Monday, December 31, 2007

Nothing New Here

I'm sure the readership of this blog has gone down. After all, the baby has been born, so there isn't the same kind of SUSPENSE there was before. Nevertheless, I shall be posting today, and probably tomorrow, ignoring the New Year holiday. Let's face it - I'm exhausted. The only way I'll see midnight is if Andrew happens to be torturing me at that particular time.

This morning I need to change sheets all all three boys beds. Andrew and Nathan both peed so much their diapers couldn't hold it all. And Nicholas apparently decided he no longer needed pull-ups at night, and at some point he took them off. The trouble is, he really DOES need them, and now I have another set of sheets to wash.

Despite finding homes for a lot of new toys, the living room is still a cluttered mess. Mostly because as soon as I put a toy away, that becomes the toy the boys want to play with. And they both want to play with it at the same time. Without sharing. But with a lot of screaming and possibly pushing and shoving.

What it comes down to is... I'm tired. I wish I could sleep for a day and a half. I wish things would stay where I put them instead of migrating to the middle of the floor. I wish that I could accomplish something without having to stop eleven times to either stop a fight, fetch a toy, kiss a boo-boo, or breastfeed breastfeed breastfeed. I wish I didn't feel like screaming or crying half the time - darn these stupid hormones.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


I am very tired. I guess I forgot how tired you get taking care of a newborn. I mean, it really does defy logic. They tell you that newborns sleep 21 hours a day. 21 hours. Which leaves three for being awake. The problem is that they sleep for 21 hours a day, but only in ten minute spurts. They can also sleep while pooping, while nursing, and while screaming their little floppy heads off.

Andrew is actually a very mellow baby - so far. He sleeps for over three hours at a time, sometimes even at night. He hardly ever cries - but when he does he sounds as though he's being tortured, and the other night he caused even Steve to wake up in a cold sweat because obviously the screaming indicated that someone's eyeballs had fallen out of their sockets and the zombies were coming.

The things is, it's a constant non-stop of changing diapers, feeding, burping, changing diapers again, putting down to sleep, quickly jamming laundry in the washer (how does a small person create so much extra laundry?), and then trying to pay as much attention to the other boys before Andrew realizes I'm not holding him and asks to be fed by whimpering and moving his head around while opening and closing his mouth like a goldfish, as though a magical breast will suddenly appear in front of him.

The other day I took Nathan and Andrew to Target to buy lightbulbs, soap, and other necessities we had lived without for what seemed like forever. The trip went fine. Both boys were perfect. But on the way home, I didn't even realize I had passed our exit until I was well past it. I mean, miles past it.

I keep telling myself that this part will go by more quickly than I can imagine. I look at my other boys and how big they are and remind myself that they were this little once, too. I tell myself it will only be a matter of time before Andrew can hold his own bottle, can roll over and crawl, will sleep for six hours at a stretch and have regular naps. It's encouraging and sad at the same time.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Nathan can sometimes follow simple directions. For example, I can say "go get me a tissue" and he will run to the bathroom and return with third of a square of toilet paper which he uses to dab at the snot running from his nose.

Nicholas, on the other hand, can follow directions such as "Please go upstairs to the baby's room, and look in the closet. There should be a couple of big bags of diapers. Can you bring one down to me?" And he will look at me with a scrunched up face ad ask "Are the diapers up high or down low?" and I will say "They are on the floor of the closet. You should have no trouble reaching them." And within four minutes I will have the diapers I need.

Andrew is not so great at following directions.

Here are some of the directions that came with some furniture that Lillian got us from IKEA. I rather enjoyed these directions, and not because they told me anything particularly useful.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Finding the Beat

Day 3 after Christmas and I'm still busy putting my life back together. I still need to find permanent homes for many of the bigger toys we got. I need to find bins for many of the toys with smaller parts. And I need to settle the baby into some sort of routine. He's mostly good, but oh, if I could get him to sleep at night the way he sleeps in the afternoon! Also, I'm having breastfeeding issues, which is not surprising, but is surprisingly painful. I have yet to resort to supplementing with formula, though, so good for me! Here is a photo of some of our trash.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas

Because this song can go on forever, I'm starting with number twelve and counting down. Basically it's a song about the new items (gifts) we've taken in due to the holidays. We're finding homes for all of them. Thank you to all generous folks out there who love us. Christmas was something really special.

By the way, the kids were NOT playing my song here. 

The Twelfth Gift of Christmas that someone gave to MEEEEEEEE....

Twelve  toys with Diego on them
Eleven games with tiny little pieces
Ten toys requiring batteries
Nine Thomas the Tank Engine books or toys
Eight DVDs
Seven new books
Six bottles of wine
FIVE Stockings filled with soap and toothpaste and other stuff like that...
Four gifts having to do with fire trucks
Three French Hens
Two pairs of gloves (and two new computers)
And a really cool pair of yellow Wellies!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Day After Christmas

How's YOUR state of mind?

Monday, December 24, 2007

As He Drove Out of Sight...





Sunday, December 23, 2007

Goose is Getting Fat

No Words. Too Much Laundry. Enjoy Photo.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas, Baby!

I keep telling the kids that Santa Claus is coming soon, but somehow they aren't getting excited. I don't think they know that Santa brings presents. Which means that Christmas morning will be fun! Boy will they be surprised!

No photos pf Andrew today. I'm sorry, but I'm too busy changing his diapers to actually take any photographs. Unless you want one of his circumcision, which would be strange, and quite honestly I'm not that kind of parent.

I must go and continue catching up on laundry, right after I feed the baby.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Angry Andrew

Andrew has a biggish head. This green hat was made for newborns by some volunteers, and as you can see, it's a tight fit. It squeezes his skin down between his eyes, and the result is a very cute frown.

There is so much snow outside due to several snowstorms in a short amount of time and nothing even approaching warm enough weather or sunlight to melt any of it. Unless it's to create a nice sheet of ice. It's pretty, though!

And I should let you know that, from now until a little while, my posts are apt to be "lighter." Meaning they should be shorter, but won't necessarily be shorter, they might just be more rambly than usual. New and Improved! Now with more spelling errors! More unrelated topics! Hooray!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Saga of Andrew

My doctor said to call when my contractions got to be 5 minutes apart, or when my water broke. Those are, apparently, the signs that you are in labor, and you're supposed to go into the hospital at that point.

Well, that's all well and good if you live next door to the hospital and you don't have to worry about who's taking care of your other kids. AND you don't happen to realize you are having contractions at 4:30 in the morning in the middle of a gigantic snowstorm. Which is what happened to me on December 16th. The contractions weren't bad, but they were frequent and regular and the snow was accumulating and I knew that Lillian, who was taking care of my children, would have to dig out her car and drive the 40 minutes up here before we could think about leaving the house ourselves...

So I had a choice. I could set things in motion and rick being wrong about being in labor, or I could wait and put things off until it was TOO LATE and it would just take Lillian longer to get here and take us longer to get to the hospital, and I would risk having this baby on the side of the road.

I set things in motion. AT 7am I called Lillian. She arrived at 8:30 with tales of horrible driving conditions. I called the doctor at 9am. She said to come in. Steve had plowed the driveway and taken a shower and we threw my bag in the car, kissed the boys goodbye (Nick was crying because he wanted to come have the baby with us) and drove to the hospital. We made our way to labor and delivery. The doctor checked me out.... and declared me hardly in labor. She let me wait for 3 hours while we had lunch, the RN's adjusted the bands around my belly, I breathed through the contractions, which were obviously, to me, getting worse and worse. And then she checked me again, declared there was no change, said I was probably having "practice contractions"and that it would probably be some time - maybe even a week - before the baby would come, and told me I could go home! Lucky me!

I was a little upset. For one thing, there were only two other people there having babies, so it's not like they were lacking for rooms. I wish they had kept me for observation just a bit longer - honestly, I do. But as the doctor cheerfully pointed out "This is not a hotel!" So I tearfully headed home to my two children, my pile of laundry, my messy house... with no baby. And the thing is... I had HAD practice contractions. I had been having contractions every day for weeks. Something was different this time, which is why I was at hospital to begin with. The fact that the stupid monitors didn't pick up on it wasn't MY fault!

