Happy Halloween! Posted by Hello

Time Changes

No, I'm not referring to Daylight Savings time. I'm talking about the gift of sleep Megan gave us last night. I'm not going to get too excited yet because hey, she did a 7 hour stint once before just to tease us, (insert drumroll here) Miss Thing went 8 hours last night.


Yes that's right.

Ok, so sure, she wasn't the best napper yesterday. Poor kid would drift off and cat nap for maybe 20 minutes. Her longest nap was the hour or so I took her out for a walk. But, she slept 8 hours at night.

She was fussy - ok, she was cranky - as it got later in the day. She'd cat nap and wake up happier for a bit. But she slept 8 hours at night.

After eating and fussing, Miss Meg finally drifted off to sleep at 9:30, laying belly down on my lap. I have no idea but she LOVES this position. Her head resting one leg, an arm hanging down over the side, her hips resting on the other leg and her legs dangling over the edge. 90% of the time laying her like this either calms her or outright puts her to sleep.

We were watching a movie so I didn't even bother budging from the recliner to put her down for about an hour. I headed into bed at that point and I woke up 4:30...but that is after factoring in the change in time. This means, if you're not following the logic, that if we hadn't had to change the clocks back an hour (gosh I hate Daylight Savings time sometimes!) it would have been 5:30 am. I heard Megan start to squeak. Not yell. Not cry. Not even fuss. Just squeak and grunt. I looked in at her - she was moving but still sleeping. I debated whether to climb back in my bed to see if she'd just settle down or just face reality that it was time to leave my comforter behind. I finally decided to get up.

Megan ate half-asleep. I changed her, then changed her PJs because apparently the diaper didn't get back on fast enough - again, anyone ever tell you only boys can pee ON you is lying. If you move fast you can save yourself as I did today, but you have to be quick! She finished eating with her eyes half open and then drifted off to sleep, waking just as I sat down at the PC with restless her on my shoulder to finish some work I had to do this weekend. She's now back to sleep - on my lap, belly down. I'm starting to think she's not going to sleep IN her crib till we can put her down on her stomach safely at night. Hope the car seat works that long!


Because I am a loser

Because I am a loser with nothing better to do than take photographs of my bathroom....here are two views of the brand new room. Yes, the bowl *is* that close to the tub. I said it was a small room, remember.

And to continue our tour of my tiny little room - yes, that is the unused potty sitting in the space between toliet and tub. And yes, what you see on top of the medicine cabinet is the aforementioned bounty of potty prizes - sitting dormant...waiting...just waiting for the child that keeps telling me "Someday I'll use the potty" to decide that someday is now.

 Posted by Hello

Political Pit Stop

I don't talk politics around these parts because its just wiser not to. When it comes to politics, my inner debate team breaks loose and things get ugly. I like studying the issues, listening to the candidates, digging for the fact behind the rhetoric. It gets my blood moving. Its a thrill.

Little known fact about me - I minored in PoliSci. Yes I did. I have a degree in print communications with a minor in political science. When I discovered my High School AP classes not only left me with enough credits to equal a full semester worth of college but credits that meant actual requirements towards my degree I mulled over several possible scenarios. One of those was actually moving my minor to a 2nd major. Yes, that'd mean I'd have a degree in it as well. Instead I opted for the "get out of college early" card.

So I could delve into the why I minored/nearly majored in this area. I could pontificate on my thoughts of political issues in general. Instead I want to rail against the general publics naivete. One thing I hate about this political season is listening to the fear mongering. Both sides do it. They won't admit it, but they do it. And the reason it works is because the general voter has not a clue how the government operates.

Case in point, this year you hear that one candidate will raise taxes the moment he's sworn in and the other will shut down Social Security leaving poor old ladies with no checks, oh and he's also going to institute the draft. The news is quick to interview voters leaning either way who will confess that they're vote swings on such statements. "I like George Bush, but I don't want my sons drafted. I know he says he won't do it, but I can't take that chance."

Oh, please people find a civics book and study it. The President can't do any of those things. No. He. Can. Not. No. The President can propose those things. He can advocate those things. He can campaign for them. He can negoiate for support of them. But he can't just up and do them. Nope, the beauty of the American system is a series of checks and balances. For taxes to be raised, Congress must pass a bill. For Social Security reform to actually get underway after years of talk from either side of the aisle, Congress must get off its butt and put something to a vote. Congress, being a group of career politicians often hellbent on keeping their constituents happy even at the risk of keeping to their own beliefs, aren't about to do anything overly radical any time soon.

Can Kerry get tax increase through - sure, if Congress cooperates and doesn't cease being what it is today (split down the middle). He can also refuse to sign any bills that include tax cuts or continuation of the previously past cuts Bush advocated (which, if you really care to know, I agree with those cuts and the idea of having them vanish ticks me off. Its my money damn it and I want it. I'm sick of paying for bridges with Robert C. Byrd's (thanks Mandy!) name on them. There are Federal programs worth supporting with my income and then there is porkbarreling. I can spend my dollars on better things than the pork rinds that get through. Balance the budget by cutting wasteful spending leaving the dollars we do raise through payroll taxes for worthy programs.)

Yet the voter. Your typical, average, make my choice off the sound bites and ads voter, does not know this. No, your typical voter only hears "Kerry will raise taxes the first chance he gets," and "Bush will privatize Social Security leaving you, blue-haired old lady, checkless." Because of that, the lunacy continues.

