Thursday, December 17, 2009

M is Just Going to Have to Learn Japanese

What parent hasn't found cryptic ways of communicating secrets with other adults in front of their kids?

First, M and I could just use big enough words that they went over Claire's head.  Considering Claire's vocabulary, I think it's a testament to our sesquipedalian tendencies that we lasted as long as we did just doing that, if I do say so myself.

Then we started spelling key words out.  Yah, that didn't last long.  Lately one of Claire's favorite games and/or stall tactics is to converse by spelling her sentences out.  She and I will go back and forth five or six times just spelling out what we want to say to each other.  Whatever keeps 'em occupied, right?  It's better than listening to her chew out Scott.

So now M and I have to speak Spanish to each other.

Any bets on how long until she's bilingual?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Normal is in the Eyes of the Beholder

Things have been pretty cold lately for these parts, so my glove collection from spending seven consecutive winters in Utah has been logging a lot of miles.  (Notice I avoided saying I actually lived in Utah... I think this is justified since I left every summer but one.  I just got to be there for the cold parts.  Whose idea was that anyhow???) I have a pair of gloves that I only get to wear in December for the Christmas season, so I'm trying to wear them the most often while I still can.  Every time I wear them, I laugh a little.  Partly because they're just fabulously cheesy, and partly because it makes me think of my friends in college who would never let me live down the time I referred to them as some of my "normal gloves":

But in my defense, they are more normal than the snow gloves I had for snowboarding (from a utilitarian perspective).  And in general, they are A LOT more normal than these babies:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm Going With Tungsten

So since we've been discussing my toxic fingers...

Anyone have any advice on how to handle computer keyboards whose letters wear off?  It doesn't matter much for me and M since we know how to type, but it's a bit rough on poor Scott when he's trying to play alphabet games on PBS kids.

For awhile we had a standard off-white keyboard with black letters.  I wore the markings off it.  We didn't care until we felt bad for Claire when she was using it and couldn't find the letter she needed.  Not to mention the fact that my dad would come to visit and whine to no end about it.  (He's more of a "seek and ye shall find" kind of typist.)

So when we built a new computer a little over a year ago we bought a nice black keyboard to match our new case.  Within a couple of months the letters started to wear off that one too.  It's now so bad that about half the keys show only half a letter.  Scott can't really identify the letters.  And I keep asking M why we bothered getting a new keyboard?  At least with the old one we could have just used a Sharpie to write the letters back on.  Classy, no?

Lame plastic covers?  Expensive laser projected keyboards?  I've seen a lot of possibilities, but nothing cheap and elegant.  Can anyone think of a solution that doesn't involve exorbitant cost or hideousness?
For now I'm leaning toward white nail polish and a little polyurethane.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Earning Their Right to Sleep in Our Guest Bed

A few weeks ago, my best friend from college and her husband and baby came to visit us for a week.  Their little boy is only a few weeks older than Kate.  He's SO cute!

It was absolutely WONDERFUL to see her again.  I always love me some geeky girlfriend talk.  But it was extra wonderful to have extra eyes to help us scour the garage and driveway at 12:30 at night for the diamond from my wedding ring!!!

We had stayed up later than we should have.  M had taken a couple days off and he was headed back to work the next day, but we partied that night anyway.  Well, at least it was partying as much as a couple of straight laced Mormon couples with new babies are concerned.  (We stayed up playing a rousing game of Ticket to Ride, okay?)

We finished up the board game and then I remembered that the recycling needed to go out to the curb for early the next morning.  I opened the garage door and then bent down to grab the recycling bin.  I bumped into a box fan that was sitting next to it as I did so, but thought nothing of it.  I left the bin at the curb and then went to straighten my wedding ring with my thumb as I walked back inside.  And then I noticed I was sporting a new extra-weird-feeling-very-pokey-metally-feeling ring.  And my heart dropped.  I got back to the light and sure enough, the diamond was missing from the middle of my ring.

I came back inside and called for reinforcements.  We all grabbed flashlights and started hunting.  Unfortunately, our children like to turn on and then leave on every flashlight they get their hands on.  So between those with dead batteries (from being left on) and those flashlights whose batteries had leaked and become permanently lodged inside (from being left on), two of us had to use the hand crank LED flashlights we had in our emergency kits.  Doesn't everyone dream of going on a vacation where they are enlisted to walk around someone else's driveway perpetually cranking a flashlight just so they can get a pitiful beam of light at 1am?

I remembered snagging my hand on the box fan inside the garage, so we focused our search there, but we also had to look out on the driveway too since there was no way to be sure exactly when or where it had fallen.

And then it started to rain. At this point, all I could do was laugh.  You know, that surreal, you've-got-to-be-kidding-me kind of laugh.  And then after about an hour of looking, I was starting to feel hopeless.  But this part of the story has a happy ending.  Finding it was an answer to prayer.  Like, really.  After I stepped inside the house for a moment to pray for a little help, I walked back into the garage and found it in the first place I looked.  A place where all four of us had already looked multiple times.  It was just sitting there in plain view.


Now you might be wondering more about my ring.  It is a half bezel setting for the center stone with small channel set tiny diamonds on either side.  Not very common, but I LOVE it.  It involves my diamond being held in by a metal lip that covers a total of half the circumference of my round cut diamond (basically 1/4 on each side).   Or at least it did.  Now my diamond and the ring are hanging out together in a Ziploc baggie.  I was under the impression that is/was a pretty secure setting and it has a nice low profile.  I have loved it.  But I've had more problems than I anticipated.

The diamond was a little loose after the first few months I had it, but I've heard that can be common with a new setting.  I got it tuned up and all was well for about 6.5 years.  Then about 6 months ago I noticed that my ring had become kind of egg shaped.  Apparently if I hadn't been wearing my wedding ring I would have lost a finger or something, cuz it was REALLY bent out of shape.  Then I noticed that the diamond was a little loose again so it was time to do something.  (Just to clarify, the diamond was never in any immediate danger of falling out, but wiggling a little in the setting.)

I took it in to be repaired.  While they were at it and I was already paying to have the white gold rhodium plated again, I had them resize it a little.  I got it back and within a couple weeks, the diamond was a little loose again.  I took it back to have them fix it again and the lady at the counter said she thought their might be something wrong with the setting, but she said the jeweler would know and would contact me if there were any issues.  They never contacted me so I assumed all was well.

Then this happens.  I'll never know, but I can't help but wonder if there WAS something wrong with my setting and they didn't tell me.  Guess that's what I get for not sending back to Wilson's where I bought it to have it repaired.  They're awesome.  I don't think I realized just how awesome before this mess.  You better believe I'll be shipping it back to them this time around.

So now the question is, what do I do?  Will stuff like this just keep happening?  Can I ever trust my ring again???  Is this setting not so great after all?  Or is it me?  Apparently I abuse rings.  In college I had a sterling silver ring that got caught on a vending machine and the side view looked a bit like a "C" afterward.  I think I have caustic skin.  I had a friend in college who had a problem with her silver rings turning black.  I thought it looked cool so she gave me one.  In a week my skin polished it silver again.  I bought a cheapy fake diamond ring to wear when I was too fat and pregnant to wear my regular one.  I polished it down to copper in a week and to some other even uglier darker layer under that in another couple weeks.  I'm a ring killer.  Is there any hope for me?

I only have an engagement ring that does double duty as my wedding ring.  I'm thinking it's time for me to get a wedding band.  I'll just wear that most of the time.  A sacrificial ring as it were.  Then eventually I'll get around to having my diamond ring fixed and I'll wear that when I'm going out on the town.  Does this seem like the right solution???

