Here’s a conversation I never thought I’d have…

First, a pregnancy update.  I had my 36 week check-up yesterday (even though I won’t technically be 36 weeks until tomorrow) and I’m very thankful that my doc was able to confirm Baby C is finally head down.  It looks as though I’m able to table my concerns about a scheduled c-section due to a breech baby.  Weekly internal exams started yesterday and I’ve made basically no progress and Baby C is still riding high…which I kind of knew based on the butt and occasional foot in my ribcage.  I go back again next Friday, which is the same appointment with A I learned I was already 3 cm dilated.  We’ll see what happens over the next 10 days.  While I’d like for Baby C to bake as long as she needs to, I’ll be thrilled with some amount of progress at my next appointment.

The Hubs’ travel schedule has been INSANE.  Even he says so.  He was home Monday and Tuesday though and he came home from work Monday night with flowers for me and A.  He got A a potted Hyacinth plant that smells wonderful.  It’s in her room now, but we’ll put it in the ground eventually and I’ll do my best to keep it alive.  For me, he layed a dozen dark pink/light pink roses in my lap.  I was lounging in bed when he got home…no big surprise there.  After a few minutes he said, “My only request is that you take 2 of the roses and…” then he gestured to the top of our chest of drawers where the urn containing the twins’ ashes sits amongst our wedding photos.  I was speechless for a few minutes.  And I was surprised…which is almost impossible to do.  The fact that he even had to think about getting flowers for the twins is heartbreaking, yet, at the same time, why wouldn’t he think to get ALL his girls flowers on Valentine’s Day?  The whole conversation caught me off guard and made me equally sad and proud at the same time.  On one hand, there’s the realization there is no ending to the twins’ story.  There will always be Christmas, Valentine’s Day, their birthday…days that are special and meaningful to us where we want to honor their memory and the part they’ve played (and will continue to play) in our lives.  And I was immensely proud to be married to a man who is so very thoughtful and unafraid to show his love and devotion to ALL his children, even those that didn’t join our family in the way we had intended.  It made my heart swell; one of those “I think I just fell in love with you all over again” moments.  And if that wasn’t enough emotion for one evening, A pipes up and says, “I sure wish Baby C had a flower.”  Oh, the logic and the love of a 3-year-old.  And so, of my 12 roses, 2 are in a vase in our bedroom for Megyn and Whitney, 1 is in a vase for Baby C in her room and the remaining 9 are in a vase on the kitchen table.  And I’m okay with that.

twins' flowers

Megyn and Whitney's roses

c's flower

Baby C's rose, waiting for her in her room.

a's flowers

A's flowers

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I’m starting to believe…

No, not in Tim Tebow.  I was already a believer in Tebow…but I digress.

I’m starting to believe these fortune cookie fortunes are more than just coincidence.  Now, I’m a smart person.  I know these fortunes are mass-produced and randomly stuck into fortune cookies, shipped all over the world and there is no rhyme or reason to who gets what.  But I dunno, I kind of like believing in a higher power that works through something as simple as a fortune cookie to remind people to stay on track; stay the course…to remind them of their goals and dreams.  After my last post about my New Year’s fortune, Hubs finally opened his this weekend.  Now, if you’ve been following along at all, you know that the Hubs and I have some big plans.  That’s why his fortune kind of gave me goosebumps.

fortune 2

If you’re interested…here’s the long version of why this particular fortune is so cool.

I’m feeling somewhat melancholy today.  Hubs’ travel schedule has been fairly light since about Thanksgiving.  He’s traveled some, but not much.  He’s also had quite a bit of time off work and we’ve spent a lot of time together as a family.  He left today on the first trip of MANY over the next month and a half.  I knew it was coming and I understand why he has to put in so much travel right now, but it’s still hard.  It’s always hardest to have him leave when he’s been home for a while.  It takes me some time to re-adjust to being alone.  In addition, I’m feeling slightly anxious about adding a new baby.  I’ve treated this pregnancy as an after thought much of the time.  Partly out of fear, partly out of necessity since I have another child to care for.  We’ve been working like crazy to get A moved into her new room.  It’s coming together but still isn’t done and in the process I’ve completely destroyed the nursery.  Just walking past the room makes me nervous because it’s in SUCH disarray.  Not that Baby C will care what her room looks like, but I’d really like for it to be done before she gets here.