So I went home. Lillian stayed and took care of the boys. Steve watched the football game and helped take care of the boys. I mostly stayed in bed crying, having contractions, writing down every single one, and watching the snow fall, watching bad TV, and doing the occasional small task. Lillian made dinner, I ate. I read the boys a bedtime story, pausing awkwardly at odd points in the text to breathe deeply. And then I took a shower.

I was still timing my contractions, but because the doctor had been so sure I was having "practice" contractions, I thought I was making things up. Steve came to sit with me in the bed. He watched me for about ten minutes, then finally said "Call the doctor again, would you?"

This trip to the hospital was much less fun. It was much bumpier. It was much more painful and uncomfortable. I knew that I was in labor, since at this point the contraction pains were starting in my lower back and running down the sides of my legs. But I was terrified that I would show up and the doctor would tell me I HAD progressed - and was dilated to two inches or something. (FYI - ten inches means you can start to push the baby out. When I went in that morning I was at one.)

I couldn't even walk when we got there at 10pm. I have never before walked into an Emergency Room and had people jump up to help me, but this time they did. And when the doctor checked me out she said I was dilated to 7 centimeters. SEVEN! How's THAT for a few practice contractions!

What followed was a horrifying experience tempered only by the use of a certain painkiller, which was not en epidural. I screamed a lot. There was a lot of technical difficulty involving the baby not getting past the pelvic bone and the birth being too short for antibiotics to work (TOO SHORT? They SENT ME HOME!). It was a big fat painful mess of a birth. But I tell you I have never been so happy to hold a baby in my arms. On the OUTSIDE of my body.

Next I'll tell you how, after not wanting to check me in, they wouldn't let us leave!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Andrew Patrick

Andrew Patrick was born on December 17th at 1:12 am at 8lbs 7oz and 20 inches long.

I would post a photograph, but I'm still at the hospital and using Steve's computer. We're unable to leave because Andy's a bit yellow and sleeping on a special light bed. He glows. So his first blog photo is going to have to wait.

I'll also post the story of the wonderful labor, which is a story in and of itself. Maybe tomorrow, when I can finally go home.

Thanks for dealing with me, everyone. I am so happy to have my baby boy at last!

Psst! - if commenting, please remember not to publish our last name. Anything that references it will be deleted. Jokes will have to be made to my face.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Nick: What is the new baby going to look like?

Me: Well, he's going to be small, and he'll look like a baby.

Nick: But what is he going to LOOK like?

Me: I don't know. That's the exciting thing about babies. We don't know what they're going to look like until they're here!

Nick: He could be black.

Very pregnant pause (excuse pun)

Me: For your father's sake, let's hope he's not.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Not To Be Trusted

Earlier this week I had a doctor's appointment which ran long. They decided to do a Non-Stress Test as a precaution because I mentioned that the baby hadn't been moving around as much... which isn't surprising, when you consider the lack of room the baby has to move around IN.

The test took 30 minutes, but I had to go to a different office - the one where they keep the monitor - and they had to squeeze me in between two other people, so I ended up being gone much longer than I thought. Lucky for me, Lillian was taking care of the boys and was able to feed them lunch and (mostly) put them down for a nap.

Needless to say, the test was fine, or I would have mentioned something earlier.

But when I got home I was tired. I didn't feel like doing anything. So as soon as Lillian left I ran upstairs, put Nathan back to bed for real, and then climbed into bed myself.

But I didn't sleep for very long. Because the doorbell rang. I ignored it, thinking it would be UPS and they would just drop the package and go away, but then the doorbell rang again. So I rolled out of bed, very irritated, and stumbled down the stairs, Nicholas hot on my heels. And guess who it was?

It was Lillian. With groceries. For us.

I should have been overjoyed. I should have been so HAPPY to not have to go shopping the next day, to not have to worry about food for a bit, for someone looking out for me and making my life easier... but I wasn't. I was tired and grumpy. I knew I had to go shopping the next day anyway because we needed diapers. Instead of being thankful I resented her thinking that I couldn't manage to food shopping for my own family - because I had it all planned out. Despite what Steve would say about my empty cupboards. I had a PLAN. in my HEAD. And if no one else could figure it out, then that was simply not my problem.

So the next day I went food shopping as usual. Where Lillian had gotten us pork roasts, bread, and broccoli, I decided to buy only necessities, such as Mallomars and Lucky Charms, and the biggest box of hot chocolate I could find.

So that's it. I'm not allowed to go food shopping anymore because otherwise I will be feeding my family pasta in Hershey's syrup, and apparently this does not go well with frozen veggies. From now on I'll make a list and send someone else, probably Nick, at least until this baby decides to MOVE OUT.

For the record, at this point in my pregnancy with Nick I had a two week old child. At this point with Nathan I was nearing the end of labor. Which would make this THE MOST PREGNANT I HAD EVERY BEEN. And trust me, I'm done with it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Season of Noise

Gunther barks at everything. As soon as the time change happens and the neighbors start driving home in the dark he feels the need to bark wildly at every set of headlights that slow down on our street. This time of year he is especially irritating, since he also has to bark at UPS delivery trucks - even those parked down the street - snowplows, and anything that sound loud as it drives down the street. It wouldn't be so bad except that he KEEPS barking for some time after the offending vehicle has gone away.

He also goes crazy every time someone knocks on a wall or a door, or rings the doorbell - especially on TV. I don't know how he figured the doorbell thing out, because no one ever rang our doorbell. But we learned pretty quickly which DOMINO'S commercial we needed to mute.

A couple of days ago the cable guy rang our doorbell to let us know he had run some cable. Gunther, naturally, went off his rocker. Nathan turned to me and said "Pizzas are here!"

New Yorkers - check out Mike Daisey's "Christmas: Friend or Foe" tomorrow night at 7pm, at the Brooklyn Public Library!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Can't Take It Anymore

After fifty three dreams where my water breaks, I have actually given up on it ever happening in real life. I just can't take the let down of waking up and finding out that I am still pregnant and still NOT in labor. If you think YOU are impatient, remember, I'm the one with the hi-jacked body here.

The funny thing is, it's not about the baby. It's more about just not being pregnant anymore.

We've also reached the point where we have things to do - parties, get togethers... and to tell you the truth I was so sure I'd have a baby by now I never really paid much attention. Suddenly I need to think about what to wear to Steve's office party, about getting chicken nuggets for Nick's School Holiday party... And it's not fair because there's NO WAY I can look or act like a normal person right now. I feel like I should just bring photocopied sheets of paper to hand out to anyone that looks as though they might speak to me. FAQ's - with my due date, the fact that it's a boy, that I already have two boys, and that I am feeling fine but will bite your head off if you come too close.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

No More Little Miss Sunshine

OK, so yesterday was the cheery post and now I'm back to being my grumpy self. I hate everything. I just want to stay in bed until the baby gets BORN, for crying out loud. But instead I've just spent the last 20 minutes chasing the kids and yelling at them for taking ornaments OFF the tree... a fun pass time of theirs. As though I will not notice when I walk into the room that the tree is almost naked for the bottom three feet, and that there are ornaments all over the floor. The thing is, I GAVE the boys a basket or ornaments to play with, ones I didn't care about or that couldn't be broken. But apparently they are not as fun as the ones Steve has had since 1981, since they don't hold the same sentimental value. I guess it's really fun to watch a very pregnant woman in her bathrobe spill her coffee as she yells "GET AWAY FROM THE TREE!" forty seven times.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Good Things

I know I have been complaining a whole lot lately. I don't mean to, but I get carried away with it, and then I just can't stop. There are a lot of good things I could post about as well, good things that don't even include a baby or finally getting the pregnancy over with.