So what do you or those you know do?  Do other women just not wear their diamond ring very often?  What do you wear in day to day life?  Working out?  Cleaning house?  Drying off on towels and tucking in kids' shirts and running hands over changing pads to grab onesies out from under baby bottoms?  Taking out recycling bins when box fans are in the vicinity?

Any thoughts on Tungsten and Titanium wedding bands?  Because DANG that dark metal look is sex-y!  Is it too masculine?  After all, I already have enough to deal with being a "full sized woman."

Hurry up and tell me what to do.  I think Santa said that this year, "Christmas bells are ring-ing."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Give Me a Break!

Tonight I overheard Claire explaining to Scott:

"I'm not going to school tomorrow.  I have Thanksgiving Break.  I don't get to go to school for 5 DAYS!!!"

HA!  Don't "GET" to go to school.  I guess it's a good sign she's liking Kindergarten...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Behold the Power of Not Sleeping

Getting the kids Halloween costumes together this year was something of a small miracle. Claire and Scott had both decided they wanted to be penguins. I found a pattern and figured, sure, no problem. I mean, it's not like I was going to drastically alter any patterns, or totally wing it or anything. For once I was just going to follow a pattern exactly. I was even making two of the same thing, just in two different sizes. Easy enough, right?

Not when you catch the flu just as you realize you really need to get cracking. So I sent M to the fabric store for me to take advantage of the awesome Columbus Day sale. He seriously whined for like three weeks afterward about how impossible it was to find what he needed at Joann's. Tell me about it. It is a bit crazy there. Add in a big sale and, UGH. Maybe now he will have more respect for my alpha-gatherer skillz.

Just as I was feeling better, we had house guests coming that had never seen our house before. And kids that were sick. Then our house guests left and I finally had time to sew. But I also only had one week. I sewed and I sewed and then on Wednesday evening Scott came down with a fever and some kind of pain he couldn't explain that he claimed he "couldn't handle." This was serious stuff coming from a kid who can land head-first into asphalt and go on his merry way with a mere grunt. So I spent Wednesday into the late evening holding him to help him fall asleep and then coming back to comfort him every time he woke up. Poor kid. He seemed fine when he was asleep. And he was fine again come morning. Weird. I took him to the doctor Thursday morning anyway of course and they put him on an antibiotic because they suspected bronchitis. So in other words, I lost sewing time Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

I stayed up late Thursday and finished Claire's costume mostly. But as of when I went to bed at like 3 am on I guess Friday, I hadn't really started Scott's. And we had a church trick or treating party on Friday night. I sewed all day Friday right up until we walked out the door Friday evening and got the the party about 3o minutes late. But I did it. I honestly didn't think it was physically possible, but I did it. Both kids had their costume to wear. Just don't look too closely. Large portions of the costumes may have been safety pinned closed instead of velcroed. And some hems and necklines may not have been done since they were going to be hidden. (Let's hear it for fleece that doesn't unravel!) And some seams still need to be clipped and trimmed and such before I can sell them on ebay. (But not before I keep them around in case Kate ever wants to be a penguin!) I will definitely get to truly finishing them... eventually. But I think I will recover first!

I can't really show you a photo, so you'll just have to trust me, but Kate was adorable too. She wore little red baby boxing gloves with a little sweatband and some red sweatpants. M and I sported matching fake black eyes as her victims.

Also, there were pumpkins:

This second one didn't photograph well. But trust me, it looked better and had more detail in person. In the photos poor Ruff Ruffman (if he's even identifiable) looks possessed.

(Leave it to Claire to select a design based on a PBS show that I'm pretty sure is not targeted at Kindergarteners, but is nonetheless her favorite show. She is in fact watching it as I type...*sigh*)

Monday, November 2, 2009


By The Way...

we Blessed The Wee-one:

It was 2 months ago, I'm just playing catch up. Kate wore the same dress I made for Claire's blessing. We had both our sets of parents come and it was lovely. And I think that about sums it up.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Flu 2

So, we had the influenza. (Doesn't that sound so much more melodramatic than saying "the flu"? Either that or so much more 1918-ish.) And of course everyone wants to know if it was the piggy kind, or the regular kind.

Look, I don't know. Does it really matter? I wasn't sure what the flu was like before this, seeing as I'd never had it before. (The only time I've been even CLOSE to being as sick as I was with this flu was when I had mastitis. And that was about a month and a half ago. I don't remember basically ever having had a fever before in my life and then in 2 months I get one twice? I believe I have now MORE than filled my quota of violent paralyzing chills followed by fever and exhaustion and achy-ness for the next decade or so, okay? Thanks.) Now I know I had some sort of version of the flu and so I can say definitively with absolutely no authority whatsoever that either the seasonal flu is worse than you think or the swine flu isn't as bad as you think and therefore they're about the same.

I don't know which kind of flu we had because I didn't feel like paying my doctor's office a $20 copay just so that they could answer that question and then send me on my way to wallow in my $20-poorer-with-no-actual-treatment misery. Apparently, at least at my doctor's office, Tamiflu is only for those with "compromised immune systems." (Also, apparently 3 month old babies do not qualify as such.)

But I'm not complaining. Because what's worse than deadly flu? Deadly flu that has become resistant to antiviral medications. I'm okay with having my immune system duke it out in the name of the greater good. (It's easy to say that because we all, like, survived and stuff.)

The flu took it's sweet time slowly working it's way through the family. I would keep thinking we were done and then the next family member would come down with it almost a week after the last person. Well, everyone except for M, of course. OF COURSE. Having been spared himself, he can continue believing we were just being sickly pansies as we laid on the couch and lost the will to live. But at least he escaped (knock on wood) and could help take care of all of us.

So the last few weeks have been interesting. And just as I was feeling better, I had to frantically get our house ready for guests we had in town last week. It was really fun to have them here, but I'm SO ready for life to be boring now... HA! Fat chance!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Influenza

You know Mom is REALLY sick when for a full 48 hours, Scott runs around with one sock on and one sock off.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Next Time on "Conference"...

This last weekend we watched General Conference for our church. For those who aren't familiar, there are four televised sessions over two days. (Or streamed online for those of us who still want to watch from home but are too cheap to pay for cable - maybe because we're too snobby to watch much TV or more likely because we're geeky and afraid TV might cut into our beloved computer time.)

I am wondering though if despite the fact that M and I have no love for the tube, maybe, just maybe, my kids watch too much TV because they kept asking when the next "episode" of Conference was going to be on. Hmmm...

I don't know, but I can hardly wait for next "season."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Zoom Zoom

Why the new car you ask?

(Mazda 3 by the way.)

In a nutshell: There was a hail storm over the summer. And then a resulting insurance check. And then a fender bender to the front AND back. And then ANOTHER resulting insurance check.

Insurance $$$ + a lot of simmering little problems, some of which could get big at any time = "So, how about a new car?"

I'm feeling better about the new car now. I think it will help a little once I can actually drive it.

I know what you're thinking: WHAT?!?!? You haven't driven it yet?

Well, see, there's this little catch. The new car is a manual. M likes manuals and it was $1,000 dollars cheaper. (Remember the stinginess?) In THEORY I know how to drive a stick. In practice, I'm a little scared to do it without M around to "hold my hand." And what with the three kids that have the audacity to keep calling us Mom and Dad, we haven't exactly gotten around to getting out the crowbar and cramming all three car seats into the new car yet. So, no, I haven't driven it yet. Besides, would three screaming kids in the back seat really be conducive to a non-panicky learning experience for me? I think not.