I’m starting to experience some sadness about A not being an only child anymore too.  I don’t think that helps my feelings regarding the heavy travel schedule; it just adds to my desire to have my family home.  Together, and close by.  I keep trying to tell myself giving her a sibling is an awesome gift, but I’m not sure I can fathom life with more than just her.  I’m not worried about loving another child, or having room in my heart for another child, I just find myself unable to grasp the concept of another child in this house.  The logistics are mind-boggling.  It’s been just me and A for so long, I know so much about her and I am able to devote so much of myself to her.  I know that just won’t be possible once Baby C gets here and it makes me sad.  I wish it didn’t, it feels like I’m doing Baby C a disservice and she’s not even here yet.  Makes me want to really dig in and savor these last weeks with just A.

I find myself worrying about silly things.  Getting upset about situations that haven’t even come to fruition.  I’m feeling fearful about the safety of Hubs and A…given the events that play out in my head you’d think I watch too much Lifetime TV, but I don’t.  Not at all actually.  I know it’s the hormones, but it makes me feel like a crazy person.  I’m doing better believing that Baby C will make a safe arrival, but I still have moments of sheer panic that send me running walking quickly usually kind of limping (since my feet and legs constantly fall asleep) for a glass of water or frantically tapping my belly to get some movement out of her.  As we start to make strides towards ACTUALLY getting our home ready for another baby I can’t help but wonder, what if?  I put off doing pretty much anything until after Christmas.  I just wasn’t confident enough to get anything started.  I fully believe tragedy can strike again.  I had such a hard time ordering my glider last week.  The last time I placed an order for furniture, I had to send my mom to the store the next day to un-order said furniture.  To top it all off, I have more contractions each day than I care to admit.  I know they’re normal.  I know they don’t “mean” anything.  But it’s still nerve-wracking.  I never had early contractions with A, so this is fairly new territory.  I plan to mention it to my doc at my appointment on Friday.  I’ll be 32 weeks.  I’m aware that if Baby C were to show up now, her chances of survival are very good, but we’d obviously be dealing with a long stint in the NICU.  I’d like to avoid it and I just keep telling myself, despite the daily contractions, she’s not coming until March.

On a lighter note, since it’s Tuesday, and I pretty much ALWAYS go to Target on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, I had to laugh at my purchases today.  1 box of mac and cheese for A.  1 box of shells and cheese for me.  1 frozen cheese pizza for us to share.  1 box of individual deep dish cheese pizzas for me.  1 bag of sour cream and onion potato chips.  And 1 box of maxi pads for, uh, various reasons.  I was embarrassed as I checked out.  I’m still slightly embarrassed, but only slightly.

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.

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.

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.

Contrary to popular belief…

I have not fallen off the face of the earth.  I am in fact, alive and (mostly) well.  It’s been a difficult few weeks, I’m not gonna lie.  I’ve been a mess of emotions since I’m still not out of what I’ve deemed the “scary zone.”  I’m feeling Earl move on an almost daily basis…several times a day, but it only pacifies me for a few moments.  I kind of wish I could permanently attach the doppler to my stomach and wear an earpiece constantly.  I just can’t shake the “what-if” feeling of something going horribly wrong…that one day things will be fine and the next day, they’re not.  And I’ll have no clue…there just won’t be a heartbeat one day.  It’s a rough position to be in, and I try not to focus on it too much since the Hubs and little A don’t seem to be suffering from the same emotional strain I am and I don’t want to drag them down.  In addition, I’m still feeling pretty crummy.  In fact, Sunday was particularly rough (threw-up everything I’d eaten that day on Sunday night) and it hasn’t been much fun since then.  I went to bed with a headache last night and woke up with the same headache this morning.  Or perhaps it was a close relative of last night’s headache…who knows.  I’ve had Tylenol and Starbucks this morning and it’s just.not.helping.  I feel queasy and pathetic.  I’m totally useless these days.  Pretty sure Hubs is looking to trade me in for a newer, more highly-functioning model.

