Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Despair


Little Miss Molly is a month old. This last week has been a tough one. She has a little cough. Her nose is congested, and she does not know/has not figured out that she can breathe through her mouth. She has a little yeast infection. And yesterday she had to get a shot at her one month well visit.
This just might be the definition of despair.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Me v. Them

Today was my first day home alone with the girls. All three of them. Alone. With me. And the girls did not even have preschool. It was just us. All day. Egads.

It has gone alright. I was able to take a shower, a major accomplishment of any mom of a newborn. I had breakfast. And I got all three girls to Molly's doctors appointment ON TIME, yay me. (Molly is doing fabulous and is already over nine pounds!)

All three of us continue to adjust and get a new routine going. A major hurdle that we work on everyday, though, is trying to teach Emma and Macey not to yell while Molly is sleeping. They are girls. They yell. Quite frequently. And Molly refuses to "get used to it" like the rest of us. She's playing hardball and since she yells the loudest, she's winning.

So everyday we talk about not being so loud around Molly. I can tell that part of the lesson is getting through. Today Macey yelled -- just some play scream -- and I gave her "the look" -- the "are you kidding me yelling like that while your baby sister is napping?" look. Macey looked at me and then the stuffed sheep in her arms.

"Momma," Macey said. "The sheep screamed too loud. She needs to be quiet around Molly."

Well, I hoped that the sheep learned her lesson.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Through An Adult's Eyes

My parents came out this December to meet Molly, help with the girls, and celebrate Christmas. My Mom was here for three weeks, and my Dad came out for the week before Christmas. We had a great time and tried to keep busy, and I learned something along the way. . .

My whole life I have felt sorry for my Dad because my Mom is a little bit of a yeller. And she exaggerates at times. And growing up, I really thought that my Mom was constantly picking on my nice, innocent Dad who just wanted some peace.

But this month I had the chance to view them on my turf as an adult. And I realized that my Dad is a needler.

He needles. Knowing the reaction that he is going to get, he travels down that road anyway. Willingly. And he laughs along the journey.

Who knew?!?!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Adventures in Pictures

We had so much fun this month! Here are some of our adventures. . . Our Christmas Eve program. Garry read Luke 2 and Sleeping Beauty played Baby Jesus. Emma is obviously Mary and Macey played a convincing Joseph.
Emma and Macey see Santa at the preschool!
Going to see the new Visitor's Center and taking a Capitol tour!

A true Christmas favorite -- watching A Christmas Carol at the Shakespeare Theatre downtown.

Molly all dressed up . . . and wondering where she had to go to now.

Christmas program at church! Emma was a shepherd and her buddy Eddie was an angel.

Going to see the lights at Temple Square and running into some great friends! Thanks for taking the picture, Trish!

Going to the mall to see Santa. All three girls cooperated!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 26th

Is there any lonlier feeling than December 26th? The presents have all been opened and shuffled away, the tree looks forlorn without all the bundles underneath, and you are faced with taking down all the decorations that took so long to put up.

Argh.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Christmas Spirit

Yesterday, we went to the Capital with my parents to take a tour and to check out the new Visitor's Center. Molly slept through the whole thing. She's fabulous. On our way home, we stopped at Toys R Us to let the girls pick out presents for each other. I was feeding Molly and so Garry was going to take each girl one at a time so that there would be some surprise on Christmas morning.

Emma went first. For Macey, she picked out a doll and for Molly she picked out a duck. She did not quite understand the purpose of having to pick out presents for everyone BUT her and was perturbed by the time she got to the car.

She was even more perturbed when she saw that Macey was asleep.

We thought over the options? Wake Macey up? Let her sleep and take her later?

In the end, Emma made our decision for us when she yelled, "Macey, you wake up and go pick out my present!!!"

Ah, that's my girl!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tender Mercies

On Saturday I took my parents to go see The Christmas Carol downtown. How I stressed over this night out!! Should we metro it? But then we'd have to walk from the metro to the theater in the dark. Should we park at the parking garage next to the theater? Then what about the long wait to get the car and the silly inflated costs of parking for two hours. And we had to pick up our tickets early at the ticket office -- what would we do with the rest of the time?

I wanted us to be safe. And hey, I wanted it to be cheap.

That's when the Tender Mercies of the Lord took over.

I found a meter parking spot right outside the door of the theater. RIGHT OUTSIDE OF THE DOOR. In Washington, D.C. It was so fabulous I would have taken a picture if I had my camera.

And then, I looked across the street and saw a Starbucks. Open and warm. The relationship between me and hot chocolate is a close and loving relationship, and sitting down at a table, enjoying a hot chocolate with my parents, admiring the view of my Jeep in its perfect parking spot. . .I was in heaven.

The play was very nice, too.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas . . . Rewritten

A few years ago, my sisters and I were together and we were discussing Christmas Past. It was then that the truth was revealed about Santa.



No, not THAT truth.



Before I go further, two other facts must be revealed. First, Santa gifts do not have to be wrapped or come in a box. In fact, the very essence of a Santa gift is one that has been put together and placed under the tree. Second, there is a seven year gap between me and my nearest sibling, therefore when they were young and playing with toys, I was not around.



Do you see where I am going with this?



My Santa gifts were actually, well, regifts.



It all started to make sense. Now I knew why my Barbie did not actually fit into the Barbie motorhome. Now I saw why the Little People Cruise Ship was. . .well, weathered. And finally it made sense why my Barbie Convertible had tires that would not pass inspection.



My parents were crazy thrifty, but this was ingenious. And I appreciate it. The thriftiness made sure that we always had money when we needed it but never when we wanted it. A big difference. So Oprah, if you need more ideas on Thrifty Christmas Presents, talk to my Mom. She's a genius.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Perfect Storm

A friend of mine has five children (bless her patient heart). She told me that one of the toughest adjustments was going from two kids to three -- you were out of hands and arms. She said that one day all three started crying at the same time, and so she just sat down and cried with them.

Today was my perfect storm.

We were at the mall. Unfortunately, it was the third stop of the day, and my kids had had it. I stopped at the food court to get them something to eat, and all heck broke loose. Molly started screaming and needed to be nursed RIGHT NOW. Emma wanted Sakura (chicken & rice -- a Cunningham favorite) RIGHT NOW and Macey started screaming for chicken nuggets and a toy RIGHT NOW.

Luckily, my parents were with me and so while I fed Molly, my Mom got Emma chicken and rice and my dad got Macey chicken nuggets. How I dread the next perfect storm when I do not have help!! I might have to avoid the food court for a few years. I'll just tell them that it closed down ;)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bliss Update & Happy Molly, Happy Mommy


I did it! I got my girls -- minus Molly -- to gather around the piano and sing two Christmas Carols last night. Joy, joy, bliss, bliss. They did so well that I might let them sing at the recital tomorrow. We'll see how the practice goes.


Speaking of tomorrow, Miss Molly will be three weeks old! To show her age and her independence, she slept for a whole 4 1/2 hours last night IN HER BASSINET! Though there are times of exception, sometimes she no longer looks at the bassinnet as a betrayl of our relationship. Right in time, too, because yesterday I was starting to think that maybe Garry and I should have rented a newborn before we went all out and got one of our own.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Griswold Problem

I have a Griswold problem. Remember the movie Christmas Vacation when his wife explains to him that he over-hypes every holiday and then is disappointed by the result? Yep. That's me.

It was supposed to be so easy. I would have a lovely newborn right around the holidays and relatives would come from near and far to ooohh and aaaahh at her and we would sit around the roaring fire eating chocolates and cookies and drinking cocoa. And we'd sing carols around the piano and it'd be deemed the best Christmas ever.

I have not quite experienced the Christmas bliss this season. I do not have a roaring fire, and I wish that my two oldest girls would not ooohhh and aahhh so much around their sister and instead just LET HER SLEEP! The good news is, I have chocolate hidden in my room upstairs. And the girls and I made cookies before they got sent to their room for waking up Molly -- again. So perhaps now is a good time to down some cocoa and declare partial bliss better than no bliss!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Wow Experience

In my post-partum hormone mess, I have had a hard time with the commercials on television lately. Especially the Kay Jewelers commercials, those slay me. I sincerely covet the "Wow Experience" displayed on the commercials, but there is one problem: I totally do not wear jewelry. And I do not have a comfy couch next to a roaring fire. But besides that. . .

