Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year! 2008 was quite a year!

2008 was filled with pregnancy and a brand new daughter! Really, that pretty well sums up the entire year. A few other highlights were: Lexie got her driver's license, Grandma Gracie turned 100, Katie started working as a Bridal Consultant, and Gracie was the most dramatic two-year-old we've ever had. Toss in school for everyone, and that was our year.

2009 looks like it'll be jam packed and filled with fun! We'll have two graduations, mine from college and Lexie from high school. The kids will all have birthdays and those are always fun. We'll take our annual long drive halfway across the country to see family and friends. And we'll just be busy being us.

I'm sure 2009 will have me running more mom-marathons. In the house. I think I put a lot of miles on without ever going anywhere. Sometimes I do get out, and drive all over the place never really going anywhere or getting anything done. I hope Lexie gets a car of her own in 2009 so I can quit driving the mom-taxi so much. She really keeps me running! I'm really hoping both little ones start sleeping through the night this year. I'd love to end the night time marathons! Oh, what I'd give for a good long night's sleep! 2009, bring it on!

I'm sure it'll be a really fun year because Libby will have so many firsts. Like today, she had her first vaccinations. Not fun. But the other firsts are fun and I'm looking forward to them all!

Happy 2009 to you all!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Meeting the Parents

What's the easiest way to do dinner for 7 (and a half) people? Eat out! Oh, but it wasn't so simple. We went out for the most complicated dinner ever.

The purpose of eating out was to meet Andrew's parents. Andrew is the boyfriend of our oldest daughter. Katie and Andrew really wanted us all to meet and have dinner together. They've been dating for more than a year and he is headed off to Navy Boot Camp in a week.

Getting all of us parents together was a complicated mess. His parents work and his dad is often out of town on business. I'm sure they have their personal obligations also. My husband works, and has an evening job too. Otherwise we don't really have a lot of things going on, except holiday parties and things like that lately.

For the past month, Katie and Andrew have been trying to find an evening that would work for them (they work too!), his parents and us. Finally, found one! Last Sunday. Lexie could stay home with Gracie and we'd take Libby along. She's portable. No problem...

Then we all got sick with a terrible cold. And Katie and Andrew both got called in to their jobs to work that day, so that didn't work at all. Which brings us to last night, ok, sounds fine.

But, Lexie had to work. Well, if Lexie works that means I don't have a babysitter for Gracie. I called two girls, neither one could sit for Gracie. Lexie working also brings up another problem: getting her home. She has a driver's license but doesn't have a car. So, I am her taxi. Her shift was 4 - 9, which means she starts at 4 and ends sometime between 4 & 9.

So if I find a sitter for Gracie and we go out to dinner, she'll call and need a ride home and I'll have to leave the restaurant, go pick up Lexie, drive her home (20 mins if there is no traffic), drive back to the restaurant (another 20 mins at least). Wouldn't that be polite to sit down to dinner, order a meal and then leave for nearly an hour? And pay a sitter for that?

I decided since I couldn't be at the restaurant, driving the mom-taxi and staying home with Gracie all at the same time - forget it! This is just too complicated!

I told Katie the bad news, we can't go. Lets try lunch tomorrow or something else. Poor kid acted like the sun would never come out again. She was so upset! Hmmm.... apparently this dinner is awfully important. After all, she said it was more important than anything ever. Ok, then. I'll continue to work on organizing things so that we can go.

Off to work she went. Upset and on the verge of tears cuz once again I am ruining her life. Sigh. Now I have one kid upset, one needs a ride, one too loud, and one needing to nurse - in public or not. Deep sigh.

ok... lemme think. If Gracie comes with us, she'll be loud and bored and fidget and distracting and cute. Well, cute works. She can just come with us and that solves that problem. The whole world is her playground, I'm sure she'll have fun driving us all nuts.

Now, how to get Lexie home from work. Wait a minute... who says she has to go home? She can just call us when she gets done working, and one of us will leave the dinner table, pick her up and bring her back to the restaurant turning a 45 - 60 min absence into a 15 min absence. She can sit in the restaurant wearing her Shakeys Pizza uniform, that's ok with me. Not ideal, but it'll have to do.

I'll bring a bottle for Libby. Lets hope she takes it.

My husband then had an idea. Lets cash in a favor with the neighbors. They owe us since we babysit their dog a lot, most recently, he was in our house for 9 hours being a big baby. So I called them and asked if they could watch Gracie while went out to dinner. Well, they were going out of town to pick up their son who lives with them every other weekend. Darn. Then they decided they could leave their 18 yr old daughter home and she could watch Gracie. Yippee! Its good to have your neighbors owe you favors!

Now, we have things arranged as best we can, let's go do this dinner! I'd been working on arranging the evening all day long! (not to mention trying to figure it out the day before too). Now it was 3:00 and time to get ready to leave to take Lexie to work, I have to leave by 3:30 to get her there on time at 4. We made it, I got everyone fed, diapered, and nagged at and out the door we went at 3:30. After I got Lexie to work, I decided to drop by Katie's work and tell her everything is arranged and we're good to go. Because she was still all upset that we couldn't go.

Wow, she was busy at work! She is a bridal consultant and she was working with brides. Apparently, it's been very busy since a lot of grooms proposed to their brides on Christmas Day. And the Valentines Day Brides are getting anxious too. Katie was super happy to hear that I got things organized for dinner.

She said meet up at On The Border at 6:30. Yikes, that's in 2 hrs! I still needed a shower and find something to wear, yikes!

Thank goodness for the baby swing. I got so much done with Libby napping in her swing. I managed to get a shower and find something to squeeze my post-holiday flub into. It wasn't easy, but I managed to get everything sucked in, tucked in and zipped up. Whew!

Now that it was 6:30.... how about if we meet up with everyone at 7? Lexie called. She's done with work. It's 6:30! Well, that works I guess, we'll pick her up and go eat. She doesn't like the idea of going anywhere in her work clothes with her hair up, you know, her world revolves around her hair. She had a shirt in her purse and I grabbed some shoes for her so she wouldn't have to go in her ugly work shoes.

We finally get there, with Katie and Lexie and Libby and Gracie is next door... whew! We got out the door! It took me 10 hours to get out the door for dinner! I tell ya, that food better be good tonight! We arrive at OTB and guess what. The place is dark and the parking spaces out front are empty. It's closed. Out of Business. El Fin.

Another change of plans. We'll go to Johnny Carinos.

Finally! We're there! We're out to dinner! We met Andrew's parents! Woo hooo! Mission Accomplished! Everyone sat around one table and had a nice meal together (except Gracie and their 19 yr old daughter). We ate, we had nice conversation about nothing in particular, Libby charmed everyone (and refused to drink from her bottle), and then everyone turned down desert because we were all too full. That was it.

All that preparation and worry and juggling of everyone's schedules. The kids are happy that we finally all met each other, I guess that is what was so important. You'd think going out to dinner would be easy. Not one bit. It only sounds simple.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!




On the First Light of Christmas morn
Santa Clause gave to me.... Ahhhh....

12 pound turkey
11 kinds of candy
10 dollars from Grandma
9 new pairs of socks
8 candy canes
7 pounds gained
6 Stockings stuffed to the brim
5 Barbie Dolls
4 Happy Daughters
3 Boxes from Overstock
2 Bass Guitars
and an Ipod Touch


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Shopping while Lactating

Keith took Gracie shopping and I took Libby. I went to Kohls, which was packed solid. Of course, as soon as we got there Libby decided it was lunchtime. There isn't really a place to sit down in Kohls, so I went to the dressing rooms. Bingo! An open dressing room and it was a handicapped stall! So much better than the regular stall with just a triangle to perch on. I got all comfy on the bench and fed the baby.

It was kind of odd in there. As busy as the store was, there wasn't anyone in the dressing rooms. After a while the lights went out. They are those motion lights I guess. Since I was sitting still they went out. I had to wait till Libby was done to move enough to activate the lights again. When I finished feeding her, I put her back in her stroller, got my self put back together and strolled back into the store.

That's when I realized it. I had been in the Mens' Dressing Rooms! Whoops!

After toodling through some more stores, Libby exploded in her diaper and had her gourmet mustard poop down to her knees and up her back. Lovely.

I called Keith and told him to get some bigger diapers, any kind, just bigger!

So, I strolled her back to the van and changed her there, then of course she was hungry. So I bagged up her butt bomb, and scooped her up and got in the drivers seat with her. I was moving the seat back and getting comfy when I noticed this woman giving me the stink-eye.

She was really giving me the glare too. Can't believe laser beams didn't shoot out of her eyes and bore my skull. But, I'm sure she only had my baby's best interest at heart. I bet it looked like I was gonna drive away with my baby in my lap. But I'd never do that!

I have my 3rd row folded down for strollers and shopping, and the middle row is all carseats, so I got in the front seat. I do prefer the middle row for nursing, not that it makes any difference in a parked car.

