38 weeks: Turn around

The final appointments before having a baby can be some of the most anxiety-provoking/exciting. Each week you’re hoping that change is happening. That your body is doing something to prepare you for baby times. That you can have some proof of all the discomfort you’ve been experiencing. So, at my (almost) 37-week appointment, I was super bummed to find out not much change was happening, at all. No dilation. Baby still up high. Nothing. Fuck. So when I went into my 38-week appointment, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that: 1. I hadn’t gained any weight since the previous week (that has NEVER happened before), and 2. I was about 1.5cm dilated!! However, all this excitement quickly turned to full-on anxiety/rage when my Dr. started having a hard time confirming baby’s head was down. When she did an ultrasound, sure enough, baby had decided to flip around. Breech. Fuuuuuuuuuucccccckkk.

Let me begin by saying, I know this is not the end of the world. Sometimes babies are breech. People have C-sections. It’s fine. Why, then, can I not stop being pissed at the world about this?!? I’m pissed that the delivery I imagined is (likely) impossible. I’m pissed that I might have to go through a major surgery. I’m pissed that the initial adjustment of 2 kids to 3 will be so much more challenging. And, worst of all, I’m pissed at this baby. I know how that sounds. (Terrible). But it’s true. I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of making things accommodating for her in there. I’ve kept her fed (with waaaaayyyy too many sweet treats), I’ve taken her on (up to) 13.1 mile runs, I stopped drinking for her, I even took her to see “Hamilton”. MOTHER FUCKING “HAMILTON”!!! Any fetus would dream of being privy to the original cast of the most successful modern musical ever!!!! So wouldn’t you think, the least she could do, would be to point her precious little head down?! Honestly. It’s not that fucking difficult.

So how am I coping with this breech business? As you can probably tell, not great. Since I received the news last Friday, I’ve been googling every recommended body position and movement to get babies to flip. I’ve rocked back and forth in a crawling position. I’ve done a downward dog move with my legs bent on the couch. I’ve laid upside down on an ironing board. I’m contemplating going to my parents’ tonight just so I can try to do a handstand in their pool. I. am. desperate. And I feel a bigger sense of urgency because tomorrow I’m attempting an external cephalic version (ECV). “Oooooo, ECV? What is that? That sounds glamorous!” Well, let me enlighten you. Based on what I’ve been told, (and what I’ve googled), ECV is when your doctor lubes up your belly and tries to manually move the baby to a head-down position. By pushing around on the outside of your belly (all while monitoring baby). They give you medicine to help relax your uterus, so it is ideally all loosey goosey and baby can just flippy floppy on down there. As you may imagine, I’m pretty anxious about this. I don’t really think it’s going to hurt (that bad), but I do think it will feel like a fully-cooked baby is doing a fucking Simone Biles floor routine inside my guts. Here are some factors that make the chance of success more/less likely:

Yay: I’ve had babies before, so my uterus is more likely to relax and stretch to make room for baby to move.

Fuck: Most ECV’s are attempted at 37 weeks. The closer you are to your due date, the bigger the baby, the tougher it can be to get her to scoot.

Yay: I have a good amount of amniotic fluid in there, so she can just Michael Phelps her way down toward my vagina. (I mean, if Michael Phelps wanted to swim that direction, too, I’d be fine with that. Just sayin’….)

Fuck: My placenta is attached on the side of my uterus, which apparently isn’t the worst placement, but it also isn’t the best. Nobody wants baby bumping up against that shit and knocking something loose.

It’s essentially a 50/50 shot. Baby could refuse to move. Baby could move and then flip back again. Baby could get too distressed and my doctor would have to stop. I could get too distressed and my doctor would have to stop. I told Andy I’m really nervous all that pushing on my belly will make me fart everywhere and then EVERYONE would be distressed and we’d have to stop. OR…it could work. She could flip to head down, I would hang out for awhile so they could make sure baby looks good. Then I’d go home and start having a different kind of anxiety about when labor was going to start. My ideal scenario: the procedure is easy, goes well, as soon as baby settles her head down, my water breaks and I have her tomorrow!! Huzzah!! (yeah, right).

In the meantime, I’m trying to wrap my head around what a C section birth will be like, if that’s what ends up happening. I’ve already had several people reach out to tell me they had C sections and that the procedure and recovery weren’t nearly as bad/scary as they had anticipated. And this is very encouraging for me to hear. The main reasons I don’t want a C section are that: 1. I’m extremely anxious about the procedure itself (Will it hurt? Will I feel sick? Will there be complications? Will there be strange smells? Will I be out of it? Etc.) And, 2. I’m nervous that I won’t get to have that magical moment once baby comes out. You know. Once you hear that cry and look down and there’s a fucking baby that you’ve created and fucking pushed out and they plop it up on your chest and it’s the most fucking amazing thing you’ve ever experienced in your life. (I’m literally tearing up as I’m writing this part. Please let that be an indicator of how amazing it is…and how goddamn hormonal I am). But I don’t know what that moment will be like in a C section. And that’s really scary for me. And all of these bullshit, dumb ass, online articles I’ve seen keep popping into my brain –  “A medicated birth doesn’t allow you to feel all those hormones you need to bond with your baby!! You can have attachment issues!! A natural, home birth in a beautiful whirlpool of distilled water and gluten-free, non-GMO chia seeds is the only right way to have a baby!! BLAH BLAH BLAH!!” I know I’m perpetuating this craziness in my head, but right now it’s hard to escape it.

