustrations from our Thanksgiving…here ya go.  Let’s start with the fact that staying with family ranks about the same as a root canal in terms of what I would choose to do with my time.  I MUCH prefer a hotel.  But that’s not an option, no way.  Not with Hubs’ grandma.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love the woman dearly.  She was the first to love me and accept me into the family and has always been consistent in her treatment towards me.  I just like things a certain way and it’s really hard for me to stay in someone else’s home; especially while traveling with A.  The first thing we notice upon our arrival is her procurement of 2 goldfish that she has so smartly set up on the coffee table.  Those fish were dead where they swam, and we told her so.  We spent the majority of the time we were at her house telling A not to touch the fish.  Sigh.  Eye roll.  My child is pretty good about not getting into stuff, but you can’t put a fish bowl on the coffee table and expect a 2 year-old to leave it alone.  Especially when it’s the first thing you show her when she walks in the door and tell her she can feed the fish while she’s there.  Her house has 3 bedrooms, she and her “friend” occupy one.  That left a room with a twin bed and a room with a double bed.  Ideally we would have put A in the twin bed and Hubs and I would have slept in the double, but there was no way A was sleeping by herself in a weird, unfamiliar setting so Hubs took the twin bed and A and I took the double.  No one, and I mean NO ONE slept well.  Mostly thanks to the obnoxiously loud grandfather wall clock that chimes every hour and half hour and resonates off the walls throughout the entire house.  Also a big thanks to the neighbors 2 doors down that have an effing chicken farm in their backyard.  Roosters crow NON-STOP at all hours of the night; single-pane windows people…the outside noise TRAVELS.  I was honestly surprised Hubs didn’t kill them all and cook them up for lunch.  That was Wednesday night.  How about Thursday?  Thanksgiving day…and the massive spread of food we begged not to have.  You see, Hubs, myself and the sister-in-law were planning to spend the afternoon tailgating and begged not to have a huge lunch.  Sucks to be us apparently.  A kept hearing a big, silent screw-you as each new dish appeared.  My favorite part (insert sarcasm here) was when Grandma actually asked Hubs and I if we wanted sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes.  Um, neither?  I thought you got this memo.

How about lunch when all the family is gathered around the table including my father-in-law, Grandma’s “friend” and his niece when my mother-in-law decides to have the conversation with me about how I refer to my female anatomy with A.  Walter. Tango. Foxtrot.  Modest I am not, and I’m not afraid to have this conversation, but I prefer to discuss my breasts and vagina (yes, both these words were used…at length) when I’m NOT in the presence of the majority of people at the table.  It’s hard to shock me…but I have to admit, I was shocked at that conversation; I heard tires screeching to a stop, or perhaps a record scratching to a stop…I can’t remember.  Dumbfounded is a good word.

How about Thursday night, when Hubs’ parents also stayed the night at Grandma’s house?  That equals 7 people, 3 bedrooms and 1 (very small) bathroom…it also equals 1 person that doesn’t understand the concept of air freshener when they lay a deuce in the (very small) bathroom.  We were tripping over each other, especially the next morning when we were all trying to get the hell out of town ASAP.  I found Hubs in the twin bed on Friday morning.  He’d gone from the double with A and I, to the air mattress in the living room and ended up in the twin.  He couldn’t get out of bed fast enough once I told him A was up so we could pack up and bail.  If you didn’t read my earlier post, A woke up Friday morning about 3am begging to go home.  We were halfway tempted to oblige.  Ok, more that halfway, but whatevs.

The trip wasn’t all bad though.  Wednesday was awesome as we took A around campus and we had a blast with her at the tailgate.  She has an A&M book about campus so we took the book with us and visited several of the spots illustrated in the book.  Here are a few of the pics we got while we were gone.  Enjoy everyone, and I hope your Thanksgiving was as memory-laden as my own!

