Friday, November 30, 2012

Day of Kindness

First off, I apologize for taking so long to write this post.  I have really been struggling over whether or not to even post about what we did for my birthday because I didn't want it to come off as me looking for a pat on the back for "all the nice things" we did.  I don't want to take away from how much that day meant to me by flaunting it.

 Because that day of kindness was truly the best birthday I have ever had.  It was so fun looking for ways to go the extra mile.  I was caught off-guard by how people's reactions affected me.  I was brought near tears many times throughout the day.  And then to think that so many of you reached out on that same day made me feel so happy.

I'd like to share my two favorite "random acts" and then also let you know what others sent to me that day via text, facebook, email, twitter and in person to let me know how the kindness was spreading.

1. I made two dinners for two families in Anna's class who have new babies at home.  These were by far my favorite reactions of the day.  I've been on the receiving end of this and know how much a pre-made meal can mean after a night of no sleep and a long day of demanding kids, housework, etc.  It made me happy to pay this one forward.

2. The kids and I took cupcakes to the fire station down the street from our house.  The fire fighters were so sweet, talking with both Anna and Henry, and invited us to come back when it's a bit warmer to look at the fire trucks.  Just made me want to cook for them even more!

Some of the acts of kindness sent to me by others (and some of the rest of mine mixed in):

  • Returning shopping carts (in a snow storm, no less!)
  • Buying a friend a shot of tequila
  • Surprise deliveries of baked goods
  • Holding doors open for people (this was Anna's - she made a point to open and hold every door for me the whole day)
  • Paying for the next person in line at the drive-thru
  • Sharing a parking pass with a stranger
  • Offering a shopping cart to someone at Aldi so they could save their quarter
  • Treating a friend (or a stranger) to lunch
  • Showing a bit of extra appreciation for a server
  • Surprise flowers for a friend
I'd also like to offer a very special thanks to the friend who dropped by in the afternoon, unexpectedly, and offered me the opportunity to take a nap.  A nap!!  I got to take a nap on my birthday and it was fabulous.

Did you commit a random act of kindness in November?  What did you do?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wednesday Plans and Weekend Recap

I'm getting so excited for Wednesday!  I've spent quite a bit of time thinking, planning and baking in preparation for our day of kindness.  I've also been going the extra mile where I see the opportunity because I'm paying attention.  I'm so hopeful that I can keep some of this enthusiasm for spreading kindness throughout the year.  Because something as simple as a stranger holding the door open for me to wrangle Anna and the 1,000 lb baby carrier through really makes my day so much easier.  And it's such a simple thing.

I hope you all are having as much fun coming up with fun ways to spread kindness this week.  You don't have to go crazy with spending money (though if I were made of money, I can promise you that my "random acts" would be so much grander than they are going to be!).  Something as simple as holding a door, returning a shopping cart or picking up trash can be inspiring to another person.  And my huge hope is that people who receive kindness are inspired to pass it on!

This was a great weekend.  I ran my 2nd 5K on Sunday morning with my good friend, Joanna.  We tried to start a team and have another people sign up with us.  We even had an awesome team name - Is This Yoga?

Alas, it was a busy weekend for many and we were the only two to sign up.  And it was only 28 degrees.  But we're Midwestern girls and wouldn't let a little frost scare us off of a good ol' run through the Milwaukee County Zoo!

After our run, Hubby and I hosted a "Friendsgiving" dinner at our house for some of our friends.  It was so fun to eat a (HUGE) meal with our friends, many of whom now have kids.  Watching the kids playing together may have been the most fun part of the afternoon.

Plus today little Llama Face figured out how to roll back to front. And now the circle is complete.  He rolled all the way across the living room twice today.  Time to clean up the Barbie shoes! Oy.  I'm not quite ready for him to be mobile!

I can't wait to share our day of kindness with you after Wednesday.  Even more than that, I can't wait to share your random acts of kindness!  So don't forget to check in with me (if you're comfortable sharing the details) and let me know what you did to make someone's day!

P.S. To the friend who bought me a shot of tequila as her random act of kindness, cheers!  I'll save it for a night that we can enjoy it together.  :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Are You Ready?

