Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A little TOO much documentation

My family is obsessively documents all occasions, but sometimes it goes too far.  I'm going through Meg's birth pictures to (finally) make a baby book and I came across this one.  My sister is videotaping and someone (I pray it was my mother) is taking pictures. 


See that person all the way to the right of the photo?  That's the doctor and he is STITCHING ME.  I'm laying there, legs open to the world, while a doctor sews me up and my family gets video and pictures. 

I was only able to keep the camera and video out of the room until she was actually born, but as soon as she was they immediately started filming the baby and when the baby came over to me, so did the cameras.  My mother gave my sister strict instructions to avoid "the area" and thankfully there are no terribly compromising photos or video.  But STILL.  Its not like I really want to remember this particular moment.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Confession

The first year we were married, we bought a roll of wrapping paper and wrapped everything in it. The pile of presents made me sad. It was all so homogenous. So boring. So plain. My grandma would buy several rolls of Christmas paper every time one of the grandkids was selling wrapping paper for school. She liked to use them all, so her presents were always in tons of different papers. My mom likes to use gift bags for all presents and since every gift bag is different the presents under our tree were never homogenous. It’s just not Christmas until there are tons of colors under the tree.

I’ve been saving wrapping paper for years. I hate waste. How can you just throw away a piece of wrapping paper that obviously can be used again? Especially big pieces. But, to get them home, I folded the paper and I always ended up with creased pieces that weren’t very usable. I couldn’t bear to throw them away, but I never used them. One day this January, I think, I was watching Friends and they made a joke about Monica ironing wrapping paper. They were obviously trying to say only a neurotic crazy-person would iron wrapping paper, but I watched it and thought “I could IRON it!! That’s how I’ll use all my wrapping paper!!” The next day I got out the ironing board and went to town. I discovered if you iron the backside of the paper, you can get the stickiness of a gift tag on the other side to loosen so the tag can be removed. I took an empty wrapping paper roll (I have a hard time throwing those away, too) and wrapped all the used paper around it. The sheets were almost like new!

This year we used the paper I’ve saved over many years to wrap many of our presents and as the presents piled up under the tree I kept getting happier. I’ve often sat next to the tree and counted how many different wrapping papers we’ve got under it. I believe the last count was 13. We only have rolls of three of those papers. Plus, there are several gift bags and a few Christmas-patterned boxes. It’s just so PRETTY and HAPPY with all the different wrapping papers!!

I know by now you probably think I’m insane, but please don’t hold it against me. I promise you I don’t need to be signed up for Hoarders just because I save wrapping paper.
P.S. Those are temporary stockings. We’re planning on buying some sort of fancy matching stockings for all four of us next year, when we know the new baby’s name. For now, we use cheapo ones.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Surprise! A good day!

I’m starting to feel almost human, again. When the morning sickness was at its worst, I thought I’d never make it to 18 weeks. With Meg (and I’m assuming with this baby, too) the nausea didn’t completely go away until week 18. BUT! Each time I turned a corner right around 12-13 weeks. I feel so much better than I did a few weeks ago, the fact I’m still nauseous almost doesn’t matter. (I’ll probably feel this way for a few days then go back to whining).

So, if I ever get pregnant again, I want to tell myself: you just may have an actually good day BEFORE 18 weeks. Yesterday was wonderful. I felt nauseous, but it wasn’t as bad. I had an ultrasound and got to see my little cutie, who tested “normal” on the scan. I made bread in the breadmaker and my favorite soup. I ate a full dinner and didn’t once fear I’d throw it up. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I might just survive this pregnancy after all!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm in smartphone withdrawl

Given the number of time Meg as thrown things in the toilet and how much she loves to play with my phone, I found it very ironic that I dropped my phone in the toilet today, while on a business trip 150 miles away from her. My beloved HTC Incredible is most likely kaput.

I immediately took the phone apart and dried as much as I could. I borrowed a phone from a co-worker who also has Verizon and called customer service. I was hoping against hope that maybe customer service would be able to tell me how to dismantle my phone further to keep drying it out. Or maybe connect me to someone who could tell me how to dismantle it. But all he did was say “At least you have insurance!” and gave me the number to call to make a claim. When I asked if there was anything else I could do, he recommended putting it in rice. I had already thought of that, but did I mention I’m on a business trip? I DON’T HAVE RICE. I’m in such a Podunk town that the grocery store closes at SIX PM, a fact I found ridiculous in an ‘at least it doesn’t affect me’ way last week, but that I now find ridiculous in a ‘why, God, why’ way. Guess what time I get off work? SIX. I got the phone wet at 5:30. I couldn’t exactly just leave, because there was only one (company) car for me and my two co-workers.

Thankfully, my co-workers agreed to leave immediately. I dropped them at the hotel and went to the grocery store. Turns out, when the only grocery store in town closes at 6 pm, it’s very crowded at 5:45. I found the rice (which took forever, even though there were only five aisles) and got checked out. Right now my phone is sitting in an ice bucket full of rice and I’m praying it works in the morning.

P.S. One thing I love about Verizon is that you can text from their website. I texted my husband the hotel’s phone number so at least I can still say goodnight to Meg.


Updated:  After letting my phone sit in rice overnight, it started working again.  It seems to be OK, but sometimes randomly shuts down.  I can always turn it back on right away.  It seems to be a battery issue and Andrew said a co-worker of his had the same problem.  He got the phone wet and the phone ended up fine but the battery didn't work very well.  I might have to buy a new battery.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Always Finishing Things, update

Once I gave up on NaBloPoMo, I really gave up. I wrote this post (at work) last week and couldn’t even be bothered to turn the computer on (at home) to post it. So here it is!

Since I wrote about my inability to quit ANYTHING, including not being able to quit watching TV shows or return a book to the library without reading the whole thing, I’ve been working on it. I returned several books I just couldn’t get into. 5 of them. Before that, I’d only ever returned ONE book I hadn’t finished. I checked out new ones I’m pretty sure I’ll like. It was exciting (I know. Lame.)

I also started skipping the features and/or articles I don’t like in magazines. It especially helps with parenting magazines. Even though I’m having another baby, I have no interest in the articles about babies younger than Meg. I don’t want to read an article about babies’ verbal development (crying-babbling-nonsensical words-real words-sentences). So I didn’t! I read an entire magazine in like 20 minutes.

My TV shows are already pared down, compared to what I used to watch. Back when the season premieres started I decided to not watch Dancing With The Stars. I haven’t regretted it AT ALL. My husband and I were competitive ballroom dancers in college (it wasn’t as dorky as it sounds), so we’ve watched the show since its first season. Until this year, I’d never missed an episode. But for the last few seasons, I haven’t enjoyed watching it. I’d TiVo it and fast-forward through pretty much everything. It took me about 20 minutes to watch an hour and a half show. It feels so good to just not watch it anymore! Besides, if I really want to watch ballroom dancing, DWTS is NOT a good way to do it. I want to see professionals dance with professionals. Actually, maybe next season I should tape the results show just to see the pros…

Also, as sad as I am Law & Order got cancelled, it does make one less show I need to watch. I still have House, Law and Order: SVU, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, The Apprentice (which I haven’t watched it in a month. Is the show over now?), and Modern Family. Is that too many? All of them are on Hulu Plus and I usually watch one show a day during my lunch hour at work. Still, I’m seriously considering dropping Grey’s or Private Practice. If nothing else, so I can start watching other shows. I think I need more half hour comedies. Any suggestions?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. When I asked Margaret if she wanted some turkey for lunch, she said “Gobble, gobble.” It was so adorable.

2. We went to MOPS this morning and after 10 minutes, the nursery worker brought Meg down and said “her nose was running too much.” They didn’t want her to get other kids sick. Seriously?? Its DECEMBER. What kid doesn’t have a cold? It’s not like she had the plague or something.

3. We went to Trader Joes. I couldn’t find the decaf chai. I don’t know if it’s because our Trader Joes is really small? There was only a small section of tea. They had some sort of herbal chai (naturally decaf), but I want decaf black tea with chai spice. Has anyone had that from TJ?

4. I was rather disappointed by the Candy Cane Joe-Joes. The filling was AMAZING, but the cookies were your basic generic chocolate sandwich cookies. I adore Oreos and have never found a generic that is anywhere close to the original. I refuse to eat chocolate sandwich cookies. I saw Peppermint Oreos in the store last week, but didn’t buy them. Maybe those will be better?

5. I bought the new Veggie Tales movie, It’s a Meaningful Life and I am very excited. I fell in love with Veggie Tales long before having kids and can’t wait until Meg is old enough to really watch them. She’s seen a few, but she doesn’t really ‘get’ TV yet. I am a little nervous though, because it’s a take on It’s a Wonderful Life, which I also love, and I just told you my feelings about knock-offs…

6. It turns out I’m not really a post-every-day kind of girl. There are some days (most notably workdays), when I just don’t have anything to say. Even with a writing prompt, I can’t get my mind going. If I can’t think of anything to write and want to go to bed at 8pm (which I generally do these days), I want to just go to bed. Now that I don’t HAVE to write, maybe I will be posting more than I thought.

7. Lauren, however, did an amazing job with NaBloPoMo. Not only did she post every day, but she wrote interesting things every day. She’s a rock star!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Trader Joes

A Trader Joes opened in my town the weekend of the Blathering and I still haven’t been there. I have no interest in food or grocery stores at the moment. The list of things I’d like to try just keeps getting longer and longer, though (so far none of it is actual meal-type foods).

Not too long before the store opened I asked if anyone knew of good decaf chai. Elizabeth told me the Trader Joes brand decaf chai was really good. I mistakenly told her we weren’t getting a Trader Joes until next year. I was quite surprised (and happy) when I saw a press release the very next day telling me the store was opening the day after that. I must live under a rock or something. I’ve been wanting the decaf chai ever since, but not enough to actually go, I guess.

Then this week everyone started posting about holiday treats at Trader Joes and now I’m desperate to go get some. Somebody said Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s are like a mix between an Oreo and a Thin Mint and I am SO IN. They sound fantastic.