To veer totally in a different direction, something that continues to amaze me time and time again is how two intelligent people can view the same set of facts and arrive at totally different places. I'd keep rambling in that direction but the littlest one is squawking. Ahhh, must be near feeding time at our zoo.

By the way, I've been debating on whether or not to take Logan into the booth with me next week. Our voting location is close enough that the kids and I will walk (well, they'll ride, I'll walk.) I can leave the stroller parked just next to the booth where the sweet old man that is always there will keep his eye ball on them and entertain Logan with blank labels masquerading as stickers. OR, I can bring Logan in with me and let him witness the process. We already talked about why we're going to walk down to "his school" (the elementary he'll attend in 3 years is where we vote.) We talk about the signs he sees on lawns (which I am fighting the urge to go out on Mischief night altering the Kerry signs. Umm..did I just give my leanings away?!) So maybe seeing the booth would be neat. Heck I'd even let him push that little green "vote" button once I was done. My fear is that he'll want to push other buttons and I'll end up voting for Column B.


News Flash - Insane lady found wandering streets

He's going to make me nuts. I'm telling you, insane. I will be found walking the streets babbling to myself with a long stream of toilet paper attached to my heel.

Trust me when I say that I K-N-O-W Logan knows how to use the potty. He's used it on occasion in the past. He KNOWS when to use it. He KNOWS when to go and today he proved that he has the ability to hold it if he so chooses. Yes. He. Can.

He got up this morning and his overnight diaper was essentially dry. This is two nights in a row he's done that. I took him into the bathroom and talked excitedly about using the potty. He said no. I talked about all the great prizes that awaited him if he used it. I talked about all the people he knew (including his buddies that are a wee bit older and the one trained 2 year old we know.) He finally agreed to give the potty a try. We stripped him down and he sat on the big potty on his seat attachment. Then he stood in front of it. Then he sat on his little potty. . .then we got a yogurt and his milk and we had breakfast sitting on the potty. All the while he sat and sat and sat and did not pee. . .and trust me, he had to.

We did this for about a half hour. 30 minutes, folks. Then he was getting antsy and I had to get in the shower before Megan got up if we hoped to make it to Gymboree in time. I put his diaper back on him so I could shower in semi-peace. He came in to the bathroom as I was in there and announced that he had pooped. I said to him "Ok, give me a minute and I'll be there to change you.

"No, that's ok, I do it," He said. When I stepped out of the shower there it was - his diaper FULL (and I do mean FULL) of pee and yes, pooped in. And my naked bottomed boy was off running through the house laughing his head off.

HE HELD IT FOR 30 freakin' minutes until he got his diaper back on his butt. I asked him why he didn't do that on this potty and he said to me "I just like my diaper. Someday I'll use the potty."

Really. Shoot me. Just shoot me.


Leap of Faith

SO I picked a bad time to do it, but we're making a step towards real potty training. Bad time because its a busy week in which we won't be home half of each day at least - but hey, when do I have a week that isn't like that lately?! I'm just so sick and tired of changing big diapers. The little ones aren't bugging me yet - and its not because they don't smell because miss megan can not only challenge any regular old healthy adult mle with the gas, she can stink up a room in a heartbeat. At least with her I know she has no choice so we do the baby diaper thing. Logan, on the other hand, knows damn well what to do with a potty -- he just doens't feel like doing it. We've been talking a lot lately about what we'll do when he uses it. He found this Coal Loader that goes with the Thomas and friends stuff that he wanted. I told him almost daily that when he uses the potty all the time and we don't need diapers during the day anymore he can have that darn coal loader. it got to the point when he'd look through his train catalog (don't ask) he'd point to that loader and say (I do not make this up!) "Someday when I decide use potty all the time, I get that coal loader. Someday, but not today."

Well today I decided we were stepping up the inspiration/bribe (pick whichever you think fits best.) Today after lunch we strapped Megan into her car seat/carrier. We piled in the van. We went to Toys R Us and we spent more money than I had planned on spending getting what we're calling "Potty Prizes." I let Logan pick them out and placed a dollar limit on the big ticket item. He fell asleep in the van on our short ride home (really, the store is less than 5 miles from the house.) I closed us in the garage, shut the motor, and hussled the baby and the bag upstairs while Logan remained zonked out in his car seat. I then displayed the prizes - arranged so each was viewable but not reachable high up on the top of the new medicine cabinet.

Logan woke up as we got upstairs - normally I can get him out of the car and into bed. bummer! That's ok though, we went in and looked at the prize shelf. We talked about what he had to do to get each prize (listed below) and then we did the big brave step of removing the diaper and putting on the underwear. He tried a few times just sitting half naked on the potty and hanging out together in the bathroom waiting. Nothing. Megan even sat with us and "clapped" for her big brother. He even told her how to use the potty (a la Dr. Phil's approach). Nothing.

No, we did not go in the potty today - but he did ask for his prizes and so I repeated myself with this outline -

If you use the potty today even just once you can get the Wiggles slides for your ViewMaster.

If you use the potty everytime you have to go while we're at home for a day you can get one of the Matchbox trucks. There are 10 trucks, you can get one each day for 10 days if you use the potty everytime you have to go that day. (For those with Hot Wheels/Matchbox fans at home, Toys R Us had the five packs on sale buy one-get one free.)

