Over.

So.  School’s over for the year.  So are dance classes.  And here I sit on the eve of summer, and I’m scared.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but I’m scared.  I’m scared to spend all day, every day, with both my children.  I haven’t been in this position before so in addition to school being out and dance lessons being over, we’re throwing in a 9 week old that needs to be cared for.  It will be so very easy to spend each day in pajamas watching tv.  But I know I can’t let that happen.  It should be an interesting few weeks as A and I adjust to each other.  We’ll eventually fall into a routine that will include playing outside, crafts, maybe some baking and cooking and endless trips to the museum and zoo.  I’ve also signed her up for swim lessons, church camp (it’s only 4 days, 2 hours each evening), we’ll be taking a trip to see the in-laws over the 4th of July, A will spend a week with my parents in July and I’m still hoping to sneak a family beach trip in there somewhere.  I’m also seriously considering sending her to VBS at the church where she attends preschool.  We’ll see.

It’s a strange feeling to truly be fearful of spending time with your kid.  But I’m all about being honest here, and honestly, it scares me.  I’ve had so many reasons over the past 18 months or so to not be the best mom.  I was pregnant, then I wasn’t, then I was an emotional mess, then I was pregnant again, now I have a new baby.  But it’s time for me to get my proverbial shit together and be the best mom I can be.  I want my kids to remember their childhood fondly and endless episodes of Dora and Team Umizoomi only stick with you for so long and, given her age, I think I stand a good chance at leaving either a positive or negative impression on her childhood memories this summer.  I would also like to get back into the swing of things around the house.  Following my cleaning schedule, cooking dinner regularly (I actually do this one pretty darn well considering), perhaps a jog every now and then and also fitting in “me” time there somewhere.  These are all lofty goals when you factor in the new baby and lack of sleep.  But hey, a girl can dream right?

So here I sit, getting ready to embark on the Summer of 2012.  I know that each day I will wonder how my children will survive the remainder of the day; how I will survive the remainder of the day.  I know that each day I will look forward to bed time.  I know that each day I will catch myself sighing, or looking at my 3-year-old like she’s an alien sent to destroy me.  Some days my 3-year-old WILL be an alien sent to destroy me.  I’ll also, most likely, crack up each day.  And I’ll go to bed each night wondering if I did my best; recounting all the moments I could have done better.  I’ll spend my days trying to keep up with my kids, trying to maintain a house, trying to give my husband what he needs and around 5 each day decide I can’t, and pour myself a glass of wine.  Or grab a beer.  Or both.  I’ll juggle play-doh, markers, crayons, chalk, paint, glitter, stamps, diaper changes, time outside, errands, rocking the baby to sleep, nursing, and a whole host of other things on a daily basis.  I’ll try to keep my cool, remain calm and be consistent in my expectations of my children and how I discipline them.  I don’t want to yell…my mom yelled.  Hopefully I’ll make it to September and be happy with what I see behind me.  Now, I’m headed to bed to try to get some rest.  I want to start this summer off as rested as possible.  Cheers to the Summer of 2012 Y’all!