So I suppose the only real thing to do is take it 1 day at a time. Tomorrow morning, we will see if this baby girl decides to flip. And if she doesn’t, I guess I will just go from there. I’m going to try not to feel too bad about my anger. It’s probably natural to be frustrated. And I’ve been lucky that my past pregnancies and deliveries have been pretty textbook, without complications. Pain. Epidural. Pushing (out huge babies). Magical moment. Even if I have to take a slightly different route to get there, I’m sure I will still arrive at that same place this time. And I’m sure it will only be the first of many times this girl challenges to be different. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.

36 weeks: Are we there yet?

I knew this was going to happen. As soon as I got pregnant and realized I would be due at the end of August, I KNEW this was going to happen. I knew that as soon as August hit, I would be counting down the minutes, second guessing every little cramp and twinge, thinking that maybe, just MAYBE this baby will show me some mercy and make her appearance early so I wouldn’t have to endure the absolute worst month to be living in Kansas City. So I tried to prep myself from the beginning: “You will be late. Just plan on having this baby late. Know that August will suck. Don’t even consider wishful thinking because you will only be disappointed.” Turns out, I’m still fucking fixated on wishful thinking. And here are some reasons why:

1. It’s fucking hot. IMG_8338There have been some tolerable days, I will admit, but I know this month is bound to be filled with more intolerable days than tolerable ones. Just this morning I saw something about a heat wave coming. Lovely. Because who doesn’t love breaking an offensive sweat while waddling 5 feet to go get the mail? Aggressive boob sweat? Sign me up. Ankle and hand swelling? Sexy. Being trapped indoors with 2 monsters because it’s literally to hot to even go to the pool? Oh man, I’m just giddy with anticipation. And maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it won’t be so awful. A few days ago, I actually got outside to work in the garden for awhile because it was an almost pleasant temperature. However, my gratitude for not getting heat stroke can easily be replaced with intense fear of…

2. Mosquitos. That’s right. August is a time when I walk into the backyard and am instantly covered with 500 mosquito bites. After feeling so pleased with myself for trying to make our garden look socially acceptable the other day, I walked inside and had at least 10 little mosquito bites. Of course, my immediate thought was…ZIKA!!!! I have Zika. I know I have Zika. I’m going to give Zika to this baby and somehow her fully-formed brain is going to shrink to the size of a raisin. All because I wanted to do some goddamn yard work!! After texting Andy to ask if I’d ruined our baby’s life, she started moving around like crazy. Which, of course, I took as her way of saying, “Zikaaaa!! You’ve given me Zikaaaa!!! WHHHYYY?!?! I’ve survived the perils of your ‘every once in awhile’ small glass of wine, your soft cheeses, your deli meat (sometimes not even heated up thoroughly), even your cursed Diet Cokes. And now you give me fucking Zika?!? …betch.”

3. Irrational thinking. If reading #2 doesn’t already give you a picture of how my brain is currently functioning, let me tell you, sometimes (most times) I feel like I’m losing it. It’s happened with each pregnancy. There’s usually some aspect of my life that because a crippling obsession for me. This pregnancy, it’s garden-related. I know. It’s weird. But it’s true. Gardening is a fairly new endeavor for me.

I’m not terribly good at it. But I care enough about trying that I’ve invested a good chunk of time and effort into it. So when I look out the windows in our dining room and see bushes that I apparently needed to trim early in the summer (but didn’t) so they wouldn’t fall over from growing too tall and heavy…I freak out. When I see weeds everywhere that I dread going outside to try to pick because it’s too hot, there are too many mosquitos, and it’s really hard for me to bend over…I freak out. When I see a fucking squirrel running away with a fucking branch of our fucking peaches from our fucking peach tree…I freak. the fuck. out. (We have zero peaches, you guys. Zero. Mother. Fucking. Squirrels.) Now in the scheme of things, does our garden look like total shit? No. It really doesn’t. And besides our next door neighbors, we are the only ones that really get a good view of it. But for some reason, I spend an unreasonable amount of time thinking about what I should’ve done or need to do but don’t want to/physically can’t. And that “physically can’t” category is growing by the minute…

4. My body hurts. My stomach is big. Real big. Big enough now that I accidentally bump into people and things. Big enough that simple tasks like putting on my shoes, or trying to shave my legs (ha!), or bending over, or getting out of bed…these things are challenging for me. Plus, this baby is big enough now that her movements are super uncomfortable. There are times I literally feel a foot kicking up under my ribs. Or something will feel like it’s twisting down at the base of my lady bits area. Sometimes she will move or I will move and I will get a weird “zing” of pain down the side of the butt. Or the inside of my leg. Or directly out of my lady bits!! That’s right. Vagina zingers. And I’m having more and more Braxton-Hicks contractions. Which I know is a good thing. Stuff is getting prepped. But it still feels like someone is slowly tightening a fucking corset around my abdomen. Which then leads to the wishful thinking I mentioned. I mean, maybe she will come early. Right?