M will be the primary driver anyway, commuting to work and what have you. But it doesn't matter. It's important to me that I be able to drive this car. M can't have ALL the fun. Not being able to drive it makes me feel like such a dumb broad. But at the same time, I'm kinda horrified of driving a stick. I haven't done it for like 8 years. And even then, I only did it a few times in my best friend in college's car. I got okay at it, but I think I forgot everything because I haven't done it since.

My guess is that I am scarred for life by my first time driving a stick. It went a little something like this. I had a guy friend in high school who would periodically stop by my house and make faces in my bedroom window that faced the driveway as a way to announce his arrival. One time he arrived driving his dad's red convertible. He took me off for a drive like we often did, but then while we were out, he pulled the car over and insisted that I drive it. I protested that I hadn't learned to drive a stick yet and he said he would teach me. Apparently "teach" consisted of telling things on a "need to know" basis. He told me how to work the clutch and gas together to start moving. So I stuttered along for a bit. Then he asked me if I was going to shift gears. Shift gears?!? He never explained that part! He told me to push in the clutch, then shift into 2nd. Okay, it would help if all the numbers hadn't worn off the shifter knob... Which one is 2nd? He reached over and did it for me. Okay, then there was a stop sign. So I hit the brake. Oops. Yah, it would have helped if he had mentioned that I had to push in the clutch when I stopped.

And so on and so forth... Did I mention that my friend may or may not have been high on drugs during all this? So yah, it was... interesting. It all seems so obvious now, but back then, no one had ever even mentioned to me how it all worked. I don't know that I'd ever even really watched someone drive a stick once I was old enough to not be totally oblivious.

I have driven a stick since then, but never long enough to really feel like it came naturally. Here's hoping I eventually figure out how to drive this thing. Because right now, that is one REALLY expensive CD player parked on our driveway...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Two Words

Buyer's remorse.

Then again, I know myself and I'm so miserly that I get buyer's remorse over a cantaloupe. So I'm telling myself not to listen to me. At least this remorse is pretty and will be fun to drive.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I keep trying to figure out how to get my kids to stop dawdling when they're supposed to be doing something. Particularly when they should be getting ready. As in, we're already supposed to be there and they're still lying on the floor naked.

I say, "Hurry up! We're running late!" And they respond by staring at the wall some more.

I say, "Seriously guys, you need to start getting ready." And they respond by picking up a book to read or pretending their underwear is a rocket ship.

How do I help them understand? How do I explain to them that they're wasting time when "time" is still a bit abstract for them? How do I stop the farting around?!?

For now we've been telling them:

If you're having fun, you're doing it wrong.

I am fond of this one, but anyone have a better idea?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Does She Just Have a Really Weird Laugh???

Every time Kate laughs it gives her the hiccups afterward. Every. single. time. I just can't help but laugh at the consiste...*hiccup!*

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We Sure Know How to Party!

All last week we had family in town and M took some vacation. We took the opportunity to focus on important things. Things like making really big bubbles:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kindergarten - Part II

Before you ask, no. I did not cry. I'm fine. Honestly? A little sick of being asked that. Shouldn't we only worry if our kids are upset? Because Claire shows so little separation anxiety it makes me think she might be ready for college.

For the record, I don't think I even got close to crying. I kept waiting for it to happen to me like all the other moms talk about. But nope. And I'm fairly certain it's not because I don't love her enough or won't miss her a little sometimes. She's just so ready. She's been so ready for so long. Can she be too ready at this point? Cuz if it's possible, then she is. And it will be so good for her, so how can I be sad? This is why I have babies. To see them become great kids.

So if there are any other moms out there who feel like they're supposed to cry but didn't, know that you have good company. I'm pretty sure it doesn't make you a bad mom. Just a non-embarrassing one.


Now summer is over.

She's ready.

And off she goes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Mum for the New Mum

When I was in college, I took a class on floral arranging with my sister. It was my last semester and her first so we wanted to take a class together the one semester we would overlap in school. It was SO fun!

One day our teacher highlighted a floral phenomenon I had never heard of before. Homecoming mums. Have any of you heard of these before? Because I'm pretty sure they're non-existent in California where I grew up. In a nutshell these are like corsages on steroids. You know, kind of like how a person trying to get all ripped on steroids is doing something that ought to be attractive in theory, but in practice it's kind of disturbing and gross. Yah, kind like that, but with flowers and ribbons and other flotsam. If you've never seen these before, you really have to see pictures to understand. My descriptions could never convey the full wrath of these suckers.

As far as I understand, these are something that is most popular in areas like Oklahoma and Texas. Which somehow makes sense, what with "everything is bigger in Texas," right? I've still never seen the finished product in person, although I have seen all the supplies for sale in the local craft stores.

I gave birth to Scott about 9 months after we moved to Texas. Imagine my surprise (delight? horror? I don't even know) when I was brought to my hospital room after delivery and I saw this hanging from the door:

My own hospital mum!

And in case you thought it might be an isolated incident, here is the baby girl version I got for Kate:

They're very toned down compared to the homecoming versions, but relative to the size of your baby's body, they're huge! I hope none of the nurses were offended that I never actually pinned those babies to my babies. I tell myself that they MUST be only meant as wall hangings. Right? I don't know. Until I saw pictures with them in use, I would have thought homecoming mums were only meant for attaching wheels to and using as floats in a parade.

I think these photos to prove that I have two bona fide Texas babies. I love it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I HATE When That Happens

I bought a mirror at IKEA the other day. The directions have only one step, followed by this warning:

Do you think that happens a lot???

So I guess if there's a window in your bathroom, you can't have both this mirror AND any curtains. Or, you know, towels. What about toilet paper? Fortunately our bathroom is totally windowless, so we're spared the dreaded inferno of the IKEA mirror.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bathing Beauty?

NOTE: I don't have good ideas for current posts and I'm a little behind on posting some old things I wanted to post. You get out of date posts. So sue me. I have a new baby who doesn't like to let me get things done, okay? You'll pull through.

The pediatrician told us to sunbathe Kate. Here she is at 3 days old:
"Mom, it's too early. Turn that bright light off!"

Monday, August 17, 2009

That's One Way to Stop That Annoying Noise From Coming Back

Today is my 7th wedding anniversary. We'll totally get around to celebrating... eventually.

You see, Kate is not so good at going to sleep. She sleeps a long time once she goes to sleep for real. But she doesn't really like to fall asleep for more than 5 minutes at a time until around 1:00 am. But then she will often sleep for 7-8 hours without waking up. That IS wonderful that she can go that long of a stretch at such a young age (she's almost 7 weeks now), so I feel guilty complaining, but she is not my only child. Claire and Scott? They actually wake up in the morning before 9 am and, you know, need things. From me, no less!

And in just over a week Claire will start Kindergarten. AT 7:45 IN THE MORNING. Kate, are you listening? I cannot be held responsible for any of my actions if you keep this up after Claire starts Kindergarten. I'm pretty sure only sleeping from 2 am when Kate lets me get to bed until 6 am when I will be waking up to get Claire out the door is an automatic free pass to plead insanity.

Right now, I spend my evenings nursing Kate pretty much constantly. Because I prefer couch potatoing while nursing to miserably failing to console a crying baby. This is pretty much the makeup of my evenings: nurse Kate or deal with constant crying from about 8pm (when Claire and Scott head off to bed) until I pass out sitting up while nursing Kate in the wee hours. Then I wake up with a stiff neck and drool puddles on both my shirt and Kate, dump Kate in her bassinet, and crawl into my bed around 2 am. To M's credit, he does his best to keep her from crying for sometimes minutes at a time so I can get up and do exciting things like laundry. He has found she prefers classical music in Italian.

