Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year End, Take Two

I started to do a year end post, but stopped.  It was just too depressing.  Far too depressing, and I don't need any extra pushes that way about now.
So, instead of re capping all of the year, I decided to try again, and only re cap the good part of the year and the big stuff.  Were just going to pretend all the bad stuff didn't happen. K?
This year has been crazy for us.  The biggest thing of all, is that I had The Littlest One!  Yeah for new babies!  She is totally fantastic, and make me laugh every single day.  I am so thankful that we were able to have her!
The next big thing was that we found out that my husband will be retiring next year.  That may not be a positive in every sense, as he would have like a little more time in, but I'm thankful for the fact that our family will be whole again, all the time, very soon.  I look forward to all the changes it will bring and am really excited about our future.

I also thought it might be fun to repost a few of my favorite blogs from this year in case you missed them:
We Let It All Fly
The Dr Said To Stay Pregnant
Our Big Littlest News
Eight Years and Torture
End Of The World

Yes, this year has been hard, but I'm going to try not to remember it that way.  I'm going to try to remember the good.  The great birthday parties we threw.  All the fun times we have had with friends.  The fantastic new little person who came into our lives.  That is how I plan on remember 2011, and not the crappy rest of it.
So, good bye to this year.
Hello to the next.
I'm hoping 2012 brings us a year full of things I don't have to pretend didn't happen.
Happy New Year, and I wish a year full of memories you want to all of you as well.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Tree Debate

While I love to put our Christmas tree up every year, I have to admit that I think I love taking it down more. There is something about cleaning up your house from all the Christmas clutter that makes me feel happy.  Don't get me wrong, I love having it up, too, but cleaning up post Christmas is a great ritual.  There is just something about starting the new year with a totally clean house that feels very appropriate.  in fact, I even plan on cleaning the carpets once it goes down.

This year, though, along with everything else, having my husband deployed has changed that ritual for us.  This year, The Girls want to leave the tree up until he comes back, which will still be a few months.
I don't know if I can handle it for that long.
Christmas trees are beautiful, with all the twinkling lights, shiny ornaments, and other things we lavish them with.  That all makes them one giant magnet for little people, too.  The Littlest One loves the tree.  She LOVES the tree.  She wants to touch it every moment of every day.  She wants to grab a branch and pull it down on herself.  Well, perhaps she doesn't want to pull it down on herself, but she certainly seem to be trying to do just that.
I can't handle it for months more.  Sometimes, it feels like I can't handle it for a moment more.  It is a constant "don't touch that" game that I think she is wining.  I don't like playing this game, at all.
So, we have to find a compromise.   We have to find a way to keep him in mind, and them happy with out putting their baby sister in jeopardy.
Right now, I am leaning toward changing out the tree.  I have a small, 3 or 4 foot, tree that My Husband and I used our very first Christmas together.  I think I can handle leaving that one out.  It won't be our big tree, but hopefully it will be just enough to make them happy, and not enough to hurt the baby if she does finally pull the tree over.  Now, I just have to convince the bigger two that it is the way to go.  These are touchy times, and this is definitely a touchy subject.  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Much Love To The Elves of The World

This is the second Christmas that we have ever spent with my husband deployed.  I suppose in 12 years, I should actually consider myself lucky this is only the second.
It is also fitting, I suppose.  He missed The Big One's first Christmas, and now he is missing The Littlest One's first Christmas.  He missed our first Christmas as a family, and now our last Christmas as a military family.
While that may in some morose way be poetic, it is absolutely in no way comforting, and doesn't assist me in making this a magical holiday.  Quite the opposite.
I am very grateful for my Mom, who came home with me for a week after Thanksgiving to help me get started.  With her, I managed to get the tree up, stocking hung, house partially decorated, and start some of my shopping.
Other than that, I have had to get this all together myself.  This is a lot of work.  It takes a ton of planning.  I have done a ton of shopping online.  Thank you, Amazon for giving Amazon Mom members free prime accounts for up to the first year.  It has been a life and wallet saver.  I am pretty sure I should bake something for all the delivery people who have come to my door over and over and over again this year.  If they weren't so busy, we should all be on a first name basis.  Actually, I'm quite sure they all know my name by heart, after seeing it on so many packages.
I have done a ton of shopping on the dl.  I managed to sneak stocking stuffers in under bags of plastic straws and boxes of baby wipes.  I have even whispered to people at registers, asking them to keep certain purchases on the dl as well, and having them quickly double wrap things with a serious poker face on.  To those people, I am thankful.

I have managed to get us to exactly where we normally are the day before Christmas, maybe even a little further ahead since i have been wrapping at night.  We are as ready for Christmas as we can be.  There are two gifts for both sets of parents, things I am making, that will go out a little late, but parents are usually pretty understanding people, and hopefully they will know we love them, and won't be too upset about the late arrival.  In the grand scheme of things, if those are our only casualties, I will be ecstatic.
Of course, there will be tears on Christmas day.  Lots of them.  Missing your spouse on Christmas is hard.  Missing your dad has got to be worse.  The Girls are generally pretty good about it, but we have had some hard moments.  The Big Little One cried at the dinner table the other night.   She was telling me all about what was going to happen on Christmas.  There was a huge lead up of activity, with a culmination of "And then Daddy will come home" after which I had to break her heart by telling her again that it won't happen.  We got through it, though.
So, I'm working on making this the best Christmas it can be.  No Dad.  No other family.  Just us.  I promise to make it the best it can be, no matter how much I have to wrap, how many cookies I have to bake, or how much sleep I lose to see that every single thing is as perfect as it can be.  They will love it, even if a part of their heart is sad.  We all will.  And next year, when we are all together again, we will be even more thankful for the fantastic holiday, and the times we get to spend together, because we will truly understand how special they are, and appreciate them more than many people ever could.
Merry Christmas to All, and may your holiday be as fantastic as possible for you and yours.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Life Is....

...Not a box of chocolates, before anyone thinks I would ever be so cliche.

You might have noticed a little, or really large, lapse in blogging.  Life has been busy, crazy, hard, and so much more lately.
I do have a few blog posts that I just haven't finished yet, but I thought I would give a brief synopsis just to catch everyone up, and a promise that I will do better.  I need to, for me.

So far, we are nearly five months into what will be My Husband's last deployment.  If you missed it, or I didn't publish it, he is retiring next year.  To say that life here is stressful now, is a total understatement.  When I think of all the things we are thinking about, planning for, and dealing with, I picture Atlas.  I know it may be very narcissist of me to compare myself to a mythological god, but when you are dealing with not just your own life, but the lives of three little people who depend of you for everything, it is a little like that.
Not only do we have the normal, suddenly single parent stuff to deal with this deployment, which let me assure you sucks beyond belief, but I am also doing it over Christmas, which adds a whole new level of suck in there, with a child who isn't coping well this time around, at all, again, adding to the suck fest.
On top of doing all this, don't forget that I have an infant this time around, too.
Anyway, much to do, places to pick to live, and so on.
As normal, we went home for Thanksgiving to help my mom with The Country Christmas Show, (google it if you want).  That meant that I took about 5 to 6 hours worth of plane rides with 3 children.  Just me, and The Girls.  That was fun.  Not.
That meant I was totally out of touch for the two weeks we were home, or almost totally.  That show takes up so much attention in a very short time, it feels like I do nothing else when we are there.
Thankfully, and really one of the only 2 reasons I braved it, My Mom came home with me for a week to help me get Christmas started.  I can never thank her, or love her, enough.  Additionally, she drove my car, that I really did love but couldn't fit three car seats in, back home to my brother who bought it from me.  I hate to admit it, but I have to get a bigger car.  No point in doing it now, since no one else drives around here at the moment, and I can drive the truck.  So, we will be a one car family until I pick out what I want, and actually buy it.  If you know how indecisive I am, this may be a while.
Anyway, Christmas is nearly here.  I am almost ready.  The Girls are super excited.  The Big Ones are, anyway.  The Littlest One just like to watch them get all excited about things.  She is getting bigger all the time.  Kind of scary.  Already standing at 7 months, and has 6 teeth.
We still have a few more months to go in this deployment, but we will survive, just like w do everything.
I'll go into more later on, but if I don't blog for a bit, 1)please understand its because I just can't get to it, and 2)you might want to send help.  I may be in a corner rocking myself and humming/mumbling a little tune by Gloria Gaynor.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mystery Food

Thought I would go ahead and post another mystery food.  

