Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas wrap-up (aka I finally downloaded the pictures off of my phone)

We solved the tree budget dilemma by going to a little-known tree farm. It was very rainy.

And we accidentally came home with a 10 foot tree
I thought I was so smart, getting the obligatory family picture the night before.
They were still pretty crazy though

C completely ignored our agreement to "stay to a budget" and "not use the credit cards" It worked out pretty well for me. Also, I take back every bad thing I ever said about Uggs. I will be buried in these boots.
And this one has officially entered the costume phase. Welcome Tinkerbell!
Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots!
Eli wants me to caption this "Meant for 8 year olds, built by a 6 year old"
The next day we had a long overdue visit with one of our very favorite families. We talked non-stop for hours while the kids ran amok and Eli tried to compete with a Cinderella carriage. It was so fun!

While my family was still in town we took advantage of a sunny day to go exploring.
Playing hometown tourists
Syd loved the historic school house. I see a slate in her future :) 
Other highlights included a delicious, diabetes friendly Christmas Eve dinner that I classily served on Ikea children's plates because I was all "efficient" and started the dishwasher so I'd have less clean-up afterwards. We found sugar-free chocolate that was not awful, hung out a lot in our jammies, and C and I slept in until 9:00 every morning while the grandparents were in town. It was a really good holiday week.

I have one more day before I have to go back to work (and probably just in time, as I've renewed my lightning fast on-line shopping skillz). I tried to convince C that a lot of women start their maternity leave at 7 months. He reminded me that we've grown accustomed to eating every day. Damn logic and common sense...

Monday, December 24, 2012

The birds!

So homemade Christmas was a little "aspirational" this year, but I still managed to make the kids each one gift. This is Eli's. Their facial expressions were totally accidental but I love how some look completely deranged. And the baby pig looks a bit "touched."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Homemade Christmas

I am so excited about how these came out! This year my recipients were all girls, so these sets are pretty sparkle and princess heavy. Can you tell that I got a little carried away? So Syd will get some, and I may try throwing a few on Etsy. I love these dolls!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Name Game

I tend to be a little hippie-dippie about our kids' names. Firstly, I don't commit to a name until the baby is born. We always narrow our choices down to two, with one being "The Name" and the other being a back-up. Both Eli and Syd ended up with the back-up name because, with both, the moment I heard their cry that was the name that came to my mind. With Eli I just took it as a sign, but with Syd I was completely dumbstruck. We REALLY thought she'd be a Teagan, and yet she just wasn't. I was so sure that after we got home I researched how to change her name, assuming I'd made a horrible mistake. And now, she is so awesomely Sydney Sunshine.

So with Baby Waldo, C and I set about throwing out various names as soon as we found out she was a she. We talked about family names, since both Syd and Eli share a name with one of us. We threw out some old favorites that have been in the running since before Eli was born. And then one day while I was making dinner it came to me. "The Name" It fits so perfectly that I have to remind myself not to refer to her by that name. For months now we haven't come up with anything that seems like even a good back-up, which kind of worries me because what if this isn't her name? (And to reiterate. Chiconky pregnant=Chiconky crazy and neurotic)

So today C came out of our bedroom and handed me a napkin with writing on it. On closer inspection, I saw several names. Specifically, girl names. There were at least five full names. Then he'd ranked them. As I looked at it, I realized that he'd given all five Syd's middle name. Curious. I kept looking and saw that Sydney Cheyne was ranked #2. This was his list from when we were pregnant with Syd, and he'd found it in the baby name book that I keep packed with my maternity clothes! Want to know what #1 was? Baby Waldo's name. I don't even remember considering it, and yet, at some point it was a top pick. I wanted to post a picture, but I can't figure out how to "anonymize" it, so you'll just have to take my word for it. I'm thinking that it's a sign. What do you think? And do we dare go to the hospital without a back-up?

Thursday, December 6, 2012


The kids were in the shower giggling and talking about taking a shower with a frog. Turns out there really WAS a frog in there! We're getting freaking Biblical around here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mutes, sociopaths, and c*ckblockers

And thus was the title of my day.

I've been blessed with a particularly onerous caseload lately. One guy is a true, honest-to-goodness sociopath. It's scary how good he is, because he can talk to me like he's just this downtrodden, misunderstood guy trying to get the care that he needs, but the next minute he can be spewing some of the most vicious, hateful, vile things I've ever heard. When he's pissed he has this stare that can only be described as reptilian, like he's silently calculating the absolute best way to do really horrible things to whoever pissed him off. It's both clinically fascinating and scary as shit. Today I caught him with contraband and he was so nice about it. Like spooky nice.