The point of all this whining? Just making excuses. The usual, "I haven't been posting a lot because... blah blah blah wah wah wah." But it's true. I don't get many chances to use the computer two handed, which makes typing a blog post a bit cumbersome.

[Hark! Kate is crying now! brb]

And now that I am finishing this post on a different non-Kate-crying occasion (thank you Bjorn!), I will tell you the OTHER thing making sleep scarce around here. M has a new calling at church. He's volunteering as the ward clerk. It's not normally going to be this bad, but with him still getting into the swing of things and having several more meetings this week than normal, there have been some late nights and early mornings. On Sunday afternoon M was taking a much needed nap. I snuck into the room to grab the baby swing and found him like this:

That's M asleep with his hand resting ON TOP of the snooze button for his alarm.

And that photo pretty much sums up how things have been around here lately. So we're officially rescheduling our anniversary. Aren't we romantic?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sweat Shop... and Not JUST Because It's Summer in Texas

When my mom was here visiting, she helped make some curtains for Claire's bedroom. In case you need a refresher course, here is what Claire's bedroom looks like (but you might want to put on your sunglasses first). I absolutely LOVE the curtains she designed and made. Check it out:

Shortly after the new curtains were installed, Claire was asking me why they are two pieces with a split down the middle. I told her that's how curtains usually are so that if you want to you can pull them open and look out the window or let more light in. She liked this idea but was struggling to get the curtains to stay open. Later that day, I came up to her room and she proudly showed me how she had gotten them to stay open:

Let's zoom in on that technique:

Claire pointed out that she doesn't have any yellow clothes so we never use those hair clips. True, true... but still not my favorite long term solution.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Have an Announcement

Here is what the announcements I mailed out for Kate looked like.
But you know, without the "editing." (Click to enlarge)

Friday, July 31, 2009

You Ask and I Deliver

I know you've been anxiously awaiting the detailed story of Kate's birth. Why is it that so many women just love this stuff? Perhaps because it's the female equivalent of tales of going into battle. Well, suit up in your pink armor and grab your ruffled sword, cuz here we go!

(Or perhaps put on your gauntlet? Made of hospital bracelets?)

Not exactly the sort of bracelet most people mean for a "push present... Seriously, at some point it actually starts to impede movement!

Kate's Birth Story

Because of Kate's two vessel cord, my doc wanted to induce me a little early. As a pregnancy goes longer, there is the risk that the placenta begins to deteriorate and the baby's supply of nutrients suffers. With a two vessel cord, that's even riskier. She suggested we target an induction at 39 weeks.

So the day after I hit 39 weeks I had an induction appointment for 7am, but I got a call the day before asking to move me up to 6am. After a little coordinating with our babysitter for Claire and Scott, we rescheduled for 6am. So bright and early the next morning, our friend came over to our house to stay with the kids until they woke up after which she took them over to her house for the day.

Now I know that you're not supposed to eat right before your induction, but no one explicitly told me this. One of the forms I was given said that I should ask my doctor about this. Oops! guess I "forgot." "Ignorance" is bliss. I had a light breakfast before we headed to the hospital because I remember being SO hungry while in the hospital with Claire and Scott.

After giving them my info and getting into a gown, the first and arguably worst, order of business was my IV. I hate needles, but only because I have had SO MANY bad experiences. In the past I've tried to donate blood and it usually went something like this. Force fluids for 24 hours beforehand. Show up and have multiple nurses look quizzically at my arms trying to find a vein. Have the first attempt get painfully flubbed. Have the second attempt in my other arm be painful the whole time and end with me just STOPPING bleeding. Like I hit the time limit they allow and I've stopped filling the bag without having donated enough for them to use. Then I have to have M help me do everything for the next 24 hours because BOTH my arms are bruised and in pain. So M made me stop even trying to donate blood anymore. I just don't have good veins AT ALL. With both Claire and Scott my IV was in my hand and quite uncomfortable. With Claire it was in my right hand, and so a big pain when trying to do pretty much anything. And with Scott, it was in my left hand, but it hurt like crazy and made my whole hand cold when they sped up the flow to get more fluids in me so I could get my epidural. I hated that it held up my pain relief! I guess I only have obviously usable veins in my hands. This time there really was only one they could use in my right hand, and it was kinda tricky anyway because they said it was "crooked." And after telling my experiences, they tried very hard NOT to put it in my hand, which I appreciated. The first try was in my wrist just below my thumb on my right hand. It didn't work, but it sure hurt! After some wiggling that made me squirm and break out in a sweat, they gave up. Then the nurse called a different nurse. She tried in my inner forearm on my left arm and same thing. OUCH! I had bruises and tenderness from those failed IV attempts for longer than I had pain from delivery:

Yes, those are my arms. And, no, I am not a hairy man, I swear.

Finally they got a great IV just below the crook of my right arm. It didn't really hurt and it ended up not being uncomfortable to bend my arm like I feared. The only drawback was that anytime I bent my arm, the flow would stop and the machines would beep at me. But if not bending my arm was the price I had to pay to get that epidural sooner rather than later, then sign me up and call me the girl with the stick straight arm jutting out.

Once my IV was in place, they told me my doctor was going to come break my water. Enter M to fulfill his role as my advocate. His primary job this time around was to make sure I got my epidural, fast. In my last two labors, the common factor in what made me unable to easily handle my contractions was my water being broken. So M was under strict orders to NOT let them break my water unless I had an epidural. Fortunately, they had already been getting those IV fluids flowing because they knew I was going to want one, so all I had to do was keep making sure I didn't bend my arm! I conceded to let them break my water as long as the epidural was truly "on it's way." When my water was broken, I was still at about 2cm like I had been since my appointment 2 weeks before. My water was broken at 7:14am and that marked the official beginning of my induction. Pitocin was started either just before or just after my water was broken, I don't remember which.

A couple minutes later, the anesthesiologist showed up for my epidural. The epidural went very smoothly (WAY better than getting my IV!) and as I sat hunched over while he finished up my epidural, I was just beginning to feel guilty about getting an epidural before I had even felt a contraction when I felt one and right off the bat, it was pretty uncomfortable. So perfect timing. I felt a few uncomfortable contractions and then the epidural kicked in and I only felt a sort of tightening occasionally when the contractions came.

After laying down for a few minutes with my epidural, my blood pressure monitor started beeping at us. It was taking my blood pressure every 2 minutes as the epidural came into effect, and the numbers were too low. This might have been okay, except along with it Kate's heart rate was dropping when I had a contraction. They like to see “variability” in the heart rate in response to contractions, but they prefer the baby's heart rate to go up and not down. So something had to be done. First try was to have me tilt over to my left side for improved blood flow for Kate. That wasn't enough, so then I had to lay completely on my left side. In the meantime, the anesthesiologist was contacted about my blood pressure. When my blood pressure continued to be too low and continued to cause annoying chimes from the blood pressure machine, it was decided that they needed to give me drugs to raise my blood pressure. What does low mean, you might be asking? I was measuring numbers like 78/28. So you know, almost deadish. I always have low blood pressure (like it's not unheard of for me to measure at 88/56), but this was really something special. Two doses of ephedrine later, my blood pressure was finally reaching acceptable numbers (meaning the systolic was USUALLY over 90 and the diastolic was usually over 40).