This was last night's meal, and a new food for her was included.
So far, we haven't tried anything too crazy.  These are simple foods.  Also, to be honest, I did use an organic puree ready made in this one.  
I need a better food processor so I can do that all by myself a little better.  

Any guesses on this one?  I'll give you a hint, it is seasonally appropriate!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

She's Baaaaaack

You may have read this post before about a sub The Biggest One had in Kindergarten,at a different local school.  Well, today, we had her again.  I was shocked.  I was more shocked because The Big One remembered her!  I was totally blown away by that alone.  Though The Big One made an initial impression on the sub, it was apparently not a lasting one.  The Sub simply told her "I work there every Thursday and Friday.  So it is very possible."
Thanks, lady.
Unfortunately, as The Big One has an after school program sometimes, I didn't get to ask the sub myself if she still has "quite a personality".  I'd love to finally know what she meant by that.  Instead, I'll just stick with what I said the first time, and agree with The Sub, that in all her fabulous, quirkyness, The Big One really does have quite an incredible and wonderful personality.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guess The Mystery Food

I have decided to do things a little differently the third time around when it comes to feeding a baby.  I suppose I am going old school with this.  Really old school.
I started checking out what all was in a lot of the processed, prepackaged baby foods, and quite frankly, I didn't like it.
I called up my mom, and ask what all she and her eleven siblings (yes you read that correctly) would have been given as a baby.   Her answers kind of shocked me at first.  The foods they were given, sausage gravy, grits, soup beans, may not all be super healthy or things I would try, but it started to dispell the myth that babies shouldn't eat anything that doesn't come in a jar with a label for me.
So, I decided to make my own food this time around.
The Littlest One is just over six months old now, and she should be able to handle most foods.   Therefore, I give her real food.  I throw it in my food chopper, get the texture a little better for her, and go for it.
I have to tell you, she loves it.  She didn't care for the baby cereal oatmeal that I bought, and now have sitting on a shelf and until I find someone else to give it to.  I can't say I blame her.  That stuff smells bad.  However, she loves real oatmeal.  I over cook it, and don't salt it, but still it tastes better than what she had before.  Mix it with a little fruit, and man has she got a great meal.
We are doing that will all kinds of things now, and as she gets older, and her body matures more, I will start giving her more and more foods that I think she should love.
Hence, a new series of posts, "Guess The Mystery Food".
Can you guess what I fed her?
I'll check back in about a day and see if anyone knows what it is after I post it.

Simple foods, made fresh.
That's how we roll these days, and we both love it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The End Of The World

So, I posted a while back about it being the end of the world, as I know it.
I know that seems like a dramatic statement to make, but the truth is that our world is about to change dramatically.

Next year, My Husband will be retiring from the military.  And our world will never be the same.
I'm sad for him in some ways.  I know he wanted to stay in.  I know there are still things he would like to do, and he loves his job.  You can't ask for more than that with any career.
However, as much as I am sad for him, in some ways, I am very, very happy.

The last eleven plus years of my life have revolved around his career.  Every decision made has been affected by what he does.  Even my wedding date was changed, and our honeymoon scrapped when a catastrophe struck, and his school schedule suddenly changed.  He left me 3 months pregnant with The Big One to deploy to the middle east in support of the operation in Iraq.  He came home just before she was born, but we didn't get to live together again because of schools and things until she was 15 months old.
We have moved more times than I have fingers to count on.
My body has been corrupted by the military medical system, and I will live with that for the rest of my life.
I could go on, but suffice to say, everything in our lives has been controlled in one way or another by his occupation.
No more.
There will be no more deployments after this one.  I thank God for that.  I don't know if I could do this again.
I'm not just glad to be done with all that for me.  I'm very thankful that my children will have their father back.  No words can express how happy I am about that.
They have missed him.   We have missed him.
I don't know what he will be doing yet, or where we will be going.
Our future, for the first time, is wide open.
He can choose a new career that he hopefully will love as well.
We can live anywhere we want.
Most importantly, we can be together.
I know the next year or so will be tumultuous.  I know it will be scary and exciting.  I know it will also go by  very fast, but I look forward to it, and all the changes it will bring for us.
Wish us luck in our new lives, trying to learn to be a civilian family like the rest of the world finally.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No More Soup Poop

This post is going to be really crappy.  By that, I mean it will be a post all about crap, poop, or what ever you want to call it.
As your children grow up, you tend to forget, or really block out, many of the things you endure when they are babies.  In my case, I think I blocked out the soup poop.  Soup poop what I like to call a totally liquid bowel movement that babies can have in the beginning stages.
Having a baby that is only fed breast milk, they can only poop liquid.  Its awesome.
The Littlest One inherited her father's digestive track, and I can assure you she won't thank him later.  That kid can poop like no other baby I have ever seen.  She actually managed to squirt poop on my shirt one day during a change.  It was amazing, totally freaky, and gross all together.
Her poops are also massive.  She eats a lot, but only poops once a day.  So, you get a massive, totally liquid poop.  Again, awesome.  It almost always comes out of the diaper.  It can't help but do that.  We seriously deal with a blow out practically every day.
So, when the Dr told me that as I started her on food, she may get a little constipated, I laughed and told her I would welcome it.  I think the Dr was shocked, and she ask me if she still had loose stools.  When I described what i dealt with, she told me I might like what I get then.
I have to tell you, after just the first day of food, I already do.  The smell is terrible, far worse than before, but we managed to get a non liquid poop, that was much more manageable!  I was so thankful, and I look forward to the poops getting less and less soupy as we go on.
I realize that few people will read through this post.  After all, not many people will really want to read about poop in general, but seriously, people, I've never been so happy to share such crappy news in my life as to tell you that my daughter now poops like a normal person.  It really is awesome.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Breast Kind of Meal

Yesterday, I finally gave The Littlest One food.  I was going to hold off until 6 months, but she just kept reaching for my food, and so I gave in.
Truth be told, I've had the food and stuff for weeks, along with the go ahead from her Dr some time ago.  I just couldn't do it.  Part of me just doesn't want her to grow up so fast, especially knowing that she is my last.
However, let this be a joyous post in celebration of her major milestone: Eating.
I opted for baby oatmeal cereal.  You know, that noxious smelling pasty stuff that we give our babies in lieu of real food at first.  I always make mine with breast milk.  Generally, I will pump enough milk for the cereal, the pour it into a bowl and mix it.  With the first feeding, though, you give them so little, that I felt the pump wasn't warranted.  I could just quickly, and privately, express enough to make that little bit of cereal I needed.  I've done it this way in the past, too.  However, in the past, I've never had a child old enough to really question it.  Let me just say that adding an older child into the mix really changes things up.
As I was prepping The Littlest One's food, the big one comes in and looks at what I am doing: mixing a little cereal into the breast milk I had in one of the baby bowls.  She stopped, stared at the bowl for just a second, then looked at me with huge eyes.

"Did you squirt milk into the bowl?"
Yes.  I just expressed some milk to make the cereal with.
"Oh that is so gross, mom!"
What?  She gets breast milk all the time.
"No, mom!  That is just gross.  Into the bowl mom?!?"
Well, what do you want me to do?  I have to give her milk.

At that point, she started doing that laugh, head shake thing you do when you have just witnessed someone do something that you think was ridiculously gross but still kind of funny, like the kid who licked paste in school,  and just walked away.
It wasn't the fact that I gave the baby milk in her cereal, but the fact that I expressed it directly into the bowl that bothered her.
I guess I could have used the pump, but for only a couple of ounces the first feeding, why bother?  I did it privately, I just used a funny receptacle.  Same difference to me, but apparently not to The Biggest One.
The Littlest One liked it no matter where it came from, and I don't think she will care in the future, either.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

OOD 10/9

Today's fabulous outfit includes a very gurly skull shirt, multicolored heart short, Dollywood hat and about 15 bracelets.  Enjoy.

