Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Done Being Pregnant

You know you're done being pregnant when...

...your pre-schooler knows that the first place to look for you is the bathroom.

...the fear of the weekly weigh-in at the doctor's office has you buying reduced fat ice cream.'re desperate enough to eat the above-mentioned ice cream even though it tastes like frozen aspartame.

...your toddler's favorite game is lifting up your shirt and playing with the remains of your belly button.'ve watched enough episodes of A Baby Story that you think you can deliver your own baby/perform your own c-section.

...your biggest concern regarding the location of your child's birthday party is access to restrooms.

...your newest accessory isn't a cute new purse or strappy sandals, but one of these bad boys to alleviate your pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome.

...the pillows you use at night to stay comfortable take up so much room your poor hubby falls out of bed when he attempts to roll over.

...the polish on your toenails is chipping off but you don't care because it's not like you can reach them to repaint them anyway. least once a day a random stranger either predicts the gender of the baby based on your belly shape or guesses your due date based on your belly size.'re looking forward to getting the catheter before your c-section just so you can go more than an hour and a half without peeing. look forward to doing your baby kick counts just so you have a valid excuse to lie down for 30 minutes during the day. have the overwhelming urge to get down on your hands and knees to scrub the kitchen floor.'re so tired of being pregnant you make lists about it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Party Planning

In addition to preparing for Baby #3, packing and fixing up our house and bidding on another house, we are also planning Sydney's 5th birthday party. Her birthday is two days before Baby #3 is due to arrive so her party is set for the Saturday before. Which is less than two weeks away, my friends. LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!!!

After going to party after party over the last few months, she finally decided what kind of shindig she wanted: a princess dress-up party (the boys could wear Star Wars or Godzilla costumes, she informed us) at Pump It Up. Of course, she didn't tell us this. She just told all of her friends at school and had them all excited about it. It wasn't until another mother approached me at pick-up time and asked about it that we'd heard a word about her plans. We hated to burst her bubble, but first of all, the place she picked was a little out of our budget and second, I don't think it's possible to do all the activities there while wearing a costume.

So, we convinced her that a simple party at the (free) park would be even more fun. Talk about my high school debate skills being put to the test on that one! Of course, Sydney must be headed for the debate team herself, because our simple park party has turned into a full-blown extravaganza.

Apparently, pizza, cake and playground equipment weren't going to cut it. She's now having a cookie cake (because her friend, Zoe, had one at her party). And we're bringing along hula hoops, jump ropes, bubbles and the like because another friend had those at her party. And, the biggest coup of all:


Yes, folks, that is a pinata. A Princess Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty) pinata. A really big, unattractive pinata that will be giving five year olds all over the city nightmares for months to come. Using a big stick to beat the snot out of a giant star or rainbow is one thing, but to actually hang a 'person' from a tree and beat her with a stick until she splits open seems a little unsightly to me. But, the things you'll do for your child.......

The one highlight of the party that I'm looking forward to is the gift policy. Just like last year, we've requested "no gifts". Fortunately, she didn't even notice that her friends didn't bring gifts last year and since several of her friends instituted the same policy over the past year, I think she'll be fine with it.

Funny how a simple party at the park has evolved into such a big bunch of hoopla. Is there such a thing as a simple birthday party anymore?

Friday, April 25, 2008

This Week is Brought to You by the Letter 'W'

Whiney - I'll admit that my last two posts were quite whiney. I knew it was bad when Ryan said he loved my rant posts and that I reminded him of Lewis Black. Now, I enjoy Lewis Black's humor, but I don't think I want to be compared to him.

Windows - We got four new windows for our house on Wednesday. They are pretty and shiny. And clean. And well-installed (unlike the ones they removed). A little more caulk and some trim painting and they'll be done!

Windows, part 2 - One of the windows in our van was broken out yesterday. They didn't try to steal anything, thankfully, but I still can't wait until we've got a garage to park our cars in!

