Friday, January 24, 2014

Almost Post-Flu Irrational Rant

Warning: Irrational Rant Is About To Ensue.  Proceed At Your Own Risk.  Seriously.  Consider Yourself Warned.  I'm A Little Crazy Right Now And If You Remotely Like Me, You May Want To Stop Reading.

I know there are people in this world that suffer so much.  Sickness, emotional stress, loss…every single day terrible things that happen.  I always try to keep the little issues in my life into perspective.  Everyone is fighting a battle of some kind and I realize that most are worse than mine.  But today…after a week like this week…I just want to scream.  I want to scream as loud as I can, as if it would help in some way.  Although, the truth is, it would just send me into a coughing fit that would likely last the better half of an hour.  So.  I won't.  But just know, I want to.

Sunday night we started getting sick.  Really sick.  Influenza sick.  The whole family.  I won't go into all of the details, but Influenza is not funny.  And if you are wondering - yes, we had flu shots.

Our week has included:

  • Fevers.
  • Coughing and chest discomfort that relates closely to an elephant repeatedly stomping on you.  (Oh - and if you are almost 37 weeks pregnant and you are coughing so hard your whole body is behind it - you will have contractions….and you will pee.)
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Adverse reaction (Ben) to Tamiflu, an anti-viral drug, that sent him into a severe vomiting day and ended in a face full of broken blood vessels.
  • A flu test for me (apparently flu and pregnancy together are a BIG deal, and doctors will scare the sh!t out of you if it happens to you)  I didn't know you (well, a doctor) could stick a stick up your nose six inches.
  • 16 phone calls with different doctors: general, pediatricians, OBs, you know, all the good ones.
  • Rebound fevers for Myles every night, even after full days without.
  • A medication list that I am required to take (despite arguing with both my regular doctor and OB about - they insist the drugs are better than me not breathing…really?)  that scares the sh!t out of me.
  • Worry.
  • Constant wonder if it will ever end and if we are all going to make it.
  • Counting baby kicks to see if she is doing okay.
  • The whole family wearing masks so we don't re-infect each other (extra fun when you are not breathing well anyway). 
  • Wonderful phone calls and texts from concerned and praying family members.
  • Closed front door drop offs of supplies from my caring Mother-in Law.
Okay, there is more, but enough b!tching I suppose.  Today, we had declared was it.  Ben and Jillian have been better for a while.  Myles has been pretty good despite an occasional and random fever.  I have been the worst, but yesterday the anti-viral drugs must have clicked, because I had marked improvement.  Today was going to be the day that everything got better.  Better enough that we can get dressed by Saturday.  Baby steps I suppose.

So, I am taking Myles's temperature and I lift up his shirt to find…..a RASH.  I smiled, took his temperature (98.9), asked him if it itched (yes), and went ballistic over text to Ben.  Seriously!??!?  Why the hell do we need a rash too????  I need to get ready to have a baby.  I need to disinfect this plague from my house before a tiny little baby comes home here.  I need to get back to growing a baby, instead of losing weight laying on the couch everyday.  WE NEED TO MOVE ON.

Instead, now I needed to call his doctor on this new development and send my husband texts that include every swear word I know.  And you know what?  Auto-correct won't even LET ME SWEAR.    No iPhone… I do NOT want to say DUCKING.  Sometimes enough is enough and this is enough for me.  I'm done with this.  I haven't left the house all week and taking a shower was the biggest accomplishment of my week.

Ben read all of the texts and asked all of the right questions…what can he do?  should he come home?  what does the rash look like?  what is his temp?  You know…all of the right things.  I read them breathing my shallow breaths (heaven forbid I take a few deep breaths and cause a coughing fit until tomorrow) and continue my freak out.  Of course there is nothing he can do.  There is nothing any of us can do but wait for this crap to LEAVE my house.  His last text though………ticked me off so much…….but only because he was so right……

"We're almost there.  Just close your eyes and say a prayer, babe."