Steve, for example, is being extra helpful. He has stepped in to take over baths and making dinner more times than I had expected him to, and has even put the boys to bed a couple of times. He's also started up the plowing again, and stands there on icy mornings to make sure I can get out of the driveway (which is a small hill upwards, and sometimes can cause a problem.) He also cleaned the basement yesterday - the part with the furnace and the water tank and all the tools and everything. The basement part of the basement. He's nesting with me - tell me that's not cute. ALSO, he's not only been great dealing with my obsessive need to finish holiday shopping, but HE HAS ALSO FINISHED HIS OWN SHOPPING! This is a guy who waits until the last minute for EVERYTHING. And I feel like he's doing it all for me.

On top of all that, the other day I stripped the sheets of my bed but ran out of steam before I could put the new ones on, so I just left them there for later. And the Cleaning Service came (not their usual day, because of the snow and all) and when I went upstairs they had made my bed! Which is a full workout for me these days, what with the bending and the tugging and the yanking kids off the mattress and then trying to get the sheets on before they climb up again... And I remember feeling so grateful. I usually complain all the time that I do a better job than this cleaning service, and here they are making my bed for me!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mommy Crank

I'm just so tired of waiting. It's not like I'm not busy or don't have things to do, it's just that WHAT IS THE POINT? I really would rather be in labor than making dinner or cleaning the house or doing storytime at the library or wrapping gifts. I don't want to think about the office party or about Christmas Eve because I want to HAVE A BABY by then.

I mean, time is running out, people. I need this baby before Christmas. Otherwise my Holiday will not be bright. Instead, it will be fat and uncomfortable.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Holiday Mish-Mash

I sometimes forget how much the phone used to ring in our house growing up. We had to have two phone lines because so many people used the phone. (Remember, this was before the internet, email, and cell phones with texting became common, so the only way we teenagers HAD to communicate was via phone. HOW OLD FASHIONED!)

Here, days can go by without the phone ringing (really - days) and when it does there is a good chance it is a political party calling for support, or a business making a courtesy call. Other than that, only a handful of people call every once and awhile - the usual suspects.

But lately someone has been calling me every day. Just one person each day. It's almost as though the people I know contacted each other and assigned each other days, just so they could keep tabs on me and when this baby arrives. Even though I PROMISE I will let everyone know ASAP.

In the meantime, we're getting on with life. Yesterday we put up our Christmas tree. The decorations are out, the music is playing... I'm just about ready! Except for this baby.

Here is a picture of one of the kids' favorite decorations. It is a snowman who dances and sings "The Pepermint Twist." We have had to place it on top of the fridge to avoid peppermint twist overload.

And here is a picture of the tree we won at the Festival Of Trees! We were surprised we won anything - it's been a good year for us as far as raffled are concerned. Honestly, I don't think we meant to bid on this tree, but Nick and Nate had the raffle tickets and they tended to just stick them in whatever bin was closest. The hat on the top sings "Jingle Bells" and bends from side to side. We gave the tree to Lillian, who wasn't planning on getting a tree for her own place. Our tree is a real tree. Pictures will be posted later.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

All I Want For Christmas

AS an adult, my wish list looks a bit different than it used to. Mostly because I don't need anything. But here is a general guide.

1 - a baby

2 - little elves who sneak into my house when I'm not looking for the sole purpose of folding and putting away my laundry

3 - someone else to make dinner

4 - someone else to at least decide what's for dinner

5 - Olay face cream

6 - galoshes

7 - three more hours in each day - preferably during nap time.

8 - chocolate. Or a lasagna. Or a case of Diet Dr. Pepper.

9 - peace on earth

10 - trouser socks

Friday, December 07, 2007

Grown Up X-mas List

I just erased a much longer post about what I want for Christmas now that I am grown up. But I have to go now because my kids have so far gotten into 76 screaming fights this morning, it's only 7:22, I have yet to have my first cup of coffee, I have to change Nick's bedsheets (again), I have to make Nick a lunch for school, I have to get dressed, and if one more kid starts screaming I swear I am going to throw all the Christmas presents out the window into the snow and take off for the nearest bar open at 7:22am.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Call Me Crazy

Yesterday Nick drew this in one of my notebooks. "Look, Mommy!" he said, smiling. "I drew a picture of your belly!"Seriously, that was kind of cute and kind of made me want to bang my head against the wall. It was nothing compared to this very morning, however, when I went in to find that Nick had had an accident at night... again. He'd been really good until Thanksgiving, when he started peeing all over the place, day or night. He's gotten better since then, in that daytime accidents have dwindled, but night seems to have gotten worse, if anything. I try to limit drinks, encourage him to go twelve times before he falls asleep... And this morning, when he woke up soaked, he decided to remedy the situation by climbing into bed with his brother, which would have been fine except he didn't take off his soaking wet PJ's first, so I ended up having to change both sheets for the third time this week. THIRD TIME. Seriously, the laundry is now out of control, and the baby hasn't even been born yet.

Speaking of baby... I got a number of comments about how a number of people hadn't started their Holiday shopping, and I'm not late, blah blah blah... and that's well and good. If you want to shop the malls o Christmas Eve, go for it. My goal is to avoid the malls altogether. But the truth is, I CAN'T do that. I have kids. I can hardly look around Pottery Barn for three minutes without boys screaming and trying to pull delicate stuff off of shelves. And remember, any day now I will also have a NEWBORN. And once that happens I will basically be housebound, because there is no way I am taking a newborn with me shopping unless it is a matter of life or death.

ALSO, most of the people I shop for live NOT HERE. Meaning I must allow time to mail the gifts or bribe someone to come and get them. (I'll give you a baby! Hey, FREE BABY!)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What We Did Yesterday

The seeing Santa part was painless. But no matter how organized I try to be, no matter how early in the year I begin my shopping and planning, I always end up at the mall in December trying to find a last minute gift for those one or two people. Or Four people. Shoot. I'm going to have to go do some online shopping and pay for the expedited shipping.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christmas more reliable than Baby

You would be surprised at how many strangers, once they ask when the baby is due and I TELL THEM, out of some sense of duty to be nice to people, actually comment "Oh! So you could have a CHRISTMAS BABY!" As though having a baby born on Christmas is what everyone is really shooting for. As though it is something GOOD. Lucky me! I should only hope we can hold out that long!

SHUT UP PEOPLE! No one wants a birthday on Christmas, not unless you are a doll named "Chrissy!" or a too precious little girl or some sort of kid who hates getting presents because you KNOW you are going to get gypped! Also, the baby is due on the 16th. The 25th would make it 9 days overdue. Which is not exciting AT ALL! Also, what makes them think I want to spend MY Christmas away from my family? In the hospital? In labor? I hate all those people!

Anyway - ahem - sorry for the outburst... but no, the countdown for the baby to arrive has actually been forgotten and set aside, since it has no bearing on reality. Sadly, the baby will not arrive on its due date, but maybe before, maybe after, and I'm sick of waiting around. The new countdown is for CHRISTMAS!

Let's face it, Christmas will be on the 25th, no matter what. I can depend on that. I might still be pregnant. I might be in the hospital, I might have a ten day old baby. But no matter what, it will be Christmas, and Santa will come with gifts.

Monday, December 03, 2007

One of my Favorites

I know I owe you pictures. Today there is lots of snow and everything I had on my to do list is getting set aside, schools are closed, and you can't imagine how frustrated and helpless that makes me feel. But I will get pictues of boys in snow.
The following are a few highlights from a chapter in Shirley Jackson's Life Among the Savages. For some reason I found this chapter funnier than usual these past few days. Please remember that the book was published in 1953, and things were a bit different back then...

Everyone always says the third baby is the easiest one to have, and now I know why. It's the easiest because it's the funniest, because you've been there twice, and you know....

... for the last two weeks before I went to the hospital almost everyone I know called me almost once a day and said "Haven't you gone yet?"

...Everything was, as I say, perfectly normal, up to and including the frightful moment when I leaped out of bed at two in the morning as though there had been a pea under the mattress... my husband said sleepily, "Having baby?"
"I really don't know," I said nervously. I was looking for the clock... It was hard to find without the alarm ringing... "I can't find the clock," I said.
"Clock?" my husband said. "Clock. Wake me five minutes apart."

