Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sorry For Beating A Dead Horse...

Though if it helped I would do it in an instant. And maybe poke a few pins in it just for good measure. Though what I think I really need is sleep. That might change everything. For example:

Yesterday, my sister came over for a visit. It had been while due to kids sickness, some family vacations, and just life. She showed of her nice winter boots that did not make her legs look like toothpicks, talked about her yoga classes as she cooked a fat pork hunk for dinner with her husband and boys that night probably with a cozy bottle of wine and a nice fire. I know I desperately need to exercise and eat more, and even more. Every shower I'm reminded how slack my skin is over less than toned muscles. My belly looks like a goofy-grinned Cyclops  in desperate need of a face lift ( big shout out to daily Copaxone shots for smiling crescent and to pregnancies for the rest.) But lately I'm too tired to really care and I rarely go anywhere I can't just throw cozies on for. So no big deal.

Shane had already warned me he'd be late so I wasn't surprised when I didn't see his headlights until 9:30. But I was surprised as   the minutes continued and he didn't come to the door. I got the kids, babies included, to bed and waited but still no Shane.

"Maybe he fell asleep, " I started wondering. maybe he doesn't want to come in. Why would he want to? Its usually crazy and whiny in here. And messy. Of course he would rather eat dinner somewhere else with someone else and then it still wouldn't be enough of a break so he would need to just sit alone in his truck. Or maybe he has bad news and he is not sure how to tell me. Maybe he doesn't like me anymore and he's hoping I'll just go to bed before he comes in?

After 15-20 minutes, I gathered up all my nighttime paraphernalia- water, baby monitor etc.-and headed up to our room. Shane walked in the door just as I reached the staircase. We exchanged greetings in the mostly dark and quiet  hallway. He seemed beleaguered and weary. I was too tired to be curious about his absence and thought it could wait until morning. He asked if I'd be up for foot rubs and chatting but I said no. Too tired. So we went up to bed.

And of course I couldn't sleep. Shane fell asleep quickly and I lay there slightly regretting my turning down the offer of  company and happy feet. So I grabbed my phone and was surprised to find a text from some unknown man asking for my mailing address. And that his wife, oh sure you're married, had been trying to contact me about a contest I'd won and to please respond.

Really dude? Don't you know Facebook is riddled with  strangers, some not so bright, and others who can spot a scam when they see it and I am not telling you where I live but thanks for the heebie-jeebies just as I'm trying  to sleep.

Then Fiona started squirming. I was glad to have something pleasant, grounded, and real to do.  I lay there feeding her and she drifted back to sleep and I contemplated leaving Facebook forever.

I finally fell asleep after 1am, despite or maybe due to the Benadryl I took before getting in bed. Not for long as Malachi started his 'mama' calls just after. I tried to talk to him from our bed and see if that would work. It didn't  Then Fiona decided she just needed a little snack and started grunting.  Shane got up and I settled in with Fi thinking we could finally relax. Then Malachi called out again at which point I realized Shane did not get up to take care of  Malachi. He didn't even realize it was Malachi's calling that had woken him up and thought it was just his bladder which  caused him to bee-line it to the bathroom and out of hearing range. I was praying the noise would not disturb the baby into complete consciousness.

Shane came back and handed Malachi his sippy cup finally. Which Malachi did not want. So after only a few minutes of lost sleep, Shane decided it would be better to just put him in our bed. Which usually works. But this was not usually. Malachi still complained about his not-baba (I'm hoping/trying to get him used to no bottles of milk at night in the hopes that he will finally start eating in the day. When normal people eat.) But eventually Shane went down to make him a bottle and get ibuprofen. Malachi has been teething- like since he was born-but more so lately and was/is working on clearing up his pneumonia.  The fever is not gone for good yet so ibuprofen was a good bet.

By that time Fiona, who adores Malachi, had noticed the company and was so excited she started chatting a mile a minute only pausing a second before slipping into  tongue clicking mode. Which, even at that ungodly hour, is so ridiculously cute I couldn't help but smile. Then someone somewhere told a funny joke and she broke into belly giggles. Also insanely adorable.

Malachi was only mildly disturbed by Fi's antics and after an hour or so settled back down. Fi decided she was a tiny baby again and could only nurse with me sitting up. Which put her in prime pulling big brother's hair, or kicking his face territory. 'Sleep? That's for old people. I'm young and energetic and have a super clicky tongue. Want to hear?'

Finally, after a few hours of tortured sleep, Shane got up for work. I tried to prolong everyone's sleep but Fiona decided I probably needed to start my caffeine drip early as I would need a lot to make it through the day. Thoughtful girl.

But after a coffee and a shower and a little communication, yesterday turned into an entirely different day.

Yes, my boot-wearing sister came over. And yes she did yoga. Also  it did something to her back in   that makes her wince when getting out of chairs. She also brought a toy vacuum cleaner for Malachi and walked Fiona to sleep for a nap. And showed me and my kids there is a world still out there not populated by zombies. And we can go there too. Someday.

Shane did work late and had a dinner meeting with a co-worker. Which wasn't much in the way of sustenance but at least he got dinner. Some days he has to skip lunch  When he got  home he sat in his car to take a call for a sync-up with his India team. When you have teams spread across time zones somebody is staying up late or getting up early. He did hear Malachi and gave him a  pat  BEFORE going to the bathroom and Malachi seemed fine. When he realized he wasn't he went down filled a bottle and gave him Motrin  and sat by him comforting him for a long  time before deciding it would be better to just put him in our bed for the little time he had left to sleep. Before he had to get up and do it all over again.  He did hear Fi and the clicking and also couldn't help but smile at her cleverness.

And the Facebook stranger really is the husband of the husband-wife team running an out-of-print  Catholic book printing shop. And I had legitimately  won the free book contest  they were running which I had entered. I just didn't  know his name.

Moral of the story, get some rest. And if you do come across a dead horse, give it a swift kick from me.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Shane is not a huge reader of blogs. At least mine. Which makes me feel better about stating 'facts' when I write. Typically if the main point of a text I send him is not in the first paragraph, he won't get to it. If I need five items from the grocery store, I need to communicate it in the first three words. In emails, he will often skim for the main points. So I usually distill as much as possible. I know he's busy doing whatever he does and I respect whatever that is.

So I was surprised the other night as we got into bed and he  looks at me and asks in amazement,

"You really don't know what I do?"

"Kind of. Maybe. I mean you've had lots of different roles. I wouldn't know how to explain it someone else. Can you tell me in one sentence I can remember?"

"Sure" he says.

"In words I can understand" I add.

"Oh. Hmmm. Lets see." He thinks a bit.

"Ok. This is really over simplified. You can just say I build systems that run Microsoft."

"Right now you could say I work on Cosmos."

Thrilled with the chance to show off that I have gleaned a tiny bit of knowledge over the years I look at him and say,

"But isn't that just a tool?" It seems to me all the languages, you know, like C# and SQL (pronounced sequel)  and methodologies like SAP and Hadoop- I might be totally off, but I do know Hadoop was named for a kids toy elephant. I can understand things like that.

So tool seemed like a safe bet. It worked.

"Yeah, you could say that. Do you know what it does?"

Oh shoot. Why does he always ask for verification. Now he'll find out that I am totally faking it, kind of. Can't I just intuitively know Cosmos isn't a product or project therefore it has to be a tool? Or it is one of those others but can still be classified as a tool. Why can't he just be impressed and we can go to sleep?

"Its a tool for organizing data" I state, feeling the odds are pretty good whatever it is or does could be described that way.