The other day, as I flopped exhausted on the kitchen floor, staring at the 200 dead bugs lodged in the kitchen light fixture, with baby toys being flung at my outstretched legs and stompy feet playing "hop over mommy's head," I was thinking how much I really have to be thankful for in my life.  There's a lot.  I'm not going to get late-night, low-on-sleep sappy on you here, but, truly, I am blessed.

I want to spread those blessings! So I want to remind you, that this coming WEDNESDAY is the day.  In this post a few weeks ago, I asked you all to join me on my birthday crusade to shower the world with random acts of kindness.  We've been talking a LOT about this in my house for the last month (so much so that if I hold a door open for someone, Anna asks if it's my birthday already).  We've already done a couple of things toward the day, and are preparing for Wednesday.

Please help me celebrate my birthday on Wednesday by bringing a smile to someone around you.  Stranger, friend, neighbor, family member - anyone could use a day-brightener!

**If you are interested, I have another opportunity related to this, but I am not currently allowed to discuss it publicly.  Please contact me ASAP privately to let me know you'd like to commit a random act of kindness in a slightly bigger way.  (The reason for the secrecy is not as exciting as it sounds - I will be able to explain later next week.)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I Need Your Help

My birthday is coming up next month. It's not a milestone birthday, but I'm still excited.  I'm excited because growing up is an adventure.  I'm excited because I get to celebrate with my family.  And I'm excited because I have a great idea to make this my greatest birthday ever.  But I need your help!

I was inspired by this post I found on Pinterest (horribly addicted) a few months ago.  Essentially, this woman chose to spend her birthday committing random acts of kindness.  What an awesome idea!  I've long wanted to start the "pay for the person behind me" chain in a Starbucks drive-thru.  So this year, I'm using my birthday as an excuse to do it and to find other ways to go out of my way to be nice to people.  And I am going to ask all of you to give me a gift as well.

I want everyone who reads this post to do something nice for someone - a friend, a neighbor, a complete stranger, ANYONE!  And I want to hear about it in the comments of this post.  I'll come back after my day of random acts of kindness and share with you what the kids and I decided to do to brighten people's days.  I can't wait to see what you all come up with.

The best birthday gift I can imagine is to have hundreds of stranger smiling because people read this post.  So please spread the word and come back soon (before the 2nd week in November) and let me know what you did (or if you don't want to share the specifics, just let me know that you did something).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Warning: Post is about pet death.

This is really long.  I've been feeling so sad since Macie died on Saturday night that I felt like I needed to get my feelings down in writing.

When hubby and I got married our senior year of college, I (naively) thought I wanted a baby right away.  Hubby offered a compromise and suggested we adopt a kitten instead.  We wound up adopting two kittens from the same litter, a male and a female - Mac and Macie. 

They were little fluffy balls of energy.  Our favorite memories of those early days were of Mac and Macie chasing each other all around the apartment and falling asleep mid-stride on the carpet.  Mac once fell off the back of the couch and before he hit the seat cushions, he was sound asleep.  They played together.  They snuggled together.  When they stayed overnight at the vet to be declawed and spayed/neutered, the vet techs had to put them into the same cage to sleep together because they wouldn't stop crying apart. The kittens were so tiny that they both fit into the front pocket of hubby's hoodie sweatshirt, where they loved to snuggle and nap.

The cats were our first "children."  We loved them.  My mom sent them Christmas gifts.  They became part of the family, as pets usually do.  After Anna was born, both cats were very interested in the loud, smelly bundle we'd brought home.  Mac was jumpy, but Macie just seemed to know that Anna would be her buddy.  As Anna learned to walk, she'd follow Macie around, chanting, "Kuh! Kuh!" (how she pronounced cat) and Macie would let Anna pet her for a few minutes before she'd seek refuge on the top of the couch where Anna was unable to reach her.

When Anna moved into a big girl bed, Macie seized the opportunity to snuggle up with her on almost a nightly basis.  Anna quickly learned that Macie didn't particularly like being hugged or forced into doll cribs.  Macie was incredibly patient, but did nip a few times to remind Anna to back off.  Anna always forgave her.

We took Macie to the vet shortly before Henry was born because she was visibly losing weight.  The doctor said it was stress.  I wish I had forced the issue.  I wish I had asked for blood work then.  Because a few weeks later, the baby was born and my life got turned upside down for a while.  And by the time I saw just how much weight Macie had continued to lose, it was too late.  Hubby says not to blame myself, but I can't help it.  I feel like I let her down.

