Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why I put up with Vinegar-as-Gift

you know those giant novelty martini glasses you can get at wal-mart, on an end cap in the craft section? no? well, they are giant, and I need one RIGHT NOW. FILLED WITH VODKA. maybe a little ice, or a splash of limeade and a jar of maraschino cherries.

As my mom used to tell me, i need to to "take a chill pill". Which should have been an indication that, even at age 8, i was wound a little too tight. What I did not know in third grade was that there are, indeed, real life "chill pills". They are called anti-depressants. And I am beginning to think I may want some.

Why, you may ask?

I have begun jumping to the-worst-possible-scenario conclusions. As in, I have a strange, under the skin knot on my forearm. I first noticed this knot last Sunday, after our return from Silver Springs. Since then, the knot has progressed from:
possible spider bite
slowly unraveling tendon, requiring surgery (thank you, Amanda, for setting me straight on that one)
horrible parasite picked up in the petting zoo which has laid its eggs under my skin and may begin to eat me from the inside, or conversely, will explode in a swarm from my skin like an alien giving birth to a microscopic army of tiny organisms which will eat my family alive like piranha fleas
blood clot, caused my forcing my too-tight wedding rings back on my ring finger, amplified by bloating that could or could not be pre-menstrual (which is also, about all i need right now)

Craig maintains that it is spider bite. He made me hot cocoa with whipped cream, and applied hydro-cortisone cream to my arm.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

can i start today over?

I debated making a fresh pot of coffee, but the effort required seemed daunting. So I used old coffee from yesterday. Instead of pouring out in a thick luxurious stream of indulgence, the cream plopped into my cup. I stirred it in and tasted it anyway. The carton smelled lucky, the coffee was okay, but I figured I should not knowingly drink past due dairy while nursing. So I poured it out, washed the french press, heated the kettle, and ground the beans. Poured the water into pot- there was only half as much as I needed. Gerry. Heat more water. Refill sugar bowl, and I am four minutes away from feeling human again.

It's going to be a long four minutes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

at a loss for words

O (looking at a box of wipes with d***** princesses on the cover): what those friends doing?

Me: ummm... nothing

Wow. Those girls are doing nothing at all, but looking beautiful and coyly thinking about their cleavage (that's right, b****. You're busted).

I know these princesses used to do things. Sewing, gathering berries- granted, none of them were getting a Ph.D, but I remember Princess Cleavage always had her nose buried in a book. Where did their props go? When did they become pagent princesses, minus the talent portion?

Say what you will, at least bob the builder always has a tape measure.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

thursday, 10:37 am

Owen is outside, digging in the mud. Bridget is in her swing, fed, burped and happy. Everyone in the house is dressed, laundry is rotating from washer to dryer to drawers.

I am having an amazing day, brought to me courtesy of MVJ playing a quick game of hooky, giving me half an hour of parole.

Thank you!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

what i need

1. A nap
2. Someone to latch b onto one breast (mine are fine), burp her, roll me over, repeat
3. Earplugs
4. My laundry switched over
5. I tunes updated, songs purchased, playlists made
6. Photos compiled from everyone's cameras, cute ones selected, cd made, photos developed
7. Photos mailed
8. Pedicure
9. Eyebrows waxed
10. IUD ordered (duh)
11. An extra hand to write thank you notes
12. A month long supply of belly bars, so I don't have to think about beakfast or vitamins
13. Library books selected, put on hold, picked up
14. My ipod charger located
15. My baby bathed so she isn't stinky sour
16. A car seat for craig's car
17. New flooring
18. A lady-in-waiting, responsible for bathing and dressing me
19. Calorie free vodka
20. Stomach muscles

Any takers, universe? You can have my credit card.


Saturday, August 08, 2009

To Do, 8:15 a.m.

1. Drink at least 3 tervis tumblers of water.
2. Drink coffee, as soon upon waking as possible.
3. Take iron supplements twice daily, plus pre-natal vitamins, dha supplement, fish oil, and folic acid.
4. Do not take anything containing iron with any calcium- coffee, cereal, bellybars (a good source of iron AND calcium- how is this possible?), cheese, etc.
5. Take iron with food
6. Eat small, frequent meals
7. Eat more calcium and protein.
8. Avoid excessive nut consumption to prevent the dreaded peanut allergy
9. Feed baby
10. Burp baby
11. Hold baby as much as possible to promote brain stimulation.
12. Put baby to sleep on back to prevent SIDS
13. Put baby on tummy for tummy time
14. Prevent two year old from running over baby in excitement to see what chihuahua is barking at by the front door.
15. Two year old? Oops.
16. Attempt to feed two year old, who says "no thank you" to every proffered choice, suggesting instead that "owen can please have pop?"
17. Grind your teeth.
18. Debate relative importance of manners, nutrition, and soon to be inevitable tantrum, caused by hunger.
19. Attempt to pee, while holding a baby who has suddenly decided to try and nurse through your clothing.
20. Endure two year old turning bathroom lights and exhaust fan on and off.
21. Distract two year old from bathroom faucet.
22. Extract two year old from bath tub.
23. Return to living room to find two year old eating goldfish and oyster crackers, let it go.
24. Change baby diaper
25. Change two year old
26. Decide to potty train two year old
27. Take a deep breath, pray for 9 a.m. to arrive

Thursday, August 06, 2009

note to self

Do not leave headband on b while driving in car. Unattended infants plus headband equals choking hazard. Oops.