So I smiled at her and flipped the blanket over my shoulder, then I looked down at Libby and got her latched and all that. I looked up and saw that evil-eyed woman turn and walk away, but she glanced back a couple of times. I wonder how many more times she looked at me sitting there, cuz I sat there for a good 20 minutes before I put Libby back in her carseat, strapped her down and drove away.

Breastfeeding while shopping isn't easy. Roll Eyes

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Blog is Loved! And I love yours too!

Yippee! I woke up this morning to a blog award! I got it from my blog-buddy, Kate. IHeart your blog too! My favorite post is one of you with a photo of your classroom and your head is between your elbows as you hide behind your desk. My dream job (paying job), teaching high school English, and there is Kate showing me what 30 teenagers at a time can do to a girl. Made me laugh and ponder at the same time.

To accept this award, and to pass it on to 5 others, I must answer a list of questions with one word responses. I'm not a one word person, so this may be difficult for me but I'll give it a whirl. Here goes:

1. Where is your cell phone? Couch
2. Where is your significant other? Bed
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Wyoming
5. Your father? Gone
6. Your favorite thing? Daughters
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your dream/goal? degree
9. The room you're in? Living
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Falling
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Here
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you're not? Quiet
15. One of your wish list items? Book
16. Where you grew up? No
17. The last thing you did? Breastfed
18. What are you wearing? Jammies
19. Your T.V.? off
20. Your pet? Dog
21. Your computer? Lappy
22. Your mood? Christmassy
23. Missing someone? Sisters
24. Your car? Minivan
25. Something you're not wearing? socks
26. Favorite store? Sams
27. Your Summer? Hot
28. Love someone? Yes
29. Your favorite color? Red
30. When is the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Thursday

I love a lot of blogs, but I'm passing this award and the list of questions on to the following:

Patty - my toothless sister, hope you are feeling better and better every day!
Bonnie - my funny crazy sister, btw, I told mom you got a tattoo (oops)
Shelley - her last post made me snort hot chocolate out my nose
Laurel - because your stupid faces are pretty cute!
Alicia - because Hannah got a bell from Santa's sleigh!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The First Haircuts - Both of them

Two First Haircuts in Two Days.

First Haircut #1:
By Stylist Yazmine, age 5, behind the babysitter's back:

First Haircut #2:
By A trained professional at Sharkey's Kids Cuts in a Barbie jeep:



2008 is going down as the worst hair year ever! I'm still waiting for mine to grow out enough to even it out after my disaster cut. Gracie has a few chunks that need to grow out, but they blend in pretty well and the new do looks pretty cute! This should solve at least 3/4 of that pillow problem she has, and make mornings a little easier with the battle of the hairbrush.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where is Al Gore?

Where is that guy and his global warming when you need him? I'm freezing! I had to scrape ice off of my windshield this morning! Ice! My Blockbuster Video membership card finally was useful to me.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We've discovered Santa Claus

Princess Gracie discovered Santa Claus. She has no memory of him from last year it seems. That's good, since she didn't care for him a year ago.

She's been learning about Santa and about presents. She's catching on pretty fast too. She told me today "Santa bring presents. My presents. Presents for Gwacie" Grin.

I asked my usual question, "What do you want in the presents?"

Gracie said "Chocolate!" Big grin.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What do you want?

For the last 20 yrs or so, I've asked the endless question "What do you want?". I ask continually because I am the Mom.

I've been asking ever since I first found myself talking to my pregnant belly. Do you want to be a girl or a boy? Do you want chocolate or steamed veggies? And I haven't stopped asking that same question. I ask "What do you want" when they cry, when I get that teenager eyeroll, when they look bored, sad, sick or excited. I ask when they don't even look like they want anything at all. I just ask.

I don't ask out loud. Can you imagine hearing me say that four thousand times a day? It's just my mental state of mind. Motherhood is endless servitude.

Before I was a mom, I didn't ask "What do you want?" except when I was talking to myself! Now, I have a hard time answering that question for myself. I think that's why I've had such a hard time with college.

Going back to college is for me. But the mom in me feels the need to make everything I do a response to "What do you want?" and so I find it difficult to study, go to class when my kiddo has a headache or cries when I drop her off at the sitter, or forgot her lunch money for school. Feels strange to do something for myself.

Libby and I were having some playtime the other day. And I looked at her and said "What do you want?" She smiled and cooed. I wonder what she wants out of life. She is two months old now. I wonder what her aspirations are? I wonder what I can do to make her the person she wants to be? I wonder what she wants.

Gracie is easier to figure out. She jumps around in front of the tv and says "I want that! I want that! I want that!" My turn to give the eyeroll.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Libby's Last Day of College

Today was my last class for this semester. The only thing left is the final exam. Libby was excused from the exam so she won't be tagging along when I go take that on Tuesday.

Libby started college at 3 weeks old. Now that she's 9 weeks old, she finished! Her education is off to a great start. She listened to the lectures, watched a film, and participated in class discussions. She not only filled her brain with knowledge, she filled her diapers in class too!

Ever heard of the "Freshman Fifteen"? Libby didn't miss out on that experience either. She is now 15 pounds! That six weeks of academia filled her out like a whole year of beer and pizza to a first year dorm resident.

Today the professor told her that she gets an A!

Now, if mommy can just pull a C or better.... that'd be great.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I didn't Sproing

Know what my problem is? I didn't "sproing".

I was talking to my mother on the phone this weekend and after telling her how I felt, she said "You didn't Sproing".

I was explaining to her that I am not healed up yet from delivering Libby. My doctor said I have a birth injury "Pelvic Symphysis Separation" aka PSS. This lovely condition causes pain and discomfort when doing one-legged weight bearing activities, such as walking, lifting, carrying anything heavy, going up and down stairs, getting in and out of the car, shaving my legs in the shower, etc. Good thing I just have a mild case of PSS and I should heal up well, it'll just take some time. Luckily, I'm not gimping around or using a walker or anything. In fact, I don't take tylenol for it. I just put up with the aching. Taking tylenol masks it and then I don't know when to stop and sit a spell.

Guess what I did this past week? Yup! Everything! I decided to take tylenol. I ate it like candy.

With my surprise visitors, the holiday meal, and all the fun things going on, I over extended myself. But I had so much fun! I drove to San Diego and back three times in four days. Stayed up too late every night and didn't get enough rest. Got up and down a lot doing things around the house, carried in groceries, stood too long in the kitchen, went up and down the stairs a hundred times, just the normal stuff. On top of staying on top of it all....

We went to the zoo, the beach, an aircraft carrier museum, and went shopping! In two days!

That's when I told my mother that her other daughter wore me out! I was aching and swallowing more tylenol. She reminded me that I'm older. I denied it. She knows better though. I promised that I am resting now, even though I should clean my house. I had to describe this PSS thing. I told her "You know how when the baby comes through the pelvis, your pelvic bone expands a bit because there is that crease in the front that is held together with a ligament... and then after the baby is born it sproings back together"

She said "You didn't sproing". She's right. I didn't sproing.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Survival of the Fittest - at the Zoo

We spent the afternoon at the San Diego Zoo. It was great! One exhibit had some out of the ordinary excitement.

In the otter exhibit, Mother Nature paid a visit and reminded the crowd who is the boss. The otters share an exhibit with some little monkeys, I dunno what kind, crazy monkeys are all the same to me. Otters were in the water, monkeys in the trees. They are all just as adorable as can be.

A baby monkey fell from the tree and landed in amongst the otters. Two otters grabbed the cute little feller and tried to drown him. They were really going to kill that poor little baby monkey. Swayed by the cute little monkey's cries for help, a zoo visitor climbs over the railing and the glass half-wall and leaps in the otter water to save the baby monkey! This guy must think he's superman. The zoo officials have a different opinion.

So now there is a man in the water in the exhibit; baby monkey was rescued! Now the loud flailing man is suddenly confronted with a new situation.... oh yeah.... the monkeys are angry. They attacked him! The guy couldn't get out either.

Zookeepers start showing up. Tons of them. All of them with walkie-talkies and stern expressions. The crowd grew and people glued themselves to the railing. All eyes were on Psuedo-Superman, the otters, baby monkey and now the monkey grown ups.

I wonder if the baby was being a brat and the big monkeys pushed him in? Either way, the monkeys sure didn't like the rail jumper. Zookeepers rescued the man and took the baby monkey out too. Little monkey was hurt, not sure if the guy was hurt or not. I don't think the zoo keepers cared if he had any aches and pains.

We didn't get any pictures of the event of the day, we arrived just as the scuffle between man and beast ended and we were on the fringe of the crowd. I betcha it'll be on you tube tomorrow. There were a lot of cameras snapping away and camcorders recording these wild animals acting so... wild.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How big is your turkey?

I got a phone call yesterday. My little sis who lives in the frigid cold tundra was calling. She said "Do you want visitors?"

My jaw dropped. I squealed with excitement a big loud "YES!"

She said "ok, I'm booking this flight, see you tomorrow." Yippeee! She is bringing her two boys but leaving her husband home. He has to work.

Our turkey is big enough for three more to sit around our table for Thanksgiving dinner.