Friday, September 30, 2011

It's The End Of The World

I really do feel fine.  In fact, I'm rather looking forward to it.  Tell you why later.  ; )

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Good For Us All

The only time that The Big Girls will leave me alone is when i clean.  They know that if they come within eyesight, they will be given a task, and they don't want that.  At all.  So, they stay away.  Far away.  They tend to be quiet.  For that reason, I have taken to a few cleaning tasks that warrant me some small sort of peace. Vacuuming has become a favorite of mine, especially now that i have one i love.  I even find the white noise enjoyable, because it covers any noise The Girls make, and for some odd reason calms The Littlest One.
Today, though, the white noise just wouldn't cut it.  I needed more.  There are times that I just need to have that little something that is totally inappropriate for them, but totally fantastic for me.   Like any good Gen Xer, and I am though barely by the skin of my grungy pants, I love and worship Kurt Cobain like the tragic, godlike hero he was.  Nirvana is hands down the best band that ever played on this planet.  The problem therein is that the lyrics aren't quite rated appropriate for my children, or any children.
No matter what I wanted, I couldn't get The Littlest One to let me put her down.  She seemed to want to eat, or sleep, both while being held, all day.  On top of that, The Big Girls were pushing it with me.  After a particularly ire inducing episode of "I didn't get what I want from Mom so I will ask another adult" they were in the serious dog house.  I needed some space.  I needed some me time.  With a deployed spouse, that doesn't come easy, or at all.
So, I did the next best thing.  I gave up, recognized what I had available to me, and inspired by the words of Tim Gunn, made it work.
I pulled out my head phones, grabbed my phone, which has my Napster app all loaded up and ready to go, found the moby wrap, and strapped the baby on.  She will usually hang there for quite a while, depending on what I am doing.  As long as I don't bend down with her, which really pisses her off I might add, she tends to like it strapped to my chest.  Once i got her on, we pulled out the vacuum, and I turn on the music.  It was like heaven.  I could rock out to my 90's grunge play list, and no one was the wiser.  It was, in fact, pretty good for everyone.  I got a little exercise, and could almost pretend i was in my own world.  The Littlest One got some god bonding time and wrapped up and strapped on.  The Big Girls got to sit in the back room and not have to do housework.  They also got quite a show.  They thoroughly enjoyed watching me dance to music they couldn't hear.  I think they might have though I was a little nuts, but I really don't care.  I'm sure this won't be the last time they think I am just a tad bit crazy, and I kind of like it that way.  Thinking their mom might be just the tiniest bit nuts might actually help keep them in line just a bit.  I'll take all the help I can get, however i get it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cows Can Feel

As I am very upfront about, I am a vegetarian.  I have been for many years.  So many years, that I can't even remember exactly how many anymore, but I'm pretty sure it is over 12.
I am an ovo lacto vegetarian, to be very specific.  That means I eat eggs and dairy.  At least, I used to.
 I think I am going on day 427 with no dairy.  Well, no.  I am on day one, but it feels like it has been years.  Yesterday, at The Littlest One's 4 month check up, the Dr told me to lay off the milk.  Apparently, her poop shouldn't be green foam, and it may be a result of dairy.  It may also be that i produce way too much milk.  Either way, the Dr wants me to try going with out dairy for a week, to see if it makes a difference.  I'm sure it will make some difference.  By the end of the week, I will have lost a ton of weight because that is all I eat.  I eat dairy instead of meat.  It isn't necessarily healthy, but that is how it is.  I try not to eat a ton of soy, because it too is actually unhealthy for very different reasons.  We have a dairy loving family.  Even with my husband, who likes to eat cereal in the mornings, gone, we go through at least 2 gallons of milk a week.  Usually, I'm trying to stretch the second gallon to make it last until my weekly Costco trip for milk.
No more, though.  I have to stop.  I have to find a way to not eat cheese, drink milk, and so one.
ow this is going to happen, I'm just not sure, but if this is how it needs to be, so be it.
Some poor cow out there can rest a little easier now, knowing it won't feel the cold steel of that milking device quite as much as it used to.
And maybe, I won't be changing green foamy diapers by the end of the week.
I guess that would be a win for the the cow and me in some warped way, but a win none the less.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I thought I would start sharing some of the fabulous outfits My kids come up with. Hope you Love them as much as I do.
And, yes, those are toe socks.

**P.S.  Sorry about the crappy camera shot.  My camera died, and my husband took his on deployment.  I'm real camera less until I can find one that I actually like.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Some Times You have To Give Back

I think I spent 20 minutes today, trying the hardest I have ever tried just to keep a straight face.  It was work, but playing dumb for those few minutes, gave me enough joy to makeup for the crappy day, and really weekend, we have had around here.
The Littlest One sleeps in a mini play pen or play yard in my room right now.  It has a small bassinet in the top.  The weight limit actually says to remove the bassinet when they are over 15lbs, and when I weighed her last week, she had just it 15, but the thing had started to tilt a little too much for my liking, and I decided to make the big change today.  While The Two Bigger Girls were down stairs playing, aka fighting, I went upstairs with The Littlest One to vacuum and tidy up a bit.  That was when I removed the bassinet.  I never said a word about it.  I just removed it, put it in the storage bag for the bassinet, and put the bag away.  It was like nothing was different, on first glance.  I put the baby in her newly revised bed to check it out, and she seemed pretty happy hanging there with her favorite giraffe.  So, I went off to finish my work.
A bit later, The Big One comes up.  I was starting to vacuum the stairs.  She goes into my room, and I note the absence of sound from her for just a minute.  I can clearly picture it taking a second for the fact that her sister was now two feet lower to the ground than normal to sink in.  Then, I hear my name yelped, but I pretend not to.
She comes over to me rather quickly and starts to tell me something about the baby.  I know where this is going, and I instantly decide to take it somewhere a little more fun for me.

"Mom, The Baby is in the bottom of her bed!"

She is supposed to be in her bed.  That is where I put her.

"No, Mom, she is all the way down in her bed!"

You mean she is laying down?  Good!  I'm glad she is resting some.

"Mom!!!  You put her crib down!"

I didn't do anything to her crib.

""Arg!   Didn't you tell me that you can adjust her crib."

Yes.  You can adjust the crib to make it lower.

"See!  You moved it."

No.  I just told you.  I didn't do anything to her crib.

The conversation went on for quite a while.  I tried my best to model it after something like "Who's On First".  Once she got that I was being sly with the difference between the crib and the play pen, she finally started to pen me down.  I couldn't hold it too much longer, anyway. She really should have known, from the moment I didn't rush to check on The Littlest One, that I was knowingly messing with her, but this is my lovable, and slightly dingy child, who never thought about the fact that I should have been concerned, if I didn't know what she was talking about.  Once I smiled, and possible snickered just a little, she knew I was messing with her, and she was done.  She just turned and walked away.  Then I laughed out loud, the good kind that you don't get to do often.
I tell you, it was a good time, maybe not for all, but certainly for me.  It also made up for the cup of spilled orange juice, and the cup of spilled milk.  See, in this house, we don't cry over spilled milk, we just get even.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day Two And Not Shortage of Jerks

I've complained about parking a time or two before.
I would like to reiterate, that if the city wants to solve their money woes, I can offer a much better place to go looking for parking offenders than bothering people who are deployed about moving their cars every 72 hours.
Please, please, I am seriously begging, please send someone to the local schools to enforce and ticket there.
I swear to you there is money to be made.  Today alone, they could have easily written nearly 10 tickets at The Biggest One's school alone.
I get really upset when I see people doing things they shouldn't, blocking drive ways, pulling into them to make u turns (totally illegal in front of a school), and blocking in other cars parked there.
It is disrespectful to the people who live in that neighborhood.  Acting like a parking jerk teaches your children that you don't have to respect other people because they learn from example.  On top of that, when so many people have a lack of respect for basic parking etiquette, it reflects poorly on every parent there.  The neighbors around the school must surely think we are all jerks, and that makes me even more upset.  I get there early, or accept the consequence of parking far away since my very large truck takes a lot of room on the limited curb available.  I would never try to squeeze into a place too small for me, and end up blocking a driveway.  So, having the bad seeds make us all look like a bunch of jerks, makes me even madder.
I saw these business cards the other day, I think I need to order some.  If the city won't ticket people, maybe I need to start taking matters into my own hand.  Granted, I would never actually key a car, but I do agree with the sentiment.
So, people who park near schools, quit being a$$holes.  Just stop.  Now.  No one else anywhere appreciates it.  If you happen to find one of these, or something similar on your car, yes, yes I may have done it.  Go ahead and ask me.  I dare you, because the answer you get won't be a simple yes or no.  There will be a lecture involved for you whether I did it or not.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shake-a Shake-a Boom