He seemed a little surprised.

"Yeah, actually." He admitted. It was dark but I'm pretty sure his face would have shown how impressed he was with my knowledge of geek speak. Or he was stifling his laughter at my poor attempts to converse knowledgeably on things I was clueless about and just pulling my leg. If so, please no one tell me. Ignorance is bliss and then I might feel tempted to ask him to really explain it to me.

But just to show off some other words, did you know that a yodabyte is bigger than a petabyte?  And if you do something to either of those you can turn them into yobabytes and pebabytes? I think one of those has wings or can't live within 500 yards of a school. I can't remember which.

Also to my credit, I know I couldn't be fooled like this:

I know you would need a much bigger box.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Linking up with Grace Or Copycatting because it has been a long time since I've been here and it seemed an easy segue to get back into writing, if it works. And not too much energy wasted if  it doesn't. Lists are easy, so I'll go with it. Also, if I finish this post before next month, I'll only have to come up with 36 bits of useless information. Who doesn't like to save a little?
Here we go:

1. I have not slept a full night's sleep in 3 years.

2. I do not have a sleeping disorder.

3. I do have 6 children, two of which are two and under, and the main bestowers of nighttime fun.

4. I complain a lot. In my head, if  Shane's not home.

5. I could not buy alcohol when I got married or had our first baby.

6.I never went to college. I like history. And learning. Though I have been known for embellishing some events when describing current hardships, and minimizing others when it comes to dents in vehicles.  According to some historians, named Shane.

7. My breakfast usually consists of two tall breve latt├ęs. And maybe an egg and toast later when the big kids are making their breakfasts and I put an order in.

8. I hate schedules and start panicking the minute I commit to one especially if it involves all children dressed with shoes and a starting time.

9. I wish dreadfully that my kids would be amenable to a sleep schedule. But they take after me.

10. I am an INTJ. Shane is an INTP. Supposedly that is the most difficult combination to make work. Thanks to Holy Spirit, its been working for almost 17 years.

11. I absolutely hate the cold and, much like transition, feel like I'd  jump out the nearest window if it would make the feeling go away.

12. Growing up, my favorite TV show was Night Hawk. For all of its 11 or so episodes. Rex Smith. A motorcycle. Say no more. ( I was 8. Or  9Then I saw Pirates of Penzance. It was a quick soup d'jour.

13. I don't know French. I took Latin.

14. I am terrible at math or anything with numbers.

15. I don't know how many more line items I can come up with.

16. I am horrible with new technology, including the handsfree system in my car. How  does  'Text Shane' turn into "Calling your 'deceased grandmother's name' ".The best I can manage is knowing my ABCs and the backspace key. Shane does everything in that arena and I don't understand  how other people get by at all.

17. I didn't have to be sold on the 'Geek is the new Sexy' trend. Our priest said to always maintain a little mystery. Marrying a computer geek is a pretty surefire way for me to always have some perpetual mystery in my life. Shane is super patient and still tries to explain what he does for a living. He leaves. He comes home. Money appears in my account.

18. Often I find being an introvert and having 6 kids isn't lonely enough.

19. I don't mind going to the dentist. Though I would rather spend the time away from the kids doing something other than saying 'AHHHHH' for 45 minutes.

20. I do like my annual MRIs and look forward to a cozy, albeit noisy, alone time.

21. I was diagnosed with MS when I was 13 and introduced to MRIs. They have improved greatly, and now with the added heated blanket option, I almost consider it a spa visit. Just a very expensive one that does nothing to improve my hair.

22. I hate clothes and especially shoe shopping.

23. If I am feeling unenergized about making dinner, I always default to a breakfast dish. Luckily my kids like French toast.

24. I am not sure of the last time I formally exercised. If it were not for the 2 yr old's antics I would not be getting any exercise. If it were not for the 2 yr old's antics, I might have time to exercise. But probably still wouldn't.

25. Kateri just now informed me said 2 yr old peed under the table.

26. I am ok with waiting to finish this list before asking one of the kids to clean it up. Fiona doesn't crawl yet so I've got a little time. I call it relaxed. Shane says it is bordering on lazy.

27. I was not gifted with any graces in the arts.  I usually just mouth the words to Happy Birthday. My kids tell me all my animal drawings look like llamas. No matter the intended species.

28. I like comedy better than drama. There isn't really anything I would not prefer to drama. Maybe Horror.

29. I like red wine and dark chocolate. Together or not.

30. I love dirt. Maybe it's the Irish in me. I even wrote a poem about it in 2nd grade.

31. I can't get the picture in the right place and Shane is not home so it is at the end of the list.

32. I've drinking coffee since I was 12. This is Seattle!

33. I was homeschooled from 7th grade through high school.

34. I cleaned the under the table mess.

35. This list has taken me ridiculously ,embarrassingly, long to write.

36. I have a cold so feel that #34 was especially heroic of me.

I wasn't kidding about #27.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Enjoying Summer, A Little Longer

The past few days have been really nice and it is supposed to be even nicer this weekend so we are trying to fit a little more summer in before the weather changes and we start school. Shane took a few of the kids camping and brought back some gorgeous pictures of landscapes I will never see in persons, unless he helicopters me up there. Hiking/camping is still not my thing. I am glad the kids like it so Shane has someone to enjoy it with. Everyone had a good time.
I decided to be a mom and took the four younger kids to the park yesterday. It was almost as fun as blowing bubbles with Muffin the other day. One bubble. Two bubbles. A flock of bubbles. And there go the bubbles. Maybe we can smear the wand in the pool of bubbles we spilled and get a few more out. NO? Ok then lets run our dinosaurs through the soap, maybe smear some on our feet so we can slip and track it around everywhere. Or we can skip to the end, take a bath, and stay inside the rest of the evening.
I'd forgotten how boring it is to be home with just little ones. Fiona liked watching the bubbles from her bouncy chair but couldn't really get into the whole soap smearing bit, got bored, and started fussing. I really don't know I survived the first 10 years. It is sooo much easier now. And there are adults  to talk to. But Shane was gone with the bigger kids overnight so there we were. Kateri was left home to help but I'd given her some much-deserved time off to play with her friends out front. Commence bubble blowing.
 Then yesterday I let the little kids convince me to take them to the park. Fiona likes the stroller and with school in session there would be limited numbers to witness my kids stellar observance of playground etiquette. Running UP slides is so much fun and then you can avoid all the lines to wait your turn to go again.
 Malachi actually just wanted to crawl on the benches and bark like a dog.

Because he never gets to do that at home.

And then he wanted to follow the big kids through trails the stroller was not really built to go on but when your toddler is running away down the path and there is a road near by you just make it work and hope the turbulence doesn't cause too much damage to Fi's brain. Or the stroller.

After about an hour of our magical adventure we came home and luckily they have not asked to go again. Although I probably would. With a leash. And the bigger kids.

But it was a good pre-schooltime excursion. (And yes, I do consider the park an excursion and I like the kids to think that too or else they'll think of it as an easy and often to be repeated distraction.) But if they think of it as an annual event, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, they won't add it to the list-of-things-to-ask-mom-for-every-30-minutes.

Monday, September 1, 2014

You've Been Fi'd

Which is code for :

You have vomit on your shirt (pants, shoes, face etc.)

Fiona is still generously sharing her leftovers. We had lots of appointments and did dietary experiments. But no amount of adjustments or alignments had an effect. At least not on her regurgitation. I will say she is a much more settled baby now and I would go so far as to say content. And I will take that. Along with some extra laundry soap for all our clothing. We will just accept the need for multiple shirt changes every  day and the fact that life just kind of stinks right now. We're all in it together. So there is  that.