I've got another guy  who refuses to speak. This in and of itself is not that unusual, but this guy literally pulls the "my lips are sealed" act and will only communicate with me through pantomime. This fool CAN talk. I've talked to him before. He talks to other people. But with me, he only makes these sad faces and complicated hand gestures. It's like Charades, The Therapy Version. And the best part is that he's not what I'd consider "significantly mentally ill" so really, he's just kind of being an asshole. He started in on it again today and I lost it (in what was hopefully a totally clinically appropriate way). I just said, "You need to use your words. I know that you can talk and I'm not going to try to guess what your trying to tell me, so you need to speak." So essentially I told him to use his Big-Boy Words.

And the non-inmates were no better! I've been trying to figure out a way to not work weekends anymore, and it's turned into this crazy complicated clusterfuck. So today, my boss tells me that she may have come up with a perfect solution. It would have given me a little bit more responsibility, let me focus more on the aspects of work I really like (and am really good at, if I do say so myself), and would have justified her giving me weekends off (so I wouldn't have to change units). So she presents it to me and a couple of co-workers that may be impacted, and one guy pipes in with "Weekends off? I'd be into that too." And the beauty of state work is that, because he has seniority over me, he gets first dibs regardless. And then later he goes, "Hey, sorry to block you like that." Like "Oops! My bad!" It was the clearest example of cockblocking I've ever freaking experienced.

Tomorrow I've got a guy who will probably eat glass. But not real glass. Teeny tiny, shatter proof glass pebbles. And I'm half-tempted to eat a couple myself just to see if he'll up his game. And then maybe I'll "try to kill myself" with a paperclip. Those office supplies are dangerous, y'all.

Edited to add that I'm 98% sure there is a frog in my house, but we can't find it. They're teeny, tiny frogs but they make this huge duck noise. And of course it stops whenever we get close to finding it. So today's a total winner. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Happys

We pulled out the Christmas tubs tonight and started unpacking all of our decorations. Not much makes me feel more like the matriarch of an actual family than knowing that I have multiple tubs of Christmas decorations. So the kids are ransacking the book box, setting up the "special Christmas toys," and trying to get all of our singing animals to sing at the same time. As they were unpacking, Syd found this little plastic jar that was left over from daycare teacher presents a few years ago. She was putting ornaments, toys, whatever she could find in it. Then she asked if we could put cookies in it. I tried to put her off 1) because I didn't want her walking around with a jug of cookies and 2) because I ALWAYS fill it with pretzel M&Ms and I'm super-flexible like that. But we were out of M&Ms so I acquiesced and let her put leftover gingersnaps (grossest cookie ever, BTW) in. And Eli, in a voice so incredulous said, "But that's for M&Ms!!"

It warms my heart to know that he knows we have a "Special Christmas M&M Jar" and that he was as blown away as I was that we would put anything else in it. Nothing says Christmas like rigid tradition.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The diabeetus

So it turns out that I did not narrowly escape the awesomeness that is gestational diabetes. Upside: with Eli, I didn't gain another pound after I started the diet. I'm already at half what I gained with the other two, so This may be the pregnancy where I don't gain 60 pounds. Downside: lame, restrictive diet and a bazillion finger sticks.

I remember the basics from Eli, and I'll be meeting with the perinatologist and the dietitian next week, but if anyone's got some awesome GD recipes, PLEASE throw them my way!

a.k.a. "The Last Hurrah" I totally braved the elements to go out and get these, and I intend to eat most of them tonight. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving on the coast

Our last minute decision to head to my dad's for Thanksgiving was one of the best decisions we've made in a while. It was perfect, absolutely perfect. We didn't have anything planned except to hang out, so it was super low-key and low pressure. My dad lives on a pseudo-ranch, so Eli got to ride a three-wheeler and play in the goat pen (side note: WTF? The kid won't get within 20 feet of a feed-high sheep at the zoo but he'll jump right in the middle of thirty "real" goats and sheep who are anxiously awaiting food.) Thanksgiving was delicious and I made a really crappy cheesecake and a really awesome apple pie (from scratch!) 

The next day we went to one of our new favorite beaches that has amazing tide pools and is usually pretty secluded.

We also got all gussied up for the aforementioned awesome photography deal for our Christmas cards. The outfits I put together were perfect, and after a brief battle of the wills Syd agreed to wear her dress and brand-new red sparkle shoes. Of course, after driving an hour to a beautiful winery, Sydney flat-out refused to look at the photographer. And the two times she came close, Eli decided to give someone bunny ears. It was such a cluster-fuck that C made the kids solemnly apologize and sit for "as many pictures as Mama wants" when we got back to the house.