If you go 10 straight days (and therefore get 10 cars) using the potty all the time you have to, on Day 11 - if you use the potty all the time, you get Spencer (one of the newer trains from Thomas and Friends.)

When you are using the potty all the time during the day and we can stop buying diapers for you, you get the coal loader.

He knows this. In fact he told a lady in Toys R Us that he was getting a Coal Loader if he peed on the potty. He ran to Daddy as soon as he walked in the door tonight and dragged him down to the bathroom to show off the prize shelf. He knows. Damn it, he knows WHAT to do. He knows what happens when he does it. He just doesn't want to.

I do have this fear of mothering the only 16 year old in diapers. Yeah, I know. It'll happen...when he's ready. He'll do it when he's ready -but hey, at least I have something up on that shelf now and its not just an empty ledge.


The Look

Apparently I have perfected "The Look." Now anyone with parents knows the look I'm talking about. Yes, yes you do. Its that one particular face Mom or Dad always made that let you know you were in trouble. That one specific glare that said more than words. It was enough to stop you in your tracks and sometimes, to even get you backpedaling. And now I have it.

Logan's most favorite phrase recently has been "I do it myself!" This is followed closely by "No! I try!" Of all the places he likes to exert his independence, he's most consistant about our basement stairs. Living in a raised ranch, this means everytime we leave the house, we're using the stairs and since he's so very much obessed with "do myself" we tend to use the seemingly safer basement ones over the brick stairs out the front door.

Today Logan decided he would scoot down the stairs on his butt - the same butt he was refusing to put his blue jeans on. Yes, we were running out to the bank drive-thru and to gas up the van with a diaper-and-shirt-clad toddler in the middle row of the van. As his butt bounced down the first two steps towards the landing I said to him as sternly as I could while trying not to laugh at him nor drop Megan in her car seat, "Logan, do not go down the big stairs like this. Its walk or be carried."

He got to the landing, stood and took the two or so steps towards the larger stretch of stairs down. Then he sat. . . wiggled to the edge and placed his feet on the top step. He looked up at me with a sly smile that said it all "Yeah, ha ha, I not only do myself, I do it my way no matter what you say." And so I gave him a look - I don't even know if I can summarize what is, this look. Its a sort of head dips down, eyes flare wide, eyebrows arch, mouth set firm, sort of face. I made it. Apparently I've been making it often with all the testing limits he's been doing lately. (He's big on hearing you say "Do not touch that." or "We don't put the dog's food in the spout for the water cooler!" and thinking it means "Go ahead, give it another try!"

Anyway, I made the face. Logan, without missing a beat, quickly scooted back safely on the landing and said very frantically "No, Mommy, I no go down that way. I stand up and walk. I was just resting."

Ahhh, the look.

No command performance

So technically I'm on a conference call as we speak. A long, drawn-out, useless conference call. I'm waiting for someone to ask what color cocktail napkins we need to put out at this event we're working on. Shoot me. One of my oldest (as in longest term -hi silvia! I know you're reading this at some point!) is sitting in my living room with my mom and the kids as I type this pretending to participate. I was supposed to be done a half-hour ago. By the way, I got called into this meeting last night at 6pm - for 9:30 am this morning. nice, eh?

But I digress, Miss Thing has not repeated her 7 hour stretch, but she has continued her 5 hour blocks and so I'll take it. Not that I have a choice, but we won't tell her that. 5 hours of sleep at night at 5 weeks old is pretty good, if you ask me.


Lucky #7

The American Academy of Pediatrics decreed "sleeping through the night" as anything over a 5 hour consecutive block of time. I don't know about you, but I hardly consider that "sleeping through the night." I find it better than three hours between meals, but not quite enough to say we're all sleeping perfectly.

Last night, however, we had a really good stretch - if only I had bothered to go to bed when M did and not use some of the time to proofread a paper for work. Hey, I figured she'd up shortly to eat so why not use the time constructively. :) Instead, she fooled me. Instead she went for 7 hours between meals. S-E-V-E-N hours at 5 weeks old. She napped late in the day. She woke about 7-ish to eat and then played a bit. She ate again at 9pm and drifted off into a nice slumber. I worked until 11 and decided that she'd been going 5 hours for about a week so I was safe to crawl into bed then and get some sleep before our 2 am rendevous. Instead M woke me at 4 am. That is SEVEN hours if you're not keeping score.

Being a well-rested girl, Megan decided she didn't need MORE sleep. I mean, really, who would. ;) She stayed up for about an hour just smiling and cooing at me as if to tempt me into conversation. It worked. We chatted. At 5am I really started thinking it'd be nice to get her back to sleep so I could have some time with just Logan when he awoke - the best way to avert a cranky morning. I put her to my shoulder and ignored the cooing (which was hard) I rocked and patted her back. I sang softly. She drifted. I crawled back into my bed just before 6am figuring the little guy would be calling within minutes and I was merely keeping my toes warm under the covers. Instead M started to fuss at 7am. I brought her car seat and her to my room and rocked it gently for a few moments. The two of us drifted back to sleep. Little man woke me at 8am. That's the latest he and I have gotten to sleep in, well, geez, I forget how long. He NEVER sleeps that late!

Keep your fingers crossed that we can do this again tonight. Only tonight I won't work. Tonight I will sleep too.


A new view

Well the bathroom - the ugly pink monstrosity - is gone. We've killed it. Its putrid tiles lie somewhere in the town dump. In its place exists pristine white topped with a wall color I never thought I'd find myself buying to paint room - a sort of mid-toned aquamarine.