We have developed a little problem around here that I can't quite shake (please note there is a pun there, and you will get it in a moment).  It has started to hinder our lives a bit, and really hinder my ability to sleep.  Neither of which is good.  The Big One has developed a serious fear of earth quakes.
Having never been in a real one, I'm scared of them too, but the vast majority of time,it never enters my mind.  Her problem is that it is always on her mind.
I think the recent quake in VA set it off.  I had started using the news as a tactic to keep the kids from watching TV with me.  IT stopped working at some point in time, and The Big One came in and watched a lot of the quake coverage on TV.  IT wasn't a bad one, but because it was so uncommon in that part of the US, it got a ton of coverage.  Hence it seems much bigger than what it was.
Now, she is absolutely, completely, terrified of them, and sure that one will strike at any moment.
Saturday night, she was supposed to spend the night with a friend.  This is a friend she has had since Kindergarten, and it was the first time they had spent the night together, just the two of them with out their Girl Scout troop, or any other friends.  They were ridiculously excited.
Then, about 11pm that night, I got a phone call.  The Big One was in tears and wouldn't calm down.  She wanted to come home.  After I went to get her, we started talking about what scared her.  Her Friend had fallen asleep, and The Big One was left laying in the little girl's room, thinking about things.  The girl has bunk beds, and The Big One was terrified that there would be an earthquake, and the top portion of the bed would fall down on her and crush her.  I suppose a valid concern in some regard, but I would venture that the beds were well constructed enough to handle all the torture and extreme stress brought on by younger children, and they would probably survive the kind of small quakes we get frequently around here.  Regardless, she wasn't about to be there any longer, and I had to get her.
I'm really surprised by this sudden onset of earthquake fear.  While she wasn't born here, The Big One has been raised in CA pretty much most of her life.  We moved here when she was 15 months old.  I had always thought that kids who were raised here would develop some sort of environmental immunity to the fear of earthquakes.  They happen so much, that they should be routine.  I may have miscalculated that.  The Big Little One hasn't gotten scared.  Perhaps you need an actual CA birth certificate to get that immunity.  I'm not sure.  Maybe there is an earthquake immunity booster shot of some sort that I can give her.
I realize that a little bit of fear is actually healthy.  We need to be aware that quakes are real, and serious, and respect that their potential power enough to always be cautious, but there is a line you have to draw in being scared.  Too much fear is a bad thing.  I'm really just hoping this will pass and she will get back to her normal self soon.  I don't want any of us to miss out on life because of fear.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Cake Leg Conundrum

I shaved my legs today.
I don't do it every day.
In fact, during the winter,  I shave just enough to keep my husband from mistaking me for a stuffed animal left in our bed at night.
During the warmer months, any month I might wear something other than jeans in public, I try to do a little more upkeep.
Honestly, though,  I tend to shave my legs more for my husband these days than I do for myself. It is something I know he appreciates.  Therefore the effort is worth it to me.
Today, though, I shaved my legs and afterward I wondered why. He isn't here to appreciate it. No one else is going to be feeling up my legs. So, who would have noticed my incredibly blonde leg hair but me. 
The more I think about it, I realized shaving my legs is a little like baking a cake for me, which I also did today. (Well, cupcakes, but you know what I mean).  When you bake a cake, you do it to enjoy it, but it just isn't the same if someone else doesn't get to enjoy it with you, and tell you how wonderful it is and what a great job you did. Tonight, I went through the effort of making vanilla cupcakes from scratch with The Girls. Afterward,  they went on and on about how good it was and how happy they were that we made them.
See, if I am going to go through the effort of shaving and them exfoliating my legs like I prefer to do, I need those accolades afterward to make it worth my while. With my husband deployed,  I just don't get it.
The Girls do occasionally touch my legs, complain about how prickly I am and request that I shave. So perhaps I could show them, just to get some kind of reaction, even if it is relief that they no longer get poked when they try to snuggle with me.  That really isn't the same, though. 
I don't think This is a major break through of any kind. I'm sure I will still have to begrudgingly shave my legs a few time over the next few months even though he won't be here to appreciate it. Moreover, I am absolutely positive That I will making cupcakes for and with The Girls again as well, perhaps even more often than I will shave my legs. After all, at least they really appreciate that and will even go so far as to clean up after only being ask once for the cakes. That is worth way more than a smooth leg to me right now for sure.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Glitter is the Devil

I have three girls.  I know this.  I should be ok with all the gurly things that come with that must estrogen.  We have naked Barbies littering rooms, and I can deal with this.  We have Little Pet Shop bins overflowing with tiny little funky eyed animals, and I think it is fine.  And while I absolutely love fun craft projects that my girls adore doing, I have to say that I have reached my limit when it comes to one thing: Glitter.
Glitter is the devil.
I have started to hate all things sparkly, and believe me, we have a ton of it.
For her birthday, someone gave The Big One a jewelry box.  This is no ordinary jewelry box, though.  It is a Velvet color yourself one, like those posters we all used to have at just her age.  The cheap black velvet with the crazy drawing taken out, so that you can color it to your hearts content.  Her box even takes it a step further with glitter glue and wait for it...sequins.  Yes.  Sequins, velvet, and glitter, oh my.  Its the ultimate little girls fancy material project.  And I abhor it.  It isn't so much that I hate all the glittery goodness of the box itself, it really comes down to one thing: will the glittery things end up all over my house.  The answer is yes and therein lies the loathing.  I may not hate it as much if we didn't have The Littlest One.  She is here, though, and I have to be protective of her in her tiny, I will put anything in my mouth, state.  Her big sister loves her, sometimes a little too much.  So, The Big One play with the box, washes her hands as is the rule, and then plays with The Littlest One.  No matter how much washing she does before hand, there always ends up random glitter on the baby.  Usually in the froward, hair zone.  That alone is enough to hate the stuff, before I even think about the fact that I am always cleaning it off the floor, the counter tops, and my poor dining table.  I even made the rule that it all has to stay in her room now, but it doesn't seem to prevent the sparkles from ending up all over the house.

To add to the glitz that bejewels my carpets, both of The Bigger Girls have clothes with glitter on them.  That would again be all fine and dandy, if the glitter actually stayed on them.  My dryer lint could often be used to make an barely there top for a Vegas show girl.  I will admit that I could control some of that by simply not purchasing the clothes with the glitter, but being a girl myself, it is really hard to pass up a little girl's t-shirt with  a skull and cross bones made of glitter, especially if the bow on the top is of hot pink glitter.  I can only have so much self control when it comes to clothes like that.

So, here we all live, in a sparkled out house that seems to be as girls as possible.  I supposed I shouldn't complain too much, though, as least as I stated before, I am a girl.  I imagine it is much worse for My Husband, who has to live in the land of all things girly.  I know he goes to work with glitter on him sometimes, because I often find it when he returns.  My hope is that somehow, some of that glitter ends up on the inside of his helicopters, because heaven knows, they could use a little glitz and glam.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Eight Years and Torture

For the last two birthdays, The Big One has begged me to have a sleep over for her birthday party.  This time, when she begged, I gave in.  I'm not sure why, but I think most of it was guilt because her Dad was going to be gone at the time, and I wanted to make sure she still had a wonderful birthday.  That, and there must have been some sort of temporary insanity that allowed me to to agree to do this a)by myself, b) with an infant to care for as well, and c) with 6 other little girls.  Actually, we invited 9, knowing that not all of them would come.
I ended up with 6 guests, plus my three children, all by myself, for a very girly, Hello Kitty themed birthday party sleep over.
As I am actually blogging about this, you may assume that I survived.  You would of course, be correct, but don't assume I survived unscathed.  I'm pretty sure that the amount of stress that I incurred cost me years of my life.   I would guess one year for each guest.  Six years are gone that I can never get back.