We slept in every morning until 8:00 while our kids were entertained by grandparents and/or iPads, watched movies, and had an overall awesome and much needed holiday. Now we're back, and kicking into high Christmas gear. This year we're debating buying a fake tree or getting a real one (since we're not getting C's sweet sweet discount anymore). I am intrigued by the idea of not having to water a tree or figure out how to get rid of it when we move and remember it's still behind the house in January Thoughts or opinions? 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Randomy random

Snippets from a disjointed train of thought...

Waldo is totally the third kid. C went to his very first doctor's appointment (except for the ultrasound of course) last week. Syd came too, and she got to help the doctor find Waldo with the doppler. She thought she was very, very cool. It was so adorable I almost didn't freak out at the radio silence I'm getting so used to (Not to worry. Waldo just continues to be evasive. This is going to be the baby that gets stuck under furniture.) In other exciting news, the doctor said that my sugars were "Especially high" and so we get to bump the glucose test up a whole month! I had raging gestational diabetes with Eli, and somehow escaped it with Syd. Though in hindsight I probably was undiagnosed, given that she was enormous. I'm really motivated to avoid having a twelve pound baby, and gestational diabetes does come with risks, so I'm happy to get tested as soon or as often as I need to. But the diet is such an epic pain in the ass and it eliminates everything delicious like french fries, cereal, and almost all baked goods. So I'm totally bingeing this week, before I get the results back and have to act like a reasonable, responsible adult. Bring on the orange juice!

I was IEXed (indecent exposured) today at work for the very first time, which given where I work is pretty impressive. Or more likely, the first time I ever caught someone. Such a creeper. We're literally having a conversation, like normal people, and I look down to see him going at it (I really tried to think of a more creative way to say that, but go look up "Euphemisms for masturbation" People are sick.) So I say the first thing that comes to mind, which is the uber-professional and clinical "DUDE?!" and this butt-head goes, "Oh. Sorry about that." like he bumped into me at the grocery store. So then the write-up is a whole freaking package, and I have to be counseled by several custody staff. The whole thing took over an hour. And the whole time people kept asking if I was okay. Which started to make me wonder if I should be more traumatized or feel more violated. But really, it wasn't traumatizing. Just gross and sort of pathetic. It's not like he spit on me. Or worse. Aaaannnnd, the award for most awkward and disturbing mental picture goes to...

C took the kids to the Children's Museum today and Eli came home with a sign for over my bed that says "I'm thankfull for you." Which literally made me cry. That kid is so freaking sweet sometimes. Also, kind of a sociopath. During his parent-teacher conference we learned that he'd not only snuck his DS to school, but he got it confiscated during recess. The teacher assumed we knew all this, since a parent has to retrieve the confiscated item. Except in Eli's case. Somehow this kid was able to con the office staff into letting him have it back against policy. And kept it a secret for over a month. The teacher's exact quote was, "I'm pretty sure he'll run the world someday, but first grade probably isn't the time for it yet." But on a more positive note, he's doing great academically. She said he's at the top of the class in reading and finishes his assignments so quickly that she lets him keep a library book in his desk so he won't disturb (read: distract) his classmates. He thinks this is about the most awesome thing ever.

The goal this month is to finish the month in the black. It's not going so well. And not really for any good reason. There's been a couple of awesome groupons and there's a good chance I can get our Christmas card picture taken by the photographer we like for super cheap. I obviously need a contingency fund. And to reevaluate my priorities. But yay! Christmas card pictures! So, so, so hoping it works out.

At the last minute we decided to head to my dad's for Thanksgiving. It's a drive, but I had the strongest urge to spend the holiday with family. Luckily I was able to not only get it off, but figure out that they owe me about two days vacation. So I get to go out of town AND it doesn't screw up my maternity leave plans.

Speaking of, I was writing to a friend yesterday and realized that I'm six months pregnant. WTF? When did that happen? And when did three months get so short? And why has it taken me 24 months of pregnancy to discover the awesomeness of leggings?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

One down!