Garry and I got engaged around Christmas time, 2002. A mere six years ago. That season was full of a zillion Wow Experiences. Garry took me to a play I had wanted to see since I was in high school. And we tried a restaurant he had wanted to try for awhile. And he got me a present I had wanted forever. It was a lot of fun. This year, the Wow Experience has been eliminated in the practicality of the KitchenAid Mixer, which Garry is quick to point out was my idea. It was not one of my best, but I hope it will pay great dividends in the future.

So what is the rule for Wow Experiences? Do you get one a decade? Is the preciousness of the Wow Experience its rarity? Or is it something that we can seek for every year? Or after you have children, does every consideration go into creating their Wow Experiences and letting go of our own?

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Thoughts on Emma's Thoughts on Santa




Before this year, Emma was not a fan of Santa Claus. She would not go anywhere near him and for years we went without an annual picture of Emma with Santa.
But this year, she realized that if she wanted Santa to bring her presents of choice, she was going to have to talk to the big guy in red. So she conquered her fears and talked to Santa.
So far, she has talked to Santa three times: at the mall, at school, and at the library. And each time she has bravely told him what she wanted.
Which has led me to wonder, maybe this is all too much? Does she wonder why each Santa looks a little different? Does she wonder why she has to retell Santa each time what she wants? Is she concerned that he cannot seem to remember when she just told him a few days ago?
Hopefully, she is not overthinking all of this. Like me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Do You Mean It?

Hives update: I have gone from looking like a Botox-gone-bad spokesperson to a battered housewife. Yep, the hives moved up to my right eye. But, I have great hopes that things will be better tomorrow.

So this year Garry and I decided to pool the money that we got from our parents to purchase a beautiful, white, KitchenAid, 275 watt mixer. I foresee making lots of perfect chocolate chip cookies in the future because the only thing that has held me back from making said perfect chocolate chip cookies in the present is the lack of the beautiful mixer. Of course.

Now, the question is, are we done? Is that all that I have to get Garry for Christmas and vice versa? What if one person thinks we are done and the other person goes out and buys gifts and then the other person looks bad? Should we negotiate a price limit? Declare ourselves done? If we declare ourselves done, do we really mean it? I cannot think of anything that I really want -- after all, do I not have an Odyssey with seat warmers? Did I not have a free Botox-like treatment for 24 splendid hours?

The problem is, I like gifts, I really, really like gifts. And if we're done, and we mean it, can I take it like the adult-cookie-making-diva that I am/will be?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

. . . Until It Hit Me In The Face

So I have been trying to convince myself that my recovery was going well -- that I had turned a corner and was on the mend!! I almost had myself completely convinced.

Until it hit me in the face.

Hives, that is.

Last night, I started itching which I could generally ignore. But the hives moved up and landed on my face! The effect was not all that bad -- my upper lip swelled up and I definitely had an Angelina Jolie vibe going on.

I'd write more, but apparently I need to go and take a nap!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thank You!

Thank you to all of my blogging friends for coming to the party today. I had a lot of fun and really appreciate everyone coming!!

The Amazing Macey

Sometimes you can talk and talk and talk to Macey, and you are never quite sure what is getting through. She is a stubborn two-year-old. No, really, she is actually a STUBBORN two-year-old.

The other day, Macey got in trouble for biting Emma in the bathtub. The bathtub is a war zone when they are tired. It can get nasty. I kind of wonder what Emma did to receive such a horrible punishment, I am sure it was nothing good, but Macey was punished and sent to her room without the hope of pumpkin pie.

A few minutes later, Macey was still crying over her punishment, and so I went to go talk to her. I told her that it was going to be okay because she could always try to do better tomorrow.

The next night, I was helping the girls get ready for their bath, and I reminded them to be nice to one another. Macey told me, "I will be nice. I can do better today." And she was! And she did!

I wish I could learn as fast.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Super Sleeper

Garry has an amazing ability to get used to a noise and learn to sleep right through it. So, invariably, after we have a baby, one morning he wakes up and says:

Wow! Did she sleep through the night!

And me, who was up at one, four, and then six (and for an hour at 4, to boot), well, I start looking for sharp objects to throw.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Story Continues. . .The Missing Monitor

With the help of the Moore's, Garry called me from Church in record time. "Garry," I asked. "The computer monitor is gone."

I waited for the questions, the panic. . .

"Yes," he said, "I have it."

Hmmmm.....whoever heard of taking a computer monitor to church? But there was apparently no break-in. Whew.

I Was Robbed!

Yesterday, Garry took the girls and my Mom to church. I was left with Molly, and she was taking a gloriously long nap. I went down to the first floor and noticed that my computer monitor was missing!!

Egads!

It could mean just one thing. Someone had been watching our home, realized that we left for church at a certain time, and targeted us for a robbery. The scoundrels broke in, headed for the back room, disengaged the computer monitor in an attempt to start removing all of our electronics, but then heard the vicious dog who was still in the house. Or heard me wandering around. So they rethought their devious plan and had to walk away with just a computer monitor.

I walked around the house, looking for anything else that might have been taken. Luckily, we do not have anything, so it did not take long. Everything was still in place. I looked in the garage where we have been storing the girls Christmas presents. Still there. Hmmm...looked like they just got the computer monitor.

I no longer wanted to be in a home that was so recently robbed, and so with the help of the Moore's I got ahold of Garry at church. Trying to remain calm, I asked him if he knew why we were missing the computer monitor. . .

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Dreaded "In-Between" & Big Surprises

When I was pregnant with Emma, I (stupidly) read somewhere to expect my post-baby body to be similar to my body at about 5 months pregnant. So I (stupidly) packed an outfit I wore when I was five months pregnant. Of course, it did not fit (by a mile) and it was embarrassing to go home in the outfit I wore to the hospital.

When Macey & Molly, I was better prepared. But I hate being in the dreaded "in between" -- not able to wear any of my old clothes and wearing baggy maternity stuff. Not that I could get into any of my old pants but I really CANNOT because of my incision. Why cannot stretchy pants be the fashionable thing right now? Who doesn't like the feel of a nice pair of stretchy pants?

Another surprise of post-pregnancy? The bassinett. How does Molly like her super-sophisticated, full of wonderful buttons and features bassinett? Molly would just like to say, "What bassinett?" Apparently, the ONLY place to sleep at night is on my chest. I guess it was not worth declaring war on Fed Ex. Well, it's still a lovely thing. A lovely empty thing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Nothing To Cry Over (?)

This morning I was enjoying a piece of domestic bliss when it all came tumbling down.

I was holding Molly, and Emma and Macey were snuggled up with us, watching television. We were talking about what to do with Emma's hair for school today. Yesterday, she had a small pony tail in the back. Since her hair is so fine, nothing really stays in very well, but it was something new, and so we gave it a try.

But, today, Emma told me that a girl at school said that her hair "was silly". Well, Emma is not mean or petty and so she does not know - yet - that lots of girls are and so she took the comment in the best possible way. She laughed at the idea of being called "silly" and I cried and cried for about 15 minutes just thinking, "Oh, no, here it starts."

Maybe the other girl was not trying to be mean or to tease Emma and there was certainly no harm done because Emma was able to laugh it off, but my heart breaks for the day when she can't.

Heaven help me, why couldn't I just have BOYS?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Feeling The Love. . .

My Mom was supposed to be flying in to Reagan tonight for a three week visit. We were excited to go and get Grandma, but right from the beginning of the afternoon, we knew that things were not going to go well. She had to transfer planes in Denver, and they were getting snow. Her flight out of Salt Lake was delayed and she did not make her connection.

Luckily, my sister lives in Denver and my brother-in-law was able to pick her up from the airport and take her home and they will just take her back to the airport tomorrow where she has another flight in the morning.

Unfortunately, she does not have a cell phone and was not able to communicate well with her family today regarding where she was and what was happening with her flight.

My father, prone to worry anyway, was very worried and called me to see if I had heard anything. I had just gotten off of the phone with my sister and knew that my Mom was going to spend the night with them in Denver.