Just then the anesthesiologist checked in on me, but since my blood pressure was okay again, he merely suggested that I lay on my right side for a change or my epidural would get lop-sided. So my nurse tried having me lay on my right side. No go. Apparently Kate's heart rate really just didn't like me on my right side. This fit with what I'd seen the whole pregnancy. I can't even count how many times throughout the pregnancy I remember different medical people commenting things like, “This baby just doesn't like you laying flat on your back.” Or, “Let's have you lay on your left side,” followed by, “Much better!”

Now that things had settled down a little, I told my nurse that I really had to pee. Things had been so crazy that she had forgotten to get a catheter in me. We took care of that and she said it was a good thing too because my bladder could have kept Niagra Falls going for quite some time. No wonder I could feel it through the epidural! The nurse suspected it had been impeding labor. Before that I had been checked and was dilated to a 4 or maybe 5. But things REALLY picked up after my bladder wasn't full!

Since I was stuck laying completely on my left side, my epidural did get VERY lop-sided. I could wiggle my toes on my right foot and almost felt like I could have walked on it. It only felt a little tingly to me. My left leg on the other hand was COMPLETE dead weight. I couldn't move it AT ALL. I don't know if it was related to my uneven epidural, but as the blood pressure situation was resolving itself and my bladder was finally empty, I started feeling those contractions more and more until finally they were genuinely hurting again. Because I was hurting again, the nurse checked me at I think it was somewhere around 9:15am-9:30am and said I was dilated to a 7 or maybe even 8. So the anesthesiologist was brought back in and re-dosed my epidural. The nurse told him that this was basically my “delivery dose.” The re-dosed epidural took awhile to help and those contractions were pretty intense. I was even having to use breathing exercises. Imagine that, labor being, like, hard or something!

Those breathing exercises were especially interesting to do when I ended up with an oxygen mask on. This has happened in all three of my deliveries because the babies have reached a point where their heartbeats weren't that fabulous and the nurses know the baby is headed through the most taxing part where they are actually pushed out. So, feeling like Darth Vader having a panic attack, I laid there.

Then the nurse told me to tell her if I got the urge to push. After only a couple minutes, I told her I was feeling “different,” like there was a lot of “pressure.” But it also kinda wasn't hurting as much and I wasn't sure if it was just the epidural redose taking effect or what. I was checked and I was ALMOST to a 10. The nurse told me again to tell her if I got the urge to push. Well, with the very next contraction, I had the urge to push. She checked me after that and it was no longer about dilation because she immediately said, “Oh yes, there's the baby's head, and there's her ear.” So then I had to resist the urge to push while my doctor showed up and they put down all the sterile drapes.

Up until they took the oxygen mask off and actually wanted me to push, I had easily felt every contraction and the accompanying urge to push. At first things were going okay, but after the first or second push, I couldn't really feel it anymore. I knew what I needed to do, but the urge was gone. Figures. The worst part was that it was hard for me to tell exaclty WHEN the contractions were so I wasn't sure WHEN to push. I had to have the nurses tell me and I could tell they were confused because before I hadn't needed that. I guess the epidural finally kicked in all the way! I was probably pushing for maybe 10-15 minutes total.

Toward the end, things kinda stalled and Kate's heartbeat wasn't looking so great and my doctor said that if I didn't get her out on the next push we'd have to use the vaccuum. That motivated me a little throw caution about not pushing with my upper body and such to the wind. The nurse thought that's what got Kate out, but I think it was that at the same time, they had me change position slightly to lay less propped up sitting and more laying on my back. The change of angle seemed like it got things unstuck and I could feel to push better.

Kate's head was delivered and they suctioned her mouth and then while her shoulders were being delivered, Kate cried a little. Before she was even all the way out, so cute! Although, I hope that isn't a portent of an impatient personality! The official time was 10:30am, so just over 3 hours from start to finish. I'll take it.

Then when things died down M went with her to get cleaned up while I was stuck waiting for my epidural to wear off. My right leg felt great, but that left leg, UGH. They needed the delivery room, so they kept checking if I felt like I could move. I kept telling them sorry but I don't have feeling back in my left leg even though my right leg felt fine. I think they didn't believe me despite my explanation about having to lie on my left leg the whole time. Then they would try to have me move my left leg and when I couldn't budge it AT ALL without help, THEN they believed me. It ended up taking FOREVER for me to get feeling back in that leg. They moved me to a postpartum room LONG before I had something more than dead weight attached to my hip.

So I ended up ordering lunch in the LDR room. How great is that? I didn't even have to miss a meal! In fact, had I wanted to, I could have ordered a 2nd BREAKFAST based on the time!

My poor nurse was SO busy dealing with my quick labor and low blood pressure that she hadn't had a chance to sneak out and use the restroom or eat her breakfast! It's so true. Though it wasn't exactly scary, we were kept on our toes. There was just no “down time” during my labor. I had brought along things to kill time, but a time with “nothing going on” never presented itself!

When I called my mom a little before 11am she was in the car on her way to a tennis game. After I said hello, she asked me to hold on a second. I could just tell because of that and the way she was talking that she thought I was just calling with an update. She came back on the phone and said, “So you're at the hospital.” She thought I was just letting her know how things were going during some down time. So when I told her, “We had Kate,” the surprise in her voice was priceless!

Friday, July 24, 2009

I Preferred It When They Only Cost Us a Few Tomatoes

My mom left town this morning. Today was the real start of me being a mother of three. You know, where I actually do it by myself during the day. *GULP*

While my mom was still here, she bought some steaks for us to grill this last Wednesday. These were Costco steaks. So, needless to say, we were pretty excited to eat them.

M got home from work and fired up the grill. We got the four huge steaks cooking and then we noticed something down inside the grill next to the burners.

Rat poison.

Last year we didn't actually get to eat any of the tomatoes from our garden because something was getting to them before us. And since I saw a rat along our back fence once when we first moved into this house, I'm betting the culprit was rats. Pleasant thought, no? I suppose it could be squirrels, but what's the difference really? Squirrels are practically rats with bushy tails.

After we lost two bell peppers in the garden this year, M decided to try some rat poison. M and Scott came back from Home Depot with it and the first thing Scott announced as he burst through the front door was, "Mom! We bought rat food!" That's right Scott, we bought those rats the only kind of food we want to share with them. M put out three little chunks and two chunks disappeared. I guess some little critter wanted to eat his poison lightly tossed with rancid grill fat. When it had its fill, it decided to leave its little "treat" inside the grill for safe keeping. That is, until (hopefully) it keeled over and never returned! Bwa ha ha!

Hmmmm... wonder where the third chunk of poison went? (Please let the rat have taken it home to its friends. Please let the rat have taken it home to its friends. And please don't let it turn up somewhere like inside our Brita pitcher. I have this nagging fear that in reality our neighborhood has super-intelligent evil rats that escaped from some science experiment gone awry and that are now trying to exact their revenge by poisoning people. "My name is Ratty McRat. You killed my father. Prepare to die.")

But the steaks. Ah! I weep for those steaks. Considering the warning labels on that rat bait (Can you say cerebral edema?), there was no choice but to throw those neurotoxin smoked beauties away and scramble for something else to eat. I WANT to be ready to laugh about this. Not sure I'm there. I think I'll go caress our steak knives and sigh wistfully some more.


UNRELATED UPDATE: I snagged Kate's umbilical stump yesterday with my hand while doing a diaper change and that sucker just popped right off. Phew! Not too bad. In the end it took 23 days to fall off (or get accidentally pulled off - po-tay-to, po-tah-to). I knew complaining to the wwworld would do the trick. There was a tiny bit of bleeding, but nothing that wasn't a "variation of normal."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It IS Gross

Kate's umbilical cord stump still hasn't fallen off.