This is going to be Syd's "big" gift. It's still missing a bib and another couple diapers, and I want to throw in a couple baby bottles from the dollar store, but I love how it's looking so far. She's going to love it!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Y'all, Homemade Christmas 2.0 has commenced. Supplies have been ordered/bought/procured and I have what will likely turn out to be more ideas than time. I was getting a little worried because I was really stumped, but over the past couple days it's been a crafty avalanche of ideas around here. I'm so freaking excited! I was worried about whether the kids were going to be on board, but I mentioned buying a gift the other day and Eli says, "But Mom, it's HOMEMADE Christmas!" So we're good. Santa will still be bringing "elf-made" gifts, but both kids have very, very small lists (as in, please kid for the love of God, your grandparents will be asking soon and I need more than one thing). I'm working very hard to restrain myself from going further than I need to. Which we all know is not very far. Both kids are going to be thrilled with the one or two things they've been asking for for over a month.

We're also trying to be a bit more frugal this year, although to be honest that's a goal we start with every year. We ended up not getting the previously mentioned house, which sucks, but also made a nice (and hopefully not too expensive) learning experience. And one of the things we learned is that our finances are a mess. They're not out of control, but they're not exactly "streamlined." So our goal for the next few months, before we try again, is to clean them up. One of the ways to do that is to pay off these stupid, small balance credit cards that we just drag along month to month. And one of the ways to do that is to not go crazy buying stuff the kids don't even want. We've also agreed between all seven of our combined siblings (and spouses) to eliminate gifts for each other. Grandparent gifts will be homemade by the kids (though I'll probably help :) ) I tell you all this in the interest of accountability. Because I'm sure my gift-buying restraint will waver as the holiday gets closer.

Anyway, back to YAY Homemade Christmas!! I'll try to post pictures of my progress, especially on the kids' gifts. Some of the others will have to wait until after the holidays because their recipients have been known to stop by the blog. But rest assured, all will be awesome.

What about you? Are you making any gifts or doing other things to cut down on the holiday-induced spending splurge? What about stockings? I'm totally stumped there.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Big Girl

I've been really worried about how Syd was going to react to the new baby, especially since the new baby is a girl. She's not exactly a "sit in the background" kind of kid, and she seems to cherish her role as the family baby. Luckily for us, and of course, we shouldn't have worried because Syd has become OBSESSED with being a big girl. We went garage-sale-ing today and it was so, so perfect. Sydney told me this morning that she wanted to look for "Big girl toys. Not baby toys because baby toys are for babies. Big girl toys." 
From left to right: A princess sword, "Big girl puzzle," "Big girl phone," and balloons
And the girl scored. She's been running around swinging the wand around, saying, "I destroy you!" If you tell her it's a wand she corrects you and tells you that it's a Princess Sword and that she's a Princess Ranger. The puzzle was immediately identified as a "big girl puzzle" because it has 70 pieces. Which she joyfully watched me put together after her nap. The phone was a bit of a stretch but she made it and keeps calling her aunt and cousin. The balloons weren't a big girl toy, but it totally cracks me up because they're left over from someone's 13th birthday. 

She's so funny right now. She's tentatively potty training, but she tells me that she's going in her diaper and declines the potty as often as she's willing to sit and try. She wants to help me cook dinner every night and gets super-angry if I won't let her help with every aspect. 

Other things I want to make sure that I don't forget:
If she loves something, it's "prettyful" 
She says she's as strong as a kangaroo whenever she lifts something heavy. No idea why she thinks kangaroos are so strong.
Her favorite breakfast is "Ebby Geddy" (peanut butter and jelly) but she'll only eat the very middle of the sandwich.
She flips through her books and tells these awesome, long stories with beginnings, middles, and ends. Then she asks, "Wasn't that a great story?" 
She keeps calling us different names. Yesterday we were Mami and Papi. The day before was Mother and Father. Today it's Mommy and Daddy. If she's talking about C, she'll call him by his name. 
She's started rubbing earlobes for comfort. She'll rub her own if she needs to, but if we're holding her or snuggling chances are she's got her fingers on our ear. She even climbs up next to Eli so she can rub his ear. It's about the sweetest thing ever. 
She has three babies that she alternates between. Their names are Tasha, Pinqua, and BlueBlue (aka Tasha, Uniqua, and Pablo ala Backyardigans)
She hates when strangers call her "cute." Yesterday a store worker heard her complain and so said, "That little girl isn't cute at all!" Syd was simultaneously dismayed and totally pleased with herself. 

She's so, so fun right now. I don't know how she packs so much personality into such a tiny little package, but I'm so grateful that I get to be there to see what she'll come up with next. 
She's a pretty awesome Big Girl. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Talking up a storm

Last night Syd climbed up on my lap and took the pen I was using to make out my grocery list. She flipped the page and announced that she was writing a letter to a friend's daughter, Hannah.

Me: Sydney, that's so nice! What are you going to say? Are you going to tell her that you miss her and can't wait to play with her?

