I love it when I ask my husband to stop at the grocery store on his way home because we only need one or two things and he's all "why didn't you go today?" Ummm, excuse me? I'm not taking these kids out on my own unless the pantry is bare and they're gnawing on the dog bone. I sure will eat oyster crackers for lunch to avoid a trip to the grocery store. And anywhere without baskets is definitely out. Inevitably, Miss B. will fight me about either riding in a cart, or not getting some ridiculously priced toy that she will loose and or/break before we get to the checkout line. Anytime I see a child having a public tantrum I am reminded of when Miss B. was like two and half and I took her with me to the tag renewal office. First let me explain that she has this weird desire to sit in every chair or bench she sees. I don't know why. Well we were in line, and clear across the room was one lone little wooden chair, that I was praying she wouldn't notice. The place was pretty crowded of course because it was the end of the month and everyone was renewing their tags. Sure enough, she spotted the chair and started pulling on my arm. I wasn't about to let her go over there, so I crouch down and start whispering furiously in her ear. You know, making threats you know you can't keep in public. She didn't care. She started screaming and crying. What made things worse was the little girl in line behind us about the same age who was of course behaving herself perfectly. Everyone is staring at us. Finally, the clerk behind the desk had me cut in line in front of about fifteen other people. I was sooo embarrassed. I have never taken her back there.
It's funny too when we are someplace and she sees someone's kid misbehaving. She's all "mommy WHY is that girl acting like that?" she usually says it loud enough for the other parent to hear too. I get secret joy out of other kid's tantrums, though, because it makes me feel better about mine. Having children has made me sorry for every judgement I ever passed before I was a parent.
I was never sure if I would be a Mother or not. It wasn't something I was against, but neither did I feel like my life would be missing something if I didn't have any children. One thing I was sure of was that if I had one I would have at least a second one if I could. I have three sisters, and I think siblings are important. It's especially something I realize as an adult watching my husband (he's only has one half brother who is severely mentally disabled) deal with the realities of having an ageing father all on his own. When the time comes to take care of our parents, my sisters and I will have each other. I decided that two was enough. After the birth of my son I had my tubes tied. I'm surprised at how surprised other people are about this. I'm mean, have you seen how much kids cost these days? My mom, who is one of seven, was especially disappointed. My other reason for making this choice was the undeniable fact that I don't do pregnant well. My younger sister and I had are kids pretty close together. Her daughter is three months older than mine, and her son is six months older than mine. It would be great if they didn't live twelve hours away. When we were pregnant together the first time, I hated her. This is not an overstatement. She was one of those chipper pregnant women that make the rest of us look bad...like being fat and sick doesn't do enough of that already. She only gained weight in her stomach, getting that cute bump. She wore her regular clothes until she was like eight months. I got pregnant all over. I didn't swell
alot, but simple got wide. Everywhere. My butt, my feet, my face even seemed to get wider. She was never sick. I never stopped being sick. I remember one particularly pleasant day while she was cheerfully telling me about her recent cravings for McDonald's french fries, I was pulled over in a McDonald's parking lot right across from the drive thru speaker throwing up. People in line got to order their lunch to the sounds of me losing mine. She went into labor all on her own and had a fairly quick first time birth - I think it was only like six hours - and she pushed out her baby medication free. At 37 weeks I had to be induced for pre-eclampsia, and after twelve hours of labor that went no-where they told me my daughter's head was swelling and rushed me off to an emergency c-section. They cut me open and the doctor said "would you look at that!" Not her head. Her butt. She was breech and they didn't know. Her but was stuck in the birth canal. So I was secretly thrilled when with her second she had a bad case of morning sickness. Okay not so secretly. I gloated a little. Alot. I was mean to her, but karma really is a bitch because minutes after I saw two lines on the sick I threw up and didn't stop until after he was born. Her second pregnancy went by, with her getting over her sickness by the fourth month. When her time came she literally went to the hospital crowning. At nine weeks I had a tear in the placenta that caused heavy bleeding and I was put on bed rest. At 37 weeks, on a Tuesday, I started having frequent painful contractions. I went to the hospital and I was dilated 4cm. Twelve hours later they sent me home because my contractions were no longer regular and I wasn't dilating. This went on for DAYS. I would have a burst of regular contractions that lasted for hours, then they would subside. Then on Friday in the middle of the night my mucus plug came out and I began having really intense contractions. An hour later the pain was so intense I couldn't sit down. I get to the hospital, just sure I was about to have this baby (I was going for a VBAC), they get me in the triage/observation room (which is the size of a closet), and tell me I'm only 4.5cm dilated. What's more is that since I'm still in my 37th weeks, they cannot do anything to further my labor. They can't give me PIT or break my water. Even better is that they did a quick ultrasound to make sure this one wasn't breech and they discovered that while he was head down, he was face up, and I was experiencing what's called "back labor"...they should find a way to simulate this and use is to torture terrorists. They couldn't give me and epidural either, because I wasn't officially admitted. I was still in "observation." I stayed in that closet in the worst pain of my life - they gave me morphine, which I would equate to taking aspirin after getting hit by a car - for six hours. They checked me ever thirty minutes and I stayed 4.5cm dilated for 5.5 hours. In the last half hour I dilated from 4.5 to 7cm. I got a room, and then shortly after the epidural. They took the needle out of my back, laid me down, and my blood pressure bottomed out and my heart started racing. It took them twenty minutes to get me stable. An hour later my son was born via a successful VBAC.