*no babies were harmed in the creation of this post, but probably only becuase we were on a very short trip.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

thoughts on being a mom... again

typing this one handed... please forgive lack of punctuation, etc...

-the one piece of advice i never questioned with owen was "sleep when the baby sleeps". i have done this almost his whole life. i had boundless energy, cleaned the house, cooked up a storm, made homemade cards to send to everyone each month with his picture (professionally taken). i can't always (rarely) sleep now bc both kids are rarely sleeping at the same time. exhaustion is a bitch, people. and now, so am i! there are times when b might be in a deep sleep after owen goes to bed, but at that point, i am most likely too tired to move.

- disposible make-up remover face wipes and tinted moisturizer are my new best friends. i can wash my face and put on "make-up" without getting out of bed, while burping a freshly nursed baby, pumping and trying to convince a two year old to feed me (and not the dog) honey sunshine. somehow he figured out that normal people put milk in their breakfast cereal (ahem- daddio!) and now i have to convince him that cereal plus a swig of milk from the sippy cup is a comparable experience.

- there are times when i forget that i have a second child (she is generally unobtrusive with the exception of the midnight to two a.m. stretch) and other times when it comes crashing down on me.

- i find myself frustrated most by the small chores that i could do in 15 miuntes if it was just owen and i. loading and unloading the dishwasher. a load of laundry transfer. throwing lunch together. making a quick phone call. all of these tasks, which used to be so achievable, even while 8 months pregnant, have become seemingly impossible.

- baby blues? check.

-on the plus side, i have more fun with b. i don't take her so seriously, and am not ruffled by much that she does. i am enjoying her more than i did owen, with whom i had a deep, serious, and passionate love. b and i are much more companionable. i hope that in 30 years we will be good friends.

- nursing is no longer killing me, but the search for stylish nursing tops is. Maybe, since all the ones I like best are in the $60-$80 range, I should actually consider having J. Brooks modify/ design a few cotton ones. i think that the cabo halter would be easy to change, looks good, and would be gorgeous. Plus, I've got the cotton prints for it already.

craig has the baby, so I am going to throw laundry in the wash, and go to bed. Here's to hoping for a good night's sleep.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

excerpt from email to kimberlina

How is this for tempting/attractive/make you want to get pregnant right away?

Last night b had her first bath in 8 days (oops). She was getting so smelly I was grossed out. A few hours later, I fed her (1 hour 15 min). Changed a poopy diaper. She spit up. Changed her onesie. She had another poopy diaper. Changed it. She spit up OUT OF HER MOUTH AND NOSE SIMULTANEOUSLY. Changed her onesie, did deep breathing so I didn't puke myself. Recovered enough to pee while holding her, she spit up chunks all over my shirt, cleavage, bra, herself. Then I had to wipe while holding a now slippery slimy baby. Took her onesie off, changed another poopy diaper, gave up on dressing her and just left her naked (until this morning, actually). Changed another poopy diaper. Just realized while typing this that although I did change my clothes, I still have not showered/washed face/brushed teeth since... 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon? Def not since the chunky cleavage instance.

All of this happened consecutively, without pause. Just saying you MIGHT want to pack a few extra outfits- and an iron stomach. It wasn't pretty.

Monday, July 20, 2009

La Jour De Gloire Est Arrive

First off, if you know me, you know how much I hate pregnancy. I have easy pregnancies, I love my babies, but the actual 9 months? I am miserable- a fact I conveniently and COMPLETELY forgot in between Owen and Bridget. Bridget's due date was July 25, but due to Owen's giant newborn self, induction at 41 1/2 weeks, and a rough delivery and recovery period, my midwife agreed to induce Bridget at 39 weeks. That was the plan, and I was convinced that nothing on the planet would make Bridget come earlier.

On Monday (July 13), I was miserable to the extreme. I hadn't been sleeping, I was uncomfortable, I was weepy. I called the midwives' office, and they told me to come in Tuesday. I went in at 10:30 am, saw Ronnie Jo (the midwife on call), and she told me I was a loose 1 1/2 cm dilated. I asked her to check again, and she said "Ooh, maybe you're up to 3! And 70% effaced!" She offered to strip my membranes, which I eagerly accepted, and told me she wouldn't be surprised to see me in a few hours. I rolled my eyes and said "not likely. I've heard that many times before!" With Owen, I was further along than that for at least two weeks before he was induced.