"How soon do you think we ought to leave?"
"Around noon, probably." I said. "Everything is fine, really."
My husband asked politely, "May I help you with breakfast?"
"No, indeed," I said..."I feel so well," I said.
"Would you be offended," he said, still very politely, "if I took this egg out of my glass?"

The taxi arrived and suddenly I was saying goodbye to the children. "See you later," Laurie said casually. "Have a good time."
"Bring me a present," Jannie added.

"Name?" the desk clerk said to me politely, her pencil poised.
"Name," I said vaguely. I remembered, and told her.
"Age?" she asked. "Sex? Occupation?"
"Writer," I said.
"Housewife," she said.
"Writer," I said.
"I'll just put down housewife," she said. "Doctor? How many children?"
"Two." I said. "Up to now."
"Husband's name?" she said. "Address? Occupation?"
"Just put down housewife," I said. "I don't remember his name, really."
"Is your husband the father of this child? Do you have a husband?"
"Please," I said plaintively, "can I go upstairs?"
"Well, really," she sniffed. "You're only having a baby."

"Call me if you want me," the doctor said to the nurses as he left, "I'll be downstairs in the coffee shop."
"I'll call you if I need you," I told him ominously, and one of the nurses said in a honeyed voice, "Now, look, we don't want our husband to get all worried."
I opened one eye; my husband was sitting, suddenly, beside the bed. He looked as though he were trying not to scream. "They told me to come in here," he said. "I was trying to find the waiting room."
"Other end of the hall," I told him grimly. "Get him out of here, "I said, waving my head at my husband."
"They told me - " my husband began, looking miserably at the nurse.
"It's allllll right," the nurse said. "Hubby belongs right here."
"Either he goes or I go," I said.

"Well, well," I said to the nurse. "Sure am glad to see you."
"Sissy," she said distinctly, and jabbed me in the arm.
"How soon will this wear off?" I asked her with a deep suspicion...
"You won't even notice," she said enigmatically, and left.

"Doctor," I said, and I believe that my voice was a little louder than I intended it should be, "you better give me - "
He patted me on the hand and it was my husband instead of the doctor. "Stop yelling," he said.
"I'm not yelling," I said. "I don't like this any more. I've changed my mind, I don't want any baby, I want to go home and forget the whole thing."
"I know just how you feel," he said.
My only answer was a word which certainly I knew that I knew, although I had never honestly expected to hear it spoken in my own ladylike voice.
"Stop yelling," my husband said urgently. "Please stop saying that."
"Who is doing this?" I asked. "You or me?"

"Had it yet?" I asked her.
"No," she said. "You?"
"Yep," I said. "You going home again?"
"Listen," she said. "I been thinking. Home, the kids all yelling and my mother looking sad like she's disappointed in me. Like I did something. My husband, every time he sees me jump he reaches for the car keys. My sister, she calls me every day and if I answer the phone she hangs up. Here, I get three meals a day I don't cook, I know all the nurses, and I meet a lot of people going in and out. I figure I'd be a fool to go home."

Sunday, December 02, 2007

When Planning Fails

In the last month of your pregnancy, the doctors like to see you every week. That means that every single week I need to make my way to the office, step on a scale, hand over a cup of pee, get my blood pressure taken, my belly measured, listen to a heartbeat, and then I get sent on my way with the encouraging words that "Everything is fine! We're just waiting, now!"

I spend more time getting to the office than I do in the actual office.

But I look forward to going, because each time I have an idea that the doctor will take one look at me and exclaim "My Goodness! This woman in in labor and doesn't even know it! Get her to the Hospital at once! This baby could come any moment!"

Since scheduling appointments can be tricky, I have scheduled the last month of appointments in advance, just to make sure I can get times I need. My next appointment is scheduled for tomorrow morning, at 8:10am. not a great time for me, but it was the best they had. I had planned on taking the boys to my appointment, then shuttling Nick to school, then driving Nate to Storytime at the Library.

But now it is supposed to snow. Tonight. And suddenly my plans are all crazy. Will I make it to the doctor's office at all? School may be called off, and then there will be no Storytime either.

I am confident that, if it snows enough to prevent me from going to my doctor's appointment, I will immediately go into labor.

Or maybe not.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Funny ODD - Not Funny Ha Ha

You spend about 3/4 of a pregnancy doing everything you can to keep the baby safe and inside you. The remaining 1/4 is the few weeks before you know you're pregnant, and then the last three weeks, where you want to rip the baby out of you with the nearest baby-ripping-out object you can find.

The baby meter o'reader says I have fifteen days until my due date.

And I thought that, this time around, the holidays would be a distraction.


Friday, November 30, 2007

Musical Mood

This is the third Holiday Season that I've been blogging. That being the case, I know I've posted many thoughts on HOLIDAY MUSIC. How could I not. I'm being bombarded by it on all sides already! Last year I did it song by song, but this year I plan to take a more intellectual approach. After all, I DID spend a great deal of time in college writing about music, even if I did not, by professors' standards, do a spectacular job of it.

Holiday Music can be divided into four categories. These categories are mostly separated by style, and not individual songs which can change depending on the performance. Taste is sometimes also involved. Also, please remember that categorizing music is a practice I have always deplored. (What IS alternative? Rock? Where is the line between Jazz and Soul? Folk and rock? I don't get it.)

The first category is the "Concert" category. This includes choir or orchestral arrangements of just about anything. For example, anything the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings, or anything by the Boston Pops, will most likely fit into this category. I love this music - it makes great background music, will not embarrass or offend, and still offers the chance to sing along or dance.

The second category is the "Standard" category. Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and anything that sounds like that fits into this category. If the song is by Irving Berlin, it is probably in this category. These are the fun Holiday songs that we can recognize and sing along to. Aunt Maude doesn't mind them, and the kids still get a kick out of singing along.

The Third category is what I call the "Pop" category. Most of the songs played on th radio fall into this category, even if they were written by Irving Berlin. It may be Jingle Bells, but if it is sung by Bruce Springsteen then it belongs here. If it is a new song about red shoes designed only to make you cry, it belongs here. If it uses an electric guitar, it belongs here. If it has a guitar or drum solo, or if the singer is wearing less than I do at the beach, it belongs here.

The fourth and final category I call the "Annoying" category. This is where all the really annoying songs go. Dogs barking? Here. Anything with a small child whistling through gaps in his teeth? Here. You want a Hippopotamus for Christmas? Are Chipmunks singing? Gramma got run over by a - here Here HERE! This is also where taste comes into play. In my opinion, this is where any and all versions of "Winter Wonderland" belong. I know Linda would stick "Little Drummer Boy" here as well (rum pa pum PUM!). And this is where my theory breaks down and becomes subjective. The version of Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby (putting it in the Standards) and David Bowe (putting it in the Pop) makes this a confusing theory indeed. Which is precisely why I hate categorizing music to begin with.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nate's Turn

First you should watch yesterday's video, if you haven't already. If you have watched it, you should consider watching it again.

Then watch today's video. It is shorter. Note how determined Nathan is to sing this one particular song. Note how my dog begins the process of eating my cat in the background.

For some reason I find this clip seriously entertaining, and it has carried me through the past few days.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

And THIS is Why...

What is it about pregnant women that cause complete strangers to ask personal questions?

Seriously, if one more person asks me when I'm due, tells me that I have my hands full, or asks what I'm having, I really think I'll bash them over the head with my diaper bag. After all, IT IS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS! And as for having my hands full... REALLY? No Kidding. I HADN'T NOTICED! Now help me stuff my kids back in my shopping cart and stop wasting my time asking stupid questions.

Oh, and this really big Tummy? It may be sticking out in your face, and I didn't mean to bump you with it, but I don't know you and it is PART OF MY BODY! At least ask me before you start pressing your hands on me like some Mystic Healer. Unless you ARE actually a Mystic Healer and can induce labor, in which case, please come to my house ASAP.

