Monday, January 30, 2012

H stands for HELL.

So Morgan ended up sick this past weekend...mostly high fever combined with extra crankiness.  I took her to EZ Care yesterday (I LOVE that place, it never takes long) and she has an ear infection.  Are these contagious?  Because if they are, I'm going to give a couple of kids in child care at our gym the stink-eye...especially the one that was listless and sitting on the lap of the lady in charge. 

Another fun fact this weekend - Michael decided to work overtime...night shifts.  He always calls to get my permission, usually something along the lines of 'it's good money and I'd really like to replace the windows in our house, they are 40 years old and in horrible condition and it would help our heating bill stay under control, but I understand if you don't want me to work, I can tell them no....'


So I've been stuck at home at night alone with a sick kid.  We all know that kids are always worse at night.  Yesterday during the day Morgan was running in circles and laughing, even though she still have a fever.  Michael gave me a look like 'sooo you said she was sick all night and you got 4 hours of sleep...' so last night I took video of her throwing a lovely fit on the couch and texted it to him.  She didn't want to be held.  She didn't want me to leave her but kept mule-kicking me if I was too close.  She didn't want her blanket but cried if it wasn't close to her.  She didn't want any clothes on.  She wanted sippy but then didn't want to drink it. 

Have you ever realized that dealing with babies is sometimes like dealing with drunks?

'are you hungry?  are you sleepy?  are you sick?  why are you crying?  what can I do?!!!  talk to me!  I can't understand you....NO DON'T FALL ASLEEP THERE!'

Yeah drunks are as fun as babies.

Anyways, for the past 2 nights Morgan has ended up in our bed, which is fine with me when I'm here alone.  I'm 99.9% sure that all evil things that lurk in the night won't come into a bedroom with 2 people asleep there; only if 1 person is there.

But then Michael comes home from working all night and tries to slip in bed...and our queen size bed should be plenty big enough for 2 & 1/2 people but trying to sleep with a toddler is insane....just check out this chart:

I really hope you can click onto that and it gets bigger for you's perfect.  Every parent can relate.  Morgan personally likes H is for Hell, with her head on Michael and her feet in my back.  And yes, we move her.  As soon as we fall back asleep, she slips back into position. 

This morning when Michael came home from work, I offered to take her to the couch so he could get some rest and he said no...but Morgan decided to catch up on her sleep today and slept until 10:30.  After 3 hours of Morgan's head in his back, Michael got a little cranky (it's not like I enjoy being kicked but since I had been asleep since midnight last night I felt that if I complained I would get the 'death stare' from's scary, I try to avoid it).  We finally got Morgan situated to where she was not jabbing her skull into Michael's back, pushing him to the edge of the bed, or kicking me in the kidneys.  Michael fell asleep enough to actually start snoring...and Morgan put her hands over her ears and cried...HAHAHAHAHA yes I laughed hysterically because I feel her pain.  Later I realized she might have been complaining that her ears were hurting because she has an ear infection, so I asked her...'Morgan do your ears hurt?  Or did daddy snore too loud?'  and she answered 'daddy LOUD!'

bravo kid, I love you.

Anyways...just after 2 doses of antibiotics her fever is already down, she doesn't feel warm enough to cook a pizza on, and she's got that rotten twinkle back in her eye.  We've got 9 more days of doses...and she hates the medication, so wish me luck.  This is only our 3rd antibiotic since she's been born...either she's got a great immune system, or I've ignored a lot of times that she needed an antibiotic...oops.  Every single time she hates the medication.  It's the delicious 'pink medicine' that my brothers and I used to sneak into the fridge and take sips of when we were younger!  But Morgan is weird and only likes grape flavored medications. 

We have all survived another round of illness...*high five*

In other news...

I snapped this shot last night after Morgan cried herself to sleep on my lap at 11:00 --

All of a sudden one of the cats popped out of the curtains onto the train table and looked at me like 'oh, hi; didn't see you there.'  and I wanted to yell 'run wooden train people!  kitty has eyes set to laser mode!'  but obviously I couldn't yell because I had a sleeping sick kid on my lap, and luckily kitty was only after a half eaten stale hotdog bun hidden in the train station.  I posted this picture on Facebook and several people commented that poor Elmo must have been the first victim, but no, don't you dare feel sorry for Elmo, because earlier that evening he was perched on the bridge catching trains and throwing them onto the floor.

After reading my blog I've had several friends and family members tell me I need to get out more...I have NO idea why they feel that way.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Friday


In Mommyland that usually doesn't mean squat.  I'm stuck with my kid every single day of the week.  And Michael works shifts, so he doesn't have the 'normal' work schedule of Monday-Friday with weekends off.  Today was his 4th day of working day shift, 7-7, and when he got home from work (and made me stop banging my head against the wall... just kidding...) I told him I hope he had some stored energy somewhere because I needed a BREAK.

Especially since he agree to work overtime on his scheduled weekend off...working Saturday and Sunday night shift (in addition to his scheduled Mon-Wed night shift...5 nights in a row...meh). 

So my TGIF turned into OMGINSW (oh my gawd I need some wine) but I'm pregnant so let's change that to OMGINSCF (oh my gawd I need some cheese fries).

But no restaurant sells cheese fries around here.  So I'm having to settle for some gummy fruit things that are made with real fruit juice and have lots of vitamin C.

A friend turned my frown upside down today with a simple text:  'have you heard of the bloggess?'

Oh.  Em.  Gee. has had me laughing until I almost cried.  Her name is Jenny Lawson and she's my new hero.  She's hilarious.  She writes how I wish I could write....but my mom reads my blog.  And people I grew up in church with.  So I keep it clean, because at the age of 33 I'm still scared to death of my mama. 

Anways, it's Friday night.  5 years ago I would have been applying a 3rd layer of mascara at my best friend Paul's apartment and counting out my quarters to see how many vodka cranberries I would be able to afford that night.  We would meet up with all of our single friends at some watering hole and have a great time griping about our lives until the bar turned on the lights and we had to make the important decision of 'french toast at Ihop or drive thru at McDonald's?' before taking a combination of Zantac and ibuprofen and falling in bed around 4am. 

Shew.  Just typing that out made me tired.

Now I'm married (to a guy I met at a bar...through a friend) and Friday night means...well, nothing.  It's just another day.  I do still get hyped up when I see all of my friends post TGIF!!!  on facebook or '1 more hour until my weekend freedom!' and then I realize DAAANG Friday is just another day in Mommyland.

oh well.

it's not that bad.

I mean yeah, Morgan has been a real stinkhole today.  Neighbors on the next street over probably heard me scream at her 'STOP HITTING ME IN THE ELBOW WITH YOUR SIPPY CUP BECAUSE IT FRIGGIN HURTS!!!!!' and now I'm pretty exhausted.  Just trying to find this website to type a blog.... I found myself typing jaimestratton....oh wait, that's my MAIDEN name I haven't used in almost 4 years.... which totally didn't work because I forget that I'm not important enough to have my own domain.  And then I started giggling over a conversation Michael and I had through texts during his last long stretch of night shifts:

Michael:  is she still awake?

Me:  she got really cranky and then she finally passed on.

Michael:  passed on?!!!

Me:  oh crap, I mean passed out.  I've been watching Ghost Whisperer on DVR.

And I thought that was funny enough to post on Facebook but totally screwed it up by typing Gosh Whisperer which my friends still make fun of me for (just because I call them out on every little grammatical error and typo they make means I'm a huge target)

And Michael just informed me that Grimm is NOT on tonight for who knows what reason (probably some stupid basketball game) and I'm ready to punch a baby whale. cheese fries OR Grimm?!