I got a hair cut, picked Owen up from Mimsie's house, came home, put him down for a nap, and made some lunch. By this time, it was around 2 o'clock, and I was a little crampy, but also more dehydrated than normal, so I chalked it up to "irritable uterus". As I had already visited the hospital on the night of our anniversary (July 5) for severe cramping and regular contractions, I did not want to have another false alarm. Marthe called, and we chatted until about 2:30.

At 2:45, I started to get really uncomfortable, so I ran a bath, called Craig and told him that he might want to wrap up any loose ends at work, just in case I really did go into labor that night. By 3, my stomach was upset and I realized that this might be it- that or the leftovers I ate for lunch had gone bad. I texted Craig and he offered to stop by on his way home from Buccholz, where he was looking at the air handlers on the roof. By 3:20, Craig was home, I was in a hot bath to ease the contractions, and he was timing. During our anniversary hospital trip, the LDR nurse had told Craig that HE would be able to tell if my labor was real or just Braxton-Hicks, because my contractions would be regularly 5 minutes apart for over an hour, and my personality would change- I would no longer be the sweet woman he knew and loved. By 3:45, I asked Craig if he thought it was the real thing, because they were getting more intense, but more bearable as I recalled the relaxation techniques we learned in class to prepare for Owen. He said that he wanted to time more and see if they stayed consistent or changed. I told him to call my mother to pick Owen up. By four, I told him to call again, and get her there FAST. When I asked if the contractions were still regular, he said no. What he neglected to mention is that they were now getting closer together. I was beginning to feel like I wasn't getting a break in between contractions, and he still thought this wasn't the real deal. I had to start acting like a bitch in hopes that he would begin to take me seriously, but I wasn't even positive myself that this was real labor. There was still the possibility I was just dehydrated.

At 4:20 I made him the call the midwife's office, and my mom came to wake Owen up. She stopped by the bathroom to see me first, and asked Craig how far apart my contractions were. When he said 3 minutes, she told him to get me to the hospital RIGHT AWAY- and he said "We still have plenty of time". At 4:30 , I thought I might throw up, and I remembered the feeling from Owen- it meant that transition was over and soon I would have to push. I was debating whether it was worth it to go to the hospital or just call 911 and have the baby at home. Craig fed the dog.

The pressure to push started, and I told him I wasn't leaving. He convinced me to get me some clothes on and go to the hospital. (Keep in mind- my contractions were three m inutes apart, and lasting almost three minutes, so I didn't have much time to actually accomplish anything in between). He asked what I would like to wear- and when I said the blue shirt (which I vaguely remembered I had left at the door to the bathroom on the floor) he went to the bedroom, looked in my closet, and came back with two choices- neither of which were maternity tops. I finally grabbed the blue shirt, threw it on without a bra and headed for the car. He asked me which car I wanted to take, and even while being mindful of the upholstery in the newer van, it was in the driveway and thus closer. (BTW- when a woman in labor chooses to chant "No, stay, not yet" to her baby during a contraction, now is not the time to ask her to make decisions).

I finally made it into the van (after having a contraction in the front yard for all the neighbors to see- nice) at 4:59, and all I could think was "5 o'clock traffic. Perfect". (Even while not in labor, I am intimidated by NW Gainesville's "rush hour", and avoid leaving my house at this time unless absolutely necessary). (Also, we live 8 minutes from the hospital) For some reason, the break in between contractions during the pushing stage leaves you more lucid, so by the time we passed Buccholz I asked if we should call ahead. Craig's response? "Nope. We still have plenty of time". I couldn't respond as I was back to panting "Stay. Stay. Stay." like Bridget was an unruly puppy, as opposed to a baby trying to exit my uterus on Newberry Road.