So I will.  I will.  But first…this rant.  But I will.  And it will get better.  Gotta go.  My kids are asking when it will be warm enough to swim in the lake.  They must not have heard of this Polar Vortex B.S.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List…

  • That I have lists this Tuesday!!  Monumental as lately!
  • Myles and his snowman last weekend.  Not sure if that is some sort of dental headpiece…or what.  He was quite proud of the creation though.
  • Myles and Jillian have been playing together non-stop.  They seem to have grown even closer over Christmas break.  Today it was basketball in the basement.  Yesterday it was "college" in the den.  There is always someone to play with when you have a sibling.
  • Tonight during the basketball lessons, I could hear Myles telling Jillian, "Don't worry, practice makes perfect.  Keep trying, you'll get better."  Adorable.
  • We bought a new baby mobile last weekend.  Each night since, Jillian wants to listen to it when it is time to go to bed.  I'm not sure there has ever been a little girl more excited for her baby sister's arrival.  Ever.
  • Sleeping on the couch.  Not sure why, but there is no more comfortable place in my world lately.  Want to know what is even better?  My wonderful husband will sleep on the couch with me, because he knows I won't ditch him overnight to sleep on the couch.  So, on some weekend nights, the kids camp in the den in sleeping bags and Ben and I camp on the couch in the nearby family room.  Pure love.
  • New TV shows.  Aren't we all glad about that?
  • This weekend, Jillian and I have a fancy tea party playdate with a few of her friends and their moms.  We are BOTH super excited.  What fancy girl wouldn't be?
  • Myles and Ben (the coach) have their first official basketball game this weekend!  It will be so fun to watch all of those first and second graders dribbling around the court!
  • I have a vacation day tomorrow.  I set it a long time ago to get ready for the baby.  Since Jillian has pressured me so much to get ready the past few weeks, I'll still do a few things for the baby...but I think Jillian and I are in need of a girl's day!
  • Tomorrow is Jillian's first haircut ever.  She and I have both wavered over the decision to cut for quite some time now.  The day is finally here.  Hoping she can keep some of her curls.
  • Baby hats.  (Enough said.)
  • This year, my family adopted another family and instead of purchasing Christmas gifts for each other, we showered this family in need with gifts.  Jillian was able to pick out all of the gifts for the four year old girl.  When we delivered the gifts, Jillian and the girl became instant friends and played together for an hour or two while the adults chatted.  Almost a month later, Jillian is still talking about the little girl and how they are friends.  She was happier to give to that little girl than she was to receive this year.  Although, she was hoping to have some gifts under our tree that were similar to what she had picked out for her.  :)

I'm Better Off Without List…

  • People saying things to me like, "You are still pregnant?!?"  "Geez, when are you going to have that baby?!?"  Yup, still pregnant.  I'll have her when it's time. 
  • That feeling that I have to pee SO BAD and then I barely go.  (I know…TMI…Sorry.)
  • That nasty look of our back yard when the snow starts to melt.  It goes from looking like a beautiful winter wonderland to a melty, icy, dog poo garden.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Nesting and Prepping

Maybe it's the snow and cold…maybe it's the insane level of nesting urges that I have been experiencing…or maybe it's the sweet friend who wrote to me and told me that she has been reading old posts…  Any way you look at it, this little corner of the internet has been on my mind.  Time to clank a post out on the keys tonight.

The Motivator
Christmas has officially left our home and has been replaced by baby nesting craziness.  Each year I feel a pang of nostalgia as I pack each ornament away, knowing I won't see them again for a whole year.  Especially this year, my mind was racing as I was thinking how different our life will be the next time I am taking our stockings out of their bin (especially after purchasing a new one to match Myles and Jillian's that will be used for the first time next year), or my favorite "Get in touch with your inner elf" sign.  Yet, the super clean, simple homeyness after the decorations are all packed up always wipes away that sad feeling.  Fresh and clean.  Ready to start the new year.

