Thursday, December 31, 2009

I love you way, way much Mommy

Yesterday young T and I had one of the most troubled days in our young relationship. If I said "black" he said "white." If I asked him to come over to get lotioned, he ran the opposite direction. If I asked him to nap, he banged a giant penguin into his night stand. If I asked him to go potty, he smirked at me as he stood on top of the toilet and watched the urine run down his jeans. On top of it all, F was especially fussy yesterday morning. It was one of those days where it was all I could do to hold it together until Ry got home (which he did, early, and bearing brisket. I love my husband).

Today was better. It was mostly better because Ry took him to his very first dentist appointment this morning, and I got an hour of peace and quiet. T has also been a much better listener today. When it was time for his nap, we went into his room, snuggled together on his bed and read about Scuppers, the Sailor Dog. Then, as I was leaving, he hopped up and said "I need to give you lots of kisses!" Oh, OK. And as I was closing the door behind me, "I love you way, way much Mommy!"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Losing most of a tooth

Two days before Christmas I had my first cavity filled. I have to admit to being pretty nervous about the whole adventure. When I went in, the dentist decided that since the cavity was so shallow, she would just numb the gums around my tooth, instead of numbing the whole nerve. Then she started drilling. The smell of a tooth being drilled is one I'll never forget. As she kept drilling, I started to feel my blood pressure dropping and my vision blacking out. Luckily for me, I didn't actually pass out. That would have been embarrassing. She kept drilling, and drilling ... and drilling. Apparently, the cavity was much deeper than she thought.

She paused and asked if I wanted to see. Seriously? I'd love to! It looked like a tooth cup. I don't know why I expected something other than a tooth with a big hole in it, but I guess I did. Anyway, as she finally got down to the end of the decay, I started to feel it a little bit. She finally did get finished up and filled the tooth with the filling material. For the past week, I have felt like I had something in my teeth, but no pain or other issues. When I look in my mouth, I can't even see the filling. Cavity: filled.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Coming soon: The Christmas round up

I'll get a post up pretty soon about our super fun and busy Christmas. For now, here's a picture of T jamming out in front of our stockings.

Sacrifices happily made

  • Crazy vacations: Oh well. The kids will be out of the house while we're still young.
  • Two piece bathing suits: I'm getting to the age where a bikini gets a little creepy looking anyway.
  • Sleep: It's only a few months. And I'm actually fairly well rested.
  • Date nights: We still get out occasionally. The boys are in bed by 8:30 at night. That's sort of like a date.
  • Perfect teeth: A cavity isn't so bad. Who makes it to 30 without a cavity anyway?
  • Dairy: Wait, what? What do you mean dairy makes you gassy and uncomfortable? Are you sure? I'm not sure you understand my relationship with cheese ... or ice cream. Let me try this one little slice of cheddar. Oh, yeah, you're serious about that. Sigh .... at least it's only a year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A snow day from 4 perspectives

Yesterday was Snowmageddon 2009. The way the weather channel was carrying on, you would think we were going to be buried for days. As it turns out, we got about a foot of snow over the better part of 24 hours. It certainly took some digging out, but panic was not called for. Today, we had to dig ourselves out of our house. Since F was awake, I decided to put him in his snowsuit and toss him in the sling while I played with T and helped Ry. Of course, once I got him stuffed into the snowsuit, he promptly fell asleep. I figured that taking him out would wake him.
So this is how he slept for the next 2 hours. Who needs blankets anyway?
Ry's snow day mostly consisted of a crap ton of shoveling.
Although at the end, he did get to help make part of a snowman that T promptly destroyed.
T also got snow-suited up. He wanted to get outside sooo badly, but couldn't get the patio door open. Hahahaha. It's like we planned it.
We did eventually make it outside. T cleaned off his car while I worked on the grown up vehicles.
He also made his very first snow angel. There's nothing like a 2 year old in a snow drift to make you appreciate the little things.
Like this. How, exactly does snow do this? Peanut, you're a science gal, how does this happen?
Or this? I mean seriously, it defies gravity!

We had a really delightful day, enjoying the snow the way only children know how. Sadly, the snow meant that my sis got stuck in Vegas for 2 days. At least it's not a bad place to be stuck. She'll finally make it in Tuesday evening. I'm crossing my fingers that my dad and stepmom make it in without too much drama tomorrow. At least we'll have a white Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Funnest Christmas Tree Hunt Ever!

Well, maybe not ever. Certainly the funnest since I've been a grown up. We waited for the boys' Tantie to be with us before going to pick out and decorate our tree. Of course, the day after she arrived dawned rainy and cold. I wasn't waiting another day to get a tree though, especially since we might not have another daylight opportunity until the following weekend.
We all bundled up (even F) and hit a local nursery turned tree lot. Most of the trees were too big for our little living room, but we finally found the perfect tree.
T, of course, found lots of "trees." He kept finding more and more and we had to convince him that trees had to stay outside so we could go in and pay for our tree.
Look Mommy! I found another tree!