Thank God we did not hit any unduly long red lights, and traffic was relatively light. We pulled up to the awning at the Women's Center at 5:07 (I wouldn't let Craig park in the garage) and I demanded a wheel chair. He was beginning to rush a little bit now, after not altering his driving speed at all on the way over. We caught an elevator to the third floor, and at this point, I was hovering above the seat like a newly potty trained toddler who has to hold it but is about to lose it. All the while panting, more frantically, "NO NO STAY STAY" like a deranged, wet from the tub lunatic. I completely silanced the family of 27 gathered in the waiting room as we careened off the elevator. Once we got into the maternity ward proper and up to the nurse's station (at 5:10), Craig started to introduce me and explain the details when Ronnie Jo rounded the corner and I desperately said "I NEED TO PUSH". She had the good sense to point to the nearest room and we went in, followed by a few other nurses. They told Craig to help me out of my clothes (I was having another contraction) and he said "her underwear, too?" as I thought DEAR GOD WHY IS NO ONE TAKING ME SERIOUSLY. When they couldn't get my shirt off I told them to just cut it, but they insisted on helping me into a gown and onto the bed to check and see how dilated i was. When Ronnie Jo checked, she looked surpised and for a second I thought she was going to say "Well, you're four centimeters along". Instead she said "I don't feel any cervix, and there's a baby's head right there". NO KIDDING. I said "I have to push" and they said "wait" and I said "Sorry, I can't" and she barely had time to catch Bridget, who came flying out like a little fish (as my water had not broken during labor, and came out with her). She was born at 5:15 pm, on my Irish papa's birthday, and Bastille day to boot. I held her for twenty minutes as they set the room up, in awe that it was over so quickly. I felt like I had gotten a baby from a drive-thru- it was a completely surreal feeling.

Bridget Kathryn Gulledge
7 lbs 5 oz, 20 inches
July 14, 2009, 5:15 pm

She is a VERY relaxed baby, who is currently nursing ever 3 1/2 hours (which is good, because her jaws are somewhere between a lamprey and a snapping turtle) who is tinier than I ever could have imagined. I swear she has a sense of humor- she makes the cutest, most expressive little faces. Owen is very nonchalant about her, but we haven't had a full day at home by ourselves yet, so we'll see.

Physically, I feel fantastic, and anyone who ever hear Owen's birth story- do not fear. That was a fluke. This time, I have no stitches and no post-partum pain (other than standard cramping and nursing issues). I am more tired this time, but I think because I felt so amazing after little b was born that I am not resting as much as I should be- that's about to change, too.

Thank you for all your positive thoughts and good wishes- I know they made a difference.

1. If you have the option to labor in water- DO IT. Tub, shower, birthing tank, whatever you can use- the difference it made in my comfort during labor was drastic. So drastic, I wasn't even sure it WAS labor!
2. If you are even considering trying natural childbirth, take a class to prepare. It made such a huge difference in my comfort level, and I have used the relaxation techniques countless other times during uncomfortable procedures (dentist, anyone?). If you get into labor and you find it doesn't work for you, you can still get anesthesia (most of the time- I'm not a doctor!).
3. If your midwife tells you that you will only have a three hour labor and not to mess around- listen. Craig still thinks we timed it just right, but I told him that the next time he needs to poop, I'm going to make him hold it for 9 months and 45 minutes and see how he likes it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

happy friday

It's like Christmas morning in the Gulledge household. There is a mini excavator with a jackhammer attachment turning our driveway to rubble, and Craig and Owen are glued to the front window. Owen (who went to bed almost two hours late last night) was woken up early (about an hour early) by Craig, who was doing an antsy-pants dance of excitement.

Owen's primary concern (after he understood the scope of work, as explained by Craig) was wondering if the three 21 year old GRU workers in our driveway are wearing "sunscream". They are not wearing hard hats or safety googles, a fact that has escaped Safety Officer Gulledge, Jr. Owen also just said "Watch mini-excavator on Bob the Builder", which I just realized was referring to the action in the front yard.

Did I mention that in the past 48 hours, I have slept for 5? And that the only place I can comfortably sleep is on the couch? And that being awoken by the beeping of an excavator being delivered, combined with the warning barks of my chihuahua, are maybe not the most pleasant way of waking up from the two hours sleep I was in the process of getting? (And no, I am not sleeping because I have a new baby. I am not sleeping because the large baby in my uterus has taken up residence on the nerve in my back that controls my legs. I recognize the irony of sleepless nights WHILE STILL PREGNANT).

Thank you, GRU.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

he gets off on being withholding

I asked Craig to get me a cupcake from fresh market, and he said no. He went to work, and I promptly ate an indisclosable amount of cookie dough from the break and bake package.

He then showed up with a cupcake.

I ate it anyway.


Woman to woman

First of all, a big huge thank you to everyone who shared their uber-personal stories about childbirth in my last post. I truly have a wonderful group of friends (and friends of friends)...

You have reassured me that NO ONE does an episitomy any more, which i think is awesome. Also, I went back to my original midwife after going through rotation with tons of other people, and I am reassured by a good talk with her and her amazingly tiny hands. I swear, that woman could be practically sticking her fingers out your nose during a pelvic exam and I don't think you would notice. That level of comfort is pretty significant when someone is checking your dilation.