There is/was also the matter of her hair. She had so much at birth. And then is started falling out. But not all of it. So she had patches of longer hairs that were quite endearing. Much like an old man's unkempt comb-over. You can try and hide it but everyone knows. We finally cut it. Immediately I regretted it.

She looked so kempt.

And fat.

I didn't realized how much the hair distracted from the jowls until the hair was gone. But it is gone. And after accepting that this fuzzy head is still our Fiona we are just as much head-over-heels for her.
Especially when she tries to talk. I'm not such a fan of the bushman tongue clicking in the wee hours, though I can't help but think its darling and super tricky. But I love how pleased she is with the coos and shrieks she makes. Even though it makes conversing

Her other new development is she enrolled herself in GymNurstics. At first she thought she'd try out some other exercise classes. She'd start with some stretching.

'Look, Mom. I can reach your face. Oh, I can reach my foot.'

 Flex. Point. Flex. She'd practice while holding her foot.

'Oh! My foot can reach your face, Mom. Isn't that neat? Do you like my foot in your face, Mom? I like my foot in your face.'

Sometimes she likes to hold my hand while she nurses. Then she brings her foot up and slips is into my hand.

'Can you just hold that for me? Oh that is so much better. Man my legs are getting heavy. I'm not sure how long I can keep up this exercise routine. Oh,  its time for yoga. Look, Mom. What do you think of this pose? I call it Fish on a Hook. Do you like it? I like it. Almost as much as Cat Covered in Oil Getting a Bath and Eating Lunch at the same time.'

Crazy antics included, I am really enjoying this stage. Nursing was kind of not smooth in the beginning, maybe she just has a small stomach and can only keep half of what she puts on her plate. But at least she is more relaxed about it. After have the tongue-tie with Malachi and then having to wean him early and still feeling concerned because he only eats a real meal  about once a week, I really appreciate not worrying about Fi's nutritional intake. The jowls and thighs are lovely, and I mean really lovely, reminders that all is well.

                                                        Next up is a hair cut for Malachi.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SHHHH! Don't Tell Anyone.

That I am trying to type.

So, yes, its been a long time. So long, in fact, Shane even commented on my non-blogging presence. And asked why?

Seriously? We picked out half of their names before we were even married? How could he forget?

And do you know where any clean socks are? Because I certainly don't. Well, that's not true. Its just that there are dirty ones on top of them so they are kind of hard to find. And I got home from Kateri's orthodontist appointment to find Malachi had thrown (his new really, really, favorite activity) a potted rose and the pot's contents all over the new concrete patio and was in the midst of throwing Cyril's glass of water down like Thor demanding more drink. Which is why we have transitioned to all plastic drinkware. I do not have time to clean up glass. Or eat. Or have coffee. Which I am trying to have now as well, so I'm double daring the lot of them to destroy something or wake the baby. Which will happen. But hopefully I can regurgitate a few thoughts that have been rolling around the old noggin before that happens. But I am also not a fast typer. Partly due to not knowing where the Mavis Beacon game is, partly due to the still gimpy fingers. I am not sure how voice blogging would be. But the idea sounds weird and a lot of my text to Shane are still riddled with hilarious typos so we'll wait until that tech is a little more improved. Or maybe not. Could make for some funny posts. And I like funny.

This morning I had a little inspiration in the bathroom. No, not like that. I don't have time for broken glass or bathroom breaks. Shane asked me to toss him the deodorant. So I threw it at him. Not on purpose. I mean, sort of. Because he asked for it. It bounced off his chest and hit the floor. He gave me a funny look and said,

"Not like that. Like this."  And he demonstrated a gentle 'lofting' of the deodorant back to me. So I showed off what I had learned and 'lofted' it back to him. Repeat.

"Oh, this would be great to blog about." I exclaimed. "Lofting deodorant in the early morning."

"You should", he said. "when you get a moment."

"If I get a moment, I'm going poop" I stated.

We both laughed. One of us knew it was not entirely a joke.

So yes, life has been very busy. So very busy. And messy. And wonderful too.

Fiona is a such a joy. Strangers can't help but be captivated by her balding old man head and come closer to get a better look. Which is when the stench of her oft' puked on undershirts kicks in and the smiles turn to grimaces and we move our separate ways. She's going to barf again in a minute so the energy to change her every time would be much better spent cleaning up rose pots or spilled water. Or maybe making dinner. Some night.

But not tonight. Kateri had her birthday party two days ago and I am still not recovered from serving 8, at least, slices of the cake my mother-in-law so graciously made for her. ( Pictures and all coming later to a blog near you. Maybe right here. Maybe not.) And from keeping Malachi from throwing the cake on the floor and dumping out the face-painting water on the party goers as they sat and waited for Audrey to turn them into butterflies, tigers, and dogs. Audrey was a real champ and painted and painted as they found new skin to decorate all afternoon. Finally, I told them they had enough tattoos, necklaces, and bracelets, told Audrey she was relieved from duty and they could paint each other. Which they did. For another hour or so.

Then Malachi's bedtime, at 7:30, turned into a 3 hour nap, and 1am bedtime is a lot harder to recover from the older you get. And then Fi, wakes herself up at 6am, and will not let herself go back to sleep. She works hard to keep herself up and at the slightest droop of an eyelid calls all her limbs to action and kicks and squirms like an inertia crocodile trying to roll over until she gets a second wind or is sure that mom is fully awake and deciding to make coffee. Whichever comes first. The coffee came first this morning. But not before the deodorant tossing. I like a little exercise in the mornings. NOT. (Right up there with glass shards)

But coffee, sans offspring, is worth playing for. So I got up after nursing Fiona. And now I'm really tired. Also, my allergies ambushed me while I was still lying in bed. Nasty old things. And I had not had the foresight to anticipate such a plan and didn't have any Kleenex or pills near me. For some reason the tomato plants have been the most serious offenders, and as I don't have any tomatoes or plants in my bed, I thought I would be safe until I got downstairs. Not so. Its been really strange how swiftly they started up again. It has been so long since they have bugged me, mostly due to the fact that they lesson with pregnancy and I've been pregnant for about two years now so the allergy routine was not directly on my radar. Until I staked the tomato plant and was sneezing/crying for the rest of the day.

Which makes me wonder what else might be feeling like returning to the party. Which brings me to another distraction of mine of late. Which I might return to discuss more later. Or not. You never know.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Good Morning Vietnam, or My Life With Small Kids

Life has been really, really busy. Or rather Malachi has been really, really busy. I'm loving that the new baby arrival also heralded the serious uptick in his creative abilities to wreck havoc in every area of the house.

My first morning alone with him, Shane had taken  3 of the bigger kids to lessons and so I found myself alone early in the morning with old and new baby. At first I figured we'd just barricade ourselves in my room and wait until Shane got home for dinner. Then I knew we needed a real plan so while I tried and failed to get dressed and figure out how to navigate the stairs without Malachi escaping I scanned about the room looking for anything edible for Muffin. Not that I am in the habit of leaving meals around, but you never know. At least I could just nurse Fiona.  I was pleased to find an unopened bottle of coconut water. Left over from my labor refreshments bag. I rinsed out his nighttime bottle in the sink, filled it up, and we climbed back in bed to nurse new baby and strategize.