Watch this video. Notice Nathan helping Nick out from behind the camera. It may seem kind of long, but there is a follow up I shall post tomorrow which I think makes it all worthwhile.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday Shopping

For me, Christmas shopping used to mean getting an adult to drive us all down to the Garden State Plaza, parking at least a mile from the building, and then pushing our way through crowds as we searched for gifts for family members. Sometimes it took more than one trip. The mall was huge. Now it is even huger.

I still remember the first year I discovered online shopping. I was thrilled. I showed up early for work, started clicking away, and before I knew it my shopping was done... or almost done. Shopping online has been very helpful - I could shop when the stores were closed. I could shop without taking my kids with me. Who needs to drag the kids to toy stores - or even enter one!

But I regret to say that the thrill has gone. Why? Well, not just because I have grown used to the online thing.

The other day I went online to finish up my shopping (like everything else, I made an attempt to get things done early.) The first thing I tried to buy was stamps. Apparently there had been a rate change, and I somehow missed it, which means that a whole bunch of people I send cards and letters to probably never got them... But since I still plan on sending Holiday Cards this year, I needed to prepare.

I went online. With minimal searching I selected some Christmas stamps, and then some flower stamps, then I went to pay... and the darn site wanted me to set up an account.

I buy things online all the time without setting up accounts. There is a reason I dislike setting up accounts. For one thing, I hate getting spam or junk email. For another, I can never keep track of all the usernames and passwords. Most online stores will offer you the OPTION of setting up an account, but they will also sell you junk without it. Not the postal service.

So I went through the process of setting up an account. It only took twenty minutes, mostly because of the pain and frustration in coming up with a password that I could remember, but that also contained 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter, and 1 number, and was also 8 digits long. Each time I messed up the site required me to re-enter a username and a "secret question and answer" that would be used to retrieve my password when I forgot it.

When I finally got it all right, and then filled in my "personal information" (name, address, email, phone number) the site popped up with a big "Sorry! YOU ALREADY HAVE AN ACCOUNT! We've emailed you your username."

So I had to login to my secondary email account and open the email, which was kind enough to give me my username, but NOT a password. I tried logging in and guessing my password, but I just couldn't get it right, so I tried my "secret question." In this case, it asked me for my mother's maiden name. I typed in my mother's maiden name. But APPARENTLY when I SET UP the account I had been feeling creative, because it TOLD ME I WAS WRONG!

In the end I went back and went through the entire process of creating a new account AGAIN, used a new email address and a nickname, and it let me. Then I went through the process of re-selecting the holiday stamps and the flower stamps, and checked out. All in all, it took me over an hour of fiddling, waiting, banging my head against the wall, and trying not to throw the computer out of the window. It took me so long, in fact, that I didn't have time to do the rest of my shopping.

Which was good, it turned out, because when I finally DID have time the site messed up and I ended up having to call in my order by phone, anyway.

So much for stress free. I take the kids to the mall on Thursday.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dear Santa

Dear Santa

It feels a bit early to be writing to you, just days after Thanksgiving, but Christmas seems to be everywhere already, and when we caught sight of you yesterday at the Festival Of Trees you already seemed very busy. By the way, I'm sorry we only waved and didn't stop by to say hello, but you didn't look like you had a lot of down time, and Nicholas was a little nervous about the whole idea... you know how kids are.

Anyway, this letter might seem a bit unorthodox. Most people, I assume, write letters telling you what they WANT, but this letter... well, I guess I'm telling you what NOT to bring us. I don't mean to come across as ungrateful. You have been SO generous in the past, and all of the toys and gifts you have brought us are appreciated and loved. It's just that, at this point, we have so very much, especially when it comes to certain items.

My first request is that you PLEASE bring us NO STUFFED ANIMALS! We have so many. After all, we have only two (soon three) little boys, and the stuffed animals already number in the hundreds. It really is too much for us, and quite honestly I am running out of places to keep them.

My second request has to do with clothing. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE THE NEW BABY CLOTHING! Or at least think about it before going through with it. I know, I know, I love buying the little clothes, too. But we have so much clothing left over from our first two boys that we really do not need any more infant clothes. Add to that the fact that babies grow faster than weeds and you end up with me changing the baby into five outfits a day just to be able to say he's worn everything. Some people might think I was kidding, but you, Santa, I know you understand.

My other boys, however, LOVE clothes. (Nick is wearing 4T, and Nathan is comfortable in 2T, and both are a bit roomy in those. As for shoes, Nick would be size 10 and Nate... well, who knows, but I've been going with size 7 these days.)

As for hints... well, Nicholas keeps asking for a "game," by which I think he means a handheld video game - but we aren't too thrilled with that idea for such a small boy. He also loves musical instruments and has frequently pointed out guitars with "buttons" that play music, usually with the Backyardigans or the Wiggles on them... Nathan cried yesterday when we made him leave behind some Thomas the Tank Engine items which were just for show. He loves trains. As for me and Steve... well, if I knew what Steve wanted I would have already purchased it. And I simply would like everyone to have a very Merry Christmas.

Thanks so much. We'll be seeing you soon!


Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's Over - on to the next thing

Thanksgiving officially ended yesterday when the last of my family members departed in a frenzy of needing to return to civilization.

Just in case you are NOT a member of my family, I should explain that Thanksgiving is important to me for quite a few reasons. The first being that, when I was a kid, we routinely had about 40 people for dinner. The event was huge, and would frequently require three turkeys, three or four tables, and many days of preparation. We had 19 people for dinner this year. Our house is not as large as the one I grew up in, and New Hampshire is less of a destination location as the suburbs of New York. Also, I just don't know that many people. But the REAL reason Thanksgiving is important to me, besides the excuse to have pie for breakfast every day for a week afterwards, is that I get to see my family.

I HATE the way I look in the above picture (sorry Meg, it's just me. Everyone else looks fine.) But this is the first time I had been with my other brothers and sisters in years. At least two years, possibly longer.

It was different. The traditional family sing along has been replaced with a traditional family dance party. But some things never change, such as the Enforced Family Film Festival, and ordering pizza the next day.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I had a wonderful time, despite working myself up into a frenzy in the days before. The meal turned out to be wonderful, mostly thanks to Linda and Meg. It was delightful to be surrounded by my family again. My kids (and my dog) loved the attention and the opportunity to play with other grown ups. (Apparently I am boring.) I am almost sorry it is over.

And now... Christmas.

PS - everyone needs to send me their photos! I seem to have forgotten to take any pictures.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

25 Days Until The Big Day

Not Christmas, Fools! The due date! Check out the scary baby meter'o reader.

Happy Thanksgiving. Deeps Breaths. Namaste.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Chalk This One Up To Hormones

Yesterday my hip started hurting... or my bum. Just the right hip / bum. And not all the time. Just occasionally as I am walking or picking things up or stuff. And not a lasting pain, but one of those nice, shooting, gone-in-a-moment but doubles-you-over kind of pain.

It doesn't stop when I sit, either. Or when I try to sleep at night. Instead, it waits until I relax and forget, and then try to turn a little in any direction, or get up to pee.

So far this little distraction has interfered with tasks such as "Picking Up Torn Bits of Paper From the Floor," "Changing Nate's Diaper," and "Finding Nick's Sock's." Today I get to see how it will interfere - if at all - with tasks such as "Making Six Pie Crusts" and "Shopping for Thanksgiving Dinner for 19."

By the way, all you people who are apparently showing up but haven't yet told me WHEN, well at this point getting the meal on the table is all I can think of, so you're just going to have to hope someone is here to let you in, and you'll have to find your own beds and make them yourselves, because quite honestly I can't manage the hopping around from one side of the bed to the other, have done all I can, and I'm tired thinking about it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

too many things to do

No post today.

Well, not a real one with a picture or a story.

Just basically this "Gone Fishing" note letting you all know that I am very busy today. The dogs must get to the groomer. The Nick must get to the school. The sheets on multiple beds must be changed. And so on.

But I had to say something to let you know the BABY HAS NOT YET ARRIVED! Or anything like that. It's just me, trying to perform intense balletic feats with my center of gravity in my abdomen, while being kicked in the bladder from the inside.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I'm Ready

Is Thanksgiving Here yet?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Allergy to Cold?