Waiting - Our realtor faxed in our bid on a house in the Land of Fruit this morning. Now we just have to wait and see if the owners accept it. (I know I posted about this a couple of weeks ago, but we had to wait until Ryan was back from NYC to get the ball rolling)

Washing - Our two vehicles need some major washing. We have a mulberry tree in our yard and while we love the shade it provides, but the purple berries it produces are not our favorites. Unfortunately, mulberries ARE a favorite of the birds who live in our trees and well, purple food = purple poop. Hence, the need for some car washing.

Well - I think Liam is finally over the worst of his double ear infections. Yay for antibiotics!

Weekend - Ahh....the weekend. I can't wait!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

General Wonderments

Will someone please tell me why....

....there was a commercial on Nickelodeon this morning for one of those medical alert/alarm companies? Has there been a sudden increase in the number of toddlers and pre-schoolers who fall and can't get up (and have no one to help them)?

....there was a man in a hospital gown pacing back and forth in front of the bus stop near Sydney's school?

....we're moving out the 'burbs (with more driving) when it cost me $63 to fill up the van this morning?

....did I bother doing all the paperwork to get Sydney transferred to a decent neighborhood school (just in case we didn't move) just so I could get a letter saying she was 35th on the waiting list for the advanced kindergarten that only has 35 students to begin with? Hmmm....I think I just answered the previous question. is impossible to get more than three hours' sleep in a row when 35 weeks pregnant? Aren't pregnant women supposed to rest and store up as much energy as possible?

....this guy refuses to get a haircut? Ewww....

....all the organic foods, "green" cleaning products, "green" cosmetics and "green" personal hygiene products cost ten times more than the regular ones? How are we supposed to be able to afford that stuff, especially when gas costs so much, too?

....Sydney's pre-school graduation, with little caps and gowns and everything, is scheduled for the day AFTER my c-section?

....not one candidate for president (all three of whom claim they want to help the lower and middle classes) has a clue what it's like to be lower or middle class? When's the last time they went grocery shopping and despite the coupons and "discount card" and an already stripped-down grocery list, almost died when the cashier revealed the total bill?

....being sleep deprived makes me so grumpy (hence the tone of this post and the excess of parentheses and quotation marks)?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Not Guilty by Reason of Pregnancy

I read somewhere that a woman was acquitted of murder by reason of insanity due to severe PMS. I wonder if the same holds true of pregnancy, aka, the ultimate hormonal roller coaster. Because I almost strangled a lady today. Seriously.

Liam ran a fever all weekend and has eaten no more than two bites of oatmeal and a little bit of Jello since Friday so we decided that a trip to the pediatrician's office was in order. And now I'm seriously considering a switch of pediatricians once we move to The Land of Fruit this summer.

I spent 45 minutes getting a busy signal while attempting to make an appointment. It's a Monday and everyone else's kids got sick over the weekend, too. I think, "No big deal - this kind of stuff happens."

I had to park on the top (read - not covered) level of the parking garage because the medical complex was so busy. I think, "OK - so I've got a little extra walking to do. I'll live."

Once in the office, I had to wheel the stroller around an obstacle of other strollers and overstuffed diaper bags to get to the sign in desk. I sign Liam in and make my way back through the obstacle course to a vacant chair on the other side of the room. I think, "It's Monday. Lots of sick kids. We'll live."

After ten minutes or so, the receptionist calls me back to the desk. I hesitantly leave Liam (and my purse) parked on the far side of the room to avoid pushing the stroller through the obstacle course just to have the receptionist ask me questions I know I've answered two dozen times or so (address, phone number, birthdates). Then she asks for my insurance card. Which is in my purse. Across the room. I waddle back and forth to dig it out and bring it to her. More stupid questions with a "Sorry - we just got a new computer system" as an excuse.

Then she tells me that the office has changed its policy and they now expect payment before seeing the doctor. So once more I waddle back and forth through the maze to grab my wallet. By now I'm wheezing since Baby #3 has cut my lung capacity in half. She seems unconcerned that I'm gasping for breath and that Liam is hanging half in/half out of his stroller while simultaneously making the "milk" sign and desperately reaching for the diaper bag.