I planned the best I could for this party.  I bought a new Wii game that they all could play, Smurf Dance Party, and it was also physical.  My idea was to get them dancing for hours so that they would be exhausted before bed.  We picked out a movie to watch once they got settled in bed.
Though, some of my planning caused more stress than it should have.  I should have had pizza delivered, but instead I opted to let them make their own.  I should have just had cake and ice cream, but instead I made the cake and decorated it myself, then we did make your own ice cream sundaes to go with it.  Those two things probably cost me a good 2 months of the year I lost, but by no means was it the worst part.  That falls squarely on the shoulders of the girls themselves, in particular, three of the girls who did the greatest amount of damage.  Three little girls that I will very generously just call "high maintenance".  Let me assure you none of them were maliciously bad, but they each have their own personality twists that I should have taken into account when planning, and didn't.  In all fairness, I didn't know one of them at all until after the sleepover.  One of them would not participate with the group.  She was constantly somewhere else, no matter what I tried to get them to do.  If the other girls were smurf dancing, she was in the back playroom, trying to go through every bin of toys, toys for younger children mind you, that she could.  If the other girls were playing "Don't Say Hello Kitty", a game devised by my own child and not unlike the baby shower game where you can't say "baby", she was in the back room (again) playing with the play kitchen.  If the other girls went to the back room, she was pacing back and forth between my stair well and me, repeatedly asking me why she couldn't go upstairs and play.  When it was time to lay down at night, the other girls all gathered together to sleep in their sleeping bags, and she would inch worm around the room in her bag, until she hit the guinea pig cage.
And oh the poor guinea pigs.  This event probably cost them time off or their short lives as well.  I swear that I must have said "don't touch the baby" and "don't touch the guinea pigs" at least 40 times each in about a 18 hour period, that did include some sleep.
And by some, I mean a very few hours.  When it was time for bed, I couldn't get them to sleep.  It wasn't so much that they weren't tired.  I just couldn't get them to stop talking.  Again, one in particular, ad different one, wanted desperately to talk ALL NIGHT LONG.  Finally, about midnight, I told her to actually zip her lips, and that she wasn't allowed to speak again.  I lay on the couch, and "shhh"ed her every time she started talking.  After about 40 minutes or so of that, they all fell asleep.
Since most of the girls stayed up very late, I expected them to sleep at lease a little in the morning.  I was wrong.  Very wrong.  They were all up by about 7am.  The Big One was mainly the cause because she was up, and ready to go instantly.  She ran to her room, threw on a dress, because she needed to look snazzy at 7am on a Sunday, and was ready to go.
I was prepared for the morning.  I had cereal, muffins, fruit, and croissants all lined up so that they could get what ever they wanted.  I'm may be crazy, but I wasn't crazy enough to think I was going to cook.
By the time i got them fed, dressed, and then put everything away, we only had a little time left.  Score one more for thinking ahead, I had a craft project.  I had them decorate frames with hello kitty pieces I cut out with my cricut.  Then, when I get back the pics from the party, I'll give each one a framed pic along with their thank you note.  Anyway, that project was a huge success, and was the quietest my house had been for since the whole thing started.  Lesson learned, keep them busy!

Still, this was certainly a learning process for me.  Sleepovers of more than two children at a time are hereby prohibited until a girl reaches the age of at least 14 where I will no longer be cool or needed by her.  At that age, I will be able to set food out on the counters, lock the doors to the house, set the house alarm so that no one can get in or out, and then go hide in my own bedroom, with door locked, until everyone is gone.  That I will do anytime.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Off to Camp

Today was a huge day around here.
The Big One went off to camp today.  Not day camp, or just overnight camp, but we wont see her again until Thursday camp.
I am very conflicted about this.  Part of me is both very proud of her and excited for her.  She earned this camp. She got her butt up and sold cookies, walking around pulling her wagon or standing for hours in front of stores, to do it.  She also really wanted to go to camp.  She is excited about all the fun things she will get to do, and that makes me excite for her.
The rest of me, though, wishes I could have kept her home in my cocoon of safety.  I worry about her.  A lot.  She is very sensitive.  She is funny, and quirky.  She is fantastic.  Yet, like so many other kids, she just years to be accepted, and going into a huge group of people, that can be daunting.
She is also a vegetarian, and as a vegetarian, I know how hard it can be sometimes to find food at things like this.  On top of being a vegetarian, she is a picky vegetarian.  That doesn't set her up well for things like going off to camp where you eat what you are given.
Not only is there all of that going on, but she has never been away from home like this before.  In fact, in her 8 years of life, I can list for you every time she has been away from me at night.  There are of course the times I have been in the hospital, but she was home with MimMim and her Dad.  So, that doesn't count.  There is the one time that her father and I were fortunate enough to get a weekend away, but that also doesn't count because she was yet again with my mom.  Any time spent with Mim may as well count as being with me in her eyes.  Probably more fun in fact.  The only other time have been two nights that she got to sleep over at her Girl Scout leader's house for two different sleep overs.  Of course, as a co-leader, I was there right up until lights out both times.  Then, I was back first thing in the morning.  Not a whole lot of time without me.
So, I am worried about having her at a camp ground nearly two hours away.  I'm worried about everything.
I hope she gets to try new things, and make new friends.  I hope she learns something about herself along the way, and pulls some strength from inside to help her out in the times when she is sad or scared or what ever it may be.  Most importantly, I just hope she has a fantastic time, and makes memories that she will cherish for a life time.
To The Big One: I'll miss you!!  Be safe and have fun!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Only Way to Watch

My Husband, love his heart, loves to see movies.  I, though, am not a movie person.  It took me years to figure out why I dislike going to see movies so much, but I finally got it.
First, I'm cheap and movies aren't.  I thank my mom for that one, because as we grew up, she would always tell us she wouldn't pay the money to go see anything, she would rather wait until it came out on video, and that stuck.  I much prefer the little red envelopes that come in my mail box over going the movies.  For less than what it would cost my husband and I to go to the movies once a month, we get a ton of different things coming in those envelopes constantly.  There is almost always one going out, and one coming in.  Much better value.  However, if I really like something, I am willing to pay for it.  I still dislike actually going to the theatre, though, and that brings me to reason two.
I hate the sound systems in theatres because they always shake me and make me have to pee.  Yes.  It all really comes down to a hatred of needing to pee during the movie.  I have great anxiety about that.  I hate getting up in front of people. I hate public bathrooms, and I really, really hate not being able to enjoy my Coke Zero because I know it will end up making me need to pee.
So, he and I would only rarely go.  Since we have had children that low frequency has managed to decrease even more.  We only go to the movies shown on base, after they are pretty much out of theatres.  They are free, they don't have loud sound systems, and everyone gets up to go pee at some point since they are always movies meant for kids.  While I appreciate that lack of bladder shaking sound, and the fact that no one really cares if I have to get up and take them, it also amounts to a sucky movie experience, if you like the movies.

This year, it just so happens that My Husband's favorite comic book character,  and he is a super fan, has a movie coming out.  Captain America is in theatres now.  He couldn't believe they were going to make it a movie.  Then, he thought it was suck.  As more info and some pictures started to come out, and he began to realize that it wouldn't suck, his level of excitement went through the roof.  He needed to see this movie.
We are back to our movie watching hurdles, though, with my hating to go and then dealing with the kids.  I don't think The Littlest One would be very good in a theatre, and we can't leave her with a sitter just yet.
So, we found a fantastic alternative to just about every thing.
The drive in.
Yes, they still have those.
I know because we went to one.
We gathered up a ton of blankets, pillows, and my boppy just for The Littlest One, and threw them all in the trucks.  We went by Sonic and got some dinner to take with us.  Then we drove over to the drive in.
This particular place requires that big trucks like ours park in either the first four or last 4 rows.  We got there very early, and were able to get an incredible place up in the front.  I mean it was a killer spot.  The screen is huge.  We let the tail gate down, rolled the cover off the truck bed, threw all the pillows and blankets back there making a nice bed, and got the girls to climb in.  They loved it.  Unfortunately for me, the first few rows meant for trucks also have these humps built in that put you at an angle so that other people can see over your vehicle.   What this specifically meant for me was the the tail gate was now above my waist when let down, and I had to climb in.  I won't go into great detail on the spectacle I made of myself, trying to get up into the bed, but finally, with a large push in my large rear from my husband, I made it into the truck with the girls.  We got comfy and finished our dinner.  Even The Littlest One didn't mind eating al fresco since I had the boppy for her to lay on like she does at home, and I didn't make her use the nursing cover thanks to better shirt planning and the truck bed walls.
You may think that the sound out there, just coming out of the truck speakers, would sucks, but you would be wrong.  Think about how far sound systems in cars have come since the days of the first drive in theatres.  People even have Bose speakers now. Not only that, but you have every stereo there playing the sound, quite loudly.  It was actually pretty good.  In fact, I love it.  The sound had a great quality, without making me need to pee.  Perfect.
When it was time for the movie to start, he was so excited.  The Girls were, too.  Well, the big ones were.  The Littlest One was only in it for the boobs.  Furthermore, it was only The Littlest One whose excitement lasted.  The Little Big One was out with in 20 minutes, and The Big One only made it half way.  The Littlest One stayed up through most of the movie, just snacking off and on. and hanging with us.  The best thing about being in the back of the truck was that we could just let them sleep.  We got to watch the rest of the movie pretty much in peace.  I think it was by far the best movie experience we have had with them.  IF we weren't so old, and exhausted form having a newborn, we could have even stayed for the double feature while the girls slept, and been able to actually watch two movies.  Maybe next time, because there will be a next time.  I don't mind this movie outing at all.  In fact, I think it was kind of great.