Maybe I can at least get out of bath time...Michael made me a deal last week - if I started keeping the fire going in our basement dungeon, he would do bath time 3 times a week.  I think he was 99.9% sure that my extreme fear of fire would guarantee his 9:00 freedom every night (that's the bathing hour).  But seriously, sometimes I am shocked that he forgets how stubborn I am.  I found a solution:  when the fire completely dies down, I put on those fire glove thingies (along with a complete fireman suit and helmet...and boots), hold my breath as I open the door...and when no fire demons jump out at me I poke around with that long metal thingy to 'stir up the coals' (as I was instructed to do) and then jam about 5 logs in (along with several newspapers....because we have a huge stack and I want to get rid of them) and once I shut the door, there are flames!!!  I get as excited as a Neanderthal each time I make a little fire, but it doesn't last very long because I refuse to put wood on the fire while it's still burning; I mean seriously, isn't that as brilliant as covering yourself with raw meat and jumping into shark infested waters?  But once the fire goes out I start my little process all over again...but today I chose a huge log to shove in, and it never caught on fire.  When Michael came home I pointed to it and said "I tried.  I failed."  To which he answered "I see that..." and after about 10 seconds he had a roaring fire.

Show off.

He just walked by me, telling me that Morgan was snuggled down in her toddler recliner with her blankie watching cartoons so I reminded him 'umm it's almost bath time...and I've been keeping the fire going all week...remember our deal?'

He nodded and slowly said 'yeahhh...'

and I pointed to my laptop and said 'and I'm blogging about it to the world...'


Happy Friday!!! 

Somebody somewhere please drink something for, beer, moonshine, gasoline....whatever.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

a day in the life...

Mommyland is never ever boring.  There's always some drama going on.  I don't have to watch Jersey Shore or Real Housewives of whatever city.  I just have to wake up and live my own life.

Some days are exceptional.

Yesterday for example...

Morgan woke up around 9ish...she slept all night without waking up!  That's always a good start to any day right?  Every morning Morgan makes noises to let me know she's awake.  I get up and make my bed listening to her sing from her room (her singing is horrid by the way, think Cinderella's stepsisters).  We recently converted her bed from a crib to a daybed, but she only gets out of bed on her own at 3am and runs down the hallway in confusion.  When she normally wakes up, she's lazy and waits for somebody to go get her.  Yesterday I flipped her big light on and said 'come on stinky!' because that's what every parent affectionately calls their child right?  She grabs all of her blankies holding them up (I've got her convinced the floor is too dirty for blankies so she holds them over her head) and runs towards the living room.  This is our usual morning routine.  She climbs up on the couch, I change her diaper, and she drinks a sippy while watching Octonauts and I get about and hour of social life through Facebook while eating cookies and taking my diabetic meds.  Well yesterday our morning routine came to an abrupt halt when Morgan stopped in her tracks and starting yelling 'ewwww poooooopie!'  So I made sure to grab my glasses and investigate.  Sure enough, one of our evil cats had thrown up on the carpet (I mean come ON, the kitchen isn't THAT far away, and it would be so much easier to clean the kitchen floor).  I immediately sent my husband an angry text.  He was at work.  These are HIS cats from his bachelor days (one of them is named Shiner, after Shiner Bock, a beer) so of course everything they do is HIS fault.  Just what every pregnant woman wants to do first thing in the morning, clean up cat vomit.  And it was wet.  And had a couple of hair balls in it.  I grabbed the paper towels and carpet cleaner and dry heaved with tears rolling down my cheeks while cleaning up that mess. 

That pretty much sealed the deal that I would be sick for a while.  I spent some time on the couch recovering, watching Ghost Whisperer on DVR while Morgan destroyed her room (she takes a daily 'toy inventory' that requires all toys be pulled from closet, baskets, and toy box onto her floor).

At one point she came running to me, hysterical, holding her neck and rambling about something I couldn't understand.  Morganish is so hard to translate.  She grabbed my hand and pulled me off the couch over to the stairs and kept saying 'my necklace!  down there!'  Ugh, seriously kid, stop throwing stuff down the basement stairs!  Sometimes it disappears forever!  There is a black hole that opens periodically swallowing Little People and we are stuck dealing with the grief of that loss. 

I turned on the light and walked down the stairs, looking for a necklace.  I couldn't find anything.  Fabulous.  Morgan has my memory, she forgets nothing; unlike her father, who forgets everything.  I rounded the bottom of the stairs, still looking, and then noticed one of the cats strutting towards me, away from the 'prison bathroom' (as I have named the basement bathroom where their litter boxes are housed), wearing a hot pink heart necklace.  This cat (Calvin, or as Morgan calls him, 'Happy Kitty,' as opposed to 'Mean Kitty' - Shiner, who scratches her) is usually the one that barfs all over the house, and constantly has a wet nose.  My windows have little nose prints all over them...with a little snail trail of snot under each print.  I tolerate this cat because Morgan rides him like a pony, puts bows and bracelets (and necklaces) on him and he doesn't care, screams at him when she's in a bad mood, pulls his tail and his ears, hugs him so tight that his eyes bulge a bit.  He has never raised a paw to her.  Well apparently she pimped him out and he had to go potty...while wearing his bling.  She was very upset about him running to the basement with her necklace without her permission.

Necklace removed from kitty, returned to kid, drama resolved.


Later that day, in the evening near the time when my husband gets off work, Morgan and I went to the basement to hang out.  We've been trying to clean the basement up a bit to make it a usable space in our home.  It's a nice size.  We have a huge TV down there, along with a broken down couch and recliner (all from Michael's bachelor days).  The wood burning fireplace is also down there, and everything gets covered in a layer of ash as well as the floor getting covered in wood chips.  And there's usually a dried pile of cat barf waiting for Michael to clean up (there's one there today actually...)

We have high hopes of remodeling the basement....after redoing the upstairs bathroom where the plaster wall is crumbling behind the tiles, after replacing the windows that are over 40 years old, after replacing the deck that is moldy and disgusting....yeah the basement is low on the 'to do' list. 

For now we just wear shoes to protect our feet from the nasty thin carpet that is stretched over the cement floor.  Morgan has an easel and other art supplies down there, as well as her tricycle she got for Christmas...

the tricycle.

The next incident of the day involved her new tricycle.  It's a gorgeous little bike, it's actually called a "Morgan" and it is all metal, weighing about 30 pounds.  She pedals around the basement and plays with the light on it.  Yesterday I installed her Barbie horn, because obviously she doesn't have enough noisy toys.  I took a video of her honking her horn so I could send it to Michael at work....and I was able to capture this...

I laughed and laughed....I texted Michael and he immediately texted back 'is she okay?!' 

oh yeah, she just fell hard on her back on a cement floor...oops. 

Her eyes were so round, she was shocked that she fell, but I think my hysterical laughter kept her from crying.  She did require a hug and a little reassurance before returning to the bike.

I then texted the video to my parents, to my brothers, to my sister in laws, to all of my friends, and posted it on Facebook.  I watched it about 800 times and laughed harder each time.  Last night as I was trying to go to sleep I had to smother a giggle because I kept picturing those little princess house slippers flying up in the air.

yep, I'm an awesome mom.

the things we do for our kids

Last this morning, Morgan woke up around 5, slightly whining.  I knew watching The Mummy last night was a bad idea while she was trying to fall asleep on the couch; she kept covering her eyes saying 'oh no!'  I dragged myself out of my warm bed to go pat her on the back and tell her it's sleepytime.  She just stared at me and stretched, and I worried she was awake for the day (after 6 hours of sleep...what a fun day it would be).  Then she asked for 'seee-pee' which mean 'sippy' - her morning drink of Gerber or Pediasure 'sippers' (I highly recommend these!).  But they are expensive, so we limit them to mornings only.  At bedtime, and whenever she wakes up during the night asked for sippy, we fill a sippy cup with half milk and half vanilla almond milk.  Fools her enough to drink it. 