But, believe it or not, this is not the woman I wanted to strangle.

We were finally seen by the nurse practitioner (our pediatrician is on maternity leave) who diagnosed Liam with double ear infections and swabbed his throat for strep. Once antibiotic prescription and two swabs later, we were sent to drop off the swabs at the lab on the first floor. "All you have to do is drop them off," they promised me.

We got to the lab where at least a dozen people were waiting to be seen. I stood at the window for five minutes waiting for a lab worker to appear so I could hand off the swabs. We finally sat down so that I could breathe (standing compresses my lungs even more) and watched as a dozen more people entered and signed in. Ten minutes later, a lab tech finally made an appearance at the window. I started to hand her the swabs (which are packaged with our lab slip and insurance information) and the lab tech said, "Sign in and we'll call you."

I said, "Are you kidding me? It's all right here ready to go."

She replied, "We need more insurance information. Sign in and wait."

I said, in my most controlled voice, "Never mind. It's not that important."

And as I grabbed my purse, Liam's diaper bag and began to wheel him out the door, she retorted, "Well, excuuuuuse me."

THIS is the woman I wanted to strangle. It took all I had to not jump through the little window and strangle her with my bare hands. Hands that are slightly swollen due to being 35 weeks pregnant. Hands that have been taking care of one very sick little boy (whom she could clearly see was quite ill) for 48 hours. Hands that belong to a woman whose back hurts so bad she can't sleep at night. Of course, she couldn't know that my back hurt, but I'm sure she could see the circles UNDER my eyes and hopefully the thoughts of murder IN my eyes.

Thankfully, my OB's office is in another building in the complex and I knew that there was a lab on the floor below his. So Liam and I walked out of the pediatrician's building, past the parking garage and through a construction zone to get to the other building and its lab. We walked right in and handed off the swabs with no difficulties whatsoever. I could have kissed the tech.

To add insult to severe emotional injury, the parking attendant revealed that we had been parked for a total of 92 minutes so we owed five dollars for parking. Had we left three minutes earlier, it would have been four dollars. Oh, well. I was just happy to get out of there.

Sorry for the rant, but I just had to get it all out somewhere. It's rather cathartic, actually. And after reading over this, if you've gotten this far, I'm impressed. I would have stopped reading about seven paragraphs ago.

But since you've read this far, tell me, would you have found me guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity for strangling the lab tech?

Friday, April 18, 2008


I've spent the week as a single parent getting ready for Baby #3. Remember the list I made? Well, I'm slowly making my way through it.

Gender neutral coming home outfit for the baby? Check!


Sibling t-shirts for Sydney and Liam? Check!


Gift for Liam from the baby? Check!


Gift for Sydney from the baby? Check! (Ryan picked up an "outfit" for her birthday present)
Wash, fold and organize my stash of newborn clothes, burp cloths and blankets? Check!
Buy newborn diapers? Check!
Register with the hospital? Check!
Buy and fill in a baby book? Check!

I've only got a few more things left on my list. And I've now got less than 30 days to go - yikes!


And despite all the talking and ear bleeding, we've had a good time this week. Sydney's class went on a field trip to the zoo yesterday and I got to hear all about it. And since my parents took Liam for a couple of days, I got quite a bit of quiet time. Ahhh....quiet.

But before he went out to the 'burbs with them, he had an explosion of learning. He figured out how to walk backward (so cute!). He started signing "open" and "milk" along with "more" and "daddy". He started saying, "Edo?" when holding his play phone up to his ear. And he figured out how to climb:


And he proved that he's a man after my own heart (lounging AND reading):


He is quite the little reader - always grabbing a book and climbing into my lap to read it. I have to say that reading to my kids is one of my favorite things to do and I'm really glad that he loves reading as much as Sydney and I do.

Anyway, my single parenthood ends this evening. Boy am I glad it's over!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I found out today that one of my former students committed suicide last week. He was a sweet, polite boy and that's saying a lot for a fourteen year old high school freshman. The person who told me about it didn't know much more than the details of how he was found (and I'll spare you from hearing the specifics), but there wasn't a note so the reasons behind it are a mystery.