My house, you see, used to trend towards the color as tint shades. I fell into thinking just a hint was good enough to give the room a gentle hue, yet keep it bright and airy lending the illusion of more space. It looked good to me for a while too. Nice subtle, pale blue living room. Slightly more color but still on the lighter end of that paint chip strip green for our bedroom. A tan that was supposed to be a bit closer to light light brown for our kitchen. White hallways.

With our former guest room/sewing room I went bold. I painted it yellow. A soft, yet deeper than a tint shade of sunshine. I didn't paint it when L was born. His first room decor was "genderless" yellow with hints of Noah's Ark scattered about and accents of blue. Then we learned Little Miss Thing was on her way and we had to break down and actually paint the last room in the house to ever see a paint brush (outside either tiny bathroom that is). I had long wanted to paint our office a nice shade of pumpkin, but never actually finding a paint chip that matched my brain's vision, nor getting more than a pained look out of B, I just never did paint that room. Yet baby girl was demanding something other than the cream color the former owner's children had splashed on every square inch of wall in our house before putting it on the market.

I settled on two colors before actually looking for "the" shade I'd buy. L's new and improved 'big boy room' would be a nice, boyish blue with hint of grey so that it'd match the quilt Grandma was working hard to finish in time for the update. M's room would be lavender. When all was said and done, those rooms (up until today) were the most vibrant in my house. (If I find something worthy I'll post pics of it shortly)

Then the bathroom - well I've had this vision for a long time. I wanted white wainscoting about half way up the wall all around. I wanted a white shower/bathtub combo. A white pedestal sink. I wanted white toilet. White large tile floor. White, white, white... Because white gave me what I hadn't had before - versatility. I could paint the upper half of the wall one thing today and then give into my temperamental nature by changing it to something totally different next year if I felt so moved. I could accessorize with whatever got me going when I finally made it to the store. Not tied into trying to temper four different shades of pink in a single small room. My original plan was to paint the walls a sort of cornflower blue - something with a little purpley undertone to it. But B overruled. I blame the Y chromosome for that. To him, blue is blue is blue and purple is purple...and either way we had two blue rooms already in the house and one purple. He didn't see a need to go for either shade again. On to plan B. I collected paint chips and I fell in love with the bluey-green bright, vibrant yet almost tranquil color labeled "Marine" on my paint chip card. It was perfect. I could just envision the way the bright color matched with pure white would enliven the small itsy-bitsy space and give it the sense of being a bit bigger than it really was. I could feel the room already feeling more crisp, more clean, more sophisticated than it had before. The pink room always felt dark and dingy to me. Always seemed dirty because of the multiple shades of a single color.

I found a bright blue-with-hint-of-green shower curtain that is topped and trimmed (at bottom) with different bright colored ribbon. I found a small area stripped with blues and teals and yellow. We completed the look with chrome and brass trimmed faucets and accessories. Today we painted the Marine on the walls. And even before its totally dry, even before the blue painters tape comes down and the curtains go up, today I can see the difference.

I sat in my living room after painting as much of the room as I could during M's nap and the boys "just us" walk through the park this afternoon. Suddenly the tint of color in that room seemed washed out and drab. Its bothering me now. Its actually irritating me. It's calling me to run back to Sherman Williams to pick out a new, more lively shade of blue to bring the room back to life. (Yes, I have no money to redo my furniture and so I must stick to the color theme.) I looked at my kitchen and I realized that I really didn't pick the right color and I really do want something with more depth. Perhaps I'll add that to my "paint next" list.

Its been 6.5 years since we painted the first wall in our very own home. Six and half years since we had a blank slate to decorate. My overall tastes haven't changed much. My furniture, wall decorations, and knick-knacks all trend towards the kind of "Country" stuff you can buy out in Lancaster County, PA. Things that speak to you of Colonial days. Things you think that someone once made by hand with its little imperfections and its rustic charm. But my vibrancy tolerance has grown.

I'm trying to come up with a nice tie in to life in general but I'm getting updates of the Yankee/Sox game from the living room and its distracting my throughout process. I guess what I really wanted to get at here, in this nice round about "my life via Trading Spaces way" is that I've grown these last 6.5 years. I've changed. I've matured in more ways than just my taste in paint. I've learned to be bolder. Not that I was shy before, but I was more cautious in self-expression unless I was within my comfort zones. I've broken further from that restraint. I've become more embolden realizing that life is to be lived in the here and now and not at any other time.

I've learned to do the little things to make yourself happy because sometimes you can miss out waiting for the big thing. I've learned that something as small as a change of view - a new color, a new curtain, a new outfit, a new haircut, a new attitude - can change so much about a bad day that has put so little else in your control.

Its amazing what a little tiny amount of color in a small room can illuminate isn't it.


Its a good day

More happy dance worthy events:

1. My 2nd ever article to go appear in a print magazine showed up in my mailbox today - a piece about Embryo Donation in the November issue of ePregnancy. This piece, as did my first, garnered a cover mention. Yay me! I'm particularly proud of this accomplishment because its the very first thing I've written for publication that resulted from a pitch I submitted on my own without any help in any way, shape or form. The topic is a sensitive one for many folks and as such the piece was hard to write. But write it I did and now I'm tickled to find it all nicely laid out with toy blocks and happy faces surrounding it.