Friday, December 18, 2009


I guess it's winter. There is a "possibly historic" (courtesy of the weather channel) snow storm headed our direction. Our little area of NJ is predicted to get 8-12 inches, although we're right on the edge of the 12+ zone. Since Ry's sister was visiting with us all week, I hadn't been to the grocery store yet. We braved the grocer this evening so we have some food to get through the weekend. Holy crap, I've never seen the Acme that full. Nearly every lane was open and lines were 3-4 carts deep. It was like a little par-tay. Everyone was in a great mood. People actually made eye contact and chatted with each other. There's nothing like a mini natural disaster to bring out the humanity in Jerseyans.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bummer little Jube

I went to the dentist today for a routine exam and cleaning. I got scared by Dr. Evil the last time I went and hadn't been for well over a year. I like the new dentist a lot, although no one will ever hold a place in my heart like my childhood dentist. This was a man that reminded me of no one so much as Mr. Rogers.

Anyhow, the news is mostly good. She thinks I have beautiful teeth and could tell that I flossed (I always wondered). Sadly, she also told me that I have a wee little cavity. At first she thought I just had something in my teeth. Unfortunately, when she poked her little stick in the middle, it stuck. I made it to 30 without a single cavity. Sad. Two days before Christmas I'm going to go get my first drilling. I'm scared. Someone hold me.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Christmases past: Part the third

Not all Christmas memories are good memories.

When I was very young, we spent every Christmas with my paternal grandfather and his wife. I'm guessing I was 7 or 8 the year I got a crazy stomach virus. I remember being so miserable and wishing I could go have fun with all my cousins. My mom kept bring me my sister's "baby" juice and crackers. Seriously, is there anything worse than being sick on Christmas?

Monday, December 07, 2009


It's the evenings like this one that remind me of how blessed I am. This one was nothing special. Ry came home from work, I made leftover dinner, we ate and gave the boys baths. T was in the tub while I gave F a bath for what will be one of the last times in the bathroom sink. Ry was sitting on the floor, playing with T when he grabbed the camera, because, he said, this was such a neat perspective.
And it is. Seriously, how cute is our baby in a bowl? But that's not really what this post is about.

Then I read the blog of a friend of Ry's from high school. You may remember that her (then) youngest child had complications early in his life that resulted in his total hearing loss. Since then, she's been separated from her husband and had a beautiful, 32 week little girl. I don't know how she finds the strength to get through each day.

Every time I say a little prayer for her family, I also say a little prayer of thankfulness. No matter how frenzied my days are, no matter how much I stress about getting through nursing school in the fall, no matter how much my son makes me crazy some days, I'm thankful. Above all, I'm thankful that these are the things that I get to worry about each day. I have two beautiful, healthy boys. I have a husband who not only gives baths, but pauses to notice a unique perspective on the mundane. I have a life filled with crazy joy. And that my friends, is why I'm grateful.

Christmases past: Part the second

My second memory of Christmases past is from the first Christmas Ry and I were married. We lived in a beautiful loft apartment with hardwood floors and a 15+ foot ceiling. We went out and got the biggest Christmas tree we could find since we figured we would never live in a place with that kind of ceiling again. As it turns out, we were right. This tree was well over 7 feet high. As you can see, it barely reached over our balcony windows. After Christmas was over, we chucked the thing over the balcony.

It was the first year I felt like a real grown up. We hosted Christmas for the first time, had our first Christmas tree and finally lived in a real, grown up apartment without roommates or anything. It was a carefree time of our lives. I will forever look back on that Christmas as the first of my adult life, even though I was already 25.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

My favorite Karate Kid

These are T's new and most favorite-est pajamas. My mom made them for him. If you can't tell, the fabric is made of many tiny sock monkeys. After the first day he wore them, he has wanted to wear them non-stop.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


Yesterday F turned one month old. I can't believe he's already that old. I've already had a few "not a newborn anymore" moments (umbilical cord fell off, outgrew a few newborn outfits). Here are a few pictures to commemorate the big event. Look at our little butterball! We aren't exactly sure how big he is right now, but our best guess is 9 and a quarter or so. I just can't handle the cuteness of the little fat cheeks. It's not really obvious in this picture, but he's losing his hair from the top down. Right now he looks a bit like a jowly monk.

This picture is pretty illustrative of the look F gives his big brother. He's not so sure about this big, clumsy boy who just wants to kiss and hug him. Unfortunately, T hasn't quite mastered the gentle hug. He's trying.

T also likes to mimic F when he's crying. It's adorable and maddening all at once. Here they're crying to each other.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Christmases past

My sister is taking December to write about some of her favorite Christmases past. I think this is a really swell idea and I'm going to steal it. Her story about the annual Christmas Tree Hunt is also one of my favorite Christmas memories. We're going to try and find a similar experience here when our kids are a little older (for now, it's the Home Depot Christmas Tree Lot).

Two of my favorite Christmases were the ones we spent at ski resorts. They kind of blend together in my head, so I'm going to talk about them as if it were one big trip. We stayed at Snowshoe Mountain for one trip and Killington for the other. I still maintain that Snowshoe is one of the all-time best family/kids mountains. We ended up at Killington because the original resort we were planning on in New York had no snow. We drove north until we found snow.

Part of the reason I enjoyed the trips so much is that they combined two of my favorite things: travel and skiing. It seemed illicit somehow to be skiing during Christmas. Most of my friends were at home, having the same family Christmas every year, while we were off having a real vacation.

The resorts always looked so festive, with big fireplaces, decorations everywhere and feet upon feet of snow. It was usually pretty crowded, but the year we went to Snowshoe there was a blizzard. No one could get on or off the mountain. I'll never forget skiing in a blizzard with my Dad or standing at the top of the mountain the next morning, looking at a perfect run filled with fresh powder. It was some of the best skiing I've ever done.