Friday, July 22, 2011

More Like Me

This morning, as I sit here groggily drinking my coffee, I have to wonder why my children couldn't be a little more like me in at least one way; sleeping.  I am a sleeper.  According to my mom, always have been.  She swears she could just lay me down in my crib when it was time to sleep, while I was awake, and I would do as requested and fall asleep on my own.
None of my children are like that.  None.
I could still sleep about any time.
My children, not so much.
Today is the first day of summer break for The Big One, and really all of us, as she goes to a year round school. This means that it is the first day I didn't have to turn on my alarm set for 6:02am, and we didn't have to be out the door by 7:05am.  We could all sleep.  However, we didn't.
My husband still had to go to work, and that meant getting me up to take The Littlest One, who was sleeping on his chest.  We transitioned her, and she went back to sleep.  I got woken up again, though, in his quest to find his blue PT shorts.  At that point, about 6:30am, The Littlest One decided it was time for milk.  So, we got up.  We came down stairs so I could assume the couch and Boppy position, and in minutes, in came The Big One.  I was shocked.  If anyone could would have slept, it should have been her.  She will almost always sleep in if I let her.  Not today, though, when I had hopes of getting The Littlest One fed, back to sleep, and curling back up on the couch to sleep myself.  Before we are even done feeding, The Little/Middle One comes walking downstairs as well.  This wasn't so surprising.  She is an early riser, taking very clearly after her father.
So, there we were, all four of us on the couch, before 7am.  No one was sleeping, no matter how much I wanted to.  Even though not one of my alarms rang out this morning, which I have to admit was nice, none of us got to enjoy that silence and sleep.  I'm quite disgruntled this morning.  As payback, I think I'll go into their rooms to feed The Littlest One when she wakes up at 2am to eat, wake them also, and make them stay up for the feeding.  Then, maybe, tomorrow morning, they will both sleep a little later, or at least leave me alone to sleep so that I don't do that to them again.  I'll take it however I can get it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Justice for Children

Like every other basically good person in this nation who has seen or heard anything about the Casey Anthony trial, I am deeply disturbed that she got off on the murder charges.  I can't say that I think being found not guilty on the murder charges was the wrong verdict as far as the jury goes.  I believe the jurors when they say there wasn't enough evidence, and that isn't their fault.  I do think they could have found her guilty on child neglect for not even reporting her child missing for 30 days, but at least they found her guilty of something considering how little there really was to go on.  The fact that the jury acted properly, though, doesn't in any way negate the fact that I feel Caylee was robbed of justice.

Justice means many things, but one of the definitions is the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.  Equitableness.  There should be equality in the outcome of this case.  Caylee lost her life, and somehow, Casey should be forced to do the same for it to be equitable, be that the death penalty or life in prison.  That would be justice.  
People are truly outraged that a mother would do this to her own child and get away with it.  So, I have to wonder, will someone, somewhere, try to bring justice for Caylee?  

I was just watching the news, and one of the many people outside the courtroom, holding signs and showing their anger at the verdicts, said that any one of the people there that day would be glad to kill Casey.  I'm sure he meant it.  I'm sure there are a lot of people right now that should the position open up, would gladly volunteer to be the one throwing the switch if Caylee had gotten the death penalty.  In fact, I would say that when it comes down to anyone convicted of murdering a child, there would be no shortage of people who would gladly volunteer to fulfill the duties of an executioner on a murder's judgement day.  

Crimes against children are the worst.  They can't fight for themselves.  We are supposed to protect and nurture our children.  We are supposed to love and care for them.  When life gets hard, or we realize that parenting isn't what we thought it would be, murder or in any way harming the child is not an option.  There are other options.  

A mother I know is going through a lot right now because her husband couldn't take their babies constant screaming and while she was at work open day, he shook the baby.  That is not an option.  There are other ways.  
You put the child down.  You walk away.  You call someone, anyone.  No matter what it is, you find another way.  No child deserves to be harmed.  No child deserves to have their life taken away because you, the parent or caregiver, couldn't handle it.  I can guarantee you that in Caylee's case someone would have taken that baby and loved her, even if her mother didn't.  Instead, a life full of potential was taken.  That should never happen.  

I hope there is justice somehow, someway, not just for this child, but for every child out there who deserves it.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

No Go Granny

Something I just had to share.
While sitting in the Dr's office yesterday, I couldn't help but listen to two people having a conversation about dialysis and the location of the shunts they use for it.  A man in his late 30s to early 40s was just got a new one that goes around his waist, and he was explaining the whole process to a 70ish year old grandma.  They talk about it for a while before she suddenly has what you could tell was a very important question.  She looked at him with all sincerity, and ask if you could see it were she to wear a bikini.
He told her it would show.
You could see her face drop.  She told him that just wouldn't work, then.
I tried my best not to smile or giggle, but I'm not sure how well I did.  My head was a little confused, too.  I wasn't sure if this was a "You Go, Granny" or a "No Go, Granny" moment.  Either way, I kinda hope I have that kind of spunk when I am her age, and hope it made you smile, too.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Baby Excitement!

Right now, I am so excited about a baby, and it isn't mine!
One of my best friends in the whole wide world is having a baby, right now!  I'm thrilled for her and the family!  She and I have gone through a lot together with our last pregnancies.  Neither of us are good at being pregnant.  In fact, I would say we both suck at it.  So, having someone who is just as miserable, and sometimes more, than you are to go through it with you makes all the difference when you aren't a happy pregnant person.
It's kind of weird being this excited about a baby that isn't your own, but I am!!  Honestly, I feel like this baby is family, though, because I feel like this friend is more family than friend. It's like I am getting a brand new niece tonight.
In fact, we are so close, that we have already been teased by friends through the pregnancies, and I want to clear up a couple of little rumors now.
1) We both got pregnant again because we wanted to be pregnant together.   - Not true.  We didn't plan this, because no matter how close you are, calling each other up to plan what nights you would both have sex in order to conceive about that same time, is too creepy, borderline voyeuristic, for me.
2) We chose their names to be all matchy matchy on purpose.  - Not true.  While it is true that our daughters names will rhyme, I can assure you that wasn't on purpose.  She told me her name before we had one picked.  In fact, we didn't even pick a name until about an hour after The Littlest One was born (I'll have to share the name story some time.) and it was a name that my husband really wanted, not one that I pushed for.  He, like any real man, would never do a matchy name thing on purpose.
I do hope, though, that our daughters, who will be exactly two months apart, grow up to be good friends.  We can dress them in cute little coordinating out fits for now.  They can hang out together as they get bigger, and will hopefully be like long friends, just like their moms.

I will be thinking about you in that delivery room, wishing I could be with you.  I hope it goes quickly and smoothly!  I love you, friend, and can't wait to meet the newest little one!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Total Failure

As a mom, we expect so much of our selves. Honestly at times I think we require perfection when it comes to what we expect ourselves to be able to do.   So, when you miss the mark on that idea of perfection, we feel like a total failure.  We feel like bad mothers, even if we are doing our best, if anything doesn't match up to that idea we had in our head.

We need to get over it.