2. The Yankees are facing off against the Red Sox tonight and they have not, despite my previously unvoiced fears, gotten shut down, put to sleep, rendered useless [insert your own depressing description here] by Curt "I wanna win one again" Schilling. AND, also despite my previously unvoiced fears, Mussina has yet to stink up the mound. Yeah, I know, he's a good pitcher. Ah huh. I have no faith in his arm. . .but the last I saw on the TV he was spanking down those Sox. Its still early in the game so I better stop rambling before I put my foot in my mouth. I will say this though:

Dear Curt, You're in Boston now buddy, not Arizona. The Curse lives.

Oh and I will also say that I'm really peeved I can't get one of those "Pedro Who's your Daddy shirts." I mean come on, Martinez is the one that said the Yanks were his Daddy. IT was his quote. Get over it people and give me my shirt.

3. My bathroom is now half-complete and totally unpink. This is a very good thing.


Oh The Irony

Since I've been on pseudo-leave, I try to check my work email at least once a week. Typically I skim through it daily and just make the effort to clean out the crap once a week. Tonight was one of those cleaning nights.

In exactly one week I collected 135 new emails. Of those, roughly 25 were legitimate work related emails - not worthwhile, mind you, as most of them came to me via group alias email addreses, but still work related. Emails about free lunch in the cafeteria, training set for a day I still won't be in for, or new training/pricing/offers from a vendor partner.

The rest of my new inbox inhabitants come from that delightful category we name after canned mystery meat - yup, Spam. And there lies the irony. In my mass delete the crap frenzy I saw at least a dozen ironic subject headers in my junk email. Now remember, these all come from people that have only first names and illegitimate email addresses in the "send" and "reply to" fields. These ironic emails all contained subject lines that amounted to one general theme "Got a lot of spam? We can help! Open our unsolicited ad and download our crappy product to help you avoid getting more mail from people like us." Yes, I got spam blasting spam - at least that's what they say.

Subject lines of the anti-spam spam include:

"The only smart way to control spam"

"Get smart spam control you can trust"

"Is spam out of control in your inbox?"

I almost want to reply to that last one with a simple - Why, yes it is. Thank you so much for contributing to it moron.


Doing the happy dance

I had a friend in High School that had a happy dance. It was pathetic and stupid - but Jeff was enough of a clown that he could get away with it. Today I am adopting his dumb little jig for a few reasons:

1. Today was weigh in - I lost 2.2 pounds this week for a total of 3.8 since I started back at Weight Watchers two weeks ago. This is also a total of 36 pounds since giving birth - although I suppose I need to stop counting the pregnancy weight as a real loss seeing as how it was obviously all baby, placenta and fluids. ;) That's ok, let me live in my little fantasy world. Thanks.

2. We've gotten through two days without major tantrums from Mr. Boy. Granted we had a lot of company the last two days to help amuse him. Again, leave me and my nice world alone.

3. Bathroom #1 is complete - ok, so it was just the tiny shower stall in the master bath and it is missing a soap dish and something novel like a shower head. It should be functional though (with shower head) by Monday afternoon when the contractor returns to demolish the ugly pink bathroom and leave pure wonderful white, updated, fun bathroom in its place.

4. This contractor is also going to demolish part of my kitchen cabinets to make room for my dishwasher! YAY!!!!! For those that don't know, we've been trying to get someone to put in a dishwasher for the last 6 years. Holy crap! Who knew it'd be like pulling teeth to add an appliance where none existed before? This is the first place that has agreed to cut the existing cabinet and create a space for the dishwasher - which by the way, we got for free as a handme down of sorts...brand new, perfect condition handme down.

5. As alluded to in item 3 - ugly pink bathroom will cease to exist after tomorrow. For this I am doing the super-sized happy dance. I H-A-T-E that room. HATE IT! Its bad enough it pink to begin with. What makes it really really hideous is that the pinks don't exactly match. Everything in there is a shade off from everything else. Its like a bad experiment in 1970s decorating.

6. Miss Thing gave us another 5 hour sleep block last night. That's two nights in a row...I do hope it lasts. THis is super duper happy dance worthy!

Of course, I'm still delirous enough to not bother spell checking this entry. :) Just go with it.


Almost one month in

Figured I'd take the time to do an update while I had the time to do an update. :) On Tuesday we will have been a family of four for exactly one month. Its odd really, because most of the time its hard to remember life without our littlest member...yet when I stop and think about it being really a full month - well gosh, she just doesn't seem that old to me yet.

I'm afraid saying this (or at least putting it in writing) will jinx me but screw it I'm doing it anyway. Megan is a great night sleeper so far if you get past the fact she won't use her crib. ;) The girl refuses to sleep flat on her back. Instead, at least for now, she sleeps in her car seat next to my bed at night - we're working up the courage to transition her to her own space. ha! But sleep, now that is a good story. She likes to give us one decent stretch of sleep each night. It's typically a nice 4 hour block either between getting settled into seat or from meal to meal. Last night though, she ate at 8:30 and drifted off as she did so. I climbed in bed at 10 fully expecting to be woken up within the hour or two if I was lucky. Instead I got to sleep until 2am. That was a good 5 hour sleeping block for Megan. She settled back in about 45 minutes later and then woke at 6 for her breakfast. I do think the fact that her brother prevents long napping stretches throughout the day has helped in this quest. She gets in one or two 2.5 to 3 hour naps during the day. The rest of time she cat naps because Logan is busy hugging her or turning on some kind of musical something or other on her swing or her bouncy seat. . .or he's just being his typical nosey two year old self.

