Monday, December 7, 2015

four types of posts that are seriously annoying

Social media is a great invention.  If you wonder what ever happened to so-and-so, all you have to do is type their name into the search bar of your social media site of choice and nine times out of ten, voila! You have a thumbnail sketch of their life, with pictures.  You can get up-to-date articles that like-minded friends have linked.  You can get information on things happening locally, i.e. family friendly events.

There are, however, a few types of posts that drive me up a wall.  These posts are like nails on a chalkboard to me and I scroll quickly past most times.  Sometimes I get sucked in and those are the times I think that I waste too much time online.  Here are a few of these posts in ascending order of annoyance:

The "When I was a kid..." posts
I'm sure you've seen them - "My curfew was lightning bugs; my parents didn't call my cell, they called my name; the TV was my babysitter; Cheetos were a well balanced snack."  Ok.  That's great.  But things are different now.  Cell phones make it easier to keep track of kids old enough to own one.  We know more about nutrition now, or maybe more people are concerned about it.  Likewise the benefits of limiting screen time.

Sales posts
I'm not trying to denigrate anyone who chooses to earn money for their family by participating in the pyramid schemes that are work at home sales jobs.  I just know those opportunities are not right for me.  I don't have the personality for sales and I'm probably too broke to buy your stuff, so constantly seeing these posts on my newsfeed is a tad irritating.

Political rants
There is only one thing more maddening to me than political rants on social media (and that's something we'll come to).  Nothing shows ignorance faster than half researched political diatribe and nevertheless remaining staunchly unbending in their ideals despite proof to the contrary.  Even well researched and eloquent political commentary is annoying because it brings out the ignorance of their fellow commenters.

This brings me to:

Conspiracy theory posts
These are possibly the most annoying, irritating, simply ridiculous things anyone can post.  Sandy Hook was a government conspiracy for gun control; this woman is a crisis actor who's shown up in Sandy Hook, Aurora, the Boston Marathon and now Paris; global warming is a hoax; vaccines cause autism.  These conspiracy theorists demean the victims of such horrific events and harm the united front that occurs after such happenings.

Basically, if it's not a funny cat video or silly toddler story, I don't want to see it.  I like pictures of your kids and pets, photos of major events in your lives, and stories of same.  But lose the minion memes.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Christmas letter (wish I was writing to Santa)

Christmas time is often a time of reflection of the year past.  Some people choose to pen a letter to include with their Christmas cards, chronicling their family's exploits throughout the past year.  This is my Christmas letter.

The Mearnses have certainly been busy this year.  February saw us pregnant with a six month old, which to some may have seemed impetuous.  How were we to know that after it took two years to get Teddy Bear it would be ten months from initial thought to full grown baby this time around?

I made the decision to stay at home for a while with the boys.  It was awesome to be able to spend the months before Oliver was born with Teddy.  Teddy changed so much this past year - it's really amazing to think he's only 16 months old right now and exactly one year ago, he couldn't sit up or crawl.  Now he's walking (running), talking, signing, communicating, playing independently, dancing, eating human food and exerting his will.  He's smart; he understands so much more than you realize.  He is a joy to be around, happy most of the time.  He loves to read books and play drums with Uncle D.  I can't wait to see what he has in store for us the coming year!

Oliver made his way into the world three and a half weeks early (according to the due date my doctor had established).  He spent four nights in the NICU due to glucose issues and came home from the hospital two days after I did.  In the nine weeks he has been with us, he's already changed so much.  He's losing that newborn look and entering chubby baby phase.  He's sleeping 5-6 hour stretches at night.  This next year will be spent watching him grow and change like Teddy did this past year.

Ed's working hard as always.  I know he wishes he could spend more time at home, both with the boys and completing various projects he dreams up.  He's currently working on mulching all the leaves in the world as well as burning various piles of brush.  He planted our paw paw trees recently as well as a fig tree.  Our garden this year was much more fruitful, due mostly to Ed's hard work in preparing the area.  (Moving it to a slightly sunnier location may have helped too.)

The extended Mearnses/Bronsons seem to be faring well this year.  The Wileys have seen the addition of two more grandsons, Oliver and sweet Landon.  The Wileys have moved to NC, to be closer to their grandsons.

Finally, here I sit, full time mother, haphazard housekeeper, writing various blog posts and trying to figure out how to earn money from home, through writing or...  suggestions welcome.  (Unless it's sales.  No sales.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

maternity leave woes

When I went back to work after I had Teddy, I knew it would be hard to leave him.  I almost wanted to pay for daycare just so I could bring him to work with me and visit on my lunch break.  It would have been silly though since he had a wonderful grandmother that would watch him for me, and having raised five kids of her own, I knew he couldn't be in better hands.  I didn't last long full-time, however.  I missed Teddy and mostly I was TIRED.  It made me sad that I wished for him to nap as soon as we got home so I could rest after work.  I only had a precious few hours with him during the week and I wished some of it away so I could rest?  How selfish was that?