So I stumble into the kitchen, one eye open, no glasses on, and pour the 'fake sippy' cocktail and take it back to her room.  While she slurps away, I make myself a little nest on her hardwood floor.

I'm 4 months pregnant, stretched out on a rug on a hardwood floor.  That's when it hit me; the things we do for our kids. 

Next thing I know, there's a chubby little foot coming over the side of the crib daybed.  Morgan wants to snuggle next to me. 

Some of you might be wondering...where is Michael?  My poor husband has to get up at 5:45 to work 7-7 day shifts this week.  His crazy work schedule means I'm on 'baby duty' pretty much nonstop, because I don't have a job (or, I don't have a PAYING job that is).  I heard Michael get up and get dressed and was surprised that 45 minutes had already gone by.  He came into Morgan's room and saw us on the floor and shook his head.  Morgan saw him and said 'yippee!', grabbed her blankie and ran for our bedroom.  That little stinker was just waiting for an invitation to our bed.  I followed her, and noticed it was 5:20!  Michael got up 1/2 hour early because he couldn't go back to sleep listening to me trying to get Morgan back to sleep, and knowing that I wasn't bringing her to our bed for his sake (so he could sleep). 

once again...the things we do for our kids.

You end up doing things that you never ever would have thought you'd have the patience or the stomach for...

-using your hand to wipe that snot that is dangling from their nose (then you wipe it on your pants), or better yet, picking that booger before your kid decides to make a snack out of it.

-staying up all night holding a 'barf bowl' under your kid's face, and then cleaning up every time there is a 'miss.'  one night Morgan threw up about 12 times.  she started in her bed and hit every room on the way to the living room.  Michael had to be at work at 7am and he was up all night doing vomit laundry (woo hoo for the 'sanitize' setting on our new front load washer!) and cleaning up vomit messes (he was in a fraternity...he can handle it) while I kept giving Morgan one bath after another (and sometimes I had to join her in the bath, washing off whatever hit me).  I have to admit, my husband is amazing when the kid is sick.  He might not be the most helpful guy on a 'normal' day (he suddenly becomes deaf if I ask him to please do bath time because I need a break) but he is superdad when Morgan is sick.

-getting up all hours of the night.  I LOVE SLEEP!!  I hate having to get up.  But once you're a parent (especially for mommies) you become the lightest sleeper and you can hear everything.  If Morgan just coughs, I wake up and turn into my X-men character with super sensitive hearing, reading to jump out of bed and sprint across the hall if needed.  Morgan wakes up during the night way more than she should.  But I have always gotten up with her to reassure her that somebody will be there when she needs them.  I don't understand the whole 'let them cry it out' scenario because babies don't understand what you're doing; all they know is that they have been abandoned.  At least holler at them from your bed...'honey it's okay, mommy is here, she's just too sleepy to get up and come comfort you...go back to sleep...'

and right now, I have the cutest little almost-3-year-old face peering up at me saying 'pwease mommy, mouse computer game?  pweeeeasssse??'  so I will end this post and go play with my kid.

....the things we do for our kids...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

being a girl mom

In the past, I've heard mommy friends describe themselves as either a 'girl mom' or a 'boy mom' and I didn't really get it until recently.  One of my friends just found out she's having her third son.  I was a little sad for her, because I think all moms need the experience of having a girl, but she's thrilled because she claims she's 'totally a boy mom.' 

When I was pregnant with Morgan, I couldn't wait to find out what I was having.  I wanted a boy so bad!  Boys just seemed easier...less money on clothes, less drama (HA not really in MY family...), just easier all around.  Plus I think many of us still subconsciously go through that medieval panic of producing the male heir of the family.  When I found out I was having a girl, I was disappointed.  And then I felt guilty for feeling disappointed.  My husband didn't care at all; he was happily sending his friends 'it's a girl!' texts. 

I vowed to keep everything neutral.  I'm not much of a girly girl to begin with.  My favorite colors are blue and green.  My closet is a sea of black and brown and gray.  High heels hurt, therefore why wear them?  Daily makeup includes mascara and chapstick.  I like to hike and ski; I used to whitewater kayak and still go whitewater rafting.  I grew up with 2 brothers in the country.  We played outside with mud up to our chins. 

After my daughter was born, we dressed her in dinosaur sleepers.  "Oh how cute, what's his name?"  My husband got really upset that people confused our baby girl for a boy.  She didn't really have hair until she was 2, so that didn't help the situation, and it took me a long time to learn how to dress a girl. 

My mom did not dress me in frilly cute dresses when I was young (and I always wanted them!!)  She always picked sensible comfortable clothing.  However; with her first granddaugther, she's going nuts, finding some of the cutest little outfits for her to wear!  And hairbows!  And shoes!  And Morgan LOVES her fancy clothes, and her hairbows, and her shoes.  She's 2 and she already begs for mascara.  I just know she's going to be sneaking makeup to preschool to put on in the bathroom.

Having a girl isn't just about all the cute clothes and also means just about everything she owns is pink and probably glittery.  I painted her bedroom 'aloe vera' which is a very light bright green, because I knew that she would have enough pink accents once all of her toys took over.  I avoided it for as long as I could, but Morgan eventually became obsessed with the Disney princesses.  My husband and I encourage some 'boy toys'...she got an awesome train table for Christmas, but sometimes Disney princesses invade the tracks (Cinderellazilla?)  She also has a tool bench with lots of tools...but she's currently using the pliers to 'snip snip cut mommies hair' as I type this. 

She loves all that glitters and sparkles...'oooOOOOoooo sparklies!'
At one point I realized that having a girl means everything will always be covered in a layer of glitter.  Where does all this glitter come from?  Princess dresses...glittery coloring pages...who knows, sometimes I think it just comes out of her ears.  Glitter is in my car, on my couch, in my fridge.  It's not very cooperative and is as stubborn as that single Cheerio that refuses to be vacuumed.  Sometimes one of the cats will come into the room stretching after a long nap and he will be covered in glitter...or I'll be listening to my husband trying to tell me something but I can't take him seriously because he somehow has glitter on his forehead. 

Having a girl means dealing with constant drama and moods.  Morgan will sometimes wake up mad at the world (seriously, what does a 2 year old have to be mad about after 10 hours of sleep?) and I know to keep the cats out of her path for a few hours.  Or she will wake up giddy AFTER first waking up grouchy.  The other morning she woke up at 6 - hateful, cranky, mean.  We finally got her back to sleep (in our bed) and a few hours later she woke up laughing, rolled over and slapped my husband in the back, then rolled over to poke me in the eye.  I couldn't figure out which one I was...Larry, Moe, or Curly, but was happy she was in a good mood! 

Everything is a battle.  Each night I fight to get in her the bathtub.  Then I fight to get her out of the bathtub.  Sometimes when we fix her one of the five food items she will eat, she will scream 'EWWWW!' and run away, but if we leave it on her little table, she will eventually come back and eat it.  She has feelings and they get hurt.  If she asks you to color with her, you better color, or she's going to cry for half hour like her heart is breaking.  When she gets in trouble (which is often), she hates being yelled at - so much that we usually have to repeat ourselves about 5 times before she stops what she's doing, and then she cries those huge tears and runs to her room where she dives face down in her bed to cry until she eventually comes back looking for a lap (usually mommy's) for comfort. 

Yes, she drains us.  Emotionally and physically.

But we love her.  She's the funniest little kid, very creative, very rotten.  She's already learned that begging alone won't necessarily earn what you want, but if you add the cute little voice, tilt your head with your hands under your cheek, and bat your eyes...ding ding ding, we have a winner!!  Melts hearts!  And she's learned (especially with mommy...yeah, I'm a sucker...) that sometimes if you get yelled at, if you give mommy's head a big hug and give her lots of kisses, it helps her to forget very fast that you were digging your plastic screwdriver into her brand new coffee table. 