When awake, her favorite position to be in is sitting up. Not that she can, of course, but she's determined to fake it. If she's fussy and not hungry, you're best bet is to sit her on your lap leaning against you so that she appears to be sitting or to sit her facing you supporting her under her armpits. Either way will settle her down & allow her to be nosy. She turns her head from side to side when seated or just let her big eyes get as wide as can be as they move from object to object. I discovered today that the little imp is actually attempting to pull herself up to a seated position. I had my hand under her head with her upper body lifted to a slight angle. She kept pulling her head up from my hand hard enough to pull her shoulders along just a wee bit. She'd grunt and groan as she did it and make this face of pure determination. I keep telling her that she needs to wait several months before she can actually do such a thing, but she's in denial. ;) She also does that neat trick where she locks her knees tight on occasion as you attempt to mock sit her. Apparently she likes to pretend she can stand too.

She gets her head around well - still floppy necked and not quite ready to hold her head high on her own all the time, but she can lift her head fairly high and keep it there for a spell when she feels like it. She loves to be up on a shoulder, belly against you, as she lifts her head from you and turns it from side to side. She's not a total tummy-time hater to date and seems to almost like that she can get her head up on her own when she's on the floor like that. She'll last about 15 minutes on her stomach before she starts yelling to be picked up or at least turned over. When she's on her belly she'll wiggle worm her way from one part of the blanket up several inches toward the other. She does this by pulling her legs in tight to her and then thrusting them out straight. I'm sure the whole involuntary limb movement helps her, but hey, it seems to make her happy because when she's inching herself along she lasts much longer on the floor. When she's on a shoulder she wiggles herself all around. The girl can fidget. She tosses her head back if she's tired of being in that position - forcing you to adjust her. She squirms from shoulder to crook of elbow...I swear sighing as she gets herself snuggled in to her new position. She's also starting to make that cute little "ahhh" sound when her folks talk to her. She stares at you as you speak and responds with soft little noises - something she even seems to wait her turn to do.

The neatest thing though is to watch her respond to Logan. The moment she hears his voice she does what she can to move her gaze to him. Of course sometimes she does this with her eyes so wide open you can see the white part above the iris. We're thinking this is her way of saying either "Oh YAY! Its that cool kid that likes to sing me songs!" or more likely "Holy crap! He's back!! Someone quick, pick me up and save me from the ensuing squishing hug or the slobbery wet kiss or poking tickle he's about to give me!"

Speaking of her irises - so far she's a blue-eyed babe. The color has moved from that dark deep newborn blue to a lighter more true blue eye color. Still plenty of time to change, but since I'm a green-eyed girl with one green-eyed parent and one blue-eyed parent and Bruce has blue eyes, I'd not be surprised to see Megan's baby blues stick around just like Logan's have. She also has the same exact shade of strawberry-blonde that Logan and I have. There features are not identical, but close enough when we look back at Logan's baby pictures that there is no doubt they are siblings.

She's growing like a weed. She added a pound from her hospital discharge weight by her 2 week Ped visit. Looking at her now she looks bigger than she had at that visit just a week and half ago. the little knit cap they had on her head in the hospital is now too small for her and she's officially out of newborn size diapers and comfortably into size 1s. We don't get to the Ped until a 2 month visit (the 2 week covering our 1 month span) so I have no idea what the gal weighs today. Poor thing has just come through her first head cold care of Daddy's work. All 4 of us had it but luckily Megan seems to have the most mild case. She still seems to have an occasional stuffed nostril from it, but she does not need her little nose to be shot up with saline and then suctioned out prior to each feeding as she had. That stage lasted only two days thankfully.

And big brother, well he's doing well. He has his moments where he struggles with sharing the spotlight. In those times he acts out with more tantrums or attempting to chuck objects around the room, hitting himself or lashing out at others. Of course, in addition to the normal "2" temper control issues and the whole "new sibling" thing, Logan is getting his 2-year molars in. He already has two of them and I'm sure, based on the river of drool and the fact that he gets his cup straw as far back on the right side as he can and then chews - that the next two are working their way in. Oh, and he's trying to give up his naps - so all combined it creates the occasional monster boy.

More often than not though, he's being his usual good humored, wonderfully helpful and loving self. In fact, the other part of this "sibling" struggle has been an even MORE affectionate than normal boy. I mean really, Logan has always been a cuddly Mama's boy, but lately he spends a whole lot of time running into me to wrap his arms round my legs and asking for hugs and kisses. In the last two days he's told me that I'm either his "very best friend" or said something along the lines of "Oh Mommy, I just love you so very much." We dedicate a nice chunk of time one day a week that is just us - we go to Gymboree together on Wednesday morning and from there we do lunch. I think, since Grandma is ok with keeping Megan even longer than the 2 hours it took us to do all this this week, we'll add in a short walk or something each week too. last week we took an afternoon of just us while my mom took Megan with her on some visits for church. As we hiked a trail at a local park Logan stopped and asked me to pick him up for a hug. As I did he said very sincerely something along the lines of "Thanks Mommy. I having a very nice time." It both broke my heart and made it mushy all at once - broke it because it really hit home how much he missed having his adults all to himself. Aww, well, long run he's better off and at least his only comments in regards to Megan about all this are limited to demands that we put her down in her crib so we can focus on him. ;)


As it looks from here

I was just doing some Blog surfing - clicking through links off this site or that - and came across a post on Karen's blog about her feelings on her pending adoption.