So here is where we are on the pregnancy front:
Tomorrow (37 weeks and 5 days) I go in for another ultrasound to estimate little Bridget's weight. Because let me tell you, she doesn't seem so little. I have (for virtually no discernable reason) gained 21 1/2 pounds (I gained over 35 with Owen) this pregnancy, and Jane says that she will be amazed if B is less than 8 pounds when we induce a week early. Hello????? She also told me not to freak if the ultrasound measures 9 lbs- they have been known to be off. So, I am just no longer concerned about having a big baby, and am simply continuing to keep my fingers crossed for a giant placenta. Again.

I am ready. I am going to be induced at 39 weeks, just pitocin, no water breaking unnaturally, and am pretty damn sure that she will not come beforehand. The downside is that in trying to get ready, I have what is known as an "irritable uterus" which mimics labor and menstrual cramps from hell, and due to my past history and reaction to pain, I have to go in if I think I am in labor- "just in case". I still believe in pushing the envelope as far as possible, but Jane and the LDR nurses are not fond of this approach. We'll see who wins this battle. I've already had to go in once, but I swear, THAT WAS THE LAST TIME.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Crisis of Confidence

WARNING: this is a post about childbirth, and the aftermath. I am tired of pregnancy, birth, and what comes after being a taboo and humiliating experience, especially when every single person on this planet has been involved. C'mon, people- you may not have given birth, but you were certainly born. So I need advice, but YOU may not choose to read about it. I do not want to force you to, either: this is your warning to just navigate away from the page if you do not want to be involved in the conversation.

So here's the bottom line.

Natural childbirth (read- no pain meds) was very important to me, as is the idea that birth is a very natural occurrence, and should be treated as such. With this in mind, I have been seeing a certified nurse midwife for all my well woman and pregnancy care for years. I was very pleased with my labor experience with Owen, which involved an induced labor lasting six hours (on pitocin, a contraction enhancing drug), no pain medication, no episiotomy. My midwife was with me almost the whole time, except in the earlier parts when I told her I didn't need her there, so if she had something to do we'd let her know when we were ready for her again. There was some serious tearing involved when Owen was born, but I do not fault anyone for that. (Also- I couldn't even feel it ladies- don't freak if you haven't had a baby yet). I waited an extra 11 days to give birth to a child who ended up being 8 lbs 14 oz. That was my choice as well. The healing did not go super smoothly, and I am not pleased with the quality of workmanship of subsequent repairs, which were performed by an ob-gyn who told me this would have been easier if I had had a c-section.

My mother (and most women of her generation) believe that an episiotomy would have negated most of the problems I had post-partum, but in speaking with many people (anectodally, other midwives, ob-gyns) I have learned that the episiotomy is no longer standard procedure and is indeed frowned upon in most practices today. So with 8 more weeks to go until the birth of my second child, I may be considering going about his differently. Here is what I want to know, and here's where I need your help.

If you have given birth in the last 10 years or so, and any of the following situations apply, please respond- and feel free to do so anonymously.

a) Has anyone switched from midwife to ob-gyn, or vice versa? If so, what were your reasons, and were you pleased with the choice you made?
b) Has anyone had a natural (epidural free) birth with an ob-gyn? (I am not opposed to pitocin, and handled labor fine last time, so pain management is not a concern for me)
c) Has anyone had an episiotomy? Have you had one, then not had one, or vice versa?
d) Anyone in the medical profession care to jump in, whether you have given birth or not?
e) Actually, any insight at all to second childbirth would be great. Feel free to make any comments.

I feel comfortable writing about this in a public sphere because many women I have asked have similar stories about the post-partum experience, so I know I am not alone. Nor do I want anyone to feel that I am critiquing her choices in giving birth- actually, I would love to hear about it from another perspective. Tell me your experiences, with first or second or third child. Feel free to do so anonymously.
my internet has not been working, so here is a quick update:

owen is teething, and refuses to be normal for me. Craig and mimsie get gold star super sweet behavior, though. i get bob the builder and pop requests for hours on end.

i think the baby may fall out. just saying.

craig has no clean underwear.

water gives me indigestion. but ice doesn't.

veronica wants a "ipod clopper scanner" for her bday. i do not know wtf she is referring to.

i want to buy a house down the street from my mom. it isn't currently for sale.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

i know I should be grateful.....

So, Owen has been sleeping. ALOT. Even more than normal, and everyone knows that kid can sleep.

awake at 9:30, nap by 12:20, slept until 5:00, bed at 7:15.

Last night: in bed by 7:30, up for the day at 8:30- and I think only then because he peed through his diaper, wet his pjs, sheets, and quilts. Otherwise- he might have slept till 9:30 like on Monday. By 11:40, he DEMANDED that he get put down for his nap, refusing to even consider lunch. He slept through a giant thunderstorm, and woke up just before 3. Tonight- he was in bed by 7:10.