"But isn't the airline responsible for putting her into a hotel?" he asked.

"Well, maybe," I answered, "but I am sure that she would like to see her grandchildren, if only for a few hours." I answered.

"Oh, ya, sure," he said.

Mmmhhhhmmmm....feeling the love, Dad. Feeling the love.

An Awesome Confession

We've been home from the hospital for three nights now, and you would think that my nights have been full of crying and walking the halls and late night feedings and diaper changes. But it is with joy that I confess -- I'm SLEEPING!

Followers of this humble blog already know that I really struggled with pregnancy insomnia for the last several months. There were several nights I wished I knew Spansih because the only good thing on television seemed to always be on the Spanish channel. They have some great movies on late at night.

But for the past three nights I've woken up, fed Molly, and then . . . WENT BACK TO SLEEP!

Whoever heard of getting more sleep after a baby that before? But, it is what it is and I am so grateful.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Please Do Not Repeat This To Your Friends!

So today I had to have "the talk" with Emma and Macey. No, we did not have to talk about where Miss Molly came from, we had the talk over how she is fed.

Garry can tell you that I am a complete prude, and so having to use words like breasts, nipples, and the like, well, it's just not my favorite conversation. It's just downright uncomfortable, and I am sure that I did not do it well. They probably did not understand a word inbetween my "uhs" and "wells" and "when you're much, much older"s.

But, there I was, explaining how it all works and why they cannot feed Molly -- only Mama can.

I'm just hoping that they keep this little bit of information to themselves. I told them that we do not go around talking about "nipples", which, of course, was a mistake because now it's taboo and fun and will have to be repeated about 100 times a day. Stephanie, Tara, Kiersten -- if your kids come home from school talking about nipples, you now know where they are getting if from!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More Pictures of Molly


Catching some much needed zzzzzzzz's at the hospital.

Looking all cute in pink!

Such a pretty dress!


Getting ready to COME HOME!




Look at my crazy fashionable blanket!



We're Home. . .And We Get To Keep Her!

In the book The Glass Castle, the family is so poor that they have to "skedaddle" from the hospital before they get served with a bill. Yesterday, Garry and I were seriously considering a skedaddle, not because we cannot afford the bill but because we were concerned that they were never going to let us go.

Molly's jaundice levels never did come down. She suffered under those lights for 48 hours and her levels kept going up and up. We were getting very frustrated because nothing was working and we were getting very tired because Molly could not get comfortable under the lights. She could not sleep and I could not sleep.

When the nurse said that we would probably have to stay, I started crying. I just lost it. But, for some miraculous reason, the doctor said that we could go home. Garry and I were so excited! We started packing bags and cleaning up but the nurse came in and said that during her final assessment, they found a heart murmur.

Well, my father and brother and Emma all have false murmurs, so I was not worried, but I knew that it would set us back. An EKG would need to be run and the results sent to Children's and a final decision would have to be made by the doctor.

About five hours later, we were finally in the van, with its seat warmers running on high, on our way HOME! All this "being home wonderfulness" was contingent upon how she did at her exam at the Pediatrician's office today. We just got back, and the doctor said that she looks good. We can keep her!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Life Gets Better. I Promise.

Alicia and Molly are doing great--for the most part. Both are still tired. Both are ready to come home--especially Molly. We had hoped that today would be the day that both Alicia and Molly were discharged from the hospital. However, little Molly has jaundice. If you remember in my post yesterday, I said that Molly is the sweetest little girl....rarely cries. Well, life is already testing that assertion. The docs decided to put her under some lights to get rid of the jaundice so that she...and Momma could go home. They stripped her down to her diaper, put this harness like structure on her head to shield her eyes from the lights, and she is forced to lay there (not swaddled or comforted) and soak up some light rays. She's doing her best to be a trooper, but she is frustrated at not being able to be held, swaddled, and just left alone to sleep in peace. I've already given Molly several fatherly pep talks to let her know that life gets better than her current state of being naked and blind lying under some strange color lights.

But, we are hopeful that tomorrow (Monday) will be the day when the Cunningham gals get to come home. Keep your fingers crossed.
She looks better (less yellow) today, but still doesn't have that tan that you would expect after hours of soaking up some rays. :)

Emma and Macey got to visit Momma and Molly again yesterday. I think that Alicia was a little caught off guard or surprised that Emma and Macey rushed into the room, right past Alicia with only a cursory "hi momma", and straight to the baby.

We're on our way to the hospital right now to see Alicia and Molly but we're a little apprehensive about how the girls will respond to seeing their new baby sister under those strange looking lights.










Saturday, November 29, 2008

Good Golly Miss Molly


Introducing the newest member of the CUNNINGHAM family:
MOLLY JOY CUNNINGHAM was born on 11/28/08 at 08:24 A.M.
She weighed 6 lbs, 14.9 oz and was 19 & 1/2 inches long.


Alicia did a FANTASTIC job, but I'll let her provide any other details that she would want to share. Both Alicia and Molly are resting and recovering from a hard day. We're hoping to have them come home tomorrow (Sunday).


I know that it is early, but thus far, Molly is a true joy. She has been the most patient, laid-back, content baby. Except for the initial trauma of birth, bathing, prodding, suctioning, blood drawing, immunizations, etc, she only cried for about a total of 10 minutes her entire first 24 hours.

Emma and Macey came by the hospital yesterday afternoon to meet their new baby sister. Both were SUPER excited. They each got to choose a balloon to take to the hospital to give to Molly--because what newborn wouldn't love a balloon?
(Disclaimer: Alicia forbade me from posting any pictures with her in them.) However, this is Alicia's third C-section and I have to say that each time I am more amazed at the heroic act of motherhood and giving birth. I witnessed the surgery. It's a pretty big deal. Alicia was in PAIN throughout the day, had to deal with all the recovery processes, and yet her primary focus was not on herself, but in making sure that Molly was ok and taken care of. I don't know how you mothers do it, but you have my heartfelt admiration and respect.
Emma already loves Molly and wanted to bring her home yesterday and give her some "cold milk."
Macey is SOOO excited to finally be a BIG SISTER. She showered Molly with hugs, kisses, and even got to hold her little sister.
I'm not sure if Molly was curious or terrified of her older sisters, but she clearly kept a watchful eye on hem


Thanks to Grammy for traveling up to take care of Emma and Macey while I stayed at the hospital to help both Alicia and Molly rest and recover.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Even though I have a fabulous excuse to not be travelling and to be home right now, I have to admit that I miss my family today. While we are putting the turkey in the oven and trying to get the rolls to rise, I am thinking about what is probably going on in Utah.

But is anyone going to have a better weekend than me? You really cannot beat it. Garry & I get to meet our daughter tomorrow! And I am the only one I know that KNOWS I will weigh less tomorrow than I do today!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Memories & Conflicting Hormones

I have been so focused on friday, Friday, FRIDAY that I have to stop and really think about the fact that tomorrow is Thanksgiving! No, Garry is not cooking one gloriously large meal for me because it will be my last good meal for awhile (the joy of c-sections and hospital food) but because it's Thanksgiving!

I am glad that I have something to focus on or else I would be in quite a funk. My family has all gathered in Utah for a few days of chaos, fun, and, oh yeah, food. Today will be spent with cousins running all over my sister's house and my sisters making a million trips to the grocery store because something will be needed or something was forgotten.

It will be crazy and joyful -- all at once. Sometime tonight they'll settle down for a movie night that will begin way too late because my oldest sister is a night-owl and half of the audience will be asleep within 30 minutes. A few people may decide to not watch the movie and opt for a game of PIT. Man, I am fabulous at that game. Good thing I am not there this year -- it gives someone else a chance to realize victory.

I am jealous of the great gathering going on. Part of "nesting" I guess is this overwhelming feeling of needing to gather everyone together and just hunker down. Unfortunately, Garry is feeling the exact opposite. Knowing that we may not be venturing out much in the next little bit, he is taking lots of little trips out and about. He would take more but a few times the girls have absolutely refused to budge from the house. They are clearly getting hunkering. I am one step away from disabling the battery on his Jeep. Why can't he just hunker? Maybe, just maybe, men do not have the hunker down hormone?