I've now had three former students die (two who died in car accidents while still in school and the boy mentioned above who was 21 years old) and I have to say that it's been harder to deal with their deaths than I ever thought it would be. It's not like my college professors prepared me for losing students. And when elderly or sick relatives have passed away, I've been sad and grieved, but I felt like at least there was a reason they died.

Anyway, I don't know what else to say, other than I'm sad. I'm sad for what this young man could have become. I'm sad for what he could have offered the world. I'm sad for his parents and his little sister. And I'm sad for him.

Monday, April 14, 2008


It is now Day 3 of my week as a single parent and I'm still alive (and so are the kids) so I guess we can call it a success so far. After 48 hours alone with them, I did come to a startling and disturbing conclusion: not only do I now understand the old "children should be seen and not heard" phrase, but I am in complete support of it. Too bad I don't live in the 1800's. Or North Korea.

Because my ears are bleeding, people. Bleeding, I tell you, from ALL THE TALKING. The constant, uninterruptible talking. Not from Liam, of course, since his vocabulary consists of fewer than ten words. It came from Sydney, whose vocabulary seems to have grown exponentially since starting pre-school.

I spent the entire weekend listening to the stream-of-consciousness that flowed non-stop out of her mouth:

"Mommy! Did you know that arachnids have eight legs? Did you know that? And, also, they're called spiders and they eat other bugs so we like them. And did you know that their webs are sticky and that's how they catch the bugs? And there are lots of kinds of bugs and Casey said that one time he ate a bug and it was yucky. You know what else is yucky? Throw up. Like when I stayed at Gram and Granddad's and threw up in my bed, but Gram cleaned it up because she's so nice. Do you remember that, Mommy? Mommy? Do you remember that?" And on and on and on and on......

It was as if William Faulkner's spirit possessed my daughter. And he may have won all kinds of awards for his supposedly fabulous writing, but honestly, it was one of his books that had me running to the campus bookstore at ten o'clock at night in search of the Cliff's Notes because the constant stream of thoughts (with little to no punctuation) DROVE ME CRAZY. And nearly fifteen years later, I still don't like the non-stop thoughts/talking thing.

So I turned into my mother. I asked Sydney to NOT talk for just five minutes. "Just give me five minutes of quiet and I'll be happy to talk to you then," I said. Not once, but several times. Granted, my mother only used that phrase first thing in the morning, but I found that adding it to my arsenal of "mom-isms" solved the problem for at least a little while.

So, three days down, four to go. Thank heavens Sydney's in school 8 hours a day for the next four days. Maybe my ears will have time to heal.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

God Bless Single Parents....

...because I have no clue how they do it without losing what's left of their minds.

We are on Day One of my week of being a single parent and it is so hard. I don't know if it's hard because it's actually difficult or it's hard because the light at the end of the tunnel is about the size of speck of dust at this point.

My goal is to get out of the house every day, even if it's for something small. Today's mission was to take both kids and my very pregnant self to a birthday party for a couple of hours. Of course, it had to be a gigantic park that sits on the edge of a very steep bayou. And of course the park is not fenced so I had the lovely job of trying to chase around a toddler who seems to make a beeline for every piece of trash he sees and a four-almost-five-year-old who can seemingly run in fifteen different directions all at once. And since the park is so large AND adjacent to an interstate, shouting at either one of them was rather futile.

All the while, I'm lugging around our huge diaper bag that holds our supplies, my wallet and keys (since the park is not in the best neighborhood and I can't leave anything of value in the van) and simultaneously hiking up my maternity pants literally every two seconds since whoever designed the new "low rise" maternity pants obviously never chased two kids while 34 weeks pregnant. I'm thinking of investing in some suspenders.

Two pieces of pizza and one scraped knee later, I convinced Sydney that it was time to go due to her brother's fever (gotta love teething). And in those two short hours I managed to wear myself out (but not the kids, of course) and somehow strain my back (perhaps by lugging around a 23 pound toddler who didn't want to be held).