This is going to be fun having her here for a couple of days. We've lived her for over 5 years and she hasn't been out to visit yet. She keeps telling me she'll visit in 2010 or 2012. Maybe. I've never held out much hope that she'd ever come out to the coast, especially with her family. I figured the only way I was going to get her out here was if her employer sent her to a conference in San Diego. Fat chance for that!

That sort of explains why I'm in shock and awe over this spontaneous visit! We are all very excited that she is getting on a plane with her sons and heading west for turkey dinner! She claims she is just craving my husband's awesome turkey, stuffing and gravy. But I know the truth, she wants to meet the new baby!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A New Look

As you can see, I updated the look of my blog! I like it! I updated the photos of the girls too.

I got the template by googling "free blog templates" and I went from there. It wasn't hard to put in because it had instructions, and I figured if I screwed it up I would just email Alicia in a panic and she would fix it for me.

The template didn't include my stuff from my sidebar except for the "about me" and the blog archive. So, I lost my blog roll and the princesses all had to be re-added. I know I am missing a few on my new blog roll, but if I'm stalking you I'll add you back as soon as I remember. If I don't have you on my list though, let me know. I don't want to miss any of my favorite bloggers!

I have to find a newer photo of me where I'm not looking like a dork. Once I find one, I'll update my photo too. The photo I put on of my husband is his school picture. He is a teacher, so that is what will go in this year's yearbook for his school. That's what he looks like though. Really and truly! He rides his motorcycle to school most days and that is what he looks like when he gets to class in the morning. Apparently, that's when they took school pictures.

Hope you like the new look.

Friday, November 21, 2008

She Pooped in the Potty!

She did it! She did it! She pooped in her potty chair!!!

The entire family looked at her turd as she proudly pointed to the little log in the potty chair. We were all proud! Hugs and kisses and cheers and aplause! Even the dog looked in the potty for a gander at this great accomplishment!

And then it happened. In the midst of our celebration....

The dog ate the poop.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Weird Tuesday

Yesterday was so bizarre. As if the earthquakes on Monday weren't enough, Tuesday came along.

When I dropped Gracie off at the babysitter, I said "Bye, Gracie, I love you!" Her response: "Te quiero, mama!" Then she looks at the other little girl and says "Venga!" and off they ran. Weird, my daughter suddenly speaks Spanish.

Lexie gets out of school at noon, and I often forget to pick her up. Noon just rolls around too fast! Because of that, she usually calls me to see if I'm on my way or if she has to sit on the curb in the blazing hot sun waiting for me. Yesterday, I remembered! And this is what happened:

I was driving along, I'm 3 blocks from the school coming up to the stop sign on the corner with the big giant bushes, so you kind of have to sneak up past the stop sign to see around the corner. That's where my phone rang, it's Lexie. Like a dummy, I pick up my phone and say "Hello, yup I am on my way, almost there, ok bye" And that's when I stopped for the stop sign. And I look around the big giant bush and there he was... motorcycle cop.

He flipped on his lights at pointed at me. I couldn't believe it! I got a ticket for talking on my cell phone while driving! Arg! And the dumb part is that my bluetooth was right there in my cupholder and I didn't use it!

Later in the afternoon when I arrived at the university parking lot, I pulled up to the parking pass machine to let it rob me again and give me my dashboard ticket so I can park for a couple of hours. Stupid machine wouldn't work! I drove over to the other machine on the other side of the parking lot. It wasn't working either! But, there was the parking lot cop writing out tickets, bet she was busy!

I'll be danged if I am getting two tickets in one day! So I got her attention and yelled to her to come over to me. I explained that neither machine was working and I need to park, she said she didn't do that, she couldn't help me, it wasn't her job, yadda yadda. I asked her to write me a guest pass for the day. Oh no, she can't do that, again, not her job and all that jazz, she'd have to call a police officer and ... Ok! I"ll wait! Call the officer!

He finally shows up and checks out the machine, it doesn't work. I ask for a guest pass, he actually has a handful of them. Good boy, he came prepared. I got one and avoided a $50 ticket! And a couple of other people who came up to the machine after I did got free parking passes too. Including the lady who was red faced and crying cuz she already got a ticket.

While waiting for class to begin, another scholar/student comes up to me and starts chatting away. She was jabbering on and on about something rather lame, and then the unthinkable happened. She must have had an itch. She just plunged a hand into her pants. Right there in front of me! And she kept right on talking! Another bizarre moment in my day.

On my way home from class, I noticed at least 6 people driving with cell phones up to their face.

Got home and I was so full of milk I thought I was going to explode! I sat down with my pump and unhooked one cup of my bra, and ewwwww! A spider! A little creepy crawly spider! In my bra! The bra I am wearing!!! Yes, there was a bit of screaming and I did a little spider in my bra dance which consisted of some jerking movements, possibly some jumping around, I'm sure it wasn't graceful by any stretch of the imagination.

As my day in bizzaro-world winds down, I was relaxing in front of the tv with the littles. I watched Biggest Loser and Libby played under her ADHD invoking canopy of bright colored toys and Gracie read books to her Barbies. Ahhhh.... But no relaxing, because on the Biggest Loser, Amy voted for Coleen! What! How! What on earth is happening! No Way! Why didn't she vote Vicky off! I am deeply disturbed.

I'm so glad its Wednesday now. It's a new day! Fresh start! Yesterday was just too strange.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Earthquake!

We had three earthquakes today so far! And it isn't even noon yet!

2am .... Thump! I jolted out of bed - Gracie fell out of bed. False alarm, not an earthquake. Except for Gracie of course! She wanted to stay in her pink room (she always calls it her pink room, apparently loving my paint job!). So she curled up half in and half out of her Barbie Dream House and spent the rest of the night on the floor like that.

4:36 am.... I was just getting Libby back to sleep, we were rocking in the glider and the whole house shook and groaned! Now that was an earthquake! I hate the sounds the house makes, it sounds like it is gonna fall in on ya. My husband rolled over and kept snoring. My dog lifted her sleepy head and plopped back down again. I kept rocking the baby waiting for an aftershock, but when 5am came around I decided to relax and go back to bed. I can't believe that didn't wake anyone up, geez, I was yelling "Earthquake!". It was a 4.1!

9:41 am... Everyone is at school except me and the littles. We were all cuddling in the lazy boy watching Dora La Exploradora, waiting for the eggs to hard boil (it turns out that Gracie doesn't like hard boiled eggs today, she wanted scrambled) and it happened again. The groaning and creeking, and the entire house shook! Again, I announce "Earthquake!" and so does Gracie. Apparently I think I am the town crier. It was a 3.8.

9:46 am.... Little bitty aftershock. Jiggle Jiggle. Only a 1.2.

These earthquakes were all from the same epicenter, about 15 miles from my wibbly wobbly house. I think we'll have milkshakes this afternoon, just to keep with the theme of the day.

The USGS site is here, Click and see where the earth shakes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mom vs. Pack n Play

Mom Wins!

I put together the Pack n Play. Pack n Play is the new term for playpen. Playpens are smaller than they used to be, and the sides don't fold down. But, they fold up into a compact little cube for easy traveling. Great, but who travels?

I bought one before Princess Gracie was born and I struggled to put the thing together. The instructions said it takes approximately ten minutes. I think it took me about an hour then, and it took me about an hour again this time. Seems like you should just unfold it and there it is, just like the old days. Not anymore, now you need a playpen college degree.

When Gracie was finished using it, I gave the thing to my cousin who adopted a baby. She wanted one more so that she wouldn't have to fold hers up and put it back together when she went somewhere. I agreed that was a good idea! Recently, she gave it back to me for my new little princess. Funny, she gave it back in it's compact bag, plus another bag and a handful of metal rods. It's supposed to all fit back together in this little bitty bag, ha!

I unloaded the thing and had playpen parts all over my room. I totally forgot how complicated this thing was! Pieces of fabric, metal rods, screws, and the cardboard mattress and the big jumble of mesh and plastic that is the main structure. Ay, Ay, Ay!

Moments like these make me thank my lucky stars that my childhood included a lot of time with jigsaw puzzles.

I pushed, pulled, hooked, snapped, screwed, scratched my head, took things apart, put them back together, this goes where? there? no, maybe there... yup, that's it. An hour later... Ta Da! One playpen, complete! Mom Wins the battle of the Pack n Play assembly!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Irony and Porn

I watched a movie yesterday afternoon. It's an older one that everyone else has seen twenty times by now and I finally got around to catching it. I watched Mona Lisa Smile. I really enjoyed it. I love those feminist empowerment movies! Lets be more than subservient housewives! Girl Power!

When the movie was over I got up and did the dishes, cooked dinner, swept the floor, fed and diapered the baby. How ironic.

Late last night, I dove into a new book. Getting Mother's Body by Suzanne-Lori Parks. It is a relatively new book, just published five years ago. It's an assigned novel for my class that I'm taking. I opened it up to the first page of the first chapter and Whoa! This is pornography! Graphic description. My eyes stung.

I kept reading.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I am not a "Pro", People just think I am.

