Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just Think What Tomorrow Will Do

Presents were wrapped, cookies were baked and clean laundry was chucked in the playroom to be dealt with on another day.

After the last few months, the holiday was frazzled. But that's what holidays are suppose to be, right? Frazzling?

[Just nod your head in agreement, mkay?]

The last week of December is my favorite, it's finally an opportunity to relax. Time to play with stuff, to hang out as a family and put some damn laundry away.

Seriously. It took me five damn days but now all our clean laundry is put away. Not a single laundry basket is in use.

Just don't ask that situation in a few hours.

So now we're lego'ing, reading, not watching the clock, eating leftover cookies and one person in particular is teething.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'll Do Anything That You Want Me To

Nope. Baby's not any better. Two showers daily is my minimum and I still smell like vomit.

Happy holidays!

Coming home from Michigan, Emerson stopped pooping right. And did you know? That day after we got home Aaron went out of town again. Which means he was home the weekend of Halloween, Thanksgiving weekend, 36-ish hours one week and with the family for his sister's wedding in Michigan. That's it.

So four days after we got home I took Emerson to the doctor 'cause he was pissy. And I mean piss-say. And he's not a pissy baby.

Before we left he had... you know. "Done his business" and his "business" looked like shredded tree bark. The doctor ordered x-rays, said he had some bits of constipation, gas and fluids and should be better in a few days.

A few days later she called and ordered us to the hospital for emergency x-rays (have I mentioned Aaron was out of town?) after a radiologist looked at his first batch. Nothing worse, but nothing too much better. So I volunteered to eat a dairy-free diet to see if that helped.

I've been on this dairy-free diet (which I know I'm doing right 'cause Griffin and Darwin have been diary-free FOREVER) for 10 days and now I'm getting sick (I'll save you the details, but yes! my digestive tract!), Emerson's kinda doing better with his digestive tract but not significantly better (hello, more shredded tree bark lookin' stuff and pissy baby today!) and did you know? Christmas Eve is tomorrow, Aaron just got home Sunday and I have so many godddamn hormones running in my bloodstream, all I want to do is cry BUT I CAN'T CRY 'CAUSE I HAVE TOO MUCH TO DO.

But all my babies are alive. And healthy. (-ish)

So we're having store-bought cupcakes for holiday desserts. I'm only making two types of cookies (which, let's face it, it may get cut down to one), some presents are gonna be grouped together for less wrapping and I'm gonna do my best to stop freaking the fuck out and try to relax until we see the pediatric gastrologist in February.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Won't You Show Some Class

We have a long-standing tradition to buy Lego Advent Calendars during the holiday season. We started doing them when we were dating and... yeah. It's taken on a life of its own.

One would tend to think that the Debacle of 2005 would be the pinnacle of What the frack is Lego thinking? But, turns out, they've outdone themselves.

Outdone themselves in a very majestic way.

I present: Naked Old Man Lego

Don't look at me. I didn't go there. Lego did. I'm just reporting like a good samaritan.

Because, you know, nothing says Happy Holidays! like an old man with an elf fetish wearing a black thong about to get his groove on.

See? He's even brushing his beard for sexy times.

Now, I would like to give Lego the benefit of the doubt here with the notion that maybe, just possibly the intention was for him to be a member of the Polar Bear Club... but maybe swim trunks? And um... a dolphin? You know, something that doesn't have a parent have to explain NAKED LEGO MAN in the advent calendar.

And the bigger questions in our house: WHAT'S A THONG? and IS HIS PENIS REALLY THAT BIG?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

And Sway to the Rhythm of Love

We snuck out of town.

Well, with a family of five and outrageous food allergies, I'm not quite certain how much sneaking was involved exactly, but we roadtrip'd for two days to Michigan.

It's a long drive. Longer when a nursing babe is involved.

But totally worth it, because we got to attend Aaron's sister's wedding.

We love Mandy ("Hot Mandy" as the boys like to call her, instead of "Aunt Mandy") and Ryan's awesome too. We're so very happy for them.

Next month Mandy leaves for Basic Training and Ryan follows a couple of months later. When these kids decided to jump into life, they jumped high. We're proud. Scared. Worried. Hopeful. And optimistic.

Out gift to them was their guest book, but not any guest book. I ran around with my Instax and took photos of the families who attended. I adhered them to 8x8 pages I had cut to fit and match the album and then had the families sign the paper.

Initially people thought I was crazy. But once I got a few examples (and some booze into the attendants) everyone got involved and excited. It was definitely a fun, hectic process - but so totally worth it.

We're home, safe and sound. And ready to get the holidays (including our Lego advent calendars) underway.

I guess I'll catch my breathe in the new year.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright


Yes, I do have a blog. I also have a husband who's been out of town for over four weeks (save less than 48 hours when he was home and got sent right back out) and a baby who keeps! going! to! the! doctor!

Not that anything is seriously wrong, of course. Or, rather, not that anything is isn't manageable.

Emerson has acid reflux. I mean, acid reflux. He can out-acid-reflux anyone. Is there a competition for that? 'Cause he'd win. I sure hope there's a trophy.


Because when you have a husband out of town and a baby that can puke further than you can throw a soaking burp cloth, you begin to lose your mind and have high hopes for fancy trophies.

So! Yes! Medicine! Emerson started the fake prevacid and I'll be damned if he didn't immediately break out into a rash.

And that's the thing with off-name-brand medicines: you can rarely tell if the binder/filler/crap-they-put-in-the-medicine-that-isn't-medicine-itself is gluten-free or not. Name brands, hells yes, you can look that up and know if it's gluten-free or not.

In fact, that website is my best friend.

Non-name-brands. Yeah. Not usually. "Starch" is common and you never know if it's wheat or corn. There's been many times I've had to make our pharmacy get a name-brand prescription for me because that's the only way to get it gluten-free.

So Emery got fake medicine. A pill. A pill I had to break in half, crush with a spoon, dissolve in water BUT DOESN'T REALLY DISSOLVE IN WATER, ONLY THE BINDER PART and try to get these tiny snowball things in him, instead of him spitting them out and GO AHEAD AND ASK ME HOW WELL THAT SYSTEM WORKED.