This year, after the decorations were put away, Jillian and I went into super-nesting-prep-for-baby-mode.  Before this crazy prep session, by looking at our house, you would have never known I was eight and a half months pregnant.  Unlike with the first baby, we did not have a nursery set up and waiting five months before the baby's arrival.  There was literally not a single sign of a baby in our house (unless you count American Girl paraphernalia in Jillian's room).

I couldn't believe Jillian's extreme motivation in this baby prep initiative.  She wanted everything ready for her sister, and frankly, she wasn't real interested in her mother taking occasional breaks.  "We gotta get this DONE MOM!!"  Sorting through her old clothes...setting up the crib…washing baby socks and hats in Dreft…all of it.  She was the driver, the motivator, and frankly, the pusher.  She was successful.  We are officially ready to bring home a baby whenever she decides to show up.  Myles wasn't exactly interested in helping…although during the prep he did inform me that he is hoping that I will be busy when the baby is born and he will be able to play video games whenever he wants to.

So, now we are left to waiting (and deciding on a middle name).  I'll tell you, there are many things that I have found different about this pregnancy than the others.  Many are probably simply due to the fact that I am older…  Yet, there is one more recent observation that I have to simply attribute to the fact that this is the third time my belly has ever been this big.  You know those weird pictures that you can see a baby's hand or footprint clearly through the mother's belly?  Like this?  Well, it has been proven the photos are doctored, but seriously, I feel like this is reality to me.  It seems like there is hardly anything between her and my skin.  I can make out body parts with ease and frankly, Ben can spot them across the couch.  So odd, yet so amazing.  So, we are on to weekly doctor visits and praying that I don't have another 10 pound baby (okay, she was a half an ounce shy - but she poo'd in utero, so I say it counts).  I prefer to deliver a newborn (not a two-month-old) if possible.  Here's hoping!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Life As We Know It Lately...

I'm having a hard time remembering when life was a busy as it is right now…  It seems as if we have slipped into a routine of working days, whirlwind evenings, and weekends that are missing the downtime that we are used to.  I thought a little tour around my house might give you an idea…

We have a kitchen under construction…again.  I guess the counters and backsplash just didn't do the trick.  Hopefully the painter will be able to put this project to rest before the end of the week.  For whatever reason, having painting paper on my counters, no doors on my cabinets, and my drawers on my counter makes me feel…just like that…like my drawers are on the counter…if you know what I mean.

We finally finished a month-long project of painting our entry and all hallway trim white with gray walls.  I love it.  It was worth it.  Well, now that it is done, it was worth it.  Good thing I'm not writing this on one of the many nights I was complaining about having to work on it.

Despite the construction zone, traditions must be kept in tact and Christmas arrived at our house in regular style the day after Thanksgiving.

Haven't seen much of my feet lately.  I'm happy to report though, that I am still able to wear heels just fine.  Something has to draw attention other than this giant belly!  Visions of middle names swirl in my head every evening.  The first name is a lock, but for whatever reason we are just having a hard time committing to that middle name.  I need to come up with something to use when she gets in trouble!
Despite how crazy-busy we have been, I have tried so hard to keep my focus on family.  Dinners together in a jumbled up kitchen, shopping for adopt-a-family together, reading new books, cuddling on the couch, and tiny little hands on my belly, waiting for a kick from their sister.

I can see my kids changing before my eyes.  Myles is turning seven next week and he is a kid.  Literally, a school-aged kid with his own opinion on everything, his own way to do things, and his own little life he is living.  Jillian seems to have changed so much in the last three weeks or so, I find Ben and I making eye contact in agreed disbelief as we listen to her thoughts on whatever subject is the current hot topic on her mind.  She is so independent, responsible, and frankly we can see the "kindergarten shift" happening before our eyes.  Our little girl is ready for new adventures and I can't believe we are so close to those changes.