Overall, being home with the boys over the summer has been good. We’ve been busy and had a lot of help, and it’s gone pretty fast. But much like the end of my pregnancy, the countdown to the end of summer (aka starting school) has begun. Don’t get me wrong. I love my children. But I’m ready to let someone else love them for a few days a week. We made the bold move of transitioning them to bunk beds last week. IMG_8346Nick was still in a crib and Adam was in a crib transitioned to a toddler bed. And I didn’t want to buy another fucking crib for the baby just to have Nick move to a bed in a few months. So, we went for it. I must say, it’s gone much better than I anticipated. Granted, the first night, Adam came downstairs no fewer than 8 times to let us know Nick had climbed up into his bed. But since then, there have been relatively few issues. Nap time is a bit challenging, since Nick is prone to resisting naps. When he was in a crib, I could just leave him in there, even if he was shrieking, and he would usually (eventually) fall asleep. But now that he can just walk out of bed, we’ve started using the lock on the outside of the door. That’s right. You heard me. I lock my kid in his room to force him to nap. Which he does maybe 70% of the time. The other day he just read books on the floor and emptied all of his clothes out of his drawers. So helpful. And before you worry about something terrible happening to him while he’s in said locked room, know that the door has a huge window in the middle of it, so I can keep an eye on him to make sure he isn’t destroying anything (or himself). It’s not a perfect system, but it usually results in him at least being quiet in a sequestered place for an hour or so. And I will fucking take it.IMG_8315

I think the biggest developmental change that has happened with Nick this summer is his language. I know I’ve talked about it before, but it is amazing how quickly things change. Every so often he will add one more element to his sentence structure to make it sound like an actual, real sentence. For example, in the car yesterday, he dropped his toy and asked Andy, “Can you please get my taxi, dad?” And we were like, “Whoa! I mean, no, I’m not going to search under the passenger seat feeling around for your tiny toy while I’m driving. But, whoa! Good talking!” Adam makes some of those changes, too, but his have become more subtle and less frequent. And it’s always a weird mix of excitement and sadness for me when it happens. I love that they are growing and learning, but I hate knowing they aren’t going to be little forever. And once it happens, it’s not like you can go back. They just keep growing up. Yesterday, Adam said the word, “fire”. But instead of pronouncing it like he usually does – “fi-ya”, he said the actual “r” sound. And my initial reaction was, “No!! Stop!! Stay my little toddler forever and ever and never, ever leave meeeee!!!” (refer to “Irrational thinking” above)

Generally, the boys do a nice job playing together, especially first thing in the morning. They have a nice routine of getting up and playing a little upstairs, having breakfast, then playing together in their playroom. Until suddenly they aren’t playing together anymore.

And someone has something the other person wants and everything goes to shit. But those moments when they are building Legos together or driving around their dump trucks or narrating a scene about their toy animals. Those moments are pretty goddamn adorable. And I try to take note of them. To play with them sometimes, instead of trying to do something else or fucking around on my phone (no, I haven’t downloaded Pokemon yet. At least I get points for that). But sometimes, I feel like I need to “check out” for awhile, so I resort to screen time. Magical, wonderful, brain-melting screen time. It’s usually a guaranteed amount of time when I can relax. I don’t worry about anyone getting hurt or fighting or destruction. Except the other day. Adam must’ve been overtired or something because he was really restless while watching something with Nick. And instead of reveling in my blessed “alone time”, I’m interrupted by Adam crying. Not his whiny cry, but a really distraught/concerned cry. And he says, “Nick has a scratch on his baaaack!” …I was confused. Why was he concerned about Nick having a scratch? Oh, because he gave him the fucking scratch. With a plastic fork. That had been broken in half. Ya. He secured a makeshift shiv and fucking scratched Nick’s back because he was lying on a bean bag he didn’t want him to be lying on. Further questioning revealed that the “shiv” had been found in the basement. There was probably a plastic fork that I stepped on at some point that was then found and used as a weapon. To be fair, Adam’s reaction made me expect some gaping wound, dripping blood down Nick’s back and staining his shirt. When I went in the living room to investigate, Nick wasn’t upset at all. Just lying on the coveted bean bag, watching TV. It was a small scratch that wasn’t bleeding, but Adam kept saying, “I’m really sad that I did thaaaaat!” So I walked away feeling like it was a “win” for me. I mean, Nick wasn’t severely injured, and I’d taught Adam to be so sensitive to others that he was distraught by the thought of really hurting his brother…with a broken fork…found in the basement…and taken without me knowing…and used while I was playing a word game on my phone…whatever, it’s FINE! Parenting WIN!!

As much as I complain about wanting this baby to come out now, I’m not really ready for that. I don’t know if anyone is ever REALLY ready. Fortunately/unfortunately, I’ve been through this process before, so I know what labor pains are and how much they fucking hurt. But I don’t know if my experience this time will be the same as the last times. Maybe my water will break. Maybe I will be induced. Maybe I will slowly labor for a couple days before things get going. Maybe I will have this baby on my living room floor (oh please, sweet Jesus, no). But I at least know it’s possible. And that the end result is so fucking awesome. And how lucky is she to have resourceful, strong-willed brothers who can teach her how to fashion weapons out of plastic silverware and resist naps to the point of pure exhaustion? (Nick is doing that right now, by the way.) So I will continue to cope, usually with non-alcoholic beers and excessive amounts of calories, because “this too, shall pass”. And I’m sure, once this little girl starts learning and growing at the same rate her brothers are, and especially once she becomes an adolescent and realizes how terribly weird and uncool I am, I’m going to wish I could go back in time. Wish I could remember when she was safe and snug in my belly. Which, even the 3rd time around, is such a strange and incredible thing. So bring it on, August. And see you soon, baby girl. IMG_8349

31 weeks: beginning of the end

If someone asked me what my current favorite hobby is, I would say food. 100% food. The carb-ier the food, the better. And I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m in love with food right now. It happens every time I’m pregnant. Pretty much as soon as I stop feeling sick, I immediately switch to “shovel in all the things” mode. The thing is, it’s much easier to get away with that in the 2nd trimester. During that time, you’re still fairly active, you’re not uncomfortable, you still have plenty of room for a baby and a food baby to exist simultaneously. It’s a magical time. But once the 3rd trimester hits, game over. Oh, you still want to eat everything, and you do eat everything, but then it has nowhere to go. (By the way, when I say “you”, I mean “me”. I do this.) So now, after I enjoy an over-serving of Indian food, I’m graced with waves of nausea, heartburn, and wet burps. You heard me. Wet. Burps.