He has been sleeping like this for... over a week. The strange part is that he looks exhausted, all the time. Big bags under his eyes, red cheeks- the works. Even before this week, if he knows that I won't be babysitting, he's been sleeping like Rip Van Winkle.

Now, please don't get me wrong. This sleep schedule of his is a gift from god, right at the time I need it most. I am practically sleeping right along with him, and I am still exhausted. BUT I am in my third trimester. Rolling over in bed takes an inordinate amount of energy. Owen is a two year old boy who is obviously not pregnant.

Do you think this is simple growth spurt? I am pretty sure it is not straight on two year molar teething. Is it jsut so hard being two that he needs to sleep to escape the stress of it? Because if so, trust me.... I can relate.

Monday, May 25, 2009

memorial day, 10 :39 am

daddy home for holiday
saps my energy
wish i could go back to bed

p.s. is this a haiku? is it 5-7-5 or 7-5-7? the japanese will have to forgive me.

Garden pictures

The garden as a whole (almost)

Cucumbers are the first thing to need harvesting (and also are taking over the garden) :

Green peppers:


This is all Craig. I just take the pictures.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nauseating Self-Ego Stroking Post


In the past two days, I have been sooooo impressed with myself. I have been crafting like a last gasp of air, which it very well might be. Please keep in mind, while reading the next few posts, that my kitchen is at a very sub par level of cleanliness (I am in a dishwasher loading stand-of with Craig), my quilting room (where Craig sleeps) looks like a disaster site and I did not get dressed today until 3:00. Plus I have been unbearably bossy and queen like, which makes me miserable to be around. NOTE: Craig sleeps in the quilting room not because of the dishwasher standoff but because I am too restless at night for him to get any rest in bed with me.

So while I look awesome and don't mind talking about it, rest assured knowing that Owen wore the same tee-shirt for over 24 hours straight today.

Scenario one:
When I was four, I remember begging to be picked up from Y We Care during naptime, because another little boy whose parents did this regularly got to play with the toys (specifically: the kitchen) all by himself. I coveted his life. I have been dying to get Owen a kitchen, but my "cottage" (read: very small house) will not allow it. No matter how I try, it is not happening unless I get rid of a major piece of furniture, which will do nothing for my storage problems.

Scenario two:
Friday morning playdate- deluge, four kids, one migraine, one pregnancy, possibly one mild hangover, and not enough coffee in the world. One of the kids (okay, it was mine) has developed a new habit of screaming (piercingly) "MINE!!!!! OWEN HAVE IT!!!!!" while snatching a toy from Frankie and running in a circuit down the hall, through the kitchen, around the dining room table and in a never ending loop through the kitchen-dining room- living room circle. All while I weakly try to focus and threaten a time out like I mean it, which he knows is futile because I can't actually catch him. Frankie has never been a girl to take ANYTHING lying down (one of the things I love about her) and is protesting the theft in an equally high pitched toddler voice. Preschool teachers of twos classes? Next time we meet in a bar, it's on me.

Desperation set in, and I flipped a toy box on its side, covered it with a blanket, and told the kids it was a kitchen. Frankie wasn't sure at first, as she has an awesome kitchen at home, but (god bless her) Bronwyn went to town, and the twos soon followed her lead. Bronwyn (age 3) told the kids it was a stove and they would get burned if they sat on it (this is prompted by Owen's butt sitting right on her counter/ stove area, but she kept her cool), and they were happy until it was time to leave. (At least, pretty much. There was an extended stethoscope/ doctor session, and Owen was more interested in establishing dominance and possesion over his toys than playing with them, but eventually pops were had by all and a relative peace ensued.)

I was entranced by how easily imaginative kids accepted "box covered with blue blanket is kitchen" scenario, and having recently been inspired by Cool Spaces for Kids, today I turned this:

into this:

Its coolness belies its simplicity. A spring rod, a wooden box from IKEA clearance, fabric scraps, canvas, and ultra heat n' bond. Done. Kitchen supplies are stored inside, and if Owen plays with it as much as I hope he will, I will satin stitch the edges. Right now it is simply ironed on.

My biggest fear? Lucy will lurk inside and attack unsuspecting toddlers/chihuahuas/ankles. She is already practicing.

Friday, May 22, 2009

just because I make the rules, does that mean I have to follow them?

At this point, the only three things that are even slightly appetizing are popsicles (the tube kind where green tastes like some sort of chemical), iced coffee run through a blender so it is essentially a coffee flavored slushie, and.... you guessed it... ice.

Does this constitute pica?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mark Bittman, I may be leaving you for a lesbian fling with Donna Klein.

