Category: Family & Friends

From spouses to spit-up

Up All Night – Moving Baby from Crib to Bed

So for the last time in my adult mommy life I put a mattress in a room and put a 1-year-old on it and gave her a bottle and snuggled her and covered her up in a lightweight blanket and said goodnight.

Overall, it was the easiest of the three moves. D has been having problems in her crib lately because she’s so long and has this crazy arm-span and has been sleeping through the night ONLY in my bed. As much as part of me would love to think it’s because she needs to be by her mommy and daddy, the face slaps during the night remind me she just needs room to stretch out and sleep comfortably.

So we put a mattress on the floor of the girls’ room. I don’t use a box spring because she can’t even walk yet so expecting her to not fall out of a bed is just silly. When she fell off of the mattress it didn’t cause her an ounce of badness and we checked on her to find her curled up sleeping on the floor. So. Cute.

But that means it’s time to sell/donate the crib.

Which makes me all “awwwww” and at the same time makes me want to jump for joy because I almost have my life back. The one that does not revolve around diapers and immunizations and bottles and mommy guilt that I could be doing more. The part where I get to have a life and let my kids take the lessons I’ve taught them and start applying them in a real-world setting.

There are a few pangs of regret at our decision not to have a fourth. A worry that my little D won’t have someone so close in age like her sisters are to each other. A fear that she’ll be odd-man-out and that will give her anxiety. But if it’s my youngest feeling a little left out or me going through another nine months of pregnancy, well, little D will have to suck it up, because I’m done being the human incubator for awesome kidlets.

So this is me signing off after a night that had a few interruptions but not caused by little D. I feel groggy and my brain wants more coffee while my tummy says “Oh, hell no.” So I’ll just have a granola bar and water. Because part of this overall life change is continuing my commitment to health and fitness. For me.

W As A Vowel

5YO asked what a vowel was.

So I, as a rock star mom, do a stirring interpretive dance and sing, “a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y!”

I hear from behind me all quiet, “and sometimes W”

I look over at my husband and laugh, he gets all wide-eyed, “No really!” he says. They taught him that at the private christian elementary school. I say, “No…seriously?” He says, “Yes, I swear!!”

Whodathunkit. He’s actually kinda right.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled interpretive alphabet dancing…

Immunizations and Straight A Students

I’m up this early because my 5yo has an immunization this morning. We always get the 7am appointment because it means no waiting – I highly recommend getting the first appointment of the day no matter who your doctor is. During cold and flu season there aren’t a bunch of people waiting with you in the waiting room, either. It’s good times.

My husband is there with her. She’s totally needle-phobic and so is he so I figure he’s way better to comfort her through it – I’m more of a “suck it up” type – especially when she screams. A high-pitched, awful scream that you’re sure is going to break glass. So, instead of paying attention to the poor, screaming child, you’re staring at the glass cabinet just waiting, WAITING for it to shatter. It never does. I am usually disappointed it doesn’t because I think that would make the screaming worthwhile and make her feel fulfilled somehow. Whatevs.

Today’s educational journey is in Physics. More specifically, Conceptual Physics. It’s a non-math Physics course.  That means you’re given the formulas in the format you need them. As long as you can rock a formula all plug-and-play style you can rock out in the course. Of course, we have numbers and see weekly the numbers sheet that shows everyone’s grade – by number – so no one knows who anyone is but we can see where we stand in the course.

Yeah, I’m number one. Like, for real. In a mathematical way! LOL

My plan is, on this journey through school, I’m going to join every frikkin honor society known to man. I’m already part of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars from the last time I went back to school at DePaul. I received an invitation to join the Golden Key, which is an honors society for adult students…but I didn’t realize at the time it was a real thing you know when you get stuff like and they ask you to give them money to be listed in the Who’s Who of whatever? Yeah, I thought it was like that because I’d never heard of it at the time. Now I regret not taking them up on it. But I’ll get another chance, since it looks like I’m going to cruise right into a 4.0 GPA this semester. I’m going to be a straight-A student.

At the community college.

Life giveth, and life taketh away, yo.

So Excited about the Concert Tonight

Going to see Roger Waters do The Wall.

So many memories for those songs, from when I was young all the way through today when I’m going to make new memories.

Have a great night everyone! I’m not planning on wasting a minute taking pictures when I can be listening and experiencing the moments of music, but I’ll still give you an update tomorrow and let you know how it went.

Fits and Starts

Those of you who follow me on the Facebook know I had a death in the family on Saturday.