In the wise words of Scott, "What's that brown thing? I don't like that brown thing. That's gross."

Too true, Scott, too true... I don't like that brown thing either. Nor do I like swabbing it with alcohol at every diaper change to adhere to the whim of whatever the doctors are advising in that regard THIS week. And, for the record, I don't like sponge baths either. I can't wait until I can just dunk her.

Kate turned three weeks old yesterday. That pesky umbilical cord of hers, trying to keep up it's problem causing status for as long as possible. I am a true mother because I am blaming myself and trying to figure out what I have done wrong. Did I over swab? Did I accidentally get it wet with my sub-par sponge bath skills? Did I forget to do the ritualistic stump dance? Nevermind the fact that all three of my kids haven't lost their umbilical stump until they were over two weeks old. It couldn't possibly be just "the way my babies roll." No, no. Perhaps I will just tell myself that the doctors are making it up when they say it usually takes 10-14 days to fall off, right? RIGHT???

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Few of You Pulled A-HEAD

Thanks guys! Your answers gave me a good laugh. Then again, I'm so sleep deprived, I'd probably laugh at ANYTHING, so you might want to take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Mad props to Leann for my favorite: It's like an orange on a toothpick! (Because any quote from that movie will always win with me.)

But Spencer gets the prize for best runner up. His comment was on Facebook: Mom, do you know the name of a good shrink? or maybe a head hunter?

And now, Scott's actual quote:

I'm wearing my daddy's hat!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ding Dong

In a fit of sleep deprivation, I tried to leave Kate on Ralphie's doorstep, but she interpreted it as a photo op.

Totally kidding, totally kidding. I wouldn't trade Kate for the world, of course. Even if I do have to wait patiently through the newborn phase (not really my forte) before I get to the "I can actually talk to you" phase. But cute pictures, no?

I better be careful what I say or Ralphie, lover of the little baby stage, might take me up on the "offer"...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Say What?

I'm inviting you to write your own caption for this photo. In a few days or so I will reveal the actual Scott quote that accompanied this moment. But with the potential I see in this photo, I have faith that your imagination is even funnier than reality!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

And The Winner Is...


Winner of what you'd probably like to know. Good Question. It turns out that unbeknown to the rest of the world a quiet stand off has been taking place between G and I for some time now. Think on the level of U.S. and Iran but not quite to the North Korea/South Korea level.

The crux of the issue lies here:

This is the diaper bag we used with Claire. It has a few pros: made of nylon instead of pleather, more than one pocket, not fluorescent, etc. It has some cons: looks "sporty" (not good in our case), made of nylon instead of something nicer, is a diaper bag, etc.

I considered this bag Totally Adequate (TM). This bag was so much better than the contractor style garbage bag we would have carried around if I had been in charge of this sort of thing I was content indefinitely. Then, when G was pregnant with Scott, insanity gripped her brain and she decided she needed a "better" diaper bag so we acquired a new diaper bag (below) with a different set of pros: not made of fake fur, not obviously a diaper bag, large.

It also has its cons: a little floppy, is a purse, not as many pockets as I'd like.

We kept meaning to pack multiple bags so I didn't have to look like a transvestite but there were inevitably "special" things that couldn't easily be replicated (original birth certificate, camera, noise canceling headphones, etc). They had to go back and forth anytime we went anywhere and we were lazy and usually running late so that never happened. Also, at the time, no one knew where our old diaper bag or our pile of ~37 free diaper bags had gone. So we stayed at an impasse through Scott's early childhood that mostly involved me trying to play dumb to the fact that ~90% of the time, my wife was carrying the bag with the poop wads wrapped in whatever plastic bag was available when the kid needed a diaper change.

Finally I put my foot down and declared to G that I really would like to not have to carry around a purse while caring for our child. Also, it sure would make it easier for me to take Kate somewhere if I had a less intimidating care package to take along with us (nudge nudge, wink wink).

That has finally resulted in this

[angelic choirs]

[/angelic choirs]

Come on, you gotta admit that's one awesome diaper bag.

On the run from the car seat installation zealots? Just find a bush, cradle the kid in your lap and pull this bad boy over your head.

Got a diaper loaded with standard issue #2 baby excrement and no trash can? Switch over to the (not quite) custom made diaper duck pocket and seal that puppy up with all the hermetical-ness a flimsy plastic bag can provide.

Yes, thanks to my incessant whining and a good father's day we have finally reached disarmament in our now larger family

Thanks G.


Kate arrived on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 10:30am. She weighed 7 lbs 15.9 oz, which I have been rounding to an even 8 lbs in conversation, because really, who measures to the tenth of an ounce? That makes her my heaviest baby so far, despite being born a week and a half earlier. (Claire was 7 lbs 12 oz and Scott was 7 lbs 13 oz.) On the other hand, I can still claim that all my kids were under 8 lbs! Kate was 20.5 inches long, which is about the same as the other two kids were.

So yes, despite my shameful lack in posting about it (it's almost like I've been busy or something...), Kate was in fact born. Rather promptly in fact. My induction officially started when they broke my water at 7:14 am. I promise the detailed version of the story later for those who want it. For now, just let it be known that she is here, things went smoothly, and we are holed up in the A/C recovering nicely.

And since she is a newborn and will look like a totally different person in a month or so anyway, I shall allow some photos in these early weeks:

Here she is a couple hours old.

Here she is ready to go home from the hospital.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

This Week Isn't Good for Us, We're Having a Baby. Can We Reschedule?

Some people have all the luck.

And these days apparently ours is of the getting to deal with car insurance variety.

M got rear-ended this morning, which caused him to rear-end the person in front of him. The person in front of him who had slowed down just as the light turned green because they were trying to make an illegal left turn. Fabulous. It was just a fender bender, but nevertheless the last thing we needed on the weekend we are trying to finish up all our last minute details before having a new baby.

Gotta love the timing. We just finished dealing with our claim for hail damage on the same car. I guess I should just be glad we hadn't already actually repaired the hail damage yet. While M is taking his paternity leave he can spend time on the phone dealing with homeowners (more hail damage) AND car insurance. Yippee! At least I get to cry, "Childbirth!" and pass the buck :)

And maybe we'll even get everything squared away in less than 18 months this time!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sweet Relief

Tuesday, June 30th.

Seems like a good birthday to me. Hope so, because it will be Kate's.

(Now if I can just survive the next four days of continuing over 100 degree heat. I was SUPPOSED to have this baby before the worst of the heat hit, but nature decided to remedy that in the last couple weeks. I should have kept my big optimistic mouth shut. I was just tempting fate and it has totally come back to bite me in the butt.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sometimes, the Stupid Answer IS the Right One

I listen to a lot of books on CD. Well, actually on my MP3 player. I check the CDs out of the library and then rip the tracks so I can listen on my MP3 player while I do chores around the house. (Don't worry, I delete it all when I'm done. No piracy involved. After all, I am married to M, the anti-piracy nazi.) In fact, books on CD are basically the only way any actual cleaning gets done around here. If I forget to pick up a new book before I finish the book I'm on, it's pretty much a guarantee that we'll run out of clean spoons AND underwear until I get to the library.