Then I dug a little deeper and found some Honey Stinger Energy Chews. They taste pretty yummy, as far a energy bites go, and I hoped he would think they were big gummy bears (Seriously, who can argue it was not the breakfast of champions?)and at least he wouldn't starve in the event I didn't come up with a cunning plan to relocate all of us downstairs. I felt like I was living the whole goat, hay, wolf?, and bridge conundrum. Eventually we all made it safely to the living room couch, with the help of whoever I could rouse and enlist,  for a new bottle, more nursing, and 5 hours later some coffee.  I would put the whole event in the successful morning category. Not so much the morning that happened a few days later.

 Fiona and I got up uber-early and made it downstairs by ourselves. It had started with an uber-early and messy poop, requiring a wardrobe change and a bath. For Fiona. After which I made a coffee. She nursed and pooped again and then we were both ready for a nap on the couch. It was going really well until I  was woken by some strange scraping sounds above me. I realized they were coming from upstairs, where Malachi had been sleeping. Then I remembered, with a panicked feeling,  I had not been able to empty her tub yet and clean up her bathing area. And I knew Malachi was up, and into it. I braced myself and headed upstairs to face what looked like a war zone, but was in fact my bathroom. It was obvious he had used her diaper as a tea bag and repeatedly dunked it in the water before throwing it on the scrap heap of towels to ooze. He had then decided to add various objects to the tub for a real taste treat.
Some of which he harvested from the hamper. And  once the tub reached maximum capacity, he was forced to just throw everything on the floor.

Fortunately all the laundry was already dirty.

Malachi was quite upset his morning activity was interrupted. Note the pink scrubby for cleaning the walls, not bodies, on the shower floor. (Yes, there is a story for another time in the corner.)

That's  where Shane's cologne was hiding!- under the towel, under the poopy bath water.

Once I cleaned everything up we continued on with his typical morning routine, which includes, but is definitely not limited to:

Demonstrating his latest achievement of climbing the kitchen chairs, which makes morning coffee sooo relaxing, and which will lead to trying to scale the kitchen table. Whatever it takes to reach mom's cup.

Next on the list is removing any visible heat registers. That way he can fit larger objects into the gaping holes to be retrieved later by mom. At least we know where to look for lost items.

Next up, clearing the shelves.I finally bought a board to fit across the pantry door. Which keeps him out and unable to knock glass jars off shelves or drop cans on his toes, but low enough for us to step over. Initially, it  still allowed him the opportunity to reach and swipe anything an arms reach from the door frame, onto the floor. Mom got wise and now there is an empty space the first foot in. I'm learning.

No picture for his next event. As that would be gross. His latest delight is poop flinging. When you change his diaper, he performs some sleight of hand and gets a hold of the old diaper before you can get him cleaned, and with a good yank sends it, and its contents flying. Thank goodness for Lysol.

Somewhere in the routine we fit breakfast. He is always excited to see what medium will be served for painting his highchair tray with. A bottle of milk always acts a thinner for anything from scrambled eggs to rice pudding. And whatever he doesn't decorate at breakfast, he can always get at lunch.

I realize this is a lot heavy on the Malachi side, and that he is only one of the small kids. Fiona, the other player, will get her turn. Its just her antics are not quite as photogenic, and a lot of them are the same. Eat, sleep, poop, cry, barf. Rinse and repeat. I ordered a Miracle Blanket, which will come today, so maybe there will be some amazing news to report. I am hoping life changing. I'll let you know.



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Post Partum Post, D-MER, and the Sleep gods hate us. Part I

But first, this needs to be documented. Right now this:

                                                                  And this :

Are happening. And I was able to eat lunch. I'm thinking it would be pushing my luck to try and fit a coffee in as well, so I'm typing instead.
We are all a lot under slept these days.
We discovered Malachi likes the song 'Let It Go' from Frozen. And after a few rounds of the music video falls asleep. Not my first choice in ways to induce naps, but given the crazy non-sleep we've been dealing with what feels like forever, zombies can't be choosers. And it is better than whiskey.
I guess the coffee wasn't necessary.New Baby is up. Old Baby needs lunch. Life goes on.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Quick up-Dates

I thought I'd participate in Jen's 7 posts in 7  days last week. But I didn't. I thought I would at least get a 7 Quick Takes done for yesterday. Again I didn't.  But I do have a really good reason.

                                                                     Fiona Adele

             or as Grandpa calls her 'New Baby'. So that we can tell her apart from,

                                                       'Old Baby' who is doing extremely well at sharing her bouncy seat.

More details, and of course lots more pictures, to follow once I catch up on some sleep. So, you know, 2015 or somewhere around there.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


This week, we have a break from all our outside classes. I was really excited thinking maybe this would be the week I'd have the baby without the distractions of homework and pack in lunches and having to be anywhere at a specified time (my favorite).

On Saturday, it seemed like the baby might be amenable to that plan too. In the late morning I started feeling some strong contractions, back pain, and general irritation/distracted.  I took a warm shower to see if it might slow down. Shane asked if I'd like to go look at cars. I said

"No. I don't want to be looking at cars when I go into active labor!"

He asked if I would like him to go look at cars.

I said I didn't want him to be out looking at cars when I went into active labor.

The shower didn't stop the contractions. Every labor has started out in earnest ( and with the brief interlude in the middle  of Malachi's delivery) has been pretty straight forward. No false stops and starts for days on end. So we were pretty sure this was it. The 15th. I liked that. And we cancelled our re-re-scheduled dinner plans with friends. Who were going to cancel as well as the wife was not well.

I called my mom, who was out of town, and she  advised I call the midwife now. Number 6 might progress sooner than I thought. Which was a happy thought. Maybe before dinner, I hoped. So I made the necessary calls. Got really annoyed with the midwife answering service ( And the reason for your call? Can you spell your last name? If you don't hear back in 10 min call us back and we'll do this again.)

The contractions were 8-9-10 min apart. Kateri was happily writing them down for me while I lay in bed with a hot water bottle on my back. Shane suggested I start the energy chews I'd gotten from the sporting store, and remembering how awful I felt running out of steam with Malachi, I did. The midwife finally called and we discussed what I'd like her to bring ( namely the birth stool, which she'd send the assistant to fetch) and she told me to call back when they started getting closer. Her direct number so I could bypass the question and answer part again.

Really, who wants to be interrogated while in the throes of labor? Ok. So, I wasn't exactly there. But I could have been.

Shane's parents and my sister arrived. I got antsy and decided I wanted to get up and walk, so I did. Then I ate. Then I took a nap. Then the smells of banana bread and slowcooked meat started wafting up the stairs and I eventually came down to eat again with everyone else. The contractions continued to slow and we made preparations for bed. Kateri already had a sleeping arrangement worked out for her and Malachi and Tirzah. My in-laws went home to sleep. Tirzah baked a big pan of baked oatmeal for the next morning, or whenever we needed it, and around 12:00 we all went to bed. At 12:30 I felt a few more strong contractions again and was feeling really annoyed with our kids preferred arrival times. Why can't it ever be AFTER a full nights sleep?

But in the end it got quiet and we all slept. All night. In the morning Shane and I got up and had coffee together, which felt really cozy. My sister joined us and we discussed plans/options for the day. The kids came down, Kateri was especially relieved she had not missed anything. We ate oatmeal. Second cups of coffee. My in-laws came over. We went for a walk in the freezing cold rain and wind, partly to test for labor starts and to wear Malachi out. Neither was successful so we carried on like a normal day. My sister went home to her family. We continued our name search, adding some new ones and crossing others off the list. For the last time.