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Contenders: Something New To Vote For!


So here's the background for my latest, and greatest, dilemma. Both Emma and Macey came home from the hospital in cute little dresses; Emma had a pink and white little cotton number and Macey had a cute little yellow sundress with a white sweater. Very cute.


But for Number Three, Garry and I picked out a sporting little sweater number. It's very cute and warm and soft, but . . . should I keep with the dress tradition? I bought one, just in case. So, cast your vote!


Slight disclaimer: no matter how the vote comes in, Garry probably will get the final say. So, justify your vote and maybe you can persuade him!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Priorities

This morning I woke up a little around 5:00 am. I think that the insomnia is getting better as I am sleeping later. It used to be 2:00. Then I could never sleep past 4:00. So 5:00 is not bad.

I came downstairs to play another fascinating and challenging game of Spider Solitaire when I heard a BOOM!

Two things went through my head. Either one of the girls fell out of bed or someone was trying to harm my brand new Honda with its seat warmers (a neighbor had a catalytic converter stolen off of his truck a few days ago).

So where are my priorities? I have to confess, I ran to the window to check the van, making sure that no one was trying to saw off any parts.

Oh, and the boom? I think it was Emma. But don't worry. She's fine. Eventually I checked.

Pep Talks & Domestic Bliss

When I was pregnant with Emma and then really shortly later with Macey, I started a tradition with my sister known simply as "The Pep Talk". About a week before I was due, I would call her, tell her I just did not want to be pregnant anymore, and she would tell me all the reasons why this baby could stay put, at least for a few more days. Some of the top reasons:

(1) the crying: there's no crying right now. Except from my 4 and 2 year old, of course. Which is enough. For now.

(2) one word: latching. Two words: latching problems. Back to one word: Similac.

(3) the smells: No, not from the baby. Babies are great smelling. Smells from the momma from not getting enough time in the shower, enough days of the week, and from the leaking. And that's all I will say about that. My sister goes into more detail and gets me laughing so hard that I. . . never mind.

(4) Engorgement: Only women read this blog, right? I actually do not mind this stage. I am naturally a size "Barely A" and so it's a nice change for a while. But a friend of mine is larger to begin with and THEN when she has a baby -- well, she just calls it the porn star stage.

(5) SLEEP: everyone tells me to sleep now, but I have been struggling so much with pregnancy insomnia, it will be nice to actually have some company. But usually this one applies.

I love this pep talk, it keeps me going for several more days. I am not in so much of a rush to get this baby out. Especially now that I am in domestic bliss. That's right, WE BOUGHT THE VAN. And it has seat warmers. Life does not get better than this.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Prayer Payment

A few months ago, actually, now over a year, I tried to color my own hair. On my own. Blond. It came out an orange rainbow. Bless Stephanie's heart, she tried to help me fix it, but the damage was too great. I had to go to a professional, confess my crime, and ask for help.

In "fixing" it, I had to pick out my natural hair color, and I picked incorrectly. I ended up with somthing a few shades lighter than my actual color, and for a for months now I have obviously been very two-tone.

But, the baby is coming, and relatives are coming, and pictures are coming, so I decided to fix it.

One of my piano student's moms recommended a friend that she goes to church with. She does hair late at night or on weekends, perfect for my schedule, and she truly listens to what you want and does a good job.

Here's the catch.

She does not charge a fixed fee. She considers what she does a talent from God, intended to bless the lives of others, especially women. So she asks that you pray about how much you should pay, and simply pay that amount.

I have to admit, this stressed me out. As you can tell from previous posts, I fret enough over tips let alone THE WHOLE THING?!?!

What if I gave her too litte? She would curse the day I ever walked into her home and she wasted her time on my too-dry-too-damaged-two-tone hair.

What if I gave her too much? Than I would be out of some hard-earned cash. And really, no one wants that.

The color is a little darker than I would prefer, but it's even. No rainbows. She did a good job, and I had her undivided attention on my hair for 2 1/2 hours. She even blow-dryed it straight, something that I love. And the theme of this blog: don't mock it 'til you try it because while I was getting my hair blow-dryed, I knew exactly how much I should pay. And, since I am really cheap (truly, Garry, I am. I promise.) it was actually more than I had planned on. Luckily for her, God is not crazy frugal. (Truly Garry, I am.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Box

Have no fear, I have my bassinett. Did FedEx come through for me? No. Hardly. I was just encouraged to "file a claim" and then told that they would only deal with the shipper. Which was Amazon. But, Amazon came through and overnighted a new bassinett.

I'd like to think that I got such great service from Amazon because I have been a LOYAL customer for over ten years. But I think it was more to do with the email I sent to their Help contact. Yeppers, I dropped my full name. And by full, I mean that I used the Esquire. The Esquire rarely comes out, but I guess in this case it did its job.

So, what did I do with Ms. Jones' box? I still have it. I've called her cell phone and left a message, and she has not called back. So, I guess I'll have FedEx come get it. Again.

An interesting note: Amazon used UPS this time. I thought that was kind of funny.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Decision

So from the post below, you can see that the drama facing me today was in regard to my missing bassinett. It was delivered to the wrong house, and FedEx cannot find it. They delivered to us a box of books for a Ms. Jones that lives about 3/4 of a mile away.

I called FedEx, and they expressed their disappointment that my bassinett was missing, and, by the way, could they come and get the box for Ms. Jones?

Now, Ms. Jones' phone number was on her box. Garry and I did a reverse number look-up on it and discovered it was her cell phone. My hope was that she had my box and we could do an even trade of boxes -- her books for my bassinett. I called her cell phone and left a message.

Meanwhile, FedEx was on their way. Garry suggested that I hold on to the box -- it was my collateral for my missing bassinett. My way to force FedEx to go looking for my bassinett and my way to ensure that Ms. Jones return my box, if she had it, promptly out of a desire to get her own stuff.

But still, wasn't this some level of mail fraud? Extortion? Or some other crime?

FedEx rang the bell, and I headed downstairs with the box.

So, what would you have done? Held onto it or handed it over?

Kharma

Do you believe in kharma? And, if you do, how do you think that it works? If you wish bad kharma on someone, does that mean that bad kharma will come to you?

Here's the story. I do not like my neighbor much. He's never held down a job and so he is home everyday, all day, which means that I need to try to keep my girls from making too much noise because apparently "it sounds like a marching band is coming through the wall" if they run around. You'd think that he was an old, cranky man, but he's actually just in his 20s.

So, I have to admit, I have wished upon him some heavy bad kharma. He does not have a job but somehow they have three cars, nice ones, and the other day one of the cars had a flat tire. I thought kharma had landed. And then said automobile got towed. And I thought that kharma had delivered him a one-two punch. But, I think that he just had it towed to get the tire fixed because it was back quickly.

And bad kharma has landed on my head.

After years of ordering with Amazon.com, they have managed to mess up an order. A bassinett. I am without my bassinett. Yesterday we got a tiny little box for a Ms. Jones and someone else somewhere got my bassinett.

Is this kharma's revenge? Must I learn to like my neighbor?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thrown Under The Bus

Yesterday my oldest daughter threw me under the bus.

As a snack during Movie Time Monday, Emma asked if she could have some marshmellows. She brought me the bag, and I said, "Sure" and put a few in a bowl for her and for Macey to munch on during the movie.

A few hours later, Garry came home and saw said package of opened marshmellows.

Those were for my yams, he explained.

Well, no big loss. I'm not a fan of yams.

Who opened the marshmellows? he asked.

Well, the answer to that one is obvious unless Quincy the dog developed a working thumb. But still, my oldest daughter threw me under the bus. Without hesitation, she said, It was Momma.

Now, forget the fact that the marshmellows were opened per her request. Or that it was all her idea. Or that she munched on them happily, with little thought of her father's yams (she gets that from me), or that I was in full labor with her for 20 hours and THEN had to go through a c-section, or that the guy responsible for my epidural during her labor MISSED and had to put that huge needle in AGAIN -- yep, apparently none of this was fully appreciated.