I was able to go part-time shortly after I had returned full time.  I purchased a ridiculously high (although I've seen higher) private health care plan for me and Teddy so I could stay home with him more.  For other reasons that I won't go into here, I left my job a couple months after that.  My thoughts were that I could stay home for a while and look for a job closer to home, maybe part-time, and my commute wouldn't be so long, eating into my already short time with him.  Then I got pregnant again and all that went out the window.

Now I feel stuck.  I enjoy being home with the boys, but I would like to earn some money to contribute and help us get out of the debt that our healthcare costs put us in this year.  Keeping a young toddler and newborn is hard work that I wouldn't ask anyone to do for free, not even family!  Daycare for a part-timer is not very financially feasible.  So what to do?

This is leading me into the main reason for my post.

If our country had better maternity leave options, I might be in a better position.  If we'd had a year or six months of paid leave (or even partially paid leave) like many other countries in the developed world, including most countries in Europe, I would have retained my health insurance and not be in the financial position I am now.  Finland mandates 167 weeks of paid maternity leave (this boggles my mind), England 39 weeks, France 42, Italy 47, Germany 57.  Our Canadian neighbors receive 50 weeks paid leave.  Heck, even Mexico gets 12! ***

(Aside: I must state that getting pregnant again so soon would not have helped my cause.  I couldn't in good conscience return to work knowing that in nine months I'd be leaving again!)

I read this heartbreaking blog post in the NY Times parenting blog and must include that the author is in no way placing blame on the daycare in question, nor her company specifically, but on our flawed system.

***Source: Buzzfeed

Monday, November 16, 2015

things I ponder/say through the course of my day

Is that a real cry or is he faking me out again?  It's midnight and if I make a bottle and he goes back to sleep, then I have to put it in the fridge and heat it up later, which is kind of a pain...

Please, please stop feeding your waffles to the animals.  The dog is allergic to everything and those waffles could cause her to chew her feet off.  Not to mention YOU won't be eating them which I do care about.

Crap! The hall door is open!  Which deathtrap room did he go into?

How much of that food is in your hair?

Are you dancing to the sound of the baby's cries?  Because there is no music...

Why does this stinking monitor say it's out of range when we're inSIDE the house?

Where did you get my phone?

I can't believe the amount of liquid that just came out of this baby.  I should have named him Vesuvius.  Nickname?

You're reading my Kindle upside down.  Also give me that.

Was that a fart or is there actually something in there?

I thought newborn poo wasn't supposed to smell as bad...

If I can tolerate the baby's "feed-me-instantly" cries for three more minutes I can get Teddy's lunch ready and put him in his high chair so he can feed the dog, while simultaneously making a bottle and then feed baby as well...

Is there someone I can hire to potty train my toddler?  This should be a service.

Do NOT whack the kitty on the head with my brush.

How can you tell if a cat has a concussion?

Can you give me a burp?  That was the wrong end.

Would it be wrong to tape the pacifier to the baby's face or maybe fashion something out of elastic?

These are but a few of the myriad of things that run through my head on any given day...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

when do you feel like you're a parent?

I feel like I'm 16, getting my license, going out with my friends, having a little freedom.  I feel like I'm 18 starting college and living away from home for the first time.  I feel like I'm 22 and starting my first job.  I feel like I'm 24 and moving to Alaska where I know no one.  I feel like I'm 29 and getting married.  I don't feel like a parent.

To kids, parents are omniscient and almost God-like, unless they're telling you you can't drive to your friend's house in a snow storm.  They're the ones who take you to the doctor and make you eat your vegetables.  They come to your swim meets and soccer games.  They keep you clothed and fed and teach you good morals.

Now that's me.  I keep my kids clothed and fed.  Make sure he eats his vegetables (or drinks his formula, as is the case for the newborn).  I take them to the doctor and when they're old enough, I'll go to their soccer games and swim meets.  I take them to church and try to instill good morals.

But I still feel like me.  I don't feel like a parent.  I feel like I'm 16 or 18 or 24.  When do you start feeling like an adult?  When do you start feeling like a parent?  I worry.  Does that make me a parent?  I take them to the doctor when they're sick.  Does that make me a parent?  I hold them when they fall and hurt themselves or slam their fingers in a drawer.  Does that make me a parent?  I read stories to them and play with them.  Does that make me a parent?  Simply having kids doesn't make you a parent.

A home health nurse visited my house after my second was born.  She asked me, "How did you learn how to be a parent?"  I replied, "I just did it."  The baby came.  I had to be a parent.  The truth is, I am a parent.  Now I'm just waiting to feel like it.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

soggy O's and sleepy babies

So far the major difference between Teddy's newbornhood and Oliver's newbornhood is that I haven't once googled, "newborn baby sleep too much."  I've simply decided to enjoy this period of time where the baby sleeps 22 out of 24 hours a day, because I know it won't last!  It seems like an auspicious start, as this is exactly how Teddy was and Teddy was and is an incredibly good sleeper.  The only difference is that Teddy was a very good eater and I have a hard time keeping Oliver awake long enough to finish his bottle.  One ounce every hour isn't going to cut it, bud.