I got an email from the homeschool group asking for grade numbers for the year book. Apparently, lots of kids were missing their grade numbers so the list was quite long and I was excited to see all the new names to look over. There were some good ones definitely worth considering, though we are still not done.

Bedtime went somewhat smoothly, though I think Malachi was missing having Auntie Tirzah to snuggle. And we slept all night. Again.

The next day Shane went to work for a bit. I sat and fiddled my fingers. Not really.  I had the kids do some housework and I tried brainstorming about meals post-baby. I didn't get very far. But I did come up with some other things I might want for labor: like a birthing ball. I have never used one but am willing to try anything. And the kids would enjoy a new toy if it didn't get used anyway. So I set out to get one. Then I returned it and got a bigger one. Then I went to a different store to get an even bigger one. And today I returned the middle sized one. I felt a little like Goldilocks but am glad I persisted and am happy with the final one(75 cm size). My father-in-law took the big boys out to lunch and then to the sporting store to get me some more energy bites, as I had eaten most of the ones I had already purchased. I got more drinks and snacks, did more laundry, my mother-in-law took Kateri and Muffin to their house and when Shane got home we went out to look at cars.

Which is not an activity ever to be attempted if you are really in labor. Which I was not. But felt just close enough to it to have very little patience for the whole,

"We don't put prices on ANYHING. Well, I cant really give you a ball park price until we pencil it all up. And with delivery fee I can't be certain it won't change. So whenever you are ready. These are really hard to get right now. I might be able to intercept a delivery to another dealership, but I might have to shoot someone in the process."

So after a very fruitless and non-helpful visit, where all my car-dealership pre-conceived ideas were proven true, but where at least I was able to see how much self control I could assert in not throttling the man to make him actually say something helpful, we decided to head down to a restaurant near Shane's office he's been want to take me to. Only to find they were closed for remodeling.

On the way home I found myself breathing through a particularly strong contraction and was relieved to be able to get my cozy jammies on and just wait. Although the freshly made fritters Shane described sounded really tasty. I said that should be our first outing with the new baby as I will be able to eat a full meal (plus lots of extras) once there is more room and the nursing appetite gets going.  So now we wait.

 I am certain that all the pre-work is going to have an effect and it will be the easiest, fastest labor ever.  It was  a good practice run, I got some extra foot rubs and lots of tasty treats which we are still enjoying, and the midwife who attended the last two births was able to get back from a trip. Which may be what the baby, or I, have been secretly waiting for.

So all is good.

Friday, February 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes on What Drives Me Crazy About Valentine's Day

 The combination of red and pink.

 Hearts. And clowns. And teddy bears.

 Red and pink hearts.

 Bad chocolate.

 The signs telling you what she really wants this year is a red and pink heart filled with bad chocolate. Maybe held by a teddy bear, if you want to go all out. (Teddy bears follow closely after clowns and hearts.)

 The complete lack of  acknowledgement that real love takes real sacrifice. And that it only has to be demonstrated once a year on this MARTYR'S (talk about sacrifice) feast day which we celebrate with over priced flowers, which can be added to the chocolate-heart-wielding teddy bear. But only if you are ready to say I really, really love you. 

Where are the  Hallmark cards with sayings such as:

I know you've had a long day. I did too. But I would love to put the baby down tonight and then give you a foot rub.

Or something real life that says I love you like,

I am going to work every day for the rest of my life without complaining no matter how little sleep I've gotten because I want to provide for you and our family.


I searched the entire house and found all 12 of your dirty sock piles and washed and put them away for you. Happy Valentine's Day.


Yes, the baby and I were up all night but I'd rather get up at 5am to make you breakfast than sleep in.


 I love the way you down the half and half and noticed you were on your last gallon so I stopped and picked two more up for you.

 So Valentine's Day is not anything we make special plans for. And not just because our first Valentine's Day as a newly married and newly pregnant couple is always and forever remembered for the good chocolate I was too sick to eat and the repeated requests to please shower and put on fresh deodorant for the 8the time today. The potent combination of  your pregnancy hormones and the bad Italian is making it impossible for me to sleep.

Valentine's Day is every day. Every moment we have a choice and choose the other it speaks volumes. Louder and longer lasting than anything the stores are trying to get you to buy.

So we will have a normal family dinner. Maybe Kateri will make a cake. And maybe Shane can say I love you by rubbing my back for hours if I go into labor and have bad back labor this time. And I can say it with the completely unique gift of  'Look what I pushed out for you. Beat that Ben Bridge.'

Or if I don't have the baby, we can just trade foot rubs and share a glass of half and half.

Happy Valentine's Day!! 

Check out Jen's Quick Takes.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

O Menopause, Where Art Thou?

So no more puking here. But the day of our re-scheduled social visit, Muffin and I came down with colds. Now 75% of the kids have colds and I am begging the new one to stay put for at least another week to give us time to get over it and get some good sleep. It is looking like her arrival is not imminent. I saw the midwife today and no changes. I scheduled appointments for the next three weeks, hoping at least one of them will turn into a one-week-check up. Actually, I've felt so all over the map this last week I'm not sure what I'm hoping for.

One day I was feeling anxious and underslept and downright paranoid of labor. I just did this. I have not recovered. There is no way I can do it again so soon. And then what am I going to do with a newborn? Besides absolutely nothing but eat and cry.

Then I had a hair appointment and did a little more newborn prep shopping (shot blocks and stretchy bras) and even though I only got 5 hrs of sleep that night, I felt like 'sure. I've done it before. It will be fine.

Today I did a big grocery shopping, somewhat loosely based on a weeks menu plan, so I felt really prepared and comfortable knowing the family would not starve and I actually know what I am making for dinner tonight. And tomorrow night.

Then I got home and cried feeling overwhelmed at all the NEEDS needing to be met and feeling inadequate at meeting them in a timely way. Apparently people need more than just a meal. Then I realized I had not eaten much so I'm having a steak sandwich while I type this and anticipating getting a latte in as well before Muffin wakes up from his nap. So pretty good. For the next minute or so.

But I am getting really worn out by the yo-yo hormones swirling madly around. I think I do ok with the post partum hormones. What? Doesn't everyone not wash their hair  or bother putting on real clothes until the 6 month check-up? Or cry when they run out of coffee? Or when they spill their coffee? Or when they burn their lip on  hot coffee because they didn't have time to check the temp first?

These third trimester ones  have really been a doozy for me though. And on top of that feeling like I might only have 3 weeks to get all sorted out. For so many reasons I am really looking forward to the steady pace of menopause. Although they say that can be a tricky time for women with MS because of the drastic events happening during peri monopause. So I'm not entrirely looking forward to that. But really I am.

I got a little more nesting in this last week. I was putting Mufin down for a nap and he was having none of it. I blamed it on the crack of light filtering through the curtains on one side of the bedroom. So instead of pushing on, I put him down, laid out the big bolt of blackout fabric I used for Kateri's room last summer, and got to work. I knew sewing would not be a wise choice of action just then, the sewing machine still being a near-occasion of sin for me, so I measured the square of fabric and found a little spring rod the kids had bent but had been sitting in the back of my closet just waiting for such a day as to be useful. And some packing tape.

Kateri was assisting in keeping Malachi from taking my scissors, for which I paid her with some long strips of black out fabric. (I'm dying to see what she decides to do with them. I didn't see any of the neighbor kids sporting new accessories yet, but I'm sure whatever she chooses will be great). Then I asked her if she knew where the packing tape was.