I have gone through all the postable and even almost postable photos in my photo library. And as of now, there are not enough pictures on my actual camera to justify downloading. Two pictures. It had to be worth my while. So I will take more pictures and post more pictures... soon. But not now.

See, last night I was rummaging through the closet in the boys' bathroom while they were in the bath, mostly because I find it nearly impossible to sit still these days. And I ran across my collection of "Spa Stuff" by which I mean gel masks and warming pads and a pair of booties with inserts that can be heated up in the microwave, and I got really excited about the booties, dragging them out and intending on heating them up and pampering my feet while I watched a movie...

... but the bootie inserts made me sneeze. And sneeze and sneeze and sneeze... I must have sneezed seventy five times in three minutes. I couldn't speak. My nose was runny, and started bleeding a little, and I was convinced my water was going to break, or at least explode. Seriously, at this point every sneeze means a little pee, and if you've never been pregnant and sneezed before then you have no idea what I'm talking about. But I was concerned about rupturing... you know. I just didn't want my water to break.

After the sneezing stopped, my throat hurt - I guessed from all the sneezing. (Needless to say, the booties went back on the shelf.) Then I started to cough. And all night long I was coughing and stuffy nosed, and this morning I am still coughing, and my ears are blocked up...

Is this even possible? Can an allergy attack bring on a cold? Or do allergy attacks sometimes just last for days? Because I am miserable here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Insanity Of Youth

I took both my kids to Target yesterday.

Every single time I do this I come home ranting and raving and promising myself I will NEVER DO IT AGAIN! But somehow I always forget.

It was supposed to be a simple trip. I had a short list. Humidifier, pillows, cleaning product, hats and gloves for the boys.

And it started well. I found the pillows right off, but the humidifiers took a few moments because I don't know anything about them and actually had to READ and CHOOSE and make an INFORMED CHOICE and then some lady tried convincing me I needed to buy a filter and some cleaning fluid, even though I knew the model I ended up with had no filter and I've never had to get that cleaning fluid before...

Then we made a trip past the Holiday Displays - just to see - which prompted a mother to ask me how old my kids were, and how much space was between them, and how much space between the next two, and yadda yadda yadda... and at this point there was no more space in my cart because pillows, though fluffy, take up a lot of room, so Nicholas was walking, and Nathan was trying to climb out of the cart.

So when I finally went to get hats and gloves I needed to grab them and GO, but with Nick I now have no idea if I should be looking in "Infants and Toddlers" or "Boys." Besdies this, the wonderful Target people have taken the ONE AREA, the Toddler clothing area, where parents will most need to wheel their carts around, and spaced the racks six inches apart from each other. I could hardly fit my fat pregnant belly between them, let alone the cart, with Nathan screaming and grabbing at the clean clothing, wiping his snotty nose of every item he could find.

And speaking of finding, I never DID find the hats and gloves for Toddlers. Apparently they are meant to freeze, or parents are simply supposed to keep them indoors. And the hats for boys may fit Nick (and Nate, for that matter) but the gloves are WAY too big. But I was irritated and so I just left, with no gloves, but with a Diego umbrella which we apparently could not live without.

It started pouring rain as we walked to our car. Nate fell asleep on the way home, and then once we got there both he and Nick screamed over the umbrella until I put it away. Alone, I can accomplish anything. With my kids, I create chaos wherever I go.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

P is for Potty

First of all, I just want to bring to everyone's attention that I am now on the FINAL SCARY BABY of the SCARY-BABY-METER! I may be there for the next 45 days, but hey - I've made it this far!

Today's post is about potty training. And the different levels involved in potty training. I had always assumed that the biggest part of potty training would be getting the kid to actually go in the potty. But there is so much more to it than that.

The first step is getting the kid to be aware of this particular function of his body. Nathan sometimes asks to sit on the potty. Some people might assume this means he is ready, and I should just go for it. But I've decided to wait. Not just because I am eleven months pregnant and about to deal with a whole new set of diapers and baby issues, but because when Nathan DOES have the odd accident and pees while he is naked after a bath, in the middle of the bathroom floor, he does not seem to notice anything is happening. He likes to sit, but has no idea what is supposed to happen once he is up there,no matter how many times I read the "Ernie Gets A Potty" book.

The second step is getting the kid to actually use to potty - and this is the hardest part. The kid has to recognize the feeling, know what it means, get to the bathroom, and get ON the darn thing before actually letting it happen. With Nicholas this happened all at once. One day he wasn't potty trained, the next he was pushing me out the door shouting "I NEED SPACE! And TURN OFF THE LIGHT!" because for some reason he prefers the dark?

The final step - and I'm not going into night training here because that seems to be a different story altogether - but the final step - and just so you know, this is one that grown men all over seem to have difficulty with - is actually getting the pee to go IN the potty. That's right. I am referring to AIM.

Girls are built differently than boys, and as a result, aim is not so much an issue. I have actually often been scorned because I am a female, and obviously inferior, since on those long road trips across the country I actually needed to pull over at REST STOPS, and could not just pull over to the side of the road and pee in a bush. So yes, if one likes peeing outdoors, it may be preferable to be built like a man. But at least when I pee in my own bathroom I don't leave pee all over the toilet seat and the floor. Not even after half a bottle of wine.

The reason I bring this up is that I am surrounded by boys. The other day I sat down on the toilet, a recently cleaned toilet, and wondered to myself why it smelled like the monkey house at the zoo. I have discovered puddles of pee on the floor NEXT to the toilet, and I have observed Nicholas peeing as though her were actually AIMING for the rim of the toilet instead of the water, most of the urine dripping right off the edge.

It has actually made me panic a bit. Because I am married, I have two brothers, I drove across the country with two guys, and I have had a handful of male roommates. And I know this does not necessarily cure itself with time. And I also know that, no matter how much I plead and complain, the problem may persist. And again, I am outnumbered.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Approaching the Wall

Each day is bringing me closer and closer to the end of this pregnancy. I know that. But each day I am also growing more and more uncomfortable.

I was pregnant with Nathan for approximately 13 months, or at least it seemed that way. I was tired and cranky and uncomfortable during the whole thing, and the last two months were absolute torture. I simply could not wait for him to be born, and it felt like it would never happen.

With baby #3, I feel like I have been pregnant for maybe 4 months so far. Sure, I was sick at first, but I have the distraction of having two other children who need to be driven to school, and picked up from school, and taken to the library, and given projects to do. They also need the sheets on their beds changed about twice a week (at least) and produce an insane amount of laundry. In other words, I am BUSY.

But now, as the final month of the gestation period drifts into view, I have to admit... I am uncomfortable. VERY uncomfortable. I am huge. I can't fit into anything, maternity clothing, or not. And what I do fit into, I look like a hippo in. I get acid reflux from picking up toys on the floor, and whenever I decide to sleep on my right side instead of my left. The baby is squashed enough inside me so that when he kicks or turns or moves my entire belly shakes and lumps around and it feels as though someone is rearranging my internal organs for me. I have to pee every three minutes. Badly. but only a little bit. I get out of breath trying to stand up from a chair, and getting out of bed requires a rolling / kicking procedure that I have perfected, after performing it at least six times a night to rush to the bathroom. I am also tired all the time, especially in the afternoons.

I am also going mad. I see pet hair, and stains, and dirt, and other things that need cleaning everywhere I go. And I can't just let it be. And by the end of the day I have to work really hard to modify my mood because I know I am so, so tired and angry and cross for NO REASON.

My point is, I haven't hit the wall yet, but I can see it, and it is getting closer every second. And I know I'm going to crash.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pancakes and Pizza

Yesterday we all went out for Brunch at The Yard. This is something Steve and I used to do before we were married, but for some reason we hadn't been back there in years. Possibly because there is SO much food, and you really do have to be hungry to make sense of it. And the food is buffet food, after all, so it's sitting out there and it isn't always the best food. But this did not lessen my delight in having pancakes AND eggs benedict AND bacon all on my plate at the same time. I had a great time, and a great meal, and before I even left the table I could feel my body start to swell from all of the salt. But I didn't care, because I didn't have to cook, and I didn't have to clean up.