I sit here typing while Oliver naps and Teddy eats Cheerios.  He asks for more, "choes" or "joes" even though he still has a handful left on the table.  He notices my camera cord and tries to pull it.  I say, "No, no," and his little face crumples and his mouth opens wide in despair, letting forth a cry muffled by at least thirty Cheerios.  There are so many Cheerios, soggy little O's start falling from his gaping maw.  It's very hard to keep my composure at this point.  I'm trying to stay stern while also trying not to bust a stitch laughing.

Earlier today I gave Oliver to Ed while I worked on adding him to my health insurance.  He proceeded to spew a mind-boggling amount of milk all over the place.  I think it was the sum total of all the milk he'd been fed in his life.

Our "system" that we've developed for night feedings has been working very well.  Last night we went to bed at 10:30.  I got up to feed Oliver at a little after 12, then Ed fed him at 3, and I fed him at 7. That was as much sleep as I got before Oliver was born.  I'm sure he's going to have some bad nights, but if the majority go like this, it will be great.

Friday, October 2, 2015


At 4:30 am on September 28th, the nurse came into my hospital room and told me they were going to take Oliver to the NICU.  Having learned my lesson with Teddy, I'd requested Ambien for my nights in the hospital and was completely befuddled as to why this nurse was waking me up and taking my baby.  It didn't really hit me until later that he was gone.

I was told a couple of times that if they could get his glucose up then he could come back down, but that turned out not to be the case.  I honestly had no idea that they would keep him for five days.  We went to visit him a lot while I was still in the hospital.  It was sad to see him all hooked up with wires and an IV.  I knew that when he got into the NICU his glucose was only 19; it was very serious.

After I was discharged I went each morning and night to spend time with him, but I really longed to be able to take him home and hold him without wires and tubes.  I didn't understand how it could take so long to wean him off the IV and get him down to regular formula.  I knew he was getting great care because the nurses couldn't get enough of him.  They don't often get near-term babies that are able to be held at any time.

Finally this morning we were able to take him home.  We went to pick him up and brought him back to meet big brother (who was more interested than I would have thought).  Teddy looked at him for at least two minutes before resuming play time!  Now the fun begins!

what do you mean you're turning it off?

At 7am on Sunday, September 27th I started having contractions.  As I'd had them for several hours for three consecutive days, I (incorrectly) assumed they'd just go away.  They did not.  By 11am I figured it was time to go to the hospital.

When I arrived at the hospital and they checked me out, I was only 2.5cm dilated, the same as Friday in the doctor's office.  Which couldn't be correct as I'd had contractions everyday and I paced around all morning trying to move this along (staying upright and walking helps labor progress).  The nurse told me that the doctor wanted me to walk for an hour and get checked again.  An HOUR?

Now at this point I should tell you, I was insanely nauseous with this labor.  With Teddy I threw up twice, but with Oliver I pretty much threw up after each contraction.  They told me I could walk anywhere on the first floor, but not to go outside as it scares people to see women in labor huffing around the parking lot.  So off I go walking in two hospital gowns, worn opposite (one front-ways and one backwards), contracting and puking in a small green bag every 2-4 minutes.  After the allotted time was up, I headed back to get checked and lo and behold I was at 4cm.

I was quickly shown up to labor and delivery, hooked up to my IV and got my epidural.  My mom and sister came in, however, before the epidural was administered, mid-contraction and pre-vomiting.  I'm pretty sure my sister wanted to leave and never come back and forget that she was 33 weeks pregnant herself.  The epidural was administered and my nausea and pain subsided.  All was well in my world.  Briefly.

They checked me again and found out I hadn't progressed any further.  The doctor started making noises about sending me home.  At 4:30pm they TURNED OFF MY EPIDURAL!  Once it wore off, I wanted to die.  The contractions were about a minute apart and insanely painful.  Nausea returned.  By 6:30 I begged the nurse to check me again to see if they could turn it back on.  5cm!  She turned it back on.  I wasn't going anywhere.

Finally, the epidural was working again, I was comfortable and my water broke on its own.  Just before 10:00 I started feeling a pain/pressure situation with every contraction and it was time.  I'll spare you the details of the rest.  Suffice to say it took about 40 minutes and even though this little 6 lb 14 oz booger should have come right out, he was face up and slightly stuck.  Teddy's 8 lb little self was way easier!

The labor was interesting and the fact that he had to go to the NICU was distressing, but I'll save all that for another post.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

fall and fetuses

Eddie asked me if I wanted to go for a walk this evening.  While the weather this week has been gorgeous, I can't wait until the highs are in the low 70's and the mornings are crisp, the trees explode with fiery colors and it's comfortable to wear a hooded sweatshirt at night.  My answer, however, was no.  Not only can I not walk long distances, it's hard to simply walk through the house.  My hips hurt from pregnancy, which makes walking and standing difficult.  I arrived at BSF on Wednesday and my hips hurt from DRIVING, and I wondered if I'd even be able to walk across the parking lot.