Syd: Mmhmm

Me: She's going to be so excited. I bet she'll say to her mama, "I can't wait to see Sydney!"

Syd: Mama. Babies don't talk.

Me: Oh, Hannah talks now. I talked to her mom and she said that Hannah says a lot of things. I bet next time you see her she'll be talking up a storm!

Syd: (Without looking up) Well that sounds kind of scary.

This girl cracks me up!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


C and I are out of town. Together. With no kids. We wandered around for hours, went into shops full of breakables, and ate dinner at a restaurant without a kids' menu. And while I miss the babies, it's been SUCH a nice day.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

We totally overdid it this year, so by tonight the babies were just about over it. Which worked out pretty well because after twenty minutes of trick-or-treating they were easily talked into going home to watch The Princess Bride.
Of course, there's no pics from tonight but here's a few from previous festivities. Note that Syd is NOT Angelina Ballerina (and not wearing the adorable costume I put together). She still told everyone that's what she was though, and people in the know we're very, very confused.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Baby Waldo

Baby Waldo is living up to her name these days. In the past week she's had three ultrasounds because she is "elusive." The first was the one where we discovered she has legs. (For future reference in case we do this again, Waldo started kicking HARD this week. So remember, 21 weeks, totally normal.) Then at the OB, she couldn't get a heartbeat, so after ten full minutes of poking and prodding, we got another ultrasound. And then, I got the pleasure of going to another office at 7:30 last night for a follow-up because apparently Waldo doesn't like to have her face photographed and they wanted to rule out a cleft palate (no cleft palate. Just a stubborn baby). The poor tech last night said the exam should have taken less than five minutes, but we were in there for forty-five, trying to sweet talk a fetus into showing her face.

I just can't express how relieved I am after seeing her swimming around in there. I'm sure I'll get worried again, but I feel like a totally different person. And it's freed up a lot of mental energy to worry about other things. Like stupid buying stupid houses. Which is stupid. And also, all of my insanely crazy, what the fuck just happened? dreams. These dreams are seriously giving me a taste of what it might be like to be psychotic. Last night I dreamt of giant mutant fish, John Goodman, voodoo, and a room full of treadmills.

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's A....

Zombie baby!
Seriously? How freaky is this picture?

Who is also a girl! A girl with two legs and two arms and perfect in every way. And she was moving and  kicking so much I had to do yoga poses for the tech to get all of the measurements. Turns out every reasonable, rational person was right and the placenta is anterior, which means she's got a handy little punching bag in there. She measures a few days early, but that's to be expected since neither C or I are especially large people. And the figure that she's 12.5 oz. So now I'm picturing this feisty little soda in there.

I can't begin to explain how relieved I am. I knew I was being crazy, but I just couldn't get past the fear that this was all too good to be true. Thank you so much for all the kind words and reassurances, both here and elsewhere. And for those of you that got to personally witness the crazy, thank you so much for your patience and for not laughing in my face.

Sisters! I cannot wait to paint their room pink and torture them with matching outfits!


Today is the "BIG" ultrasound and because this pregnancy is the pregnancy where I lost all ability to be logical, rational, or reasonable (and had better access to the internet) I have come up with about eleventy million things that could go wrong. Enough that finding out who's going to tip the gender balance in the house is an afterthought. Gah! I know I'm crazy, and yet I just can't stop. I googled "Bad news at 20 week ultrasound" for God's sake (DON'T DO THAT! EVER EVER EVER!). Because I'm insane. For example, there is a large part of me that reasons that if I put this on the internet then everything will be just fine because of course that's the way it works.

On top of that, we may be in the final stages of buying a house. Our inspection is today, right before the ultrasound. It was a moment of really beautiful scheduling and perfectly exemplifies how C and I operate in the world. So C is going to meet the inspector while I meet the babysitter, and then we're both going to haul ass to the ultrasound. Afterwards we're grabbing take-and-bake, rushing home, shoveling food in our mouths, and rushing to the "Harvest Carnival (costumes welcome!)" at Eli's school. Which I am so unbelievably excited for (*sarcasm*).

This may be the longest day, ever. I know, logically, that most likely it will be great and my money right now is on girl baby (although I FINALLY had a baby dream last night and it was clearly a boy. With an accent and diabolical intentions.)  The house inspection should also be fine and this house is just so, so pretty. If everything is good, I'm rewarding myself with a can of turquoise paint (for the kitchen) and something pink and frilly (or striped and masculine) for the baby. And if the baby in fact does have no legs, I'll splurge on some cute nightgowns.

Stay tuned...