So it was an easy decision for me to stop at two. My sister says she's not having anymore either, but I don't believe her. She didn't have her tubes tied, and she likes being pregnant.
My daughter is a miniature version of me. She looks just like me, and I'm really noticing that she acts just like me too. I wonder though, if this is nature or nurture? I mean, was she born this way, or did I make her this way? Especially with the crazy OCD tendencies. She organizes her crayons by how "used" they are. Also, she won't wipe herself after she pees until she folds the toilet paper neatly. (I didn't teach her that). All I can say is I hope my son is more like his father. He is super laid back and takes things as they come. It really helps having him around to reign in my crazy. Now I know what it's like to live with me! Poor man!
Mother's day is just around the corner, and my husband asked me last night if there was anything special I wanted. You've reached a special place in your life when your deepest desire is to be all by yourself. I fantasized about sitting at Panera Bread with a coffee and a cinnamon crunch bagel and a good book - without pictures. I think longingly of sitting down somewhere with a glass (bottle) of wine and not have to get up to help anybody with anything until it's gone. Could I possibly go to the bathroom by myself? With the door closed? I know, dream big right!. I know that despite his best intentions, none of this will happen. For one thing, I'm limited to two hours because Dimples still nurses pretty frequently. I'll probably get a card, maybe flowers, and I'm pretty sure he'll cook dinner, which is nice too. But a girl can dream.
My husband's Grandmother died, and while we were at the viewing, his Aunt asked if she could hold Dimples. She was hacking and coughing, but had previously apologized, explaining that she was having asthma problems triggered by the stress of the funeral. So, I didn't think twice about handing my son over to her. I even used the opportunity to take a bathroom break, grab a cookie, and say hello to some people I hadn't seen in a while. It got me thinking about the differences between the first child and the second child.
First Child: anyone who wants to hold them has to undergo a full medical work up, wash their hands, change their clothes, and you follow them around nervously ready at any moment to catch the baby that you just know they will drop.
Second Child: Someone wants to hold the baby? Absolutely! In fact, they can keep them for a couple of hours while you get things done! In fact, do they want to hold the baby the rest of the day? They're a little dirty? No big deal, a little dirt never hurt anybody.
First Child: Very limited TV time. Only educational shows, with no commercials.
Second child: Oh look! He likes Sponge Bob! Let him watch it if it will keep him occupied long enough for me to take a shower!
First Child: a closet full of cute clothes. Even a little dirt on and outfit requires a change, especially if someone is coming over or we are going somewhere.
Second child: mostly own hand me downs - even if it was intended for one gender, but could maybe pass for the other. Will wear the same outfit for a couple of days, especially as a little baby. If the diaper leaks a little, and it's only pee...it will dry.
So does the second child get the short stick when it comes to parents? I say nah. While they may not get stuff as nice as their older siblings, they get the benefit of having more relaxed parents.
This was taken right after his first bite of rice cereal
The American Pediatric Academy recently released a statement warning mothers not to start any solids before six months or it could lead to childhood obesity. I call shenanigans! It absolutely depends on the child. I'm not a doctor, but I am a mother with experience. Also, when they didn't announce when they blew the whistle on the rice cereal, is that their study observed children who were fed solids instead of breast milk. Children who were introduced to solids before six months, and continued to nurse showed no greater risk of being obese. And it didn't study what these kids were being fed. I mean, if a kid starts shoveling mac and cheese at six months he might be a bit of a butterball.. I started Dimples on rice cereal when he was four months old, and recently began introducing baby food (homemade thank you very much!..but only mostly because I have a freezer full of garden veggies and it's free that way. Miss B ate jarred baby food.) And let me tell you, he was ready. He was trying to face plant into my boobs almost every hour, and even started to try to nurse through my shirt. The boy was hungry! He eagerly took the first spoon and has been a pro ever since.