I've been told that my kid is spoiled.  I don't think so.  We do have rules.  I control what she eat, what she watches on TV, what she plays with, how she acts.  She's actually very well behaved compared to a lot of children we see her age during our outings.  She never runs away from us.  She never fights us about being in a stroller or in a shopping cart.  She never screams or throws a huge fit in public (she does get fussy sometimes, but she's 2!)  She waves and says hi to absolutely everybody and says 'awww pretty baby!' to all children ages 5 and under.  She always holds our hand and doesn't struggle.  We don't believe in spanking or smacking hands unless it's an extreme situation where she's done something really bad and she KNOWS she's done something bad.  I'm not saying that I don't believe in spanking at all, but I think babies and toddlers are too young to understand the punishment.  We noticed that the more we spanked her, the more violent she become towards us, the cats, and other children.  We were teaching her that hitting was okay if you thought somebody was doing something wrong, so if a child steals a toy, then hit that kid and get it back!  Some children respond better to spanking, but it didn't work for ours.  Honestly, I think some of these little brats NEED a good swat to the rear (or maybe their parents need it instead...)

Now I'm 16 weeks pregnant and everybody keeps saying 'oh I hope you have a boy this time!' but I'm not sure if I want one or not!  I'm so used to having a girl, I won't know what to do with a boy.  Boys seem so gross...and rough.  I don't mind getting dirty as long as I can wash all the dirt off afterwards.  Morgan has been awesome...she doesn't like getting her hands dirty, not even with food.  For her first birthday she snarled at her cake until I shoved her hands into it and then she cried and hated me.  Those are some great pictures.  She is a very clean eater.  If something falls off her plate she goes crazy and says 'ewww messy!' until it's cleaned up, and then she can continue eating.  She doesn't like bugs or creepy crawly things...and neither do I!  We both run from frogs and worms and yell for daddy if there's a spider.  If I have a boy I can't deal with him bringing frogs in the house or putting worms in his pocket.  Or having a muddy face and peanut butter hands. 

Plus I have tons of girls clothing in storage...and all these pink glittery girl toys.  It would just make sense to have another girl.

I've been way more nauseated during this pregnancy.  The heart rate has been around 150 every time.  It's probably a stinky ol' boy.  Morgan's heart rate was always over 170.  Girls are more high strung, even before they are born.

Right now Morgan is wearing a purple tutu, Cinderella shoes, broken tiara, and safety goggles from her tool set and she's begging to color...with glitter crayons of course. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

a few of my favorite things...mommy edition.

"These are a few of my favorite things..."

--a song from one of my favorite childhood movies, The Sound of Music.  this was also a favorite movie to torture my former high school German students with (it worked into my lesson plans...and I got a ton of stuff graded during movie days...score!)

in Mommyland,  these are a few of my favorite things...

Aquaphor - I bathe in this stuff daily.  I constantly wash my hands, I have no dishwasher other than myself (my husband's favorite joke 'I've got a great dishwasher!  my wife!'), and giving the toddler a bath every night, my hands are disgustingly dry.  Aquaphor is amazing.  And whenever Morgan has something funky going on with her skin, I slather on some Aquaphor and it always does the trick.  We both have uber sensitive skin, so we can't use very many products.  This one rocks.

DVR - stands video recording, right?  well, it's my BFF.  I can record Morgan's favorite shows (ones that are mommy approved...Little Einsteins *thumbs up*, Spongebob *thumbs down*).  She is currently watching Octonauts while I type this.  DVR also allows for my husband and I to record all of our favorite shows to watch at our convenience, instead of trying to plan around his work schedule or around bath time.  Speaking of's Friday.  Fridays are Grim, Fringe, and Sanctuary.  Oh and Gold Rush (that's my husband's choice...not mine...kind of like Glee and New Girl on Tuesdays...those are my shows...not his). 

Red Bull - a.k.a. 'crack in a can' or 'sweet nectar of life.'  I even wrote to the company expressing my love of this product; they sent me 4 cans...score!!!  That saved us $8!  At $2 for the smallest can, it's definitely a splurge.  But honestly, how much do some people spend on coffee per day?  Red Bull keeps me going.  It gives me the energy I need to keep up with my own life.  I drink every last drop...seriously, I shake the can into my mouth for that last drop and then lick the top.

Eminence organic skincare - last year for my birthday, my husband surprised me with an amazing spa package at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling.  What an amazing day!  I LOVE the spa.  They used Eminence products and I fell in love.  Obviously these products are expensive, as is everything that makes you feel spoiled, but I find them on eBay for what I have convinced myself is a decent price, and every time I take a shower I feel a little pampered.  So worth the price. 

iPhone - my husband bought me an iPhone for my 30th birthday, before Morgan was born.  At first I felt like I was trying to figure out some sort of remote control to a space station.  I never thought I would get the hang of it.  By the time Morgan was born a few months later, my phone was constantly attached to me.  I might as well have it sewn to my hand.  During 3am feedings, I could check Facebook, check my email, search the internet for 'can I give my infant Benadryl for sleep.'  3 years later I have a new iPhone...this one has video...weee!!  I can post vidoes of the crazy things my kid does for everybody on Facebook to enjoy...because that's what everybody on Facebook looks forward to right?  Videos of a 3 year old screaming at a cat? 

 Philippa Gregory - if you love historical fiction and are obsessed with everything English like me, you will love her books.  Most of her books are about the Tudors (you know, Henry the 8th and his women...).  The first one I read was The Queen's Fool, and I was hooked.  I used to love to read; I was the kid that went to the library and checked out 7 books and read them in one week.  In college, I lost interest in reading for fun because I had so much other stuff to read for my classes.  Thanks to the Harry Potter series, Philippa Gregory books, and Sophie Kinsella books, I rediscovered my love for reading, especially these books.  I reread them often.  I read a little almost every night before I go to sleep; it's pretty much my only 'me time.' 

Restaurant Gift Cards - we rarely go out to eat.  It's hard to rationalize spending that much money on one meal.  However; when we have a gift card, game on!  And by the way, my kid is awesome at restaurants (not to brag or anything...) she screams 'quiet!' at all the rude children that are being loud and she covers her mouth when she burps. 

Yoga pants/leggings - these are basically part of the mommy uniform for all mothers.  Yoga pants with an oversized tie-dye shirt equals all day comfort while chasing a toddler around the house begging her to sit on the potty.  Leggings paired with an XXXXL sweatshirt and boots, you got yourself a 'running errands' outfit that is comfortable!!  Unlike jeans, your butt crack will stay covered while you're wrestling your child into the car seat.

Toms - I love these shoes!!!  Although most of them look like the shoes that grannies buy at the dollar store, they are uber comfortable, and for every pair you buy, they send a pair of shoes to a kid in a 3rd world country!  They aren't cheap though, and they aren't super durable.  But they are fantastic to slip on  with yoru leggings and sweatshirt to go on a Red Bull run.  I own the burlap ones (they are starting to come apart a bit in the back...makes me sad...I'm still waiting to hear back from Toms...I contacted them over a month ago...) and a pair of the basic black ones.  I would love a pair of the sequins and a pair of wedges. 

Bird Feeder - this officially makes us 90 years old, but my husband and I purchased a bird feeder this winter and we've had a blast not only watching the birds and trying to identify them (is that a Titmouse?  *snicker* -okay we went from being 90 to being 9...) but watching our cats watch the birds has been a riot.  The birds are cleaning it out every 3 days, so it's been a bit of an expensive hobby.  I wonder if we can claim them on our taxes...