The past couple of days have been pretty horrific around my way. Somehow,  I developed an infection in my surgery site. I wont go into too many details, but I have a small watermelon sized knot of infection hiding under my stomach and c-section scar. Its nice. After my Dr saw me, she ordered a CT scan, stat. That was all peachy keen until I found out I couldn't breast feed The Littlest One for 24 hours. I would have to pump and dump and I wasn't prepared in any way for that.  I'm sure people wondered what kind of test I was having as I sat there in the lobby of testing facility crying my eyes out.  While what I have could get pretty bad, it isn't life threatening, or anything like that.  It just means that from the moment they inject me with dye, I can't breastfeed my child.  That information, though, nearly sent me over the edge.
We had nothing in the line of bottle feeding.  We had no formula in the house.  We had no bottles of any kind.  I didn't even have a the little hand pump I used with both the older girls.  That all meant that in that moment, if my child got hungry, I had no means to feed her, at all, and that thought was unbearable.  It broke me.
I immediately sent my husband to the pharmacy there to see if they carried new born ready to feed formula in those little bottles.  They actually carried nothing as far as formula goes.
So, I sent him off to Target the moment he could go.  He bought those bottles so that we could have something just in case.
Still, even having the formula didn't make me feel much better.  My job is to feed her.  No matter what else I can, or can't do, as a mother, I feed my child.  My body is great at making milk.  I generally over produce.  I could feed her all day long, and sometimes I do.  So, the idea that my body could no longer provide for her just hurt my heart like nothing else could.  I felt like a failure.
That failure was compounded by the fact that The Littlest One hates bottles and formula.  She hates it.  AS soon as she was hungry, we whipped out one of those little bottles, and tried to feed her with it.  It didn't work.  First, she couldn't figure out how to get to the formula.  Second, she hated the formula.  Hated it.  She screamed for what seemed like an eternity because she was so hungry.  There was food there, but she just couldn't get it.  We tried everything we could to help her.  It didn't matter.  She must have screamed for 10 minutes, though it felt like hours, with us trying everything we could think of, before I finally ask for a medicine dropper.  I got the dropper, took the top off the bottle, and fed my baby a tiny bit at a time, until she had finally gotten just enough, about 2 ounces, to keep her from screaming, and she passed out from exhaustion.
I knew she hadn't eaten enough.  Her little body just couldn't keep up after all the energy she expended from being upset.  IF that doesn't make you feel like a failure as a parent, I'm not sure what would.

While she slept, I ran back to Target.  I got 4 different kinds of bottles, a hand pump, and some powdered formula on the advice of a friend, who says that the powered formula doesn't have as strong of a flavor as the ready to drink.  I would have bought anything I could if I thought in the moment that it would help.
I ran home and pumped, starting the process so that I could go back to feeding my baby the way I wanted to.
When she woke up, we were ready with a new bottle, and some fresh formula.  I had never made a bottle with powdered formula before in my life. Again, I called on a friend to make sure I knew what I was doing. The moment she woke up, she was crying, still hungry from before.  WE tried the new bottle, and she hated it.  She couldn't really make it work.  When she could get the formula, still hated the new formula, too.  Again, I was in tears, heartbroken.  I tried another bottle, and found one that we could at least make work a little together.  Even if she couldn't get the milk out, this particular bottle made it easy for me to squeeze the nipple and get the milk going to her.  She still screamed.  She still hated it.  WE managed to get another two-three ounces,  still below what she should eat, into her before she gave out again.  Thus was our heart breaking cycle.
It all made me feel like such a failure.  I don't think there is anything as heart breaking in the world, as the cry of a starving child.  It made me really feel for mothers in impoverished nations, where they do this every single day.  I couldn't deal with it for 24 hours, let alone live like that.  At least I know that once everything is all done, I will be able to take care of my baby the way she wants and needs again.  That should be a comforting thought, but honestly, in the moment it isn't.  We take everything to heart, and keep it there as mothers.  We should learn that doing our best, what ever it is, is ok, but we don't.  I really should take my own advice, and not beat myself up, but I can't.  Such is the life, and heart, of being a mom.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

You Use Honey, Not Vinegar, Moron

Today is one of those days where no one needs to piss me off.  I'm tired.  Scratch that.  I'm exhausted.  The Littlest One wanted to nurse for over an hour just off and on.  She couldnt' sleep and was super cranky.  That means I couldnt' sleep and am super cranky.  Then, because out of desperation for some sleep, I nursed her laying down, she is all gassy today.  (I have found that I have to nurse her in an upright seated position or she gulps down too much air and has a bad belly.) So, on top of tired and cranky, I feel bad because she is all gassy now.  And of course, her being all gassy means she is having a bad, hold me, kind of day.  It's just not working.
So, as the day is, she is crying and I take her to my room and try to lay down with her.  Then I decide that maybe I should try to comfort nurse her to sleep.
As she is nursing, and I get a moment with no crying, the phone rings to break the peace.  The caller ID comes up as Anonymous.  Now, normally, I wouldn't answer that.  Actually, normally I have an anonymous call blocker on my phone.  However, we learned that now when my husband calls from the ship, where is presently is, the ID shows up that way.  So, I unlatch her, put her down, and grab the phone.  Of course, it is someone wanting money.  It was a cancer charity and he told me they were making gift baskets for children with leukemia.  I was waiting for him to take a breathe so I could tell him I needed to go, but apparently he knew better and just kept talking.  So, I interrupt him, and tell him I can't talk.  At that time, I have the phone on one ear, and I pull The Littlest One back up to my other should, with her now crying again.  I hadn't even put the phone down yet, because I was tyring to get her first.  Then in my ear, I hear "Oh yeah.  Go ahead and put the baby right up to the phone so that is all I an hear" all nasty.  AS I was about to respond, he hung up.
Now, let me assure you that I was not putting the baby up to the phone.  She was legitimately crying and I was picking her up.  It was no ploy to get out of talking.  I wouldn't have gievn them any money today even if she had been calm.  The only thing he managed to do, is ensure that I get all pissed off, and try to write a letter to his charity to tell them why I will never given them money.  You see, this is not the way to act when you are asking for something, even if I had done it on purpose.
So, to the guy who raised my ire on a day where it needn't be raised, my 5 week old daughter was crying, and I thought you were my deployed husband calling.  I'm sorry this all added up to pissing you off because you had to hear a moment of it.  I live it.  Get over yourself.  If you don't like your job because people do crappy stuff to you all the time, then quit.  I worked in a call center for years, and believe me, I do know what people do.  If you want to complain about them, at least have the courtesy to hang up first, and then turn to say your smart ass remarks to the person in the cubicle next to you.  You have succeeded in making my day a little worse.  I hope you happen to call again one day, because I do remember your name.  Oh, and I totally take back that, "have a nice day" I said after I told you I couldn't talk.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Get The Van Now

WE are currently facing a serious car dilemma.  Since just before The Littlest One arrived, we found out that our three necessary safety seats will not all fit in my car simultaneously.  Before you assume I drive a MiniCooper or some such, let me tell you that I drive a nice, normal, crossover vehicle, made for the modern family.  More specifically, I drive a Mazda CX-7.  Google it.
I love my car.  With two girls, it was beyond fantastic for our family.  The problem isn't really that we have too large a family, now, its that the modern family car is based on a two child per family ratio.  I swear all things are based on two kids.  When someone wins a family based prize, like a trip somewhere fantastic, its always two adults and two children, or maybe you win four tickets to something.  You see, life now is based on a four person household maximum.  My car fits that idea perfectly.  That, however, is not the idea of our perfect family.  We went bigger. So, now we don't fit the norm, not that I have ever aspired to do so.
Currently, I must drive my husband's truck because it is bigger than the car, and will fit all three children simultaneously.  He has a really, really nice new truck.  It is lovely to look at, and even pretty easy to drive, but I have to tell you, I am not a big car person.  That would be why I selected that nice little Mazda last year.  It was plenty big enough at that time, without my thinking there would be a third, but not way too big.
Now, I really need to go bigger again.  I have no idea what to get.  I don't want to jump to a beast of a vehicle and I have always sworn off mini vans.  I have always loathed them, and the fact that driving one is seriously giving up every bit of sexy a car can give off.  I have to admit, though. that for the first time, I really got the appeal of a mini van during school pick up yesterday.  Right now, I get all the kids on one side of the street, open the door, and let them climb in one at a time, very slowly, before we can move on.  The Littlest One sits in the middle of the other two.  So, one child goes, then there is a long wait while I put her into her little carrier base thing.  After that, the other child gets to slowly climb in.  It takes us forever.  It hit me that if I had a mini van, I could hit a button on my remote, have the door open as we got there, and tell the girls who can currently walk to just jump in and get in their own seats at the same time.  I imagine that would cut 5 minutes off our morning routine.  That is a ton of time for us when we need every minute sometimes.
So, now we have to decide what to do.  I don't want to keep driving the beast of a truck and parking on the street because it won't fit in our garage.  I want to drive my car, that sits in the garage at night, and always has a nice, cozy place to park.  We are going to have to really think about our next vehicle purchase. I want to give my husband his truck back as soon as possible, And I'm sure he would be glad to give my mom mobile back to me. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We Let It All Fly