Well, the other day I started ripping CDs for my latest book. Now there's something you need to know about the data encoded on most books on CD. Turns out that whoever burns these things isn't very good at using a consistent naming scheme. For example, the first CD might be named "Book I'm Reading" and the tracks might be called 01-01, 01-02, 01-03, etc. Then the second CD might be called "Book I'm Reading Disc 02" with the tracks called 02 Track 01, 02 Track 02, etc. Then you get to the third CD and it's called "03 Book I'm Reading" and the tracks are Track 01, Track 02, etc. This is all a pain, but then it gets really interesting because you get to the fourth CD and it's simply called "Book I'm Reading" again. Suffice it to say that sometimes you have to do a little supplemental naming and regrouping when you're done. So when I started to rip the 8th CD from a book the other day and it came up with the CD titled as though it were the 4th CD, I didn't think much of it. I mean, apparently this was just another case of the CD company farming CD burning out to a wide array of teenagers in their garages or something. But then I noticed that it had overwritten the files from the real 4th CD. I went through a variety of renaming tactics as I reripped both CDs several times. After a long time I finally admitted defeat and asked M for help. I was a technical failure...

He asked me about what I had tried so far and he seemed fairly satisfied by my thorough answers. Then finally he asked me, "Are you sure the CDs are actually different?" Of course I was. One had Disc 4 printed on it and the other had Disc 8 printed on it. The first tracks were a different length (by one second). "Did you actually listen to it?" Well, no...

Turns out Disc 8 really has the same data on it as Disc 4. Well, that would explain things, wouldn't? But I still can't believe it! Has no one else ever checked this book on CD out? Did no one else ever bother to mention this little idiosyncrasy to the librarians? Did no one notice they were missing out on 1/13th of the book???

Guess I need to have a chat with the librarians AND go find a hard copy of this book so I can read whatever parts correspond to Disc #8. And since the CDs aren't kind enough to actually list what chapters each CD covers, I get to listen to Disc #9 to try and figure out the first time it starts a new chapter so I know when to stop reading the printed book and get back to folding laundry.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bitter Update

So remember all my whining about comparing myself to my other pregnant friends? Well I have no pregnant friends left. Leann had her baby yesterday. Eleven days early.

Double hmph.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How Would You Feel If YOU Scored a 1 Out of 10?

NOTE: I'm going to talk about having a baby. Nothing gory, I promise, but I'll still be throwing a lot of labor lingo around like dilation numbers. I think we can all be grown up enough around here to mention things like *gasp* cervices. Just deal, okay?

(Also, I am happy to have had an excuse to use the plural of cervix. I don't care if "cervixes" is correct too, because "cervices" makes me smile.)

My sister Jessica is having her baby as I write this. She isn't due until tomorrow. (Every time the phone has rung the last few days, I've wondered if it's her telling me she's having/had the baby. She called me on Tuesday just to ask a question and got me all excited. I feel like she needed to start every conversation with, "No baby yet." Like even before she said, "Hello." If I picked up the phone, the first words I heard in her voice should have been, "No baby." Because my suspense should be her first priority in life, right? But tonight I emerged from hiding in a closet due to a tornado warning in our neighborhood, put the kids to bed in the dark because the power was out, and then decided to give my mom a call. Because what else can you do when the power is out besides use your land line? On one o' them archaic CORDED phones, no less. Only then did I find out my mom is waiting in the hospital waiting room for news of the yet-to-occur birth.) I know that she'll probably hate me for saying it, but I'm secretly pleased that Jessica didn't have her baby any sooner. I mean, she went in for her 35 week appointment and was already dilated to 2.5 cm. I believe she was at a 3 just before she went into labor this morning.

Similarly, my best friend Leann is due to have her baby on the 23rd of June. She went in at 35 weeks and was also at 2.5cm. Last I heard, she was at a 3.5.

All I have to say to these women is, "I hate you people."

In case you wanted to know, nothing's really happening with my cervix thus far. No big surprise.

When I went in to be induced 4 days past my due date with Claire, I was what I like to call a "courtesy 1." I believe the exact quote from the doctor was, "Mmm... we'll call it 1 cm." As in what the doctor was really saying was, "Well, at the last few appointments I've had to tell you that you weren't even a 1 yet and I just don't have the heart to tell you that you're still not even a 1 although you're past your due date, so we're going to call it a 1 to make you feel better since it really makes no medical difference if you're 1 or less than that. Either way you are SO not about to go into labor any time soon and we have our work cut out for us 'ripening' your cervix."

With Scott, I think I made it to 1 cm sometime shortly before my due date and when I went in to be induced with him (5 days late that time) I was at 1.5. Yah, still not exactly ready and rarin' to go the second time around. In fact, toward the end of my pregnancy with Scott when I asked my doctor at what point I should go to the hospital if I started having contractions, do you know what she did? She laughed at me. Laughed! She answered my question, but then she told me that she highly doubted I would go into labor on my own.

So I am resigned to the fact that needing to be induced a week early this time means I will DEFINITELY not dilate ahead of time. At least not to any useful extent. I keep telling myself that everyone is different and that's just the way my body rolls (and "rolls" is a pretty good description of both how I look and move these days). But I can't help but be jealous. I mean, my only sister was my biologically best bet for a "labor twin," right? But apparently she doesn't have a lazy cervix, as I like to say in derision of my own anatomy.

Does no one actually deliver past their due date anymore? I want to hear that I'm not a freak of nature. I guess I know a few people who have delivered late. But I bet they all reached their due date dilated to like a 3. Or you know, something larger than 1.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Like a Real Blogger...Or Something

I got to do a guest post on my friend Kristi's hilarious blog. If you're a regular here, it won't be new to you. It was just one of her favorites from my archives. But I feel flattered nonetheless. Who wouldn't be with an intro like this? (Although I can't decide. Is it a good thing or not that this is actually the way I talk???)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Addition

There's a new addition. No, no, not the baby yet. Seriously, come on. Remember what I said? Claire and Scott were induced well past my due date with my body showing no signs of being close to labor on my own. It would be absurd to expect an uninduced early arrival with Kate.

Check out the sidebar. (No really, click on over from Google Reader and scroll down there toward the bottom.)

Everyone's favorite feature is back! You know you've missed the slideshow of the rock pile, haven't you? Well, rest assured, rock harvesting season has returned and our bounteous harvest will be highlighted once again in the sidebar. We might even put some new trees into the holes left behind.

Check back soon for more, including mandarin orange tree flavored rocks!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Something Totally Not Repetitive AT ALL

Because who doesn't love even more fuzzy pictures of Kate?

Bear with me guys. The perk of these ultrasound pics is the only thing keeping me sane with all these pointless appointments.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Excuse Me While I Go Annihilate Some Music

I have a confession to make. Sometimes, I'm not as good of a geek as I should be. The dumb broad side of me is known to surface now and then. One example of this is my misuse of media conversion terminology.

I know the right words. You "rip" a track off your CD. Then you "burn" it onto a CD. No matter how much I know this when I stop and think about it, the wrong term keeps popping out of my mouth when casually discussing the management of my audio files with M. He ALWAYS points this out, and then I roll my eyes and say, "Whatever."

I think it's easy to trip up. I mean, what's with all the highly destructive terminology for working with your files? Rip, burn, flash, explode, torrent, tar, strip, hack, crack... am I missing any here?

I don't know, but excuse me. I need to go masticate a CD.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How I'm Already Spoiling My First Niece

My sister is due to have her first baby in June, about 2.5 weeks before I expect to be induced to have Kate. She is having a little girl too and I sewed this blessing dress for her. (In our faith a baby blessing is comparable to but different than a christening.)

I can only take credit for execution, the design is all Jessica's. Cute, huh? Almost made me jealous. But I'm content to sew only one blessing dress during this pregnancy and let Kate wear the same one I made for Claire. I mean, I'm too lazy to sew elastic onto a flat sheet, so do you really think I'm up for a SECOND baby dress???

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who's your best friend?