Cosmo & Redbook - through the Coke points that my husband earns (heck yeah we cash those in!  and Huggies and Disney rewards!) I get these magazines in the mail.  They keep me updated on celebrity gossip and what styles are in season.  You know, the important stuff going on in the world. 

Facebook - it's my social life most of the time.  It's a great way to keep in touch with old and new friends, family members, and spy on my enemies (hahaha I don't have any enemies...)  Sometimes it annoys me; like seriously, a status update in January that proclaims 'it's snowing!' --NO WAY!!  it's snowing?  in JANUARY?!!  or during some big game, the constant play by plays, or the status that says 'oh my gosh, I'm so depressed' and I get really upset and send the person a message asking if they are okay and they laugh at me and answer 'I was just depressed about the quarterback messing up...'  well fine, see if I ever check on YOU again...  but other than that, it's been a great way to keep in touch with friends.  One of my friends just moved to Nepal.  Another lives in NYC.  Yet another just moved to Florida.  I have friends that live in several cool places plus all of my dear friends that live 'back home' that I don't get to see very often; not only do I get to keep in touch with them, but I get to read about the updates in their life plus see whatever pictures they post of their adventures. 

That's all that popped into my mind for this round...stay tuned for whatever favorite things I've forgotten, plus the 'favorite things baby edition'

Thursday, January 19, 2012

blog warning

This blog is a means for this stay-at-home-mama to share funny little challenges.  Yes, gross things will be discussed, because mommyland is not glam.  It's not that only parents will 'get it'....even some parents don't like to talk about the gross stuff, or read about it. 

Welp, don't read my blog.

I'm giving you fair warning. 

This is who I am, this is my personality. 

If I catch you making fun of my blog, I will rub your face in a dirty diaper. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

the poopie truth about parenting...

There's one thing that every single parent learns to deal with really's a conversation taboo until you're a's something disgusting that becomes part of your everyday ordinary life....


When your baby is born, you (normally) fall in love with that little human that made your life miserable for 9 months (seriously, no red bull or vodka or ski trips for almost a year?!) It's just so tiny and cuddly and helpless!  You want to snuggle and hold it (or lay it on the Boppy and pat it's head like a dog...hey, I wasn't used to newborns okay?)

And then they start to poop.  And I mean a LOT.  Michael and I kept a chart called 'Morgan's food in/out chart' to help us remember when her feedings and poopings were taking place.  You might laugh, but when you're a new parent and you're going on about 2 hours of sleep in the past 5 days, your memory starts to sort of turn into a couple of stoners...  'did I just eat these cheese puffs?  why am I holding an empty bag?'  'dude you totally ate them all!'  (followed by giddy laughter).

The 'food in/out' chart basically taught us that for every ounce you put in a baby, about 1/2 ounce comes back out.  It's amazing how many diapers you go through with a newborn.  Now I can slap a pull-up on my almost-3-year-old and she can wear it for half a day until it starts to sag so low I see baby buttcrack and know it's time for a dry one. 

If you were ever squeamish about poop, you get over it.  You have no choice.  You WILL get pooped on.  Everything you own has a chance of getting pooped on.  It's something that no new parent is really prepared for; you assume that diaper is going to hold it all in; you have no idea what that cute little wrinkled booty is capable of.  Here are the following situations that will, not *if*, but *will* happen to you as a parent:

The Poop Shoot - just because the diaper is full doesn't mean the kid is finished.  Sometimes when you unfold that nasty diaper and air hits that baby booty, it's like a hidden button gets pushed to alert the child 'GO GO GO NOW!' and that cute little bottom turns into a Play-Doh dispenser.  You learn to shield yourself until it's over, and then you assess and cleanup the damage.  Lesson:  never change a diaper on anything that can't be wiped down with a Lysol wipe.

The Mud Tub - every child does this at least once; they get into a warm bath, it feels so good and relaxing and then OOPS!  All of a sudden there are brown submarines floating around...or worse, a tub filled with brown water.  Morgan loved her baby tub so much that she literally pooped in it about 4 times a week for months before we had ENOUGH and decided it was time to put the little tub away and just use the big tub.  Not only do you have to clean the dirty tub, but you have to give your dirty poo water soaked baby another bath.  And make sure to take pictures to send to your friends without kids to make them dry heave.

The Blowout - Every parent's worst nightmare...because it can happen anywhere.  The Blowout happens when an amazing amount of excrement exits your tiny child and the diaper capacity is pushed beyond the normal limit.  This is usually a surprise for parents when they change a diaper and find that the clothing is sticking to their child by means of a nice brown paste.  This can happen in highchairs at a restaurant, in the carseat on a road trip, during the night while your child sleeps.  We were actually lucky in this area and only had a few incidents.  Lesson:  take a change of clothing for your child AND you to keep in the car...just in case.

Parents will quickly learn that better diapers are actually worth the money, and every child is shaped differently.  Morgan has quite the booty on her, so we have had to use diapers that will cover all that junk in her trunk. 

Parents also find that poop often comes up in simple conversation.  It doesn't matter who you are; you might think you're the most proper lady in the south, but when you have a child, you're going to end up talking about poop in one form or another, even if it's something as simple as 'I'm working on potty training'...and yes, that's a polite way of saying 'I'm teaching my kid to poop like a grownup.'

Potting training...ugh.

My almost-3-year-old has not been the most cooperative with the whole potty training thing.  I have several friends with little ones around Morgan's age, and we talk about potty training.  A lot.  One friend had her daughter potty trained by 15 months, and that's amazing.  That's like getting into med school when you're 13.  It seems the norm is to be potty trained by 2.  Before Morgan turned 2, my mom and I went shopping for a potty.  We found one at Toys-R-Us and it sat collecting dust in my bathroom for a while.  I would sit Morgan on it and she would end up wearing it on her head like a hat.  Her delayed speech issue has hendered the whole potty issue.  This past summer, her speech started coming together a little more and I kept explaining what the little potty was for and finally one day, she peed!!!  I texted everybody about mom, my sister-in-laws, my friends, the president.  I was thrilled!  It was the first step!!

yeah right.

The potty sat in the bathroom for a few more months collecting dust.  I would try to put her on it and she would take off running, either laughing or crying.  According to Freud, parents can do some serious damage during the whole potty training age, so I try not to make a big deal out of it.  All of my mommy friends with perfectly potty trained toddlers would assure me that Morgan would go 'when she's ready.'  For me, it's not a battle I want to fight.  Honestly, diapers are pretty easy, especially in public, and on road trips.  I personally hate public toilets, I can't imagine trying to help my toddler hover-pee and then pretend somebody else made the huge mess on the seat.  But as she approaches her 3rd birthday (and as I approach my due date) I feel the need to have a housebroken...I mean, potty trained child.  This summer I can't imagine buying size newborn AND size 5 diapers.