In other news, we’re struggling with A.  She was a really difficult baby.  She was just high-maintenance and didn’t sleep through the night for 13 months.  Once she got into the routine of sleeping through the night, she’s been a great sleeper.  Goes to bed well and sleeps soundly until morning; rarely waking up in the middle of the night.  We didn’t even have any issues when we moved her out of her crib and into the toddler bed.  She made the transition seamlessly and that was months ago.  A few weeks ago on a Friday night, she just wouldn’t go to sleep.  It was almost 11 when she finally passed out in my bed.  It’s been on-going since then and in addition to not going to sleep at night she doesn’t want to go to school and wouldn’t go to Sunday School this past Sunday.  We took her into the service and she started quietly crying while her dad was holding her and continued to silently cry while I had her.  It was heartbreaking (imagine tears silently streaming down your child’s face) so I made my way out to the lobby with her where I spent the majority of Sunday’s service.  I guess she was scared by the loud music and all the new faces.  We’ve tried everything at night.  We started with Tylenol thinking maybe a growth spurt or something was causing some muscle aches.  I’ve considered taking her to the doctor just to make sure she’s not sick in some way (although she seems just fine during the day)  We’ve tried explaining to her that mommy and daddy are just in the next room, we’ll be in to check on her after she’s asleep and that we’ll be here in the morning when she gets up.  I’ve tried waking her up from her marathon naps just to make sure it wasn’t an issue of her needing less sleep.  I even got her to tell me she’s afraid of the dark (something about bats and spiders) so we went this past weekend and bought her a nightlight.  Nothing has helped.  Last night was the last straw, I was in her room for the 2nd time since putting her to bed and she had a death grip on my arm.  She still wouldn’t go to sleep so I told her I was leaving and would be back to check on her.  She freaked out and started bawling…and she got out of bed and basically chased after me as I tried to leave her room.  My heart breaks just thinking about it.  Needless to say, I stayed with her until she fell asleep.  I don’t know what else to do except stay with her.  She obviously has some sort of fear about me leaving and healthy or not, I’m just not sure I can listen to her cry from fear.  We I didn’t make her cry it out as an infant, I really don’t think I can do it now.  She’s obviously scared of something…you can see it on her face when we go back into her room.  To make matters worse, she’s more intently fighting preschool these days.  She actually fussed a little bit this morning when I dropped her off.  Thank God the teacher had some animals set up in the room so  she was distracted enough to go play with them.  I’m concerned on a number of levels.  I’m worried that I’m not doing something right and that translates into her not having the confidence she needs to be alone.  I’m worried this issue won’t resolve itself before Earl gets here…and then it’s just going to be 100 times worse.  I’m worried I can’t take much more of her separation anxiety before it breaks me; I’m already a hormonal, emotional mess and I just feel so badly for her.  I’m at a loss and I feel totally helpless.  I have no idea who to ask for advice or answers.  I’m terrified of the next several weeks when Hubs gets back on the road and it’s just me (only functioning at about 40%), a cranky, sleep-deprived toddler suffering from a severe case of separation anxiety (I guess?) and 3 dogs that seem to be determined to see me off to the looney-bin.

Deep breath.

I promise to try and have better news soon.  I wanted to take a belly shot this weekend, but not only do I not seem to be getting much bigger, I couldn’t find anything decent to wear.  Hopefully soon I’ll feel up to it.  I’m working on a plan to announce the gender to our family once we find out in a few weeks.  I really don’t feel like making phone calls from the parking garage this time, so I’ve come up with a few ideas.  We’ll see how it all works out.

I’m having a bad parenting day.  My day started out with promise, but has quickly gone south.  And before I delve into the details, I must note that the hardest part of parenting for me right now is the immediate thought that I have no business having another child if I can’t control the one I already have.  I find myself stunned and almost hysterical when A misbehaves because I have no, and I mean NO experience in handling or disciplining children.  I’m totally and completely learning as I go.  I also find myself embarrassed (seriously, I blush) when it happens in public and I have a noticeable belly.  I feel like I’m being judged by everyone in the store about how I can’t handle 1, how is she going to handle 2?