We tried for almost a month to save her life after the vet diagnosed kidney "issues."  A round of antibiotics, two rounds of steroids, even daily IV fluids (thank you so much to my dear friend who came over every day for a week while hubby was traveling to help me with this!).  Things would improve for a day or two, but she continued to eat less and less.

We came home from picking hubby up at the airport after a week long business trip Saturday night.  I went up to the bedroom to put clean sheets on our bed and discovered that Macie had had an accident behind the chair.  But as I tried to get her to move away from the area so I could clean it up, it became clear that this was more than an accident.  She was so weak she could barely move.  She moaned and laid down and couldn't get back up.  She was bleeding.  We found evidence that she'd been searching around our bedroom for a place to die.  Poor Mac, in an effort to alert me earlier that day, had peed on my side of the bed (wake up, woman, my sister is not well!), but I figured he was ticked off that I had taken Macie's special food away from him.  So Macie had spent the day in pain and alone.

Hubby took her right away to the animal ER.  They said it was end stage kidney failure.  There was nothing more they could do.  She died in hubby's arms. 

I never thought I would be this sad about an animal dying. Anna has dealt with it in spurts.  Her initial reaction was to get out crayons and paper to make a project in honor of Macie, but she dissolved into tears at the table.  She told hubby later this past weekend that she thought she had gotten Macie sick.  And that about broke my heart. 

This afternoon, the vet's office that last treated Macie sent us a card with something special enclosed.  It was a pet sympathy car with the rainbow bridge story enclosed, plus 3 colored notecards with Macie's paw prints stamped on each of them.  Anna claimed the blue one right away.  I hung one up on the refrigerator.  And then cried for a good long time.

Something is missing in our house.  It just feels off.  I keep thinking I hear Macie's triumphant meow of discovering the perfect beanie baby to haul around in her mouth or her twittering noises she used to make at light reflections on the ceiling in the living room.  Mac is grieving in his own special way (peeing and pooping all over the house).  I just feel so bad for him that he's lost his sister.  Until Saturday, he'd never been away from her a day in his life. 

We're all adjusting.  I know I won't be sad forever.  I know she wasn't a person and I feel a little silly that I'm this sad over a cat.  But she was MY cat.  And I loved her.  An I miss her.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Anna's "How To" - Back to School Edition

Anna's "How To": How to Get Ready for School

1. Play dead when mom comes in to wake you up. 
2. Erupt into tears when she suggests you remove your PJs in favor of the outfit she picked out for you.
3. Choose your replacement outfit on your own while she's not looking.  Stripes and polka dots DO go together and pants are ALWAYS optional. Also, no matter what mom says, tights ARE actually pants and CAN be worn on their own.  That woman has no clue about fashion.
4. Feign ignorance when mom suggests that you need breakfast.  Breakfast?  Please.  Breakfast is for the weak.
5. Change your mind at least 4 times about what food is acceptable to your distinguished taste buds for today's breakfast.  Foods you loved yesterday are now disgusting to you.  Keep mom on her toes by deciding halfway through breakfast preparation that you no longer want what she is making.
6. No matter how many times mom says "Eat your breakfast," DO. NOT. GIVE. IN. This is a scare tactic employed by adults who are out to rule the morning routine.  The longer you hold out, the more you are stickin' it to the man (or the mom, as the case may be).
7. Brushes of any kind are not to be trusted.  It's best to hide at the mere mention of a tooth or hair brush
8. Growls and mean faces are the only forms of response required when mom demands that you "stop fooling around and just put your shoes on already!"
9. Get in your car seat, buckle your seat belt and DEMAND your favorite selection of music be played immediately.  Chant, yell or roar until mom complies.
10. Make sure you finish picking your nose before it's time to cross the street to school.  Don't worry about a tissue.  Moms don't care if you wipe it on their hands.
11. Act cool in front of the other kids about saying good bye to your mom and brother, but as soon as she walks out the door, run after her screaming, "WAIT!  I WANT TO HUG MY BROTHER!"  Moms don't need hugs like babies do.