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38 plus 1

Well, I’m officially the most pregnant I’ve ever been.  I delivered A at 38 weeks exactly and today marks 38 weeks and 1 day of this pregnancy.  The past few days I’ve been feeling quite a few contractions and I’ve been fairly nauseated also.  I figured my body was prepping itself for labor and even went as far as telling my Hubs I was calling my symptoms early labor…that could last for a few hours or for many, many days.  My doctor’s appointment yesterday confirmed my thoughts as I’m 2-3 cms dilated, about 70% effaced and Baby C has started to scoot downwards.  Based on my conversation with my doc yesterday, I’m a walking time bomb.  I could truly go into labor at any time.  I have visions of my water breaking in public and I’ve decided to avoid upholstered furniture whenever possible.  However, she did start talking induction next Friday at 39 weeks.  Apparently she’s going to be out of town the week of Spring Break so if I don’t go into labor on my own before then, she’s more than happy to induce me early Friday, break my water around 8am and most likely have a baby before 5pm.  These are her words.  She also said she wouldn’t even consider it an induction at this point and more of an augmentation since I’m already in the early stages of labor.  I really don’t want an induction for purely convenience sake (I don’t have a problem with it at all, I was just hoping for a different experience this time around), but at the same time, I’m not entirely thrilled about not having my doctor there.  I trust her.  If everything goes according to plan, I won’t really need the doctor to do anything but catch the baby on the way out, but what if something happens?  I know she fully trusts her partners, and I’m even able to request another doctor or her midwife (I’ve already decided on the midwife) but I dunno.  We’re taking the weekend to talk and think about it.  I called back after leaving my appointment yesterday and spoke to sweet, calm Monica because I forgot to ask about a membrane sweep while I was there.  She agreed it was worth a shot so I’m scheduled for one on Tuesday morning with the midwife.  This works out well because it’s low intervention; it’s only going to work if my body is ready.  If it’s going to send me into labor, it will most likely happen within 24 hours which allows me to still deliver with my doc.  If it doesn’t, it still gives me time to get on the schedule for an induction on Friday.  Also, if we decided against the induction, I’ve been able to see the midwife again (her name is Lori) so she’ll know I’ve asked for her to deliver Baby C and we can chat a little about my plans.  I figure it’s worth a shot and Monica says Lori is REALLY good at membrane sweeps.  How’s that for something to add to your resume?

It’s supposed to be beautiful here this weekend and we’ll spend the weekend doing yard work and getting some last minute housework done.  I assume the Hubs and I will try to find some time to get jiggy with it too, since my doc swears that’s really the only “at home” remedy to help with labor.  I suppose I should also pack my hospital bag, which I STILL haven’t done.  Hubs DID get the actual bag out for me last night though, so we’re making progress.  Maggie has her annual checkup this morning and I think that’s the last errand on my list of stuff to do before Baby C gets here.  I don’t exactly know where my list is…I actually have several going at once.  She’s been coughing some so I’m slightly on edge about getting bad news, but she was coughing last year too, and it turned out to be allergies.  I’m crossing all my crossables that A is in a better mood today.  She’s been a force to be reckoned with this week and I really hate the thought of having to leave her suddenly for a few days to have a baby while she and I aren’t getting along.  I’m thinking she’ll probably get booted outside with the dogs for the majority of the day so hopefully it will be good for her soul.  And now, I think it’s time for a cup of coffee on the patio.

XOXO,

B

Three

My “baby” turned 3 yesterday.  I don’t think I handled it very well.  I layed in her bed with her Wednesday night and couldn’t stop crying.  There’s something so very sad and exciting about 3.  It seems so old.  I was fine with 1.  I was fine with 2.  But I’m having a hard time with 3.  She’s just so grown up these days (for example, she requested coffee this morning) and as fast as these past 3 years have gone, I know the next 3 will go even faster; and by that point, she’ll be in kindergarten.  We celebrated last night with a party at a local indoor bounce house place and we had a great time.  Hubs is off today, so we’ll spend the rest of today and the weekend hanging out, just the 3 of us.  I think we’ll visit the Stockyards this afternoon and we’re tossing around the idea of the Children’s Aquarium tomorrow.  We’re starting to feel the pressure to spend as much time, just the 3 of us, as we can.  Happy 3rd Birthday to my sweet little girl.  You’ve held so many surprises for me over the past 3 years, I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Now I’ll spend the next several days contemplating how this:

A- birth

turned into this:

A - 3

What a great day.

Gosh, I had a truly wonderful day today.  While nothing extraordinary happened, I thought it would be nice to blog about a lazy, uninspired day that was really great.  Being a mother is awesome, and I rarely find something to complain about with regards to being a mother; but parenting is hard folks.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or not doing it correctly.  So talking about the good times, as a parent, seems like a good idea.