I also want to try Trader Joe’s Peppermint Bark, which Erik (Elizabeth’s husband) said was almost as good as Williams-Sonoma’s. I agree Williams-Sonoma’s peppermint bark is the best thing ever and sadly every year I make myself wait until after Christmas to buy it, because I’ll only buy it on clearance (that stuff is EXPENSIVE)!

Anyone have any real food recommendations for Trader Joes?  Or more sweet stuff, that's OK, too...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oops

Well. NaBloPoMo was a big ol’ FAIL, wasn’t it? I missed one day (the 20th, I think) because all of our friends were over for a practice Thanksgiving and didn’t leave until 12:30 am. Since it was past midnight I decided even if I did backdate the post it wouldn’t REALLY count. Then the next day, I thought ‘well…I’ve ALREADY missed a day, what’s two?’ It just snowballed from there.

Basically, I have nothing to say. Things are rough. I don’t know if the nausea has been getting progressively worse or if the Unisom is losing its efficacy, but I feel worse every single day. At this point, I’ve given up and am just trying to ride it out. I sleep as much as I can, since it’s a nice break from worrying about throwing up. In the morning, I peel myself out of bed through sheer force and spend all day trying to work despite the fact I feel like death. I come home and choke down some dinner. After Meg goes to bed at 8, I generally throw up dinner then go to bed. Repeat, repeat, repeat. On workdays, I do nothing but work and sleep. It’s REALLY boring and I miss things like reading or spending time with my husband. I do a little of that on the weekends, though.

I know people don’t want to read about pregnancy nausea. Especially since I’ve already written about it too many times. So this is the last time I’m going to write about it, but since it’s pretty much all I think about, I don’t have anything else to say. For the next 8 weeks, I probably won’t write much (I’m 10 weeks now and with Meg the nausea went away at 18 weeks). See you in February!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Seven I'm-feeling-sick Takes

1. I like creamy peanut butter, but Thomas likes crunchy. Since I almost never eat peanut butter and he eats it fairly frequently (and does the grocery shopping), we only have crunchy peanut butter in the house. But when I’m pregnant I live on peanut butter sandwiches. Sometimes they’re the only thing I can keep down. I’ve been eating 2 a day for a while and the crunchy peanut butter is driving me crazy. The peanuts get stuck in my gums! It hurts!

2. The pregnancy nausea has been getting worse and worse all week. I don’t want to talk about it. I’m just trying to keep my head down and slog through. Only 11 weeks to go!

3. Have I mentioned we have both sides of the family over to our house on Thanksgiving? It means we don’t have to travel at all or spend all weekend going from house to house. This year, Thomas is going to do the turkey in his smoker.

4. He’s never done this before (although he’s make tons of stuff in his smoker), so he invited our friends over on Saturday for a practice run. I’m looking forward to it, but our house is a mess and being nauseous all the time doesn’t really make me want to clean. It’s not a problem, though, because Thomas is a rock star and he’s been cleaning a room every night (after making dinner AND washing the dishes). I’m quite spoiled.

5. Since I feel sick a lot of the time I’ve lost interest in a lot of things. Pretty much anything that requires expending more than the bare minimum of energy. I read over some of my blog posts from this week and they don’t really seem to flow well. Or make a lot of sense. Can I claim pregnancy brain?

6. It also seems the length of the posts directly corresponds to how sick I feel. I can usually manage one good meal a day and if I write after that, I can talk about anything at length. If I wait until the evening, I’m usually too busy trying not to throw up on the keyboard to write anything of substance.

7. I’m going to bed now. So what if it’s only 8:30? At least when I’m sleeping I’m not throwing up. I’m really starting to think NaBloPoMo was a BAD idea since its turning into all nausea talk, all the time.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

There's actually a baby in there!

We spent a lot of time in doctor's offices today.  I brought Meg to my first OB appt - DURING naptime.  It actually went really well.  And hey, there's really a baby in there!  With a hearbeat!  (Just one baby, thank goodness.)  After my appointment, we had to rush straight to the pediatrician for HER appointment (still during naptime), because she caught pinkeye at daycare.  Which means soon I'll have pinkeye and I'll have to fit in another doctor's appointment next week.  I'm sounding complain-y, but we actually had a great day and I'm in a good mood.  Meg was an angel all afternoon, even though she had pinkeye and a fever and she slept for two hours once we got home (although she'd only sleep if I rocked her). 

Hearing the heartbeat made the nausea easier to deal with.  I'm actually sick for a REASON!  How long do you think this will last?  (Probably until I get pinkeye.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sharing Food

I’m not very good at sharing food. I take the amount of food I want and I want it all. If Thomas asks for a bite, I usually make a face, give a huge sigh, and say ‘take a SMALL bite’. I get especially annoyed if what I have is a special treat – like Oreos.  I often give him a dirty look and say ‘get your own’. I’m not a hypocrite, though. I almost never ask Thomas for his food, because if I don’t want to give up mine, why should he give up his?

I have gotten better – since Meg ALWAYS wants some of what I’m eating, I take extra to start with. But what has really helped is being pregnant. I have zero interest in food. The fact I have to eat annoys me to no end. No matter what I have on my plate, I don’t really want it. So if you’d like some, have at it. I’m sharing more than I ever have. I tell Thomas to take a BIG bite; I give Meg much more than I used to. I think being generous with what I have is a really good thing and I hope I can carry it over once I start to like food again, but it’s probably not likely. What hugely pregnant woman wants to give up her food?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thoughts on potty training

When do girls usually potty train? Around 2? 2 ½? Thomas' cousin potty trained her daughter at 18 months, which seemed crazy early to me, but it worked. Meg is showing some signs of potty-training readiness, but I have ZERO DESIRE to get started. Diapers are just so EASY. I don’t have to hound my child – ‘Do you need to go now? How about now? Now? How about just trying to go before we get in the car?’ I don’t have to immediately scope out the nearest bathroom in every public place in case she suddenly has to go. I don’t have to bring 5 changes of clothes in case she has an accident. Or stop every half an hour on car trips to find a bathroom.

I like diapers. They’re convenient. I haven’t ever been caught without a diaper when one was desperately needed, so why would I want to potty train her and risk being caught without a bathroom in sight when one is desperately needed?  The thought of having two kids in diapers doesn’t bother me at all. I have never minded diapers. I’ve always planned on ‘wait until they’re ready (REALLY ready)’ since I think I prefer diapers over potty training. Now I’m just worried Meg will be ready before I am!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Always Finishing Things, part 2

Since writing yesterday’s post, I can’t stop thinking of more things I have to “finish.”

In middle school, I really wanted to quit Girl Scouts. At the time, I just didn’t like it. But I couldn’t bear to quit –what if I miss out on something? By high school, I was glad I hadn’t quit, but there were a couple years where I slogged through it. Over the years, there have been several other things I’ve wanted to quit, but couldn’t.

I also keep watching TV shows I don’t like, because I figure I’ve put in enough time watching it so far, I might as well keep watching it and see if it gets better. I don’t want to someday see a promo for a new episode, think it looks good and be mad at myself for dropping the show. I’ve actually gotten better about this one since having Meg, since I have less time to watch TV. I had to drop some shows and it was actually freeing! It felt great to stop watching shows I wasn’t getting anything out of.

I also read every page of magazines before recycling them. My favorite magazine is Marie Claire. I get excited every month when it arrives. I slog through some of the features at the beginning of the magazine that I care about, so I can get to the articles, which I DO like. In most magazines, the articles are the only part I really like. The other stuff is okay, but if I really think about it, for me, they’re not worth the time it takes to read them. But I read them anyway. I can’t NOT read them. What if I miss out on some great tip?

Writing it all out like that makes it look like I have some form of OCD. Maybe I do. But it’s not so much that I have a compulsive need to finish everything, it’s more that I have a fear of missing out on something. I hate feeling left out, so I do everything I can to not miss out. Although, I guess sometimes it is just a need to finish something, because how can I miss something by skipping an episode of Friends I’ve already seen twenty or thirty times?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Always Finishing Things

I refuse to start anything partway through. I always have to do things in order. As I’ve said before, when I start reading a blog, I start at the beginning. Always. I can’t just start reading at the present day, because it takes a while to figure out who all the people are and there’s always history you don’t know. It feels like starting a book in the middle. It drives me crazy.

One of my favorite shows is Friends. I love it. I watch it a lot, but always in order. I watch every episode of all 10 seasons, then start over. I never skip an episode, even if it’s one I don’t like. Sometimes I’ll go awhile without watching Friends, because the next episode is one I don’t particularly like. I just can’t just skip it.

My husband sometimes finds a movie we like on TV and starts watching it – even if it’s already started. It drives me crazy. I don’t care if I’ve seen the movie 20 times and have the whole thing memorized, I CANNOT start watching it anywhere but the very beginning. If we missed the beginning, then I just can’t watch it.

Also, I always finish a book. Even if I am hating it. I have to read the whole thing to make SURE it doesn’t get better. What if the first half is terrible, but the second half is great? If I stop reading after the first half, I’ll be missing out. I can’t actually think of a time when the first half of a book was awful and the second half was good enough to make up for it. But I always finish the book anyway. I don’t understand people who can return half-read books to the library. Even if its overdue and I don’t like it, I keep it, finish it, and pay the fine. I PAY to read a book I don’t like!

Don’t even get me started on people who come back from vacation and say “my feed reader had 1000 unread posts, so I just hit ‘mark all as read!’” IT ALMOST MAKES MY HEAD EXPLODE.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Blathering!

I haven’t been quite sure what to say about the Blathering. I loved Elizabeth’s post, but I’m not quite to the ‘Just Friends’ point yet. I didn’t know any of these women existed until just over a year ago. I only started my blog (and started commenting on others) in February. I’m still new to the whole thing and prior to this weekend I would have said I had a few acquaintances inside the computer – we comment on eachothers’ blogs, but it’s not like we have conversations outside of the blog. Some of these women have been blogging for years and I read their archives, so I feel like I know them really well, but they don’t know that much about me.