Motherhood is tough.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nothing Hurts Worse Than A Fake Boo-Boo

Theoretically, my shower time should be my quiet time. But somehow, it rarely works out as the girls find any excuse to come into the bathroom and especially get into my makeup bag and do their "lips" -- a process of applying and applying and applying chapstick until they look like something from Wringling Brothers.

Today, Emma's excuse was a boo-boo on her big toe. Apparently, while I was in the shower, a big wind came up and hurt my 4 year old's toe. How a big wind reached her, well, she could not explain, all she knew was that she needed a band-aid. Now.

Fine. I got out the Dora bandaids, wrapped it around the big toe, and watched her march off. I knew exactly where she was going. To show off her band aid to her Dora-obsessed little sister. I started counting the seconds. Sure enough, there was a knock on the bathroom door and Macey said it was "her turn".

I looked at her while she processed her mistake.

"Mama, owee on my leg."

Much better.

Macey hiked up her pajamas and started looking for a boo-boo. Luckily for her, she falls down 20 times a day -- the irony of naming her Macey Grace since she has none. Quickly, she found a bruise, and asked for a band-aid.

I understand that nothing hurts worse than a week-old-bruise, so I quickly handed one over. She said it felt better.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Down To One

I love the movie While You Were Sleeping. I saw it with my sister-in-law in the theaters a long time ago, and I still enjoy watching it today. Do you remember the part where they are walking back to her apartment and they slip on the ice? He splits his pants open and suggests that he can borrow a pair of hers. To which she answers, if you fit into my jeans, I will kill myself. Great movie.

So I'm sitting here with my laptop in a pair of Garry's basketball shorts, because that's all that really fits comfortably right now. It's not my best moment, but there is still great joy: I am down to one more doctor visit and down to one more Sunday pregnant. Wahoo! Sundays are hard --sitting on a bench or a chair for three hours and especially trying to find a dress that works. I think that while I have my sewing machine out, I will just remove the seams on Garry's basketball shorts and make a skirt. It'll be great!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

No Pain, No Gain


A few months ago I came up with a brilliant idea to really leave things until the last minute before Baby Girl Cunningham came. About two weeks before I delivered, I would make sure that the crib was up, the bassinett was up, the swing was up -- all the fun stuff a newborn requires. I did have a reason for this stupid idea -- I just wanted to not stress out Emma and Macey until I really had to not really knowing how excited they would be about everything baby.


One of the things I put off was making her baby blanket. Today I decided that it was time to cross that off of the list. It took about five hours and sitting in front of the sewing machine for that amount of time was probably not the best idea that I have had -- it seems that I've been making a lot of bad decisions lately! But hey, it's done. And it's pretty.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Losing My Award

So today I was removed from the competition for "Mother of the Year." I think that I can apply again in a few years, but for now, I am definitely kicked out of the running.

Here's what happened.

Three days ago Macey started getting sick. She had a really runny nose and would tell me that she had "bubbles" in her nose. It was kind of cute. I started giving her Benadryl and when she had a fever I started giving her Motrin.

Wednesday evening she started wheezing. Badly. Like you could hear her from the next room badly. She got a bath and the moisture helped move things around, the wheezing stopped, but she was still breathing really fast and really hard. I wanted to listen to her breathing and so I crawled into her bunkbed for about two hours, and I noticed that she was taking two or three breaths for every one of mine, even when she was in a deep sleep.

Thursday I called the doctor. Not for Macey. Oh, no. Emma still needed two shots for her vaccinations, but they were out during her well visit and so I called to see if they had them back in stock in the office. They did, but they were running out, and so could I bring her this afternoon? Sure. I took her right after school.

While I was holding and comforting Emma, the nurse looked at Macey, saw how pale she was and how she was breathing heavily, and started running tests. All on her own. I didn't say anything, because, well, Macey just had a cold, right?

So one breathing treatment and two prescriptions later, Macey is feeling better. But I feel horrible. Apparently "wheezing" demands an immediate call to the doctor. Who knew? Okay, you probably did. How can a doctor make you feel so stupid for calling (It's probably a cold. Give it a few days) and so stupid for not calling (She's sick. Really sick. Why didn't you call earlier?)

Anyone else also out of the running?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Unknowingly Letting Them In

Last night I was on the phone with my good friend Debby, who now lives in California. While I was talking with her, Garry handed me the laptop. He had been looking at a sex offender list, checking out our neighborhood, and there was a familiar face. A very familiar face. I taught a girl piano for over three years -- it was her Dad and he had a conviction for child pornography.

I liked her Dad. He brought his daughter nearly every week. He was always punctual. He was always nice and very supportive of his daughter's efforts. However, their paying schedule was erratic and so when they took the summer off, I told them in the fall that I no longer had any openings.

I teach piano on the first floor of my home. My girls stay on the second and third level and my students are never allowed upstairs. In that way, there is a layer of protection and privacy. But how do you protect your kids when the ones you should be on the look out for appear to be gracious, kind, perfect fathers?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not That There's Anything Wrong With It. . .

Yesterday I found myself in a store that is not my favorite. But, I am a captive to the low prices and wide selection. What can I do? While shopping at said store, I split away from Garry and the kids to go find another tupperware-thingy-majigger. We're big on organizing right now. I was wearing black pants, a black shirt, and a green sweater. My hair was a hopeless mess. Make-up? Not sure if I really had any on. It wasn't my best day.

While I was trying to find Garry and the kids, tupperware-thingy-majigger in hand, some lady. . .

Well, before I proceed, let me clarify NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH IT . . .

but then some lady stopped me to ask me a question because she thought I was an employee of said store that is not my favorite but nevertheless holds me captive with its low prices and wide selection.

The mistake was quickly fixed, and I went on my way. Walking back to Garry, I started wondering what in the world had just happened. What vibe was I sending out? Because in general the employees in this store have a reputation for being unhelpful and easily annoyed. Was that my vibe? Am I sending out feeling waves of wanting to be left alone and easily annoyed and completely unaware of where the light bulbs may be located?

So, here's my goal today. Relax. Be happy. And fix my vibe.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

I used to make decisions quite quickly. I usually knew what I wanted and just worked for it, sometimes got it, sometimes did not, and life just continually moved on. Did you agonize over colleges? I only applied to one. Agonize over majors? I liked two, and so I just double majored. Law schools? Alright, that decision I think took a whole two maybe three weeks.

And then I met Garry. Garry makes decisions very slowly. He can ponder on the merits of a new pair of pants for a very long time. His buying remorse is sometimes so high that he will leave the tags on a new item of clothes and consider it some more as it hangs in the closet.

So consider the fun that we are having in the selection of a van. When we first started talking about getting a van, we talked about getting one in October. But, I paid off my Jeep awhile ago, and so it is hard to consider reentering the realm of car payments. So now our timeline has been pushed back. And back. And back as the reality of car payments becomes more real. But, there ain't nothin' more real than three kids sharing one back seat when at least two of them still need helping buckling up.

And there are so many questions to consider. Do we get a new one or a used one? My father taught me to always buy used, but Garry thinks that vans, by their very function, get trashed. So he's leaning heavily toward new but feeling the pain of the sticker shock.

What about types? We have at least really narrowed it down to the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey. The Honda has some fun features on its top model. Seat warmers. Dual climate control. A funky camera thing for when you back up. The DVD player. So much fun! But for so much money.

Now if I was crazy single and could just make the decision myself, it would probably be this: Honda, used, fun features -- gotta get those seat warmers. But if I was crazy single I would not need a van. Or dual climate control. So therein lies the irony of it all.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What Version Are YOU Watching?

Emma and Macey are on a Princess kick. They love all of the Disney videos with Princesses and enjoy the Barbie series as well. I am loving this phase. The girlier, the better.

The girls have three dress-up outfits: Belle, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. These dresses come on and off several times a day. They are a favorite play-thing.

But lately, Emma has been inventing "rules" about the proper wearing of these dresses.

Here's the rule: you have to be completely naked to put on a Princess dress. Really. Completely. Naked.

We try to keep the blinds down and closed just in case Emma strips down, AGAIN, and we have tried to find out the root of this phase. Garry asked why she took off EVERYTHING before putting on her Princess outfit, and she informed him quite authoritatively that Snow White doesn't wear panties.

What? What? Where did she get this? Of course Snow White wears panties. EVERYONE wears panties!