Hubs had a 7am flight to catch, meaning he left the house at 5am, meaning he was up at 4am, which also means I was up at 4am.  I used to be able to sleep right through his getting ready in the mornings, not real sure what’s going on right now.  Anyways, after he left around 5am, I went back to sleep until 8:30!  Between 7 and 7:30 is the normal wake-up time around here.  I had asked him to put Goose in her kennel so she wouldn’t wake us up and it worked!  Both A and I snoozed until 8:30.  I needed it and so did she thanks to 2 late nights in a row.  We got up, had breakfast and to top it all off, it’s been a relatively successful potty training day around here!  She got enough stickers on her chart to get a new Beanie Baby (thanks to a large stash I had from high-school when it was all the rage to collect them) and went all day without an accident.  I’m admittedly kind of half-assing the whole potty training thing, but she keeps waking up dry in the mornings and holding it for long periods of time so I don’t feel like I can completely ignore this opportunity.  She still fights me to sit on the potty and always whines and, occasionally, screams and cries, but she’s just so proud of herself after she’s done and she’s so excited to put a sticker on her chart.  The Beanie Babies help too…she gets one after she gets 5 stickers…even though the LAST thing we need in this house is more stuffed animals of any kind.  Oh well.  I decided to give her Cheerios for breakfast.  In a bowl, with milk.  She loved it and did really well with her spoon.  After breakfast we watched tv.  We laid in bed for a while watching cartoons and I would occasionally get up and do something productive.  After a few shows we sang some songs and did some puzzles.  It was about time for lunch where she proceeded to eat all of her peanut butter sandwich (hold the jelly), all her pretzels and her entire cup of applesauce.  Mealtimes are normally a battle in our house so I was really pleased with both breakfast and lunch!  I was able to easily put her down for a nap and had some nice down time to eat my own lunch, take a shower and re-install her car seat in my car since I’d taken it out to wash the liner over the weekend.  I ended up waking her up after 2 1/2 hours because if I let her go these days, she’ll snooze for 3-4 hours.  That doesn’t bode very well for bed time.  After her nap we got dressed and ran a quick errand.  I needed to return something at the mall and while I was there decided to let her play at their indoor playground.  And oh by the way, how cool would it be to be so fascinated with something as simple as an escalator?  It’s like we were at an amusement park…We came home, watched a little more tv, ate dinner, took a bath then off to bed.

So you see, nothing spectacular happened, but there’s been very little crying and drama today and I’m functioning on enough sleep so I know my attitude is better which I think is KEY.  This week has the potential of being really rough as Hubs left this morning and won’t be back until Friday evening.  I don’t think he’s ever been gone that long.  I’m really glad our week started out so pleasantly and I’m thrilled to finally have a day where I feel I succeeded as a parent instead of failing.  My hormones are completely wonky these days, which is to be expected, but it’s still stressful.  And frankly, a 3-year-old is hard.  I needed a little reassurance that I’m not totally failing as her mother as things around here have been a little tense as of late.

I’ll know more after my appointment next week, but as of my last appointment it seems that Baby C may have flipped into the correct position all on her own.  My doc will begin internal exams next week (she thinks I’m a riot since I told her thanks for the warning and I’d be sure to “tidy up” for her, only I’m much more crass than that and so is she) and will be able to confirm her position at that time.  I haven’t totally ruled out the possibility of a c-section, but I did manage to scour up the motivation to finish up my Hypnobirthing book just in case.  The only complaints I have are feeling tired and a little achy and my ridiculous acid reflux.  I’m thankful to be at home and have the opportunity to rest whenever I feel the need.  My acid reflux is another story.  I doesn’t seem to matter what I eat, drink, don’t eat or don’t drink.  It’s horrible all day long and wakes me up at least once a night.  I take meds morning and night and chew Tums all day long.  Oh well, I just need to hold on for a few more weeks.  I’ve been told apple cider vinegar works wonders…I’m seriously thinking of trying it.

Since I’m feeling happy and thrilled about my girl today, I thought I’d be brave and post a recent picture of her.  It will most likely end up being taken down soon once I think about all the crazies surfing the Internet, but for now, here’s my little girl.  🙂  And for the record, she’s ridiculously tall with dirty blonde hair and big, icy blue eyes.  Her daddy has his work cut out for him.