Edited to add this awesome exchange:

C: What are you doing?
Me: Writing a blog about how crazy I am.
C: Wow. That must be really long. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weirdest baby advice ever

People have had varying reactions to this baby, I think in part because most of the people I interact with are co-workers. Most of course eventually come around to excitement. My boss simply cannot wait until I'm enormous, and loves to talk babies. My guy co-workers are loving all the weird pregnancy symptoms like the superhuman sense of smell and increased startle reflex. The officers seem to have adopted me as a little sister and keep hugging me. I'm enjoying everyone saying, "Is this your first?" and then acting shocked when I tell them that this will be number 3. And most say that the kids' timing is perfect.

So today a woman I work with, who I haven't seen in about a month, gave me a belated congratulations. And she asked about the other kids, their ages, etc. She started down the "perfect age" path when she heard that Eli was six. We were laughing about how Syd might have a hard time not being the baby anymore. And then she said, "Just don't leave them alone together!" I laughed because, really, what's the appropriate response? And she grabbed my arm and repeated, quite seriously, "No, really. Don't leave them alone together. She's going to have a hard time for awhile." WTF?

Although, last night I had to tell her that she couldn't hit her brother with a stick and she asked, "Well, what can I do with it then?"

What's the weirdest advice you ever got? And have you ever worried about fratricide? Because honestly, never crossed my mind before.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Apple picking!

Apple picking has been my "issue" for the last month or so. I really, really wanted to take the kids but couldn't get the schedule to work out because of Eli's basketball on Saturdays and my working on Sundays. I actually thought about taking Eli out of school to take him apple picking. Priorities, right? But this weekend my folks were in town and I took Sunday off, so apple picking we went! It was super fun, but also super crowded and hotter than we expected.

Syd insisted on wearing her apple dress. Love that girl! 

Eli had a very specific method that included picking three and only three of each variety. Poor kid, they all got dumped in with his sister's haphazardly chosen apples.

The best picture I got of them at the hay maze (story of my life). Eli LOVED it and broke every posted rule regarding jumping/climbing/roughhousing. Syd liked it up until the second that she didn't and pronounced it "too 'cary"

I let Eli have an apple sundae for lunch. Because I am the most awesome mom. Ever. He couldn't finish it so I took one for the team and licked the bowl clean.

Both the kids loved the animals, especially when they figured out that they were safely locked on the other side of the fence.


Now we have sixteen pounds of various varieties of apples to use. I think each kid has had at least six today. I have no idea what we're going to do with the rest. Off to search the internets...
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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Just commit me now

So I thought, when we were throwing around the idea of number 3, that this one would be the easiest. Because, really, I've been pregnant with a boy, and pregnant with a girl. I've been pregnant in grad school and pregnant with a full time job. I've been pregnant and totally, grossly indulgent and I've been pregnant and super health conscious (though with a side of cupcakes). Long story short, this ain't my first rodeo. But I was so, so wrong.

See, the reality is that number 3 is even worse, because if it doesn't go just like numbers 1 and 2, something must be terribly wrong. These are things that I've said, out loud, in the last few weeks.

"I'm really worried that maybe the baby doesn't have legs and that's why I'm not feeling kicks yet."

After my last doctor's appointment, "I only gained two pounds." Said forlornly.

"Baby, please tell me that I look fatter today."

"I've been crazy, right? Right? I'm pretty sure I've been crazier than normal lately."

My dad told me that this was the most fit I've ever looked pregnant and I took it as an insult.

It's no exaggeration to say that when I'm pregnant, it hits me HARD. With the last two, I gained 60 pounds each. I'm 5'3" and have big babies, so they have nowhere to go but out. People have genuinely assumed that I was having twins and asked if it was triplets. I've been recognized in public by strangers based solely on the my enormity. So you'd think that I'd see my mini-bump as a blessing. An awesome bonus. The universe's way of cutting me and my poor stretched out belly a break. But noooooo. Because I'm insane I take my lack of girth as a sign of all things horrible. And the whole baby-moving thing? I have no idea, whatsoever, how far along I was when I could feel Eli and Syd. Instead, because I'm an overachiever, I took it to heart when they said that moms feel it sooner in subsequent pregnancies and so I've been freaked out since week twelve. Even though all the wisdom  of the internets tells me that it's all totally normal and reasonable. Even though I know there's probably nothing to worry about. I mean, if nothing else my sugar intake is significantly lower than with Eli and Syd and this may be the first fetus who hasn't been all cracked out on baked goods (and as such, may sleep!)