"So that's how you make curtains?" she asked.

"That is how we do it today." I told her.

And shortly, I had a nicely darkened window. It looked so cozy. Then, as  I sat there giving Malachi a bottle while he finally drifted off, I started to notice how bright the other window looked. It faces North, but still I'm pretty sure it could benefit from some light tempering. I told Shane about the new addition. He looked at me and said,

"I think you'd be happiest living in a cave."

He does not share my belief that dark=cozy and is always opening the curtains to let the world in. If I want to  be out in the world, I'll go outside. In the house I want to feel like I'm in a cozy cocoon. At least that is how I feel right now. No bets about next week. Or month.

Friday, January 31, 2014

No Baby Pics Yet

So I just realized I started this post half way through the template so everything will be out of  order. But Im too lazy to do anything about it right now. Because everything takes me forever and maybe I will have Shane teach me some short cuts sometime when I am feeling patient enough to actually learn something new.

I thought I came up with a cunning plan and was so excited to Share it with Shane. Once the new baby is here and I'm tied to the couch with a little suckling pig, keeping Malachi out of trouble is going to be really hard. So I thought we'll just assign each of the kids a day they are responsible for taking care of him. Kateri will still have him at night, but someone else will be in charge of him at meal times, bath time, diaper changing times, stair climbing times. And then Shane will be home on the weekends. Shane asked if I would put Pippin in charge of Malachi. I thought no, that wouldn't really work. And then what about the day the big kids have music lessons and outside classes? I looked at Shane and saw the errors in my thinking. And I saw the root of the problem. We don't have enough kids!

I got up early, or at least before the other sleepy heads did, so I could participate in the  7QTs. Even  if it is a little late. So I was surprised when I sat down in what is supposed to be the formal dining room but without a table and chairs makes a great wrestling room. Because who thinks kids should be fed and watered over a carpet on a regular basis- not me. Anyway,  I was surprised when I heard a slight humming coming from somewhere. The down stairs is pretty open and there is the stair gate to open so its not really possible to sneak unnoticed  to the downstairs. And all the bedrooms are upstairs. But there was definitely a slight musical humming emitting from what I could only imagine to be the crawl space. Finally I placed the sound as being generated through the floor vent next to me. Which is great, because it is Kateri humming so Malachi, whom I guess she is trying to keep asleep longer, in her bedroom three rooms and a flight of stairs away. So I guess that intercom system I thought  could come in handy for dinner time is already in place. Maybe the kids and I will play with it and see what carries best from what vantage point and if there is one that no sound can get to and that is where the baby will nap.

I'm starting to compile a list of things to read while I assist in the demanding growing process of a little person who will require 24hr sustenance causing me to physically tied to a cozy spot, hopefully with snacks and refreshments within reach. And would welcome any recommendations on pretty much any subject. Unless there is math involved. I don't do numbers well especially postpartum. I assume at some point I'll get bored and want something to stimulate my brain. Just because its a germane topic, I was thinking of this book. Not because we need convincing or instruction- though I guess its not that kind of book so don't say I said it was- but because I'm interested in hearing other people's stories and thoughts. I'm also interested in the instruction part too, it is such a fascinating process when all goes well and I like knowing things about me and any information I do come across makes me more amazed. I was talking a girl I met who worked at a fertility clinic. And she said when women came in they were always surprised when they started learning about the whole process. Really? So what are all the educational classes in schools for then? If you are going to teach about bodies, why isn't it at least the really awe-inspiring stuff? I don't know what they do teach as my mom pulled me out of those classes. And I actually don't remember ever not knowing where babies came from so its not like we were uneducated. We just never got that unnatural and forced separation of pro-creative acts and babies. Ok obviously I have lots of thoughts on the subject of fertility as it really is. But Im open to any interesting topics so recommend away.

But it really is going to happen. Just maybe not too soon. That means maybe I a can go to all my scheduled midwife appointments. I am always sad at the end because I don't want the appointments to stop. And the first thought, maybe sometimes second, when I see those two blue lines is "Now I can go see my midwives!!" I don't know. Shane might be getting suspicious as to my motivations. But he really likes them too. I won't see the OB again since the stitches are out. But she did ask if I  would send a letter and let her know how things go with the birth.

When I asked my midwife what all these shenanigans would mean long term she said  when you get pregnant again we'll just schedule you for a stitch early on when its less of hassle. I had stopped listening after the 'when'. No 'in the event of' or 'if you do. Just a  'when'. Like she knew something I don't. Or she figures we're just really good at it so of course its happening. Or we're just crazy. But in the event that she is right I will get to see the OB again.

We decided to tempt fate and rescheduled our previously cancelled social get together for this weekend.. So I have been expecting a re-visitation from the stomach flu all week. So far so good. We'll see how the next few hours go. Fortunately, Shane decided he wants to do some of the cooking so I might get more of the room/bathroom/baby is coming set up done. I did get the bed prepared, though I've never actually given birth or labored long in the bed. Regardless, making it once, covering it with a plastic sheet, then making it again does make for a quick sheet change. Not that I like the somewhat wrinkly sound of the plastic, its just nice to be able to peel the layers off and have a fresh bed. But, given that I 'could' have three more weeks I'll be doing it again. Or maybe in lieu of a virus, I'll give birth instead.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Still Prepping. And Pregnant.

Good news. The stitches were able to be removed in the OB's office. And the baby did not fall out right afterward.(not sure if that goes in the good news department or just news). The Dr explained that in late term cerclages where there are already changes to the cervix before placement i.e. dilation or thinning, which mine was, there is a 20% of going into labor within 24-48 hrs. Silly me forgot to ask what the percentages are for 3 days, 4 days etc. But like I said I am prepared to go another 5 months.

Shane stayed late this morning and was able to accompany me to the appointment. I packed the diaper bag, just in case, and the car seat was/is always there. And I washed AND blow dried my hair before we went. So I felt ready. We discussed names on the way in. Still not completely settled. Maybe once we see her the name will be more clear. And just to be clear, she is still a girl. I asked the technician to take a quick peak, as we don't even have a single boys name so I wanted to make sure we were still working in the right area.

There was a little work in finding the stitches. Which came with additional pressure and pinching. I felt like I should have gotten a baby out of the whole thing, but she stayed put. Really put. We were never able to get a really good view of her head or one particular head measurement the entire pregnancy because she likes to stay nestled down low. I guess she is shy.

The Dr asked if I'd like to take the stitches home. I said I was done with them, but thanks for the offer. However I did say yes to the stretchy Velcro band that held the baby monitor on for the non-stress test afterward. I knew the kids would have fun tying each other up with that. I was surprised at how much there was to the stitches. More like a ribbon than a thread. But they did the trick, so that's good. And now they are gone. So that is also good. She said no scar tissue that was obvious. Which is a relief to me. Even if its not for sure and there is some hiding. And I was only 1-2 cm dilated.  I see the midwives again next week, or sooner if labor starts. It's kind of a weird feeling to feel normal now and like we're just waiting like we would have been without the stitches. Shane went to work and will be late like a normal night and I'll wash more laundry. And pay Kateri to clean my room and bathroom. Because she's really good, I can't bend over, and I have some cash.