A

Turd in the Tub

Don’t laugh.  Because if you’re reading this it’s because you have either experienced the turd in the tub or expect to experience the turd in the tub at some point in your life.

WARNING: Potty talk and poop discussion to follow…carry on…

I was giving A her bath last night, which is humourous in itself given my current size.  Each night I wonder if she actually needs a bath, but yesterday morning I brushed dried yogurt out of her hair (to my credit, I didn’t know it was there to begin with) so I figured I should suck it up and bathe the child.  During the course of the bath she started to fidget.  She got squirmy (more so than usual) and started grabbing her, uh, we call them her girl parts around here.  I asked her what was wrong, she said her bottom hurt.  “Crap, I thought to myself, she’s got a UTI.”  I’ve been accused of being slightly dramatic.  So I asked her if she needed to go potty.  She said no.  I asked her if it hurt when she went potty, she said yes.  “Damn, poor baby.  I’ve had my fair share of UTI’s and they hurt.  Guess I’ll call the doc in the morning.”  Then all of a sudden she was fine.  A few minutes later, she assumes one of her many (pooping) positions and starts grabbing herself again.  Aha!  Not a dreaded UTI, she has to poop!  “Do you need to go poo-poo?” I ask her.  She says no.  I ask again, she says yes.  I tell her NOT to go in the tub.  Then I ask her if she wants to sit on the potty.  Of course, she refuses.  It doesn’t matter that she’s almost 3.  She refuses to go near the potty.  She actually demanded that I return the Minnie Mouse undies I bought her a few months ago.  “You take them back to the store, Mommy!” she says to me.  Doesn’t seem to matter that we’re already using the largest size Pampers makes.  Eh, no biggie, I figure in a few years it will be a nice mother-daughter bonding experience to go shopping for our adult diapers together.  That’ll teach her.

So I frantically start to make my way to my feet.  No easy task these days.  Let’s not forget the fact my legs and feet always fall asleep when I sit on the ground so I’m hobbling around while it feels like there’s a million ants crawling on my legs.  At this point she’s begging for a diaper.  I get her out of the tub, wrap her in a towel and then I see it.  The dreaded turd in the tub.  It wasn’t much, but let’s be honest, isn’t any size turd in the tub too much?  “Gross!” I think to myself.  I don’t want my delicate, fragile child to think I find her turds disgusting.  Surely that will damage her psyche, right?  I fish her numerous toys out of the water before they, too, become infected with turd germs.  I make a beeline for her room and tell her get a move on…we’ve got to get her in a diaper…she’s not done yet.  So there I stand in her room and there’s no A following me.  I call to her.  No answer.  “Crap,” I think to myself (literally) “She’s going to poop all over the floor.”  I pour Miralax down her like it’s going out of style.  We’ve had “issues” since she was about 6 months old.  This would have been no easy clean-up.  So I hike it back to the bathroom (ok, fine, it’s only across the hall) only to find her half-naked in the bathroom curiously inspecting the towel that is now only covering half of her.  The thoughts of her impending poop long gone.  I pick her up, carry her to her room and quickly put a diaper on her.  I keep a container of Clorox wipes in the bathroom, mainly to do a quick wipe-down of counters, toilets and floors while she’s in the tub.  Last night I was very thankful for the Clorox wipes to clean up the tub.  She never did finish, by the way.  I pity the person who has to change that diaper.  It will probably be me, but there’s also a good chance her preschool teacher may be the lucky recipient today.

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.

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.

A Teaching Moment

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
– Albert Einstein

One should never stop learning.  It doesn’t matter how old you are, how much education you have obtained, there is always something new to be learned.  It can be something as simple as following a recipe and creating a dish you’ve never before tried, or it can be a highly complicated lesson in life.