A big fat THANK YOU to Amanda and Marthe- and also an apology to Amanda for not listening months ago when you told me how good this book was. Now, it needs to be known that I have pretty much stopped buying books for myself, and severely cut back on my cookbook acquisitions in particular. I was, alas, overrun with books, and my space is VERY limited. So, hopefully, maybe Craig will get me clorox or something else appalling for a gift sometime within the next year, and I will throw another hissy fit and end up with an electronic book reader. All of that aside, I have been supporting my local library more and buying less books, which brings me in a very roundabout way to the topic of this post.

The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein ROCKS. I am not vegan, and though I am very vegetarian friendly, I love me some cheese (and bad grammar, too, apparently.) I could never be vegan, which is why I would never have looked twice at this cookbook if Marthe had not a) insisted I would love it and b) brought her leftovers to my house and let me drool over them while she stored them in my fridge during play time. I think that may have been my undoing. All I want to eat this summer is cold food that requires minimum cooking time- frozen bruschetta popsicles, anyone? (That is NOT a recipe from this book- just a crazy pregnancy craving). So I looked at this book on Amazon, and ordered it immediately after reading the crostini section.

I cooked from it today. OH MY GOD. It was amazing. For dinner we had
-Bruschetta with Cannellini Beans, Bitter Greens, and Tomatoes (Craig's favorite)
- Roasted Red Pepper and Zucchini Salad
-Spaghetti Rigati with Fondue de Tomatoes (supposed to be made with capellini, but I did not have any)

Some of my favorite things about this cookbook? I feel like there are only about 20 ingrediants in the whole book, most of which are pantry staples or the kinds of produce we will have on hand anyway (tomatoes, green beans, arugula, cucumbers...). This means that I don't have to know in advance what I'm going to make for dinner- I am guaranteed to be able to eat something I'm in the mood for without preplannig. (A huge plus in my book!) Plus, at the risk of sounding pretentious, we should have most of the produce available from our garden this summer. (Anyone who was in my organic vegetable gardening class in college will know exactly how much gardening I did- I only cooked what Craig planted, tended and harvested. The garden is still Craig's baby, and I usually try to dissuade him from planting anything but herbs and tomatoes.) This cookbook is essentially delicious Italian food... superb.

Mark, my main man- looks like you have some competition.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Don't Wake Up the Bear!

We have entered the third trimester of my pregnancy, which this time, I am officially dubbing "bear season". I am large. I lumber around my kitchen, foraging for food. Occasionally I will be spotted out of doors, but this will become more and more rare as the weeks pass. I am INCREDIBLY cranky. And hyper-emotional, to boot. If you make me cry, don't worry. If I don't immediately eat you, I will understand that it isn't you, it's me.

I would love to sleep all the time, but sleeping is actually one of the more uncomfortable things I do on a daily basis. Craig left our bed (voluntarily) a week ago, and while the extra space is nice, I feel increasingly ostracized. (Did I mention that socializing, outside of a select few understanding people, is getting more and more difficult? And yet I feel ostracized? Are we seeing a "Meaghan can not be made happy" trend?) My back is killing me. By the end of the day, I am literally hobbling through the house like a grouchy geriatric lunatic. (However, we bought the CMO brace today, and I felt instant relief. I have not yet started feathering my hair, though, and choose to wear the brace UNDER my clothing, for the time being.)

So, consider this fair warning. Meaghan has left, and has been replaced by an angry, hungry bear looking for Oreos. I will not be back for many months, because new baby hormones will undoubtedly turn me into a nauseating mush ball. If you ask me how much I weigh, I will cry. If you tell me that I'm "finally starting to show" I will come at you like a spider monkey. And if you look funny at my shoes, as did the gentleman in the waiting room of the OB's office today, I may bash your teeth in with my fist. Just thought you should know.

Do I make an excuse? No, I just publish twice in one night.

Well, I fell off the wagon, but only for a tiny bit. And my excuse? That Craig had the computer all night, stalking people under my facebook account. And then I was up WAY later than I should have been, and got up this morning to babysit S & J again. I have decided that I am officially crazy for this drop off day care business, but I only have (potentially) thirteen days left. Plus, after S and Owen played "hissing snakes and screaming dragons" up and down the hallway, I bundled them up and turned them loose outside, in the (seemingly) frigid drizzliness that was 10:30 this morning. I sat in my favorite chair with J and a bottle, propped up on pillows, and didn't worry about the kiddos in the back. I think there was wet sand thrown, but I had thirthy minutes before two kids with their noses pressed agaisnt my back door were saying "Miss Meaghan! Miss Mommy! Can I have a popsicle (Owen)? Can we have a bath (S)?" How can you say no to that? Blue lips turned into blue tongues in the tub (thank you, Fla-vo-ice) and I got easy mac, hot dogs, and frozen peas and carrots on the table by noon. I am a true earth mother.