So I'm trying little tricks... I bought her a princess potty seat.  She was all excited about it at first, but then, like a typical woman, she got over it and moved on.  I started a 'sticker chart' on the fridge; every time she uses the potty, she gets a stinker to add to the chart.  It worked for a day.  I threatened to spank her booty if she didn't start to use the potty, so she shook her behind at me like 'this booty?  yeah right!'  My most recent attempt has been to move the potty into the kitchen where she has easy access and let her run around nakey for a little while each day.  This works!!  I've had several mommy friends tell me to put underwear on her because 'she will HATE being wet!' but that totally didn't work.  She peed in my floor and laughed about it like 'look mommy!  this stupid diaper didn't even work!' so then I was stuck cleaning my carpet and washing out a pair of soaked Tinkerbell undies.  So I thought to myself...what if she's nakey!  She LOVES being nakey to being with, and my husband had a firm talk with her the first night that went something like this:  'Morgan, you are nakey.  You do NOT have a diaper on.  If you pee pee, it's going to make a big mess and we will be very mad.'  Morgan looked back at him and said 'Mess?'  And he replied 'Yes, a mess,  and I will spank your booty, do you understand?'  and Morgan looked up at him with her big blue eyes and said 'okay daddy.'  and it worked!  That night we caught her running to the potty in the kitchen and using it!  Every evening for a week now, we've had 'nakey time' and she's been using the potty.  Now don't get me wrong, it's totally disusting to have a naked baby running around, sitting on the furniture, rolling around in the floor, but we are hoping that Morgan learns to start using the potty without having to be nakey....very soon.  Today she actually came running to me screaming 'pee pee!  pee pee!'  and was trying to take her clothes off, so I jumped to attention (you honestly have a 2 second time frame before they pee) and stripped the kid down and she used her potty!!  I was so excited that I went ahead and put underwear on her, explaining that Cinderella would be very sad to be peed or pooped on.  Cinderella totally got pooped on, but oh well.  I've come to the conclusion that maybe it's not such a terrible thing for her to be in diapers for the next 15 years...totally blows her chances of bringing some boy home with her.  Nobody wants to date a 16 year old poopie pants.

I refuse to be one of those parents that posts all over Facebook 'Little Henry pooped in the potty today!!!  I am such a proud mama!!!'  I can relate to the excitement of the parent.  Potty training is tough!  But honestly, not everybody on Facebook wants to know about your child's bowel functions.  It's just as exciting as reading 'ugh, everybody in my family is sick.  my kids barfed up lasagna all night long.'  --- seriously!?  I usually get stuck reading these status updates during my breakfast.  Nothing helps you digest oatmeal better than a barf story.

Honestly people...blogging about all this gross stuff is SO MUCH BETTER!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

when baby ain't happy ain't nobody happy....

My husband loves to joke 'when mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.'  Which can be true.  I can make his life miserable *if* I wanted to.  But I don't...often.  Only when I'm tired, hungry, have a headache, cold, hot, feeling fat, sick, or need out of the house.  That's all.

But honestly, the driving force behind most of my crankiness is a 34 pound variable. 

For example....last night.

Morgan and I have been home since Wednesday.  It's currently Sunday.  THAT stinks.  But Michael has been working night shifts, he leaves at 6pm and gets home at close to 8am and sleeps until 1 or 2.  That means I'm Morgan's only slave 24 hours a day, with very little help.  Have I mentioned I'm pregnant and have the energy of a slug?  Yeah.  And it's been really cold here; this morning when Michael climbed in bed (next to Morgan) he told me it was 6 degrees!!  I don't have the energy to get myself AND Morgan bundled up to go somewhere without help.  I know that sounds really pathetic, and it is.  I'm suddenly 70 years old and need my husband to drive me everywhere. 

But I always try to look at the bright side of life.  Although Morgan and I are getting cabin fever, sick of being stuck in the house day after day staring at each other, I thought to myself 'well at least she's not getting exposed to all of the germs going around out there' ...there are some raging colds and a nasty flu going around! 

HAHAHAHA fate slapped ME in the face.

Morgan was extra fussy at bedtime last night.  It was close to 11:00 and she was still awake, rolling around on the couch, kicking at her blankie.  I turned on Miss America and we watched the last 15 minutes.  We caught the end of the talent section and Morgan put her hands over her ears and said 'hurt my ears!!!' and I had to agree.  Watching Toddlers in Tiaras is way more fun to watch because they don't sing and they drink red bull and pull off their wigs and scream at their crazy moms. 

Morgan finally fell asleep, half on my lap, half on the couch, and I thought she felt a little warm, but I've been extra cold recently so I dismissed it.  I dumped her in her bed and climbed in my own for a little rereading of one of my favorite historical fiction novels about British history, because that's what every cool person does on Saturday night.  I was asleep by midnight.  By 2am I woke up to the sound of Morgan fussing, so I went to investigate.  She wasn't even awake.  Nothing irritates me more than when she fusses in her sleep, and yes it does happen.  I didn't dare wake her up, because then she would want in bed with me.  I noticed she was having a hard time breathing through her nose and assumed that's why she was being crankypants in her sleep.  This continued for over an going back to bed, her fussing again, me going to check on her, rub her back, she quiets down, I go back to bed... then around 3:30 I hear her get up and see her walking down the hall with an armload of blankies.  When I'm home alone at night when Michael works, I leave a light on in the living room, because that will scare away any aliens / ghosts / humans that don't belong in my home.  I called for her to come to my room and she ran in and threw her blankies up on my bed and held up her arms like 'mommmyyyy pleeeease let me up!'  So then she needed milk.  And a clean diaper.  And then she kicked like a mule and flailed her arms around because she was not feeling good and was cranky.  We fell asleep sometime after 4.  At 7 she started fussing in her sleep again.  Michael came home at 7:30 and tried to climb in bed next to her and she slapped at him and cried.  We decided she needed drugs. so he was able to get some ibuprofen into her.  After about 10 minutes she stopped crying and started saying crazy things like 'the's so tall!' and I realized she wasn't going to go back to sleep.  So I dragged my tired body out of bed and took her to the living room, put on Octonauts for Morgan to fall into a cartoon coma while I dozed a bit on the couch hearing bits of pieces of things like 'I'm Bob the Blobfish...' and 'you've got a strong grip for a little crab!'

Now it's almost noon.  Morgan has been running around playing like nothing is wrong; like she had the best sleep ever last night.  She can't breathe through her nose and she has a mild fever.  Serioiusly WHERE did it come from?  Do germs just creep into your home during the night and attack you in your sleep?  My night light is failing me at keeping away all things that go bump in the night...errr...and all things that attack sinuses in the night.

So now I'm typing this, sharing this experience.  My eyes are swollen, I'm sore all over from sleeping in awkward positions with a toddler in my bed and then on the couch, my hair looks like a moose licked one side of it, and my socks don't match.  Yes, I'm cranky.  I'm going to be in a bad mood today.  I'm tired AND I'm hungry AND I haven't left this house in like 4 days. 

oh no....and now I'm sneezing.

mama bear ain't happy.

but hey, look at the bright side...uhhh....

just kidding...I know life can ALWAYS been much much worse.  I am grateful for all of the positives in my life, but I am allowed to be grouchy and a bad mood every so often.  That's my rule.

Friday, January 13, 2012

allow me to introduce you to Morgan...

My kid is in she's hilarious, she's emotional, she's dramatic, she's stubborn.  and NO I am not describing myself thank you very much!  She has blond hair (that took forever to grow in), blue eyes, and a booty that she shakes all over the place.  She has a horrible temper.  She can smell weakness in other babies and will steal their toys; if they are not weak, she will grab them by the shirt and shake them like a dog...and then they become BFF's.  She puts her hands on her hips and stomps her feet.  She shakes her finger at your and says 'nuuhhh uhh uhhh!'  She performs the 'donkey dance' when she doesn't get her way.  She sounds like Cinderella's step-sisters when she sings.  If you offer her something to eat that she doesn't like, instead of saying 'no thanks' she runs away saying BLEEEEHHHH!!  She uses 'no thanks' when you tell her it's bath time.  She blames our 2 black kitties for every scratch and bruise she has....'Morgan how did you get that boo boo?'  Morgan: 'kitty cat...mean kitty bite me.'  therefore she has already learned how to lie.  She loves giving me head hugs where she wraps her arms around my head and squeezes my glasses off.  When I yell at her she says 'shhhhh!!!' or says 'awwww' and gives me a hug and a kiss.  She has SO much energy; from the moment her feet hit the ground she is go go go all day long until her late bedtime (no naps) - she wears everybody out.