Hint: he was still in running for a four-foot gold-plated trophy.

When he started the medicine his weight at the 30th percentile. And that's just... tiny. For our family, at least. Griffin always ran around the 85th percentile and Darwin around the 65th. Thirtieth percentile? What's wrong with mah baybay?

After two weeks I called the doctor and was all rash! snowballs! spittle! six foot pure platinum trophy!

So she was all GAH. And I was all iknowrite?

I took him in and he had dropped to the 27th percentile. And she was freaked out by his rash. So we switched his fake prevacid to compounded certified gluten-free prevacid (fake prevacid? I don't know) and BAM! Baby cleared up. Baby doesn't puke as much.


I took him back in yesterday, another two weeks later and he's still at the 27th percentile. But, at least he's not at the 26th percentile.

Now, if we can just keep Aaron in town longer than the Thanksgiving holiday, maybe I won't be so bat-shit crazy.

Why are you looking at me like that? I'm not that bat-shit crazy. And where's my diamond-encrusted ten foot trophy?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Best Evah Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know with a title of "Best Evah" something's got to be good. And better deliver. And these will. I promise.

(And a post title that's not a song lyric! SHOCKER! But when it's two months from now and you want to make some damn cookies 'cause someone pissed you off is when you'll realize my omnipotence awesomeness and be thankful.)

Now, let me vent that I have, in fact, been in a funk for quite awhile. Not a depression funk per se ('cause, trust me, I had one of those post-pregnancy before and stared at our kitchen knives, this is definitely not that kind of a funk), but a food funk.

A food funk as in my gluten-free flour mix had become a FAIL due to manufacturer's inconsistencies of grinding the flours the same texture from batch-to-batch (hell, within a bag once I had super-fine to crazy-course grind brown flour) and flours being gross (rotten? mildew-y? I have no idea, just gross) at the time of purchase. So for the past year, year-and-a-half I have hardly been baking.

So I've been experimenting, trying new things - and let me tell you, what we can try is quite narrow. Including gluten and soy issues (like me), Griffin and Darwin also have serious dairy, nut and legume allergies. Which means figuring out food is extra fun for me.

Two weeks ago I bit the bullet and tried King Arthur's gluten-free brownie mix (was kinda bitter, not very chocolate-y) and then their all-purpose flour mix. Finally, a consist gluten-free flour mix that we can all have (ingredients are white rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch and brown rice flour) and I don't have do some voodoo hand mixing.

Now, let's be clear: I didn't receive anything for free, they don't know me from Sam Hill and this stuff is hella expensive. I'm talking locally paying $5.79 plus tax for just over four cups of flour.

Welcome to the Gluten-Free Lifestyle: we hope you have no other interests other than eating 'cause you're not gonna be able to afford them anyway.

And I admit: we sacrifice and pinch and save to keep up with my foodie ways. I like to cook, we all like to eat. And we're lucky that we kinda-sorta make it work.

Now, I'm not saying this mix is so magical that it resolved my funk: I resolved my funk. Or, I'm working to resolve my food funk. I'm a work in progress goddammit.

But I guarantee these are damn good cookies. And to answer your questions: yes, I'm sure you can substitute other gluten-free flours for the King Arthur I use. I was just telling you what I use in case you wanted ideas. And yes, you can make these cookies non-gluten-free too - use the same amount of your wheat-y flour and do not add the xantham gum. Yes, this recipe can be halved - or doubled. And yes, you could make this with less chocolate but just don't tell me 'cause then I don't think we could be friends.

Best Evah Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (dairy-free too!)

1 cup shortening*
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons xantham gum
3 cups gluten-free flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips**
1 cup dark chocolate chips**

Preheat over to 350.

In a large bowl cream shortening and brown sugar to fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Add salt, soda and xantham gum, scrap the sides and mix a bit more. Slowly add flour and mix until just incorporated. Add chocolates and stir by hand.

Let dough set at room temperature ten minutes to two hours - this allow it to melt together and I got the idea from Jackques P├ępin so you know it's a good idea.

On a lined cookie spoon blobs of dough (whatever size you like) and then bake 7 to 12 minutes, until done. For a "standard" size cookie I prefer eight minutes, which is golden on the outside and still chewy all around.

Recipe makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies depending on size and how much cookie dough you eat.

Not that I know anything about eating cookie dough. Ahem.

*I use organic gluten-free certified palm shortening. Not a dairy-free household? Substitute half the shortening for an equal amount of room temperature butter. Yum.

**I use Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips and Whole Foods' 365 dark chocolate chunks - both are gluten & dairy free.

Monday, November 01, 2010

They Did the Mash

"Darth Vader, please stop using the force on me. Phantom of the Night? Could you please move closer to Daddy? Yoda.."


"Okay, Master Yoda? Smile!"

Halloween 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

That Ain't Workin'

Emerson has brought an amazing balance to our family - well, as much balance as one could have with sleepless nights. But still, we have balance.

He's very Zen, our little Buddhist master. Watching everything. Soaking it all in. Somehow managing to calm us down (which is completely weird compared to his colicky, screaming brothers).

Unless, of course, he's puking.

Now, I know spit up. I know it well. Griffin perfected the fine art of spittle. Darwin followed Griff's example and even taught us a thing a two. But Emerson? Emerson causes me to have daily unplanned showers, change my clothes at least three times a day and has had me scrubbing our couch more times than I can keep track of.

Our doctor offered acid reflux medicine at his one-month appointment, but we turned it down. The "projectile spit up" wasn't making him upset. At his two-month appointment I was ready and he was starting to get upset. Aaron was still very we-are-not-medicating-that-zen-baby-hells-to-tha-no.

A few night later we were all miserable. Just miserable. Emerson was crying and vomiting (I mean, let's call a spade a spade, shall we?) and nothing we did would make him feel better. It went on for hours.

His standard vomiting continued but escalated into unexpected ways - throwing up while eating, throwing up while sleeping (holy fucking scary balls, man), throwing up on a boat, throwing up with a goat, YOU GET THE PICTURE.