Perhaps the best part about these trips was getting to spend intense time with my family while still having something to do. We got to spend evenings cozied up in the room, playing games or watching TV and the days out in the fresh air. We got lots of family time without making each other (too) crazy. They were fun times and a unique Christmas experience I hope to replicate with my kids someday soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Compare and Contrast

I am constantly amazed by F's size. T was so tiny for so long that it seems strange to have a baby with fat little cheeks. In retrospect, I'm really glad we didn't know any better when T was born or we would have been completely freaked out by how little T was, how tough it was to get him to breastfeed and how slowly he gained weight. I'm not sure what he weighed in the picture below, but according to this post, he was 7 pounds, 6 ounces at 5 weeks. On our very unscientific scale, F is already about 9 pounds (at 3.5 weeks). It's amazing what a few extra weeks on the inside will do for you.

I also looked back through pictures of T and decided he didn't really start looking like T until he was about 4 months old. I'm excited to see what/who F is going to look like.

T at 3 weeks old.
T at 2 years, 9ish months. F at 3 weeks.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Someday it won't be so cute

Yesterday I took both boys on my own for an outing to a concert and friend's house for lunch. I got to spend some time chatting with two friends, while T played with their daughters. At one point, the 3 adults (and F) were in the living room, while the 3 kids played in the family room. It got pretty quiet, so my friend went to check on the kids. She came back in the room laughing and explained that the girls had T laid out on the stairs, examining him with Q's new doctor kit. Sure enough, when we walked into the room, T was on the stairs, belly exposed, while the girls "listened" to his heart.

Monday, November 23, 2009

An Unfortunate Name

The other night the Illini played the Presbyterian Blue Hose.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What they don't tell you

The picture is just bonus baby daddy cuteness.

There is a ton of stuff no one tells you about the postpartum period. Sure, you hear about baby blues, and tiredness and being a bit sore. Here's a short list of stuff they don't tell you (and I wish I'd know before my first pregnancy):

1. You'll sweat like a racehorse at night. I've been sleeping on towels to try and avoid changing the bed linens every morning.
2. Your hair will start falling out in giant chunks. The shower drain looks like a hair massacre every morning.
3. If you decide to nurse, you will have crazy sore nipples for at least a week or two. Don't believe the lactation consultants who tell you that if the latch is right it won't hurt. That kind of abuse is going to hurt. Period.
4. Newborns are really easy. You won't believe this when you have one of your own, but seriously, wait until you have a toddler and newborn and you will realize just how easy a newborn is.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I found out today that I have been accepted to nursing school for the fall! Woohoo for me! I am so relieved to have gotten into my first choice program. Now I don't have to worry about applying to the other programs or potentially having to wait another year.

Now I have get a drug test and pay the school some more money for registration and a background check. The fun will really start next summer when I start looking for a place to send the boys 3 days a week. There is also a 2-3 week summer session that is and orientation to the hospital/nurses aide program. Anyone want to volunteer to come watch the boys for a few weeks this summer?

Having F really reinvigorated me to start the nursing program. I got to see a whole spectrum of nurses during the 2 days I was at the hospital. I met some really outstanding nurses and some nurses I wouldn't want again. Here I go!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


There is something fundamentally broken about our healthcare system. I had about as low-intervention birth as it's possible to have. I had two bags of saline and one bag of antibiotics. I had no drugs, catheters, epidurals, surgeries or special monitoring. F spent no time in the special care nursery, didn't have a circumcision, and had no special monitoring. We were discharged less than 48 hours after I gave birth. The hospital billed our insurance over $23,000 (so far) for this. Our insurance paid about $5300. They are saying we owe $1300 out of pocket. Was it a gold-plated IV stand? Ooooh, wait, they did give me 2 Motrin and an iron pill. That must've been it.

Stuff I don't understand:
  • How my crazy low-intervention birth could cost $23,000.
  • Why it's OK that the insurance company only pays $5300. (For those of you playing along at home, that's about 25% of the billed amount).
  • Why we pay so much in insurance premiums every year only to owe thousands more out of pocket.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

So today I turn 30. Woo. It's really anticlimactic, what with the new baby and everything. The good news is I don't have time to feel bad about turning 30. We're going to have a quiet day here, since T has been feeling under the weather and I'm not quite ready to take F out into the big bad world. My hubby got me a wonderful present.Aren't they beautiful? Rings are one of the few items of jewelry I actually wear every day. I have a feeling these won't spend much time in the box.

Baby F Update

Yesterday baby F had his first doctor's appointment. He's doing great! He weighed 7 pounds 2.5 ounces, which is great since they generally give babies 2 weeks to regain their birth weight. Our little eater did it in 5 days. Go team!

He's doing well, sleeping like a newborn, and being adorable. See?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Pain with a Purpose: Finley's Birth

Warning: You may want to skip this post if birth stories weird you out or you don't want to think about me in the situations I'm going to talk about. I realize this post may not be for everyone, but it's a story I want to document because it was so wonderful. Also, I don't feel like there are enough positive birth stories out there. When women get together and swap, it's always a horror-fest. I have attempted to keep things as tame as possible, but I just gave birth. It's messy.