As miserable as this pregnancy has been (think: nausea and vomiting for over 72 hours straight last week and not eating for same), I still think pregnancy is amazing.  I love feeling the baby move and seeing him on ultrasound.  But as amazing as it is, if I can't get cleared by the GI doc telling me that I won't vomit for an entire pregnancy again, then this might be it for us.  At the very least I'm not intending to have a baby next year!

Oliver will be here just in time for the sweet spot of fall.  Hooded sweatshirts and scarves.  Pumpkin spice lattes and jack o' lanterns.  Babies and toddlers, oh my.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Dear Baby

Dear Baby,

I am just writing to let you know a few things.  First things first.  Your brother (who will love you one day) and I have a routine.  We sleep all night, wake up refreshed and ready to start the day.  We play for a few hours and then he takes a nap.  I might also take a nap, but that's mostly because I'm 33 weeks pregnant and you're sucking out all of my energy.  Then we wake up and have lunch.  We play some more or possibly run some errands.  Then it's time for another nap, which I may or may not partake of.  Dinner time, possibly bath time (depending on the state of your brother's diaper covered area) and then bed.  It's a great routine.  It works.  Now, I know you won't be able to follow this schedule right away and that's not your fault.  It's ok.  We can work on it.  We have time.  I'm just giving you a heads up that this is what will be expected of you, eventually.

Next, you really do have some big shoes to fill.  Not literally because your brother's feet are pretty small.  However, aside from about 3-4 weeks of crying in the evenings, your brother was/is a pretty happy baby.  He slept through the night around 7 weeks old.  He was/is a champion eater.  Just so you don't think I'm bragging on him too much, he does have some faults.  He HATES getting his diaper changed.  It turns into a wrestling match on the changing table and I need about three more hands just to hold him in place and change him.  He also has a bit of a temper sometimes, which is just beginning to show, and a tendency to throw food.  He's not perfect, but overall he's pretty great.  Don't worry.  I don't expect you two to be identical.  But if you could just pick a few of his good qualities and then improve on his bad ones, that would be great.  I don't think that's asking too much.

Now this portion is about me.  I've only been a mom for not even 13 months.  I've never had to take care of two babies before.  I'm not sure how I will handle it, but I can assure you I will try my best.  One might think that since I'm barely out of the baby stage with your brother, it will be easier to slip back into it with you.  And this may be true.  It also may be not true.  The first few months with your brother was kind of a blur of diapers and bottles and Google.  I'm not sure I can remember everything I'm supposed to.  Like I said though, I'll try my best.

Lastly, I want you to know that you will be loved.  I had no idea when I had your brother, just how much I would grow to love him.  I used to worry that I wouldn't have enough left for another kid, but I truly believe that my and your father's heart will just expand to be able to hold and give all the love.  Your brother will love you too, once he stops "sharing" his toys with you (i.e. tossing his trucks into your Rock n' Play).


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Teddy's birthday party!

Teddy's party was a rousing success!  We only had family in attendance but that was still 16 people!  I didn't fully realize the amount of work involved for the party, however.  The food alone was too much!  We had veggie trays, fruit plates and cheese and crackers, not to mention hot dogs and chicken on the grill and accompanying sides.  The theme was Winnie the Pooh and we'd made a few decorations, including a Mr. Sanders sign, a 100 Aker Wood sign and honeycomb snack mix in a "honey pot."

Dorian and Tim were lifesavers with the tables and chairs.  Dorian even brought balloons (which I had seriously not even thought of) and table decorations.  Everything looked awesome! Laurie made the Pooh cake which looked super cute and tasted great.

Teddy was free outside on the driveway for the first time (with 16 people watching his every move).  I was nervous about him walking around on the concrete but he did great!  He called out, "BALL!" at all the balloons and tried to grab them.  We didn't want his razor nails to pop them and give him a heart attack though!  He played with Uncle Chris in the yard and waved sticks around (very fun stuff for a one year old).

He cared not at all about the presents, though I thought he'd at least enjoy tearing the paper!  (He's since played with everything).  The cake smashing was hilarious.  He didn't really know what to do with it at first and acted like he didn't like the icing on his hands.  He eventually got into it however and the event culminated in a birthday bath.

I know he won't remember this at all, but I will have pictures forever and I know he had a good time!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Happy Birthday Teddy! (and some updates)

I haven't written very much about this pregnancy, probably partly because I'm busy with Teddy and partly because this blog seemed so much about him anyway.  Since I don't plan to start another blog when Oliver is born, I'd better get to making it about him too.  We also have a big milestone for the bear, which I'll get to.

So far the pregnancy has pretty much mirrored Teddy's.  I still have gestational diabetes and I still have random and violent vomiting/nausea episodes.  The only difference is that I've not had to go to the hospital.  I still feel just as bad, but it's a lot more difficult to just up and go to the ER with a baby.  I have it set up through my OB that I can go get fluids and IV Zofran if I need it at an urgent care, so that's always there.  So far though I've just toughed it out.  I should say, we've toughed it out because it's rough on everyone.  If Ed is off he has to take care of Teddy and me, and if he's not Teddy goes to grandma's.  There have been no weird shingles or anything like that, though I do have an abscess on my abdomen that came from an infected boil.  That's fun.  Don't think I can blame that on pregnancy though.