This digression really began after I did my glucose test. About a month and a half ago, I got to drink the sugary drink that everyone says is disgusting but I think is actually pretty tasty. They made me wait an hour. Then they drew my blood to test for diabetes. I didn’t think too much of it, until I had a voicemail from my doctor’s office saying to call them. I knew this HAD to mean bad news, because if it was something routine or benign, they just would’ve told me in the message. I knew it HAD to mean I had diabetes. This was the pregnancy it was going to happen. I just knew it. So, I was pleasantly surprised to call back and discover that, no, I did not have diabetes. In fact, my blood sugar was a little low, so I needed to make sure to eat snacks, especially protein-based snacks, between meals. OMG. Best. News. EVER!!!! …except, I interpreted “protein-based snacks” as cookies, and candy, and brownies, and all of the sweet treats!! Oh, and cheese. Cheese in all its forms. Sure, you might say I was indulging, but really, I was following my doctor’s orders. I was doing it for my baby!!!  Then, at my next doctor’s appointment 4 weeks later, I found out I had gained 6 pounds…in 4 weeks… Sooooo….that was exciting news. In the scheme of things, it’s fine. I’m probably going to gain what I gained in my other pregnancies. And it’s fine. Sure, I’m going to be 40 more pounds of person during the hottest time of the year. But IT’S FINE!!! IMG_8213

Speaking of heat, can it stop being so fucking hot already?? Honestly. For only being June, I’ve already had record amounts of under-boob sweat. So much sweat. The surprising thing is, it hasn’t been as awful as I’ve anticipated. Granted, I still have 2 months to go, and it should only get hotter from now until then, but I haven’t been as miserable as I thought I’d be. Maybe I’ve mentally prepared myself for the worst, so I’m able to manage it. Also, I sweat like a monster in the summertime, pregnant or not. So at least being pregnant I have an excuse and can eke out some sympathy from strangers. “See that waddling woman with a glistening sweat mustache? Ugh, what a…oh wait…is she pregnant? Poor thing…”

The waddling seems to have set in a little earlier this pregnancy. I’m starting to enter the “movements are uncomfortable” part of this journey, so somehow that results in me swaying aggressively side-to-side with each step I take. I’ve been trying to stay fairly active. I started out so strong with that half marathon, and then I guess I figured that could suffice as the total amount of exercise this pregnancy. Running doesn’t work so well anymore. I feel too nervous about tripping and falling over, and once I stop running, it feels a little like my pelvis is cracking in half. So, that can’t be good. The frustrating thing is, even walking is starting to give me that sensation. WALKING! The easiest form of exercise. You know videos or images you’ve seen in school or books that show how the earth’s continents really started out as 1 big land mass and then slowly separated into different chunks? That’s what I imagine is happening with my pelvis. Each step I take is creating a larger space between continents. Science.

I have been able to keep up with my Body Pump classes. And the answer to your question is yes, a 31-week pregnant person doing body pump looks as ridiculous as you would imagine it does. IMG_7717Last week, I wore a maternity workout tank top to the gym. It’s a super comfortable shirt, but leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. I mean, you know exactly where my belly button is and how fucking weird its shape and size is. Anyways, at one point during the class, the instructor asked everyone to look in a side mirror to check their form. As I turned to view my side profile, I think I let out a semi-horrified gasp. I don’t know what I was expecting, but man, there is definitely a growing baby in that fat ass belly. As I’ve gotten bigger, I’ve had to modify for different parts of the class. For example, instead of loading up weight to use during squats, I basically just use my ever-increasing body weight. I also have to keep the bench at an incline and do a series of weird maneuvers to get up and down during the bench press part. For awhile, I tried to keep up with the abs workout, just using a slightly inclined bench. But eventually, it became difficult to know exactly where my abs are. Do they exist anymore? Have they begun to separate like my pelvic continents? Who knows. All I know is during 1 class I tried to attempt a hover, and when I looked down my stomach was no longer round but more pyramid shaped, and I thought, “ummm, fuck this”. Later, abs.