Wednesday evening around 5 pm I was sitting on the couch with T when I felt a now-familiar pressure pop. I had just talked to Ry, who was on his way home from work. He was planning on running an errand before heading to the house. I scooted into the bathroom, and sure enough, saw the telltale pinkish amniotic fluid that said my water had just broken. I called Ry back and told him that he probably ought to come straight home rather than run his errand.

Then, I called my midwife and my girlfriend (who was going to watch T for the evening). I started gathering last minute items for T and myself: extra "special toys" and underwear for T, final toiletries for me. My midwife called back and told me that since my Group B Strep test* was positive, I needed to head into the hospital sooner rather than later. When Ry got home, I headed for the shower. My contractions started around 5:30 and were 5 or 6 minutes apart.

My girlfriend arrived shortly to collect T. He was super excited to spend the night with Q and have a new brother soon. Ry and I finished gathering the stuff we needed, and by the time we left the house around 6 my contractions were only 2-3 minutes apart.

It must've been a slow night on Labor & Delivery, because when I walked in, the triage nurse said "J?" We got checked in (through a few contractions) and escorted into the labor room. They started the required 20 minutes of fetal monitoring, started my IV, and went through the battery of questions. My contractions were getting much stronger and closer together as my midwife walked in the room to check my dilation. I was 4 centimeters around 6:15 pm. By the time my 20 minutes was over, I was dying to get out of the bed.

Then I knew I needed to hit the bathroom. I spent the next hour laboring on the toilet. Everything in me needed to come out, including the chili and watermelon I'd had as a snack around 4. Even now, 5 days later, I still can't look a watermelon in the face. I told the nurse I needed to throw up and she gave me this darling little kidney-shaped bowl. It probably held 12 ounces. I looked at Ry and said "that's not going to cut it!" He found a basin, and it's good thing he did or he'd have been wearing watermelon and chili.

At 7, the nurses changed shifts, so I got a new nurse. She came to hang out in the bathroom with me and Ry. I think I remember saying something to Ry and the nurse about there being nothing like a party on the toilet. Around 7:00, I needed to move again, so I left the bathroom, got on the bed, buried my head in the pillow and proceeded to "ahhh, weeee, oooohhhh, and haaaaa" through the next 30 minutes.

Then I started to feel "pushy." For those of you who have never had a baby (or talked to someone who has), it feels like you need to have a BM. My midwife checked me again, and I had gone from 4 centimeters to "almost 10" in just over an hour. I remember the midwife telling me that if I felt the need to push, I should just listen to my body.

To be honest with you, I have no idea who was in the room that last hour. Ry tells me it was him, the midwife, my nurse and the baby nurse. All I remember was the incredible pain, and then the incredible relief of pushing. I'm not going to lie, it was nearly the worst pain of my life, but it felt so good to be able to do something with the pain. Why wasn't it the worst? The end of my labor with T was worse because I wasn't in charge of the pain. Huh? Lemme 'splain. With T, I was epiduraled and hooked up every which way. Towards the end T's heartbeat started showing some troubling decelerations. The doctor ended up using a vacuum to pull him out. The agony of having a baby pulled from you is something I hope you never experience.

This time, with every contraction I pushed. I was able to focus the pain, do something with the pain and, most importantly, be in charge of the pain. I decided how hard and how long to push. I remember someone telling me to not be afraid of the pain when Finley started to crown. That was what I needed to hear. I remember saying that I thought I was going to split in two. Someone assured me that wasn't the case. I remember someone putting a hot towel on my back and asking them to take it off. They did. Most of all, I remember the absolute euphoria I felt when Finley was born at 8:26 pm. All of a sudden the pain was gone. I turned around and they put my sweet little boy in my arms, rubbing him dry. I felt like I had just run a marathon. I was exhausted, but I felt great.

After a few minutes, they took Finley to measure him, warm him up and do all the new baby stuff. The atmosphere in the room was serene as Ry talked to Finley and my midwife stitched my minor tear (which probably only occurred because of the tear/episiotomy during T's delivery). She delivered the placenta, which is a really brilliant color of blue on the baby's side. And then they handed Finley back to me, where he snuggled in and nursed for 45 minutes, all before he was 30 minutes old.

I was up on my feet within the hour. My recovery has been swift. I have never felt more alive than I did in the moments after Finley was born.

In the long run, I suppose it doesn't really matter how your baby is born. I know that this experience was an intense, amazing experience and I will be forever grateful to have had it. It won't change my relationship with my boys, but it does change my relationship with myself. The highly medical model of childbirth tells women that their bodies are insufficient, incomplete, and even broken. I feel like a warrior. Should you get the opportunity, I highly recommend it.

*Group B Strep is a bacterium that is part of a woman's normal flora. About 10-40% of women carry it at any given time and it is generally nothing to be concerned about. It can, however, get into a newborn's system during birth and cause pneumonia, respiratory illness and other yucky stuff. Being treated with IV antibiotics during labor lowers the risk of illness for the baby from 1 in 200 to about 1 in 4000.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Hospital Talk

As grateful as I am for the existence of hospitals, every time I've been in one, I'm chomping at the bit to be released. As anyone who has spent time in a hospital knows, they are about the worst place in the world to get any rest. Every time I fell asleep, someone would come in to poke me or the baby, talk to me about my/his diet, ask me to sign something or check my temperature. By the time I was released Friday, I was asking our nurse every time I saw her if we got to go home yet.