Here’s the clock tower:
clock tower

And the Academic Building:
academic building 2

We’re a school deeply rooted in military tradition.  Flags are everywhere, and they are taken down (properly) each evening and put up (properly) each morning by members of the Corps of Cadets.
academic building 1

A and Hubs headed to the Century Tree.  This pic is blurry, but I still love it.  Some day she’ll visit the Century Tree with some other man, today though, she was with her daddy.  Sigh…tear…
century tree 1

This beautiful tree is in the center of campus and MANY a couple have been engaged under this tree…right here on this bench.  It’s another beautiful tradition in Aggieland.  In fact, there was a proposal going on that day just before we arrived.  It’s a normal occurrence to see a man on 1 knee while his soon-to-be fiance is seated on the bench.  My favorite are the Corps boys, fully dressed, proposing.  I’m a sucker for a uniform.  If I was to ever get re-engaged to Hubs, it would be under this tree; I’d even say yes. 😉
century tree 2

Like my new lens? 🙂
leaves

I was quite the sight getting this shot, being pregnant and all.  Hubs and sis-in-law were kind enough not to laugh at me.  At least, not loud enough for me to hear.
flag pole

A had a BLAST tailgating.  She and Hubs and sis-in-law ran around non-stop for about 2 hours:
boots

This was my view during the tailgate.  Nice 🙂
my view

Guilt

It’s something I have plenty of.  And something I’ve been really struggling with over the past few days.  If anyone is in need of an extra dose, I’d be happy to share.

I’ve always been a guilty-feeling person.  I guess it’s part of my nature.  It’s also a sign of a lack of confidence, but that’s a different topic.  I don’t struggle as much with guilt as I once did, but it’s still there.  The guilt I deal with now seems more important than earlier in my life.  I feel guilty about my lack of attention to my role as a wife.  I feel guilty about my lack of attention to my role as a house wife/mom.  I really kind of suck at it.  It’s a lot of work maintaining this house with 2 adults, 1 toddler and 3 out-of-control dogs.  We don’t live in squalor, but I’m just not real good about the day to day stuff…and I regularly feel guilty about it.  I feel most guilty about my parenting.  Most days I go to bed feeling as though A didn’t get my 100% all day and I feel bad about it.  I hate the nights when I watch the clock and just wait for bedtime.  I know it happens to everyone, and it doesn’t make me a bad mom per say, but to spend your evenings reflecting upon your day and not liking the conclusion is a tough pill to swallow.

I’m struggling most with my feelings of guilt about this new baby.  My head understands that I cannot expect the same kind of attention, conversation and thoughts be given to this baby since we have another child to care for.  However, it seems like Baby C is only real to me and the Hubs.  And if I’m being honest, I think sometimes she’s not really real to us either.  We were in College Station last week and had stopped to pick up some new Aggie Swag where A selected a small stuffed Revielle.  We, of course, bought it for her and she carried it around all weekend.  It wasn’t expensive at all ($10) and we had extra money set aside for exactly that.  That was Wednesday.  It took me until Sunday night for a light bulb to go off that it never even occurred to me to pick one up for Baby C.  I’ve been feeling guilty and bummed-out ever since.  I’m still beating myself up about it.  It makes me sad and I can’t help but wonder if there’s some deeper meaning behind the whole scenario.  In addition to the realization, it got me thinking about the behavior of our families.  I was pregnant with A the exact same time of year, which means that I was shocked when A was gifted several things on Christmas of 2008; before she was even born.  Now, I find myself fretting that Baby C will get nothing.  Mostly because our families don’t talk about her at all.  No one asks about her, no one really brings her up.  It’s like she doesn’t exist.  I was talking with a girlfriend the other day and she assures me it’s simply the dreaded second-child syndrome.  That it was the same way with her 2nd daughter.  But I don’t know, when I mentioned it to Hubs he reminded me that I/we don’t really talk about her to other people.  He also reminded me that for 20 weeks, she was pretty much a secret to everyone except our closest friends and immediate family and the whole topic was somewhat taboo amongst them, too.  Also, we aren’t sharing her name and we did so with A as soon as we picked it.  Maybe we should change our decision and share her name…but I’m not convinced that would change anything.  So now I feel like I’ve done this to myself and to her.  It’s my fault no one seems to think she’s real, it’s my fault no one is particularly attached to her.  It’s my fault our families don’t seem at all excited about her.  I don’t know how to fix this either.  Hubs suggested ordering her the stuffed Revielle online, but’s it’s just not the same.  He also suggested we talk about her more…but what is there to say?  We haven’t even really begun to prepare for her at all here at home and I have no idea how to go about “discussing” her.  The whole thing just makes me sad.  And the saddest part of all is that I’m concerned our families view Baby C as “sloppy-seconds” after losing the twins.  She’s soooooo much more than that to us.  She’s our little girl.  She’s another person for us to cuddle, for me to nurse, for us to mold and shape and help grow.  She’ll have her own personality and will cement herself into our lives in her own special way.  She’s the sister to our little girl and I know she’s a missing piece to our puzzle.  She was very much wanted even before she was conceived; I yearned to be pregnant with her without knowing anything about her.  Now I know a lot about her.  She’s a thumb-sucker (I was a thumb-sucker) and has big feet, based on my last sono.  She doesn’t like loud noises or loud music in the car.  She’s quiet and still when I get stressed-out or upset.  She’ll start kicking around the most once I have a glass of ice water…sugar and caffeine don’t seem to do much for her.  She moves the most late at night and into the early mornings and tends to be asleep when I wake up around 7.  She wouldn’t exist at all if it hadn’t been for the tragedy of the twins and that right there makes her very, very special.  Like I said before, I don’t know how to fix it and I’m not even sure how to deal with the whole thing.  I realize I may be pleasantly surprised on Christmas, but I doubt it.  It just doesn’t feel the same as it did with A, and it’s a real bummer.