Those of you with a first, second, third, fourth, seventeenth, or no kids, please reassure me that I'm merely a crazy lunatic and not intuitive or psychic. Because otherwise it's going to be a LOOOOOONNGG twenty-two weeks.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Plague

Last week I took Sydney to the Children's Museum while Eli was at school. She wanted to paint and I thought it would be fun to have a mommy-daughter day. It totally was! It was especially great because she stayed away from all the exhibits I hate (water room of horrors) and focused on the places that I like (recycled art! salad spinner painting!). It was a lovely day complete with a lovely picnic of apples and cheese and beautiful manners in public. Fast forward three days, which is just long enough for millions of unwashed baby germs to manifest into one of the worst colds I have ever had. I came home (or was banned, depending on who you ask) from work in the middle of the day on Monday, changed my clothes, sat down on the couch, and woke up on Wednesday. It. Was. Awful. Poor C, I couldn't even pretend to parent and instead just wallowed in my misery and cursed the tiny spawn that was preventing me from taking "the good drugs." That and yelling/moaning at the kids, "Don't touch me!" "Don't drink from my water bottle!" "Don't get my germs!" "Go wash your hands!" Eli even felt so bad for me that he used his own money to buy me chocolate. Finally yesterday I woke up, stayed awake for several hours, and got confirmation that yes, I could take Sudafed without giving the baby a third eye. Blissfully I started to feel quasi-human again. Last night, as C and I were picking up the house after I'd put the kids to bed, he told me "This last week was hard. I can't do this all by myself." And the sounds of millions of moms singing could be heard throughout the heavens. Poor guy is ragged.

Today I'm a solid 75%. I have pants on, I've eaten actual food, and I'm not rocking the oh-so-attractive Vaseline under the nose look. Looking around, I'm relieved that C seems healthy and that the kids don't seem to be coming down with anything. And then. Then Syd asks me for toilet paper (because we're classy and ran out of Kleenex two days ago) so she can wipe her nose.

Pray for us. It could be a long few weeks.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


This is Syd pretending to be me at work. I love how she nailed the bored, far-off stare...

Friday, September 21, 2012


We got an inmate on the unit a couple months ago, and on the first day he was assigned to someone else's caseload. As I walked past his cell he called me over and asked, "Do you like Linkin Park?" I gave some vague, short answer because this type of question is usually a lead in to, "Hey, what's this is in my hand?! So sorry, I didn't see you there. Please keep talking." Eww.

A few weeks later, this inmate was still on the unit, and he again called me over. "Hey, aren't you the one I was asking about Linkin Park? You never answered." So I gave another vague, but less defensive answer because if you're there that long, it's usually because you're crazy. Something along the lines of "Yeah. They're pretty good. Why do you ask?" Then I went to my office and Googled "Linkin Park" because I'm not really as cool as people think I am.

The next day he was on my caseload, which gave me the opportunity to figure out what this guy's obsession with Linkin Park is. Turns out, he's not all that into them, but he "knows" that I used to hang with them, and he was letting me know that my secret was safe. Apparently I'm WAY cooler than people think I am.

This dude kept this up for several more weeks. Never outright saying it, but always alluding the idea that I had this shady past hanging out with drug dealers/musicians. I wasn't even a groupie, but more a member of their inner circle. And then I hung that all up to talk people out of eating paperclips and smearing shit on the windows. Living the dream...

Reason #4567 that my job rocks: I'm pretty fucking awesome in other people's delusions.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

For future reference

Because apparently there's no such thing as too neurotic in my universe, I'm now obsessing about, ready for this?, not getting fat enough. So I present photographic evidence that I am in fact rotund, and ask that you slap me across the face with it four months from now.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


A totally impulsive decision that worked out pretty well, if I do say so myself.

Side note: Did you know that at the cheap place with the sails, they have to charge extra if they brush your hair? Chick had to sneak the brush over and then hide it behind my purse.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Honest Woman

I had to pry my ring off this morning, and it wasn't pretty. Apparently with your third your wedding ring shrinks. That has to be it, because there's no way my fingers swelled up that much in four months. Ten bucks later and I'm an honest woman again.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Three years later

Excuse the radio silence, but you know how it is when you're trying not to talk about something? Baby Waldo was a bit like that. We had a bit of a rough start. But now that we're solidly past the first trimester, I'm hugely showing, and I've started to feel the tiny rolls that suggest it's not just a food-baby, I feel like I can publicly document Waldo's introduction to our family.