So the two names we've been playing with are Adele. And Sophia.  Maybe Sophia Adele.  Adele was Shane's Great Aunt. Sophia is also my nieces name, but being 17 yrs apart, its almost like last generation. And seriously, when you are from a family of 100 cousins, I don't even know how many second cousins, all with good taste in names, there is bound to be some overlap somewhere. We tried to consider some eastern girl names, the boy names are generally nicer, but after nixing anything with an X or a Z, or starting with a U, there weren't any left. Except Sophia. So here we are. But we are still open to any awesome suggestions so now's your chance to Name That Baby. All entries will be looked at. Some, like Udoxia, might get giggled at. Sorry. Just can't picture that one. I know. No imagination.

OK. Off to wash more towels and my bed sheets.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I'm Having A Baby!

I had my midwife check up this week. And we discussed stitch removal. I called the OB to schedule and she suggested a day next week that was not good for me- kids schedules and all that- so she suggested a different day as she does not want me to go too far into week 37 with them in. And so we negotiated. For tomorrow. That is, if it is a simple snip and remove in the office procedure. Potentially, it would be,  "umm where did that thread get to? We're going to need that nasty tool again and some heavy sedatives. Either way, that would be in less than 24 hrs!

Now I know it doesn't mean anything and through my vast canvassing of other internet stories I fully realize labor could be anywhere from 24 hours to 5 months away. I also came across some horror stories about stitches and scar tissue and it causing getting stuck at various points in the whole dilating process and 18 hour labors. Or going into labor pre-stitch removal and tearing and all kinds of unpleasantness. I'm really glad we only have a little time for that to be a problem.  I am also hoping the OB will be able to tell me what I might be dealing with so I can mentally prepare. Or just tell her schedule me for a C-section now!  But the knowledge that we have reached the much hoped for and anticipated 37 week mark has made it so much more real. That. I. Am. Going. To. Have. A. Baby.

I stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home, which is conveniently situated two blocks from the midwives'. To stock up on some food stuffs. I was a little panicked when I realized I also did not have any newborn diapers. So I stopped at the regular store to get those. And then I went back because I realized I needed diapers for Malachi as well. Poor guy. He's already being displaced. I was antsy as I was waiting for the second checkout. Because, hello? I'm having a baby.

Then Kateri set up the kitchen to make a cake. Because she felt it was time. And when it's Kateri time it IS going to happen. Not having the energy to go through why making a cake while someone is having  a baby might not be the best timing, I got her a box of lemon cake mix and let all the kids go at it. I thought they did a nice job, aside from the arguing over who got to frost which section and you used .000005 oz more frosting than I did, and taking up pretty much the whole day. Which was actually ok because then they were busy and I could focus on having a baby.

And writing down all the other things I forgot to get at the store. Like energy shots. Which were a big benefit last time. Like 3 months ago. When I last had a baby.

Malachi ended up only having a 15 min nap the day of my appointment. Which did allow him to get to bed at 9:30. But made for a fussy afternoon. I don't do well with fussy, and having a baby. So I was a little out of sorts. Then Shane texted saying he'd be late. I texted back saying I didn't think that was a great idea because, I AM HAVING A BABY!

He didn't respond. Mostly because it was only in my head that I sent it. But I was thinking it. All the while I was making two pork tenderloins and lots of green beans for dinner. I figured making two would be good as leftovers would be useful and I would be hungry after I had the baby.

I am looking forward to  finally have room to eat a normal sized meal, and lie on my stomach, and not waddle or be bursting obscenely out of my stretched way too far non maternity clothes. I have been wearing maternity shirts- I have two- and I got one of those belly bands to cover the gap and keep my tummy warm. But my wardrobe is still very limited given that I am reluctant to invest time shopping and money in something I won't be using after I have the baby.

Though there are some new nursing bras I want to look into, as that department is even less stocked than my maternity section. Meaning there isn't anything there at all. Which makes for really easy nursing. But doesn't help in the decently attired or how are these pads going to stay in situations. I actually have lots of leftover pads that are not expired, since I just had a baby.

I remembered to fill up my car with gas and have the second carseat all ready in the event I ever leave my house again. Speaking of cars,  Shane presented me with some new car options that, aside from using up the kids' college tuitions, seem attractive and don't require a grappling hook for climbing into  or a football field for turning around. Because guess what? We won't all fit in the current car once I have the baby.

Friday, January 24, 2014

7 Quick Takes Attmept Deux

We'll see how this goes. Being the luddite that astounds Shane on a daily basis, I fully expect my trying to be tricky and actually trying to use the 7QT template will not work and there will just be signs and symbols that might be taken for strong language on the blog. Until Shane gets home and I show him and he gets a good laugh then hits the secret key and it all makes sense again and I still won't know what I did/didn't do.
Strong language could be appropriate- it has its place-for this week. I thought we were doing better in the baby sleeping somewhere other than my face department. And we were. Then we got hit with the stomach flu. At 1am, of course. Kateri came knocking on our door saying Muffin was crying and would not be happy. And then he barfed. A lot. All over Kateri and the carpet. I was no too surprised as Audrey had had a visit from the vomit fairy a few hours earlier. Fortunately it was on the bathroom floor and much easier to clean. Aside from being 8 months pregnant and not able to bend over at all. I was only a little in the blast radius but of course I had to take him so we had a little vomit cuddle while we waited for the shower to warm up. After all three of us were cleaned enough to make it through the rest of night and Shane had heroically scrubbed the carpet, I decided I would rather spare the mattresses and made a bed on Kateri's floor with blankets and towels for Muffin and me. He actually slept soundly the rest of the night, as did I, and that was the extent of his illness.
We brought it on ourselves by planning on having company this weekend. Which happened, oh three years ago when I tried to get out of my turtle shell for a couple weekends in a row and scheduled TWO social get together. Which were cancelled and I retreated. So I'm wondering what the lesson I'm supposed to learn here is.
We still are not completely settled on a name yet. I am definitely at that part of the pregnancy where you are tricked into thinking labor would be sooo much easier than this. But I know better this time. Besides, we've worked so hard to keep her in as long as we have we might as well stick out the fattening up stage. Her. Not me. I'll be 36 weeks on Sunday and we discuss stitch removal at my next appointment so labor does feel imminent. Though I'll probably go late anyway. Which will get me a little more use of the maternity shirts I finally bought last week to cover my WHOLE belly (you are welcome, world).
In the theme of coming out of my shell, I registered for a womens day of reflection hosted by our parish and focusing on the parable of the prodigal son. So given there are no more instances of illness I'll be getting up early, for a Saturday, and leaving Shane home with the kids. Actually, it wilt be just the boys. Audrey is coming with me and Kateri is helping Grandma serve a tea.
The kids have had lessons in losing pets these past couple weeks. Two weekends in a row we lost a rabbit. Still don't know why but we are prepared to lose another this weekend, if the pattern holds. But Kateri reported to me yesterday, "No one is really sad or anything, but I think the other bunnies are going to die soon". Turns out they were just basking in the sunlight and were up and running a little later. But it does seem like they are adjusting more quickly to each loss. Anyone looking for a large outdoor rabbit cage?
Feel free to offer any name suggestions. Adele is still the only one in the running but somehow doesn't 'feel' like the one. Plus we need a middle name too.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Moving Muffin Out Of The Bed- The Sleep Saga Continues

I am fully prepared for this to be part one of part 389. Or something like that. I'm still working on ways to make space for Cupcake. Which means moving Muffin. The crib has not been a sure thing and he has never slept all night in it, so putting him farther than three inches from me is not really a help. Much less in another bed in another room. But I am hoping this is the week we make some real progress towards that end. And thanks to my in-laws who very generously offered to keep ALL the kids for TWO nights, ( more on that later)I think we might  have some good momentum. Which is good, because even with an uninterrupted night of sleep I still fell asleep during the movie. I thought for sure the bullets and intensity of the situation would keep me up, but no. A cozy dark room. No one making bear sounds....zzz.  But I finally did keep myself awake and enjoyed, if that can be said, seeing Lone Survivor. Not like the pregnancy hormones needed any encouraging in the drama department. I also wanted to see it with Shane to preview it in the event he took the boys to see it. We both agreed they could handle it. Other than some, ok maybe lots, of language it was a good telling of a true story. And really, when people are shooting at  you, your comrade is injured, or dead, and your ride home is AWOL, I think some strong language really sums up your situation. So I think they are going tonight.