I've tried to explain this to people before, but once you become a mom, everything changes.  Your personal habits get put under a microscope, as children watch and retain everything.  You learn very quickly that you model the behaviour you want them to have, because what ever behaviours you have, they will model.  So, when it comes to foul language, you just cut it out, or mostly out if you happen to have some serious road rage.  Regardless, you do your best to only use the kind of language that you would like them to have.  This is why, on any given night, if you were to pop in to a "Moms Night Out" somewhere, you might here the kind of language coming out of the mouths of those mothers that would make a sailor blush.  Well, not really.  As someone married to a sailor, I can say that it wouldn't actually make them blush, but they would be quite proud of you.
The point is that when we get together, sans little ears, we let go just a little.  Sometimes, we let go a lot.  As a mother, you have to repress a lot of urges.  You can't yell "d*mn it" because your child walked in behind you as you were getting their chicken nuggets out of the oven, spooked you so that you jumped, and you burned your hand.  You really can yell "Holy sh*t!" when you find sh*t left all over the bathroom by a toddler who has supposedly learned to wipe themselves when they go number two.  And most importantly, you can not yell "What the f**k?" when you walk into the play room, where your child has been "playing nicely" for the last 30 minutes as you do laundry, only to find massive piles of muddy dirt and sand, carried in one bucket at a time, in the middle of the floor, because Barbie wanted her beach house to really be on the beach.
You can't do any of these, and so many more.
So, when it is our time, we not only get to retell all of these fantastic stories, but you get to tell them in a very colorful, inappropriate language filled way.  In fact, you get to tell a lot of stories about things that you wouldn't normally talk about.  We talk about what our boobs look like, now and before children.  Moms talk about their birth stories, including how their vaginas fared. I mean, really, there is very little that I would say, in the context of being a mother, that is considered off limits.
That means, if you happen to be the college kids in the coffee shop on the same night as the moms meet for a Moms Night Out, you had better hope you brought your head phones for your iPod or laptop, because no matter how many dirty looks you give us, we aren't going to shut up, and no matter how hard you try, you will never get some of those descriptions out of your head.  Give us a break, though, we have had to wait weeks to be able to say all those pent up curse words you hear spewing out, and frankly, if your vagina had gone through what ours may have, you would want to lament about it to someone who can sympathize, too.  After all, miserable vaginas love company.  One of these days, when you are either a mother who needs to get out of the house, or a spouse who needs to get their other half out, you will totally understand, and hope they have a fantastic support group, with home your wife can curse up a storm with, as well.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's Hard To Blog Without a Brain

I know I have't been blogging much lately.  I have started a few posts, but I haven't been able to finish them.  My brain isn't functioning at full capacity right now.  I would say we are somewhere around half my normal at this time, and it is all due to sleep deprivation.  I'm not just tired, I'm whooped.  Quite frankly, I think I've lost the ability to be interesting, let alone witty.  I've also lost the ability to hold onto a thought for more than a minute or two at a time.  So, completing an entire blog post, in my normal long fashion, is a challenge that I just can't muster too right now.
The lack of sleep isn't just keeping my from blogging.  It is starting to affect my ability to actually function in my day to day routines.  As a prime example, yesterday, I had to pick The Big One up from school twice.  We were getting ready to go, and I was running late.  I was trying to top off The Littlest Ones tank with milk so that she wouldn't go nuts while we were waiting to pick up, and The Big Little One wouldn't cooperate.  It just wasn't working.  WE were leaving the house about 15 minutes later than normal, and I knew that meant I would mean I would have to park like a block away and walk.  I was frustrated and rushing.  I didn't even pee, choosing instead to hold it for the next 25 minutes until I got back home, in order to save time.  As I get to the school, and start looking for a parking place, I realize there are few cars there.  Then I realize that there are practically no cars there. I panicked.  I thought I was very, very late.  I looked at my clock again, and it took about 30 seconds for me to realize that I was an hour early, not late at all.
So, we turned around, and headed back to the house.  That would give me time to do a popper feeding, at least.
As I am driving home, and thinking about what a moron I am, I suddenly look up to realize that I have no idea where I am going and that I have turned on the wrong street.  I was really only off by once street, but still, I was going to my house, making a drive that I should be able to do on nearly automatic pilot, and I messed even that up.
Yes.  Tired.  Very, very tired.
I know that The Littlest One will grow quickly, and hopefully I will be getting at least 3 hours of sleep at a time in the next few weeks.  That would be great.  By the time we get to 4 full hours at a time, I will think that I am in heaven.  Until then, I just have to hope that if I really screw up another pickup or drop off, it will hopefully be on the early side again, and not the late side.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Double Marked Day

Today is a day that can be marked twice on the calendar for us.  First, The Littlest One is three weeks old today.  Not quite a month old, and still veyr tiny, we have made it past the initial checkups point where they make you go back to the Dr a lot, to be sure you aren't screwing up too badly, and are on our own until 2 months.  She is growing quickly, and pretty soon, she won't be tiny any more.

Today also marks the first time she has a ever had to lose her dad to a deployment.  It may be a small one right now, but it is still something.  He is gone.  She may be tiny, but how big does she need to be to realize that he isn't there anymore.  She doesn't sleep well, and spends half the night curled up with her dad.
I'm not sure how well this is going to go now, at all.
I have to tell you, days like this I really hate being a military family.  This is the kind of thing that pisses me off and makes me ready for retirement.  Three weeks old, I'm not even allowed to lift her yet, and my husband is gone.  Thanks, military powers that be, for taking him now.  I hate that he has to miss this.  I hate that he has to be gone now.  I wish that I could have made him stay, bit since my medical need for him here, what with not being allowed to lift her and all, wasn't good enough, my other option for shooting him in the foot wouldn't have turned out well for me, either.  So, he is gone.
We will get through this one, though, just like we do the others.  My prayer is that I don't have to write a similar post on her first birthday, about missing it as well.  Everyone hope with me, please.  I'd much rather write about how cute it was, and how wonderful it was to have her dad there, playing with her on that special day.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The New Normal

When you have a baby, life turns upside down.  Everything you knew, your routines, your favorite TV shows, even your personal grooming habits get left behind.  You have to learn an entirely new way to live, and it takes time to find your way again.
I think that we are slowly adjusting, and starting to find our own new groove.  It has already started to feel like a routine, and not a brand new challenge, to get up, get ready, and get The Girls all out the door in the morning for school drop off.  I'm thankful for that routine feel.  It means we are gelling into life as a family of 5 pretty well.  That doesn't mean there aren't challenges some days.  There definitely are challenges and not all of them stem from The Littlest One.  The Big One still takes time, and I have to make sure she follows our schedule, and isn't lost in her own world or the new baby each morning.  I think I must say "focus on you" more often than anything else to her.  That is actually kind of normal for us, though.  She has always been easily distracted, we just have another distraction to add to the lot for her now, albeit a much more enticing attraction.  The same goes for The Big Little One.  She has always been a dawdler, and that hasn't changed.  Of course, The Littlest One does throw a monkey wrench in, when she decides she needs to eat right around time for us to go, but we are working on that, and trying our best to time feedings just right.
Honestly, it seems like this is the way our life has been for years, though, instead of just a few weeks.  It seems very normal.  IT seems right.
No matter what other people have told me about adding a third, I think we are adapting pretty well.  Being a mother of three seems to be pretty great to me so far.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Two Weeks Out

Today was my two week post op appointment with my surgeon.  So far, so good.  Things are healing pretty well.
Thus far, I have to say that this experience has been pretty much the antithesis of my last birth experience.  I had real professionals, not just people who were forced into the Corpsman program because they failed out of their first choice, taking care of me from start to finish.
The staff at Mary Birch did a fabulous job.  My Drs, all of them in the OR, did an amazing job, and everything went just right.
My scar looks nice.  It isn't infected like last time, or all nasty and puckery.  It does curve around my belly button now, giving me the look of an upside down question mark, but I guess they wanted to spare my belly button.  After all, I would never be able to re-pierce it if they had gone through it.  So even that funny shape is ok with me.
I feel so much better now than I did even after the last repair of the hernia.  I think things are beginning to feel normal inside, or at least as normal as I ever will be.

We still have a ways to go with the healing.  I am still very swollen.  It will be a few more weeks before that is all gone, and the fluid is all absorbed again, but I can live with it all until then.

The Littlest One is doing very well as well.  She is growing quickly.  Her little cheeks are getting chubby already, and I love it.
Yeah, so far, things are pretty good.
Now, I'm off to knock on as much wood as I can find in order to keep from having just jinxed myself.