24 Weeks

Ahhh, home sweet home.  There really just isn’t anything quite like coming home.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy traveling.  To nice places.  With my husband…sometimes my kiddo.  Traveling to someplace that caters to me, makes my bed every day, picks up my messes and basically demands I do nothing but relax and enjoy.  I think we all know holiday travel meets none of the former criteria.

We’ve made it home safe and sound after a whirl-wind trip to College Station for Thanksgiving and for the football game.  We had a fine time, I especially enjoyed Wednesday.  Hubs was nice enough to run me by the local camera shop and I was able to purchase a brand new 50mm/f1.8 lens to use while we were gone.  I had originally intended to purchase the 50mm/f1.4 but I HADN’T originally intended to drop my camera forcing me into replacing my kit lens.  So, I opted for the lens that was still a major improvement but about $300 cheaper than my original intention.  My next purchase will be made soon, I just don’t know when.  Also, I’ll be replacing my camera body when (WARNING:  Following words may be offensive to some) I can budget (AHHHH!) and save-up (GASP!) for the pricey piece of equipment.  Anyways, we finally headed out-of-town around noon (our goal was 10ish…eye roll) and once we made it into town, had a ball.  Purchased some new Aggie swag (because we can never have enough), took a little tour around campus, watched little A run and have the time of her life around said campus and she was a trooper and even stuck it out for Yell Practice.  She even got to pet Reveille.  I got it on video; she doesn’t realize it now, but that’s a very special thing.  I ended up sleeping with A while Hubs slept in the twin bed in another room.  I hate, hate, hate finally being in the same city as my husband and not sharing a bed with him.  BUT, I felt awful asking A to spend the night alone in a strange place.  I knew she’d be scared.  I slept ok until about 4am when she started squirming around.  Thanksgiving Day proved to be the chaotic and frantic day I predicted it would be…lots of stories I will share with you shortly.  I’m sure you all have stories of your own.  Thursday night was a late one for Hubs and I and when the 2 of us finally crawled into bed with A, we were absolutely beat.  Needless to say, 3 people in a double bed didn’t work very well.  I finally kicked Hubs out around 3am so at least he could get some zzzzzz’s.  I don’t think it happened thanks to his grandmother that insists on rising at 4am and the neighbors roosters, but I digress…Around 3am my child woke up crying and BEGGING to go home.  Cue heartbreak.  She was awake, and so was I, for a few hours.  We hauled butt out of there as soon as we could this morning.  Pulled into our driveway about 1pm, had A in bed for a nap around 1:30 and Hubs and I also crashed for a few hours.  I actually JUST NOW took that shower I’ve been needing since last night.  The Christmas decorations we were going to get started on today are waiting until tomorrow.  I’m absolutely beat, and my body aches thanks to the massive amounts of walking I’ve done over the past few days.  Also, I wanted to take A to a parade tonight but I just couldn’t muster the energy…and the other 2 members of my family seemed more than ok with it but I’m still slightly bummed to have missed it.  So, all in all, a good time was had, but I am so very thankful to be home.  The dogs are happy to be home too.  They stayed with the vet and all 3 of them are absolutely passed out right now.  In fact, I don’t even know where Maggie is, I haven’t seen her since she got home.  They always come home tired…I don’t think they sleep well away from home either.