Thomas and I are both 26 and are the ONLY people in our circle of friends with kids. I thought it might be strange to hang out with a bunch of people older than me, but it wasn't weird at all. It was great to be with a bunch of moms, especially since several of them are also pregnant.  It was also great to hang out with the non-moms:)  For me, the best thing about the weekend was getting to the point where I can call ALL of these people ‘computer friends’. I’m sure we’ll keep writing, reading, commenting, and talking, so I’m someday soon I WILL be able to call them ‘just friends’.

I’m really bummed I likely won’t be able to go to the Blathering next year, since I’ll have a 2 or 3-month-old baby. I’m considering crazy things – like having Thomas come too, so he and the baby can hang out at the hotel while I spend time with the girls, but that’s probably unrealistic. Although…the next Blathering will likely be in Austin and my sister-in-law and brother-in-law just moved to Texas this past weekend. Of course I have no idea whether they're near Austin and Texas is a HUGE state, but wouldn’t it be awesome if they were close?? We could all go down to visit them and I could spend a day or two with the Blathering ladies!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. Meg goes to daycare on Tuesdays. I always drop off and Thomas always picks up. This Tuesday, he had a late meeting, so I picked up. As I walked up to her room, I saw Meg playing happily. The second she saw me, she threw down the toys and ran as fast as she could right into my arms. I almost cried. I don’t think anyone has ever been so excited to see me. I really need to daycare pickup more often.

2. I hate the idea of taking something to stay awake, so I’ve been trying to go without the diphenhydramine. It didn’t go well. I’ll be sitting on the couch, watching Meg play, then wake up a half hour later to a huge crash in the kitchen or Meg playing with my glasses while they’re still on my face. Yesterday, Meg wouldn’t nap. I tried everything. Finally I laid down on the floor next to the crib…and woke up an hour later confused and disoriented. I closed my eyes again, then woke up another hour later. I guess as long as I’m taking sleeping pills for nausea I’ll also have to have some way to keep myself awake.

3. My husband has a client meeting this afternoon near where his mom lives (3 hours away). He took Meg and they’re going to stay overnight. It feels really weird to have the house to myself! I stayed because I have two different get-togethers tonight, but now I’m annoyed about that. When I’m home alone, I like to make the most of my time – watch movies Thomas doesn’t like, order dinner, do whatever I want. I don’t want to LEAVE.

4. Even when I’m not nauseous, the thought of food turns my stomach. I’m dreading Thanksgiving. A holiday that’s almost entirely about food? Whose idea was THAT? It makes me feel sick just thinking about it. Also, we always host Thanksgiving at our house, so the whole house needs to be cleaned. Ick.

5. Unisom makes it really hard for me to wake up, so every morning I bring Meg into our bed and turn on Modern Family (I bought Season 1). She LOVES it. I feel like the new baby is already detrimental to Meg – before this she watched TV about once a month.

6. I have a bunch of those Younkers Community Day books we were selling for MOPS. They have to be used tomorrow and I have no desire to go shopping. I bought a bunch of maternity clothes last weekend. There’s no point in buying regular clothes. Meg doesn’t need clothes.

7. After 17 months of taking care of a child, I have NO attention span.  I can only do something for 15 minutes at the most before I expect to get interrupted.  It's kind of hard to fill the hours without my family when I can't focus on anything.  They left 2 hours ago and I've already cleaned the kitchen a little, took the trash out, went through the mail, ran to the post office, read some blogs, wrote this post, made lunch, ate lunch, watched Friends...maybe its a good thing I have plans tonight.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pregnancy makes me boring, apparently

On Monday, I said the Unisom (diphenhydramine) was helping a little. Oops. Arwen set me straight – there are actually TWO different kinds of Unisom (which makes no sense to me) and I was taking the wrong one.

As an aside, I have to mention that one of the most annoying parts of pregnancy nausea is that WATER is the food/drink item I tolerate the WORST. A single sip of water can make me instantly throw up. So, since water increases my nausea (*sniff*), I had been taking the diphenhydramine with yogurt. I thought the diphenhydramine had been working a little, but after thinking about it decided it might have been the yogurt, since it’s a nice mix of carbs and protein.

Tuesday I took a few spoonfuls of yogurt every so often instead of diphenhydramine and it helped! The more yogurt I can eat, the longer my stomach feels better (in the morning I can usually only manage a couple bites, since yogurt has a texture that sometimes makes me gag even when I’m not pregnant).

After work on Tuesday, I went to Wal-Mart and bought the right kind of Unisom. It’s truly awesome stuff. I have felt a million times better since I started taking it. If I take it and eat yogurt throughout the day, I feel NORMAL. Not sick at all. Today, I tried taking it without yogurt and that didn’t go as well. I guess I need both.

It’s amazing to me that I can CONTROL the nausea. I will be very surprised if this baby isn’t a boy, because the nausea is a million times better than with Meg. The fact there’s anything that makes a dent in it is a major improvement. With Meg, NOTHING helped. Nothing at all. I tried everything. From the time I was 5 weeks until I was 18 weeks, I felt nauseous every second of every day. Each bite was a major struggle. Anytime I tried to swallow, my gag reflex made it almost impossible. I still can’t believe there are multiple things that make me feel better this time.

P.S. As I mentioned before, I have a unusual reaction to diphenhydramine – it makes me MORE awake instead of sleepy, like it does to most people. The RIGHT kind of Unisom, though, does make me tired. So I started taking it with diphenhydramine and the combo makes me feel great! I find it very ironic that taking one Unisom makes me very sleepy, but if I take BOTH kinds, they cancel each other out and I feel fine.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Banner Day!

Note (on Thursday): I wrote this Wednesday morning and thought I'd published it, but just realized I only saved it as a draft.  I hit publish and it posted to Wednesday, so I'm going with it!  I don't know if this counts as a NaBloPoMo fail, but I don't think so...


Margaret is a very stubborn child. She has been VERY adamant that milk comes out of bottles and water comes out of sippies. Put milk in a sippy and she wants to know if you’ve lost your mind. That’s just not the way it’s DONE. We were hesitant to go cold turkey on the bottles because she has the stubbornness in her to go a week without milk just to prove her point. I didn’t want to take away the bottles until I’d called the doctor’s office to find out how long she can go without milk. I took her in last week (thought she might have an ear infection) so I asked and the doctor told me if we switched to sippies she probably won’t drink much milk and that is FINE. Totally normal, no problem.

So Monday night she had her last bottle and starting yesterday morning it was sippies or nothing. I thought daycare day would be a good day to start with the sippies, since all of the other kids in her class drink milk from sippy cups. In the past, if I gave her a sippy cup of milk, she would freak out and squawk at me until I poured the milk into a bottle. Today, she happily took the sippy and ran off. She didn’t drink a single drop, but she carried it all over the house and didn’t ask for a bottle.

At daycare, they offered her sippies of milk at snack times, which she didn’t drink. When I picked her up, I took the untouched sippies from the fridge, figuring we were in for a long haul. But when Meg saw me holding them, she wanted one. I figured it wouldn’t hurt for her to carry it around for a while, though I didn’t think there was any chance she drink it. I was wrong. She downed the whole thing! I was shocked!

I thought she must have been really hungry and wrote it off as a fluke. But she drank another sippy full of milk before bed! And this morning! I feel rather stupid. We dithered for WEEKS and it ended up taking less than 12 hours to make the transition.

P.S. We bought the sippies Mama Fuss recommended, which are basically bottles masquerading as sippy cups and also took her suggestion to use one kind of sippies only for water and a different kind only for milk.

P.P.S. She also came home NO diaper rash today! Not even a hint!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wedding Dresses

While we were on our honeymoon, my mom paid to have my wedding dress cleaned and sealed in an archival box. Its sitting in the guest room closet in the basement. I’m not sure how I feel about that. It’s in a BOX, so I haven’t seen it since the wedding. I would love to be able to get the dress out every now and then to look at it. It definitely wouldn’t fit, but it has a corset back so I would probably be able to put it on if I didn’t lace it. I’m glad the dress will last, but for what? My mom still has her dress and neither my sister or I wore it. My youngest sister isn’t married yet, but I don’t see her wearing it, either. Some days I almost convince myself to rip open the box and hang the dress in the closet so I can look at it. It’s gorgeous. I want to see it!

They were talking about this on the radio a couple weeks ago and a woman called in to say twice a year, she puts on her wedding dress and deep cleans her house. She says gets so excited about getting to wear her wedding dress, it makes her look forward to cleaning. She has a fun weekend cleaning in the wedding dress and a tiara and feels she does a better job cleaning because she’s having so much fun and because her house needs to be clean enough for a princess (her). This really does sound like fun, but, as I said, my dress doesn’t fit. Also, I’m not sure I’d be able to take it when the dress got ruined. This woman's dress is covered in stains and has a burn.

I suppose I could use the dress as an incentive to lose weight. I maintained a strict diet-exercise regimen for over a YEAR prior to my wedding, to look as fantastic as possible in the dress. Every time I wanted to eat something bad for me, I’d focus on the wedding dress. I bet it would work again!  (although not while I'm pregnant)

What did you do with your wedding dress?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bleargh

Over the weekend (specifically 4:30 am Sunday) I was run over by the nausea train. I now have 24 hour kill-me-now nausea, just like last time. It’s not quite as bad this time, since I started taking Unisom (I read Arwen’s archives when Meg was about six months old and immediately wanted to know WHY NOBODY TOLD ME ABOUT UNISOM WHEN I WAS PREGNANT). It is helping - I take a 25mg pill every four hours and feel fairly good for the two hours in the middle. Good enough that if I time it right, I can eat a full lunch, which makes me feel better for the rest of the afternoon. And, bonus!, Diphenhydramine (Benadryl and Unisom are the exact same thing, just different dosages) has always made me hyper, not sleepy. Which, when combined with pregnancy tiredness, makes me feel NORMAL all day (not tired, not hyper). It’s honestly a miracle pill for me and I AM STILL TICKED NO ONE TOLD ME LAST TIME.