What you  may not know is that it’s making me reconsider blogging. I mean, I don’t want to share how I feel, I don’t even want to talk to anyone. I want to just not be for a while.

If ever there were a time to hang out in one of those sensory deprivation flotation pod things, this would be it. The light is too bright and breathing is too noisy. Laughter scratches at the inside of my brain and crying gives me an instant migraine. All the sensations of everyday life are just too much to bear.

I don’t want to have conversations. I don’t want to be authentic. I don’t want to be transparent.

I want to be invisible.

I want to keep my head down, my mouth shut, and get good grades. I want to find someone who works at the CATO Institute to find out how to work there. I want a career path.

Really, I just want to be normal. What I picture as normal. How I think I’ll look and act and be when I am normal.

Which probably means I should stop getting my diction and conversation training from episodes of the Rachel Zoe Project.

If I Were An Anime Character

Well, for that matter, if I were cast as a character in almost any kind of movie.

I’d never be the cool, quiet, mysterious chick who turns out to have special powers, amazing somethingorother, and save the day.

I’d be the sidekick. Either for humor, or power, or backup.

Never the main character, always the sidekick.

Granted, I’m way better than Robin (a la Batman and Robin) because he was kind of the worst sidekick ever and I’m not a teenager, soooo…yeah.

But I’m just not THAT girl. I’m the sidekick or the mentor or the person that helps the main character be – or achieve – their destiny. I don’t have the destiny of my own that makes me a lead character.

Or so I see it.

I held her hand for over two hours just listening to her breathe. It was enough. It was so much enough I don’t know that I’ll ever be capable of feeling like anything is not good enough ever again. I was so grateful for those moments.

Bad Comment Strategy + Weekend of Love

I always hesitate to delete comments instead of posting them. Deletion doesn’t happen often and usually the comment stays in my backend for about a month before I finally decide to axe one.

There are two things that make comments to go that great trash bin in the sky:

  1. You just put a link. No words. Just link. It’s creepy.
  2. The FAR  more prevalent problem around the internet: Using the company name as the “Name” field and putting in a fantastic, relevant, really nice comment.

I love thought out or funny or nice comments. I’m a blogger, for goodness sake, I’d be weird if I hated comments. But seeing that company name at the top reminds me that this wasn’t done with good intentions, it was done for a purpose. Even if, in the moment, the comment is honest, they are only there because of a desire for company backlinks.

Basically, they’re trying to game Google. I’m not down with that.

Maybe it’s having a husband that’s into SEO and online advertising and knowing how much he thinks that’s (let me just quote him) “A tactic, not a strategy. Not even a good tactic. Really, it’s a crappy tactic that no one should use and why do they do that?” Yeah, he gets riled up when people do things to promote – I use the term super-loosely – their businesses.

So, that’s that. I deleted the really nice comments by the well-meaning but misguided business owner and am moving on from this and all other spam comments on my blog. I’m going to stop worrying so much. It’s just the Internet, right? Right?!

In other news, this is what I refer to as my weekend of love. Today I’ll be studying and getting ahead – yes, you heard me, I said ahead – on schoolwork and will be spending this evening laughing and screaming at the Chippendales dancers at the Horseshoe Casino in Indiana. Last time we went I’m pretty sure I was sick. I remember getting soup for my sore throat.

Sunday I’m having a small girls-party at my house. Sponsored by Sauza Tequila and House Party. There will be snacks, margaritas, and some of my family and friends hanging out. It should be a good time. I don’t know if I’m going to drink or not. I have heard multiple times that alcohol slows the metabolism. But I was fat when I only had liquor twice a year so I’m not sure how much of an impact it has really had on my shape or will have on my shape.

The problem with “general knowledge” about fitness and nutrition is that one size fits one. Not most. Not all. Everyone is so different. The thought that my weight is related to not eating often enough still bugs the crap out of me. Because it’s not what I’ve heard. Eating more to lose weight is the most counter-intuitive thing I’ve ever heard. But it’s my path, and I have to stick with it or face gaining back the weight I’ve lost through Mamavation.

By the way, if I haven’t invited you and you’d like to come by on Sunday, give me a call or shoot me an email and let me know. If you weren’t invited it is probably because I had a brain fart, not because I didn’t want to invite you.

So now I’m going to take a shower and be ready to start on schoolwork bright and shiny at 9am. I’m liking this getting up early for school with S. It means I sleep in an hour and am still ahead of the game on weekends, too.