Apparently, having baby #4 bestows "Pro" status on a mommy. People say things to me like "you're a pro". That's nice that they think so, but really, I'm stumbling through this whole mom thing just like everyone else.

But, since so many people think I'm a "Pro" I do get a lot of questions. And, funny, I am able to answer most - you decide for yourself if I really know the answer or if I'm just winging it. Pros never tell when they are faking it. Here they are, questions people have asked me and my answers:

When will my baby sleep through the night?
When she wants to, hopefully before kindergarten. Babies weren't meant to sleep through the night, they are little. 8 hours to a baby is a very very long time! Babies need to eat and get a fresh diaper once in a while, even if it disrupts your sleep. Just get up and do it.

Does your husband get up with the baby at night?
*speechless, I'm totally speechless* ROFLMAO

Does your baby sleep through the night?
(more side splitting laughter on my part) No. Neither one of my babies sleeps through the night. One of my teenagers doesn't either.

Can I breastfeed my baby with my pierced nipples?

Ouch. Why do you think I would know this? I am not speaking from experience, but yes, you can nurse your baby. Just take out your jewelry.

Can I give my baby a bath?
Yes, after the umbilical stump falls off and the belly button heals you can use a tub of water instead of a spongebath.

What is a boppy?
it's a $40 horseshoe shaped pillow.

Oh, then what is a bumbo?
that's a $40 foam chair for babies who can't really sit up yet.

A bugaboo? Binky? Bob?
Stop it with the cute products starting with the letter B! And, that's a stroller, a pacifier and a jogging stroller. Roll Eyes

Are cloth diapers better than Pampers?
Not if I have to wash them! Ewwww. But, really, a lot of people use cloth and if you think they are better for your baby and you want to wash them, then don't let me stop ya. But, I'm not the least bit interested in having a bucket of poopy diapers soaking in a bucket in my tub.

How do you know if you wet your pants or if your water broke?
Again, why am I the pro on this? Do I look like I've wet my pants so much I can be called an expert? I assume that you'd just know. And if you don't, I'm sure the nurses at the hospital will tell you and then smirk behind your back.

Can I eat fish when I'm breastfeeding?
I dunno. I never eat fish. But I do love those little goldfish crackers. Yum!

Four kids? Wow, how do you do it?
Do what?

Where do they all sit in the car? Does your whole family fit?
They don't all sit in the car at the same time. One has her own car and one needs her own car. But I do drive a mini-van so we can all fit at the same time. Including the dog.

My baby has a fever. Should I take her to the ER?
No, just call the pediatrician's office and they'll tell you what to do.

Are your baby's eyes open yet?
Yes. She's not a kitten. Humans can open their eyes right after they are born!

What do you do with your baby when you go to school?
I take her with me.

Do your teenagers help all the time?
No. They help when I threaten to end their social lives.

Are you gonna try for a boy now?
No. Why would I want a boy now that my entire house is pink?

There are a few of the questions people have asked me. What are some of the crazy parenting questions people have asked you?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ugly Mailbox leads to Identity Theft

Have I ever told you how ugly my mailbox is? It's so homely that it's kind of cute!

My neighbors and I share a mailbox post and all our mailboxes are nailed to the post. The post sits in front of the house next door. All of our mailboxes are big ugly black rural boxes like you'd see on the highway for the farm up the lane. Not aesthetically pleasing but it does the job just fine.

One day, when I was still pregnant so this was at least a month ago, I went next door to get my mail and 3 of the neighbors were gathered at the mailboxes. I made the 4th, so we were only missing one neighbor for a complete mailbox pow-wow. One of my neighbors, lets call her Bea... I don't know her real name and she acts like she always has a bee in her bonnet, so I refer to her in my mind as Bea. Anway, Bea says to the group that she wants a new mailbox for our group of houses.

Bea is spouting her campaign for a new mailbox and everyone is quietly nodding along. She says we need a locking mailbox, one that looks nice and she will head up the purchase of it. She already spoke with the post office and she's been searching for a mailbox online for us to buy. Blah blah blah.... it'll only cost $200.

Whoa, wait a minute. $200 for a mailbox that we don't need? I piped up and asked for some clarification. $200 total? No, $200 each. Ohhhh, so its a $1000 mailbox! On the spot I voted no thanks to that.

But it locks.

So? I don't need my junk mail locked up.

Identity Theft is a big problem these days. You should consider that. If your mail isn't in a locked box someone could steal it and take your identity.

Anyone can do that anyway.

*Gasp* Its very dangerous to just leave your personal information out for the identity thieves! We need locking mailboxes to protect ourselves in this day and age!

How does a locking mailbox protect us if our mail carrier consistently puts the wrong mail in the wrong boxes. How did we all meet? Right here at the mailboxes trading mail.

This mailbox would look nice.

Ah, I don't care.

But! Um! Well!

(other two neighbors are awfully quiet)

You know, if you want to protect yourself from identity theft with a locking mailbox that looks nice, you could get a PO box and pick up your mail at the post office where it is safe and secure. Problem solved. You go there a lot anyway, so it would be convenient too. (she goes there to complain quite often) Or, you could buy the mailbox you want for all of us as a generous contribution to the neighborhood. I'm not saying I won't use it, but I am saying I won't pay for it.

Jim finally pipes up and says, "Maybe we could each get a mailbox in front of our own houses".

Bea likes this idea, she's going to the post office to see if they'll make 5 stops instead of one. Ok, gooooooooood luck with that.

Bea leaves and goes home with her handful of Capitol One credit card offers and Bath and Body works coupons addressed to Resident. I take my mail addressed to some guy who doesn't live here, Resident, and Postal Customer. Identity thieves, take that!

It has been a month or two since our mailbox pow-wow and I haven't seen Bea again. I think she still lives there. Three of my four neighbors (Bea is the 4th) thanked me for declining the grand mailbox (literally, a grand). Saved them from going in on it just so they wouldn't be the bad neighbor. You are most welcome, I'm happy to be the bad neighbor. We're all still getting our penny savers, credit card offers, pest control bill for the house down the street, flyers for the new chiropractor in town, and guitar center coupons in our ugly unlocked mailboxes.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Where did October go?


Whaaaa....??? October is over? Already? You are kidding me! That was fast!

That must mean today is Halloween. Hmm. We aren't doing much for halloween. Gracie is kind of weirded out by the scary decorations, especially the spiders. She likes the scarecrows and the ghosts, but everything else she could do without. So, I think I will have her stay home tonight instead of taking her out and about where she will see people dressed in scary costumes. That might send her over the edge. I got her a Cinderella dress and she can play dress up and help Daddy give out candy at the door. Libby has a pumpkin outfit that she can wear for the day. The teens have their own plans, which better not include defacing political campaign signs! Or I'm going to drop them both off as abandoned children in Nebraska!

That's my newest "behave or else" threat. I'll take you to Nebraska and leave you there! Nebraska has a new law that is a dream for parents of unruley teens everywhere. You can abandon your children (up to age 18) with no questions asked and no penalty. Just drop them off at any hospital, too easy! Now it's be a good teen or we're headed to Nebraska!

Today is also my husband's birthday. I didn't get him anything. Not even a card. It's not that I forgot, I'm just tapped out of ideas and time to shop and things like that. And now, here it is. Whoops.

I guess you could say that I've been busy lately. It's been 31 days since Libby was born. She is now 10 pounds 4 oz. That's up from her birth weight of 7lbs 4oz. A three pound gain! She's starting to get a double chin and chubby cheeks. My favorite! I love fat babies! I'm hoping she'll get really round like a little butterball.

When I took her for her 2 week checkup the doc said she had an umbilical hernia and her belly button wasn't healing nicely either. She got some silver nitrate for her belly button and now it looks so nice! Libby also has newborn congestion. So, she snores and snorts and sniffs and makes all kinds of nasal noises. Kind of scary at night when she's breathing through her congested little nose. She's been sleeping much better in a sitting up position. And, Libby's tear ducts were clogged and a little infected. Got some goop to stick in her eyes. She wasn't a big fan of that, but it helped in no time.

I stuck some of her gooop in my eye the other day. All day long I thought to myself, hmmm, feels like I have a black eye or something. Finally, I looked in the mirror. Ewww! I had a stye in my eye! I kind of pulled my eyelid down and pressed on it and it popped and drained. So nasty! Great, my first postpartum zit and it's in my eye!

I love not being pregnant! But my hair is losing its luster and my skin is losing its glow. Now I can welcome back zits too. Great. I'm thrilled. I'm doing pretty well with weight loss but I am really mushy and soft so you can't tell. I'm hiding my weight loss very well. I''m also still pretty sore, so I haven't been excercising more than the usual daily marathons that I run in the house. Maybe in November I'll go for a walk. Or December.

I started going back to college. Libby is going too. The girl needs an education! We started going back to class when she was 3 weeks. It's exhausting! I am behind in my class, but I am catching up and attending. I think that's pretty darn good for now. I'm hoping to be all caught up by Thanksgiving so I can end the semester in December with the rest of the class. Everyone at school loves Libby. So far, she's well behaved during the lectures. My professor is the best because she lets me bring the baby and she is allowing me to lag behind at my own pace. She's been very supportive! Next semester Libby is going to have to go to the babysitter with her big sister.