The stupid nausea makes me hate mornings all the more. When I wake up, I usually haven’t taken a pill for a while AND my stomach is empty, which makes it almost impossible to even MOVE without throwing up. Add in an energetic 17-month-old and I had a VERY difficult time talking myself into going to work this morning. The only thing that convinced me to go is that Thursday is a holiday, so I don’t have to work a full week. I don’t know how I’m going to drag myself to work for the next three months.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Appropriateness of Media

I’ve always gotten annoyed when parents complain about the general inappropriateness of TV and other media these days. I really don’t think it’s that hard to find an appropriate show and if you can’t do it, just don’t let your kid watch TV (ha ha ha). If you don’t think the shows your child wants to watch are appropriate, deal with it (pre-screen it, watch with them, ban the show, or whatever) and move on. STOP COMPLAINING. I’m not saying these people are wrong. There probably IS too much inappropriateness in TV shows and music for pre-teens today, but SERIOUSLY, I am SO SICK of the whining. Enough already!

However, once Meg started talking I started to notice there really are ‘bad words’ everywhere. I don’t want my baby saying ‘damn,’ but how do I stop her from hearing it? The other day I was listening to the radio in the car (I listen to country music) and Garth Brooks’ Rodeo came on. I love Garth Brooks and I was singing along. I wasn’t really thinking about the lyrics but after I found myself singing “that damned old rodeo” with emphasis on the word ‘damned,’ I realized I didn’t want Meg doing the same thing.

A couple of weeks ago on Top Chef: Just Desserts the head judge called someone a “crazy little bastard” (as a compliment). Meg wasn’t watching it with me, but I have let her watch Top Chef before. It should be obvious that Bravo is not an appropriate channel for kids. I know they allow things on Bravo that aren’t on network TV. But I really thought Top Chef was relatively harmless (depending on the contestants in any given season). If I’m watching it during naptime and Meg wakes up, I go get her then let her finish the show with me. I guess I can’t anymore.

Now, I’m not complaining about this stuff. I think it’s perfectly fine (though usually unnecessary) to have swearing in media meant for adults. I don’t think producers should have to change anything just because there might be children watching/listening, especially if it’s a show clearly marketed to adults. I guess I’m just annoyed Meg is getting to the age where we’ll be stuck with all kids music and kids TV all the time. I want to listen to MY music and watch MY shows, without thinking about whether they include swearing. At least I enjoy Veggie Tales...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Things I've learned by reading the blogs of Blathering-goers

Shower bingo from Maureen. This was the only game we played at my sister’s bridal shower! I am never the person who has the good ideas for showers/parties and for my sister's shower I totally was. Thank you, Maureen!

How to fold a fitted sheet from Maggie. This has seriously changed my life (and my linen closet). I think of Maggie every time I fold a fitted sheet.

How to make a blog banner from Belle Plaine Living, which is how I finally got a banner after blogging for six months. And it was so easy!

Lots of great meals (and desserts) from Little Miss Mel (my favorite is the Turkey Teriyaki with Brown Rice.  Meg goes nuts for it).

Taking Unisom for morning sickness from Arwen. I’m definitely trying this! I already knew about taking Vitamin B, which didn’t help much when I was pregnant with Meg. Maybe the combo will work.

How to be a runner from Princess Nebraska.  Since I work from 7am-6pm 3 days a week, I really didn't have time to walk for an hour every day, so I jumped right into the Couch to 5K plan (on my husband's recommendation).  And seriously EVERY DAY I ran for the first 3 weeks or so I thought "I wish I had the time to be doing Princess Nebraska's how to be a runner BEFORE this."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Seven Things That Annoy Me

1. In our area (maybe everywhere?) kids often tell jokes when they’re trick or treating. I HATE this. The jokes are terrible, it takes longer, and I have to fake-laugh. I’m a Halloween grouch anyway. I wasn’t feeling very well and Thomas was busy with a project, so I had to answer the door and I just about pretended we weren’t home “so all the brats would go away.” I’m happy Halloween is over.

2. Campaign ads. I voted absentee two weeks before the election. Right before the election there was a radio ad SO ANNOYING I wanted to ask for my ballot back so I could vote against the person. It wasn’t even a negative ad! Just an annoying one!

3. Long drives by myself. This weekend I’ll drive 6 hours to Chicago and 6 hours home. It’s TOTALLY worth it (yay Blathering!), but what do you do for 6 hours? Can’t read, can’t watch TV, don’t have satellite radio, not a real fan of books on tape… I usually bring a portable DVD player and listen to my House DVDs (with the screen closed so there’s no temptation to look). I’ve seen the episodes many times, so I don’t really lose anything by not seeing the screen. But even that gets old after a few hours. I’m jealous of the people who are flying!

4. Fundraising. We are doing 2 fundraisers for MOPS right now. They’re not too hard to sell (Tastefully Simple and Younkers coupon books). I’m buying them myself, but I hate asking people to buy things. Last year I didn’t even try. This year I only asked family.

5. Setting unrealistic expectations FOR MYSELF. I feel like since I wrote this whole post on how people usually write throwaway posts during NaBloPoMo and I hate that, I can’t ever do it. I thought I was all set for NaBloPoMo, since I have a couple documents full of post ideas. But these post ideas are pretty much all one sentence or less. Now that the time has come to pick an idea every day and actually write about it, it seems like a lot more work than I thought it would be. I’m scared of the rest of the month!

6. Computer batteries. My laptop battery used to last an hour and a half. Not great, but good enough. I swear it did this as of a few weeks ago. Last night I turned the computer on (without plugging it in) to look something up quickly. The battery died in 10 minutes. I had barely gotten the computer started up!

7. Blogs that only offer an truncated feed. You know what I mean.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sides of the Bed

For the longest time, I’ve ALWAYS had to sleep on the side of the bed furthest from the door. When I was younger (middle school age, I suppose?) I figured if someone broke into my room, the more space I had between them and me, the better. It would give me more time to react. In actuality, if anyone HAD actually broken in, it probably would have made zero difference. What was I going to do with that extra time? Jump out the window? (Actually, if the window was already open, that might have worked.) Whether it made sense or not, it made me feel more secure.

So I didn’t have a side of the bed. I always slept on the right side at home (because it was furthest from the door), but if were in a hotel or visiting people, I would sleep on the side furthest from the door, even if it was the left side. Thomas always insisted the left side of the bed was HIS and it really annoyed him when I’d make him sleep on the “wrong” side.

When we moved, I took over the left side of the bed, which took Thomas months to get used to. It’s actually closer to the door, but by that point, I had gotten so used to sleeping by the wall I had gone from having to sleep furthest from the door to having to sleep closest to the wall. That’s usually the same thing, but it isn’t in our bedroom (because the left side of our bed is up against the same wall as the door).

Then pregnancy changed that (along with many other things). Now, I must sleep on the left side of the bed. To go to sleep, I always lay on my left side and I have to be facing out or I get claustrophobic. There’s not enough air if two people are facing each other in bed. The last two times Andrew and I went out of town, I slept on the left side even though it was the side closest to the door AND furthest from the wall! If possible, I still want to sleep closest to the wall, so if we have our choice of several rooms I check them out and pick one where the left side of the bed is up against a wall. I’m hopelessly picky.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

You Read That Right

Yes, we’re having another baby! I’m due the end of June. We’re very excited, but I’m having a hard time preparing myself mentally for pregnancy. Last time I was really, really sick from 5 weeks until 18 weeks. I had such a hard time eating, I lost weight in that time period. For the last two weeks, I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. I eat everything in sight, figuring I won’t want to eat anything at all soon enough. Every morning I wake up and assess whether I feel like throwing up. So far, I feel fine if my stomach is empty (this was NOT the case last time), but instantly feel like throwing up every time I get a full stomach (so I basically snack all day). I alternate between trying to enjoy these last few days/weeks before I feel like I’m dying and telling myself I should act as if everything is normal and I’m not going to get hit with terrible nausea any day, since thinking about it does nothing but ruin these last few days/weeks.

I don’t have many pregnancy symptoms yet. I’m not excessively tired or excessively nauseous – I really don’t feel that different. It kind of makes it hard to convince myself I’m pregnant. I haven’t had any trouble not telling people, because it doesn’t seem real to me. If I say “I’m pregnant,” I feel like I’m making something up. Again, I alternate between wondering when it will feel real to me and hoping it doesn’t anytime soon, because I don’t want to be tired and nauseous all the time!

I called the ob/gyn office for an appointment two hours after I found out I was pregnant with Meg. This time it took me two weeks. The instant I found out I was pregnant with Meg, I felt like the whole world changed. I was going to have a BABY! We were going to be a FAMILY! This time, nothing really changed. I’m kind of freaked out about having two kids, but it hasn’t really sunk in. As I said, it doesn’t feel like anything is different yet. I know that will change soon enough, but having 17-month-old really takes your mind off being pregnant. I nearly bought a bottle of wine to go with our dinner last weekend, but at the last minute remembered I couldn’t drink it.

I didn’t think we’d get pregnant before the Blathering, so I figured it would be my last hurrah before pregnancy. At first I was kind of disappointed it’s not. It’s no fun being the only one not drinking. But it turns out 5 Blathering-ers are pregnant! It will still be a lot of fun, just different than I thought it would be. At least I won’t get a hangover!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

13 things you should know about me before the Blathering

1. I’m a cheap drunk. My parents and grandparents don’t drink at all. Ever. The concept of having a glass of wine with dinner is foreign to me. Sometimes Thomas and I will have a drink at home on a Friday night, but not that often. Usually I don’t drink at all unless we’re at an event where alcohol is an integral part of it, like when our friends had a wine tasting. As a result, I feel somewhat tipsy after one glass of wine and drunk after two. Give me three and I get CRAZY!

2. Another part of the reason I don’t drink much is that I don’t like wine. I pretty much never like wine until the second glass – and then I only like it because I’m already tipsy. There’s probably some wines I would like out there, but I’m not going to spend time and money searching for them. I prefer mixed drinks. A wine BUZZ, though, is awesome. Much better than the hard stuff.