I cannot keep up cleaning after these people. I spent a stupid amount of time following my family around picking things up. Last night I nearly had a break down sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor. I was cleaning the bunny's litter box and Miss B walks by and knocked over the bag of clean litter which of course was open and spilled all over the floor. This was less than thirty minutes after she spilled grape juice (which I had cleaned up off the floor but not the table), Dimples had spit up and I was still wearing it, and the dog ran her butt across the freshly steam cleaned carpet leaving a long skid mark. It's days like this that make me want to go sit in the closet and rock back and forth hugging my knees. Being somewhat type A (okay...alot what type A) I tend to get stressed out easily over things like this. My rational mind knows that this is what having kids is like, but the OCD bitch who lives in there freaks out and it's hard to shut her up. It's something I have to work on daily. Who cares if my house is a mess. My family is healthy and happy. I've decided to just get over it. This is not to say I won't do the dishes or clean the toilets, I just give up trying to have a house that looks like people don't actually live there. The mess wins.
In 2005 the year we got married, my husband and I decided to stop renting and buy a house. We didn't have much of a budget, but this was just before the housing market went to shit and the banks weren't being so stingy with loans yet, so it was okay. I remember meeting with the finance officer and hearing that we were approved for one hundred thousand dollars. I was so excited. I had dreams of large kitchens ad open floor plans. Then we saw what one hundred thousand dollars can buy you, and I crash landed into reality. Even in this part of the country, where housing is more affordable than most other places, it doesn't go far. People on HGTV are re-doing their bathrooms for the amount of money I was supposed to buy an entire house with. For a while we looked at house after house of small, old , dirty, and questionable areas of town. Then our realtor asked would we be willing to consider foreclosures. Not a bad idea, we thought. After all, The Big Kid is in construction (he's a Brick Mason - he was just an apprentice back then). We could most likely do renovations ourselves. So we started looking at foreclosures. The problem was, we needed something that we could live in AND reno at the same time. And have you ever been in a foreclosure? Most of them are completely trashed. We saw houses that had everything right down to the wires stripped out. When people are kicked out of their house, they are not likely to offer the re-paint before they leave. We even saw one house that was supported by a jack under the floor and for safety reasons, while we touring, we had to stay around the edges of the main room. Another house had a bird living in the wall. And of course you know all foreclosures are sold "AS-IS." Then one evening, our realtor called and said he had found this house that was being sold kind of silent auction style and we needed to go look at it because we had to have our offer in by 10pm that night if we wanted it. It was in a completely different area of town we had been looking in, though not unfamiliar. In fact, we had not been looking in this area because we assumed it was out of our price range. This particular house was in an older neighborhood, with smaller houses, but really nice sized lots. When we looked at the house, it was far from my dream home, but at this point we'd been looking for a year and were more than ready. It was only 1072 sq feet, but had a partial un-finished basement. It needed alot of work (one of the bedrooms had black and red stripes painted all over the walls - we should've bought stock in Kiltz primer), but it had a huge, fenced in back yard with fruit trees. There was a big hole in the kitchen counter, but all of the light fixtures worked. In was certainly enough space for the two of us. In the end, we bought the place for 82,000. We never planned on being here forever. We came up with a five year plan to get the place fixed up and hopefully sell it for a profit. I secretly thought five years was generous and we could do it in three. It's amazing the things you think when you don't know anything. Well, we've managed to paint the stripes, and replace the roof and windows. The basement is still unfinished and there is still a huge hole in the counter top. (It's covered with a cutting board). Now there are four of us. It's been seven years since we made our five year plan.
Our dog's name is Abby. My husband and I got her when we got our very first apartment together nine years ago. She's 50lbs of strange. We're not really sure what breeds she is a mix of, except we know that her mother was half lab. She's always been kind of skittish, and scared of pretty much everything. We're not really sure why. We picked her up as a puppy from her mother's house. They seemed like a nice enough family, and all the puppies looked happy and healthy. I don't think there was any abuse. When we first moved into our house, every time we put her outside she would wiggle her way under the back porch which only sits about a foot off the ground. On several occasions we had to dig her out when she got herself stuck. Now, she is pretty comfortable in the back yard, as long as she's on our side of the fence. We never have to worry about her running away. Once we left the gate open, and she went out to the front yard and then to the front porch where she sat and whined until we let her in. She hates car rides and is so terrified of the park, she gets diarrhea. Yea, she's a weird dog.