Reading some of her concerns got me thinking again about my own path to parenthood. Im selfish like that, someone else's pain makes me think of myself. Yeah, I know, strap me to a poll and lash me with a wet pasta noodle. I know. Anyway, the thing that got me going was the idea that adopting won't heal the infertility wounds. That even having a child to be your own won't make you stop loathing the maternity departments. It won't make you comfortable hearing about easily concieved children. It won't take the pain away.

The more I thought of it, the more I realized that for a long time, that was true. Not that we adopted, but that having a child, that getting pregnant on our own and having a live baby to hold at the end of it, didn't erase the pain of the years we tried and didn't get anywhere. Having two kids doesn't make the in vitro part of my life evaporate. In fact, somewhere in the locked up pie safe still exists a box of very expired Gonal-F vials. I'm not sure why I keep them around. I tell myself that its because I'm not sure if one can actually just toss such a thing in the regular garbage can and so out of fear that the local dump guy will show up to beat me with a dirty wet pasta noodle, I keep the bottles out of the trash. I wonder though if I keep them as a reminder of where we've been -as if I needed such a thing.

But the pain - well its not really there anymore. Sure, I think of it. Yes I do think of those two transfered 'healthy' embryos that never implanated as children I lost. I wonder if they were boys or girls or one of each. I wonder if we'd have had twins. I wonder if they'd have had the red-hair and blue eyes it appears both my kids have. I wonder a lot of things, but I don't hurt.

Sometimes when I hear of an "oops" pregnancy, I get that old twinge. The one that makes me glad I can control that brain to mouth reflex decently enough not to spit out "Oh, bite me!" When I hear stories of easy conceptions I sometimes feel that knee jerk reaction of wanting to puke. When people say the struggled to get pregnant because it took them serveal months or, can it be, even a year, I want to smack them upside the head and say "Yeah well, listen to this. . ."

But it doesn't make me cry any more.

Instead my time as an infertile has become something that makes me reflective. I look back on that painful journey now and I realize that had we had children when we first wanted them I would not be the mother that I am today to the children that I have today. I was much younger than - both chronologically, emotionally and mentally. I had less patience and more panic. I'd also not have been in a place careerwise to quit my day job and go freelance. I'd have to be what I had longed not to be - a full-time working mom. (A term, by the way that I hate, because I've yet to meet a mom that wasn't "full-time working" regardless of whether she got a paycheck or not!)

More importantly, I'd not have "these" kids. Yeah, whatever, maybe these two would have shown up no matter when we got pregnant, but I'm not buying the theory. Each person is made of up genes held on specific egg and sperm cells. Children born to us 6 years ago would have had different cells to pull from. They would not be the people they are today. They would not be my Logan and Megan. They would be other people. Different people...and not having these two is an incredibly sad thought. I had to waste a lot of eggs and sperm cells to get to these two amazing individuals. I'm sure the other cells would have produced equally perfect people, but still, they weren't THESE people.

I don't think anyone deserves to walk down the infertilty road. I don't want to suggest that being where I am today made the pain worth it - because that'd just be a load of crap that someone that has never step foot on the trail tells other people out of some naive notoin that it makes it better. No, the pain part still sucks. Having to go through the emotions and the physical anguish blows. But in retrospect, I survived. Life went on and I have two wonderful children to show for it. I have a life and an appreciation that I would not have had if we had traveled a more cushy path here.

I think of friends that currently face these same issues. Friends that struggle with primary or secondary fertility problems. I think of their pain and feelings of isolation. I identify with their feelings of heartache because they need to make *that* call -- the one to the doctor that says "I need help." I know what that does to a person. I know how it hurts your ability to feel "whole" or to feel like you're in a body that plays nice. I know that it hurts to hear about babies and children when you're in that place. But I also know that someday, no matter where those friends end up - with or without a child resulting from assisted means, adoption or the 'good-old-fashioned-way' - someday they will look back and they will see that the pain is woven into who they have become. They will recognize that despite unfairness of it all, despite the brutal attack to the soul, good really does come out of it. The person they are - the stronger person they are - is a result of the road they were put on.


Reason #52 Why I'm a Bad Mommy. :)

Although this isn't a picture from today, it is one that will illustrate my point. This photo was taken about a month ago. He did not finish the giant-sugar-rush-pop then so I had it wrapped in plastic and hidden in the pie safe. Today, at my wits end - 2 and half hours into the combined cryfests of two children - I did the bad deed. I had Megan in her swing asleep for a short time. The day's history told me it wasn't going to last long. Logan sat on my lap looking at the pictures of the family scroll through the screensaver. This photo came up. He started talking about the lollipop. About wanting the lollipop. And she started stirring. . . so I did it.

I said "I know! Do you want your lollipop? I know where its hiding!" And plopped him in the highchair that he only now uses for arts and crafts and I need more space than my booster allows occasions. I found the giant-sugar-rush-swirly-gig and I unwrapped it. Handing it to him and then dashing quickly around the kitchen to toss something together that looked like dinner while I had a moment to do so. Threw the lame excuse of a meal into the oven and rushed to remove the little one from her swing before she had a complete meltdown. It was 5:45. Bruce would be home in just a half hour. Dinner would be in just a half hour and there my son sat sucking away on a giant lollipop Grandma once bought him as a joke (long story there!) I didn't even care that he might not eat a real dinner. I didn't even care that he might be a rapid mess at bedtime. He had stopped the on-again-off-again-but-mostly-on-again tantrum and the little one was resting semi-peacefully in my arms near the high-chair of doom eating and not fussing. I nearly passed out from emotional exhaustion right then and there.