So on Wednesday I had officially had it. He ate. He threw up. He threw up again. And again. And then we went to the boys' school Halloween parties (yes, on Wednesday, because our school had Parent-Teacher conferences yesterday and today and even Emerson's zen-ness does not combat two older boys at home all day MY HELL) and he threw up. And threw up. And threw up. He threw up on Darwin. He threw up on Griffin. He soaked his costume in projectile-spittle. He got it all over his stroller. The baby just Could Not Stop Vomiting.

When we got home I called the doctor and begged for mercy. A short talk with the doctor and a nurse later, a prescription was called in for Prevacid.

Now, I'm not happy to be medicating him - not at all. But if this will help him feel better (have I mentioned his miserableness?) then I'm willing to give it a try. Hours of explaining all this to Aaron, he was willing to give it a try too.

He's only had two doses (one yesterday morning, one this morning) and I have hopes of at least some relief for him.

But damn if he didn't projectile spit up all over himself (after he had a bath to boot), the vibrating chair and about four feet of carpet this morning.


Good thing kids are damn cute.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cicus Life Under the Big Top World

"Mama! Look at my worksheet!"

"Isn't it nice? And did you see the dog?"


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Only Nasty Thing I Like is a Nasty Groove

It's kinda amazing how quickly a parent gets re-acclimated with being covered in another person's body fluids.

With the first kid, we were grossed out for months. But by the third? You just don't give a shit.


Pee? As long as it's below my elbows, we're cool. Easily washable. Thankfully.

The closest I've gotten to being grossed-out this time around was when Emerson angrily pooped on me a few weeks back (when I was still on antibiotics for my mastitis, and boy howdy did those drugs make him an angry pooper) and it was everywhere: my shirt, my pants, my arms, the floor. I think I even got some on my shoulder and in my hair.


But I calmly changed him. Stripped down. Strapped him into his vibrating chair and took a shower.

Given how overdue I am for a shower, this situation is sounding rather lovely right now.

And spit up? Last week I dreamed I was on Dancing with the Stars and Mark Ballas was my dancing partner. He didn't like me much, probably because I kept interrupting the dancing to nurse Emery (and because I bitter that I didn't get to dance with Maks). Right before it was stage-time, he got really pissed because I was just covered in spit up. So the makeup artist decided to glitterize me. Because that was the only way to disguise the amount of dried spit up I was sporting.

That would have come in handy this morning, while at the grocery store I realized my left arm looked like a white, powder-y mess. The big, dried wet marks across the shoulders just highlighted my awesomeness.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What's Got You So Jumpy?

Three words: lack of sleep

Goody gravy. I'm tired. But my stupid Mommy Genes have kicked so do you think I can sleep during daylight? The answer to that would be a great big No, I Cannot.

I shouldn't complain, Emerson is a great baby even tho from three to six a.m I think he's the devil incarnate. But hey! I bet everyone feels (or felt) that way about their babies.

Right? Right!

Truth is, we're alive. And at this point, that's all I expect out of us. Keeping everyone alive. Anything above and beyond that is just gravy.

Like, taking pictures.

I know I need to be taking more pictures (he's already gained two pounds! in just five weeks!) but half the time I don't even know what day it is. I gauge it by whether Aaron goes to work and the boys go to school.

Don't worry. I realize how pathetic that is.

I don't think I ever took one picture of Griffin or Darwin throwing a hissy fit. And goddamn, do I wish I had those blown up and framed in my house. As blackmail material.

And sadly, no - this isn't a real smile and how I captured it is beyond me. But wow, does that big grin ever give me something to look forward too.

Smiles and sleep. That's all I'm asking for.

Friday, September 10, 2010

So Come Dance This Silence Down Through the Morning

I knew having a newborn would be tough, I remember the days of bringing Griffin home and having him scream around the clock. No feel-good memory loss for me, I remember clearly.

And I knew what to expect, breastfeeding exclusively with boobs that just don't like to produce milk. And I had resigned to the fact that the next year of my life was going to be spent nursing, nursing, nursing, not sleeping and (hopefully) working. You know that working part, so important because you need to buy food so you can make milk and nurse.

But the preparing myself and actual realization are two different things, of course, and last Thursday I really thought the lack of sleep was going to kill me. Not so much the nursing, even though, damn kid could you stay off for a full hour? Please? But the lack of sleep.

I like my sleep.

As I was breastfeeding Emery I was thinking of ways I could kill Aaron, that bastard. That bastard who did this to me and doesn't have to breastfeed. What kind of biological bullshit is that? And what's the best way to revenge those who Sleep Peacefully for More than an Hour at a Time? Because this was heavy on my mind.

But The Gods have a way of putting you in your place. As for my place, that is called Mastitis.

Last Friday I felt weird, but blamed it on lack of sleep. Saturday, though, the shooting pain in my breast began along with a fever of 103 that brought with it chills (complete with unintentional moaning) and sweats. A midwife was nice enough to call me in a prescription over the holiday weekend (after I cried and begged to not send me and a newborn babe to the ER).

And one would tend to think that would help, but no. Four days later and everything was the same, except I had wised-up enough to keep myself filled of Tylenol and Advil to try to keep my fever (and chills and sweats) under control.

Tuesday morning I dragged my ass (and the baby in tow) (Aaron went to work) (that bastard) (while I was still sick!) to the doctor's office and got a new prescription. So we stopped at the pharmacy to pick it up and...

Yeah. No.

The new prescription wasn't gluten-free.

I had to fight with the pharmacy for a few hours to Figure Shit Out and it turned out oh hey, THEY CAN ORDER MEDICATION. Which meant that by the time everything was said and done I started the proper prescription Wednesday night.

Which means, of course, that the story isn't over yet.

Because The Gods? They have a sense of humor. And decided it would SUPER FUNNY if Darwin woke up with the croup Thursday morning.

And seriously, we contemplated if he needed to go to the ER or was his oxygen high enough to make it to the doctor in a few hours. No blue lips, thankfully. So we waited. And Aaron took Dar to the doctor, while I stayed home with Emerson in hopes of me and Emery not catching the croup because THAT'S JUST WHAT WE NEED RIGHT NOW, for a three-week old baby to have breathing problems.