Oliver moves and kicks just as heartily as Teddy ever did.  He's very active.  I had an ultrasound yesterday and they said he weighs around 3 lbs and everything looks good.  We're 29 weeks so only 11 more to go!

Teddy is one year old today!  I can't believe it's been a year already!  It's really flown by.  He's such a good baby overall.  Of course he has his moments, where his temper emerges, but for the most part he is pretty delightful.  He's been walking for about a month and he's getting better.  He's taken a few tumbles and knocks to the head, but who hasn't?

He's been talking a little too.  He says, "Bah" for bottle and "Bao" for ball.  He uses "tiggy tiggy" as cat or dog (possibly any animal).  He also says "baby" which is perhaps his clearest word.

We're having a family birthday party on Saturday.  He (or I, really) likes Winnie the Pooh, so that's the theme.  I figure he won't remember it, but I'll always have pictures to look back on. (If I can find my camera!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

let's just have lettuce sandwiches

This is just a humorous story that happened the other night.  Eddie calls from work and asks if I wanted tomato sandwiches for dinner.  I reply that I don't like tomato sandwiches, but if you throw some bacon on there, I'm game.  So even though Ed goes right by Food Lion on his way home, I said I would go get the bacon because Teddy was cranky and we needed something to do.  So we head to the Lion and get bread, lettuce, cereal, some random other things and head back home.  It's then I realize I've forgotten the stinking bacon.  So mad!  So I decide that, as it's already 6:20 and Ed will be home soon, I will just wait and then he can stay with Teddy while I run back to the store.  So we wait.  And wait.  And wait.  Finally by 6:50 Ed calls, FROM WORK because his cell phone is at home.  I'm like, "You are NOT just leaving work!!" and he says, "Yeah, well.  I forgot the tomatoes and I had to go back."  I'm fuming because it's just a comedy of errors and I say, "Well you might as well go by Food Lion and get the bacon too, because I forgot it."

Monday, July 13, 2015

breastfeeding may not be for me

I support breastfeeding.  I support breastfeeding mothers.  I support breastfeeding mothers in Target, in Starbucks or out in their car because they like more privacy.  I tried breastfeeding my first child and it didn't go well.  It may have been better if I'd stuck it out, but after nearly a month, neither of us were getting it and it was better for my sanity to switch to formula.  It hurt and I hated, abhorred even, pumping.  I felt like a cow at a milking machine.  Poor cows.

I've debated whether or not to try with my next child.  Maybe it would be easier.  Maybe he'd be a natural and he and I would just get it down, right out of the gate.  Or maybe it would be too much stress on me with a new baby and a small (very small) toddler.  I take medications that may be contraindicated for breastfeeding mothers.  I NEED sleep to function, mentally.  Bottle feeding allows my husband take over some of the night feedings and allows me to sleep longer stretches.  (We had it worked out down to a science with each of us able to get 5-6 hour stretches each night by dividing up the schedule and going to bed at different times).

With formula, I know exactly how much food he is getting.  That was a huge issue for me while trying to breastfeed.  I had no idea how much he was eating - pumping did give me a little more peace of mind, but again - cow.

I have many reasons for not wanting to breastfeed.  I know breast is best for baby.  I also know that by giving formula, I'm feeding my baby, which is the most important thing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

no ten month old, you can't do that!

You’re recently mobile and the world has opened up for you.  Everything is bright and shiny and enticing.  I really can’t blame you for it and I love your curiosity about everything.  I love to watch you stand in the middle of the room, completely free of supporting objects, contemplating whether taking a step would result in forward motion or a plop to the ground.  There are just a few things, ten month old, that I need you to realize.

When you take your plastic truck and bop me on the head or knee or foot with it, it actually hurts.  It’s cute, but no, more it just hurts.  No ten month old, you can’t do that!

That ball that rolls on its own and plays cheerful music and makes animal sounds is incredibly heavy and hurling it as far as you can is not good for it or our floors.  Drop it on your foot and you’ll understand.  No ten month old you can’t do that!

Pulling on the mat on the end table is not a good idea because you’ll pull the lamp down on your head.  Trust me that hurts.  Don't ask me how I know. Same goes for the table cloth.  No ten month old, you can’t do that!

I know that kitty tails look custom designed for you to yank on them.  They look so nice swishing back and forth that the obvious thing to do is grab on and lean back like you’re a champion water skier.  However, it hurts the kitty and will likely result in a scratch or bite.  You won’t like that.  No ten month old, you can’t do that!

Stuffing as much food in your mouth at one time may seem like the easiest and fastest way to devour your food.  I know it’s delicious.  Most likely I made it.  But you’re going to choke and/or I’m going to have to dig in your mouth and pull it all out.  You won’t like it.  No ten month old, you can’t do that!

I know it looks like food, but it’s not.  It’s a leaf/grass/fuzz ball/button/stink bug, etc.   Stop putting things in your mouth.  Especially bugs.  That was disgusting.  No ten month old, you can’t do that!