She's also very funny, she's smart, she does have a sweet side.  She never hurts anybody (on purpose...)  She never breaks her toys or anyone elses.  If we tell her to stop doing something, she asks 'why?' but when we explain, she gets it, and she stops.  She loves animals, she gives them hugs (unless she's in a bad mood, then she yells SHOOOOO and wants them out of her way).  She never runs off from us; she always holds our hands.  She does listen to us....most of the time.  (she suffers from her father's 'selective hearing')  She's very sympathetic if we get hurt or if mommy is having a pregnancy hormone meltdown. 

She drives us crazy, but our lives would be so very boring without her. 

I want to share a few of my favorite pictures of her that really capture her personality...

a couple of days old, all stretched out in the 'fish tank' to fight jaundice.

first Halloween.  of COURSE she went as a skunk!

First's dramatic turning one.

Best. Christmas. Picture. EVER. (her 2nd Christmas)

the face only this mother could love...

Merry Christmas 2011.  sigh.

These are just a few fabulous photos from the life of Morgan Leigh McCumbers. 

What's on the menu today Hewhoshallnotbenamedatthistime?

As if having one kid hasn't made me crazy enough...I decided it was time for Morgan to be a big sister!  I started talking about this over a year ago with my husband and his response was 'whoa, let's really think about this...' which in guy talk translates into 'whoa...the last kid made you crazy, I'm not sure I want to go through all that again...'

pfffftttt whatever.

At the time I had lost all my baby weight plus an extra 8 pounds so I dismissed the baby talk.  Then I started taking Zoloft to treat fibromyalgia (yes it's possible I have that, plus I'm borderline diabetic, plus I have thyroid issues, but we'll save all that for the blog called 'I have the immune system of a 90 year old').  Why Zoloft?  Because antidepressants numb your senses.  I've always had weird issues going on with my all of the skin peeling off my hands every fall and spring when I was a kid.  After having Morgan, whatever was wrong doubled in strength.  I was having terrible headaches, aches and pains like I had the flu, and so forth.  The Zoloft nipped all that in the bud!!  ...but it also made me gain 5 pounds....a month.  I work way too hard at the battle of the bulge for some stupid medication to pack on the pounds!  So I quit taking it.  I stopped gaining weight but didn't lose it either.  Then my thyroid results started coming back a little funky and they recommended Synthroid.  My first questions was 'will it help me lose weight?!'  After they responded 'it could...' I was like 'sign me up!!!'

stupid Synthroid.

it gave me a pot belly.  I did some online research and found that it did this in a lot of people. 


Then I get a text from one of my dearest friends....'Hi!  Hope you're having a good day!  Oh by the way, I'm pregnant!'

WHAT?!!  I love this girl.  She came into my life after the loss of my best friend to a terrible tragedy in the fall of 2006 and filled a hole in my heart.  She and I both got married in the same year.  But then my husband and I (accidentally) had a kid while she and her husband moved to Korea for a year.  When they moved back, I joked around with her that I would have my next kid with her....I knew she wasn't ready to have kids so I was safe in that deal.  Then last summer I got that text....and when I told my husband he snickered and said 'remember the deal?'

oh yeah.

Well, I had gained 25 pounds since Christmas, I figured might as well be pregnant.  So now I'm over 3 months pregnant and I hate every single second of it.  Nature has a cruel way of making you forget how horrible pregnancy and infancy is (I can't include childbirth because I had a scheduled c-section... *fist pump*).  I know I was really tired when I was pregnant with Morgan but seriously, I feel like a slug with mono!!!  I just want to sleep all of the time!  Okay maybe it's not fair to make fun of slugs.  They actually work really hard to slime their way around.  It's not like they lounge on the couch most of the day with an almost-3-year-old blowing a toy trumpet in their ear. 

And the nausea.  Oh boy.

I really don't remember being this sick last time.  I constantly feel hungover.  That horrible poisoned feeling where you can't even think about certain foods without your gag reflux kicking into gear.  Everybody told me 'oh you're so lucky to be pregnant during the holidays!'

Okay first of all, I'm borderline diabetic, so I have to watch what I eat unless I want to end up on insulin.  Right now my 2,000 mg of horse pill sized Glucophage (take 2 twice a day) is doing the trick and I'd like to keep it that simple.  And second, I lost my appetite the weekend before Thanksgiving.

seriously pregnancy gods?!!  that is SO UNFAIR!

The smells, the sights, the sounds of Thanksgiving dinner were torture.  We spent turkey holiday with my inlaws and I had to endure not one, but two huge family dinners.  At each dinner I found one dish that looked appealing, and that's what I ate.  Everyone else had plates heavily laden with delicious dishes and I had a serving of scalloped potatoes and a sliver of pumpkin pie. 

And then I had to get through Christmas....not one, not two, but FOUR family dinners.  I was doing a bit better than Thanksgiving.  My unborn child, whom my best friend has dubbed 'Hewhoshallnotbenamedatthistime' (you have to be a Monty Python Holy Grail fan to appreciate our humor) allowed me to branch out and eat stuffing and a sweet potato in addition to my scalloped potatoes. 

Michael and I have given up on cooking.  I can't stand the smell of anything cooking, and most of what we fix doesn't sound appealing.  Michael is a meat & meat kinda guy and I was a vegetarian for about 6 years and I'm still picky about meat.  There's just something savagely disgusting about eating something that used to have a face.  I could easily give up meat again but I fear my meatatarian would file for divorce...

So what's on the menu Hewhoshallnotbenamedatthistime?

It sort of varies...  one week it was Nacho Bell Grandes from taco bell.  This week it's fruit and 'crab sushi' (California rolls).  When you get a pregnancy craving it's like everything in the world has to be put on pause until your taste buds are satisfied.

And then I get horrible heartburn and nausea and wish I had never eaten any of it.

Yes I have medication.  I have Zofran, Phenergan, Prilosec, and Zantac.  I take as needed, but I don't want to drug Hewhoshallnotbenamedatthistime too horribly; plus my misery entitles me the sympathy of my extremely patient husband who will drive 30 minutes round trip to get me a Nacho Belle Grande.  He's been wonderful...well other than the time when I said 'can you please use your mind powers to summon my ginger ale from the kitchen?' and he placed his hand over my head and said 'goooo geeet your gingerrr aaaale...'

He totally went and got it for me, but he laughed hysterically at himself first.

Before I wrap this up, I would like to say that I feel extremely guilty for complaining about being pregnant.  Yes I hate every minute of it...from the nausea to the weight gain to the swollen ankles to the cheeseburger aversion...but I am very blessed that I am able to even be pregnant.  I have several good friends that have had difficulty having children of their own, and they would all make wonderful parents.  It's just a lesson in life; the things that you complain the most about (your husband/wife, your kids, your job, your health...) just remember, there is somebody out there that would love to have what you have.  So try to feel blessed during all of your complaining.  The End.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

we're all mad here...I'm mad....ummm that's about it...

I've been meaning to blog now for um, a few years, but life keeps getting in the way. 

I live in Mommyland.  It's a rather busy place.  I would consider myself 'queen' but that would mean I'm in charge.  No, the 'queen' title goes to my almost-3-year-old, Morgan.  When you're a parent, whether you realize it or not, your life revolves around your little one(s).  Especially when you're a stay-at-home-mama like me.  I wake up when Morgan wakes up.  I go to bed after Morgan goes to bed (which is sometimes very late and I'm exhausted...).  I get pulled away from the computer to play Little People or to color Ponies.  Almost-3-year-olds don't understand the importance of research you have to do for an online grad class or the high priority of Facebook.  Or blogs apparently...I was just pulled away from typing this because she is demanding to watch the new show 'Octonauts' for the 321453th time today (thank God for DVR). 