Up until very recently, I assumed I was doing a good job.  Then, about a month ago, my child morphed into the toddler I’ve always dreaded.  She’s found her own voice and realized she has the ability to say “no” to things she doesn’t want to do.  This is sometimes ok, as I usually give her options, but when it comes to her behavior in public I expect her to do exactly as I say, when I say it.  And I expect her to act on things she’s already learned.  If she has to learn a new behavior, fine, but 99% of the time, she knows exactly what’s expected of her.

We put A in dance classes over the summer, mostly just to give her something to do since she wasn’t in school.  There were 6 classes and while the 1st one had a dim outlook (I spent most of the class sitting on the floor beside her) the rest of the classes went great.  She was excited about class, willingly participated and begged to go back each time class ended.  She was excited about starting classes again today, even picked out a brand new leotard on her own that we went back and purchased for her last night.  I showed up expecting no resistance and a really fun experience for her.  My expectations were totally off.  She didn’t want to go into class without me.  Once there, she wanted to play on the floor, bang on the walls and be a general nuisance to the rest of the class.  About halfway through the first part, she finally showed some interest in participating so I snuck out.  Only to find her bawling a few moments later.  One of the instructors had A in her lap and she calmed down, so I stayed outside the room.  The girls come out halfway through the class to change from ballet shoes to tap shoes.  A ran out smiling, asked for her tap shoes, and ran back into class yelling, “Bye Mommy!”  I thought everything was fine.  About halfway through the tap portion of the class (which she kind of did her own thing instead of following directions) I noticed her wiping her nose.  And of course, a few minutes later, she’s playing with a sticky booger on her fingers.  I wasn’t 100% sure it was a booger since they were doing the Itsy Bitsy Spider song, but I grabbed a tissue in case.  Now, here’s where I *think* I messed up.  I didn’t want to barge into class to clean her nose.  I’d already been in the class once and there are 3 instructors and maybe 9 girls.  More than enough to come ask me to clean her nose/face.  In no way do I expect them to do it, but they’re running the class (I wanted to respect that) and I figured if she truly was playing with a booger, and not trying to do the hand motions to the song, they’d come get me.  As I’m having this internal battle with myself, I see my child push a little girl beside her.  I was stunned.  As if that wasn’t enough, I watched her, twice, scoot next to this same girl and sort of bump her out of the way.  I was horrified.  I was the only parent that had to sit in the class, my kid is the one wiping snot all over her face and playing with a booger and now, she’s the class bully.  I just knew I was getting death stares from all the other moms.  I was frozen.  I wasn’t sure what to do.  My first instinct was to blow through the door and march her little butt right of there and into a corner.  I really didn’t care how much of a scene it caused.  My child has never, that I have witnessed, pushed, shoved or hit another child.  I don’t know if this is a learned behavior and maybe she picked it up at preschool (I plan to ask on Thursday) or the church nursery.  Whenever we’re at a play ground or play area, I always have eyes on her.  I also always tell her to “play nice” and she’s often the one hugging other kids.  She’s not naturally a bully.  And if I witness this behavior again, she will forever fear the wrath of her mother.  I will not stand for pushing, hitting, shoving, biting, not physical aggression of any kind.  Now, again, I was waiting for one of the 3 instructors to step in, but they didn’t.  Looking back, I really doubt they noticed.  And to be honest, I didn’t see what happened leading up to the little shoving incident, the other girl could have very well done something to A.  Not that that makes it ok AT ALL.  About the time I was going to drag her little hiney out of there and put the fear of God into her, one of the instructors came to tell me we needed a tissue.  I pulled her outside and cleaned up her face.  Something was wrong; she immediately said she wanted to watch TV and she wanted her blankie and bottle (she uses an empty bottle as a pacifier…never took a pacifier but picked up an empty bottle about 18 months and hasn’t let go since, sigh).  I was beyond pissed at this point.  I asked her about the shoving and she didn’t really respond…no surprise seeing as how she’s only 2.5.  Just kept insisting she wanted her blankie and bottle and wanted to watch TV.  After I cleaned up her face I tried to get her to go back into class, but that wasn’t happening.  So of course, a small battle ensued when I needed to put her tennis shoes on her and she decided to sprawl out on the floor instead.  Once she was finally changed, I hung my head in shame as we left early.  I’m so embarrassed, I’m beyond pissed and I’m at a complete loss.  We’ll be trying class again next week and hopefully things will be fine.  She whined the whole way home about wanted to watch TV, to which I told her absolutely not.  That led to a meltdown once we made it home, where she ended up in time-out and then got sent to her room screaming and crying about TV.  She finally calmed down, we read some books, she played on her own a bit, we had lunch and I’ve put her down for a nap.  Hopefully the afternoon will be better.