I was really worried this summer would drag on forever since I’m no longer working and the boys don’t have school. So far, it’s been ok. We’ve been fairly busy and (as always) I have lots of help from family and friends. The boys really like going to the pool, and besides the time it takes to lather up my whale body with sunscreen, the pool has been fantastic for me as well. It’s nice for the boys, they get to have some active outside time without melting, and I get some relief from the heat and fucking humidity. IMG_8153I try not to feel too self-conscious in my maternity suit. I have 2 different “tankini” tops that work well, but unavoidably make my boobs look like sad sausages. Don’t ask me why that’s the image that comes to mind, but for some reason it is. It’s like they look skinny, length-wise, like link sausages, but they’re falling down. Like someone is dropping 2 link sausages. But instead of hitting the ground, they’ve come to rest on top of my fat belly. That’s what it looks like. I also had to buy some new bottoms, because somehow the ones I had became crusty? Nothing says, “you’re disgusting” like a crusty old pair of swimsuit bottoms. So I bought some generic black ones at Target. Of course, I needed a size up from what I usually wear, but overall they have worked well. They aren’t bikini style, though, they’re more like spandex shorts. In fact, I probably could’ve just used some spandex shorts I have from my volleyball days. They are just as long as those. And before you go judging my stylistic choices for a suit, know that: 1. I don’t give a shit, and 2. I’m much happier knowing that whatever situation is happening down in that region (because who the fuck knows what’s happening down there anymore), it’s going to be covered. I’m sure I already get plenty of looks/genuine confusion regarding the sausage link boobs and the offensive paleness, I don’t need any other questioning looks targeting my lady bit situation. Uh-UH!

As the boys continue to get older, the general trend that has surfaced is: some shit gets easier and some shit gets shittier. For example, Adam is old enough to understand more things. He still loses his patience and wants what he wants when he wants it, but he can be talked into or out of things and bribed fairly easily. He will even offer up his help every now and then. However, this means he’s also smart enough to manipulate. Manipulate me and, of course, manipulate Nick. Lying has become a fun, new behavior. And he is a shitty ass liar. To be fair, he gets himself into lose-lose situations quite frequently. The most common scenario is: Nick has a toy that Adam wants. Adam takes the toy from him by force (grabbing, pushing, etc.). Nick cries. I ask what happens and Adam says, “nuffing”. Me: “Did you push Nick?” Him: …”no…” Me: “If you’re lying you’re going to be in more trouble. Did you push Nick?” Him: “….” Me: “Yes or no?” Him: “I don’t know!” Me: “Yes or no?!” Him: “Yes, but I wanted…bla bla bla” Me: “Timeout.” So really, attempting to lie is probably his best bet at avoiding punishment, since he’s likely going to get punished anyways. It’s a tricky situation. And Nick is definitely not always the innocent one…

IMG_7707Nick is a stubborn little shit. And as my patience continues to dwindle with every pound I gain, I find myself getting in more and more battles with him. The most recent one was at breakfast. I asked what the boys wanted to eat. Which, by the way, is a terrible fucking idea. Why do I ask them what they want? They are CHILDREN! Why I don’t just decide what I’m going to make and then force them to eat it, I don’t know. Maybe I innately enjoy fighting with 2-yr-olds. Either way, I ask if he wants some scrambled eggs and he says yes. So I slave away making gourmet scrambled eggs for him (aka, cracking the egg into a coffee mug, scrambling with a fork, and heating it up in the microwave). Surprise, surprise, once the eggs are ready to eat, Nick doesn’t want them. Fine. The rule we’ve established for both boys is, they need to eat what’s on their plate. If they don’t, that’s fine, they can be “done”, but when they ask for a snack, they have to finish their plate before having anything else. So, as expected, Nick asks for something else a few minutes later, and I tell him he needs to finish his eggs first. To which he replies, “No!” (while giving me the demon look). I remain calm and explain his options again. Followed by more “no”s and demon looks. Eventually, he tries to pull a sneaky one by taking his plate toward the trash. I catch him and put the plate back on the table and tell him he needs to finish the eggs. More pouting and demon looks. I leave the kitchen for a minute, only to return to Nick pushing his plate of eggs into the sink. As I’m reprimanding him and picking eggs out of soapy water to put back on the plate (it’s fucking fine, a little dish soap never hurt anyone), I see he has one piece of egg that he’s slowly pushing into a space he’s discovered under the counter, between the sink and the cabinet. I don’t know why there’s a space there, but I do know that if (more) food gets in there, it’s going to do nothing but add to the likelihood of (more) unwanted bugs and smells in the kitchen. So I lose my shit and yell and threaten and then feel bad and stupid for even engaging in an argument…with my fucking 2-yr-old. I honestly can’t remember how it was resolved. If I had to guess, I’d say I probably left the plate on the table for Nick to finish and at some point my terrible dog got on the table and ate the eggs and I was too tired to make new ones for him to eat so I just gave him whatever snack he wanted in the first place. A+ parenting, ya’ll.