Nick and Nate were also wonderful. I was a little worried because when we go out to eat they sometimes scream and yell and cry, and generally make life so uncomfortable that we've been known to just get our meals to go. But this time, all went well. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that there was so much variety, and they weren't locked into any one food. Or maybe it was just that we could get MORE of anything if they wanted it. Or maybe, just maybe, it was the novelty of looking down at his plate and seeing both pancakes AND pizza, both just waiting for him to eat them, one breakfast, one lunch, but at the same time!

And afterwards, they each got a cookie.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Morning Person

I have always been a morning person. I usually wake up happy and am most productive during morning hours. Yesterday was no exception. Steve woke up with the kids, but I was awake before 8am and was able to shower and get dressed... I buzzed around the house cleaning, we went for a family trip to the store, and I was feeling OK...

... Until I just wasn't. At 3pm I crashed, big time. I had to go back to bed, I was crying for no reason, and I felt like I couldn't take care of my kids.

So Steve stepped in and did everything. He took care of the kids, he made dinner, he was just generally a hero who let me recover in my own bed. And it was WONDERFUL. This morning I am myself again.

But it worries me that I get so tired. I guess this far along in a pregnancy you really do have to be careful.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Creative Playthings

Last Tuesday it was very rainy here. Steve was away on a business trip, and I was alone with the kids, all but trapped in the house. This is when it becomes kind of difficult to find things to do... especially when you're the size of a house and you don't feel like moving.

I ran across my old hair curlers while I was getting dressed, and I tossed them at the boys to play with, figuring it would keep them busy for a few moments. And it did. And I was fine with that - I mean, I never use the darn things, and they never quite worked in my hair, anyway. They were the foam and plastic variety, and I don't think I ever learned how to put them in right. As far as I was concerned, we could throw the things away when the boys were done with them.

But after five minutes, Nick started taking them apart. And then... then... hours of endless entertainment. I am not kidding you, he played with these things all day long. And did things with them I never imagined curlers doing. They became lollipops, weight sets, cars, bridges, batteries... you name it, he thought of it. And built it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Closer, and closer, and closer

The cool thing about my birthday going by, besides the cookies and the extra wisdom and prestige, is that I am that much closer to having this baby. Now the next big thing on my list really IS Thanksgiving, and after that this baby is free to come, meaning it really wouldn't be all that early and I wouldn't have to worry so much about developmental problems.

Don't get me wrong. There's a lot to think about for Thanksgiving. If everyone gets here and does what they are supposed to do, there will be 17 people at our house for dinner, including a few houseguests who will need clean towels. My kids are excited. I am in cleaning overdrive (which isn't all that fast these days, all things considered.) I have every detail planned, down to a shopping list and when to do what. I am convinced, should the real cooks get delayed, that I could pull this thing off by myself with no more than a little deep breathing and a few trips back in time.

If the baby chooses to bide his time after Thanksgiving, there are still a whole lot of Christmas activities to keep us busy. Visits to Santa, the Festival of Trees, actual shopping and wrapping and sending gifts and cards... more cookies. Not to mention decorating our house and getting our own tree. Plenty to do.

And with each thing I do, the baby's arrival is somehow getting closer! Sooner. Nearer... and I am suddenly filled with the need to go buy newborn diapers, formula, and frozen foods.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

This Day is My Day

It is my Birthday!

Nicholas asked me this morning if I was going to have a cake, and I told him that I might make cookies. He then asked me if there would be candles on the cookies. I told him the recipe probably wouldn't make that many cookies. Then he asked if people would come by and give me presents, and I had to tell him that no, probably not. I was a grown up and I wasn't having a party. But we might have Chinese Food for dinner! And what could be better than that?

Here is a photograph of me when Steve and I were just married. Look closely. I am doing at least three things I will probably never do again. Can you figure them out? They are: 1 - wear a bikini. 2 - try to get a tan. 3 - relax by a pool without the worry of a child potentially drowning or slipping or otherwise injuring himself or others.

A couple of Great Events... if you missed Mike Daisey this Monday there is still time to see the rest of his Great Men Of Genius. Also, my brother has forwarded an invitation to an event called Maze Of Injustice - details below, but RSVP's TODAY PEOPLE. Of course both of these events are in New York, so... Betsy, put down the twins! We're going to New York! There is much fun and culture to be had. Plus, there might be time for a nap!

Dear Amnesty Friends,
You are invited to attend a reception and public program at The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York City
Where: Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, One Bowling Green (across from Battery Park in downtown Manhattan)
When: Thursday, November 15, 2007, 6 รข€“ 8 p.m.
What: Learn about Amnesty International™s groundbreaking report: Maze of Injustice: The failure to protect indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA.
Speakers include:
Georgia Little Shield, Executive Director, Pretty Bird Women House
Winona Flying Earth, Sitting Bull College and South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Hors d'oeuvres and cocktails will be served.
This event is free and open to the public
RSVP to Matthew Kennis by Thursday, November 8; 212-633-4169 or
Directions by Train:
Eastside: 4 and 5 trains to Bowling Green
Westside: 1 train to South Ferry
BMT: R and W trains to Whitehall. M and J trains to Broad St.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

As The Sun Sets...

One evening, as I was making dinner, I looked up and there was this sky... so I took a picture.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Time Change

Here is a fuzzy video of he boys just before Trick or Treating. By camera batteries were shutting down, so I didn't have time to fuss around with things like, oh, focus.

What I wanted to comment on was the Time Change. I understand the concept of Daylight Savings, and that we but our clocks back to make the most use of the sunlight we've been given, to save energy, blah blah blah... but honest to God, I do not understand how this is supposed to work.

See, to me, the total number of daylight hours simply does not change. I wake in the dark. I go to sleep in the dark. No matter how you move things around, the dark is there. It won't change. Except possibly for a couple of weeks in the summer, the kids wake up before the sun. So... lotta good it does me.

But as far as being a pain int the neck? Yeah. The Time Change is that. Because Nick and Nate do not understand the concept of actual TIME. As it was, they were waking up a good hour before their "It's OK To Get Up" alarm went off. So now, instead of waking at 5:30, they happily awake at 4:30 and begin their routine of thumping up and down the hall and quietly jumping off the bed so that the house shakes. The pets, who also have no concept of Daylight Savings, register the fact that the household has begun to wake up. The dog begins to lick himself loudly. The cats begin to chase each other up and down the hall. After a few moments of the adults remaining unresponsive, the cats begin their pitiful meowing in the hallway, crying out to the heavens that they are being starved! Starved! By their own people!

And this is why I hate daylight savings. And the Time Change. Because the adjustment period is so incredibly long and stupid and incomprehensible to small children and animals. And that forces me to get up early.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Is a Puzzlement

It has gotten to the point where I no longer have to sit on Nathan to get him to fall asleep at night. I simply have to return him to his bed five or six times, and if I can remember to keep it down, to not yell and get him all agitated, he will probably fall asleep within forty minutes or so.

The night always begins with him talking to himself in bed as he "reads" a bunch of books. I sit in my room and listen for the moments of silence, thinking each time that this might be it! He might be falling asleep now! Then I can turn on my TV and watch a show with inappropriate content, or take a shower, or actually read more than a paragraph on my book at a time! But usually the silence is just his pondering what he should get while he is out of bed, and it is only a matter of time before the baby gate rattles and there he is, on the other side, still thinking he is so clever for getting out in the first place.

The other night one of the silences seemed to go on and on, but it just didn't seem right. there were too many shuffles for there to be two sleeping children in the room. So I got up and peeked.