3. My daughter’s name isn’t Meg. It happens to be the same name Maggie has. The name Maggie doesn't like and says you should never give your child! Oops!

4. My husband’s name isn’t Andrew. (Updated: I've edited the blog to change all the 'Andrews' - his blog alias - to 'Thomas' so this doesn't make much sense anymore.)

5. My name really is Jessica!

6. I’m a Republican, although I’m not a huge fan of all Republican candidates. I’m ALSO not a fan of Obama, so I won’t have much to contribute to a conversation about how great he is. I know there will be people from both sides of the aisle at the Blathering, so I assume we won’t be talking politics.

7. Unlike most of you, I have no desire to write a novel. I don’t want to write articles. I have no aspirations to get paid for writing. I do just fine writing about MYSELF, but I don’t like writing about anything else (especially fiction).

8. Lest all you writers think I’m completely crazy, I’ll tell you I do love READING and do it every chance I get. Mostly mysteries. But if YOU write a book, I’ll read it.

9. I know a lot of you are SAHMs. I work 32 hours a week, so I’m pretty far from being a SAHM. Since I’m home 1.5 days a week, I sometimes think I know what it’s like to be a SAHM, but I probably don’t.

10. I have strong feelings about what side of the bed I sleep on. I would like to say sorry in advance to my roommate at the Blathering.

11. I tend to talk to the TV, yelling things like “What are you doing?” “Why?” “What is SHE doing there?” It’s especially embarrassing when I’m watching something on my computer with headphones. Especially since I hate it when other people talk to the TV.

12. I’m six weeks pregnant, making items #1 and #2 irrelevant.

13. I hope I won’t be too nauseous to enjoy the blathering.

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaBloPoMo

I have mixed feelings about NaBloPoMo. I get really excited when some people do it. It’s fun to wake up every morning and have something new to read from my favorite people. On the other hand, some people just aren’t meant to post every day. For most of the year, people only write if something has happened or they have a specific topic they’d like to talk about. Generally, people write better when they have something specific to write about, not when they’ve written a blog post every day for 20+ days in a row, are all out of ideas, AND are out of town for Thanksgiving.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to picture posts or ‘this is what I’m making for dinner’ or ‘this is my new favorite product’. I just don’t like “Wow, is this month going to be over soon? I can’t think of anything to write about” or especially “I’m so busy all I can do is write a post about how I’m too busy to write an actual post.”

I suppose this reads like an explanation of why I’m NOT doing NaBloPoMo, but I am! I’m well aware I might not be very good at it, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway. Feel free to throw it in my face if I stoop to writing a post entirely about how busy I am.

P.S. I am SO not trying to be mean or pick on anyone’s blog in particular. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t do NaBloPoMo if you don’t think you’re good at it. If you want to do it, for whatever reason – because you think it will make you a better writer, because you want to document more of your life on your blog, or just because you want to – then do it! Don’t listen to me!

P.P.S. This post is not meant to say most people can’t hack NaBloPoMo, but I can because I’m awesome like that. Believe me. Its saying most people crash and burn by the end of NaBloPoMo (sometimes sooner), but I’m going to attempt it anyway, even though I will probably crash and burn, too. Because I want to.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

My parents went to Japan this spring and they brought back this kimono for Meg.  Unfortunately, she didn't stay still long enough for me to get many non-blurry pictures.
She LOVED handing out candy and often gave kids several handfuls.  I think we were a popular house.
She also tried to give candy to the cat, but the cat didn't really want Whoppers.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. Starbucks Via instant coffee is nasty. Awful. I got the Caramel kind when they were giving you a free latte for buying it and I think it’s worse than other instant coffee. Not only is the coffee bad, but the flavor makes it even worse. It doesn’t taste like caramel, just awful artificial flavor. Seriously. Don’t buy it. I’m glad I got it really cheap (I got it on a day I was getting a latte anyway, so I only paid a little more to get the Via + free latte).

2. Have any of you ever seen decaf chai tea? I’ve never been able to find decaf chai. I LOVE chai, but I try not to drink caffeine, so I rarely have it. It kind of bums me out.

3. NaBloPoMo starts Monday and I’m going to do it. I hope it goes well. I’m a major plan ahead-er. I have a folder on my computer called “November” filled with post ideas and a few half-finished posts for NaBloPoMo.

4. One of those posts is “13 things you should know about me before the Blathering.” When I was reading the archives of this year’s blathering-goers, I saw that several of them had done this for last year’s Blathering and was instantly nervous. I can’t think of 13 things you should know about me! So I figured I’d better get going. Since September, I’ve been adding things as I think of them, because I knew if I tried to write it the week of the Blathering I’d have major writers block and not even be able to come up with one.

5. Of course, now we’re all doing this get-to-know-you email thing, so I’m going to be the ONLY ONE with a “x number of things you should know” post. But, dammit, I already wrote the thing so I’m posting it. Plus, its going to be good. There’s something you’ll definitely want to know about me, even if you’re not going to the Blathering.

6. How come “I need a drink” is usually construed to mean alcohol? If I happen to say “I need a drink” at say, 10 in the morning, Thomas looks at me weird. Can’t that just mean I’m thirsty and want water?

7. We haven’t taken a vacation since May 2008. We have a cruise planned for February, but do you know how long it is until February? TOO LONG. Especially since we booked the cruise this spring and have been sitting around waiting ever since. I certainly hope we don’t go three years between vacations again.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another post about diaper changes. Sorry.

Since we complained about Meg getting diaper rashes at daycare, they’ve been making a lot more notes on her daily sheet. They’ve also been changing her more frequently, which I appreciate. I understand some parents might only want their child changed every 2 ½ - 3 hours, so less diapers are used, but they remember we prefer every 1 ½-2 hours. Unfortunately, the more frequent changes aren’t really helping. The problem all along has been that Meg waits to dirty her diaper until right after she’s been changed. So while it’s good she only sits in a dirty diaper for a maximum of 2 hours instead of 3, she still gets a nasty rash on daycare days.

I try to be understanding. They’re changing her more often, making a note if she has a rash, putting cream on it, etc. They can’t watch my child like a hawk all day and change every dirty diaper seconds after it happens. Even if they smell something, it’s probably hard to track down which of the 8 kids smells, especially if some of the kids have gas.

But when they write this on her daily log, it pisses me off.

Am I being oversensitive, or are they implying she came with a rash so they shouldn’t be blamed? Because they’ve written this each of the last 3 weeks and its making me furious. Every Tuesday morning I make a mental note of whether she has a rash. I am 100% sure she had ZERO redness yesterday morning. None. I checked. I dropped her off at 7. The first diaper they changed was a dirty one at 8:30 and if she had a rash, it’s because she dirtied her diaper long before 8:30 and sat in it for awhile.

She had 3 dirty diapers at daycare yesterday and they must not have caught any of them right away because by the time she came home she was covered in red welts. WELTS. When I changed her diaper, it hurt so badly she cried for 10 minutes. And the stupid log makes it sound like they’re trying to say it’s not their fault. What do I have to do – have the director verify there’s no rash when I drop her off? Call every hour and ask them to sniff her backside while I’m on the phone? Pay for the ability to watch the cameras in her room via website and spend all day watching her instead of working so I can call every time I think she’s dirtied her diaper?

I understand they’re trying harder. I believe she did have a rash the first time they changed her. I also believe the rash was their fault, though I suppose they don’t necessarily have a way of knowing that. They certainly had to notice it got much worse as the day went on.

Maybe it can’t be prevented. They have seven other kids to watch. I really don’t know what I can do to improve the situation. I don’t think changing daycares would necessarily help. I almost took a picture of the welts to take to the director, but I just couldn’t take a picture of my daughter’s private area.

Obviously Meg has very sensitive skin. She went from no rash at all to angry red welts in 10 hours. All I can think of at this point is that my super special snowflake has such sensitive skin that a daycare setting just doesn’t work for her. I feel like I should quit my job and change all her diapers myself. It just makes me cry when she’s in so much pain.

But she loves daycare. She enjoys playing with other kids and usually isn’t even sad for me to leave. Yesterday she gave me a huge smile and a kiss when I dropped her off and got right to playing. I think she’d really like it if we sent her more than just 1 day a week. I just don’t know what to do.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This is the only baby book she's got

Meg's vocabulary exploded this week.  She picked up 6 new animal sounds this week. I taught her kitty on Monday and she learned the other five Wednesday night. I’m amazed she remembers them all.

She already knew what a dog says – sort of. It sounds like a dog panting, rather than barking. She picked it up from an actual dog, though, so I suppose her sound is more accurate than if she said “bow-wow.”

I tried to teach her a kitty says ‘meeeee-owwwww,’ but she just says ‘owwwwww’ sort of like a dog howling at the moon.

Chickens say “cuck, cuck, cuck”

Ducks say “ack, ack, ack.”

Turkeys say “dobble, dobble, dobble.”

Sheep say “baaaaaa”

She’s not good at saying m’s. She can say ‘mama,’ but only does when she is hurt or sad and needs her mama RIGHT NOW. She doesn’t say it if I ask her to. I don’t think she’s ever said an ‘m’ sound on demand. So her version of what a cow says is “boooooooooo.” At least we’re ahead of the game for Halloween!

She also says "boo" whens she’s hiding. It means peek-a-boo, but she says it while she’s hiding, not when she pops out.

Another word she picked up this week is “baby.” She loves to say baby and point out babies. Most of the time it’s a picture of herself, but she doesn’t believe it’s really her. She thinks we’re all a little crazy because she’s obviously much bigger than the baby in the picture.

She says daddy (da) and grandpa (buh-puh), but as I said, never says mama in normal conversation. She also doesn’t have a word for grandma.

She loves her aunt ‘T’ (Katie), but doesn’t say any of her other aunts’ or uncles’ names.

She says ‘ba’ for bottle and doesn’t have a word for sippy cups (they’re not ba’s).

She says ‘hah’ for house.  She also says 'hi' and 'bye' while waving.