But since Garry has been travelling a lot lately, he did have to wonder exactly what version of Snow White I was watching with the girls while he was gone.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Getting A Test Run

Yesterday I made a Thanksgiving test run: subject matter: pumpkin pies. The recipe that I chose was okay but there were problems with the crust. I needed deep dish crusts to accomodate all of the mix. So now I know. Thanksgiving should go great.

Apparently my body decided that it needed a baby test-run as well. At 7:30, I was having some contractions and had a lot of back pain. At 9:30 I gave in and called the doctor. There was a problem. MY doctor was not on call. Instead, some other man was on call, and while I am sure he is very nice, I was really cautious about having someone I did not know decide whether or not to do the c-section early. So when he told me to go to the hospital, I laid down and convinced myself that if I could just remain calm the contractions would stop.

And they did slow down. So I called the doctor again and told him I was not coming. No sir, no way. He said that if I was having contractions, I needed to come in. So I promptly ignored him and tried to go to sleep.

I finally gave up around 11:30 and went into the hospital. By then, I was having contractions every minute. But, since I am just at 36 weeks, they gave me some fluids, some antibiotics (this was all caused by an infection) and a muscle relaxer to make the contractions stop.

So, here's what I learned from my test run:

When they say "just a little pinch" they mean hold on because this is going to hurt like #$&*!
There is nothing relaxing about a "muscle relaxer".
I need to bring in my own blanket for the real deal.
I need to bring in warm cozy socks for the real deal.

So now, in a few days, we'll really be ready!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Now I Know

Yesterday, I passed a major test of parenting: I took my two year old and my four year old to the movie BY MYSELF. It was a big accomplishment. But, the girls did well. We lasted through the entire movie (hooray!) and I do not think that the people around us hated us too much. No one got up and moved, that I noticed. And I learned some things as well:

(1) Emma loves popcorn: No, really, she loves popcorn. I bought a small bag of popcorn for us to share during the movie, and she had it devoured before the movie even started. She is a popcorn finisher-offer machine.

(2) My Stomach Is Huge!: Just in case I had any doubts, I realized again yesterday that my stomach was huge! And it's not just because I haven't seen my feet in a long time or because I am looking at Garry's wardrobe for things to wear now, but because, during the movie, Macey took out her pacifier (a must have for any solo movie outing) and placed it on top of my stomach, like she was resting it on a table. And the darn thing stayed put!

Garry's travels look like they are finally done and he should be home today. He's gone on five trips in the last nine weeks, not that I've counted. But the girls and I have had some fun outings!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Problem With Women

Many of you know that in my previous life (life before kids) I was very involved in politics. I started interning when I was a Senior in High School, and I interned for a congressman, a senator (the DISTINGUISHED Larry Craig), and a political party. Finally, I came to Washington and worked in the Senate for a few years.

So, those who know me well may be surprised that I have not penned a single political blog in this election season. Well, wait no longer, because here it is:

I do not understand women. I look at the way that the African American community has embraced Obama, and I keep waiting for a leader of the same Community to decide that he is not "black enough" because his mother was "white" and he was raised by his "white" extended family and went to some really "white" schools. But no one has, they have fully embraced him and see his victory as their own.

So what is wrong with women? Why do I really dislike Hillary Clinton? Why did so many women turn against Sarah Palin? There was a poll in Newsweek that said that more men than women liked Sarah Palin. And they attributed it to jealousy: she's pretty, she's successful, she's balancing family and career. We must hate her. Why do we turn with such venom on our own?

The day after the election, a reporter was talking about the excitement of having the next President of the United States be someone that looked like him. I only hope that one day I can say the same.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What I Did

I took the discount and gleefully filled up my Jeep. 18 gallons for $36. I was so proud of getting gas for $2.01 that I called my parents because they ALWAYS appreciate a good bargain. But when I explained the situation to my father, he paused before he said, "Well, that wasn't quite honest, was it."

I'm over 30, but despite the age, you always hate to disappoint your Dad.

And I have to admit, that whole day I kept checking my caller ID to make sure that Mr. Swann did not call and yell at me for taking his discount, if it was a one-time thing. After all, he clearly knows the phone number!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Would YOU Do?

When I shop at Safeway, which is not often, I do not use my club card, which was lost long ago, but rather I just enter my phone number. My phone number, which I have had for over four years, is still registered under someone else's name, and often the check-out people call me "Mrs. Swann". I smile, take my food, and head on out.

I think that the Swann's are still around and shopping at Safeway because if you spend a certain amount of money at Safeway on food, you get a discount on gas at the gas station -- 3 cents to 10 cents, depending on how much is spent. So sometimes I can tell that they are around and shopping.

Yesterday, I stopped by the Safeway gas station, and the machine informed me that Mr. Swann was entitled to a 50 cent per gallon discount, and GAS WOULD JUST BE $2.01. When was the last time you filled up for $2.01?

I do not know what Mr. Swann did to qualify for a fifty cent per gallon discount, and I do not know how long it will last. The computer asked me if I wanted to use it. The Yes and No button stared back at me as I considered my options.

So, what would YOU have done?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Old Before My Time

Being really pregnant is just no fun. But when I start feeling a little overwhelmed, I remember that my Mom understands what I am going through -- and not just because she's been pregnant before -- but because she shares right now some of my most uncomfortable symptoms.

Weight Gain: Frustrated by that added weight in the middle? Worried that it is working its way down for a nice long stay on the thighs? Well, ditto for her.

Sleep: Can't sleep? Waking up in the middle of the night and just tossing and turning until sleep blissfully returns? Watching QVC for the first time ever. Well, ditto for her.

Hair: Confused by all the changes? Remember how hair used to be obedient and full? Well, ditto for her.

Bladder: Have to go to the bathroom what seems like every 30 minutes? Yeppers. Ditto for her.

So, there's good and bad news here. The good news is that the baby will be here in a few weeks. The bad news is all of these symptoms will be seeing me again, sooner than I would like.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The End Of An Era

I've had a lot of bad haircuts in my life. I've gone to people that have not had much experience with curly hair and paid the price. One lady tried to "brush out" my hair before she washed it so that it would not get knots in it. Ever tried to "brush out" curly hair? POOF! I used to have long hair -- about 1/2 way down my back -- and one lady made me stand up during my haircut because it was just too long. Hmmmm.... That wasn't my favorite. I've had people give me guilt trips about my DRY, DRY hair. Well, it's curly. I challenge you to find someone with curly hair that isn't dry. But regardless, I've always tipped these people. Always. No matter what, I tip, because it's just the nice thing to do. Until today. Because today I discovered what is worse than getting a bad haircut -- watching your daughter get a bad haircut.

Poor Emma. She was so patient and tried so hard to sit still, like the lady yelled at her to do, but the end result is far from the princess-look I promised her when we walked in. With tears in my eyes, sniffles in my nose, I paid the lady what was due and not a cent more.

Is that horrible?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What, Me? Worry?

I come from a family of worriers. My Mom works herself into a worry-funk at times and my Dad, when worried or stressed, paces. He's a pacer. So considering my gene pool, it's no wonder that lately I have been worrying about things. And hitting the treadmill. Some things you cannot fight. So here's what tops my list lately:

My Uterus: So how much time do YOU spend worrying about your uterus? Here's the deal. I have c-sections because while I can have contractions quite efficiently, they do not do anything besides cause me great pain. So, I have been generally told that I can have four c-sections. Four kids. And there's something about being told my limit that makes me want to take it on. Who knows how many kids Garry & I would have decided to have without this imposed limit. But even those four are based upon whether or not my uterus heals well and does not leave a lot of scar tissue. So, when the doctor goes in in a few weeks, he'll tell me if I can have that #4. So many of my really close friends cannot get pregnant and I'm grateful to have my girls. But still, I worry. . . Am I done at three?

My Girls: Wow, I am in a really good place right now. My girls are a joy, and I have fun with them. I love that I can take them to the bookstore or out to get a hot cocoa at Starbucks. It's a really good place to be. I know that the baby will bring change and a lot of joy, but I worry that I am throwing a wrench into domestic bliss. A silly thing to worry about, but still, I worry. . .