I am by no means a perfect mother.  I love my kid enough to choke you with my bare hands if you hurt her.  She still alive so I've feed and watered her enough.  I have a lot of 'mommy friends' that ask me for advice, and I love to give it...but then I scratch my head in wonder...should I even be giving this advice?  My almost-3-year-old is not potty trained, she has a speech delay but uses certain curse words in perfect context, and I make her shake her booty for chocolate milk. 

Before you judge me on my amazing child-rearing skills, let me explain something to you; Morgan has been a very difficult child from the day she was born...actually since before she was born, since she would hardly ever cooperate to have her heartbeat listened to (doctor had to trap her in the corner...) and would kick away from the ultrasound tech (we have a wonderful collection of unborn feet snapshots) and best of all, she was breech.  This required a scheduled c-section (not that I'm complaining about never knowing the joy of labor) and the first thing our doctor said was 'oh I see a baby butt!'  What a way to come into the world. 

Then the fun began.  The first game was 'breastfeeding boycott.'  I read all of the books, all of the studies online, knew that I HAD to breastfeed or a Nipple Nazi might steal my newborn baby from me during my 10 minutes of sleep at night.  Morgan did not get the memo about the modern push for breastfeeding.  She hated every single second.  She scrunched her face up in pain like I was forcing her to do something horrific and she refused to eat.  She turned her face away from me as if to proclaim 'motha you repulse me' (in a British accent of course).  We played this game for a day and then the nurses got really frustrated with me and started beating me over the head with bottles of Similac and demanding that I SUPPLEMENT!!!  SUPPLEMENT!!!  AUGGHHH NOOO!!!  Not formula!!  Not bottles!!  I refused.  Morgan didn't get enough to eat and ended up with jaundice.  I failed at motherhood on day 1.  I cried so hard I couldn't breathe (scaring my poor father to parents were babysitting me in my hospital room while my husband went on a cheeseburger search).  The nurses were even talking about me...a new nurse on duty told me 'oh, they told me about you.'


So I gave in to the bottle.  I didn't want to be the 'mother that starved her newborn baby on day 1.'  Morgan just LOOOOVED the bottle.  Evil little pixie.  She snuggled down and took right to it.  I wanted to hiss at her and tell her she was making me look bad.  But I refrained, since she had to spend a night in the 'fish tank' for her jaundice, which was all my fault apparently.  (The 'fish tank' is thus named because it looked like a fish tank with tanning bed lights.  Morgan even got to wear little tanning bed goggle-type things and stretched out and enjoyed the fake-n-bake.  Totally my kid.)  I started using the breast pump (weirdest thing I've ever had to do to myself).  You know you've taken your marriage to a whole new level when you're husband has a little banner that says 'one more ounce!' and is your biggest boobie cheerleader not because he is admiring them, but because he wants them to produce like a cow. 

Thus the pumping game and night.  The first week wasn't too horrible.  My husband (oh by the way, I need to introduce you to him, his name is Michael) was off work for a week.  He was super daddy.  He changed diapers, he washed bottles and dishes.  He went to the grocery store and came home with Red Bull and cheese puffs.  He got up with me every 2 hours at night and feed Morgan while I pumped.  I had a prescription for Percocet.  I was surprised at how easy it was!  What was everybody always griping about?  Newborns aren't THAT hard.

Then he had to go back to work.  And the Percocets ran out.

My mom (who is a Kindergarten teacher and is my best friend) drove up to spend a few days with me while Michael went back to work (we live 3.5 hours from my family and friends).  Mom was scared to death to hold Morgan.  Morgan was 6 pounds 13 ounces and 19 inches long at birth.  My 2 brothers and I ranged from over 9 pounds to almost 11 pounds and were all about 21 inches at birth.  So I was stuck with all the diapers, all the feedings, all the pumping.  Mom cleaned, she cooked, she went shopping and brought home new clothes for me and Morgan.   But suddenly I was the one that had to get up with Morgan all night long, every 2 hours.  I had to feed her, get her back to sleep, pump for the next round, then got about 1/2 hour sleep before she woke up again.  And the first night my mom was there, Morgan started throwing up.  It terrified me.  She drank her 2 ounces then threw it all back up Exorcist-style out every hole in her head, arms flailing and that horrible choking noise.  I screamed for my mom to help, so she came stumbling out of bed without her glasses (she's legally blind) and I think we both sort of stood there screaming for a bit before we realized Morgan was NOT dying and just needed to be cleaned up.

Hence, the 'vomit games' began.

Morgan was a puker for about 10 months.  We lived in a townhouse until she was about 15 months old, and the only area not affected by baby vomit was the garage.  She threw up in bed, in her swing, on the couch, in the floor, in the bouncy chair, all over me, all over Michael.  I think once she even managed to hit the cat.  The best was when she would barf all over me, then when Michael would come to help, she would barf all over him.  So we would all pause for a second...barf on me, on Michael, on Morgan, on the furniture, on the carpet, perhaps even on the ceiling.  I would stand up and it would slide down between my boobs and drip out from under my shirt/nightgown.  We invested in a lot of carpet cleaner during those months.  And took a lot of showers.  At first it was just boobie milk / soy formula barf.  Then it became all colors of the rainbow once she started eating baby food.  My mom still has a green bean stain on her carpet. 

Why all the vomit?  Around 5 weeks old she was diagnosed with acid reflux.  She was crying nonstop (other than the nightly colic crying from 8pm-1am) and arching her back in discomfort.  She began a Zantac treatment twice a day which worked wonders for the poor baby.  (by the way, whoever decided peppermint was the best flavor for liquid Zantac needs to speak with me immediately...)  She stopped arching her back and stopped some of the crying, and it cut back a bit of the vomit.  But she also has the strongest gag reflux I've ever seen (other than my own...).  She has major texture issues (that comes from her father...) and spent most of her feedings dry heaving if the rice was too thick or the food tasted bad.  Even now at almost 3, she's a very very picky eater.

So there ya go.  That's perhaps why some friends come to me for advice.  My anti-boob-barfing-acid-relux-colic baby was not an easy infant.  I even had to sleep in the spare room with her for 6 months to make sure she didn't throw up in her sleep and die. 

I am very thankful and very blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home-mama.  I couldn't imagine dealing all of this plus going to work to teach 200 teenagers a subject they really don't care about.  When I got married during the summer of 2008 and moved 3.5 hours north, I was not able to get hired to teach, but it turned out to be a blessing once we found out we were going to be parents. 

Being at home all day with a high maintenance baby has been challenging.  I've cried, I've screamed, I've thrown my own tantrums.  I've felt like a failure and wondered 'why did I DO this to myself?!' but there's one thing I've survive in mommyland, you've got to be a little crazy.  If you over-analyze everything, you'll call child services on yourself for being a terrible parent.  If you read what the 'experts' tell you to do, you will end up creating a nervous wimpy child afraid to take any risks (this is all just my personal opinion, which is perfectly amazing).  Just last night, a dear friend sent me an urgent text telling me her toddler was so upset about having her bedtime milk taken away, she threw up in her bed.  I felt so sorry for the toddler, and for my friend.  My friend did it because she was told it was time for her 2 year old to give up bedtime milk.  As I was typing my response to her, my own almost-3-year-old was lying on the couch next to me drinking bedtime milk from a sippy cup.  I told my friend not to stress over it, do what she feels is best for herself and her child.  She said she's worried about her teeth rotting out, having milk before bedtime.  My response 'well, all those teeth fall out in a few years aways right?' see, my advice isn't the best.  But I hate when my mommy friends stress out so much about the little things.  They are only babies for a little while.  Soon enough they will be teenagers that hate our guts.  Enjoy this baby stage while it lasts.