So Darwin's been home for two days, but is suppose to be avoiding me and the baby so we don't get the croup. But Aaron's at work and guess who has to care for the poor sick boy? And I mean besides his DSi.

And then, just for shits and giggles, between the time I sat down and started this post and now, a water main broke right in front of my house, flooding the driveway and garage with muddy water and now there's a nice big hole in my driveway that could easily dispose of a dead body.

Any body have a dead body to dispose of?

If this week had a body I would have already called dibs.

[gratuitous photo of three-week old Emerson, because I know why you all are really visiting]

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Welcome to Your Life (There's No Turning Back)

Emerson Julius Suever (pronounced "see-ver") was born on August 18th.

Seven pounds, four ounces. Eighteen inches long.

Two hours after being born, he was taken to the nursery due to not self-regulating his temperature and having difficulties breathing. He spent four days (FOUR DAYS!!!) in the Progressive Care Nursery (which is ran by, but not as serious as, the NICU) and spent a night and day under the billie lights due to jaundice.

Obviously, he's as ornery as his brothers.

Aaron and I took a full week off from everything and have been camped in the living room. I swear we're getting sleep, but sleep at one-hour-or-less increments doesn't feel like real sleep.

He's a deliciously blond-haired fuzzy little monkey who's a champ at full-filling all his obligations: eating, dirtying diapers and sleeping.

And, occasionally, yawning.

We are so very lucky. And so very in love.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Would it be My Fault if I Could Turn You On?

I'm still pregnant.

But not for too much longer. My amniotic fluid is low, so I'm being induced Wednesday morning if he doesn't arrive before then.

I'm use to inductions. My other two had to be evicted as well.

And I got the quilt done this weekend - which is good, 'cause I'm having a baby on Wednesday holy crap.

I really-really-really-super-really love how it turned out. It's gorgeous and wrinkly and oh-so-soft (guess I should thank the thin cotton batting for that?) and they boys have given it two thumbs up.

Speaking of boys...

I'm officially a mama of a third-grader and first-grader. How the hell did that happen?

And we're adding another boy to the mix?

We have the crazy.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hey, Hell, I Pay the Price

I'm still pregnant.

Today is my fourth? fifth? bazillion-and-twenty-seventh? Bio-Physical sonogram. Sonograms feel like a dime a dozen these days, and they aren't even offering pictures anymore. I need to say something about that today. Especially since we're getting a weight estimate.

My money is on at least seven pounds. We are seriously out of space in this belly of mine.

I had 22 weekly Progesterone shots to stop labor. I haven't had one in two weeks and now we may have to induce in the next week or two. My uterus cannot make up her damn mind.

And despite not having one for two weeks, I still have five golf-ball-sized welts all across my hips from the shots. They feel gross. And still tender.

I was putting my hair up in a pony tail in front of a mirror last week (that whole "in front of a mirror" being important, as I'm too lazy - and have too much gravity in my belly - to get up easily) and discovered that I?

I had grown some freaky neck-beard.

No, not kidding.

Five inches of baby-down fluff neck-beard. It was gross. Aaron laughed. And then I made him shave my neck.

And my face.

Because it was there too.


I got my nursing bras in the mail yesterday. And it's becoming alarmingly real. And I'm gonna have to wear them for about a year.

Buying bras for me is super-difficult as-is. Let alone nursing bras. And one of the few companies that make them in my size is called HOT MILK and it's lacy and sparkly and Aaron's very concerned about me flashing such a bra in public.

But he gets to see it too, so what's his complaint?

HOT MILK. Hahahahahaha.

I've been meaning to, for days, to teach Griffin how to clean the bathroom floor. Because I just can't reach it. And yet, MommyGuilt has kicked in and I just can't bring myself to be all "Baby, let's wipe down the bathroom floor."

I should make Aaron wipe it down instead.

My pants and shirts no longer meet. Which means, unless I remember to put on a tank top (and the heat index around here has been over 100 degrees everyday) and tuck it into my pants, I'm walking around exposing my belly button and a three-inch band of belly skin to the world.

This is especially classy when going to the boys' elementary school to drop off Epi-Pens, Benadryl and Motrin for the new school year.

The new principal was rather awe-struck, if I do say so myself.

Griffin has been telling my belly that he's gonna be really! pissed! off! if the baby doesn't come by tonight, at the latest. "I'm tired of being patient. This is ridiculous, Momma."

I think he wants his brother to come before schools starts - on Monday - so his schedule isn't disrupted.

Kid after my own heart.

Don't fuck with our schedules.

Bags are packed, including clothes, blankets, clothes and allergen-free soap for the baby - yes. We can't use hospital soap. Can't chance an allergic reaction.

The baby is opted out of all eye goo, shots and anything that would go in or on him. And he has to be in a latex-free environment. After what happened to Darwin (nine days in the NICU, nearly died, no one knew what was going on - now we know he had anaphylactic shock to something, we just don't know what), we're doing our best to not take any chances with Baby M.

The hospital even ordered Neocate in case they feel he needs some supplementation before my milk comes in.

Which I really hope doesn't happen, but it's best to be prepared.

Cloth diapers are washed and dried (five! times!) and ready to go when he fits and he's healed from losing his umbilical cord.

Because, of course, his brothers were allergic to most disposable diapers. And we spent an arm and a leg, weekly, keeping them in clean britches.

The crib is put together :: cough, cough :: but not completely ready. ::ahem::

The van is cleaned and reorganized, the baby's car seat is aired-out, washed and ready to be installed.

The cord-blood kit is sitting next to the door. And my medical records are right on top.

I have just a wee bit more binding to sew on, then the baby's quilt is ready to be washed. (Sidenote: those binding corners are tricky. And I don't appreciate that.)

The house is stocked with food and even though I don't feel prepared, I can't imagine we'll be anymore prepared than we are right now.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

If it Rains I Don't Care, Don't Make No Difference to Me

I'm still pregnant.

That's how I answer the phone. Even to Republicans who wanted me to vote for them in the primaries. Which is really a puzzle, considering I'm a registered Democrat.

But I digress. I'm still pregnant.

Not much going on here. Just getting weekly BioPhysical sonograms (and yet, they are not figuring his weight every week - that's such a massive pain in my ass - but he should weigh about six and half pounds right now), getting hooked up to machines and daily staring at my elevated ankles.