Football: I really think that the Redskins are in for a big beating tomorrow night. And it's sad when you can see it coming toward you, and all you can do is worry about just how bad of a beating is it going to be?

Names: Garry and I can never agree on names before the baby arrives. This time has not been any different. Though I am pretty sold on two names, he's still holding out for a different name. The name of a male actor, by the way. Who just got out of rehab. No, not David. So I worry, is he waiting for me to get that morphine shot after the c-section to fill out the birth certificate? Sure, honey, I love that name. . . look at all the pretty colors. . .

So what are you worried about today?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Overload!


Halloween was a great and busy day for the girls -- they were in candy bliss.


The day started off really early as I dragged the girls to my doctor's appointment. I only have TWO MORE APPOINTMENTS! Yahoo!


I took the girls to Sports & Health Gym where they had a parade and got candy from all of the employees. Macey was really proud of herself for "staying in line" and both girls waved happily at me on my little treadmill as they proceeded on their parade. Emma led the line, of course. I wonder how many years before they will stop waving back or think that my overactice waving is embarrassing?


We went to Starbucks for a yummy hot chocolate and muffin and then took Emma to school where she was able to go trick or treating at North Point High School. She had a great time and was surprised by Garry picking her up at school.


Finally dusk hit and we hit the neighborhood! Emma and Macey started out with gusto and would yell "Trick or Treat!" and then would say "Thank You!" as they handed up their buckets. But eventually fatigue set in and they just started handing up their buckets for the candy.


But we were not done yet! Off to the church for a fun trunk or treat. I was only able to so-so decorate my trunk -- I hope to do better next year!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Before And After Part II


Old towels. Hunter green theme.


Old shower curtain. Yucky.

New towels -- plain brown. Nothing fancy, yet. May try to get some nice, thick, crazy beautiful towels in a few weeks.



No big shocks today -- just replacing old towels with new towels and adding a new shower curtain. Not sure how I feel about the chocolate brown but I think that it may grow on me. That or I am really craving chocolate.








A Great Tradition: Before and After

When Garry goes out of town for a business trip, it's my tradition to remodel something really fast. If he doesn't like it (and he hates that I do this), well, he can try to not take so many trips, especially when I am crazy pregnant and just a little crazy hormonally, to boot. So yesterday I tackled the bathroom. This is a picture of the old carpets.

This is the master bathroom countertop. Not what it looks like on a daily basis -- I cleaned up before I took the pictures.

I added a new carpet from Bed Bath & Beyond. I got a pretty good deal using my coupon. I like the browns and the blues and the creams.


I used a coupon from Michaels to add this centerpiece to the counter. It's a clear vase with sticks. I hope that the sticks make your eyes go up and the bathroom does not seem so cramped. I do not understand this whole "stick" fashion thing going on right now. I just know that my sister has them in her living room and so they must be really cool and trendy. Making my bathroom really cool and trendy.
Stay tuned for more improvements coming today!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm Selling Tickets!


Lately I have been so happy with a recent purchase; I have thought about selling tickets and conducting tours so that everyone can view The Perfect Dresser.


Garry bought it from IKEA a few weeks ago for the Big Girls Room, and it brings me such great joy. Check out the drawers. There are six of them. And they are well constructed -- real wood on the inside and they slide back and forth so nicely on their little runners. No pulling or yanking or slamming. Just the sweet, sweet purr of wheels on their runners.


Check out the second drawer down -- it is extra roomy. Do you know how many fluffy pajamas I can fit in there? A lot. Truly, it is a work of art. The other drawers are deep and spacious as well, happily accomodating piles of jeans and stretchy pants.


Before now, the item that brought me the most joy was my Swiffer Sweeper and Vac. Though I still have my moments of bliss with that amazing machine, this dresser just makes me to-the-soul happy. Hope everyone can make it for Tour 2008!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What I Learned In Five Hours

Yesterday was a good day! Though Garry left for Colorado, I was still productive and got some stuff done. And I learned some stuff, to boot!

Sweet, sweet charity: On Thursday, November 13th I am having a baby shower for Heather L. from church. Members of the ward reading this, save the date! Garry and I were worried about hosting it at our townhouse because parking gets sparse at night. He suggested that I call another member of our church and ask them to host. They have a lot more room and parking would not be an issue. So I called, and not only did she agree to let us have it at her home, she asked if she could make the cake! I was floored. When people ask me to do something, my mind starts turning as I try to figure out a way to get out of it, not ask for more! So I have decided to try to turn a new leaf and be more like this woman. Not sure how, but maybe the desire will help me on the path.

Close the Door! After her bath, Emma wanted to wear her three princesses nightgown. It's a light nightgown, intended for summer, and it was cold last night. I told her she had to wear something under it. So I put on some fluffy pajamas and put her princess nightgown on top. Okay, it looked silly, but she was warm and had her favorite nightgown on. Really, two birds, on stone.

She looked at herself, and her face just fell. "I do not look good," she said. She's never said that before and so at first I laughed! But then I realized that she really meant it and was really worried about it. I wanted to know who taught my daughter to think that she was anything other than beautiful and perfect. And I realized -- it was me! How many times on Sunday do I go through five outfits looking for something that I feel "good" in and shout down the stairs at Garry that no, I am not ready because nothing fits? Nothing looks good!

As the Mom of little girls, I need to learn to close the door before I express concern over my appearance or voice any low self-esteem comments. Hopefully I can convince her again that she's great -- no matter what she's wearing!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ramblings of a Crazy Pregnant Woman

Yesterday I heard the words that I dread most. And I have to admit, I'm still a little peeved. But I'm wondering if I might just be a little crazy or perhaps a little hormonal?

Let me set the scene. I ran into a woman at church. The woman is probably in her mid to late 20s. I do not know her very well. We started talking and she asked me when my baby is due. I told her my favorite response, "Next month". Because saying next month makes it sound so very close. It's all in my head, but hey, it makes me feel better.

Now, the date this occurred was October 26th. And I said "next month". So for all she knew, I was having this baby in five days or so. You'd think that the response would be, "wow! right around the corner!" or "that's really soon!". Instead, I heard the words I hate. And now I must try to not dislike the messenger.

She said:

"Oh, so you still have awhile."

I know, I know, you're waiting to hear something much worse. Something nasty and worth this blog space. But I just hate hearing that I still have "awhile". I'm carrying this watermelon with me everywhere. Day in, day out. And we're not talking about one of those small ones from Safeway. This is a full-sized watermelon. I cannot really put on shoes very well. I cannot sleep very well. She's either in my ribs or on my bladder. Are you feeling my pain, yet?

So hearing that I still have awhile has made me a little moody.

I must remember this day and practice appropriate responses when I am talking to some ppor pregnant woman at church:

Wow! Next month! That's really soon!

or

You look great! How are you feeling?

or

So soon! Do you need any help getting ready?

These are the responses that can soothe the soul of a rambling, crazy, pregnant woman.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkin Time!








It's time to carve pumpkins! The girls got to choose their favorite princesses as pumpkin designs (I bought a little kit from Michaels Craft Store): Emma chose Sleeping Beauty and Macey chose Cinderella. The fine details of the princesses faces were a little beyond Garry and my carving skills, but we did our best!





Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dress Rehearsal for Halloween





Every year we head South for The Haunted Forest at Anne Marie Gardens near Solomons Island. They have a little path where they let people set up tables and hand out candy. I love it. Not only do the girls get candy, they get to wear their costumes for more than two hours on just one night. It's a dress rehearsal and a lot of fun.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

May I Suggest A Trade?

Today while Emma was at school, Macey and I went to Toys R Us to buy a present for Macey which I will now be required to hide from Garry for the next few weeks. We had a great time at the store. She was able to look at the toys at her speed and we did not have to chase Emma around. Remind me to blog about the time that Emma test-rode a bicycle OUT OF TOYS R US and around the parking lot without telling anyone of her big plan.

While we were in the check out line, I saw the saddest thing: a woman with her son, probably almost two, buying him a doll. That's right. A baby doll. A little boy doll with litte blue clothes but a doll nonetheless. She told the cashier how much she loved the doll because you could fill it with water and make it all soft and squishy and huggable. And every two year old boy loves squishy huggable dolls.