I know the world is a fascinating place and you’re exploring it without a lick of sense as to what can or will harm you.  It’s my job to keep you safe, mostly from yourself.  But if you would just realize these things, it would make life a lot easier for both of us.  What’s that?  When I became your mom, there was a clause in tiny print?  It read, “Life, as you know it, will never be easy again.”  Well.  I guess I should get better at reading contracts.

**Note:  The writing of this post was interrupted numerous times in order for me to stop my ten month old from doing no less than four of the things on this list.  Most recently I rescued him from having his leg somehow wedged under the baby gate.  This post really wrote itself.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

all rights for all

I am so sick of people who are against same sex marriage or homosexuality using the argument that it's a slippery slope to pedophilia, incest or bestiality.  It's not a slippery slope.  It's not even a slope!  It's on a whole other mountain altogether!  Seriously, people.  

Minnesota Vikings player, Josh Robinson used this argument on Twitter:

     "Love is love? So what will we say when the 30yr old loves YOUR 10 year old. When the dad loves HIS 6 year old?? It's different?? Yea okay!" 

This argument is so ridiculous, I can't even. I just can't.

As a society I believe we will NEVER condone such things as pedophilia, incest or bestiality.  Just because we believe in equal rights, doesn't stretch it this far.  I believe in a God of love and am disappointed in many of my friends on my newsfeed, but uplifted by so many others.  Thankfully, there are more of the latter.  

I want my kids to grow up to love all people; for them to be tolerant of all people regardless of race, sexual orientation, religious preferences, etc.  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

names, names, names

Ok, I didn't appreciate how difficult naming a baby is until now.  With Teddy as soon as I found out he was a boy, I knew his name because Ed was unwavering in his desire to have a junior and call him Teddy.  I had no input and when I tried to change his mind and name the baby something original (original to him, not something like Origami Cheesecake) I was met with a strong no.  Even though I objected, it really took the pressure off because from that point on, I didn't have to think about it.

Now with boy 2 I have to actually come up with a name.  Had it been a girl, I'd have gone with Charlotte despite the newest princess (I'm not English, what do I care?).  Now, however, I have to decide on something.  The only name I have strong feelings about is Oliver.  Everything else is like, "Eh, it's alright."  The problem is, Ed doesn't like Oliver. I want to be stubborn and say, "I didn't get any naming rights for Teddy, I should be able to get the name I want for new baby."  He came up with a compromise that I am considering, which is Jackson Oliver.  I think Jack Mearns sounds really good.  The problem is I love Oliver as a first name.  (Both Jack and Oliver have also been used recently for friends' babies, but I'm getting over it...)

Other names on my short list have been Samuel, James, and Jacob.  Simon is in there too.

Ok, weigh in.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

he's spent as long out as in!

4 months
Teddy is nine months old and has changed so much in the past few months it's insane!  I look at his pictures from our four month family photos and he looks so babyish and round.  He's stretching out and thinning (what there was to thin) out.  He's 17lbs 5oz and 27 3/4 inches long.  He's in the 50th percentile for head size, 25th for height and 15th for weight.  He's a little guy but he's healthy and happy so that's great!

He's been eating finger foods now that he can feed himself.  I started off introducing new foods to him slowly around 4 months and now that he has about 30 or so foods under his belt, I figure all bets are off and he eats pretty much anything that won't choke him.

He started crawling at 6 months and pretty much just took off.  He started pulling up a few weeks after that and now he cruises along furniture and can stand for a few seconds (only if I let go, he doesn't do it much on his own).  He also does a controlled squat to the ground instead of the plop or the ever-hilarious side split until his butt reaches the ground.

He's started playing "How Big is Teddy?" and about 20% of the time will put his hands over his head.  He started giving us toys and we say and sign, 'thank you,' when he does.  We're working on signs for more, mama, dada, and thank you as well as the D for Uncle D.  (Really, Uncle D is the only one that signs that to him!)

He's a very cheerful baby, who always knows how to smile for a picture and sleeps incredibly well.  In fact, I almost don't want to say it because it might jinx us, but for the past couple of days he's slept in until 9am!  This mama is very appreciative of that!

no smile for this pic though

Friday, May 1, 2015

one of those days...

When you have days where absolutely everything goes wrong, all you can really do is laugh about it.  Today I needed to go to Target to get a gift for my niece's birthday.  In addition to this, Eddie and I were going to switch out cars because he needed to put D-rings on the bumper of my car so he can strap his canoe to it.  Ed's idea (and it was a good one) was for me to bring him a sandwich and the D-rings while I was out so he could quickly eat and work on my jeep during lunch.  Good plan, right?  Wrong.

First, I couldn't find the D-rings.  If you know Ed, lost items are very commonplace, so I didn't hold out much hope that I would find them.  However, I had a brainstorm and realized that perhaps he had them by the ratchet straps he'd purchased to secure said canoe to the jeep.  Lo and behold, there they were!  So I made two sandwiches, stuck a string cheese in a bag along with the D-rings and readied myself and Teddy to go to Target.