We won't talk about my puffy feet.

After being back in hospital last week (contractions three minutes apart and they strapped me to a bed and pumped me with fluids for a few hours which OF COURSE STOPPED IT) I've decided I'm not going back to the hospital until I have a baby. If that means if I go back and they discharge me, I don't care - I'll permanently sit in the hallway. I'm not collecting anymore damn hospital bracelets until I get me a baby.

So, let's see.... today I am 36 weeks and three days pregnant. Talked to my OB last night (who was out of town last week during the hospital fiasco) who was all yeah, you're not gonna be pregnant for much longer and I'm all DUH, BETTER NOT BE. Especially since they still have me on bedrest/restricted activity (due to edema and blood pressure) despite being over 36 weeks. The other two times, I was fully released from any restrictions at 36 weeks. This time? No. Which? Damn it. I'd really like to go float in a swimming pool. Or pretend I have the stamina to clean the house (which I totally don't, I have to take a break when trying to walk 10 feet to make a glass of ice water).

Aaron's being a super-trooper through the whole thing and not at all bitching about my inability to make dinner (or even the dinner plates). And yet, still no car seat in the car and no crib to lie a baby in. Deep breathes, Laura, it will be fine.

Yesterday, the toilet on the main floor broke ("crappy plastic chain!" was Aaron's battle cry) so I had to explain the whole yellow is mellow, brown goes down to the boys. Who looked at me with tears in their eyes. To which I then said OR GO UPSTAIRS. They went upstairs, whereas I manually flushed every time I, ahem, took care of business. Sinking my arm up to my elbow in the back of a 70-year old potty is not my idea of happy fun time.

Aaron went to the hardware store and fixed it around Midnight. Bless him. I guess he does love me after all.

That or he's under the delusion that he'll get the crib put together before the baby comes.

Bed rest is rotting my brain, y'all. Or maybe it's the ice cream.

I've been begging Aaron to go get me Wendy's everyday (don't you judge me, it's on the gluten-free list) and last night I listed the ingredients so he could just get it stuff to make it at home instead. Because as much as love a frosty, you know there's crap in there that you can't pronounce. I'll take the real ice cream almost any other day.

And given he won't even get me the Wendy's everyday, this works out 'cause I can make 'em at home whenever I want. Till I run out of ingredients.

Seriously. I'm talking about ups and downs of trying to send my husband to Wendy's daily. This is what bed rest has done to my life.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It Ain’t No Fantasy

It started two weeks ago, when my OB jinxed me.

You betcha. I'm blaming her. Totally.

At my 32 week appointment my uterus measured 37 weeks. "Whew," she said. "You're body just really wants to have this baby."

There were other symptoms too - constant contracts (despite the "magical" progesterone shots), horrible backaches, nausea. Blah, blah, blah, I'm pregnant and it sucks. Blah. So I was sent to the hospital for an IV bag then sent home an hour later.

Last week Aaron was out of town, the damn dog wouldn't eat and kept vomiting, I kept carting her to the vet and my backaches and nausea were worse and blah, blah, blah, on Wednesday they had me come in for a checkup.

No one was happy with my my contractions, I had some protein in my urine and so off to the hospital I went for another IV bag and monitoring. And given instructions to capture my urine for 24 hours. "Follow-up on Friday," they said.

Have you ever had to capture your urine for 24 hours? Have you? If you haven't considered yourself lucky. 'Cause that's a whole lotta pee to deal with. Then you have to cart it back to the hospital with two kids in tow to drop it off at the Lab, who will then tell you that your user number has expired and it takes over an hour for the hospital to figure out that yes! Yes, indeed they will take your gallons of pee after all.

Friday I called and an hour later I was back at the doctor, right after the dog threw up AGAIN. After getting my blood pressure done, my doctor ordered a comprehensive Apgar sonogram (so see how well he would be if born) and monitoring.

Of course, me in my infinite wisdom totally left my baby notebook and CD at home. BECAUSE IT WOULD ALL BE FINE, I thought.

After two hours, they told me my blood pressure was crazy high (168/102, where I usually run 115/75), more protein was in urine and with all the other symptoms? Back to the hospital I go.

THIS TIME I was a little more prepared and had places for the boys to go, just in case. My OB gave me the go-ahead to run home, pack a bag, pass the boys off to my parents and the damn dog to a friend's house (which at this point she knew she wasn't sick, after HUNDREDS of dollars of vet bills later; we thought she was either reacting to me and the pregnancy or needed to eat another dog's poop, so it was win-win to ship her off).

SO. Back to the hospital on Friday early evening. And Aaron? He needed to stay another day on his business trip. Lucky, lucky boy.

After a couple of hours of observation I was fully admitted and my OB said I have pre-eclampsia. Which, you have to have two of three symptoms to be considered to have pre-eclampsia: edema, protein in the urine and high blood pressure.

My and my overachiever-ness succeeded in having all damn three.

Late Saturday night I was released on strict bedrest and OHMYHELL, I hate bedrest. Hate. HATE. Haaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttttteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

I have my dad's blood pressure monitor (from when he had heart surgery a couple of years ago) and monitor my blood pressure every few hours (unless its high, then every hour). And I'm drinking lots of water. And I have two prison guards who yell at me if I get up and pee.

Monday I went in for a quick monitoring at the doctor's office, and back tomorrow I go.

As soon as I deliver a healthy baby, I'm scheduling Aaron a goddamn vasectomy. I will club him over the head and drag him there myself, if necessary.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's as Simple as Something That Nobody Knows

I miss my toes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Build Me Up, Buttercup

How am I suppose to cover a smidge of the awesome quilting with binding?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

There Ain't No Rest for the Wicked

Since the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I'll be doing my best this month play along with Habit. Because the vagina-talk needs to stop somewhere.

All afternoon we heard something scurrying the garage. Daddy came home, saved us and now all I hear is "isn't he adorable" and "can we keep him? please?"

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You Don't Need to be Coy, Roy

I'm quite certain everyone's waiting on pins and needles to hear a status update about my basement reorganization. Because my life is damn exciting and lo! Y'all know this.