My short stay did make for a few interesting conversations, however. The first was with the nurse who attended F's birth. She told me that she had worked in the maternity department for 3 and half years, and had never seen a natural birth. She went on and on about how much better I and the baby were doing than normal and how calm the atmosphere was during the delivery (calm was not how I remembered it, but more about that later). I find it kind of a sad commentary on NJ in general and this hospital in particular that you can work in a maternity ward for over 3 years and not witness an unmedicated birth. The C-section rate at the hospital is over 40%.

The nurses also kept trying to circumcise F. Every couple hours it seemed someone would stop in and ask us if we were having him circumcised. The day we were due to go home, one of the OBs stopped in and asked. I told him that nope, we weren't interested. "Oh," he said, "the nurses lied to me!" Then he came over to me and said "give me a fist bump!" Confused, I did it. Then he explained that circumcision was a very American, social custom. He explained that most of the world didn't circumcise and that a slightly lower risk of HIV was the only medical reason to consider it. It was nice to have a doctor reinforce our decision.

My whole experience over the past several days has reinforced my choice of career path. While I think it'll be difficult to work in such a highly medicalized atmosphere (labor and delivery, not hospitals in general), I hope to help women make the decisions that are right for them and their babies.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Proudly Announcing

It is with great pride that we announce Finley George Thomas, born November 4, 2009 at 8:26 pm. 7 pounds, 3 ounces. 20 inches long.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Holding on and creeping up

We have a bit of a perfect storm brewing right now. I have 3 families who have agreed to watch T should the baby come before my mom gets here on Sunday evening. One of them is out of town until late Friday and the other two will be out of town this weekend. I've enlisted another friend, who can hopefully be available should I go into labor Friday. Friday also happens to be the only day that the hospital has no midwife coverage (one of the doctors would have to deliver me). Given all that, it's almost guaranteed that I'll go into labor on Friday.

I had a midwife appointment this morning and have progressed no further than I was two and a half weeks ago. That really doesn't mean anything in the great scheme of things, I could still go into labor tonight. I also gained another 3 pounds this week (despite the fact that I am eating less each week as the baby squeezes my stomach into my cardiac cavity). The midwives aren't concerned and seem to think it's water weight. The good news is that V.2 looks good, sounds good, and still seems to be quite happy to stay put for the time being. Chant with me folks, "Monday, Monday, Monday, Monday." Stay tuned, I'm 39 weeks tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

So proud to live in NJ

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2009 - Vote or Keep Going About Your Day
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis
Skip ahead to 2:35 for the NJ election discussion. Just another reason I'm proud to live in Jersey. How do I feel about today's election? That would be a resounding "meh".

Monday, November 02, 2009

Happy Autumn!

It's finally beginning to look and feel like fall here on the east coast. We're consistently having temps in the 50s (although Halloween day was 70+). I think fall is my favorite time of year. There is just something so satisfying about putting on a sweater, hearing the crunch of the leaves beneath your feet, and making big pots of soup. I hope you are all having as gorgeous an autumn day as we are.

And here's the answer

A few days ago, I asked you what my darling little man was doing in this post. All of your answers make more sense than what he was actually doing.

We have no idea why this was so much fun, but he did it for 20 minutes. First he sang the ABCs, then Twinkle Twinkle. I believe this is "Cheese, Cheese" for the camera. He ran so long and so fast that he exhausted himself. Kids are weird.

As a side note, we've uploaded some new videos to youtube on Ry's channel. You can see all the T videos here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A puppy goes trick or treating

I'm not sure that T really understood what Halloween was about until today. When we told him he got to dress up like a puppy and get candy he got all kind of excited. Here we are putting the finishing touch on the costume. You can't be a puppy without a puppy nose, after all.

And we're off!

Everyone was really good about not trying to scare him, but some of the houses just had scary stuff up. Our neighbors had a ghost that was motion activated. It completely freaked T out. But how cute is his little face?

Every time he took a step, his little puppy tail wagged. I almost couldn't handle the cuteness.

And here he is with his stash. It wasn't a bad haul for about a dozen houses. People were giving out a surprising variety of stuff. T got candy, chips, stickers, and a bloody fingernail. I picked up a 20-pack of playdough to give out for anybody who didn't want candy. It was the hottest item of the night! I figured we'd end up adding most of it to T's playdough stash. We got cleaned out. Who knew? Playdough for Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Take a wild guess

What is my precocious little boy doing in these photos? I'll post the video later.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Lest anyone think I don't know how truly blessed I am, I thought I'd offer a list of what makes me thankful.

Today, I'm thankful that:

1. I made it to 38 weeks with this pregnancy. While nothing was wrong with T, having an early baby makes everything tougher. It'll be nice to have a baby with a little more meat on his bones.

2. I have a smart, funny, beautiful and stubborn little boy. Everyday he does something that makes me laugh out loud. It more than makes up for the times that he's making me crazy.

3. Ry and I found each other. I am truly blessed to have a husband who is not only an amazing father and spouse, but also my best friend. Plus, he doesn't mind my increasing lack of housekeeping ability these days. I'm looking forward to getting old and grumpy with him.

4. My dad and father-in-law are making dramatic improvements with their recent diagnoses.

5. I have family and friends who love and support our little family. I love you all so much.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pet Peeve Wednesday

I'm uncomfortable, swollen and have the patience of my 2 year old. Here are some things that are irritating me (that was for you, Laurel).