A little while back I got the best compliment I've ever received.

Or so I thought.

A few months ago or so, Scott announces, "Dad, you're my best friend!". As you may have picked up, in our house, Scott tends to be the sweet emotional kid. He wears his heart on his sleeve so this wasn't jaw dropping but I still felt like a million bucks. I mean really, how many dad's top the list of people their son would like to be around? Especially one that reminds him EVERY SINGLE NIGHT he has to eat BOTH tablespoons of dinner Mom made BEFORE he can have ice cream? I was feeling pretty good about myself

Fast forward a bit. Scott is missing Grandma and Grandpa who visited recently so we decide to give them a call. Scott's not the biggest phone talker but he does manage to eek out "Grandpa, you're my best friend EVER."
Suddenly, I'm feeling more like 100K. That's ok. So there is someone out there who is Scott's favorite person regardless of which social circle we are talking about. This is Grampa we're talking about after all. He's not the one forcing a spoonful of unpalatable spaghetti on the kid.

Fast forward a bit more. We are at church. Scott sees one of his friends from nursery. "Look, it's my BROTHER Anden!

Well, at least I'm on the guest list. I suppose that's the best a dad at this age can ask for. But if Scott thinks he's getting out of eating that half a hot dog he's got another thing coming.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh Sheet!

The other day Claire came downstairs and told us, wide-eyed, that Scott was up in our room cutting our bed. WHAT?!?!?

We ran upstairs and found Scott sitting on our new-to-us king size bed with a pair of scissors. The fitted sheet I had bought less than 2 weeks ago was riddled with holes:

I would have thought I would get crazy-mad, but I didn't. I had to keep a very solemn face to make sure Scott knew not to do that again, but really all I was thinking was, "Phew!" You see, this is the very first scissors incident we've ever had. How have we gotten to the point where we have a 5 year old and a 3 year old and haven't had scissors problem yet? I guess we're just really lucky. And in the whole scheme of things, it could have been so much worse. Sure the sheets were practically brand new, but they're so replaceable. They are plain white sheets. There's nothing special or sentimental or unique about them. Don't you just love when a problem can truly be solved by just throwing money at it? Not that I like throwing money around, but the $25 I had spent at Ross on the sheet set was a small price considering the cost of many other fabric items in our home (i.e. the comforter that was right next to the victimized sheet, the mattress underneath said sheets, the carpet, the couch). We lectured him a little and then told him he had to help us take off the old sheet and put a new one on. He humbly replied, "Yes sir, Mommy." :)

But here's the problem now. We had an extra fitted sheet because I bought two sets for the sake of washing, so we have something to sleep on for now, but I would like to have a second sheet again like I did before. You know, for next time Scott breaks out the scissors... hardy har har - NOT! (This better not happen again or next time I might go ballistic after all.) Anyway, I would like to purchase JUST a fitted sheet. Not an entirely new set. Apparently this costs more than an entire set.


You see, due to the need for marital peace, M and I don't use a flat sheet. I won't get into the bedding tug-of-war that occurred every night when we still had a separate flat sheet and comforter. The bizarre results were seemingly physically impossible bedding distributions by morning. (Note: I still stubbornly maintain that it was ALL M's fault.) Nor will I get into the freakish OCD-like tendencies I have when my skin is in direct contact with a comforter. [Shudder, shudder] Suffice it to say that having a duvet that can be taken off and washed but no flat sheet has saved our marriage and my sanity. It may not be my ideal set up, but compromise is an important part of marriage, right? So buying a sheet set that includes a flat sheet means we end up with nice high-thread count drop cloths. Or fabric for lots and lots of ghost costumes come Halloween. In short, we don't need the flat sheet. And, another long story in itself (basically I'm a sucker for free stuff), we already had king size pillows on our queen bed, so we already had a set of king pillowcases from before. So when we acquired the (FREE!) king bed I really only needed to buy us a couple fitted sheets and one set of pillowcases for us to have the two sets of the sheets we wanted (so we could have one on the bed and one in the wash). But I was (understandably I think) anxious to get to sleep on our newly acquired king-size bed in my whale-like pregnancy state, so I rushed out and bought two entire sets of king sheets at my local Ross anyway. They were cheap and it was a quick solution. Yay. So here is our current king size sheet tally:

6 pillowcases
2 flat sheets
1 fitted sheet
1 fitted sheet full of holes

Now I really don't want to go out and buy a whole new set. That would put our tally to:

8 pillowcases (all less than a year old, all plain white) - that's enough for more pillows than I can think of ways to use, EVEN when trying to get comfortable while pregnant!
3 flat sheets - do you think they'd make good tablecloths???
2 fitted sheets
1 fitted sheet full of holes

That seems silly to me. Why can't I buy JUST the fitted sheet? Sure I can, but only if I buy fancy ones that cost more than the entire reasonably nice sheet set did at Ross. At least this is the case at all the retailers I have checked. And you know, I'd kinda like the extra sheets before this baby arrives so I'm not in the mood to sit around stalking ebay auctions or anything. Any suggestions anyone? Anyone want to bid on an ebay entry that goes something like this:

NEW, Never Used Flat King Sheets and Pillowcases - open package, missing fitted sheet from set

Monday, May 18, 2009

Can I Call It That Too?

Sometimes it's just so funny when kids chronically mispronounce things. Scott's latest is Nutrigrain bars. He consistently calls them "Graitrinune bars" no matter how many times we coach him on the right way. When Claire was little she called helicopters "hop-poo-coppers." What is your favorite kid mispronunciation?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What Goes Around Comes Around, Eventually

Or Good Things Come to Those Who Wait While Repeatedly Pestering the Other Insurance Company

About 3 weeks ago, I got a bill in the mail. It was for $1.50 in toll charges.
From December of 2007.

Our cars have RFID tags on them for going through the toll plazas, so we never stop to pay a toll. Back when our minivan was in the shop due to an accident, turns out that we thoughtlessly drove through a toll plaza in our rental car out of sheer habit. Apparently it took this long for them to track down who had been driving the rental car at the time and get the bill sent to us. Talk about lag time. And they went to all that effort for a buck fifty. I almost felt sorry for them, but I certainly didn't mind paying it considering there were no extra fees involved.

But speaking of lag times, today I got a check in the mail. For $692.77! We finally got reimbursed by the other guys' insurance for that same rental car. They finally accepted that their guy was at fault and got around to coughing up the cash. The accident was in November of 2007.

Apparently 18 months is just how long it takes for anyone to get the blame for stupid acts, be they of the $1.50-variety or the endangering-the-lives-of-4-people variety.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dote, Dote, Dote...

The umbilical cord was in front of her face, so that's what the deal is with the line-ish thing over the bridge of her nose.


So some of you might be wondering why I am getting all these ultrasounds. No, I have not bribed an ultrasound tech. Kate has a two vessel umbilical cord. It's also called a Single Umbilical Artery (SUA). Normally a baby has two arteries and one vein in the cord, but she only has one artery and one vein. It is associated with some abnormalities, but we seem to be lucky and none have shown up in fairly extensive ultrasound scans. Now that the concern of abnormalities is pretty much over, the only concern is that blood flow might be restricted and she could experience impaired growth or other similar problems. This is what is being checked for by my now weekly ultrasounds. So far, everything looks great though! It is quite common for the one artery to get larger and fully compensate for the missing one, resulting in a perfectly normal pregnancy. So far, that seems to be the case and we just get a lot of peeks at Kate. The other result is that I will be induced about a week early, guaranteeing that I will NOT go almost a week past my due date and then still end up being induced like happened with Claire AND Scott.