When Food Allergies Aren’t They Still Hurt Like Crazy

So I tell people that my first daughter took away eggs, my second daughter took away milk, and my third daughter took away cottage cheese and, um, something else but I forget right now.

I usually get the response that post pregnancy I’m lactose intolerant, but please let me show you the ice cream, the yogurt, and the whipped cream I’ve had since not being pregnant anymore. Really, it’s not lactose, unless there’s a level thing where cottage cheese has an unholy amount of lactose and eggs developed lactose as well.

Last night, I was over at a friend’s house doing some work and she wanted Chinese food. I was all ok, I’ll share your appetizer and score me some egg drop soup. Neither of us flinched, I put my head back down into my computer and kept working.

The egg drop soup tasted great. Then, about ten minutes pass and my tummy starts to feel a little hurty. I rub my tummy and try to relax, figuring this must be just some weird stress thing and try to ignore it. Pretty soon I’m laying flat out on my friend’s floor trying to stretch my tummy by stretching my body, then flipping over onto my stomach, then sitting up, then sitting on my knees, then sitting on my knees on the couch trying to hang over the arm of the couch to put pressure on my stomach.

Then I had an overwhelming need for my bed, so I drove home.

Pain can help you stay surprisingly focused on the expressway. I do not recommend anyone actually drive while IN pain, of course. Yeah, don’t do that. <– clear disclaimer

I get home, writhe around on my bed, the couch, stand up, make hubby rub my back and finally, finally he made me drink some Pepto. Even though I tried to refuse because “this wasn’t that kind of stomachache” – well, it wasn’t. All the Pepto did was make me puke.

But the puking was the beginning of the solution to the problem.

The pain went from a 9 to a 6. Tolerable. Cope-able. Better than before. All the things you need for your body to ignore the pain and let you sleep it off.

When I woke up this morning my upper back and stomach ached from the spasms the night before. Not just the throwing up, either. My stomach and upper back hurt so bad the night before. There was muscle cramping. In my back. It was so weird.

So now I ache really bad and had trouble getting out of bed because none of the muscles in my ribcage want to work. Which means *drum roll please* I didn’t get to take my daughter to Kindergarten Orientation and Bus Orientation today. I feel like a slimeball. I finally would have had a chance to meet the Kindergarten teacher and be all, “Hey there, it’s me, let’s be besties!” Ok, I wouldn’t have been THAT creepy, but you know what I mean.

Today was my day to feel different. To be different about Kindergarten. To know what it feels like to start a year being the me I am right now. The one everyone likes. The one that gets along with everybody. The one that has a bright and sparkling gem of a daughter about to go to classes there.

I want to walk into that school relaxed and confident that I’m a rock star, my daughter is a rock star and the school year is going to be fabulous for both of us.

Instead she’s at school with her father, I’m home with a stomachache and backache – and it’s all my fault because I know how I react to eggs and it never even dawned on me that egg drop soup, you know, might be a problem. Because I forgot I had dietary restrictions.

How does that even happen?

The Balancing Act We All Act

The most difficult part of my whole marriage is when both my husband and I are working. The schedule balance is filled with potential emotional landmines of “who has the more important project” and feeling stifled because we can’t do exactly what we want when we want.

Add to this already potentially bad power-struggle the belief my husband has – that I can somehow get copious, high-quality amounts of work done when the kids are home. He has every right to think so because for most of my working-from-a-home-office career, I have been doing just that. Most of you know the story about having a crawling baby grabbing my leg while feeding the other baby in one arm and typing with one hand on the computer keyboard to get a project done. (and crying, because that was the worst day of my career)

I’m a little bit older now, and I just don’t have that kind of energy anymore. You just cannot tune out kids the way you tune out babies when they babble. But basically, I do a lot more strategy now and it requires my train of thought not be interrupted by random kiddie catfights.

The thing is, my husband has never been able to concentrate with the girls in the house. It’s one of the main reasons we have a brick and mortar location. It allows him to work in peace and silence.

So, the fact that he thinks I don’t rate the same peace and silence just because I’ve done it the other way in the past is entirely unacceptable to me. But it’s tough to show that I need the peace and silence to concentrate when he has seen me, for years, accomplish so much with the kids under my feet. It almost sounds, to him, like I’m just being a spoil-sport and wanting what he has just because he has it.

It’s not about deserving an office or deserving peace and quiet. It’s about efficiency and good parenting. I would like to be a parent to my children when I’m home, and working on work when I’m not. I would like a more “normal” working environment because I could get things done twice as fast and maybe, just maybe, leave work at work once in a while instead of having to think about it 24/7 because the office is right there waiting for me to be productive and impressive and amazing.