1. People who don't return their carts to the cart corral at the grocery store. If my swollen, toddler-toting, umbrella carrying butt can manage to get my cart back to its proper location, so can you, perfectly-groomed-woman-on-your-lunch-break.

2. People who honk at me when I'm turning right at a red light. You may not care if you get swiped by the jackoff speeding around the corner, but I have a 2 year old and a soon-to-be infant aboard and would prefer we all get home in one piece. Plus, honking at me makes me a few extra moments to make up my mind about whether or not to turn. I love to see the steam coming out your Guido ears.

3. Our towels. For whatever reason, our towels have started to smell musty really quickly lately. Ry's towel especially will be pretty rank after one day. This means we're going through 10 or more towels per week. I can't figure out what's going on. We haven't changed detergents, wash cycles or soaps.

What's bugging you today?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This is what it looks like

When you warn your son that if he doesn't keep his feet off the table he won't get to have a muffin for desert. And then you enforce the warning.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tastes like fall

Because T is part of a co-operative preschool, all the parents have responsibility to be "helping parent" for one school party per year. I figured I might as well get mine done early, since who knows what the year will bring. I am therefore the helping parent for tomorrow's Halloween/Harvest party. As helping parent, I am responsible for bringing a snack, providing a few decorations and planning a few games/crafts. Food is complicated by the fact that one of the kids in T's class has allergies to nuts, eggs and dairy. You try finding a baked goods recipe that doesn't include any of these items. No really, I dare you. Most of what you find are vegan recipes that include ingredients I don't know where to find and would never use again (like flax seeds).Lucky for me, I found this recipe for vegan cranberry pumpkin bread that used all ingredients I recognized. I made a few tweaks, based on personal taste and came up with some really, really tasty Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins.
T agreed. Here's the recipe.

Vegan Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup white sugar
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon orange juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Blend wet ingredients (oil, pumpkin, water, juice).
3. Add dry ingredients. Mix in gently with spoon until batter is moist. Mix in cranberries.
4. Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full with batter
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
6. Eat and enjoy.

Makes 12 muffins.

Happy near Halloween

We completed the annual pumpkin carving last night. T wanted no part of scooping out the pumpkin innards. The previous two years, he was all about the stuff. This year, the texture weirded him out. We still had fun, and in the interest of keeping it toddler-friendly, made happy pumpkins this year. T is much more likely to find things "scary" recently.

Yes, I know the emoticon is backwards. Oops. I didn't notice, but it was the first thing Ry noticed when he looked at my finished handiwork. This seems to be the only expression T can make in front of a camera lately. Should make for years of fun school pictures.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I love a good yard sale

Every year a mom's group in our town holds a huge children's flea market/yard sale at our middle school. Last year we picked up one of T's favorite toys (a Pooh Bear push toy). This year I went in search of one of those bouncy, vibratey infant seats. While I struck out on the bouncy chair, we found a scooter for T, some cute clothes for V.2, T's very first board game, and a baby gate. We spent less than $15. I was planning on buying T the scooter for Christmas, and now have a gently used one for $4 instead of $30ish. Awesome.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The boy who cried poo

T knows what gets our attention. Lately, whenever he wants my attention he says "Mommy, I have to poooooooooooo!!!!!!!" I snap to attention, we race to the bathroom and 9 times out of 10, it was a false alarm. This is especially true when he getting up from a nap or bedtime. I've had a wicked cold the past 3 days and only got about 4 hours of sleep the night before last. This morning, T woke up around 7:15 and played quietly in his crib for the next 30 minutes. I used the time to doze. Then around 7:45, T yelled "Mommy, I have to poooooooo!!!!!!!" I ever so slowly dragged my gravid butt out of bed, went to the bathroom and trudged up the stairs, figuring I had at least 15 minutes (the kid used to hold it for over 24 hours). As soon as I entered the room, I smelled it. It was one of the biggest, smelliest poos the kid has had in weeks. I don't have anyone to blame but myself and could muster only the mildest of rebukes. Potty training is a blast.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You know what people like?

People like choices. I'll never forget my Dad talking about his corporate restaurant company introducing a new bread for a sandwich they already sold. It didn't increase the sales of the sandwich, made more work for the employees, and pissed off the customers when one of the choices was removed a few months later.

People like choices ... except they really don't. Because hubby works for the federal government, he has no fewer than a dozen healthcare plan options. The plan our family has had for the past several years is raising its premiums by about 50% and decreasing coverage. We are now in the unenviable position of having to pick a new healthcare plan. There are High Deductible Health Plans, Consumer Driven Health Plans, HMOs, PPOs, and different levels thereof. The brochures aren't as helpful as you might think, and trying to figure out what would actually be covered is like trying to learn another language.

Frankly, I miss my old job. There was one healthcare company. There was a high and a low option. It cost a fraction of what we pay now. I don't need choices. As it turns out, what I do need is an interpreter.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Guess I'll have to age ugly

Sarah Haskins latest Target Women. Seriously, do people buy this crap?

Over one more hurdle

I took the NET (Nursing Entrance Test) this morning. I also passed the NET this morning. For the first time in my history, I scored higher on the math section than the reading. I think this can be explained by the fact that the math section didn't progress past basic algebra. It was kind of fun doing long division and percentage calculations by hand.

Aside from those two sections, there were was a battery of psychological, stress and test taking skills questions. I'm not sure what some of these questions were designed to elicit for admittance committees.