I chalk up some of my emotional outbursts to pregnancy hormones, but other times, I just become a lazy parent. Being consistent can be really difficult, so I shouldn’t be surprised if my kids’ behaviors don’t change when I don’t follow through on consequences. Summertime is also tough because it seems like there is more going on, later in the evening, so schedules get thrown off and then kids get all dysregulated. A perfect example is Nick’s recent nap regression. We had a couple weekends in a row of late nights with friends, plus random viruses going around, plus me going out of town…resulting in Nick refusing to nap for a week straight. Now, Adam gave up naps not long after he turned 3 (this is early for most kids – lucky me), so it’s not like I’ve had afternoons with both boys asleep for awhile. However, Adam has gotten pretty good at “quiet resting”, so I’m able to get some things done or just sit and relax for a bit in the afternoons. With Nick, however, missing a nap means that by 5pm, he loses his shit. The process of trying to get him back on track with napping was so incredibly frustrating. Listening to him yell in his bed for over an hour straight, knowing that he’s exhausted, knowing that if he doesn’t sleep that the rest of the day will be miserable, also knowing that if I wait too long and he falls asleep too late, I risk a successful bedtime…my sanity was like a pot of water slowly boiling over. I had to do a lot of deep breaths and self-talk. Plus, I googled. I tried to limit myself to sites and suggestions that seemed legit. The internet is full of people who think they are experts and before you know it, you’ve read 1 too many comments on “Baby Center” and you’ve been shamed into thinking you’re doing all of the wrong things. We have a book that we’ve used with both boys when establishing sleep schedules early on, so I figured that was a somewhat trustworthy source. What I discovered is that when kids are overtired, their bodies will actively fight sleep. So instead of napping, which seems like the intuitive thing for a tired body to do, kids will fight it and then fatigue early in the evening. The solution: push up bedtime. Somehow, getting more sleep at night is supposed to make kids rested enough to sleep well during the day. It doesn’t make the most sense to my brain, but I’m on board with my kids sleeping all of the time. I don’t know if there’s a time I love my kids more than when they are sleeping. It’s just wonderful. So, after several failed attempts at naps and pushing bedtime earlier…Nick finally seems to be back on track. Which is actually how I’m able to spend an afternoon writing this blog post, instead of deep breathing and stress eating as he screams in his crib. IMG_7587

As I approach the end of this pregnancy, I can’t decide if I want time to speed up or slow down. Part of me sees that side profile in the mirror at the gym and thinks, “2 more months?!? How?!? How much bigger can my stomach get?!” But another part of me, the part that looked through newborn clothes the other day thinks, “I’m not ready to do this again.” Having been pregnant before is such a blessing and a curse when looking ahead to the end result. There is nothing more amazing than giving birth. Hands down, the most wonderful, amazing thing I could ever experience. However, that process involves lots of pain and discomfort and (sometimes literal) shit. So I’m going to try to enjoy the last couple months of this. Even though it feels like this baby girl is trying to screw something into my bladder when she moves. Even though Tums are now a routine part of my meals. Even though my body is expanding and shifting and waddling. Because eventually, I won’t have a legitimate excuse for sausage link boob sweat and weight gain. I will have another little human to defy me and give me demon looks and sneak her eggs into the trash. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.❤

 

26 weeks: Down the rabbit hole

Even though I’m not a student or a teacher, I am very excited that most schools are now out for the summer. This means that summer break has begun. And since it has begun, the end of the summer seems less far away. I know it’s terrible to want to wish away the summer, but I’m due August 28th. So the closer I can make that date seem, the better it is for my anxiety about having a terrible summer. I know it will be fine. Towards the end of pregnancy everything seems uncomfortable no matter what. But I won’t lie, I’m pretty nervous to be an extra 40 lbs in temps that feel 100+ with out of control humidity. You can’t deny it. If somebody asked you, “when is the absolute worst time to live in Kansas City?” You KNOW you would say the end of the August. YOU KNOW YOU WOULD!! Because it is!! It’s the time of year when walking out to your car seems like a task because you know you’re going to break a sweat as soon as you open the door. When going to the pool isn’t even refreshing because it feels like you’re taking a warm bath (with dozens of other hot, sweaty people). When you spill some of your drink on the sidewalk and it literally steams from the heat. THE WORST!! So the sooner I can cope with the miserable heat by chugging down an ice cold beer, the better. God I miss beer. IMG_7592

Generally, this part of pregnancy is my favorite. I feel good, I’m not so large that I’m really uncomfortable, people know that I’m pregnant and not just gaining weight in a weird, isolated location. It’s fun! Plus, this baby is moving around all the time so I KNOW she’s still in there. I’m not sure what I worry about happening, or how I think that somehow she’s just not going to be in there anymore, but it’s how my anxiety operates. Deal with it. I also feel like this part of pregnancy is when babies move around the most because they aren’t so large that they are stuck in one place. They can move up and down and side to side and flip around and upside down. It’s fucking weird. Some sensations are clearly kicks or stretches, but others are downright bizarre. For awhile, it felt as if she was falling down. Like she rolled off the bed or something. I don’t know how that movement is even possible or what she was actually doing, but I kept picturing my uterus as that rabbit hole that Alice in Wonderland falls down and my baby slowly descending and turning flips along the way. Who even knows what weird shit is in there?! Maybe there are rabbits and clocks and furniture. I don’t know!! Nobody knows!!

JURGENSMEIERBARBARAR20160407154850459

baby feet!