The hardest part of all of this is feeling like a single parent.  I think most stay-at-home-moms feel this way.  You deal day in and day out with the same shiiit.  It’s the same battles, over and over again and there doesn’t seem to be any improvement.  Even if you and your spouse talk regularly about your day, there’s no way to share all the details and all the feelings you accumulate throughout the day; and you hesitate to really tell them everything because you don’t want to add to their stress or give them the impression you’re about to jump off the roof.  Add to that a traveling husband and now you really ARE a single parent.  Aside from having to earn an income, it’s allll you.  There’s no one there at night to help take over.  Even though the Hubs and I generally speak quite a bit when he travels, it’s not the same.  He’s really only half-focused on what’s going on at home, which is fine.  He’s got business to do, meetings to attend, clients to visit.  I want him focused on work – he needs to be successful at his job.  Hell, half the time he’s in a different time zone.  I’m very fortunate to have family that offers help constantly, but I don’t like feeling like my child is away from me more than she’s with me.  In fact, I could have very easily called my mother in law this morning and dropped A off for the remainder of the day.  However, I feel it’s my duty as a parent to ride these kinds of days out.  I’m not playing the martyr, but I need my child to understand that even when there’s discipline involved, she still has a mother that’s going to be there for her.  I feel like it would send the wrong message if every time I was frustrated with her I shipped her off to her grandparents.  Some days I find myself resenting the Hubs and all of his traveling.  I know he says he’d rather be home, but between the nice hotels, dinners out and peaceful evenings I have to admit, the grass does seem greener on his side.  I feel like there is no way he can possibly understand what it’s like to be the main parent.  It sucks sometimes.  I’m the bad guy, I’m the one with the frazzled nerves, I’m the yeller (even though I really don’t want to be a yeller), and I’m not the “fun” one.  I’m the one charged with keeping order around here.  Maybe it’s just that I’m feeling really depleted lately.  Physically feeling like a big, steaming pile of crap for the past few months is starting to take its toll on me.  I’m feeling like a bad mom (because of this sudden shift on behavior), and I’m feeling like a bad wife.  I’m not feeling particularly appreciated in either of those roles.  And seeing as how those 2 things make up the majority of my current purpose in life, it’s really difficult to be feeling inept at both of them.  I’m feeling completely lost when it comes to this whole parenting thing too.  And I think she senses the self-doubt and uses it.  It’s similar to animals sensing fear.  My kid scares me a little bit…especially when I don’t know how to handle her.  It probably doesn’t help that I’m feeling particularly anxious about Earl today, too.  I think I can feel my hormones raging.  I guess it’s time to break out the Doppler.  Damn.  Today started off as such a promising day too.

The Latest and Greatest…

I figured it was time for one of those random updates.  Truthfully, we haven’t had a ton going on.  I feel like we’re in a holding pattern of sorts for another week or so.  A starts preschool again in a few weeks.  Perfect timing too because she’s climbing the walls around the house.  Morning sickness is still lurking around here and it’s all I can do to lay on the couch, let the dogs out a few times a day and keep the kiddo and myself fed and hydrated.  I’m still holding my breath anytime I have to open the fridge.  Same thing with the freezer.  Did you know freezers can stink?  It’s specifically a flavored coffee we purchased right before the m/s started.  I can feel myself turning green just thinking about it.  I can barely stand to look at the dishes…clean or dirty.  Opening the dishwasher makes me gag.  Our den smells horrific to me and makes me want to hurl.  My house is a general disaster (by my standards anyways) and needs a complete dusting of EVERY surface.  Then everything needs to be dusted again.  We have 3 dogs ya know.  Add to that the insane heat we’re having and well, it’s ugly.  Thankfully my kiddo is as big of a couch potato as I am and is usually pretty content watching episode after episode of Curious George and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  She’s also a BIG fan of Bubble Guppies…but that’s reserved for bedtime only.  At least for now.