Then there is Lulu the poop machine. No one told be how much rabbits poop. Hop hop poop, hop hop poop. All day long. The story behind her adoption is that I love to knit, and recently I learned how to spin my own yarn. I was looking on-line at raw fibers and The Big Kid saw how much angora sells for. His dad has rabbits, and they don't cost a whole lot to take care of. I could literally see the light bulb go off above his head and thus came Lulu. Of course I'm the one cleaning up after this poop machine. But hey, after two kids and the dog, what's a little more poop in my life? Also, she has to be brushed almost daily. I had to convince my husband to just get ONE rabbit. He wanted to get a male and female and start having little pooping babies right away.
So Abby didn't respond well to the arrival of either of my kids. She was already an old dog when they came along. Don't know what made us think she's welcome another attention hog to the family, especially since we've been training her to chase the wild ones out of the back yard (we have a garden). She's been trying to eat THIS rabbit since we brought her home. The thing is, I don't think she'd actually eat her. She caught a cat once and once she grabbed it, she dropped it and didn't know what to do. (The cat was fine and lived to poop in my garden another day). At night we keep Lulu in her cage in Miss B's room, but during the day we move her into a play pen in the living room. I wouldn't keep any pet locked up by themselves in a cage all day. Well, now bunny is comfortable, and no longer afraid of the dog, and is quite the little escape artist. She has figured out how to escape the play pen. I'm not sure what to do about this. Right now I keep Abby locked in the kitchen, in case the bunny gets out, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do for a long term solution. Any suggestions?
Dimples is a mamma's boy. And I'm really okay with that. (Except when I just need someone else to hold him for a minute and he screams the whole time). When my daughter was born it was via emergency c-section. She tried to come out butt first. They had no idea she was in this position and so I labored for hours until she got stuck in the birth canal and started showing signs of distress. Stubborn from the start she was. Even then determined to do things her own way. So once they cut her out of me, she was handed to my husband and she's been his ever since. Miss B and The Big Kid are like two peas in a pod and I've kinda always been on the outside of their little club. My birth experience with my son was completely different. I was able to have a v-bac and he came out of me in was put directly into MY arms. Two minutes later he was rushed off to the NICU because he wasn't breathing. He spent five days there, all 8lbs 14oz of him. He looked like a giant next to those little one pound preemies. The hospital where I had him has a wonderful policy that allows mothers with children in the NICU to keep their room even after they are discharged provided it's not needed for another patient. So for those five days every two hours around the clock I walked from my room two hallways down to the NICU. They provided me with a pump so I could get milk for him, and once he came off the CPAP I was able to nurse him. It was the bonding experience I never had with my daughter. From then on, he's always been mine. Not to say I don't love my daughter - she is a miniature version of myself in every way - and of course my husband loves our son - but Dimples is definitely my little mamma's boy.
Little Miss B. has gotten to the age where she is testing her limits. Yesterday I went down into the basement to put a load in the dryer. I always leave the door open, of course, so I can hear all the shenanigans going on upstairs. I was just finishing up when I heard the door to the basement slam. When I get to the top, it was locked. She had locked me in the basement. I grabbed a screwdriver from my husbands tools and easily unlocked to door. I then hunted down my daughter who was hiding from me.
"Did you lock the door?"
"Don't you lie to me. How did it get locked?"
'I didn't mommy I PROMISE!"
"Do not lie to mommy. Why did you lock the door?"
"I DIDN'T! IT WAS LIKE THAT ALREADY IT LOCKED BY ITSELF!"
By this point she was getting hysterical because she knew she was in trouble. She proceeded for half and hour to try to convince me that the door was already locked before I went down. Four year olds make terrible liars.
Anyone ever read this book when they were a kid? It's about a mommy elephant who wants nothing more than to take a bath but her kids won't leave her alone. My mom got this one for me and my sisters (I have 3) when I was young. I think she was trying to tell us something. Unfortunately we didn't get it. I got it now though! Apparently when you're signing all the paperwork in the hospital, you also sign something that says you agree to never be in the bathroom alone again. It's right there in the fine print. No peeing in privacy. I have to give The Big Kid credit. He tries to keep things under control when I'm in the shower, or otherwise occupied in that room, but he is just not used to being out numbered.
Hi there! If you are reading this chances are you too have reached a level of crazy that only having children can drive you to. I have two. A girl who is going on four - we'll call her Miss Bossy - and a 6 month old little boy - lets call him Dimples. We have a dog and because I decided that wasn't enough t o take care of, we recently got a bunny rabbit too. Oh yea, and my husband, he's the Big Kid. Four years ago we were rational, sane adults, with a big circle of friends. We were the first to get pregnant. Miss B came along and slowly,one by one, they have disappeared. Lack of adult conversation on a regular basis has driven me to the mommy blogosphere...I guess that's better than talking to myself.