Speaking of Big Sister Gracie.... She sure has grown! Suddenly, she looks huge to me! She was my baby last month and now, she's so big! She is still working on potty training. She's not picking it up very quickly, but every now and again we have some success. Just enough to keep the hope alive! Someday she will stop wearing diapers! Someday! Hopefully before she becomes an unruley teenager or I will take her to Nebraska.

Gracie adores her "Baby Dister" She calls her "Yibby" and races to the couch holding out her hands yelling "Gacie's turn Gacie's turn!". Gracie loves holding, kissing, petting and talking to Yibby. She checks out her tiny little toes and fingers every day. Big Sister isn't a big helper though. I gave her a diaper to toss in the trash, and she took it to the biggest sister and told her to throw it away! Passing the buck. Dodging her chores.

I am still working on sending out birth announcements and thank you cards from Libby. Of course, I lost my list of mailing addresses. This has been a crazy month and losing my address list is par for the course.

I also dropped my laptop. That wasn't a peachy day. It's fixed now though and I'm back in action! That just means I can read blogs again. My "action" isn't as active as your imagination.

There has been some action though. A little excitement to break the monotony. There was the day I was driving, and I might add that I'm an awesome driver! Anyway, back to me driving... in my one year old never been scratched golden mini-van.... and, I hit a parked vehicle. Right in front of the high school. Ripped my back bumper right off! And scratched and creased my back rear panel. I totally misjudged.

That exciting incident got me some much needed rest. That's when my teens and my husband realized that I have been a zombie and my sleep deprivation was probably going to get them killed. It was certainly costing my husband a lot of dinero. He just fixed my laptop and now the van needs repairs. Oh, his poor aching credit card! I'm getting more sleep now. Funny how that worked out.

My husband is a pretty good guy. I'm not just saying that cuz its his birthday. He really is. He's working two jobs and he only got 3 days off when we had the baby. I begged and pleaded for him to take one more day off, so he called in sick and stayed home one more day. He's been doing more around the house and helping out with the kids more this month too. He is even taking Lexie to school in the mornings! Shocking, but true! She hasn't arrived to school on time once this month, but hey, she's arriving. Good enough for now.

And suddenly, October is gone. We had our 20th wedding anniversary this month, brought home a new baby, had my mom and my sister out here for a week, and "poof" October is over.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gravity vs. Laptop

In the recent battle between Gravity and sensitive electronics in my laptop... Gravity won.

There was an extra surge of gravity, the golden retriever who thinks she is a lap-dog wagged her big tail, all while I was juggling the new baby and the laptop in separate hands.... The laptop hit the floor with a thud. It was all over. The hard drive was damaged.

My husband the geek was able to salvage some important documents and photos and things, but I lost a ton of stuff. And had to wait a good long time, over a week, to get my new hard drive.

Good thing I had a brand new baby and lots of company to keep me distracted! Or I think I would have internet withdrawals. Remember the old days when we didn't get online at all? Wow, what did I do?

Now that I have a new hard drive.... I'm back online! Yippee!!! This is what you missed while my lappy was recovering from its drop to the floor:

We had such a good time when my mom and sister were here. Lots of company popped by, which was nice. And we had a few outings. Gracie was spoiled rotten and so was I. Libby didn't miss out on the spoiling! My mom and sister totally cleaned my house and got me all caught up from my 9th month of pregnancy laziness. The place looked great!

Now that I'm on my own again, its building up. Mom, Patty, Come Back! I have a pink load of dirty laundry that needs you!

Being on my own with the little ones... oh, boy. What a challenge! My husband is back to work, my girls are back in school and its just me and the little girls lately. Doesn't sound like that big of a challenge, but it is. I haven't taken Lexie to school yet, her dad had to pick up the morning duty. She's been late every day this week so I think I'd better get back to my morning mom taxi services very soon!

Little Bitty Baby Princess poops like a big stink bomb! Just thought I'd share that with ya. I've been wiping it off of her neck, armpits, knees and everything in between. Several times a day. She usually likes to explode right when her big sister is having a meltdown over some silly toddler thing. Otherwise, it's been going great!

Sleep deprivation is taking a toll. I am having trouble remembering things, making decisions, remembering things, understanding stuff, etc. I'm getting about 4 or 5 hours of sleep per night and day, but its not in a row. Longest stretch of sleep I've had since Libby's birth was 3 hours. That only happened once, but I have had a few periods of sleep that lasted over 2 hrs. Mostly I get an hour or two here and there. Yawn.

As long as I feed, change, and keep her big sister from squishing her with hugs, I guess I'm doing ok. I know I'm feeding her fine because she gained over a pound already! As of today, she is 8 pounds and 9 oz. At three days old she had dropped a few ounces and was 6 lbs 15oz. So, she's made great progress in growing.

Changing her is no problem. Except that she is a very poopy girl. My husband got over 300 diapers from someone he works with. They were freebies from the hospital where this co-worker of his lives. The story behind the free diapers as I understand it is.... the hospital was throwing them out because the coupons on the packaging expired. Well, I'm not one to turn my nose up at diapers that are a wee bit too old! They are exactly the same thing that I buy in the store. Score!

Wait a minute, wasn't I just going to tell you about her 2 week checkup? Did I mention that sleep deprivation is getting to me? She's growing well, has clogged and maybe infected tear ducts, newborn congestion, an umbilical hernia, and her belly button wasn't healing nicely. So, she has a prescription ointment for her eyes, saline solution for her congestion, and she got silver nitrate for her belly button. What an appointment!

So, that's the update. Most of it. Just to recap.... Laptop lost its battle with gravity, baby is healthy and growing, Gracie is still a two year old and acting like one, all my company is gone. Now we are trying to find our new "normal". Lets hope it includes a little more sleep.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Birth Story! She's Here!

Elizabeth August "Libby" was born Sept 30, 2:46am. 7lbs 4oz, 19.5 inches.


I was having contractions since 2am on the 29th, but I knew they had to be 5 mins apart for an hour before going to the hospital. They were 15 mins apart by 2 in the afternoon and stronger. Still tolerable. By evening they were almost 5 mins apart but sometimes 3, sometimes 10... still not regular enough. Late night they were still pretty irregular, but averaging 5 mins and they were pretty painful. At 1am, my husband said "we're going now". Took me a while to get down the stairs and out the door, but I made it to the van in the driveway. I told the teens to come in the morning after taking Gracie to the babysitter, it would be a long long day ahead. I figured the teens didn't need to be there till they started the pitocin and I know that doesn't happen for hours.


Again, I think I am planning this birth. Ha!


By the time we were in the van backing out of the driveway it was 1:40 am. As we were backing out, my water broke. Ugh, I knew we should have taken his truck! Got to the ER at 1:45.


Admissions lost my file and made my husband fill everything out all over again. Contractions were strong and on top of each other and I was pouring water down my legs. So, paperwork had to be quick, but not necessarily correct. Plus, there was a little kid projectile vomiting in the waiting area too. Other people waiting got to be stuck in the middle of me screaming and that kid puking. I felt bad for them.


Got through the ER doors and whisked down to L&D in a wheelchair. They quickly got me in a gown and on the delivery bed and I was prepped all at once while having strong contrax. I was 7cm. The doc was called and it took her 15 mins to get there.


My husband called the teens and said "NOW!!!!" They hurried and got the toddler to the sitter and arrived in the delivery room at 2:45. Just in the nick of time!


I was being told not to push. I wasn't pushing. Breathing. Breathing. Fighting the urge because the doc wasn't there yet and even though I was at 10cm, the nurse said there was a lip of cervix in the way and she didn't want me to rip my cervix. No matter how hard I tried not to push, the baby shot right out! No pushing! She was born so fast that my husband missed seeing her arrive because he was looking at me and didn't turn his head fast enough. She was out, cried, and the doc walked in. Just missed it!


Delivery of the placenta did not go well. I'll be somewhat vague since the details are ugly. Stop reading if you don't want to know any more!


Still reading? ok.. the placenta refused to dislodge and the umbilical cord broke after the baby was delivered. The doc ordered the nurse to put nubaine in my iv since I hadn't had any pain meds and I was going to need it. Then she performed a procedure to deliver the placenta. I'll give you one detail to give you an idea... elbow deep.


I heard you wince. I told you not to read that!


Anyway, I only got 5 stitches and none internally. I am feeling wonderful. I have no idea how I could be, but I am. The baby is perfect and lovely. I am so lucky! I can't believe the delivery was so fast, but my whole family was there and my doc was there when I needed her. I knew I wanted my doc to deliver me and it turns out, the specialized care that I needed was something she was skilled at performing. Even at 3am.


Libby and I are home now. She's breastfeeding like a champ and her big sisters all adore her. You can see photos on the hospital site or on our family website.


Thank you all so much for the support and messages and posts and phone calls and emails and packages and everything!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Eviction Notice!