Perhaps it’s my bizarre imagination that can help explain some of the crazy shit Adam says. He really loves playing on his own and creating little stories or scenarios with blocks or Legos or toys. He also likes reading books about animals and watching shows about machines, so lots of random knowledge gets thrown into his imaginary world. For example, it’s not uncommon to hear him use words like “front-end loader” or “conduit” when building new machines or vehicles. I’d like to say that’s because he’s gifted and/or I quiz him with advanced vocabulary on a daily basis. But it’s really because his favorite show is called “Mighty Machines”, which involves all kinds of real-life machines that are voiced (with Canadian accents) to explain how they work. It’s pretty fucking corny. He also knows lots of random facts about bugs and insects. I think he’s learned some of that from school, but part of it is taken from books that he gets in kids meals from Chick Fil A. (Side note: I know the people that own Chick Fil A are super conservative and have made ignorant statements about issues I care about. And that I should be a progressive adult and choose to get my fast food elsewhere. But you guys. Their chicken sandwiches are the most delicious things in the whole wide world. So fucking good. And I hate that I go there. But I do go there. And apparently I needed to confess this to you, so now you know. Also know that I make annual donations to the Human Rights Campaign, so I’m reeeeeeally hoping that evens things out. It probably does, right? Ok. Confession over.) So these bug facts that Adam knows, they also surface at strange times. For example, he was sick a few weeks ago and woke up in the middle of the night, sweaty and shaking with a fever. We let him sleep in our bed, and as he was trying to fall asleep he says, “A caterpillar is not an insect.” (Which I think is not completely true. Full disclosure I googled it just now because I have no fucking idea. Seems somewhat controversial since caterpillars turn into butterflies, which are insects. Also, how fucking crazy is it that caterpillars change from a crawling, long bug, into a beautiful creature that can fly?!? It’s insane, right?!? Nature.) After this fever-induced “fun fact” game, Adam proceeded to ask, “What do crabs eat?” Which, by the way, I don’t fucking know. Having a kid really highlights all the shit you do not know. I mean, bugs? Wouldn’t you assume crabs eat bugs? Or maybe some kind of small fish? Or algae or something? Who knows?!? The same people who know how a caterpillar can turn into a fucking butterfly. And the people who know what’s really inside my rabbit hole uterus…

IMG_7578In addition to his ever-growing number of questions (all of which are preceded by, “mom”, “mom”, “hey mom”, “mom”, “moooooooom”), Adam continues to develop his own personality. Which I’ve discovered is a lot more like Andy’s than mine. For example, Adam LOVES talking to people. Random people. People walking by on the street. People trying to do work at coffee shops. People riding bikes. Everyone. Which forces ME to talk to people. And I fucking hate talking to people. Not all the time. Of course I enjoy talking to family and friends when I have things to say. But never in my child or adult life would I go out of my way to say “hi” to a stranger. If I have the option to do something online vs. calling, I will do it. Every time. But Adam loves talking to everyone. And telling them what he’s doing. “HIIIIII! I’m Adam. We’re playing with sidewalk chalk!!” “HIIIII! My name is Adam! I’m eating a strawberry!!” “HIIIIII! We are going to the store!!” After which I have to smile nicely and wave to the person, hoping they don’t come over and try to socially engage any further. Ugh! Adam illustrates his confidence in other ways throughout the day, too. Like when he has to go to the bathroom. He can pee on the potty by himself, but I always know when he’s pooped because he will just yell, “WIPE!!!!!” (Rude). Another time, he walked into our room in the middle of the night and woke me up to tell me the ninja turtle night light in his room needs new batteries. I told him we would change them in the morning and he just said, “Ya. Good!” and walked back into his room. (Rude). He’s definitely the boss in his relationship with Nick, too. I’m sure part of that is just an aspect of being the oldest. I’m sure I was a total dick to my sisters when they were little. But that’s because the oldest is obviously the wisest and coolest and most interesting. Duh.
IMG_7594Nick has entered the phase Andy likes to call, “language explosion”. A month ago, I started freaking out because he wasn’t using 2-word phrases (which my developmental book tells me 2-yr-olds should be doing). Literally the next day, he started doing it. And then it seemed like each day he started saying/doing something new. It’s still fairly Yoda-esque sometimes. He likes to say phrases that he knows I’m about to say, or things I say all the time (“Don’t spill, please!” “Don’t fall!” “There you go.”). But he might express it, “Fall, don’t please, Nick.” (close enough). He will also attempt new words or phrases that he didn’t used to. Much like Adam, he likes all kinds of vehicles. Planes, trains, cars, boats, dump trucks, taxis…the whole shebang. Police cars and fire trucks are some of his favorites. Lucky for him, we live not far from a fire station, so we will frequently hear sirens coming and going throughout the day. So when he hears a siren, he will attempt to yell, “FIRE TRUCK!!” Which comes out as, “FAH CUCK!!”. Which I hear as, “FAT COCK!!” No joke, you guys. That’s exactly what it sounds like. The first time I heard it, I was like, “Ummmm, what’s up?” I mean, I’m not always the best about not cursing around my kids, but I don’t think I have ever uttered that phrase in my life. I just don’t really find a use for it. I’m saying, it doesn’t work itself into my daily life. So I eventually figured it out. “Ohhhhhhhh. Fi-YeR TRRRRRRuck”. Somehow I think if I over-annunciate each syllable he will immediately say the word appropriately instead of shouting about obscene body parts. I just hope his teachers don’t report me. Speaking of teachers, I am so grateful for them. Nick randomly started identifying colors and (a few) letters the other day. And while I probably took the time to sit down with Adam when he was Nick’s age and quiz him over all that stuff, I know I haven’t done that with Nick. (Sorry 2nd child). Hopefully his teachers will continue to compensate for the lack of shit I do at home. The newest thing I’ve “taught” Nick, is how to ask Alexa (our Amazon Echo), to play “Hamilton”. I’m just a model mother, you guys. I should probably home school…

And let’s just carry that over into pregnancy. I mean, I eat suuuuuuper healthy, you guys. Honestly, I do start the day out ok. But around lunchtime, it all goes to shit. My problem is, I don’t always anticipate my increased appetite, so I let myself get hangry and then I make poor choices. The worst is at work, when I’ve eaten everything I brought for lunch/snacks, and I raid the vending machines. Oh, what’s that, King Size Milky Way? You come split in 2 and suggest “save one for later”? Fuck you, I’m eating both right now PLUS a bag of Sun Chips!! Oh, I had a healthy salad as (part of) my dinner? I should probably eat 6 cookies. It’s nice outside and I can’t drink beer? I definitely need to compensate with ICE CREAM!!!! It’s pretty bad. My mood gets thrown into the mix, too. I’m a hangry person when I’m not pregnant, so when you add in some hormones, I become a monster. I hate all of the things. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to be touched. I just want someone to spoon-feed me greasy cheese pizza and chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and if someone could come over to clean my house and do my laundry and maybe rub my feet, that would be cool, too. Totes cool.