Hubs spent the majority of this past week in San Antonio.  Not only was he gone, but he was busy for about 12 hours each day and unavailable to communicate except the occasional text.  It sucked.  But we made it through and we’re quite enjoying a nice weekend right now.  My mom will often visit when Hubs is out of town; To keep me company and to visit A.  She’ll make her way to my house after work putting her here around 6:30, play with A until she goes to bed, my mom and I will have a wine-induced conversation that always revolves around the same topics, we’ll go to bed and she’ll leave the house around 6:30 the following morning…making it a very early day around here.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate my mom’s efforts, especially to visit A, but the visit this week left my head spinning.

My mom was born and raised in backwoods Michigan.  Her family is, well, different.  They’re not bad people, just have really different views about life and what is socially acceptable.  My mom in one of 6 siblings and joined the Air Force when she turned 18 just to get the hell outta dodge.  I’m thankful everyday for that decision.  Had she not left, she wouldn’t have met my father and I wouldn’t be here…or at the very least wouldn’t be the person I am today.  My mom made it a point to keep my sister and I away from her family for the most part.  When we were younger, we would visit my grandparents, aunts and uncles once a year, but it was always obvious my sister and I lived a VERY different life than our aunts, uncles and cousins.  I would say we lived a terribly sheltered childhood…but the values and morals we were raised with were much different from those of my relatives up North.  My grandmother passed away when I was in college, on July 4th none the less.  I was with friends drinking beer and shooting off fireworks.  I didn’t go to her funeral.  My grandfather lives several more years, but was ill.  He developed Alzheimer’s and it was especially difficult for my mom.  She was always closer to her dad.  He passed away after I had graduated, and I did attend his funeral.  I haven’t been back since.  While I was there, my mom, sister and I visited my grandparents house and gathered a few mementos to take home with us.  My grandmother sewed, I have a few instructional sewing books that I took from her house…someday I’ll teach myself to sew.  My grandfather was a Veteran, from him I have a shell casing from the 21-gun salute from his funeral.

That’s a very short and rough overview.  But it leads me to this: Growing up, it was always, always, always expected that my sister and I would attend college, graduate, and make more of ourselves than my mother did.  It was her life’s mission to ensure her kids had a better life.  After all, she’s gone through a lot to get us in a different place geographically, made herself the black sheep of the family by living with different morals and values and she married into a family that didn’t immediately love her right away.  For me, it never seemed like an option.  I was to graduate high-school, graduate from college (not just attend) get a job and support myself.  It was never a conversation that was had…it was just understood.  My sister, apparently, didn’t come to the same conclusions I did, but more on that later.
I wanted to attend Texas A&M for as long as I can remember.  I wasn’t an especially great student, mostly because I did just fine on my own and I don’t think my parents pushed me hard enough.  So when it came time to apply, no big shock that I wasn’t accepted.  I managed to convince my parents to let me move to College Station anyways so I could attend the junior college there.  I did great, busted my butt (no easy feat when the professors at the junior college are the same ones at the big university down the street) and got myself into A&M.  I had taken a Psychology class at Blinn and loved it.  I loved everything about it, so when it came time to choose a major, I chose Psychology.  It fascinated me, I understood it and I never wanted to miss a class.  Most of my classes were lectures and I found myself hanging on every word said.  I did really well in all my Psyc classes…except Statistics, but who cares.  I graduated with a BS in Psychology…my diploma still (and ALWAYS) proudly displayed in our home.  The problem with a BS in Psychology is there is very little you can do with it.  Aside from continuing your education and getting a Masters and possibly Phd, you may as well have a degree in General Studies.  Hubs and I graduated in 2003, the job market wasn’t exactly stellar.  I worked the whole time I was in school on a part-time basis but that doesn’t really go over so well once you have this magical piece of paper that’s supposed to land you the job of your dreams.  I had trouble finding a job and ended up in Human Resources for a local Pawn Shop company.  It wasn’t a bad job, but it was full of “difficult to work with” people.  It was a learning experience.  I was miserable and for a short time decided my calling was to sell real estate.  I quit the HR job (after receiving a promotion) and well, didn’t do the real estate thing.  Looking back, I don’t know what the hell we were thinking, we couldn’t survive on Hubs’ income alone at that point.  I wasn’t yet a Dave Ramsey convert.  So I went searching for another job and this time, ended up as an Admin for a staffing agency.  After I few years, I was promoted to Lead Admin and that was the last job I held.

aggie rings

Our Aggie rings...very proud of these babies.