Little Miss Elizabeth August Schumacher aka Baby Libby, Tenant, is hereby notified that she has 5 DAYS in which she can either gather her belongings and promptly vacate the premises, or wait until the final day, FRIDAY OCTOBER 3RD, at which time she will be physically removed from the property. Miss Schumacher is being evicted due to breech of contract and destruction of property. Expansions only to the front of the house, within reasonable limits, were previously discussed by tenant and management. Not only have these limits been exceeded, but unapproved additions to the back of the house were also made. Remodeling and gutting of the home was never approved, nor was changing the initial layout and base structure. Due to property damage, there and now leaks in both the upper and lower levels of the home. Any further problems will result in immediate and forceful removal.

~THE MANAGEMENT AKA MOM!

Disclaimer: This eviction notice was discovered online and modified to fit - the original author is unknown, but suspected to be a file clerk at the county courthouse.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Grandma is Coming! Aunt Patty too!

My mother and my sister will be here in one week! Yippee! I'm so happy they are coming. We're all getting excited for their visit. All of us except the unborn child. She's still thinking she has all the time in the world.

My mom has lots of plans while she is here. She wants to go laptop shopping with my husband. Her plans are to spend an entire day dragging him along from one computer store to another looking for the perfect laptop. After she compares, decides and purchases one... she plans to have him set it up, transfer her files over from her old computer (which she is bringing along) and teach her how to use the new lappy. That could burn up another day.

Little does she know, but her new laptop is already purchased, it's here, and ready to go! Her son-in-law is one step ahead of her! Rather than have her freaking out for a week wondering what he got, is it what she wants, etc, we aren't going to tell her until she gets here. That way there are a lot fewer questions on her mind until she gets here.

She'd like to spend a day in San Diego. Visiting relatives. And probably having lunch and doing a bit of shopping. As well as dipping her toes in the sand and feeling the sea breeze.

Then, she wants to head to the northern edge of Los Angeles to visit my nephew. Of course, my sister will be going too, my nephew is her son. He's been married for a year now and they want to take him and his bride out for lunch and have a nice fun day with them while they are out this way.

My teens have plans to get in some quality girl time with their Gramma and Auntie. There goes another day! They want lunch and a mani/pedi session. Gramma doesn't know about this either. We're all pretty sure she will turn down a pedicure quicker than you can say "pedicure". We all think if it is thrust upon her, she will give in and do it, and she will enjoy it too!

So, I asked my mom.... "Will you be stopping in to see me while you are here?" She says it is quite possible! I am looking forward to seeing my mom and sister in passing while they are here visiting the area.... Actually, I did talk them into staying here at the house instead of a motel, so I will get to see them as they come and go.

I wonder how they'll feel about taking a lively toddler with them everywhere they go? hee hee hee

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Very Merry UnBirthday!

Baby Schu is Due! Today! But... she is just hanging out in the womb, chillin'. Kicking back and relaxing. Riding the amniotic fluid waves. Thinking she can vacation in my awesome womb for another week or so. Hey, when the getting is good....

Had my 40 week doctor appointment this morning. All is well. No cause for alarm. Had an ultrasound again to confirm this baby's position. She's got arms and legs all over the place! Wiggling and squirming and moving her butt from side to side. She's head down, but not perfectly lined up. Last night she was sideways, no question about it. She's not even dropped the slightest bit. Weird because she was at one point! But, she didn't like that, so she got up higher again. This baby does not like being in a headlock. She likes to rock and roll!

An eviction date has been set. My uterus is like a timeshare, and her time is up! I will check into the hospital the night before the eviction; on the morning of October 3rd they will do an external version if she is not in position, followed by an induction. If this induction fails, she will make her entrance into the world just as Julius Caesar did. Although I will have better drugs than his mommy did!

That's only another 8 days from now. Just enough time for her daddy to get better. He's the guy with a sinus infection. We don't want her first impression of her daddy to be "Eww, my dad is this guy with an endless supply green slimy snot, and he sounds horrible, and he's so pale!" Really, I'd rather be 40 weeks pregnant than have his sinuses right now. Poor guy. Lucky for the rest of us, he's working two jobs and sharing his icky germs with his co-workers instead of spreading his yuckness around the house. I feel sorry for him, but then again.... go, get out of the house, please!

All the princesses are doing well. The dog went to the vet, she's a bigger princess than she should be. Poor girl is getting fat. Just like mommy! (well, not "just" like mommy) Gracie had a drippy nose for a couple of days. She said her nose was crying. Nose tears, what a sweet way to describe a child's dripping snot. Potty training is not happening. She's had a little bit of success on the potty chair, but it also makes a nice hat. The teen princesses are anxiously waiting for their new little sis. They aren't excited about all the helping they have to do now, but they do it anyway. It's nice when I turn around and see that they did something without my nagging. Lexie has been busy teaching guitar lessons and tutoring some little boys whose parents pay her very well. Katie has been working long hours and singing in coffee shops every chance she gets. She has a big gig coming up in November, going to open for Tracks Like Trains! She's very excited cuz they are (almost) locally famous!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Baby's UnBirthday

A very merry unbirthday to you, little baby Schu!


After 12 hours in the hospital, a bag of pitocin, contraction, laboring, and monitoring.... our baby decided today was NOT her birthday after all! We were sent home still pregnant.

Guess today is her UnBirthday! Lets have cake!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Friday is Birth Day!


Everyone, you get to eat cake and ice cream on Friday Sept 19th!! That's the big Birth Day!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Stoller Fleet

Who has more strollers than a stroller store? I do! Hi!

I was once naive enough to think that one stroller was enough for a family. How could any mom possibly need more than one? Must be a spoiled mommy! I've come to rethink my stroller stinginess and decided there is nothing wrong with a mommy who owns a couple of strollers. Since then, I somehow acquired a fleet of six strollers. Yes, I said six. Half a dozen. And yet, I can only push one at a time. Funny how I can rationalize this. After all, there are occasions when one isn't right for the day but another is.

We have a full size for long trips and shopping and general daily use. It's a Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe. I love this stroller, it is by far my favorite!

Princess Gracie also has a jogger for the beach and long walks with the dog and going over the grass at the park. I don't actually jog. This one is comfy and fun. It's bright red too, just like Daddy's motorcycle.

And for vacation and quick trips, we have the Graco Ipo. It's a small umbrella style stroller, but not so small that it looks like a toy. We bought it for vacation since we drive halfway across the country and I really wanted to take my full size stroller, but really, it is full size and takes up a ton of trunk space. The Ipo is perfect for traveling!

Now with passenger #2 on the way, and passenger #1 still enjoying the luxury of riding in her baby limo's... I gave in to the idea of a double or a tandem stroller. I was resistant. I didn't want to own one of those monstrous things. Not at all. Nope. Not me.

I now own three. Innocent

I bought all of these two passenger strollers used. So, really, the savings are phenomenal, especailly the more I buy! Isn't that how it works? I gotta say, Craigslist rocks! I blame my whole stroller addiction problem on Craig. Whoever Craig is, it's all his fault that I now own more strollers than most daycare centers.

I first picked up a side by side. It's the Peg Perego Aria Twin. Retails for $329 and I stole it for $75. It's awesome, very light, nice ride, the whole shebang! This is the one I took to my babysitter for her to use. Princess Gracie and her buddy who is just beginning the toddler stage ride together in the Peg while they walk the 5 yr old to school. Then they ride again to go pick up the kindergartener. The babysitter has also taken them to the mall using this stroller. She's so in love with it and the girls love to ride side by side. They hold hands!

Then for us, I picked up a used Graco Duo Glider that seats one kid in front of the other like a train. It's very nice. But it isn't top of the line. Its close though.

I've had my eye on the newer Graco model. The Quattro Tour Duo. A step above the Duo Glider. It costs $250 new. I went and checked it out at Babies R Us and gave it a test spin a few weeks ago. Sweet!

Today, I found that very stroller on Craigslist! Like I said, Craig is totally to blame for the vast stroller collection that takes up more space in my garage than should ever be allowed. The seller wanted $95 for this stroller and hasn't had it for even a year yet. But, it lost a cup holder when it went through airport check-in and gained a few scuff marks. For a $155 savings, and no sales tax, I can totally deal with 3 cup holders instead of 4!

So that's how I ended up with half a dozen strollers and only one kid. So far, only one stroller riding kid. Soon, there will be two. No signs of passenger #2 coming anytime soon though. I thought Gracie would be done with stroller rides, but she really does enjoy the ride and she is contained which is the part I enjoy the most. She knows the single strollers are her rides; I don't want the baby to take over everything and give her more ammo for the jealousy issues she is sure to develop.

I am going to swap out the Duo Glider for the Quattro Duo. With Craig's help, I can sell the Duo Glider and keep the fleet to a manageable five strollers instead of six. I don't want to look like I have a problem, or like I'm a spoiled mom. That'd just be silly!

Oh, and Craig, I'm terribly sorry my husband curses your name. You know, I love you lots! Heart

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ready to Burst!

Well, I'm ready. Anyone else?