And…then I think about starting all over again with this tiny (actually not so tiny according to her last ultrasound) little girl.  It is scary and comforting all at the same time.  Scary that we are entering the baby phase all over again, this time with two active and vibrant older siblings.  Comforting that we have another new life to care for and watch as she goes through the stages that her siblings have discovered before her.  We are not done with those sweet baby days.  We have one more set of them to enjoy.  Luckily, Myles and Jillian couldn't be more excited for the baby's arrival.

I guess this post turned into a jumble of thoughts (what's new I guess).  My point is, as the holiday season is upon us, we are all busy.  I certainly don't recommend more than one home improvement project during this time of year, but either way…we all have extra things on our to-do list as we prepare for the holidays.  My goal this season is to enjoy every minute of the craziness.  Soak in all of our special traditions that make this season special in the first place.  I want to remember the reason for the season and make sure that my kids have their focus in the right place as we approach Christmas.  We may be crazy-busy, but we are crazy-good and I'm so thankful.  (Just please don't remind me that I need to bring all the baby clothes up from the basement to get ready…that can wait until after Christmas, right? :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

So... I almost forgot this blog address.  I guess things have just been so busy between working, raising two kids, growing another one, dance, football, soccer, you know...all the fun stuff.  Today, I received a note from the editor of a local magazine asking if she can use my photos that she found on my blog for the next issue.  Oh yeah... I have a BLOG!!  Guess I should write something there at some point in October...why not Tuesday the 29th?!  Perfect's TUESDAY!

Love List...

  • Last week we had conferences for both kids.  I love hearing about our little people and their days at school.  This year, my very favorite part was actually when I got home.  Jillian, very intently, asked me, "Is their anything Mrs. M said I should work on?"  She cracks me up.  What four-year-old seeks out constructive criticism?  I guess Jillian does.
  • This past weekend was the Mother-Son Dance.  Look how cute my date was!
  • We are continuously answering questions about how thing are going to be once our new baby girl arrives.  The kids want to have as must prep information as they can and each day they manage to come up with new questions about how our life is going to change.  Today's latest?  Myles and Jillian BOTH want the baby's name to be Madeline.  Ben and I have decided on her name already, but we will not be telling the kids anytime soon, because we both know that my mother-in-law will be trying to get it out of them.  Anyway, Myles declared tonight that he will call her Madeline no matter what we name her.
  • Thursday I will be taking the day off to work to do all things Halloween with the kids.  I can't wait.  I bought a headband with a huge spider in it.  I figure, it won't be long before something like that will embarrass my kids at school.  This year though, they are excited for me to come...wearing it. 
  • I love our new reading schedule with Myles.  Every night, he goes to bed 15 minutes early, but he can read for a half hour...actually going to bed 15 minutes later.  His love of reading is so fun to see and I love to look in on him pouring through chapter books engrossed in a world far beyond his bed.

I'm Better Off Without List...

  • How rusty my writing skills are right now.  Wow...  A month and a half later and I am squeaking along tonight.
  • The Victoria's Secret commercial that just grazed my TV screen.  Seriously, there should be a pregnancy block that you can put on TVs.  I would also probably block those Wendy's commercials with those pretzel buns that make me gag every time I see one.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

This Mother's Little Black Book.

Last night Ben went down to the basement to do something and came up with a black notebook.  We used it as a communication notebook anytime anyone watched Myles when he was a little guy.  I remember Ben making fun of me for saving it (and many other little things like it that he must have missed).  It was so fun to read.  Page by page Myles looked through it and read things about his daily life as a 12 month old.  It was awesome.  It also reminded me how wonderful our nanny was for so many years of his life.  From age one to five, one day a week she would come and play, teach, and love him like her own little brother or nephew.  Then, of course, Jillian joined our family and she loved and cared for her just like Myles.  Priceless.  Anyway, I am totally diverging from my point...if I ever have one.