And I will be setting things in place for Malachi's night. In Kateri's bed. Which she is really excited about.At Grandma's, he slept in his crib in a room with Audrey and Kateri. Until he woke up and they put him in their bed, or if it was late enough, took him to Grandma and she got him back to sleep. Mom was not there and he survived. The girls, aside from now having real experience of a mom's night and wanting naps, were also able to give feedback on ways they might improve problems they saw. Namely, the crib creaks and they suspect the noise disturbs his sleep (and theirs) and he needs the mattress to be softer. It gives me high hopes for putting him in Kateri's bed tonight. I finally hit on a plan for bottles without treks to the kitchen or wasting milk. I took one of the kids' insulated lunch bags and put a freezer pack in it with a full bottle of milk. No it's, not rocket science, but anything that provides everyone with more sleep and makes life less stressful is ground breaking in my book. Which is what I am all about these days.

It was also really nice to not be tripping over the crib at night or having to finagle my way around the bed rail, mid-leg cramp at 3am. All-in-all I feel very hopeful about future nights. But we will see how tonight goes.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

33.4 Weeks

I had another midwife appointment this week. It was so lovely driving alone to the birth center. They were pretty busy but I didn't mind waiting, though it might have been nice to  take a nap on the bed while I waited. Everything is good, baby grew a lot the past two weeks, cervix is very soft and she suspects there would be some dilation to report if there were no stitches so everything it doing its job. We'll discuss stitch removal next appointment and then we'll wait.

I am excited/can't believe we are this close/panicked because Malachi is still crazy sleeping/looking forward to not having to heft my belly around the bed rail in the middle of the night when I get a Charlie horse. Which I have only had to do twice so far because I followed this one easy trick.*

But first, back to our sleep problems Because lately that is my most pressing issue. I can't really show what it looks like because a flash going off around a should be sleeping baby would be ridiculous. So here is and "artist's" rendition of most of our nights. No matter when they actually start, this sequence, with little variation happens.

At some  point we are all in  bed. Malachi wakes up ( generally anytime between1am and 4am, and calls for Mama I snuggle him and try to cozy him back to sleep. If he has any bottle left I give it to him. He finishes it, then starts his routine of bashing and thrashing around the bed with his very weighty and hard head as I perform various defensive manuevers. Most nights I promise myself I will not sleep with him again without protective gear and as I don't have any I fully expect to wake up with a broken jaw or nose one of these mornings.

The snuggling just results in closer quarters in which to launch his cranial assaults and after a head, neck, chest assault, I shake Shane and ask him to get a refill. He takes the bottle and promptly goes back to sleep. Shane, not Malachi. I wait a bit, the thrashing continues. So I take the bottle, shake Shane again and tell him not to let Malachi crawl off the bed, and head down stairs to fill the bottle. I come back. He drinks the bottle, Malachi, not Shane, and then begins the head thrashing routine. This time with soundtrack. Of farm animal noises. First Uff Uff (dog) Then Mow. Then Boooo.(cow) Snort. Scary Bear growl. Tractor noises. And some animals that apparently didn't make it to the boat in time because I've never heard them before.

To be fair, most nights Shane does wake up and gets a bottle. But if he doesn't he doesn't even remember me asking him to. And no matter how it plays out no one is rested in the morning. I tried putting Malachi in a crib in our room but that just made for extra effort on my part to extract him when the 'Mama's started. And I don't need any heavy lifting at this point. So he is back in the bed. And despite his nights, his naps generally are short, non-existent, or so late I can't let him sleep more than 30 min. So no nap times for Mama. Which is ok because I have this fabulous trait where unless I am really sick, napping gives me a headache. And after a bout of pregnancy insomnia last week, which just preceded the nighttime gymnastics routine, I don't want to risk messing with sleep schedules.

I'm feeling desperate as we approach the due date but really don't know what else to try. I thought of getting a new bed and setting up camp in the bonus room and letting the boys tough it out. We could use a new bed and once everyone is finally settled, baby and I can move back in, bringing a new mattress with us. I could sleep somewhere else for the duration of the pregnancy and get Malachi used to not having Mama there, but it is kind of a two person job so I'd have to have one of the other kids risk life and limb to sleep in there and help out.

Honestly I'm so tired I don't know if I can even think properly to problem solve our issues.  Maybe I just need to accept that none of our kids need sleep and I should plan on being under slept for the foreseeable future. I don't know how other families manage. I seriously want to gag myself and vomit  from envy when other moms talk about their 4 year old napping, or 'we put the kids to bed at 7:30, then its our time to visit and catch up on each other's day. Some days Shane is just getting home 7:00. Is our schedule just too erratic to support normal sleep patterns? Is it genetic? Does it need some tough love to make it resemble anything normal? Is there a normal? Who am I?

I don't like the 'cry it out' method of bed weaning but am open to any and all other offers of advice. Even if its just a "Yes. Sounds like you have young children. You don't get hot coffee, any length of a shower, trips to the bathroom alone, a full meal in one sitting, or sleep. That's how it is."

But then Malachi does his scary bear routine, which once you are really afraid he quickly turns into a gentle uff uff and my heart melts. I just wish he wouldn't do it at 3am.

*One easy trick. The other night I was giggling in bed as I told Shane a tip a neighbor share to help with leg cramps. Place a bar of soap under your bottom sheet near your feet, and you won't get cramps. She did, and didn't have any, after having cramps with previous pregnancies. He laughed and we looked it up on my phone and sure enough it was on the internet so it must be true. Isn't that silly? So did you put a bar of soap under the sheet? Yes. My leg is still sore from the other night, despite the calcium-magnesium I've been taking since last pregnancy so I don't care if its placebo or what I'll try anything. And it worked. For a week. But I'm totally game for another placebo effect if anyone has other recommendations.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Attempting a Version of 7 Quick Takes

(Just typing the title has taken 5 minutes and I lost it once. The Post Title. So don't expect anything clever, wordy, or properly spelled. Explanation to follow.)

1. Malachi is still working hard to keep the title "world's worst sleeper."

2.And succeeding with aplomb.

3.Yesterday he decided he was not a baby anymore and skipped his nap. Entirely.

4. But he made sure everyone was aware that he was not operating with a full tank.

5. He finally tried to take a nap. At 6pm. So Kateri whisked him upstairs for a quick bath and he was able to make it until 8:10, when Shane decided to take him for a short drive so he would not know he was being put to bed.

6. Then he woke up at 10:30 and after many unsuccessful attempts to soothe him back to sleep, I finally gave up and let him play with the newly washed baby girl clothes while I folded laundry in the semi-dark.

7. He finally settled down at his usual bedtime of 2am. ( Seriously that has been our bedtime the past week).Only to wake up at 8:45am and then scrape by on a 1-hour nap.

8. After a year of this routine I am really, really, tired. But I'm sure you guessed that.

9. Its my first attempt. Give me a break.