Once they had paid for said item, she held it up to her son, saying, "Look honey, do you want to hold it now?" He looked a little scared and a little terror-stricken and did not reach for his new baby doll.

I thought of my girls and my girl on the way and thought that the nice thing to do was to offer this lady a trade. But I love my girls too much.

Confessions. . .

What sounds do you find soothing? Maybe the sound of the ocean as the waves come in? Or maybe the sound of a fabulous orchestra or even birds singing on a Spring Day? Any of those? Yeah, not me either.

I have two soothing sounds, and I acknowledge that they are weird.

I love the sound of a blow dryer. I find it very soothing. I associate it with being comfy and warm and when I am in the bathroom with my blow dryer, I cannot hear my daughters fighting. It's very soooooothing.

My second favorite sound? Well, this one is an addiction. I love vacuum cleaners. For my kitchen, I love my Swiffer Sweeper with Vac. I've gone through two of them in two years. It really changed my life. Love it, love it. And my kids can use it, so they like it too. For my carpets, well, I think that we have a Eureka right now. I love dumping it out and seeing all the dirt that used to be on my floors now tidily placed in the garbage. For deep cleaning, I have a Hoover Steam Vac. It's a life saver for the piano room. And have I mentioned that when they are running I cannot hear my kids scream at each other. Bliss. Pure bliss. For a few minutes, all is peaceful in the world.

If my mop would only make a VRRRRR VRRRRRR VRRRRR sound, all of my floors would be clean.

So keep your waves and your birds and your string sections. I have my blow dryer.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Saved From A Horrible Day . . . And A Return To Domestic Bliss

After several unfortunate events yesterday, the day ended great. Garry had some pity on his weeping wife and made me my favorite dinner: Sloppy Joes and Potato Salad and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. I know, I know, my tastes are a little on the white trash side, but what can you do. I like what I like. Garry even went one step further and did some laundry and did the dishes. My weepiness has dried up, and I feel like I can conquer the world again.

Emma did not have school today, so we are enjoying a day of domestic bliss. We steam-cleaned the first floor carpet so I am no longer embarrassed when my piano students come in. With 20+ students and their parents and my dog, that carpet takes a beating. But bless my little Hoover.

We made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and macaroni and cheese and are heading off to Target and the mall. Welcome back, domestic bliss.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

That Cannot Be Normal, Right?

My father once told me that when I am feeling well, I can take on anything. I am a strong person, strong personality, strong will. Most days, I can take on the world. But when I am sick or really really pregnant, the fact that the ice cream machine at McDonald's is down is enough to drive me to tears. Today has been a teary day.

VANS: I knew I was in trouble this morning when I saw a van drive down the street and the thought of how much easier life would be with automatic doors made my eyes mist up. If I allowed myself to dwell on dual climate control and seat warmers, the mist may have developed into a full-fledged sob fest. Hmmm...that's not quite normal.

CAMCORDER WOES: Serious woes. To connect my camcorder to my computer in order to burn a DVD, I need a DV Port. Well, my laptop doesn't have a DV Port. And my camcorder refuses to acknowledge a USB Cable. I have talked to Best Buy, Toshiba support and Sony support twice. The Toshiba guy was floored by my question and WENT ONTO GOOGLE to see if Google could help. For the love, that cannot be normal, can it? I have about ten little camcorder tapes I am desperate to transfer to a DVD before I have another baby and we record more useless video tapes. Any experts out there that can help?

BETRAYED BY A FAITHFUL FRIEND: So when life get down, it's time to eat, right? And if you want to eat a lot and cheaply, hey, it's time to run for the border. So while Emma was in school, Macey and I headed for Taco Bell. Wallowing in my bean burrito, I bit into, into, into a piece of plastic. A five inch long, one inch wide piece of plastic. I think that what happened is that while someone was grating cheese, maybe some of the plastic around the cheese got grated in? Okay, I am being stupid, there is no way that Taco Bell employees grate cheese. I need to accept the fact that the plastic was from somone's gloves and it ended up in my mouth. Now, that cannot be normal, right?

CREDIT CARD WOOPS! I got a letter from my bank essentially saying that some information had been exposed and so for my safety I would be receiving a new credit card and a new credit card number. It came last week and to make sure that the transfer between old and new card went smoothly, I called Wachovia to ensure that the old card was cancelled before I tore it up and the new card was activated. I was assured that everything was "a-go" and so I cut up the old card and put the new one in my wallet. A few minutes later, Wachovia called me back and said that their next caller called in to report a stolen card, and numbers got mixed up and well, they have accidentally cancelled and reported stolen my new card. Now, I am so glad that they called before I actually USED it, but still, that cannot be normal, right?

The scary thing is. . .this day still has about seven hours left. . .

Monday, October 20, 2008

Emma Goes To School!


Emma went to school today! Unlike last year, where she went for a whopping two hours and thirty minutes, this time she only attends school for two hours. Apparently it was too short of a day because she yelled at me when we got in the Jeep for picking her up while she was playing "I Spy." So tomorrow I will do my best and try to linger in the parking lot so she can be one of the last kids picked up. Such a change from last year when I was greeted with hugs and kisses and excitement to go home!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bizarro World

Fans of Seinfeld (that's you, Jana!) will recognize the term "Bizarro World". It's a world or state where everything is backward. I guess the term first came out in a Superman comic and re-popularized by Seinfeld. The term has a few Wikipedia entries.

Today, I entered my Bizarro World.

Afer church, the girls and I went next door to the little girl's 2nd birthday party. Their townhouse is the exact opposite of ours. Their kitchen faces north, ours faces south, we have wood floors in our kitchen, they have tile. You get the point.

And since they have just one little two year old, they are able to hide, quite successfully, that a kid lives there. Everything was so clean! And bright! And clean! And all of her toys in the living room fit in this little section behind the couch.

I have to admit, Sunday or not, I came home from Bizarro world and cleaned my kitchen. I shook my head in shame at the Barbie dolls on the floor and the coloring books, well, pretty much everywhere.

I love, love my girls. But I have to admit, it was nice to visit Bizarro World.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Halloween Mistakes

Yesterday Sylvia blogged about her pursuit for the costume that her daughter wanted. I think that it's great that she is involved in finding a perfect costume and getting it early, to boot! And I know that the Isoms probably start planning their Halloween costumes on November 1st. They always look so cute!

I can only remember a few of my costumes growing up, I wish I could remember more. And since I was child #7, you know that there are NO PICTURES. I remember one year I was superwoman. I had a costume from KMART that felt like, well, a costume from KMART. The mask was hard to wear and the cape wasn't really classy.

One year I remember my friends and I were "punks". We got all creative and sprayed our hair with different colors and pulled our hair into side pony tails. I am not sure if the side ponytails were part of the costume or just the fashion of the day. We went trick-or-treating in the back of Jennifer's dads truck, singing Tiffany songs. Ah, Tiffany.

One year I took one of my sister's homecoming dresses and went as Scarlett O'Hara.

During my angry teen year, I was "black and white". I wore black and white. I am not sure what statement I was making besides "I am lazy and want some candy."

Maybe it is for the best that there are no pictures in existence.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quincy, Not Again!

Garry got Quincy from the Alexandria shelter when we had just been married three months. So we've had him for over five years. He's a really well trained dog, Garry put a lot of effort into his training, and so generally he's a great dog. But lately he has been interfering with my sleep. . . putting him on my bad list.

It started with an upset stomach. He had a horrible case of diarhea and just could not help but take care of it on the first floor. But a few deep cleanings later, I think that we're okay again.

But it made me nervous. Everytime I heard the jingle, jangle of his collar in the house, I'd wake up, concerned that he was off somewhere pooing away. So I started putting him outside. 2 am, 3 am, it really did not matter -- out he went. He was confused. But my carpets were safe.

Then last week he finally figured out how to unzip the small pocket of my purse where I keep snacks for the girls.

And last week he bumped the carbon monoxide tester button, making a BEEP BEEP BEEP sound out through the house at 2 am.

Egads. But it was just an accident. Just one of those things, I thought. Until he did it again last night. BEEP BEEP BEEP. 1 am.

Oh ya, bad list.