I went to the Target on Battleground specifically because it was closer to Ed's work.  I pulled into the parking lot and realized...  I left the bag of supplies on the counter at home.  I shook my head and thought, 'This trip was doomed from the start...'  Little did I know it wasn't over.

Finally in Target, I tried to find a dry cart to stick the little bear in whilst shopping because he's getting heavy.  No dry carts to be found, so I carried him to the accessories department thinking, 'I'm just getting one thing... I can lug him around.'  That is until I smelled it.  The dreaded surprise in his diaper.  I was 80% certain I had diapers in the car, but 100% certain there were no wipes.  I went back prepared to beg someone for a dry cart but thankfully it didn't come to that.  A man was leaving with one bag and kindly gave me his cart.

I rushed deep into the store to find the infant/toddler section, grabbed diapers (wasn't willing to risk the 80% chance) and wipes, then headed over to the junior's section to pick out something for my niece (I wasn't leaving without the main reason I went).  While perusing the cardigans, I looked over to see the little bear turned around backwards, standing and leaning into the cart to reach my purse. I panicked with thoughts of him tumbling head first into the cart, I spun him around and sat him down only to have him try it again.  I tightened the straps so that I wasn't completely sure he could take a deep breath, but at least he wouldn't stand up!

I finally purchased my items and headed into the bathroom with the shopping cart.  I wedged it against the wall and started to pull down the koala care changing station when the little bear started crying,  For a moment I thought he was crying at the idea of getting his diaper changed, but how could he know that was what was happening since he'd been changed on one approximately once in his life?  Then I realized that his little finger was pinched between the cart and the wall, and I. Felt. Horrible.

Once he was consoled and changed we dejectedly headed home.  I called Ed to tell him just to come home, it was all for naught.  But on the bright side, his lunch was already made so he didn't have to do that when he got home...  right?  WROOOOOOOOOOOOONG.  I walked in the door and greeted Bailey, known surfer of counters.  I saw a string cheese on the floor still in it's wrapper.  I thought, 'Huh.  Weird.  WAIT.'  The bag with Ed's lunch and the D-rings was on the floor and Bailey had devoured both sandwiches.  She left the D-rings untouched and I presume, given enough time, she would have gotten the string cheese open through sheer force of will even though she doesn't have thumbs.

I was so flabbergasted that this day had been so ridiculous and so furious with Bailey even though I share some of the blame.  Bailey is in bed right now, and I'm not sure when she'll be able to come out without me placing an ad on Craigslist for a free goldendoodle.

It was such a comedy of errors, all you can do is laugh...

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I can't believe we have a 6 month old!

Actually since this post is late, we have an almost seven month old.  I can't believe it's been almost seven months since Teddy was born.  It's been a busy, emotional, rewarding and crazy almost seven months.

Teddy has, in the past two weeks, started crawling, which makes for a whole new set of worries and concerns.  Childproofing has commenced, and right now mostly consists of me following him, either with my eyes or literally, everywhere he crawls to make sure he's not going to pull something dangerous on him, or chew something electric or stick fingers into things.  The only thing we've got set up so far are the outlet safety plugs in the rooms he goes in.  We need to pad the brick wall somehow, or at least the corners of it.  I'd like to strap the TV to the wall since it's tall and narrow and possibly easy to pull over.

He's trying to sit up but is still a little wobbly.  I feel like he's going to be trying to pull up fairly soon. Well actually, he's trying now, but he's not successful!  He's really funny when I try to get him to sit - he locks his hips and tries to remain standing.  I hope once he learns to stand on his own and subsequently falls down, he learns to bend at the hips, otherwise he'll fall like a tree and it won't feel good!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

when will I grow up?

I've never been much of a housekeeper.  At home I'm unorganized and messy.  At work I'm super organized and efficient, but somehow I can't seem to translate those skills into the home setting.  I thought once upon a time that maybe when I got married I'd turn into Martha Stewart and my home would be a thing of beauty that people would love to visit and even have a place to sit down that wasn't covered in clean laundry and unopened mail.  The reality was that I married a man less organized in the home than I, resulting in an extra person's clean laundry and unopened mail, not to mention dishes, shoes, and things he pulls out of his pockets at the end of the day.  (Why is there so much in there?  The crumpled receipts, pens and scrap paper should be at the bottom of a bag/purse where they belong.)

Next I thought that perhaps having a child will force me to keep a more organized house and do laundry more than every other week.  Bringing home a baby caused a lot of changes, but I'm here to tell you housekeeping wasn't one of them.  I do more laundry because baby pukes a lot and those cute Bumgeniuses don't keep EVERYTHING in all the time (nor do Pampers, but they are a little better).  The result of Teddy being here is that I wash a lot of bottles and do a lot of baby laundry, but I still consider it a major accomplishment if all the adult laundry in the house is washed and dried and PUT AWAY.  The fact that I consider this a such major accomplishment serves to show how rarely each of those caveats is met.  I can wash laundry.  I can dry it.  The hang up is getting it from the dryer to the drawers and closets.