On the fourth of July we started thinking, "Hmmmm." July 7th and we were thinking, "Oh crap! What have we done?" I called to make the doctor's appointment and laughed when we couldn't find a day that didn't conflict with my vacation plans. "Ha ha! This isn't my first rodeo! Remember with Eli I was practically sitting in front of the office for six weeks?" We scheduled our first appointment for the Friday before our epic road trip.

Fast forward to that appointment. The doctor was lovely. I smugly reported that I'd been feeling great! Can I keep training for my 10K? Oh no, this isn't my first. This'll be number three. Yep, a six year old and a two year old. How many pregnancies? Three. Wait. Four. Oh.

That one. We don't talk about That one. It was three years ago. Six weeks pregnant and excited to give Eli a little brother or sister. C, Eli, and I went on a road trip to Duluth, where we had grand plans of seeing the Great Lakes and the Duluth Zoo. On the way up, C and I joked that we needed to come up with a nickname for this one before he/she was forever branded "New one." We stayed in some hotel that had vacancies when we pulled in at 9:00 that night. The next morning I ran downstairs to grab breakfast before they closed up the donut cases. For some reason there wasn't an elevator. Walking back up the stairs, balancing plates of donuts, waffles, and orange juice glasses I had an unmistakable feeling. Back in the room I quietly put down the plates and went to the bathroom. There, staring at the yellow speckled linoleum peeling on the floor, I knew. I frantically tried to convince myself otherwise, but I knew. We called the doctor and they gave us the generic, "Nothing we can do. Keep your feet up. Hope for the best. Go to the hospital if..."

For some reason, probably hoping that normalcy would change reality, we didn't cut our trip short. C and Eli went to the Zoo while I laid in bed with my feet as high as I could get them. We drove by the Great Lakes and C brought a cup of the water to the car so I could feel how cold it was. I cried, a lot. I remember thinking that I hadn't "earned" the right to be this sad, that we'd only just found out about this little being of potential, that I'd never truly understood grief before. Finally home, I continued to cry. There kept being this sliver of hope, this chorus of "Too early for a heartbeat" and "it might be fines." But we knew. And the tests confirmed it. We cried, we grieved, and three weeks later (against conventional advice) we were pregnant with Syd. You all know how that turned out.

All that came rushing back as I sat in the doctor's office, waiting for the big reveal. The doctor pulled out the ultrasound and, somewhat apologetically said, "I prefer to jump right in and we can talk about the other stuff after." And I flippantly said, "Let's make sure there's someone in there." She started the ultrasound and there was silence. And more silence. She told me not to judge anything by her face and I told her that I knew what we weren't seeing. She finished and apologized, saying that it was still a little early but that it didn't look good. Come in for the tests. Your trip isn't timed well. I'd be cautious about telling people unless you want the extra support. Go to the hospital if...

That appointment was three years, almost to the day, after that weekend in Duluth. Another weekend, this time just waiting. More tests. More waiting. Bracing myself for what may be coming. And then, an e-mail on Monday morning saying, "Your tests look great. Let's do a better ultrasound." And then Monday afternoon, in a darkened room, with a tech and I both making polite chitchat and avoiding the elephant in the room, there was Waldo. Heart beating like a tiny little beacon. Strong and clear.

I was so relieved I almost puked. Although that might have been the morning sickness, which hit with a vengeance the next day.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Guess I'll keep him...

"I love all that you have done for me Thank you Mom I Love You sooooooooooooooooo MUCH!"

Friday, August 31, 2012


We headed to the coast for my dad's birthday, and I had the brilliant idea to leave after work. Which, in hindsight, made for a very long day. About halfway through the drive we stopped for gas and rations. When we got back in the car, I felt something drip onto my foot. WTF? In a feat of inspired drivership, I pulled my foot up to check and found nothing. I turned on the light and asked C to check. Nothing. Ten minutes later I saw something flutter on the dashboard. Turned on the light again to find a fucking FROG cruising on my dashboard. W.T.F?! It's like a plague in the mom-mobile. What's the weirdest thing you've ever found in your car!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Eli's explaining that when he grows up he wants to be a rodeo director. There's a park and a barn dance and a bar and of course, a rodeo. He wants to be the boss so he can make fun rodeo rules. If Daddy's not dead, he can be a clown and if I'm not dead, I'm going to be a barrel racer (he later added that I also get to be the rodeo queen!) He's not so sure about hiring Sydney, but he'll hire anyone who wants to join the rodeo.

Love this kid so freaking much.

Get it where you can

We're out of babysitter money so this is C, relaxing at BK while our kids run amok on the play place. Parents of the year on so many levels. Also, when I'm bitching about how much weight I'm gaining, remind me that I chose the deep fried chicken over the much more reasonable anything else.