The Hubs is home this week.  It’s been really nice to have him around.  After a stern talking-to a few weeks ago he’s really stepped up and I am so very grateful for his help with everything around the house and with little A.  He’s been a real trooper totally picking up my slack (er, especially since I’m on pelvic rest and all).  I think he feels sorry for me.  He heard me heaving this morning while brushing my teeth.  Oh well.  It seems this pregnancy is progressing nicely.  I guess.  I’ve been able to locate the heartbeat with my Doppler each time I’ve tried (which may or may not be daily, I’ll never tell).  Seems strong and steady to me, but hey, what do I know.  I realize things could still go terribly wrong (and I still seem to have moments of panic and terror each day) but I’m starting to have just a tad bit more confidence about this baby.  I’ve developed quite the belly, although if its baby or bloat still remains undecided.  Either way, the most comfortable clothing right now is pajamas.  And thankfully, the dogs and the kid don’t seem to mind.  According to one of the calendars I look at, the baby is the size of a prune this week, from head to rump.  Next week, it’s supposed to be the size of a plum; which I find somewhat ironic since a prune is a dried plum…but I digress…

I have literally nothing going on in my life these days.  That’s not entirely true, my weekends are pretty full, but if Hubs keeps asking me what I have planned for the day I’m going to be forced to start lying to him.  I just don’t really have the capacity to be gallivanting all over the city right now.  Any movement releases the nausea demons in my stomach.  Add that to the heat outside and well, it’s just a flat-out UGLY combination.  I sweat a lot these days and just look downright pathetic.  A few more weeks is what I keep telling myself.  I’m still not sure what happens in a few weeks…My biggest plan for today was to call my friend.  And perhaps put on a bra.  I’ve made the phone call.  Doubt I’ll get around to donning a bra…what’s the point, really?  And to be fair, the day started out rough when I woke up with a migraine.

We’re headed out-of-town this weekend.  Just a quick day trip to Bryan, TX to attend Hubs’ grandpa’s bday party.  It’s a fun time every year since his whole family shows up.  It’s really the only time we see most of them and now we get to watch A play with all the other kiddos.  I have painstakingly chosen (ok, fine, by chosen I mean bought) a dress that completely covers my belly so no one will suspect a thing.  My sister-in-law keeps telling me no one would notice.  I can’t decide if she’s just being nice or if maybe I’ve been a little chunkier  than I realized.  All I know is that when I’m checking out my profile I can no longer suck in my gut.  That’s new.  That’s baby.  I mean, it IS my 3rd pregnancy.  And to be honest, I realize it’s slightly insane to be so intent on NO ONE KNOWING, but I just don’t want to talk about it.  So, I’ll hide it while I can.  I think I’m afraid of the judgement from people who might think we tried too soon.  I don’t think we did, but I’m also aware that not everyone makes the same decisions…welcome to life.

I’m feeling a slight burst of energy so I think I’ll go vacuum.  It will most likely only last about 5 minutes…better do something productive while I can.  Besides, I’m planning to fry pork chops for dinner so I’m definitely going to need my rest. I make it a point not to fry food in my house.  That’s what restaurants are for.  Welcome to pregnancy.

Question(s) of the Day

Question: Why is it that when the Hubs is in town, I have to almost completely strip the bed in order to make it? Picture this…when we get up in the mornings, it looks as though someone has trapped a honey badger under the sheets and it has spent all night fighting its way out. I literally have to pull the duvet completely off, pull off the flat sheet and start all over. Sigh. When I’m by myself there is only an indentation where I’ve slept and a few soft wrinkles in the sheets. I usually don’t even have to adjust the pillows on his side of the bed!

Question: What is it about a neatly made bed that is so inviting? Is it just me, or does getting into a fully made bed pretty much equal a great night’s sleep?