*Anna is thoroughly enjoying school now. She's made some friends and loves recess.  She was very angry with me that this past weekend was four days long.  Hope she's ok with this coming weekend only being two days!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Letter to Teacher

Dear "Kindergarten Teacher,"

I want to begin by saying I am not placing blame, simply trying to find out how on earth something like this might have happened on the second day of school.  I'm also not saying that this happened on your watch, but by my calculations, it must have occurred during school hours.

Somehow, and I'm not sure how, as I know that you keep careful watch over your classroom, but somehow, Anna got pregnant with twin bunnies during school today.

Can we please schedule a meeting to discuss how to avoid future unplanned pregnancies?  I have far too many stuffed animals at my house already.

Thank you,

A Concerned Parent

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School

This morning started out like the opening scene of Finding Nemo (because I skip the ACTUAL opening scene where Coral and the eggs are massacred by the evil fish).  I pounced on Anna all excited-like chanting first day of school!  First day of school!  She rolled over and flopped back onto her pillow very dramatically and I had to resort to "Just get up already."  But we were both still excited. 

We got dressed, ate, packed up and were out the door EARLY, which is unheard of for us in the last few months, between Anna's ultra-putzy eating and trying to time everything with a baby. I only teared up twice during breakfast. We didn't forget anything either.  Doing well so far!  Took the obligatory "first day of school" photos before piling into the car and driving to school.

We dropped Anna off in her classroom alongside several other proud parents.  Most of the kids in her class looked more nervous than excited, Anna included.  But she remembered her teacher from her home visit last month and that made her feel secure enough for us to leave with just a couple of hugs.  Independent girl, that one.

Then I got teary eyed in the hallway outside the classroom and then again at church while we waited for the opening service to start. And again at home as I sat in my suddenly VERY quiet house and realized that I don't really want Anna to be at school.  I'm not ready for her to be gone every morning.  I'm not ready to share the responsibility of raising and educating her with someone else again.  I feel like I just got her back after two and a half years of working full time.  (Even though we had a great childcare experience which she still talks about all the time, I missed her horribly during that time.)

I realize it's the first day of a major transition for both of us. And I'm famously lacking in the "logic department." But there's a huge part of me that just wants to call this whole thing off.  K4 is not required by law.  Let's forget this whole thing and try again next year.  I want another year of her being little.  Another year of lazy mornings, drinking coffee on our back step while she decorates our driveway with her buckets of sidewalk chalk and colored bubbles.  Another year of snuggling on the couch, watching Disney Junior in our PJs.  What happened to the summer?  What happened to the last 4 years?

When I picked Anna up at lunchtime, she told me that she'd had fun, liked school, and absolutely did NOT want to go back tomorrow.  Hmm, kid, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this was not a one-time thing.  After an afternoon of incredible meltdowns and an unheard-of 2 hour nap from Anna, she and I both (separately) had good cries about the fact that she has to go back to school again tomorrow.  To her face I was enthusiastically supportive - asking questions about why she doesn't want to go back, offering things to look forward to, hatching plans to ask interesting questions of her classmates to get to know them better.  But here, in my room, I'm bawling.  Partially because I'm sleep-deprived (thank you very much, Llama Face), but mostly because I want to hug her tight the next time she says she doesn't want to go back and tell her I don't want her to go either and let's just stay here and bake things and hunt for bugs and play Barbies and paint the day away.

But being a grown-up means finding the will to go forward even when you don't want to.  So I'll be the grownup and I'll encourage her to keep trying.  I can almost promise that by the end of next week I'll have to pry her away from the classroom at pickup time.  But I'll still be missing my girl during my quiet mornings.

(A note - I am very thankful for my 1-on-1 time with Henry.  But even he was missing her today.  She's his favorite person in the world.  She loves him more than a buffalo, after all.)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How to Take a Bath

This was an exercise for the writer's group I belong to, and I enjoyed it so I thought I'd share.  The prompt was to write a list from a child's perspective on how to do something.  The example given was how to behave in church.  Very cute.  I had just had the afternoon bathtime from Hades so I focused on that for my response.  Here it is:

Anna's How-To: Take a Bath

1. When mom announces bathtime, strip naked, then run and hide. (Bonus points if you make it outside before she catches you.)
2. Dump ALL the bath toys into the tub before you get in.  If you've done this correctly, there should be approximately 9 square inches of open space for you to occupy.
3. Pretend not to hear when mom says to turn the water off.
4. When the water is so deep that you're floating a little, THEN turn it off.
5. Put on your goggles.
6. Fill at least 5 cups with water and place them strategically on the outside edge of the tub.  These will ward off and alert you to any incoming parents with the intent to wash.
7. Use your goggles to explore the 2 million bath toys you dumped into the tub in step 2.
8. Soap is a 4-letter word.  Treat it as such.
9. Resist "washing" until mom threatens to turn on the shower.  You don't want rain on your rubber duck parade.
10. Complain as much as possible during the washing process.  I promise, this makes it go faster.
11. "Keep the water in the tub" is just something grown-ups say. Go ahead and splash that stuff everywhere!
12. Rub soap across your lips. Blot lips together.  Now you will bubble when you talk.
13. When mom says it's time to get out, hunker down.  You're good and slippery all wet and naked.  No way she's getting you out of there by force.
14. Dry off - use this time to pretend you are Mary or a stone or just plain invisible under that towel.
15. Comb is another 4-letter word.  Run for the back door.
16. Insist on putting on your own pajamas.  Insist that backwards IS, in fact, the way you meant to wear them!
17. Brush your teeth.  Make sure you brush each. individual. tooth.  Repeat process as able with the toothpaste of every member of your family.
18. Fly into a rage at the mere mention of the removal of your toys from their positions in the tub.
19. Leave your towel on the floor.  You have people to clean up stuff like that.

Writing this from her perspective was fun!  I could see looking at other Anna-tics (Anna + antics - get it?  No?  Sorry.) and writing them out like this as well.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Anna the Super Sister

There's a song Anna loves from one of her Tom Hunter CDs that sings about getting up in the morning and leaving for your favorite place to play.  She asked me to sing it to her the other night, so I did. And when I paused so she could fill in her destination, she enthusiastically said "Hawaii!" And as I finished singing the verse she muttered, "by myself! And my brother is coming too."

Ever since Little Llama came along, I'm chopped liver. She tells him every day that she loves him more than me.  But refuses to clarify whether that means that she loves him more than she loves me or that she loves him more than I love him. I firmly believe that if she could lift him, she'd take over as his mother and banish me to my bedroom for the rest of the summer.  And I think I might take her up on it some days!

When I first found out I was pregnant last summer, I was really nervous.  Anna was in the middle of a really nasty tantrum phase and I was terrified about adding to the stress and responsibility of one child.  I was worried about how she would take the addition of a baby to our family.  Worried about how much worse her tantrums and behavior would get. Worried that she would think I didn't love her once the baby came along.

But you know what, that girl is a constant surprise.  She has handled the transition to Big Sister with amazing ease.  From the moment she walked into our hospital room in April, she has been nothing but proud and loving to that baby.  Only a few hiccups here and there, and I think I need to take responsibility for most of those.  I don't have much patience when I haven't gotten any sleep.

She's a great helper and she adores Henry.  She loves to read him stories and make up crazy songs to sing to him. Often when Henry starts to cry and I'm in the other room attempting to scarf the oatmeal that I've reheated 3 times but still not finished, Anna will yell "I'M ON IT!" and run to find his nuk or just be with him.

Her first demand every morning is "where is my brother?"  No "good morning."  No "hi, mommy." And it isn't a question.  It's a threat.  She may as well be saying, "Tell me where my brother is right this second or else!"  Of course, her second demand is to hold him.  And then they smile and talk to each other until Henry decides he's hungry or spits up so hard I have to clean it from between his toes. Anna only wants him when he's clean and happy.  But I'm welcome to him the rest of the time.

Watching them together makes me incredibly happy and also makes me feel incredibly blessed.  I'm trying to learn to hold on to that feeling during the chaotic times because I know how fast this will go and very soon I will be wishing for these days.

Added bonus, a video of Henry's new trick, the fake cough.  Please excuse Anna's smokers hacking cough.  It grosses me out, but Henry finds it funny.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Two's Company, Three is CRAZYTOWN

I had just begun to contemplate changing the name of my blog since Anna's not so hot on the Cheerios and really, she has been sleeping through the night pretty consistently for at least two years now.  And then, boom! Llama Face.