So I worked down there for hours on Saturday moving shit (did you know that I had every goddamn notebook from college? SO TRUE) (and all the books? I have so! many! books!) around, condensing, repacking out of disgusting cardboard and into plastic (waterproof!) tubs. Up and down the stairs, on and off throughout the day, putting in a good eight hours of Clearing Shit Out.

You know where the is going, right?

Of course you do. You're smart internet.

Sunday morning we went to "church" where I offered to hang with the teenagers at the last minute where we talked about the plot of "Saved" and how it correlated to "Ghandi" and WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT, I'M A GREAT INFLUENCE ON THOSE KIDS.

Anyway, so all I did was sit and talk. Yes? Yes. That's all. And drink water.

So imagine my surprise when I went to the bathroom before we left and...


There's no polite way to put this.

It was like my vagina had a raging head cold.

I've never lost my mucus plug before (and isn't 31 weeks a wee bit early to lose it?), apparently they magically disappeared. I bet they meditated and reached nirvana. That would explain their magical disappearance the previous two times.

But this? This isn't wasn't what the internets said it would look like. It was like a bad head cold and it was crying for a big dose of Robitussin. It was yellow and brown and red - so guess who was all OH MY HELL.

When we got home I double-checked (even though I made Aaron check it at "church" - I'm a loving, giving wife like that) and yep. Still head-cold-ish. So I called the doctor on call. Who said, and I quote, "Don't worry about it unless you start having contractions."

Fucking doctor jinxed me.

An hour later we were headed to the hospital and the nurse was all "Giiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrllll, you are having some con'trax'ions." Um, thanks.

And then when she checked downtown? "Boy howdy you are mucus-eeeee down there!"

Alrighty. Good to know I'm not losing my mind.

Four hours, two blown vessels and a fancy-pants plastic cup later I was released.

Everything is fine now. Or, at least, fine-ish. I'm still contracting, but I've been contracting through the whole pregnancy. Tomorrow I get my 89th progesterone shot (or 17th shot - po-tay-toe, poh-tah-toe) to keep baking this ornery baby.

Just a few more weeks. It feels like a battle between the uterus and the mind.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just Waiting So Long

Yesterday, you turned six.

Six! Six! Darwin, the years are creeping up a bit too quickly on me. Six!

We had your birthday party at the community center on Saturday, complete with indoor swimming. What happened no more than 20 minutes into the party?

You cracked your head open. Again. To the bone.


So you got your third set of stitches in your head.

You were a trooper through the whole ordeal of leaving the party early and sitting in the hospital for over four hours. But you're very adamant that we do not have another party there again.

I totally agree.

You are still totally ornery. And totally loving.

My always-little-Buddhist, you love to tell me how much you love this life (yes, this life) and how you're gonna stay here forever. Okie dokie, works for me.

You're really looking forward to being a big brother, and love that you're the only family member who's gonna be a little brother and a big brother at the same time.


This is bittersweet, you getting so big. But you have promised to always be my baby no matter how old and how big you get.

And I'm holding you to that.

Happy birthday Darwin!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One Drink Ain't Enough Jack, You Better Make it Three

Hey, internet, what's up with you?

Me? Oh, you know. I'm covered in sticky-icky filth from trying to clean the basement. And the three streams we have running through the area isn't as awesome as one would think: it's not at all refreshing. Aren't streams suppose to be refreshing? 'Cause the ones in my basement are not. Also, there's no place to hang a tire swing to jump in. It's a total bum situation.

It has come to my attention that Aaron and I are total lazy-asses and for the past ten years we've just willy-nilly chucked stuff in the basement. Turns out, having it stacked didn't help one damn bit.

But I did unearth about four baby outfits today. Of course, they were mixed with 4T sized clothing so if you have the answer, please do feel free to explain that to me.

Tangent: Griffin and I made strawberry jam a few weeks ago. It has nothing to do with this post, but damn it is yummy and isn't it pretty?

Last weekend I worked on cleaning our bedroom to make space for the crib and changing table. I'm sure you can guess, but do you know what happened? Panic attacks. Full-fledged can't-breathe panic attacks. Do you know how hard it is to shove your face between your knees when you're 29 weeks pregnant and your toes are a distant memory?

At the rate I'm going, we're gonna have a baby in less than ten weeks (ohmyfuckingshittenweeks) and every room is gonna be torn up and not remotely put back together. I just know it.

Aaron, on the other hand, is waxing poetic over the potential happiness of his tomato plants. Do you think he has any clue how badly I want to knock his lights out?

Another panic-inducing situation:

Darwin lost his first tooth. It went from wiggly to out in less than 24 hours, and happened at the pool no less. He dove for it in the pool and caught it. "Because I have to have it for the tooth fairy!"

So, that's about it for me. How about you?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

It's Just a Fantasy, It's Not the Real Thing

Internet, I would like to introduce you to my quilt top and back.

Oh, yes I did. I most certainly did. You bet your pants I finished the baby's quilt top and back before I finished making the baby.


And the back:

Ever notice my helpers are attention whores?

The quilt is headed to the quilter (the fabulous, amazing Angela is quilting it, squee!) on Thursday when we meet up for the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild meeting. I realized I said I was gonna quilt it myself, but there are limitations to my awesomeness.

Surprising, I know.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Maybe You're the Same as Me

I'm a big summer can go fuck itself believer. Or, at least, summer in Kansas.

Summer in other locations, I'm sure, can be perfectly lovely. Perhaps in those location I'd understand the love-fest but honestly? I am so done with summer already.

I get it. I'm probably being harsh. And unfair. But I don't appreciate itch crawly things sucking my blood. Nor do I appreciate having to spend the day inside to avoid a heat stroke. Nor lathing my kids with SPF spiked chemicals (sorry, I don't care what you use, there's stuff in there that you cannot pronounce). I don't appreciate humidity so bad it causes my asthma to flair up (let alone flair up while pregnant) and I don't like displaying my dimpled thighs to the stick-thin teenagers at the local pool. I don't like the summer colds the boys are currently battling, the lack of scheduling due to no school (yes, partially my fault for not keeping the boys on a crazy schedule but still) nor do I appreciate the mid-afternoon naps that result in me yelling at 10pm to GO TO BED ALREADY.