Her first word was ‘mama’ and her second was ‘da,’ but after that was the word she says the most: ‘kitty.’ She says it really well, sometimes with the t’s, usually without (kih-ey). She chases the real cat around the house yelling kitty, kitty, kitty!

Her second favorite word is probably ‘shuze’ (shoes) and often when we’re getting ready in the morning she’ll run around saying ‘sockz, shuze’ (socks, shoes).

We really need to get the video camera out and get evidence of this.  Especially that a cow says 'boooooo' because its so darn cute.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. Meg and I went to a pumpkin patch this morning with MOPS. I got a ton of cute pictures – I’ll post them sometime soon. It was fun, but I’m exhausted.

2. Meg went right down for a nap, but I don’t even get to relax because I have a million things to do. My mother-in-law is coming this afternoon (in like 2 hours) and the house is a mess. But I don’t feel like I have time to clean the house because I have so many other things to do – like wash bottles and do 3 loads of laundry.

3. Seriously. Our house is a disaster. But I’m not freaking out, because I have the nicest mother-in-law and I know she truly doesn’t care. Plus, she’s seen our house this way too many times to count. And she’s bringing a homemade blackberry pie!!! YUM.

4. I have bought breakfast every single day this week. Monday-Thursday at work and this morning I stopped at My Favorite Muffin & Bagel Cafe (that's the shop's name, not random capitalization) for a bagel sandwich. I’ve spent $15 this week on breakfast. It seems so wrong, but it was the only way to get me through the week.

5. At the pumpkin patch, they gave us Capri Sun’s for all of the kids in our group. 4 of the 6 don’t drink juice, including Margaret. I drank hers. The other 3 sat with the pumpkins and we divided them up when it was time to go. I got one. I kind of want to have it right now. Which would mean that today I’ve eaten: the bagel sandwich, 2 juice drinks (that contain no juice), and a hot dog and granola bar at the pumpkin patch. What a healthy day!

6. Do you know how hard it is to lose weight if you watch Top Chef: Just Desserts? Every time I watch that show it makes me want to run to a pastry shop and try everything. Good thing there’s a blackberry pie on its way!

7. A lot of these quick takes seem to be about how badly I eat. Do you ever have one of those weeks where you were really good the week before, so you decide to give yourself a day off…and then another one…and then all of the sudden you’ve eaten like crap all week?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chicago Marathon Trip - quick summary

We did everything I said we were going to do (Chicago Board of Trade, fancy dinner, The Lion King, and a Chicago River Architecture Tour). It was all fantastic.

The race went pretty well. I didn’t know it would be so much work to be a spectator! I was picturing more sitting around, but we were on our feet for 4 hours straight walking around Chicago and seeing Thomas at various points of the race. I desperately need new tennis shoes, so my feet are still hurting a week later. During this four hours of walking, I saw him for approximately 10 seconds four different times. Doesn’t really sound worth it, but I suppose it was. Each time we saw him I got really excited. His mom got some good pictures of him running.

The big bummer about the race is that it was HOT. By the end of the race, the official race conditions were “adverse” and runners were dropping left and right. Thomas said for the last 2-3 miles, he stopped at every aid station, drank 2 cups of Gatorade, ate a banana piece, and poured a cup of water over his head. It’s a good thing, too, because a lot of people collapsed on the final stretch. It was terrible to watch. Since I’ve never watched a marathon before, I don’t know if more people went down than normal, but I assume so.

Thomas' goal was to finish under 4 hours. He came in at 4:09:39 and decided that was pretty dang good, considering how hot it was. Now he wants to run another marathon in the spring…

Friday, October 15, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. Earlier this week on the radio, they were talking about grocery shopping systems. Do you go once a week? Every day? Who does it? How do you meal plan? I was surprised how many women said their husband does it, because if they go to the grocery store they spend too much. That’s why I’m not allowed to do the grocery shopping. I grab a ton of impulse ‘that-looks-good’ items (even when I’m shopping on a full stomach) and I always want to stock up on things I know we use a lot. I spend way more than Thomas if I do the grocery shopping. Our bill even goes up if I go WITH him to the grocery store, despite his attempts to keep it down. I know he doesn’t love doing the grocery shopping, but its worth it to keep his wife away from the store.

2. This morning at MOPS, someone said when she and her husband got into a big fight she threatened to unfriend him on Facebook! I think that’s hilarious. They’ve been married for 10 years and the worst she can come up with is unfriending him.

3. As I said when I posted about my new Jesabes twitter account, I’ve had a personal twitter account for a while. I was already following a lot of bloggy people on my personal account. Some of them followed me back. I now follow all of the people I know through blogs on my new twitter account. Again, some of them followed me back. Now I sometimes tweet the same thing on both accounts, so both my family and blog people can read the tweets. But, as I said, some bloggy people follow me on both accounts, so now they get double tweets. I’m afraid they’ll do whatever the twitter version of ‘unfriending’ me is on both accounts!

4. Whenever I need a second, like if I’ve read the same book 10 times and can’t take it anymore, or I’m trying to do my makeup while Meg is trying to steal my makeup, or I’m trying to make lunch and Meg won’t let go of my legs, if the cat happens to wander by, I say “Look! It’s the kitty!” and Meg runs off after her, giving me a little break. Meg adores the cat.

This morning, Meg took something she knows she’s not supposed to have. When I came toward her, she said “Kitty!” and pointed behind me. I was fairly certain she was faking, since when she actually sees the kitty she is much more excited and runs toward her. I checked anyway. The cat wasn’t there. She was trying to distract me!

5. As I (double) tweeted last night, they said on the news the local children’s hospital has bedbugs. How awful is that! They went on to say it was only two rooms, so far, and the bugs must have been brought in by patients. Still, they didn’t act like the bugs were discovered by the patients who brought them in. I think it was the next patients. It sure makes me glad we have no plans to go to the hospital anytime soon (like to give birth)! This children’s hospital is attached to the hospital where I had Meg. Although, maybe it will be the cleanest place in town now that they know about the problem and have gotten bad publicity.

6. Is there a show you wish you could watch, but just never made it into your schedule? I watched the premiere of Parenthood in February and really liked it. I saw a promo for a new episode yesterday and it made me wish I’d started watching it, but I watch too many shows already and I just don’t have time for more. I also want to watch Mad Men and The Good Wife. What shows do you want to watch, but don’t?

7.  We're thinking about trying for another baby soon.  Its giving me an insane urge to start drinking like crazy!  I rarely drink, but the thought of not being able to for nine months makes me want to squeeze in nine months of drinking right now.  Of course, that's still not much.  When I say I rarely drink, I mean I can't remember the last time I had a drink.  Wait, I guess I had a glass of wine with dinner when we were in Chicago last weekend.  But I can't remember the last time before that!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How many pillows?

I’ve always been under the impression most people use two pillows when they sleep.  I do.  Thomas does.  Both my parents do.  When you see pictures of bedrooms (like in a magazine or on a blog), there’s almost always two pillows on each side.  Do people throw one pillow on the floor and just use the other?  Our hotel room last weekend only had 3 pillows on the king size bed.  Do they figure half (or more) of people sleep with only one pillow?  Do they not see the point of putting enough pillows for 2 people, since the majority of people saying in hotels are business travelers so there’s usually only 1 person in the room?  Or are they just cheap?  I know I’m overthinking this, but it was really annoying. We both HAVE to have two pillows. I really hate calling down to the front desk and asking for things, so I didn’t request a fourth pillow.  How were we supposed to decide who got two?  I ended up volunteering to use a couch cushion as one of my pillows because I like really firm pillows and the hotel pillows were practically flat. 

How many pillows do YOU sleep with?  I really want to know.  Are us two-pillow-sleepers in the minority?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Weather Rant

Today is October 12th. The forecasted high is 80 degrees. This past weekend it was even hotter (I believe it was over 90 on Saturday) and I was thisclose to completely losing it if one more person said “Aren’t we having such great weather for October?”

NO. This is not great weather. 90-100 degree weather is the reason I hole up in my house for all of July and August and refuse to come out. I HATE this weather. Also, I love October weather and this hot spell is robbing me of it. I want to wear a jacket! I don’t want to have to wear shorts and slather myself with sunscreen!

What gets me even angrier is when people say “It’s going to get cold soon enough. You’ll be wishing for this weather once there’s snow everywhere!” Again, I have to say NO. I will not be missing this weather EVER. I’ll take snow over 100-degree weather any day. Even if we’ve had four months of snow already. Yes, it will get cold and snowy soon enough. That’s why I want 50 to 60 degree weather NOW, before it’s too late. So enjoy your warm weather, if that’s your thing, but keep your mouth shut around me if you don’t want me to scream at you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. I’m getting a little insecure about my hair. Not one person has mentioned it looks different. At first I thought my new haircut looked natural (as in good) on me, so they didn’t notice. Or maybe they think I’m just doing my hair every morning instead of letting it look like crap. I could see people not wanting to say something like “are you being less lazy with your hair this week?” But I got three inches cut off. THREE INCHES! Is it possible no one noticed? Or (as I fear) do they think it looks terrible, so they’ve decided not to talk about it at all?

2. Remember last week when I said I wore maternity pants to MOPS because all my other pants were in the laundry? I’ve worn them twice since. They’re so freaking comfortable!!! Besides, I might as well wear them when I’m not pregnant, because they don’t actually last very long into a pregnancy. They have a pretty small elastic panel (smaller than my demi-panel jeans). Of course, I only wear them with loooong shirts, so there’s no chance someone might think I’m pregnant. I just hope nobody at work recognizes them from when I was pregnant…

3. As I’ve mentioned a million times, my husband is running the Chicago marathon Sunday. So we’re off to Chicago today! This afternoon, we’re going to the Chicago Board of Trade (my husband is a commodities broker), having dinner at Italian Village, and going to the Lion King! Tomorrow, we’re taking a boat tour of Chicago, which makes me think of The Breakup:)

4. To go to the Board of Trade, have a tour, and see the markets close, we have to be there by 12 (the markets close at 1:30). Which means we have to leave at SIX AM. Which sucks in and of itself, but also means I have to leave without seeing Meg OR wake her up, then leave for three days soon after. I don’t want to! I want to spend a couple hours with her, THEN go. We’re not going to be back until late Sunday evening:(

5. On the news last night, they said right now the chances of hitting a deer are 1 in 67. That seems a little high to me. Sure makes me want to jump into a car and drive for six hours!