For the most part he's a pretty good sleeper.  But he's hit a growth spurt that has me remembering why I titled this blog Tales of Sleepless Nights.  I tallied it up last night and over the previous three nights combined, I'd slept about 7 hours.  Seven hours of sleep does not a coherent or emotionally controlled Kerry make.

In some ways the second time around is so much easier.  I know what I'm doing now.  I know that the hard parts are not permanent, nor are they really that hard compared to some of the other parenting trials I've now tucked under my rapidly expanding belt (ever tried to explain to a rather inquisitive 4 year old why her brother's "bottom" is all bumpy - why isn't hers bumpy like that? Or calm not one, but two tantrums over the fact that said 4 year old can neither marry, nor procreate with her brother?). 

What I find myself struggling with is the fact that there is only one of me.  It seems like someone is always having to wait around here these days.  And that waiting is frequently accompanied by crying.  I try to meet the needs of both kids as quickly (and reasonably) as possible, but sometimes I just really need to use the bathroom! It's especially hard when Anna makes comments about me never having time to play with her any more (that's partly true, I don't have AS MUCH time to play as I used to).  But she tells me every day she loves her brother better than me, though she won't clarify as to whether that means she loves him more than I love him or she loves him more than she loves me. 

Watching the two of them together has made every second of morning sickness (mostly) worth it.  Anna pokes his cheeks and makes up crazy songs and Henry soaks it all in, smiles and coos at her.  And you can just see in his face, a look of "Just wait, sister.  I'll be able to move soon enough and then that hair you're always dangling in my face will be mine.  MINE!  Oh, and BTW, I'm going to play with all your toys while you're at school and there's nothing you can do about it." Yes, one look says all that. My baby has some really, really expressive eyebrows, ok?

I'm working on balancing fulfilling their needs and still managing to fulfill mine.  I can't tell you how many times I've run the garbage out or gone to grab something from my car and realized (usually too late) that I have half a boob hanging out from the last feeding because I forgot to put myself back together. Sorry, neighbors!

In an effort to take care of myself, I've taken up running 3 times a week.  I had considered forming an "I Love Ice Cream Club," but running is healthier, albeit, a lot less tasty. Usually I have to go after the kids are in bed which is not until 8:30, but it's still an hour to myself.  An hour when I'm just me and I don't have to answer to anyone.  I can crank my music as loud as I want it, and just go.

So, no, I haven't taken up late-night prize fighting.  I just have some really rockin' dark circles under my eyes.  I'm not inventing a new perfume called Eau de Baby Vomit.  Henry just requires that anyone who burps him wear a HAZMAT suit.  Unluckily for me, I don't own one. There is an awful lot of bribery, begging and prayer involved in my daily shower.  And if I get breakfast before noon, then it must be Saturday.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

And Baby Makes Four

I can't believe it's already been a month since little Llama Face made his debut in the world. I wasn't completely sure I wanted a baby boy until I saw his face. Instant love. Even though every nurse on duty for the next two days greeted him with "So you're the fella with the giant head!" He had quite the reputation.

(I don't think his head is THAT big and I had to push him out so I'm the only one whose opinion counts.)

When Anna came to meet him in the hospital the next morning, her eyes were big and she looked a little shy. She walked right up to his bassinet and looked at his face with a HUGE smile. I told her this was Henry, her little brother. She turned on the angry eyes, and with serious attitude told me, "Um, mom? His name is NOT Henry. It's Llama Face!"

A week later, I heard her out in the yard talking to who I thought was the 4-year-old neighbor boy (turned out it was his parents!). She told him with much remorse, "I have a baby brother! His name USED to be Llama Face! But now it's just Henry." She said that last bit as if it were an apology. I could not stop laughing.

 Parenting two kids is a bit like showing up for a dance class, in a style you've never studied, only to find out that it's not a class, it's the recital and you are the lead dancer. You'd look a bit silly to just stand there on stage and do nothing, so you attempt to do the steps. You miss a few and definitely look confused, but you're trying and at least you're moving.