Question: why does mixing vegestables into macaroni and cheese provide such delight to children visiting my house? Is it because I am, indeed, an awesome gourmet chef, like this mom? (oh yes I did). Remember, we are talking about this plus this. Is it sheer sodium overload? The veggies are in now way hidden. If I serve them on the side, they are rejected. Mix them in, and I am a culinary goddess. It must be a chemical in the "cheese" that addles brain cells.

Why, might you ask, was I reduced to easy mac? Hold your breath, people, but I have a shocking announcement : I have NO BUTTER in the house. Not a stick, not a pat, in the fridge, in either freezer, on my counter. What's a girl to do? I can honestly say that I have never before been in this predictament. Is someone going to the grocery store? Rescue me. Please. I am not sure I can go on much longer.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 2

When Owen was 18 months old, temper tantrums and general toddlerness kicked in. At Target, I saw the book The Happiest Toddler on the Block. I remembered Dr. Karp's technique to soothe a fussy baby from one of our child care classes from the hospital. I rolled my eyes and (literally) guffawed throughout the video, but when Owen was born, we tried it and it worked. So I bought this book, and started instituting techniques right away. And they work. So now that six months have gone by and I have recognized that this system indeed makes a difference, I am ready to teach it to Craig. Craig does not (so he says) have time to read the book, and I do believe him. He is a more thoughtful reader, and takes his time with books. In that spirit, I am providing him mini-lessons written on our chalkboard, which I intend to leave up for a week or two at a time. I am a strong believer in picking things up through osmosis.

Maybe I should just get the video instead.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

giving back

I am addicted to my google reader. I get so sad when I log on and no one else has updated their blogs... and my friends are VERY good about updating. In honor of my blog reading, I am going to update my blog.... EVERY DAY FOR... two weeks. Isn't that how long it takes to start a new habit? Modesty disappeared with my waistline, so I am just going to continue to assume that people are overjoyed with my reappearance on the web. But I am not promising anything really worth reading.

Two conversations I had in the car today:

M: Do you want a bottle before bed tonight? (note: he refused one at Mimsie's last night)
O: kinda no

O: Where Mr. Art? (our neighbor across the street)
M: I don't know.
O: Maybe in bathroom. Probably.

As this demonstrates what an awesome mom I am (lucky O), I would like to note that with the third trimester I have reached a new level of zen parenting. It goes like this: if there is no blood, don't bother me. That's what you get. No. (Maria Montessori would be so proud.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

crafting goodness

I know you are all clambering to see what I've been up to- beyond some VERY slow-going knitting, I have started sewing for Miss Bridget, and have completed her first hand-made baby fashionista outfit. I am throwing all modesty to the wind here: It is ADORABLE, and much cuter than any picture I could take. I now understand why there are baby models. Amy Butler, I heart you.

Additionally, here is my Easter fascinator, which was way to bridal and formal to wear for Easter. Or maybe anywhere, unless I am getting married again, which is NOT happening.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

a mistake that must be made....

Do you ever have those ideas that are bad? Like, you KNOW they are a bad idea, but you also know that you are going to go ahead and do them anyway? I am in the midst of trying to resist, but I don't think I'm going to win this one.

For most people, this might refer to something drastic, like an affair, or dangerous, like climbing on a rolling chair to reach a stack of books on a high shelf. But for me, this almost always is about sewing something. With no time. And not enough materials. Like, for example, a new top for Easter. A new maternity top, to be exact. For which I do not have a pattern. I would have to alter a pattern. And we are leaving town in 5 days, which wouldn't normally be a problem, except that I have a toddler and a fetus, so my life isn't really my own right now. And I am eating jelly bellies, which isn't exactly related but still falls into the "I shouldn't be doing this but I am anyway because really, what does that little head in my voice know anyway?????" category.

I do, in fact, own two possible fabric combinations for this top I shouldn't make. Both have been pre-washed. I own the pattern, and have made it before with huge success, so I know the tricks. BUT I would have to alter it to fit Bridget, who is really and truly quite sticky-outy right now. And it is a halter, which may not be suited to my unruly bosom right now, and would certainly be impractical for nursing.... or would it? Might it not be the PERFECT top for nursing? See how I can convince myself? All of Owen's easter shopping is complete. All I have to do is stick the stuff in a basket and be done with it. I am not making him an outfit- I have purchased it instead.

I may have quite a bit on my plate, with all the easter goodies I am planning on preparing, and I shouldn't trash the house because I have a) possibly two book clubs to attend next week and b) possible GFSS next weekend as well.

Plus Craig asked when I was going to do laundry next, like I haven't done enough already this week. Actually, I know laundry is an on-going chore. I am just TIRED of putting it away. And if I am too tired to put a few dozen loads of laundry away, then I am too tired to sew, right?

Let's hope so. I'm going to watch "My So-Called Life" and eat more easter candy. Suck it, world.