I'm done shopping; I can't even invent something in my mind to shop for. Stocked up on groceries, incidentals, diapers, wipes, paper plates and convenience items. Cleared the camera cards and charged the batteries. Packed my hospital bag. Washed everything. Set up the changing table. Installed the carseat. Really, I've run out of things to prepare!

Also, got my pedicure and had a prenatal massage. Ate pineapple. Had some spicy food. Drove over speed bumps trying to shake the kid out. So far.... I'm the only one who is ready I guess. There is a full moon on the 15th, I'll be out all night with my belly aimed at the moon, catching some full moon beams. Maybe that'll do it.

I'm ready to burst! But, still waiting.

While I'm waiting, I have been going to college. Ugh, why am I doing this? My class read one novel, I read 2 chapters. We have a paper due next week. I'm working on it. I don't fit in the student desk anymore. I moved over to the handicapped desk. It's a table and office chair off in the corner of the room. I have to park a mile away from my classroom. That is the hardest part about going, waddling from the parking lot. Quack. Quack. Just call me Jemimah Puddle Duck. I waddle just like her!

I hope my next post is a birth announcement!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Potty Party!

She did it!!! Little Miss Stubborn Pants peed in her potty chair!!!! crazy excited crazy excited crazy excited

She woke up this morning in a dry diaper and screaming for it OFF!!! She wanted Tinkerbell panties. Ugh. I'm so not in the mood for this crap today. After half an hour of kicking and screaming for her panties, I decided to give her a chance and I put panties on her. This is at 9am.

11am. She finally pees. On the couch!!!! Pulling My Hair Out!!!

She pitches another fit over the diaper. She wants tinkerbell panties. omg I'm not gonna make it through the day with this child.

Fine. Panties. Try again.

1pm.... she is standing in a little wet spot on the carpet in my room and she yells "Towel Towel! Mommy Towel!" Mommy says "Gracie RUN!!!" I grab her little hand and we run for the potty chair and I just sat her on it, panties and all.

Nothing.

Nothing.

Tinkle. Tinkle. Tinkle. Little look of surprise.


And YAY! She did it! She peed in her potty! We clapped and cheered and kissed and hugged and had a little celebration! Then I wiped off her legs and got those soaking wet panties off of her and let her put on Ariel panties. We dumped her pee in the big toilet and flushed and cheered some more. Went and got hugs and kisses from Daddy too.

Now I"m just waiting to see what she pees on next.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beach Ball Belly


I've been very busy following my beach ball belly around.

First day of College was good. I actually got a decent parking space. Didn't have to walk too terribly far. I stopped in a the parking services office and asked for a temporary disabled permit so I can get a close spot while I'm pg. They gave me a form to have the doctor sign, which I forgot to take to the doc and the permit is only good for 2 weeks. But, 2 weeks just might be enough, you never can tell.

I walked halfway across campus, cuz my classroom is in the building right in the middle not near any parking, ugh. And I saw people I know and got hugs as I walked. Nobody groped my belly, just hugs. (I hate belly gropers!) It was nice! A couple of people I saw didn't know I was pg. Yup! I am! I didn't see my buddy, Jenn, we usually have class together. My instructor scared a couple people out of the class when she explained the syllabus. 10 books, 2 huge-ass tests, and a 25 pg research paper. She said she was glad I was there, and I made an appt to go talk to her to set up when I take the midterm and get my paper topic approved and stuff. She is modifying the syllabus and due dates for me. Nice!

I took Gracie to her sitter. She hasn't been there for 3 weeks! She was thrilled to be there! And I mean thrilled! We got in the door and all three little girls were hugging each other - so cute!!! The sitter has 2 daughters: age 5 and age 18 mths. I took the sitter a carseat and a double stroller. Gave her the side by side Peg Perego stroller which she fell in love with immediately. The three girls played hard till I picked Gracie up at 5:00. The little ones rode in the stroller when they walked kindergarten (2.5 blocks away) and when they went to pick up too. The littles didn't want to get out of the stroller and they held hands while they rode along. Gracie was disappointed when I came to get her and ended her fun.

The sitter said that when she had to use the bathroom, The Littles wanted to follow her in, no big deal. That's fine. But Gracie said "spank!" So the sitter was worried that I spank Gracie for not going potty or something. I reassured her that I would never spank for potty training! I'm sure that would hinder more than help. And then I realized what Gracie said! Gracie must have said "Stink!" She says that if you toot. So I told her that Gracie says Stink, that's what we say at our house. And she said, ohhh, we say Caca. Ok, figured that out. Giggle! We are becoming bi-lingual: Toddler Talk as a second language!

When I got home Keith took me out to dinner. We went to Claim Jumper. Yum! I haven't used my oven all summer cuz the heat leaks out and it's fricking hot enough! So I ordered the Roasted Turkey Dinner and Keith had the Meatloaf Dinner. Yummy!!! I was so stuffed I wasn't sure if I could walk outa there! While I'm wondering if I'm too full to waddle, they bring me a birthday Mocha cheesecake. Super yummy! And huge! It was freaking amazing!!! It even had candles!

So I guess I'm another year older. Oh well, that won't happen again for 364 more days! Ha!

Then the best surprise - I read my sister's blog. She left a birthday message for me on her blog - wow, it is so nice! We're not mushy people, but we know what is in our hearts. Loved the post though and being all pregnant and sentimental, I was moved to tears. My normal ice cold heart of stone has totally turned to steamy mush!

Just to aliviate confusion, I wasn't all giddy and happy over her latest blog post about her memorable weekend, oh my goodness no! Scroll down to Aug 26.

In baby news... I had a doc appt yesterday and another ultrasound tomorrow. I know, I put in way too much time at the doc's office. I did put up a mini-protest about being monitored for an hour at a time, twice a week, for 12 weeks.... so I'm not at the doc as often as they'd like. But, honestly, I don't want to live there if it isn't necessary.

Anyway, Number Four is growing nicely. She's still head down, which is fabulous news! (she just flipped in the right direction not too long ago). I've gained a lot of weight between appointments this time, whooops, too much Claim Jumper maybe? Ah, it was worth it! And.. my doc will be on vacation the entire week I am due. So, some strange dude in scrubs will just waltz in the delivery room and announce "I am the Doctor" and catch the baby. I'm not thrilled at all about that. I'm leary of strange docs, you never know which one is the goober! I might as well give birth at Walmart, or in my college class, or at Claim Jumper.... I am really hoping to go overdue by a few days.

We are still house hunting. My husband didn't get that new job he applied for, which he decided was a blessing in disguise since we have plenty of other things going on. My girls started school and we are getting back into a routine.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!

Happy Birthday!
Yay, it's my birthday! Someone tell my mother because she thinks my birthday is tomorrow. All my life, it's been the 26th, then one year she changed her mind and decided it was the 27th. So, now I have two birthdays I guess. Giggle!

Actually, this year, I had an early birthday. My husband took me to see Wicked as my gift for turning another year older. It was great! Then I had another early birthday on Sunday because we were at the grocery store and it is not likely that we'd go today. So, we picked up a cake and my daughters found two books in the store that I've had on my wish list. Awesome! Tossed them in the cart with the cake! Score! We finished off the cake but I haven't cracked open my new books yet. Soon!

Today, I am blogging while watching Sesame Street. Then taking my toddler to the babysitter. Then it's off to my first day of college for this semester.

I have three classes left to graduate. Three! I'm taking one class this semester, and two next semester. I also have to finish an incomplete and petition for another class to transfer in. I hope I can jump through those hoops or I'll be taking 4 classes next semester. Yikes! I've been taking 4 classes per semester these past few semesters, but I have also been struggling to keep up with a full load. Now that I'll have four princesses, it'll be that much more of a race to the finish. If I can keep my attendance down to part time and still graduate, that would rock!

Luckily, I have a scholarship so I can afford to go part time. CSU offers two ways to pay: Part time or Full Time. Six credits and under is part time, seven or more is full time. So, if I take a one credit PE class or two 3 credit literature classes, the tuition is the same. Or if I take 7 credits it costs the same as taking 20 credits. This makes my one class pretty expensive! Thankfully my scholarship offsets the cost which really helps. I got the scholarship from the Shriner's Hospital for Crippled Children in Spokane. Nice, huh!

The class I'm taking is called Lit 450 Multicultural American Literature. There are ten books for this one class! Plus a 25 page research paper due at the end. No problem! I'll have plenty of time to study 10 books and spend time in the research library in between giving birth and potty training and getting my daughter ready to graduate from high school and my other ordinary mom things that I do. The books look pretty good though, and I've actually read six of them already. Hopefully, I can still squeeze in my birthday books!

My biggest worry about starting college today is parking. Parking is less than ideal at CSUSM. In fact, it just sucks. The college is built on the side of a steep hill. People jokingly refer to it as Stair-Master University, its a long long walk from the parking lot to the classroom, uphill. They did dig out a flat spot and made a parking lot at the top of the hill, I'll try my best to get a spot there. The walking distance to the classroom will be the same. I hope all that walking doesn't make the baby fall out.