6. Maybe I should change this to 5 quick takes. I really can't think of anything else.

7. By the way, I wrote this Thursday night and set it to auto-post, because, did I tell you?, we're leaving at SIX AM.  And I have to take a shower, do my labor-intensive new hair, and finish packing.  Which means I have to get up at like 4:45 on my day off.  Grr.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Haircut

Last Thursday, while trying to get my hair to look decent, I decided it couldn’t be done. I’d HAD IT with my ugly hair. I didn’t want to call and make an appointment for the next week. I wanted my hair chopped off NOW. A few days earlier, we’d gotten a coupon for a $8.95 haircut in the mail. At the time, I thought it was asking for trouble. How can an $8.95 haircut be good? But on Thursday, I decided to try it. I figured my hair was pretty awful already, so the worst I could end up with was SHORTER bad hair, which would at least tide me over until I got a better cut.

When I got home, it wasn’t good. My hair looked HORRIBLE. Really bad. When the stylist had cut my hair 2 inches shorter, I asked her to cut it another inch because I thought it wasn’t short enough yet. I got home and really regretted that decision. Plus, I asked for layers and they were awful. Really choppy. I tried to style my hair and couldn’t find a way to make it look good, so I put it in a ponytail (which kept falling out because my hair wasn’t long enough). At that point, I was thinking up a blog post entitled “things you should never do to your hair!” It included:

1. Don’t go to a salon that charges $8.95 for a haircut. Yes, it’s cheap, but you’re throwing that money away, because you’ll just end up going somewhere else to fix it. You get what you pay for.

2. Don’t make a snap decision to try a new hairstyle just because you’re annoyed with your current one.

3. Don’t ask for “just one more inch” to be taken off

I decided waiting for an appointment somewhere else would have been a good thing, because I wouldn’t have cut it so short if I’d had time to calm down from my hair frustration Thursday morning. I was going to beg for your opinion on how much I should spend to fix it – should I go to the most expensive place around? Something priced reasonably? What IS reasonable? What’s too cheap?

But over the next few days, I figured out how to style it. I fell in love with it. The length, the cut, the mousse left over from a long-ago hairstyle. It WORKED. In fact, I now think my new haircut is fantastic. It didn’t take me any longer to warm up to than the super-expensive haircut I got from the fancy salon right before my sister’s wedding (I didn’t like that one at first, either). After a few days, the layers blended together and didn’t look choppy. Since I put mousse at the roots, my hair is much lighter and I don’t NEED to have my hair in a ponytail all the time anymore. I’m sure if I’d gone to the fancy salon, my hair might look a little better. It’s not quite as refined as the super-expensive haircut. But nowhere near $60 better. I think from now on, I’ll go to the expensive salon when I want highlights (I’m not brave enough to try that at a cheap place) and go as cheap as possible for trims/cuts. I love my new hair and I saved $60 bucks! Please ignore the rules above!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Two miles

Yesterday, for the first time in my entire life, I ran two miles without stopping! I know two miles isn’t that impressive (especially since my husband is running 26.2 on Sunday), but it’s something I thought I just couldn’t do. I’m not athletic. I hate working out. I know tons of people run 2-3 miles every day, but I thought it just wasn’t for me. Not in a bad way, just because people are different. I prefer workout classes. I didn’t have a problem with the fact I’d never run two miles without stopping, it was just a fact. But you know what? It was WAY easier than I thought. In fact, I did it AFTER running ¾ mile.

I went running with the intention of walking .25 mile, running .75, walking .25, running .75, for a total of 2 miles. Unfortunately (fortunately?) I didn’t know my neighborhood as well as I thought and ended up on a road with no cross streets for about 8 blocks. So when I hit the 2 mile mark and should have been done, I was still a mile away from home. I decided to keep running (instead of walking). When I was almost home, I looped the block a couple times so I could get to 2 miles without stopping, then again so I could have a cool down walk. Which means my entire run was almost 3.5 miles, so I also went over 5K for the first time in my life!

This does not, however, mean I’ll be running a 5K anytime soon. Some people could run TWO 5Ks in the time it took me to run one. Although, since the distance I can run improved so quickly, maybe the speed will, too? All I know is I’ll have to get a LOT faster before I can run a public race without being horribly embarrassed. Its fine if I run around my neighborhood slowly (at night, when not many people are out). Not so fine to be the last finisher in a race. I can still speedwalk faster than I can run (if I want to run a long distance), so I assume even the walkers would beat me. Not happening.

But now I believe it CAN happen someday and that someday might come a lot sooner than I think. Its blowing my mind! How many other things I ‘just can’t do’ are this much easier than I think?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Does every transition have to be a battle?

At her grandma’s house today, Meg threw her bottle and broke the plastic ring (but surprisingly not the glass bottle). This means we’re down to 2 rings. So we have a choice: push drinking milk out of sippy cups or wash bottles twice a day (she drinks four 4-5 oz bottles a day). She’s 16 months old, so technically she’s not supposed to be drinking out of bottles anymore. She’s been drinking water out of sippy cups since around the time she turned one. She loves her sippies and carries them around, but refuses to drink anything but water out of them. She has it all figured out – milk comes from bottles and water comes from sippies. If you try to give her milk in a sippy cup, she refuses to drink it. She looks at you as if you’ve lost your mind and usually shrieks in frustration.

This wasn’t an issue I felt like fighting over, so I let her have what she wanted. We continued to let her drink milk out of bottles but stopped buying any new supplies. We had 4 nipples and 3 rings, which was a pain because we had to wash bottles daily, but worked. In fact, even though we complained about having to constantly wash bottles, it was nice to not have the option of letting dirty bottles multiply around the sink for days. Also, I find bottles a lot easier to wash than sippy cups.

However, four bottles a day with only two rings is not going to work. Since the ring doesn’t really touch the milk anyway, we sometimes take a used ring off one bottle to use on another without washing it. But daycare is required by law to use all new supplies for each bottle. Meg has bottles first thing in the morning, midmorning, midafternoon, and before bed. Since we have to send two rings to daycare, we’d have to wash the ring used for her first-thing-in-the-morning bottle before leaving for daycare, which would be a huge pain.

Its difficult to buy more rings. Generally, they just come with bottles. We use Medela bottles. The reason we don’t have many rings is most of our bottles came with an old style of ring. They changed the shape of the nipples and rings, so we can’t use the dozens of old-model rings we have. Since we have about 30 bottles (they’re also used for pumping), I don’t want to buy more just to get more rings. The only other way to get them is to order the rings off the Medela website for $2.65 each plus $11 shipping.

The reason we haven’t really pushed sippy cups is I don’t like our options there, either. I hate washing sippy cups – too many little parts and nooks and crannies. But with her drinking so many bottles a day, we’d have to buy a ton of sippy cups if we were going to put them in the dishwasher. Where are we going to PUT all those cups when they’re clean? I don’t want to buy MORE STUFF. If we’re going to switch to sippies, I think we have to really go for it and cut out bottles cold turkey. We can’t get by with just a few more sippy cups unless we’re going to hand wash them. But what if I buy 10 sippy cups (quite an investment) and she won’t drink milk out of the same kind she likes for water?

What it comes down to is the current system was working. We were all happy. I knew we’d have a battle on our hands someday when we decided to take bottles away, but I was happy to worry about that later. Now it seems we have to worry about it NOW. If it wasn’t so expensive, I’d probably break down and buy more rings.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Back to reality

Don’t worry about me. I’m almost never as unhappy as the last post made me sound. My husband said something about running that struck a nerve (even though he didn’t mean to) and I went off. I’m over it. I’m running tonight. I’ll run the suggested distances in the training plan, no matter how long it takes. And, even if it kills me, I intend to at least lose enough weight that my maternity clothes fit comfortably before I get pregnant again (I weigh 15 pounds more than I did before getting pregnant with Meg). I CAN DO IT. At least until the Blathering comes and I gain it all back:-P


Moving on.

Meg had a hard time adjusting back to the real world today. At camp, it really did seem like we were in our own, perfect world. Meg was the only small child amongst 35 pre-teens and their mothers and they all told her how adorable she was. We were at a small Christian camp, so she wasn’t required to stay right next to me. As long as she was in sight, I let her run free. My sister was in charge of the camp, so she really got to go everywhere – into the kitchens to taste dinner, up to the sound booth to help her aunt run the power point, pretty much wherever she wanted.

This morning, there were 15 kids in the nursery and none of them seemed to know Meg is a princess. They weren’t interested in telling her how cute she was or letting her have anything she wanted. In fact, there was one little girl who kept trying to steal her toys. It was quite painful for Meg to go from one extreme to the other. She spent most of nursery screaming when another child came near her and trying to hoard toys.

After church, we went out for lunch with my (other) sister and her husband and it drove Meg CRAZY that we wouldn’t let her roam the restaurant. She screamed when we tried to hold her hand. She doesn’t much like the real world, where she has to share toys and hold hands in public. Its obvious she wants to go back to camp. Me too, kid, me too.

Running

I don’t know if I’m cut out to be a runner. Not because I “wasn’t born to be a runner” (although I wasn’t), but because my husband became a runner first. I don’t think we can handle doing the same sport.

He’s a competitive runner. A week from today, he’s running the Chicago marathon. I started running 4 weeks ago. At this point, I can still speed walk faster than I can run (if I want to maintain that speed for a respectable distance). Training for a marathon takes a ton of time and many, many miles. Since running is basically his whole life right now, apart from work and family, he talks about it a lot. He reads books about running. He watches documentaries about running. He reads Runners World cover to cover every month. He knows "everything" about running and he likes to share his knowledge.  But I HATE talking about workouts. If you ask me how my run was, the most you’ll get is “good” or “not so good.” I think this is why the running has lasted 4 weeks. I refuse to talk about it, so I don’t say things about running that he considers insanely obvious or really dumb.