So it’s a little rough right now trying to get schedules in place. Especially this time, because my husband has been doing his thing and I’ve been a stay-at-home-and-hating-it mommy for almost a year now. Maybe a little over a year. It’s kind of a blur because of the total dislike I have for the whole thing. I have the utmost respect for SAHMs who love it, but man, this is just SO not my bag. My sense of self is tied up heavily in my own accomplishments, and as much as I love my kids and spend time with them and talk to them and teach them, it just does not trip my trigger the way having a Fortune 500 company on my resume does.

I don’t know why.

I do know if I devoted myself entirely to my kids and not my own growth that I feel I would be a stagnant mother and would run out of stories and interests pretty quickly. I do think I’m showing my children that life is about learning no matter how old you are and life is about having personal freedom as well as choosing your responsibilities and excelling at what you choose to do. I do not want to raise daughters who think their sole purpose in life is to be mothers. I don’t have a problem with anyone else choosing that life path, it’s just not my choice of life path.

So I have to figure out how this all balances and then present my husband with a solution that will work for both of us. I’m not sure why this can’t happen as a conversation and why we can’t schedule a meeting and set things up in a way that will be a process, followed by both of us. Maybe it can be done that way and I just haven’t found the correct way to broach the subject.

We shall see.

I swear, if nothing else my life is always interesting. Thank goodness I dig interesting.

Any suggestions? We already use Google Calendar to keep our meetings, etc. separate as well as having the calendar for the kids’ activities and school stuff. (Oh, that reminds me, I have to put all the days off for the school year into the Google Calendar. Kill me now. It would be a kindness.) So it’s all in there, I just need to figure out how we can play fair when someone adds something to the calendar and the other person doesn’t see it right away and then schedules something verbally and a disagreement ensues.

Because if I don’t see the entries and ask a question, I assume he remembers his calendar enough that he can tell me. Maybe it’s me who needs to be more cognizant of the calendar rather than verbal communication when it comes to the schedule.

Huh.

My Calendar is Starting to Scare Me

I used to glance over at the calendar bar on the side of gmail and not really process what I was seeing. Reminders for weekly chat room sessions and the occasional doctor’s appointment.

But now there are playdates, doctor appointments, local events, school information, birthdays, meetings with friends, etc. It doesn’t sound like a lot but now I have to be there at my gram’s doctor appointments (well I don’t HAVE to be but it makes her happy) my kids will be going to school every day, I have to keep up some form of social life (I refuse to give it up) and soon there will be conference calls and meetings to attend for multiple companies as well as homework due dates and important other school information going on there.

I am about to have the most scheduled life around. Because there is no way I’m powering through this next year with chaos as my co-pilot.

I have always dreamed of having an organized life. A house where everything has its place (and is IN that place) – where the children always pick up after themselves and every holiday was a reason to cloak the house in holiday stuff that would  be neatly put away at the end of each season. Note: We do have holiday stuff. It’s in the attic in tupperware containers and it is neatly put away. We never seem to have the time to get it out and actually decorate with it!

So here I am at what seems like a crossroads. I know I’m done having children, even if my heart stridently disagrees with me even as I type this. Once the youngest is done there will be no more sleepless nights (except the odd nightmare or thunderstorm or sickness) there will be no more crawling and pulling everything off of tables and couches and chairs. There will be no more puddles of pee on the floor because we have to let the baby “air out” to get rid of her rash. No more potty training, no more waiting for someone to talk instead of screaming and wildly flailing to tell me what they want. The crossroads of having a grown-up life and being forever past stage ONE of mommy life. I look at my older girls and wish, with all my heart, my 10 month old was already four. Already in school, already learning and having conversations with me that don’t involve me doing all the talking.

I enjoy my preschooler and my kindergartner more than you could possibly imagine. I enjoy them more every day as their verbal skills improve. My heart sometimes skips a beat when I see them run down the block because they are so beautiful. I want to cry when my four-year-old walks into the room I’m in and, for no reason, says, “Mommy. 9 plus 9 is 18. I just wanted you to know that.”

Yes, baby, I want to know that, too.

So I want to be a super-organized super-fabulous mommy that gives my kids everything they need while keeping the calendar tamed and make sure we don’t over-schedule and miss all the fun along the way.

Because the fun is what makes all this other crap worthwhile.