My baby ticker croaked and I forgot how to reload it. Preggo Brain! I can't for the life of me figure it out. But, there are 30 days now till baby's due date. I'm huge and uncomfortable, but doing well. I have been having a very healthy pregnancy and the end is near! Or, the beginning... I'm really looking forward to baby's birthday!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Teddy

Our neighbors have a great big black dog named Teddy. Not sure what breed he is exactly, a mixure of retriever and collie and bear maybe? Or horse? Teddy loves us and thinks we are his second home. That privacy fence between our yards doesn't stop him from coming over for some loving.

Daily, or middle of the nightly, we hear Bang Bang Bang as Teddy gets on his hind feet and jumps against the back gate till he pops the latch open. Since the fence and gate are connected to the corner of my house (zero lot lines) and right under my bedroom, I never miss it when he comes over for a middle of the night romp in our lovely grass.

Teddy is neurotic. No, really, he's mental. He has issues! He's huge and looks scary, yet he trembles with fear if a stranger talks to him. He barks at the sprinklers and then runs back inside to cower in the corner. He loves balls. He really really loves balls! He's obsessed! If you throw a ball to him, he's overjoyed! He retrieves the ball puts it on the ground and hops on it just right so that it comes flying right back at ya. Show me another dog who can throw the ball back, I think that's pretty cool! Teddy also has issues with loud noises, rain, fireworks, full moon, etc. He gets so scared! Thats when it only takes on bang on the gate to come running over. Funny thing is, even if his family is home, he runs over here for comfort. Crazy Dog! Last time was when we had the earthquake and the neighbors were home! He was in our house under my husband's arm calming down from his trembling fright.

Wanna know what kinda presents he leaves for me in our yard? Naw.. I didn't think you did. Use your imagination. No, bigger! There ya go.

So, nearly every morning Teddy welcomes himself over to our yard, leaves a present and then comes panting at the patio door. Princess Gracie opens it and greets her buddy saying "Hi Teddy, Come in, Come in" He does. He is kind of hyper and neurotic, can't sit still to save his life! So he comes in, paces, walks in circles, wags his giant tail, licks the toddler, sniffs around for a ball, wants back out. Then they go outside and run through the grass, around the trees, laughing and giggling and tail wagging. Gracie and her dogs. Oh, yes, our dog joins in the fun.

Gracie is almost as tall as the dogs now. They still beat her about the head with their tails, but what they lack in grace, they make up for in sloppy tongue kisses. The three of them have the best time! They go to the other side of our yard where we have half privacy fence and half fence of bars. This is where they all three stick their faces through and say hello to Charlie.

Charlie hasn't figured out how to get out of his kennel or how to open the gate. I'm not teaching him either. He's a nice dog, but who needs a pack of dogs leaving gifts in the grass? Charlie is also a golden retriever, so it's a good group and they are great buddies for Gracie. When he is out, Charlie does the same whack wag his tail in the face maneuver that Sandy and Teddy do to the shortest princess.

Now, I could fill ya with Teddy stories since he's a big lovable clumsy neurotic oaf, but I'll just keep this brief (hahaha) and give you today's little story.

The usually fuzed to the tv teenage neighbor girl comes over, taps on our patio door. She's looking all worried and worked up. She says "I just found Gracie in our yard so I brought her back"

Me: ok
Neighbor Girl: She was screaming and laughing so she's ok, but I thought you didn't know where she was.
Me: I knew.
Neighbor Girl: Well....
Me: She's been back and forth all day with the dogs. Teddy keeps opening the gate and I keep taking him home and latching the gate and he just opens it again. I finally gave up and left it open
Neighbor Girl: He did that?
Me: Yes, he does it every day. He comes over every morning, poops out a log in my yard, and plays with Gracie, then he goes home and I shut the gate and we do it all over the next day.
Except today he kept coming over.
Neighbor Girl: oh
Me: Yeah, see his big giant pile of steaming poo right over there? At the bottom of her slide? That's his latest.
Neighbor Girl: I gotta go home now, I'll take Teddy and shut the gate.
Me: That'd be great.

The mere mention of dog poop sent that girl running home just as scared and neurotic as her dog. Guess I'll go out and scoop up that ten pound turd and fling it over the fence.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wicked Awesome Date!


Last night my husband and I had a wickedly awesome date! We went to see Wicked! It is being performed in Hollywood at the Pantages Theater until January. We've never seen a play, not a real play. We've seen the Missoula Children's Theater plays as they came through our town and starred our children, and we've seen Shakespeare in the Park plays... but a "real" play... we've been deprived.

It was so amazing! I can't even describe how wonderful it was. Beyond words! Everything about it was spectacular. The dialog, the special effects, the music and voices, the dancing, the costumes and sets, everything! The storyline veered from the book a bit, but it was mostly the same and had the same effect as far as telling the story from the Wicked Witch's point of view. I loved the book, so of course I totally loved the musical performance!!!

The actors were fantastic. One of my husband's dream girls was in the play: Jo Anne Worley. She played Madame Morrible. She must be in her 70s by now. She was a regular on Laugh In (remember that from the late 60s ~ early 70s?) He was thrilled to see her in action and we even saw her after the performance as she came out of the back of the theater. She was right there, up close and real! Hubby was thrilled!


My husband bought tickets for some great seats. They were $100 each, but wow we had great seats. Only people who had better seats were the season ticket holders. And I didn't want the very front row anyway, I'm sure I would get a crick in my neck being that close up. So, the seats were definitely the best! This date was my early birthday gift, and wow what a present!

The Pantages Theater in Hollywood is really beautiful inside. Can't say the same for the streets of Hollywood. It was pretty hot out. But, by the time we got there it was cooling off. Before we went inside the theater we went for a short walk on the stars. That was kind of fun. The "Walk of Fame" is pretty neat to see, but... We had to dodge tourists and freaks, otherwise it was a nice stroll. We looked in the shop windows at bongs and other interesting bizarre things, noted the Hollywood homeless, and it wasn't long before we were both feeling really creeped out.

Before we went to Hollywood we had dinner. It was 102 degrees then. Blech! But of course, we didn't eat dinner on the sidewalk or anything; we ate at On The Border. Yummy Mexican food! Had Tums for desert. I put them in my purse and ate them like popcorn in a movie theater. It was worth the deliciousness though.

In the theater, I had to use the Ladies' Room. I'm 34 weeks pregnant and my bladder is squished and takes a lot of kicks and jabs. So, the Ladies' Room was very important to visit at every given opportunity! My first trip was uneventful. I stood in a long line but it moved along well. There is one restroom in the whole theater for all those people! And it only had 8 stalls. yikes! Good thing there was an attendant in there keeping people moving right along.

Next trip to the Ladies' Room was during intermission. Since we had great seats near the front, that put me at the end of the mile long restroom line. An attendant came up to me and said "Come with me". Crap! I have to go! What'd I do now? Oh no!!! Naw... the attendant took me to a different restroom hidden down another hall and around a corner... the handicapped restroom. Awesome! only three people in line! Score! That was sweet!

The two old ladies with canes and the one young woman on crutches let me go right to the front of that little line. Wasn't that nice! They said "oh, you are pregnant, you better go first!" I gotta say, the people attending the play were some of the nicest I've met! My big belly got me a special pass to use the secret handicap restroom and a front of the line pass to that! Good Baby!!!


Speaking of the belly.... I had a hard time finding something to wear over this huge protuberance. Back in June, I went a little nuts shopping for our vacation and bought plenty of dresses to get me through the summer. Or... so I thought.

So I got out three dresses.... hmm... which one do I wanna wear? Little did I know that the decision wasn't mine to make.

I put on my all black dress, it has a velvet sash and it looks nice. I struggled, but I got it on! No way was I gonna get it zipped and I couldn't sit. After wrestling to get out of it, that dress was eliminated from my choices. Felt like Houdini trying to escape the impossible underwater chained up box, dang thing trapped me!

That's ok, I really kinda decided that I was gonna wear the yellow flowery dress anyway. I like that one, it swishes and sways and its a pretty happy color, sleeveless, very nice. Oh my stars, it's tight! How the helk do you outgrow maternity clothes!!! It's a maternity dress and it has a lot of flair so who would think a person could get too big for that. Even though I had more room in it than the black dress, it was just tight enough on the sides that it wasn't comfy. Rats! I used my newly discovered dress wrestling moves to get out of it and moved on to my last choice.

No, not the white dress. I outgrew it a couple of weeks ago. And no, not the plum colored dress cuz it was laying in a wad in the bottom of the dirty laundry basket.

Me and my belly faced that last dress...I put on the black and white. Size Large maternity. It's gotta fit! I prayed that I could sit, it would go over me smoothly, and I wouldn't have to resort to a crying fit. It went on nice, still flows over my belly, and omg, it felt great! Fabric feels good too! Whew!

How sad is that? I didn't get to choose what to wear, it came down to the process of elimination. And the belly had the only vote.

After all the dress wrestling, Ladies' Room visits and waddling over the stars in Hollywood, it was a fantastic date with my husband! We had a great time together in addition to the good meal and wonderful entertainment! My husband even said we should go again and take the teens! I know they would love it!