To top it all off, after making a casserole for dinner (that is large enough to serve as dinner for another night this week), I discovered that our oven won't light. So now I have to make it through the week without an oven. Joy.

Tomorrow's mission is to get all of us to church. We'll see how that goes. I do know that I won't be wearing those pants so at least that's one thing that can't go wrong. Right?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fingers Crossed....

First, Ryan is submitting the paperwork for a bid on a house in The Land of Fruit today. I think he bid a little low and the homeowners are just going to laugh at us. But he says it's best to have some wiggle room (and the house has been on the market for a while so they just might take it), so we shall see!

Second, Ryan is riding his bicycle from here to Austin this weekend in support of multiple sclerosis. 186 miles on a bicycle seat....better him than me!


And, if you get a chance, please send some well wishes to (and/or pray for) Elle. Her oldest son, Hunter, is Liam's age and her youngest son, Hayden, is just a week old and in the NICU due to some cardiac and respiratory issues. I can't imagine what she's going through and pray that her adorable son recovers and gets to go home to his family soon.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


In whittling down my baby "to do" list, I bought #3 a baby book. Sydney and Liam's books are Pooh-themed so #3 got a Pooh-themed book as well. All three have different covers, but the contents of the books are similar. As I filled in as much of #3's book as possible, Ryan and I got to looking at the same information I filled in for Sydney and Liam. Quite interesting, I have to say.....

Loaf of bread:
May 2003 - $1.59
Nov 2006 - $1.99
May 2008 - $2.49

A jar of honey:
May 2003 - $0.89
Nov 2003 - $1.99
May 2008 - $2.59

A home (remember, this is Houston where home prices are fairly low):
May 2003 - $120,000
Nov 2006 - $150,000
May 2008 - $180,000

A car (based on a sedan):
May 2003 - $20,000
Nov 2006 - $25,000
May 2008 - $28,000

And my favorite, a gallon of gas:
May 2003 - $1.59
Nov 2006 - $1.97
May 2008 - $3.22 (yikes!)

May 2003 - "In slow period; stock market recovering, unemployment rate climbing"
Nov 2006 - "In slowing period due to rising oil costs and deflating home costs"
May 2008 - "In 'contraction', bordering on recession, high oil prices, high unemployment, real estate bust"

Current events (I just LOVE what I wrote in Sydney's):
May 2003 - Prez. Bush declares "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq after a "heroic" landing on an air craft carrier
Nov 2006 - Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld resigns after Democrats take control of Congress following midterm elections; war in Iraq ongoing
May 2008 - left blank for now; who knows what could happen!

Funny how things change so much, but so many things remain the same. Makes me want to dig out my baby book to see what my mom wrote.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Baby Update

I had my 32 week checkup this week. 32 weeks. That means six weeks to go, people. Six weeks! I'm nowhere near ready for this little person to make his/her entrance.

But, ready or not, May 15th at noon, I'll be getting prepped for my c-section. So in the next six weeks I need to:

-buy a baby book and fill out what I can
-get a gender neutral "going home" outfit
-get out, wash and organize our stash of newborn clothes, burp cloths and blankets
-buy newborn diapers (I think Liam's Size 4's will be just a *tad* too big)
-decide on names!
-sign the two dozen documents saying I won't sue the hospital if I die
-get (and wrap) sibling gifts for Sydney and Liam
-take the kids to get a gift for the baby
-change my iPod Shuffle from "Workout mix" to "Relaxation mix"
-figure out how to charge my iPod Shuffle
-install the infant car seat in the van (and do car seat musical chairs with the other two)
-boil bottle nipples
-buy a can of formula "just in case"
-figure out which sling to buy (or just buy whatever I can find at the resale shop)
-find a picture of Sydney and Liam to display in my hospital room
-figure out what kind of little gifts to give my OB's nurses (and my postpartum nurses)
-stop freaking out
-stop freaking out
-stop freaking out
-did I mention stop freaking out?