We have a lot of he's crying and I'm in the middle of helping her use the bathroom; or he's eating and she's screaming that the crocodiles are chasing her and will eat her right this second if I don't stand up and "save" her; or he's screaming for food, she's screaming for food and, quite frankly, I'm about to be screaming for food because it's 11:00 and I still have no pants on, have not yet had breakfast and can't remember if I showered yesterday or the day before.

But we also have a lot of Anna telling Henry she loves him more than anyone else in the world; and Anna begging to give Henry just one more kiss; and Anna's face lighting up like it does on Christmas morning when I tell her that she can give Henry a bottle (since I breastfeed this is a big deal); and Henry following the sound of Anna's voice with his eyes; and Henry calming down at diaper changing time just from listening to Anna sing.

 We're surviving the transition. More than surviving. I'm actually enjoying a lot of it. Because I'm realizing that newborns are pretty easy (it helps that Henry actually sleeps, whereas Anna didn't). We haven't altered our usual routine by too much. We've already been to the zoo, parks, library, Bible study, grocery shopping and I imagine that list will just continue to grow. Henry's very portable. And Anna's very proud and protective.

 I was going to write more of the "funnies" that have gone on since Henry joined the fam, but I'm exhausted. And you know what they say about sleeping when the baby sleeps. So I'll save it for another day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Three-Year-Old Funnies

I've had a couple of conversations with Anna in the past few weeks that I really don't want to forget. So I'm posting them here, both for your entertainment and my ability to pull them up later.


Last week Anna and I were driving to my mom's and had to make a potty stop at a gas station (I'm going to say it was her idea, but really, at 8 months pregnant, either of us could be to blame). She said, as she was washing her hands, "Mom, I'm pretty hungry. Maybe we should buy some Cheetos!" Of COURSE we should buy some Cheetos! So we headed to the snack aisle. We found the snack bags of Cheetos on the bottom rack and I asked Anna to please bend down and grab them since bending is not my forte these days. She responded, very dramatically (complete with both hands on her lower back) that "uhhh, I can't bend over either, mom!"

"Really? Which one of us is 8 months pregnant?"

"Uh, Mom? I'm pregnant too...With puppies!" (read in the voice of a know-it-all 13-year-old)

I swear the lady behind the counter almost peed herself trying not to laugh. For the record, I had to bend over to get the Cheetos.


Anna loves to tell me about what she wants to be when she grows up. For a pretty consistent couple of weeks now, it's been a brownie chef and a mommy ("just like you!" awww). Last week she asked me,

"Mom, when I grow up, can I be a brownie chef, a mommy and a ROCKSTAR?!"

"Well, sure, I suppose you could be all of those things at once. Who will be in your band?"

"Daddy. Just daddy. Not you."

"Ok, what instrument will daddy play?"

(very matter-of-factly) "The Tuba."

"Huh, Ok. And what will you play?"

"I'll be the conductor and you can be the audience."

And thus, her "rockstar band" was formed. I believe the last I asked her, she planned to name it Kiki.


For those keeping track, here's a list of names Anna has suggested for the baby:

Ice Cream
Monkey Nurse
Winnie the Pooh
Llama Face

Though, when last questioned, she vehemently defended my choice of name: Rutabaga. Maybe someone else should name this poor child.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pregnant and I Know It

Today I heard "Sexy and I Know It" by LMFAO on the radio and I started to sing along, until I realized that there is absolutely NOTHING sexy about my current condition. I'm swollen, bloated, moody, emotional and downright crazy. So then I started changing the lyrics in my head and laughing like the crazy person I am while driving down the freeway. So this goes out to all my pregnant, formerly pregnant and soon-to-be-pregnant friends.*


When I waddle by, I feel so huge I want to cry
When I try to sleep, back pain, heart burn and I have to pee, yeah
This is how I roll, midnight cravings, outta control,
So wide out front, I can't reach my toes
And my moods change FAST, that's how it goes.

Whoa, Look at that belly! Whoa, look at that belly! Whoa, look at that belly!

When I lay down to rest, this is what I see
Ripples from thrown elbows and kicking knees,
I got elastic waist-band pants and I ain't afraid to show it

I'm pregnant and I know it.

When I'm at the store, old lady asks how long before
I say fifty days, and her wrinkled old jaw falls down a ways
Got the need to clean, mess up my house and I get mean
Try to touch the baby bump without askin'
And I'm gonna give your face a real good smackin'

Whoa, Look at that belly! Whoa, look at that belly! Whoa, look at that belly!