I don't like running the air conditioner so high that I can hear the motor running all over the house, nor do I appreciate the pollen that infests my house anytime I even consider opening a window. I hate how long it takes for the van to cool off while running errands and the sticky-in-the-ass feeling of trying to pull myself out of the driver's seat and onto the hot, hot pavement.

I hate seeing the hazy on the street as I drive through town and the little confidence building talk I have to give myself to even leave the house in the first place. I don't like having to check all the garden beds twice a day and potentially watering them, all because the Kansas heat is zapping the ever living life out of everything.

But, I do like the flowers. The flowers are lovely.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday, Never Hesitate

I don't know if I finally have my head out of my ass or if I'm been bitten with the crazy, but I have been severely attacking the basement this week.

It's do or die: the baby is due at the end of August, but my weekly Progesterone (also known as: STOP MAH LABAH) shots end mid- to late-July. Which means we need to be ready and by ready, I mean motherfuckingready for our little baba ganoush by August 1st.

Aaron agrees.

First step with living with a hoarder (as I've learned over the 12 years we've lived together), is to get said hoarder to agree to timelines. Signed documentation also helps.

Having to be ready by August 1st means we have just over two months to prepare.



So, I've been slowly working on the basement, but then I got the sinus infection from hell, which required the antibiotics from hell which came along with the side effects from hell that nearly hospitalized me. Amen.

I'm just now getting over those side effects and the basement is now my biyatch. As in, this is my theme song for cleaning the basement:

Oh yes, it is.

After Wednesday's recycling fiasco (dude, be glad you didn't hear that conversation, my hell), Aaron and I had a frank discussion about The Basement.

As in, we don't need Paper and Cardboard.

This was, of course, after a found a ten foot tower of empty cardboard boxes. I thought Aaron's cardboard box collection was centralized to the garage. Apparently not.

Included in the collection was a box for a VCR that died seven years ago. And a box for an automated scooping kitty litter box. Which we got rid of over five years ago.

::shaking head::

So we had initially agreed to having a garage sale. Let's face it, there's more than just paper and cardboard in the basement. There's a shit-ton of stuff we don't use and have no intention of using again.

Second rule with living with a hoarder: be brutally honest in the likelihood that something is worth holding on to.

I do my very best to respect Aaron's feelings, and I get it: I also don't want to get rid of stuff just to turn around and spend money on the very same stuff again.

This is why I'm trying to clean the basement in the first place: to figure out what we have for the baby. Like, duh.

So far, stuff I've found we won't use: broken electric beaters, 12 boxes of crayons (like we don't already have five boxes currently in use as-is), acrylic blankets from when I was a kid.

And I'm a reasonable person. The Legos and Light Brite (both circa mid-90s) was brought upstairs and put to use:

The real kicker came when Aaron agreed that he likely will not be able to host a garage sale by July 1st (see? timelines) and that I should donate things as I accrue too much to have reasonable work space.

So today I took 13 bags of stuff to the donation center. I have five more ready for another run on Tuesday.

See? I'm not just gonna go willy-nilly and throw everything away.

Pinkie swear.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Somebody's Gonna Come Undone

Aaron skipped off to work early this morning, so it became my responsibility to take out the trash and recycling before the sun came up.

Do you know what I found in the garage?

Fourteen bags of recycling Aaron has refused to recycle.

Fourteen bags.

Aaron's hoarding is officially out of control. He's holding onto 14 bags of class worksheets Griffin and Darwin have brought home over the past year. And better yet - he's sorted the recycling so that all the worksheets are together so he could keep them.

He has, thankfully, gotten to the point that he will admit it's become a problem but he REFUSES that it's actually an issue and claims he doesn't need any professional help - or any help at all.

He just needs "more free time."

Dude. If you have free time to sort and hide 14 bags of paper, you have free time to actually look at it, recycle it and work on something else.

Monday, May 10, 2010

There's a Calm Before the Storm

If there's one thing you can count on me to do is to get a simple head cold and have it escalate into threats of hospitalization and crazy-ass side-effects from drugs.

As in, the drugs are making me sicker than the stupid sinus infection. And although I can now keep fluids down and to warrant off dehydration, I've lost over four pounds in as many days and guess what particular OB isn't all that appreciative of weight loss during pregnancy?

So, yeah. I'm coping the best I can but it's not spectacularly well. Between the pregnancy weight gain (which granted is all in my belly and some edema and damn I'm uncomfortable in my body and I know it's only gonna get worse) and all the naps (never in my life did I think I would complain about actually being able to nap) and the weekly progesterone shots and the calcification on the baby's heart that won't go away and the laundry that is never-ending (and why can't I find a plastic hanger that isn't blue or white in stores?) I am just spent.

But I'm coping. Or, trying to cope. I just wish my antibiotic came with a nice magical dose of Make Mommy Happy. Know where I can get some of that?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Think Less But See it Grow

Sometimes I feel as though I need to bopped upside the head.

Yes, much like Little Bunny Foo Foo. But only without the good fairy.

Unless she cleans houses, of course.

The point is, at some point I need to come to the realization that we're having a baby. Not that I'm in total complete denial or anything, I mean - both my stomach and my ass are growing amazingly fast. And he moves. A lot.

Yes, he. Have I not mentioned that? My apologies.

Apparently I have a magical uterus that clones, right down to insuring that said clone also have a penis. Which I take to be the Universe's way to say "fuck you and your Capello genetics" followed by the ever-present evil laugh of mwahahaha which I hear in my sleep.

Thanks, for that Universe.

So, back to the point: not that I'm in denial, I can't be. He punches me a lot. Like an animal trying to escape his jail.

What? You think my uterus isn't a jail? You're funny.

But my point being, I haven't done jack anything other than increase my calorie intake to prepare for this baby. Well, and go to the doctor appointments and get my shots (which I now have a nice big itchy knot on my hip, thanks) and elevate my feet and sleep a lot and become OBSESSED with food.