For what its worth, Logan did eat a lame excuse for a dinner. He hardly ever eats well when he's sick so I'm essentially estatic that he ate what he did - two Yumsters Yogurt, three slices of cheese and a handful of Gramham Cracker sticks. Oh, and milk.  Posted by Hello


I'm serious about the booze - send something very strong.

Ok, I'm not serious about the booze. I don't drink all that often. Hell, the amount of alcohol I've consumed in the last 8 years I'm sure a freakin' wine cooler would send me into loopyville.

Instead send a giant vat of something fattening. Really. I mean it.

Although I don't really mean it because that'll just make me more bummed out when I weighed in on Saturday at Weight Watchers (btw, I lost 1.6 pounds last week! Yay me! That's 33.6 since giving birth.)

No, send me the Wiggles. That might work. The Wiggles could entertain the 2 year old and then send me Mary Poppins or something to humor the 3 week old. Really. That might do it.

Really, this isn't supposed to be this stressful. I'm sick. They are sick. The two of them took turns crying for TWO AND A HALF FREAKIN' HOURS!!!!!!!!! Although it wouldn't really be fair to say the 2 year old took turns because he pretty much didn't really stop a whole lot during this jag. I mean he would if I managed to get his sister down into say a vibrating bouncey seat with music and lights...but the moment she started her turn on crying and he had to be put down he started his crying again. It was nice to see them collaborate - ha, not.

At the root of our problem is a simple fact of numbers. One Mommy. Two kids. The little one has no issue in sharing the one mommy as long as she's being held or included. As in, its ok with M if I hold both her and L at the same time. Its ok with her if I sit with her and read to him sitting next to me. The big one however is not so ok with sharing Mommy when he's sick. No.

Ok, so maybe skip the Wiggles and skip Mary Poppins - both of those options will just be way to sacchrine after a while and that will piss me off to no end quite frankly. Instead find that guy that cloned Dolly the Sheep and ask him to make another me - one that shows up already 31 years old and lactating.


Things that Suck

- Being sleep deprived and sick all at the same time.

- A newborn with a head cold that understandably gets pissed off at the bulb syringe.

But even worse than both of this what sucks is a "Mamma's boy" two-year old with a head cold that can't understand why Mom can't just toss the little sister in her crib 24/7 and hold him instead endlessly. Mind you we're not talking hold on my lap while we sit. Now we're talking stand in the center of the room and hold him.

Thankfully a little reasoning goes a long way sometimes. Even if it does end in a temporary meltdown of total two year old tantrum. It goes something like this:

"Mommy carry me! Put Megan in her crib! Carry!" shouted at me.

Me "Logan, we've talked about this. I can't do that. Megan is sick too and she's too tiny to understand what's going on or to take medicine to help her. She needs me too. I am one sick mommy taking care of two sick kids. Just chill out."

Scream scream scream, kick feet on floor like mad, scream, scream. . .lull in action followed by "Mommy, I want some milk. Can we watch Disney?"

Someone send me sedatives or booze - for me.


It'll melt your heart

I have so much more on this that I'd like to share now, but so very little time to do it. The littlest one is making enough noise to indicate she's either had enough of sitting with Dad and staring at patterns on the furniture and wall hangings or that she's getting hungry again.

The little man has adjusted fairly well to life as a sibling. He has his moments, though, where I think he'd rather she disappear. He's gotten better the last several days - aided in large part by the fact that we're all falling into habits and routines together. This settling in has allowed us some comfort in putting a sleeping infant in some contraption like a swing or vibrating seat and focusing sololy on the toddler. The bit of "just me" time has nearly eliminated any trace of jealously or hurt feelings the little guy ever had. In fact today, when he thought Grandma was taking littlest one away for eternity (see next paragraph for more details) he was devestated and said very seriously "No Grandma! No take her away! She live here with me!"

Today we took it one step further. Today Ms Little Thing went off with Grandma for a bit to make some very old ladies very happy. While they were off doing their visits, Little man and I had some much needed quality time. We hit the local landscaping joint for mums and free Halloween stuff (i.e. tiny pumpkin and cheapy trick or treat bag). We got lunch out. Then we headed over to a park in town and hiked out on a trail talking about everything from why the leaves are now red to how much we like throwing rocks in the marsh.

As we got down around the bend on the large open trail, Little Man stopped walking, placing himself directly in front of me instead of next to me as he had been. He turned and faced me, holding up his arms and said "Mommy, pick me up for a kiss please."

So I did. I mean really, who can turn that down?

Then he put his head down on my shoulder and said very matter of factly "Thanks Mommy. I having a really nice time." With that he wiggled himself down and hit the trail again, running to the nearby bench and announcing that it was time to take a break because he needed to rest.

I just stood there a bit stunned and thinking how wonderful that simple sentence was to hear...I also thought about how I'd better document it now so in 10 years when he is 12 and parents are akin to demons I can remember a time when he actually was glad to be with me. ;)