I had left the room a mess, simply because the idea of getting the kids to clean up before bed seemed like torture... to me. There were a bunch of puzzles all over the floor, all the pieces mixes up and spread out... honestly, who had the time? Well, apparently Nathan did, because when I checked on him he had completed four puzzles all by himself. These aren't hard puzzles, but when you consider having to sort out which bits went with which puzzles... And he's not even two. I was impressed. It's hard to be mad at your kid when you're so busy thinking they are smart.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

He'll Learn Much More Than I'll Ever Know

Think back to the first time you interacted with a computer. What was it for? Was it work? A game? What was the game like? How old were you? My father got a computer - a word processor - when I was about 7. The games on it came on big huge floppy disks. My favorite game was "Ghost Town," A game where you could actually give the game two word commands (get rake, go north, climb ladder) and it would "take" you to the next location. Via description. There were no graphics, just words glowing green on the screen.

Nicholas is three and a half. He knows how to turn his computer on and off. He can turn the monitor on and off. He knows how to open an internet browser. From there, he knows which bookmarks on his bookmarks bar will bring him to the Wiggles, and which will bring him to Sesame Street. He can navigate to the games he likes to play. He knows how to click and drag with the mouse, and how to scroll up and down to find what he's looking for. In fact, he is more comfortable at the computer than my mother is, and as soon as he learns to read, I'm sure he will be able to teach her a thing or two.

There are a whole host of issues surrounding the computer these days that my parents never had to even consider. The internet - my three year old is on the internet. How long before we have to start glancing over his shoulder and see which chat rooms he's visiting, or who has been sending him email? Not to mention talk about the fact that there are some sites he simply shouldn't be visiting? Already one issue has taken me by surprise.

It was only last night, while Steve was making dinner and I was setting the table, that Nick walked up to us bending his hand. "It hurt when I go like this!" he said. Steve immediately responded with "Don't go like that!" But I looked and realized... it was his mouse hand. Not only can my three year old connect to the internet, he is already damaging his joints from clicking his mouse. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. From clicking his Cookie Monster Mouse.

Friday, November 02, 2007

What is there to say?

Sorry about the Halloween photos. They are still on my camera, which has run out of battery. Besides that, I would feel odd posting those pictures right now.

Within the past few days, Mary Clare had a stroke and passed away. Mary was a classmate of my mother's, but she also lived with my Aunt Frances for years, at least as long as I can remember. I'm over 30, so that's a pretty long time. Longer than many marriages last these days. Mary was very upset when my Aunt Frances died six months ago, and she hadn't been herself since, not really.

So what is there, really, to say? I can't think of anything.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Really Horrifying Story

At night, while getting ready for bed, I watch a lot of TV shows like "Forensic Files" and "Body of Evidence" where real life crime situations are solved through the efforts of hardworking police personnel and profilers and the bad guy is almost always caught. These shows are cool because they are so overly dramatized, and they also repeat the few facts at hand about 47 times during the 11 minutes of showtime, so that even if you watch 3 minutes of the program you know exactly everything that happens.

These shows are great for falling asleep to.

The other night I saw the most horrifying of these shows ever. A woman expecting a baby got a phone call from another woman who said she mistakenly received some of the items from her online baby registry. Apparently woman #2 had a similar name to woman #1, and also had an online baby registry, so someone clicked the wrong button and VOILA! At this point, even though she was 6 days past her due date, woman #1 drove to pick up her gifts from woman #2's house. (Woman #2 was also apparently very pregnant and woman #1 felt bad?) She ended up doing this twice, two days in a row, after the second part of the shipment came in, only the second time woman #2 pulled a knife and attacked poor woman #1. At this point Woman #1 was forced to fight for her life, and in the struggle woman #2 was stabbed and died. Woman #1 was rushed to the hospital, but was then held questioning and treated as a suspect in the murder case. It turned out that woman #2 was actually NOT pregnant, was actually a bit insane, had faked many pregnancies in the past, and it looked like she was going to remove the baby from woman #1's body and then keep it as her own, based on the baby stuff in her place and medical equipment found in various diaper bags. So five days after the fight for her life, woman #1 gave birth with police outside her door just in case she was a murderer.

Isn't that so scary? I mean, the woman was TWELVE DAYS PAST HER DUE DATE! Does no one see the horror here?

Seriously, I worry about going past my due date, and I also worry that this baby will be huge. I mean, Nick was 6 pounds 13 ounces. Nate was 7 pounds 15 ounces. And I swear there was a difference. I mean, if you're choosing an oven roaster chicken the extra pound doesn't mean THAT much, does it? But What if you then see a 10 pound chicken? Then there is a slight difference. What if this one just happens to be closer to, oh... 9 pounds? The baby, not the chicken.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Tonight I will take many pictures of the boys in their costumes - as many as they will let me take before they run to the neighbors' houses and demand candy. Last night Nicholas cried because we wouldn't let him go Trick-or-Treating right away. We tried explaining that it wasn't the right time, but he seemed to think if he cried hard enough, the laws of space and time would change and suddenly people would be flinging candy out their front doors...

If I cry really hard right now, can it be time for this baby to be born?

Here is a short video of Nathan in the leaves. With the helmet. Yes, it was the same day, and all these pictures were taken within moments. I do have pictures of Nicholas, but they are not so fall-ish, so....

Also, check out Betsy's new blog for some REALLY scary photos!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

All I Have To Say

The last time we spoke, which was last week sometime, Winston said to me "Why is it that every time we have Thanksgiving at your house the Red Sox win the World Series?" At the time, they hadn't won yet. But now they have. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

It has reached the point in my pregnancy where I am insane with discomfort and hormonal imbalance. Each time I sit down to post I have to stop myself from typing up a list of things I have done, or need to do. Very little of it has to do with anything remotely exciting or funny, and more of it has to do with shopping lists and cleaning and movies or TV shows I might have watched. And honestly, who cares?

So I promise to do my best and keep this blog as interesting as I can. It means the posts will probably get shorter and shorter. A couple of weeks from now I may simply be posting a word or two. Like "duh" or "Ptthhhhb" or "cheese fries."

Monday, October 29, 2007

A little more FALL

Please do not ask why Nathan is wearing the bike helmet in this picture. He wanted to, and I didn't want to fight him.

NEW YORK PEOPLE - unless you have just had a foot operation and can't get around on your own, here is something you should check out. If I weren't so completely huge with babiness, I would go to NY just to see one or two of these performances, and I am not kidding.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Explaining The Countdown

Babies are unpredictable. You never know if they'll be the kind of baby that sleeps a lot, or screams a lot, or is pretty relaxed and content, or needs to be fed every 20 minutes, or the kind that is fine when you feed it every four hours. And they usually don't let you know exactly when they are coming.

The baby countdown is just to give some idea of an estimate. Nick was 3 weeks early. Nate came a day before his due date. If the trend continues, I'll be banging on the doors of the hospital on Christmas morning begging them to get the baby out of me because it's LATE!

Anyway, since this summer I've been keeping a notebook of lists of things to do with the holidays - Thanksgiving and Christmas especially. My thinking was that I was going to be too huge and uncomfortable to do much thinking and moving around, so the more I could do ahead of time, the better. Honestly, I've thought less about the actual BABY and the actual BIRTH with this child than I have with either of my first two. Every once and awhile I remember that there is a labor process, and I will have to go through it, and also we will probably need a name for the baby and maybe we should get some diapers at some point...

So when I say "50 days left until the baby comes" here's what I really mean:

- Halloween is in three days. Try not to eat the candy for the trick or treaters. Remember to make PB&J for Nick's School Halloween Party. Find something for Nick to wear underneath that Diego costume, because apparently they found a way to make it out of sponge.

- Lillian's birthday is only a little more than a week away, so find her a present and wrap it and figure out when we're all going to celebrate.

- By the way, only 5 more doctor's visits left... assuming all goes well...

- Thanksgiving is in less than a month, so I better start moving all our junk out of the kitchen, and make sure we have enough glasses. (We do.)

- Christmas - 2 months away! - I need to finish shopping and start wrapping gifts, because the baby should get here BEFORE then, and I will be a sleepless, hormonal wreck. The day might actually slip by without my noticing. But I need to wait until the good Holiday stuff is out in the stores, which probably won't happen until after Halloween. I have always been horrified at how early they start putting stuff in stores and here I am chomping at the bit!

At least I am distracted and not just waiting for the baby to be ready to emerge.