When I lay down to rest, this is what I see
Ripples from thrown elbows and kicking knees,
I got elastic waist-band pants and I ain't afraid to show it

I'm pregnant and I know it.


(Original Song: Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO)

*For your own psychological well-being, please do not picture me singing this, wearing a Speedo.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I've successfully made it a good chunk of the way into the 3rd trimester. I'm truly counting the days until I can be the only one in my body (as a woman in my Bible study said this morning, "Our bodies are really only meant for one person!"). I have a feeling he's going to be early, but I'm not sure how much of this is wishful thinking.

53 days. That's how many days I have left until my due date. I like to count it in days because it sounds shorter than 7.5 weeks. Maybe when I get down below 20 days I'll start counting in hours.

Anna is getting so excited to meet her baby brother. She helped me organize and clean all her old baby stuff and get the baby's room all set up. She's set on naming him - last night she suggested Franklin. Previous suggestions have included Pinocchio, Winnie the Pooh, Ice Cream and Monkey Nurse. I'm rather fond of Rutabaga or Guillermo myself. Hubby will (quite obviously) need to be the voice of reason for the sake of our son's future.

I'm making mental lists of all the places that easily accommodate a nursing mom with a rambunctious 3-year-old. Zoo, Library, Monkey Joe's, the park, etc. I am hoping to beat utter newborn fatigue by getting out of the house a bit. End of April is the perfect time to do that.

I intended this to be a more fun update of what's going on, but I'm far too tired to be witty right now. I should be napping. I'm going to rectify this now. But I'll leave you with this:

Two days ago I feel asleep on the couch during naptime while Anna was watching a movie. I woke up to a big pair of brown eyes just inches from mine, with a little voice stage-whispering, "Mom! When am I going to have boobs?!"

The things you wish you didn't have to figure out an answer to...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pregnancy Update

So it turns out that not all pregnancies are created equal. When I was pregnant with Anna, I loved it. Well, I think I loved it...Mommy amnesia is some whacked-out crack and I'm quickly realizing that my memories of pregnancy (and probably of labor) might not be entirely accurate.

Thus the radio silence for the last few months. I've tried to keep this blog fairly positive and this pregnancy has not had me feeling all that cheerful or witty. Horrible insomnia and back/hip pain have pretty much had me feeling like an emotional monster since October, and who wants to read posts from a grouch?

The good news is, pregnancy is not forever and as of today, I only have 83 days left (unless Jr. wants to show up early, which I am TOTALLY fine with! Hear that, Rutabaga?)

Anyway, we're chugging along. Anna is very excited for her baby brother to get here. I hope this excitement carries her through the attention shift that is coming down the pike. I'm trying to prepare her by talking a lot about what the baby will need/do when he gets here, but I'm not sure you can really prepare a kid for something like that.

She loves to talk to the baby - her favorite thing to do is poke my belly, get right up by my bellybutton and say "hey, baby, BOO!" Just enough to get him riled up and kicking my bladder. Then she scampers off on her merry way while I fend off internal ninja blows to my delicate organs. Fun!

As soon as she understood that there was a baby growing in my tummy, she began telling me (and anyone who'd listen) that she was growing twin puppies in HER tummy. Because who wants to go through pregnancy alone?! So around Christmas, I braved the obvious risk involved and asked her, just how did she plan on getting those puppies out of her tummy. She looked genuinely concerned for a minute until the perfect plan dawned on her - "I, um....I'll have to use Santa's magic!" Thankfully, she didn't ask the obvious question - How am I planning to get my baby out...

Until we were in the food court at the mall last week, during lunch time, surrounded by tables of people - "Mom? How'd you get that baby in there? Mom? MOM? HOW'D YOU GET THAT BABY IN THERE? How's he going to come out?!" You don't hear a kid ask that in public without turning to stare and find out how the mother is going to answer. Thank God, she took "Let's talk about that when we get home, finish your lunch!" as an acceptable answer and dropped the subject. I was not prepared. I'm still not prepared. Though I suppose I better get prepared, because Anna's like an elephant - she never forgets.

Disclaimer: I am not actually naming my baby Rutabaga. Unless I change my mind. Which I very well might do.