One of the questions was something like:

If a multiple choice question is of average length, it means what?
A. It is most likely the correct answer.
B. It is most likely the incorrect answer.
C. It is confusing.
D. It has no significance.

I had a chance to chat with the registrar after the exam was over and she told me (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) that I'd most likely be accepted into the program. Wahoo! I'll be receiving a letter in late November. I also learned that I have two more courses to complete. Somehow this slipped completely under my radar. The good news is that both of them are offered online, so I won't have to actually go on campus. T and new bebe won't have to start daycare again until July, when I have a 3 week intro to nursing course.

I really liked the nursing school building. They have a huge study area with couches and a cozy fireplace. I can see it being a very good study locale. My midwife said that this particular program is a good one. I'm starting to get pretty excited for this new stage in my life. RN; here I come!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Version 2 Update

I had a midwife appointment this morning. She is estimating T V-2 at about 6 pounds right now, which means if I go all the way to 40 weeks, I'm looking at about 8 pounds of baby. She also said that I'm 2 centimeters dilated and about 70% effaced. This doesn't really mean anything, as women can walk around for weeks (or even months) a few centimeters dilated. She said that the baby's head is low, even though the majority of his little body is hanging out under my ribs. Looks like I'll have another loooong baby (T was 19.5 inches at birth, almost 4 weeks early). Everything looks good and healthy, and we are basically just waiting for the bebe to make an entrance. I just hope to have a few more weeks yet.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

And more language fun

Scene: T is going to the bathroom before bed.

T: Daddy, that's my scrotum!
Ry: Yep ... wait, what? (Yelling into the living room) Honey, did you teach T the word scrotum?
Me: Yes
Ry: Oooookay
Me: He wanted to know what it was. What would you have told him?

How does he know?

T usually hangs out in his crib for a while in the morning. When he's ready to get out of bed, I usually hear "Mooooooommmmmyyyyyy, I'm ready to get up now!" On the weekends, it's "MommyDaddy, I'm ready to get up now!" I have no idea how he know that Ry is here. During the week he's gone before T wakes up. Can he count? The particularly mysterious part is that he'll yell for Daddy even on Ry's every other Friday off. 'Tis a puzzlement.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A milestone of sorts

Today I am 36 weeks and 1 day pregnant. Two and a half years ago, my water broke at this point in my pregnancy, and I was in the hospital, about 7 hours from giving birth to T. As of 8:30 a.m. this morning, I am more pregnant than I have ever been. I compared the last picture I have of my pregnancy with Tucker, taken about 10 days before he was born. It's a toss up if I look more pregnant now or then. Either way, I feel large and uncomfortable and hopeful I get to stay that way for another couple weeks.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Unattended toddler

This is what happens when you leave a toddler in the backseat with a sheet of stickers on the way to the mall.

What?! You gave them to me!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Reasons I Know I'm Really Pregnant

1. I'm folding clothes on my belly.
2. T is giving his baby brother hugs.
3. My arms fall asleep at least 3 or 4 times per night.
4. Tums are my new best friend.
5. I get up to pee about every 3 hours at night.
6. I have 3 pairs of pants and about about a half dozen shirts that still fit me.
7. Every time I leave someone a voicemail I get a call back immediately, wondering if I'm in labor.
8. I'm exhausted by 6 pm.
9. It feels like an alien is trying to escape my body via my right upper quadrant.
10. I waddle.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I know that most of the readers of this blog are my family. Since I know you all, I also know that you probably don't watch Stargate. That being said, I'm still gonna rant a little about the latest Stargate series: Stargate-Universe.

Ry luuuuuves the Stargate series. The first two, Stargate and Stargate-Atlantis, were good, campy fun. The writers didn't take themselves too seriously. I was able to dismiss a lot of the utter ridiculousness in the shows because they didn't try to be more than they were: campy, escapist, Sci-Fi (SyFy?) fun.

I couldn't stand Battlestar Gallactica. I started calling it "All Screaming, All the Time" and absented myself whenever Ry watched it. It was so very IMPORTANT and SERIOUS, and I just couldn't take it. The newest Stargate has taken a page from the BG playbook and is trying to be very serious and important. As such, I'm having a tough time with it. The last episode, for example, featured several of the main characters venturing onto a desert planet. They knew it was a desert planet, but still decided that one little bottle of water was all they really needed to take. Sunscreen also didn't seem to be a high priority. Of course, lack of water became a driving plot point. I spent most of the episode rolling my eyes. It's all so ANGSTY! Angst and DRAMA! I'm hoping that the series gets back to its roots or I'll be forced to abdicate more TiVO time to dear hubby.

Do you hear me SG-U? Shape up!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hats off to you

Hats off to you, pregnant cashiers, shop keepers, waitresses, and anyone else who stands all day. I spent two hours manning our preschool's booth at a local festival today, and came home retaining water, burnt, and exhausted. On the upside, I had a great time. We had an "Ants in Your Pants" game, where kids tried to launch ants into a big pair of trousers with a foot-powered catapult. I also got two toddler free hours in which to chat with some of the other moms from T's preschool. The boys came to get me after my shift and we ate all kinds of unhealthy food and found T a Christmas present. All in all, it was a successful day.

p.s. A big thanks to my mom and step dad for our cool new video camera Christmas present. We've already recorded 5 mini movies. You guys rock!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

And now, the NET

I found out yesterday that all my application materials have been received by the nursing program. Hooray! Now I just have to go take the NET (Nursing Entrance Test). I'm scheduled for the 20th. Pray for me that I'll still be pregnant at that point and able to get this test out of the way before I have an infant. If I can get it completed, I should know whether I was accepted before the end of the year.