Here’s what I thought happened…I went to high school, never got into trouble.  Went to college, busted my butt to get into the school I wanted to be at.  Picked a major that interested me and graduated…ON TIME.  Got married, found a job, bought a house, got promoted at my job.  Left said job since I was miserable, realized we needed additional income and found another job.  Found said job, did well and got a promotion at THAT job.  All the while we traveled, saved, did fun stuff, participated in life and decided to have a baby.  Once A was here, I was able to quit my job because we had planned for it and now I’m a full time stay-at-home-mom with a husband that travels a good chunk of the time.  We still travel, participate in life, are able to pay all our bills, save, lived to tell the tale about the twins, and decided to have ANOTHER baby.  While I don’t go through life thinking I’m all that, I think I’ve done pretty well.  I’m grateful everyday for my parents’ ability and willingness to pay for my college, but I’ve never asked them for much money-wise.  Hubs and I have been solely self-sufficient for quite sometime.  And we’ve made a nice little life for ourselves and we’re happy.  As happy as we can be with all the challenges we’ve faced.

So here’s the lesson I learned.  My mom started with this statement; “If you would have told me 10 years ago this is what our life would look like…”
She bagan to tell me that she didn’t think Hubs and I would ever have kids.  This is a fair statement…I never wanted kids.  She then proceeded to tell me she thought I would have pursued higher education, gotten my Masters and maybe Phd and would be practicing somewhere…kidless.  She didn’t say this, but the insinuation was “and not just be a stay-at-home-mom”.  She went on to say she thought my sister would have been a vet specializing in equine opthamology (WHAT THE EFF?!?!) and would have met someone at school and would be married by now.  My poor sister.  She wouldn’t have pictured herself leaving her job here and starting all over in a career at 50.  In my head I was like, well, that was your choice to move, but whatevs.

My head was spinning.  My mom has never told me she’s proud of my ability to stay home, she makes comments about how I’m a good mom and such, but she’s never given me the pat-on-the-back about being at home with A and (hopefully) Earl.  “How can she not be proud of me?” is all I could think.  The truth is, my mom was home with us until my sister was 4.  My dad lost his job and she had to go back to work.  She’s always had the guilt that goes along with leaving your kids and I don’t think she’s ever gotten over it.  Maybe she’s worried someday I may face the same issue and she doesn’t want that for me.  The truth is, I know she didn’t mean it the way it came out.  She would be HORRIFIED and DEVASTATED if she knew how I interpreted the conversation.  The thing is, I learned a VERY important lesson on Tuesday night.  It is okay to have expectations of your children.  It is not okay, however, to have very specific expectations of your children.  To have such specific expectations sets your kids up for failure…no matter what they do with their life.  I haven’t quite figured out what I want for A and for Earl, but I learned, very clearly, that my expectations need to be broad.  I’m not mad and I’m not even all that upset about the conversation.  More than anything, I’m thankful for the early lesson…thankful to learn something so profound while my kiddos are still young enough for me to make a change in the way I parent them.

54 Days

Until Christmas.  54 days people.  I’m stressed.  Not so much because Christmas is right around the corner…it happens to be my most favorite time of year.  But if Christmas is only 54 days away, that means I am quickly running out of time to prepare for this baby.  It’s not like we need “stuff”, but we do need somewhere to put her.  And honestly, the biggest task in front of us is gutting the guest room, refinishing the walls and moving A into her new room.  I doubt we’ll even paint the nursery…even though I really think grey walls would work better.  But I digress…