Like I'm not already obsessed with food. And the food allergies make it worse, not being able to eat everywhere around town. It has caused me to live vicariously through others even more, like when my friend called one night and was all OH MY GOD, GUESS WHAT HAPPENED TO ME TONIGHT WHILE I WAS AT BIG BOY! and my reply was YOU ORDERED THE CHICKEN TENDERLOIN SANDWICH?

She didn't. Nor did she have a chocolate milkshake or a cherry limeaid. Sigh. My friend doesn't know how to eat properly. And I can still taste the disappointment in my mouth for her not ordering the right food.

But you know what? We're having a baby. And it's kinda like a joke. Like HAHAHAHAHA, YES WE KNOW WE'RE CRAZY, THANKS and watching my stomach grow, but not getting the least bit prepared.

The boys threw a fit to go to a baby store one day while running errands. They wanted to buy him clothes, so I stopped and let them shop for the baby.

Y'all, my kids are more prepared for the baby than I am.

That whole nesting thing is going to kick in eventually, right?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What I Got: Full Stock of Thoughts and Dreams That Scatter

Three years ago...

"Aaron, we need to have that locust tree in the back cut down. Dead branches are hanging over the house and the tree is dying."

"That tree's not dead! It's fine!"

Two years ago...

"Aaron, the locust tree is dying. We need to get it cut down before it falls on the house."

"Stop being a drama queen! It's fine! It has leaves on more than half the tree! It will recover!"

One year ago...

"Aaron, seriously. That damn locust tree is gonna crash through our house and kill the boys while the are sleeping."

"My god, woman. It's FINE. See! It has leaves! It's not gonna fall on the house."

This year...


"Yeah, it's in sad shape. Plus! I want to expand my vegetable patch and that damn tree blocks too much light. Let's get some quotes on getting it cut down."

We called seven companies to come out and bid cutting down our big locust tree in the backyard.

Our first bid out wouldn't even bid on the damn thing, citing it being too close to the house, un-climbable and couldn't get a bucket truck to the back yard because it's been dead for three years.

(Aaron's response? "It! Still! Has! Leaves! Granted, five leaves but still! Alive!")


A second company didn't show up.

Three companies came to for a bid, let themselves into the backyard and pushed a half-assed bid under the front door while I was home.

Okay, let's take a moment here, people. We're in a recession. A crap-ass "Great Recession" and I call you out to my home, explain I work from home and we have a puppy in the fenced back yard quite a bit (and! no more rabbits!), and that I would like more than just the dead tree quoted but you don't bother knocking on my door? Seriously? You think I'm gonna hire you and give you my money?

Guess again.

So it came down to two bids: one, a certified arborist who will use a crane and bucket truck (and costs a grand more) and the other, a tree cutter who claimed he'd shimmy up there and low-balled the quote.

Now, we love saving money. I mean, it's hard to afford jack anything in this "Great Recession" so dur, we wanted to hire the lower-costing guy.


Red flags. Everywhere. Not returning calls for days. Said they faxed their insurance information and didn't. I had a bad gut feeling.

Finally they got us the copy of their insurance policy and I called to verify it. And guess what? This dude wants to cut down a big ass dead tree, while he's up in it, half of which hangs over my house and HE DIDN'T HAVE INSURANCE.

I was pre-warned to verify insurance information and I'm so glad I did. Could you imagine? Hiring someone who's actually not covered? That could financially ruin us.

So, we have a date with a crane.


A crane that has to be parked in my neighbor's driveway.

Hahahhaha Hahahahaha.

And a bucket truck that will be on my and my neighbor's grass.


One of ya'll's gonna book me a nice stay at a mental institution, yes?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Caught in a Bad Romance

I have a love/hate relationship with tulips.

I love them, they are so damn cheery and chipper.

(planted on the front corner last autumn)

I hate them, them are so freaking fickle.

A few years ago I planted a few hundred in a garden bed in the backyard. A mixture of pinks, reds and yellows grew to be a red, purple and stripey bed. And I forgave them, in all of their mis-matched glory I still loved those tulips.

Now, a few years have past and what do we have?

Where'd all my tulips go?

Kansas ate 'em. That's what happened. The state was all nom nom nom, taste-y tulips.

You have a better explanation?

I've officially given up on them this year and told Aaron it was time to do something else with that bed.

The trellis full of honeysuckle will obviously stay (y'all, I had to IM a coworker to be all "what's the word for a metal thing you put in the garden to support climbing plants? 'cause I'm pregnant and can't think straight") as will the hydrangea in front of it. The daylilies desperately need to be divided but will stay in the same area as well.

Past that, the only two plants in there are a miniature rose bush that needs to be dug up and have surgery preformed on it and some dying bushy thing that doesn't get enough sun.

Initially, before finding out was pregnant, my thought was to dig out the daylilies and bushes and roto-till the holy living baloneys out of the bed. Then plant a bunch of flowers.

But now, now I drop something on the ground I spend a few minutes analyzing if it needs to be picked up right away or if can wait for Aaron or the boys to be home, so someone else can pick up for me. Guess what usually happens.

There's a family story from Aaron's childhood, he was about 10 years old and asked his mom if he could dig a hole in the backyard.

"Mom? Could I dig a hole in he backyard?"


"It's gonna be big."

"Okay, have fun."

"No mom, it's gonna be a big hole."

"That's fine, Aaron. Go have fun."

As the story goes, he spent all day outside digging this hole. By the time he was done, his head was below ground level, plus all the dirt was built up a good two or three feet above the ground 'cause the boy didn't move the dirt and he shoveled. A ladder was required to get him out of the hole.

(And he says I have an imagination.)

When asked why he dug such a crazy, insane hole he seriously replied, "So it would be below the freezing line for my fish."

"Your what?"

"My fish pond. Why else do you think I dug such a big hole?"

I pointed out to Aaron a couple of weeks ago that the one thing our garden was missing (besides a cherry tree, a grape arbor, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries) is a fish pond. And guess what we have? FREE LABOR.

Besides, what little boy doesn't want to go dig a great big hole (a great big hole, I might add, that will produce a spectacular amount of soil to use as filler in Aaron's vegetable patch) in the backyard? Mommy just needs to buy some shovels.

And finish getting Daddy on board.