In other news, today is 24 weeks, which means that if Earl(ette) had to be delivered, she has a chance of survival outside the womb.  Things look much more promising in terms of her survival each week that passes, but there is a slight, and I mean very slight comfort in knowing that she has a chance.  24 weeks also means I have a self-imposed ban on travel until after her safe arrival.  We’re lucky enough to live in an area with several Level 3 NICU’s and I don’t plan to be more than about 10 minutes away from one until after she’s born.  I’m sure that gets me a few eye rolls but, eh, I don’t really care.

So, I promise to be back to play out the hilarious and unbelievable details of our Thanksgiving holiday.  In the meantime, I’m going to plant myself on the couch and watch some mindless tv.  A good night’s sleep is in order for all the decorating that has to take place tomorrow and Sunday.  I’ll leave you with my 24-week self-portrait taken yesterday.  I’m not actually as large as I appear in this photo, but I thought it was cute none-the-less.

24 week belly shot

Holiday Travel

Ugh. The Hubs just hit the road for a last-minute trip out of town. I’ve tried not to complain too much about his travel since it’s an integral part of his job, but this trip has really rubbed me the wrong way. The past 2 jobs he’s had, have, for the most part, had the days around the Holidays blacked-out for vacation. It really sucks that we’ve never, and I mean never, since we’ve been married, been able to have a week off work at Thanksgiving or extended time off around Christmas. It just hasn’t worked out and that’s something I hope will change as life goes on. Instead of allowing a bunch of vacation, his boss requested that Hubs and his other counterparts from around the country fly to Minnesota tonight for an in-person pow wow tomorrow; and return home late tomorrow evening. It’s absurd. The meeting agenda that was presented when she requested they all leave their families during a holiday week has now drastically changed. What Hubs was originally viewing as a good opportunity for discussion before the beginning of the year (albeit bad timing) has now turned into a seemingly complete waste of time and soooooooo not worth his time away from home. Had this trip been scheduled for actual work, it still would have bummed me out, but since it’s turned into an opportunity for management to do a little more micro-managing, I’m left going…W.T.F. I mean, really, if it’s so important to not allow vacation during this time of the year, why in the world is it appropriate to drag your entire sales force to Minnesota…taking them completely out of commission for a day and half, bumping up against a holiday? It has just REALLY rubbed me the wrong way. I think it shows a major flaw in his management team and it shows a complete disregard for the work/life balance of a traveling sales team. I realize they didn’t ask my opinion, and I’m sure they have really good reasons for doing it RIGHT NOW but it really sucks for those of us left on the home front reading facebook and twitter updates about everyone else enjoying time with their friends and family. I guess the good news is that when he finally gets home tomorrow night, he’s off Wednesday and Friday. I say “I guess” because we’re traveling (with the little one, and all her stuff), staying with family (SHUDDER), I’m told I have a birthday in there somewhere (that will be completely over-shadowed and treated as an afterthought), and I don’t think those 3 days are going to be particularly enjoyable…but that’s another post for another day.

PS: I’m doing a very poor job of “managing” this household right now; and I’m reminded of it constantly.

PPS: I’ve lost all control.  3 dogs for sale.  Or, better yet, 3 dogs – take them and I’ll pay you; I’ll pay you well.

PPPS: Pretty sure my agenda for the remainder of the day, tonight and tomorrow will include shopping, movie watching and maybe some cooking making.  Oh yeah, and laundry, packing, house-cleaning…all those pesky little details.  Damn, I’d almost forgotten I still have to prepare for the trip out of town.  Le sigh.