In addition to laundry there is so much clutter.  I blame the US postal service and the invention of online bill pay.  Because I pay everything online, I have no impetus to open and dispose of the mail.  It piles up and creates the clutter.  The piles get bigger and get shoved somewhere without being opened.  If you add all this mail to the regular clutter generated by a family and no one actually cleans it up, it increases at an alarming rate.

I haven't even touched on the kitchen.  I have forced myself to be cleaner in the kitchen because I hate cooking in a dirty kitchen and cooking in some form or fashion must be performed daily.  (Microwaving Ramen, Lean Cuisine or Chef Boyardee counts as cooking in a pinch.)   The dishes get washed on a regular basis even if the kitchen isn't completely pristine before bedtime every night.   It's just such a cycle.  If the environment and money wasn't a consideration, I'd be all for paper/plastic ware for everything possible.

In summation, I don't know when I'll ever be a good housekeeper.  It may never happen.  However, the final load of adult laundry is in a pile on the bed just waiting for me to put it away.  I will have done it.  I will be accomplished in something.  But I sit here writing about it instead of actually doing
it.  And Facebook hasn't been checked in at least thirty minutes...

**Aside:  This has no reflection on my upbringing as I was forced to keep a clean room and do chores while I was growing up.  Maybe this is my fifteen year rebellion against that...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Five months! a progress report...

Ted has reached five months as of yesterday and with it comes a few new firsts.  First Christmas, first horrifying viral rash, first solid foods.  So far we've used the baby bullet to make sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, apples, bananas, pears and then store bought peas and green beans.  He's liked everything so far, but I did find that if I gave him, say, pears and carrots and I didn't make him eat the carrots first, he wasn't too thrilled with them.  Now we have our vegetables before the fruit.  I plan to get some more foods to make soon, possibly spinach.  Some foods are easier to make in the bullet than others - for instance, I do not like peeling apples.  He also had a reaction to bananas, so we'll hold off on those for a while and try again later.

As for the first Christmas, Teddy received a lot of great gifts and, although he wasn't really aware of what was going on, he was sure excited about it.  We made salt dough ornaments of Teddy's feet (though they aren't complete yet) to give to his grandparents for Christmas.  We spent a lot of time with family, both sides, and we'll see Aunt Stef hopefully this weekend!

Now for the viral rash.  We still aren't sure what it was.  I consulted with our lab director who is also an infectious disease specialist and she believes it was an enterovirus (of which family coxsackie virus belongs).  He never got a fever and always acted perfectly happy, ate well, and slept normally so we weren't terribly worried.  This, of course, was until we saw his pediatrician for a second time and he was really concerned.  He was afraid it was caused by a herpes virus and because of his eczema it spread everywhere.  He told us the herpes virus is pretty much the only virus that could get really bad so he treated him with acyclovir, just in case.  He wanted to see us the very next morning to make sure Teddy was doing ok.  Herpes viruses can cause meningitis, so I knew enough to be pretty freaked out.  He was fine, though and tolerated the acyclovir well.  Our lab director doesn't believe it was caused by a herpes virus, however, since Teddy never became febrile and the rash never really seemed to bother him.  As of now, his last day on medication, his rash is slowly disappearing.  I think within the next few days it will go away completely.

Teddy is rolling front to back and back to front pretty well.  He's awkwardly mobile.  He tries to get his knees under him but they slide back out.  I feel in the next month he'll probably get better at that.  His push-ups are getting stronger; he's able to lift his whole chest off the ground.  He tolerates tummy time more and can jump in his jumper (with a pillow under his feet - he's still a little short).

I feel like we're entering a fun phase with Teddy.  Once he's mobile, some of his frustrations will disappear.  He's a generally happy baby and loves to laugh.  He's a great night sleeper and we're working on napping routines.  Overall, we're doing really well!

sweet potatoes anyone?

just hangin' out in my vintage Christmas outfit!

what's up?

poor baby!
Five months!

Friday, January 2, 2015

i had no idea

When we first started trying to get pregnant back in 2012, I think I was doing it because it's the next step.  I like kids.  I want kids.  We're married.  Let's go.  I was 30 and my dreams of being a young mother were in the past, but we'd better get cracking or I might be having my first child past that magical age, 35, when they make you sign forms and submit to or refuse extra prenatal screening.  The first miscarriage I had was devastating; the second and third were also.  But if I had known how much I would love my baby, I wouldn't have been able to survive those miscarriages.

I had no idea how much I would love him.  Sometimes I worry that I'll squeeze him too tight.  When he got sick (or at least broke out in this horrific rash) and the doctor was worried enough to want to see him the next day (and not charge us for it), I felt so worried and helpless.  Of course, it did help that Teddy was smiley and not feverish.  I shudder to think what it will be like when he's really sick.

When he makes his "cry" face and his lip quivers and curls, I melt.  (This will probably get me in trouble later.)  When he smiles his gummy smile, I light up (inside).  His giggle could stop wars.  He is so sweet, and I can't wait to see what kind of kid he turns out to be.