In other news, T's poo phobia is getting better. Apparently the shower has magical properties, because every time I get in the shower, T climbs on the toilet and poops. I think he wants his privacy, but still wants me in the room. Whatever. I'll happily shower whenever he needs to poo as long as it continues to be a quick and tear-less process.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Some good news

I was recently friended by one of the women I took Microbiology with this summer. She's a really sweet girl with two kids of her own. I think if we had ended up in the same nursing program we would've ended up good friends. Anyway, I digress.

She started the nursing program I applied to in September. She tells me that the program is 3 days a week, 9 am - 3 pm. It'll be 7 am - 3 pm when they start clinicals in a month. Either way, 3 days a week is really good news for us. That means that instead of having both kids in full time daycare, we should be able to get away with 3 days a week. It's about a $800/month difference for us. It certainly doesn't solve all our problems, but at least makes them seem surmountable. I am really kicking myself for not figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up, oh, 10 or so years ago. Even 6 would have been great. I could've gotten nursing school out of the way before Ry and I decided to get all old and start a family and stuff.

You might be wondering what the picture has to do with this post. Absolutely nothing, it's just gratuitous cuteness.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Saga of the Bassinet

This summer we picked up a bassinet at a yard sale for $10 or $15. We didn't buy one for T, and it was the one major baby purchase we didn't make that I regretted. I was really excited to find one second-hand, because bassinets are expensive. This one even had the co-sleeper side I wanted.

Fast forward to last weekend, when I took all the sheets, ruffles, and various bassinet detritus off the darn thing to get washed for T Version-2. Ry, being, well, being Ry, went online to look for the instruction manual. In his search, he found that this particular bassinet had been recalled. Doh.

I was sad. (You know, completely rationally, because I'm not hormonal or anything right now.) I didn't really want to fork out the $100+ for a new bassinet, and the company who sold this one has since gone belly-up. We noticed that several retailers were taking them back, so we gave one a call. They told us to bring it in ... and gave us store credit for $107!

We took that credit and promptly gave it right back to the store for the bassinet I really wanted. We're now the proud owners of an Arm's Reach Mini Co-Sleeper Bassinet. Wooh! All in all, we're out about $50 for a brandy-new bassinet for our littlest man to sleep in. Considering that nothing else he'll use is new, it's nice to have one new thing for him. It turns out that having a recalled bassinet wasn't all bad.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Things I Can't Believe Have Come Out of My Mouth

1. We don't hit people with penguins.
2. No, daddy doesn't have a baby in his tummy.
3. No, mommy doesn't have a penis.
4. Come on sweetheart, let the poopy out.
5. Ok, it's time to put your penis away.
6. No, that's not the baby's mouth; it's mommy's belly button.
7. You're a puma? Ok little puma, let's go upstairs.
8. Yes, mommy has a bottom too.
9. We don't tell people to stop whining, that is up to their mommies.
10. It's not polite to ask people if they have to pee pee.

Monday, October 05, 2009

From the mouths of babes

T: "Mommy, I'm upset."
Me: "Why are you upset?"
T: "I'm upset with my tummy."

And of course, courtesy of our old friend J this weekend, "Kick 'em in the balls!"

Saturday, October 03, 2009

I love fall

I love when the weather starts to turn crisp and the fall harvest festivals start. Our little area of the east has some kind of apple/fall/harvest/pumpkin festival every weekend between now and mid-November. We kicked off the season with a trip to a local orchard with T's new preschool. T insisted on pulling the wagon by himself. Frankly, I was OK with that. Bonus: check out the wagon's name!

Here's T hunting for apple-y treasure. If it were up to him, we would have had buckets and buckets of apples. Somehow I got out of there with only about half a dozen.

Here he is with the fruits of his labor. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful orchard and we made some beautiful apple crisp with our foraging. We are having some friends down this weekend and plan on visiting another orchard. I'm treasuring these last days with our little family of 3. Life is about to get a lot more complicated.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things that are keeping me up at night

I thought I'd take a page from my sister and make a Top Ten Tuesday list today. Except there won't be ten items. And they aren't in any particular order.

1. My baby, who seems to find it particularly appropriate to sleep all day and then begin kickboxing around 10 pm.
2. Worrying about how we're going to pay for two kids in daycare when I start nursing school next year.
3. My bladder -- see number 1.
4. Wondering if T's fear of pooping in the toilet is going to get better -- ever.
5. Hoping I actually get into nursing school in a year.
6. Worrying about what we're going to do if I go into labor in the middle of the night and we can't reach our friends who have offered to watch T.
7. Wondering if I'm going to have another 36 week baby. Hoping I'm not.
8. Freaking out that I'm just over 2 weeks from 36 weeks.
9. Being hot. Even though we're still sleeping with the window air unit set at 67 F.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More redecorating fun

We finally got the lovely Neena-made curtains hung in T's big boy room. We also went through all his toys, and reorganized to make room for his clothes. We got a couple of under the bed storage bins and hamper as well.
How cute is he? I heart the frog hamper. It matches the frogs in the quilt as well.
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