I’m feeling stressed about all the financials too.  I don’t really know why, I think it’s because in order to get everything ready it will mean a good chunk of money flying out the window and I tend to like to hoard the money around here.  I’m also stressed about the fact that our weekends seem to be over-whelming and there just isn’t anytime for Hubs and I to spend together.  Alone.  To actually complete a conversation or even for me to complete a thought or sentence before A needs something or the dog steals something off the table and requires chasing.  I wish the evenings were better too, but I’m so dang tired by noon 3:00 8:00 all I want to do is lay on the couch.  It’s the wrong time of year to be stressed.  It’s supposed to be a happy time of year and yet, I can’t get this nagging feeling that I’m going to forget something or not complete something out of my head.  In some ways it feels too early to shop for Christmas presents.  On the other hand…I have basically decided what I’m purchasing, so why not go ahead and get the shopping out of the way?  I’ve never understood the excitement about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  For me, it always meant black-eyed peas.  This year though, I totally get wanting to move on.  To leave 2011 behind me and get the hell on with life.  There have been a lot of great things that have happened, but it’s also been the year that I’ve experienced the most tragedy in my life.  I don’t want to wish the time away, and I completely understand that everything that has happened this year is molding me into the person I’m meant to be, and yet, I can’t help but feel that I am so over 2011 and ready for 2012 to get here.

And my house is messy.  And that stresses me out too.  I just can’t seem to keep up.  For a while it was easy to pick up after A and keep all her toys corralled in her room or in the toy cabinet in the den.  These days she drags stuff out faster than I can put it away and it drives me nuts.  I HATE having toys all over the place.  I don’t want my house to look like a daycare.  Her toys have a home…in her room.  She just has so much dang stuff and she keeps getting more.  Every time I turn around someone is giving her something; toys, clothes (OMG the clothes…).  I know they all mean well and I don’t want to take away the joy her grandparents, great-grandparents and aunts get from buying for her, but geez…our home is being over-taken.  Seriously.  That’s also adding to my stress about Christmas.  All the new STUFF I’m going to have to find a home for.  Then her birthday is 2 months later.  Then we’re adding a new baby.  I know our home is more than large enough to accommodate 4 people, but it feels like we’re busting at the seams.  I need to get rid of stuff, that’s the bottom line, but I feel so guilty getting rid of anything that belongs to A…it’s hers after all and I tend to be very sentimental.

To top it all off, I seem to have an infection under the nail of my pointer finger on my right hand.  It hurts like hell.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m going to the doctor this afternoon and hopefully getting a simple antibiotic to treat it.  I try to avoid the doctor like the plague, but the fact that I may have contracted a staph infection or some disgusting bacteria from the Children’s Aquarium I visited on Saturday has me scared enough to get it checked out.  When I called this morning I was told the Nurse Practitioner I’ve seen for the past 6 years (whom I ADORED) was no longer with the practice, I almost cried.  I was Googling his name on the iPad before I even got off the phone.  I’ll track him down and switch practices, but in the mean time I have an appointment this afternoon with a doctor I haven’t seen in half a decade.  Yay.

I think I’ll go try to pick up a little around here.  Although, the package of Whoppers I just ate isn’t sitting so well so I may just plop down on the couch instead and look upon all the toys in the den with hatred while I try to catch up on Private Practice.

19 weeks

19 weeks. I’m 19 weeks today, people. This is a big deal…I’m officially to/past the point I was with the twins. Do I feel better? Not really, but the tons of movement I felt when I woke up this morning did put a smile on my face. I’m pretty sure it was hiccups too. A had them constantly when I was pregnant with her. My big anatomy scan is 1 week away and I’m crossing all my crossables that all looks 100% healthy. Maybe I can relax after thar, but probably not.

I have it in my head to take some belly shots during all my free time this weekend (snort) so we can all admire my halfway-point belly. In other news, I’d been feeling fine but I’m feeling slightly nauseous today…probably thanks to those late night skittles. A and I are going to attempt the Halloween event at our zoo once she gets up from her nap and then I’m getting a much needed girls night out with my sister-in-law that includes a massage and dinner and whatever other antics we can come up with.