Look at this note.  I wrote one every week.  Like a baby manual, you can read through each daily novel for his quirky habits lately, what I was worried about, or what I prescribed for him to eat that day.  Every detail was accounted for...and if it wasn't in this week's note, check back a few weeks, I bet there is something about what you are wondering.  Neurotic.

Eventually, the notes turned to condensed handwritten versions of the initial night-before typed manuals.  I actually can remember stressing one night at 11pm, because I had not typed instructions yet.  By the time Jillian came along, the hand-written version was absolutely fine with me.  She was younger, but I had relaxed.

With both kids, I remember stressing about various things throughout their baby year.  Both kids hated drinking from a bottle and I would worry they were starving on my days away for work.  That was always my biggest stress.  Yet, throughout those baby years, there was always something for me to worry about.  Shots.  Solid foods.  Accidents.  You know, mom worries.

Do I still worry about my kids?  Of course.  In some ways, it is different though.  They are strong.  They are their own little people.  Now my worries focus more on keeping them safe and helping them be everything that they can be.

As I prepare for number three, I wonder if I will go back to my neurotic ways, or if I will be able to relax and enjoy my last baby experience .  I certainly have relaxed throughout the last six, almost seven years.  It is not for lack of love or care.  It must simply be attributed to experience in my "role".  Like a job that you have been in for a few years.  You know what you are doing.  Confident.  You have handled so many situations previously.

This time around, I also have little witnesses.  Myles and Jillian, who I know will be eager and willing helpers around the baby.  I want them to be comfortable.  I want Jillian to watch her mother, mothering a baby.  They learn so much from watching...more than I could ever tell her.  I want Myles to learn about caring for a baby.  Someday, I hope a wife will appreciate his baby appreciation.

So, my roll with the punches.  To try and not let the neurotic version of myself go into overdrive.  We'll see how it goes.

Monday, September 9, 2013

School Talks.

I've sure been missing all of you lately.  Just when I think I'm done being all sorts of BLEH, I get sick again.  Isn't this all supposed to be done by now?!?  My belly button is flat and tending towards protruding already.  Enough with the "morning" sickness!!  :)

First day of First Grade.
Anyway, we have been loving this back to school season.  Who doesn't love sharpened pencils (hello??  Did you see they were selling them already sharpened this year?!?), new lunchboxes, crayons, markers, pencil boxes, and new friends to greet each morning.

Myles has had many new adventures, including riding the bus to school, a desk that actually opens, and another wonderful teacher to help mold his eager love of learning again this year.

Open house day at Preschool
Today Jillian started her final year of preschool.  She woke up with a confident smile and was ready for the day.  Ready to see some of her old friends, make new friends, and do the things that Jillian does.

Bus waiting buddies

Everyday that I pick the kids up from school there is a battle...who gets to tell all about their day first.  Today was no different, but Jillian took the first spotlight, since it was her first day.  I heard all about the friends she sits by, who pushed who, who finished their lunch last, and how thirsty (read in an exasperated voice) she was on the ride home.  She didn't write her name on the sign in sheet because it wasn't out yet today...her show and tell day will be Monday...and her hair is up because she got too hot with it down.  You know, all of the important details.  I love hearing each and every one of them.  I'm not with her during her day, but her full descriptive account helps me feel that I was. First day of preschool...a success.

Everyday, in between meetings, spreadsheets, and emails, I glance at the clock and think about where Myles is and what he is doing... I wonder if Jillian liked the note in her lunch today... I am hopeful that they ate their lunches, made new friends, and that they were a good friend to someone that needed it....oh yeah, and that they learned something.  No matter where I am, they are always on my mind.  So, when I get the full download in the car about who Myles played with on the playground and how his teacher was "yapping at these kids that were not being good in class today" on the way home, my heart is questions answered.  We are back together after a long day.  Content.

Riding her bike to pick up Myles at the bus stop.