The first two times I ran, he told me he was proud of me in the same tone of voice he tells Meg he’s proud of her. It was a bit condescending, but I KNOW he didn’t mean it that way. I didn’t take offense to it, because I knew he was genuinely proud of me for doing something I’d always thought I couldn’t.

Then last week, I mentioned the Cou.ch to 5.K was going good, but that I was not going to be able to run a 5K by the end of it. I’m slow. By the end of the 9 weeks, I’m sure I’ll be able to run for 30 minutes. But those 30 minutes will not get me anywhere near 3 miles. I wondered whether I should go back a week or two in the training and start running the suggested distances instead of the suggested times. Like this week – it said Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes). I’ve been doing the times, but I don’t run anywhere close to ½ a mile in 5 minutes. So he said something like, well, if it takes 5 minutes 30 seconds then just do it. Don’t stop at 5 minutes. When I told him how long it actually takes me to run a half a mile (8 minutes), he looked completely disgusted. I know it was involuntary. He can run a whole mile faster than I can run half a mile. Pretty much EVERYONE can run faster than that. I bet you FORREST GUMP runs faster than that. Who wouldn’t be disgusted? He would never tell me I suck at running, but I suck SO BAD, he can’t even hide his shock. Its not exactly encouraging.

Right now, he's comparing himself to professional runners.  He thinks he's really slow.  He hasn't yet run a race fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  He doesn't always finish at the top of his age group.  In his mind, it doesn't get much slower than he is.  But he's in a league far above my own.  I’ve only been running for 4 weeks. He’s been running for over 2 years. I don't think its at all fair to compare.  (To be clear, I'm not saying he IS comparing - he tries not to, but its almost impossible.)  Yes, it took me 8 minutes to run half a mile. But that was the first time I’d ever run half a mile without stopping in my entire life. Can’t I get something between condescension (Yay! You did it! said in the same tone of voice you’d use to talk to a one-year-old) and disgust (are you sure you can’t run faster than that)?

I’m really considering quitting. I know I’m a fat girl who can’t run worth a damn. But until a month ago, I hadn’t worked out since October 2008, when I got hit with morning sickness so bad I couldn’t walk from the apartment to the car without throwing up, let alone continue my (kick-ass) workout routine. At least I finally got myself off the couch. I actually LIKE running! But its not worth it if running makes me feel worse about myself than I already do. My self esteem is kind of fragile right now. In general, I think it’s a terrible thing to be down on yourself about weight. Its unproductive. Either do something about it, or make your peace with it. I’m remarkably good at making my peace with it. It generally doesn’t bother me. But MY CLOTHES DON’T FIT. I am trying to do something about it. However, in the meantime, its hard to wake up every morning and realize your ‘fat clothes’ don’t fit. I can’t take criticism (even constructive criticism) on my running skills right now. Just leave me alone.

You know what helps when I’m “in a mood” like this? RUNNING. But I’m too scared to go. I’m worried some jerk is going to fly past me and make a derogatory comment about how slow I am. I know my own husband thinks I’m pathetically slow (despite his attempts to hide it), so I’m sure everyone else does, too.

I swear, if some troll posts "My four-year-old can run a 5K faster than you, you fat slob," I'm shutting down the blog.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mother-Daughter Retreat

I took Meg to the Mother-Daughter retreat and it was AWESOME. As I said yesterday, it was at the camp where my sister is the director of programming. She invited all the women in our family to come. I went back and forth on whether to bring Margaret and I am so glad I did. I had one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time and so did Meg. She LOVED it. The camp attendees were mostly pre-teens and their moms and they all thought Meg was the cutest thing they’d ever seen. I think this was mainly because of her personality – she is not shy at all. During chapel, she’d run around, go up and down each row, and smile at every single person. You know how you can be listening to a speech and no matter how well-written and meaningful it is, you can only listen for so long before you start to get restless (especially since all of the chapel sessions were at either late in the evening or early in the morning)? Everyone said Meg livened up chapel. She’d run by each person every so often and get them to smile and wake up a little. Her joy was infectious.

Of course I wouldn’t normally let her roam free and disrupt people during what is supposed to be a meaningful time. Before the first chapel started, I sat way in the back with Meg. The speaker for the weekend came to us and made us move up. She said Meg wouldn’t bother her, no matter how loud or rambunctious she got. She said to let her roam the crowd – it would give the conference attendees AND the speaker (her) a smile. I still felt like she was bothering people, but many people came up to us to specifically say how much they liked it. I figured since we were at a mother-daughter retreat, it was unlikely there were people there who didn’t like children.

For the weekend there were four different “tracks” you could choose from: scrapbooking, crafting, horsemanship, and sports. My sister was in charge of sports, but not enough people signed up so they cancelled it, giving her a lot of flexibility for the weekend. Saturday morning, while my mom and I did crafting, my sister took Meg. They visited the horse barn, checked in on the scrapbookers, visited us in the craft room, sampled what the kitchen was preparing, and ran whatever errands needed to be done.

That afternoon, I went horseback riding (in a group) while Meg and my sister took a nap in our room. They both slept for 2 ½ hours! As I was riding through the woods, I thought about how I usually go to the basement and watch TV during naptime. Horseback riding through the gorgeous fall-colored woods was exponentially better. After the ride, my mom and I walked around the camp. My sisters and I went to this camp every summer growing up. I think the last time I went was 8th or 9th grade (once you got older than that, you became a junior counselor and I wasn’t interested), so its been over 10 years. It was great to see it again.

Our whole time there was idyllic. Everything about it was great – the crafts, the food, the chapel time, the free time. Meg slept all night in the pack and play and never worried about being separated from me. We pretty much let her run free as long as one of us could see her and she loved it. Meg had I had to leave Saturday night, even though the retreat ran through Sunday, and it made me so sad to leave I almost cried.

When we left, we all agreed we had to come next year, but it obviously won’t be the same. I doubt my sister will have as much free time. I might have a new baby. It just can’t be as perfect again, but I feel really blessed we got to experience this perfect weekend at least once.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Five Quick Takes

1. Today at MOPS the speaker was Jennifer Wilson from Touching Up My Roots. She and her husband and their two kids moved to Croatia for a year. They returned a couple months ago. The whole family kept a blog during the trip (including the kids). I haven't checked it out yet, but she said there are tons of pictures and some videos, too. I'm really excited to read it. She also has a book coming out in May 2011 about the whole experience. It was fascinating to hear her talk about it. Its so fun to have discovered a fascinating blogger who lives in Des Moines!

2. This was my last week of commuting for work and I am SO EXCITED. I'm an auditor, so we often have to go to a client’s office to work. Most of our clients are in my area, but obviously some aren’t. If your auditee is over an hour away, you go for the week and the office puts you up in a hotel. If its an hour or less, you drive every day. On your own time. Which means my long days (7 am to 6 pm) have been longer (6 am to 7 pm). For eight weeks. Starting next week, I’m in town until I have to travel (overnight) in December. I’m so excited I feel like throwing a party!!! No more commuting! YAY! August and September are the months I commute the most, so I’m pretty much home-free until next year. There’ll be weeks here and there, but hopefully not eight in a row.

3.  My sister works at a Christian camp.  This weekend they're having a mother-daughter camp and my sister said my mom, my aunt, my sister, and I could come for free.  My mom is going for the whole weekend (Friday-Sunday).  My aunt is going for a little bit, I think.  I have to work in the nursery on Sunday, so I'm going Friday evening through Saturday.  I have to decide whether to bring Meg.  I'm leaning toward yes.  There are several stations you could sign up to participate in, including sports, which my sister was in charge of.  Not enough people signed up for sports so they cancelled it and my sister now has a lot of free time.  So between me, my mom, and my sister, I think we could keep Meg happy and still have some downtime.  My sister said she'd take care of Meg during all of the devotional/chapel times and go out with her, if needed.  I think Meg would really enjoy the days, but we're all concerned with whether she would sleep.  I am SO sick of worrying about sleep!

4.  Humor me for a bit if you don't like Friends.  You know the episode when Ross is trying to adjust to being laid-off and having nothing to do all day?  One thing he does is rearranges Joey's fridge:
I reorganized the fridge. See? (Points to empty bottom shelf) Bottom shelf, meats and dairy. (Points to middle shelf that only has one item) Middle shelf, fruits and vegetables. (Points to top shelf which is full of food) And top shelf, expired "products."
I feel like thats what my lunch was like today.  We had very little food, so I made Meg macaroni and cheese.  For my lunch I had the rest of the mac and cheese (there wasn't much), some expired yogurt, and a glass of expired pineapple juice.  Very expired.  I was going to write the exact dates so I went upstairs to check the packages and discovered the juice expired a YEAR ago.  The yogurt expired September 27th (2010), and when I looked at the juice I thought it was "best by" September 28th.  It was.  September 28th, 2009.  Oops!

5.  I wore maternity pants to MOPS today because when I attempted to get dressed today I discovered I had no clean pants.  So I had to go to the basement and dig out the maternity bin.  After we got home, I fed Meg lunch and went downstairs to start some laundry.  Meg started wailing and trying to launch herself out of the high chair to come after me.  I was worried all of her food would end up on the floor (a lot of it did) and she'd be so upset about me leaving she wouldn't finish eating.  So I stopped sorting laundry and went upstairs.  She takes a nap right after lunch and it took awhile to get her to sleep.  I didn't remember the laundry for three hours.  Now there's no way I'll have clean pants in time to leave for camp.  And Meg has no clean pajamas.  I just started the laundry.  We have to leave in an hour.  I haven't packed anything.  We were going to follow my mom there because I don't remember how to get to the camp.  I don't think she'll want to leave late, because then we'll miss dinner.  Which means I have to either pack maternity clothes (NOT pregnant) and have Meg sleep in just a diaper (or non-pajama clothes) or try to figure out how to not get lost driving to a camp in the middle of nowhere on a gravel road.

So I guess you only get five quick takes.  I'll let you know how it goes.