Honestly though, things are going pretty well right now. I’m done with my job, and while I’m a little nervous about going stir-crazy at home, I’m looking forward to spending time with my boys. They drive me nuts, but they are so fucking funny and cute.

It’s weird to think about how the dynamic will change once this little girl comes into our world. It seems impossible that I have the capacity to love another living thing as much as I love my boys. But I know I felt that way before Nick was born and as soon as he was out it was just instant. I’m already starting to have anxiety about raising a daughter and making sure I’m teaching her the right things and teaching my sons the right things and empowering all of them to be good people, bla bla bla. It can get overwhelming to think about all the responsibility you carry as a parent, so for now I think I will choose to be ignorant about it. I will choose to enjoy the summer and not wish the time away, because in reality, 3 months is not a long time. I won’t have pregnancy as an excuse to over-eat forever, so I might as well enjoy it.

I will leave you with wise words from Adam, spoken as he was describing the colors of the sunset: “They come into my eye and then into my brain and that’s why they are in my dreams.” (He’s brilliant. Or he’s high…)

21 weeks: bumps

It has been confirmed. There is no mistake. It’s actually a little girl in there. We are really, really excited. Surprised, but excited. And my mom has already purchased an outfit and 2 headbands…

JURGENSMEIERBARBARAR20160407154700770

We’ve been trying to keep Adam and Nick informed about the baby and new happenings with her. Adam seems genuinely interested, while Nick seems convinced that his belly button has a baby inside of it. I think he may have a difficult time giving up his “baby” status when the time comes. He still loves to be held (which is getting more difficult by the day) and gets really fussy if I’m paying attention to any small human besides him. I guess I still have 4 months to worry about it. I’m sure by that time Nick will have come to his senses and discover a new sense of excitement about being a big brother for the first time. That seems likely.

IMG_7318

Nick continues to push boundaries and throw more fits as we approach the “terrible twos”. I don’t know if it’s because his verbal skills are expanding, so he’s able to verbalize what he wants more clearly, but he never seems satisfied with his current situation. For example, going shopping has become a goddamn nightmare. The kid wants to be held, then he wants in the cart, then he wants in the back of the cart, then he wants to walk, and he wants to do all those things how and when he wants to do them!! A few weeks ago, this irrational behavior led me to experience my first fairly blatant “stranger judgment” in public. To be fair, the morning’s events set me up to be irritable no matter what…

I had been waiting to hear about a job I was really, really excited about. When I got into my car after going to a class at the gym, I saw a missed call and voicemail. I assumed it was this potential job and that they were telling me I got it. (I mean, I’m fucking awesome so it couldn’t possibly be bad news, right??). It was bad news. My disappointment, and body full of raging hormones, couldn’t contain the tears. So I sat in the parking lot, trying to conceal my sobbing, while my 2 children were strapped in their car seats in the back. I gave myself a few minutes, tried to pull my shit together, and drove around the corner to get a few things we needed at Target. Now I don’t know if you’ve seen the 3-seater cart at Target, but it’s fuckin’ fancy. There are 2 spots for kids to face forwards, plus the usual kid’s seat. The boys climbed into the 2 forward-facing spots, only to realize the straps to buckle them in were broken. Instead of searching for a different, safer cart, I said “fuck it” and just let them sit in the seats unbuckled. It’s not like I was going to try to set a record for speed down the aisles of Target. It was fine. As I made my way through the store getting stuff I needed, Nick started up with his dissatisfaction. I kept switching him from the forward seat to the backward seat to the forward seat to the backward seat…all while trying not to think about the job and start snotting everywhere. We were almost ready to check out and Nick decided that he wanted to be held. In some situations, I would’ve just given in. But on this day, I was in a glass cage of emotion and was not going to be able to hold a heavy toddler and push an oversized cart through the make-up aisle of Target. So I didn’t give in, I kept him in the seat. And, unsurprisingly, he started crying…loudly. I tried to think happy thoughts and remain calm, as I internally freaked out about all the looks I was getting. Finally, we were on the way out the door. Nick was reaching for me, so I went to move him to the forward-facing seat. As I put him in there, while he’s shrieking, he immediately arches his back and starts to slip out of the chair (less than a foot down onto the floor of the cart). A lady is watching me the whole time this is happening and when Nick starts to slide down, she (very dramatically) gasps. Like, a theatrical, clearly audible gasp. The kind of gasp you might utter if you looked out your window and saw a ferocious bear. Even as I’m typing this, weeks later, I wish I would’ve given in to the emotions bubbling up when this happened. I imagine myself saying, “Do you have a fucking problem?!?! He’s fine!! He’s throwing a fit, he’s tired, I’m pregnant and have already had a shitty day. Would you mind backing the fuck off with your Judgy McJudgerson GASP?!?” But instead, I just looked at her (while she was open-mouthed staring at me), and gave her a kind of half-smile, eyebrow raise, “I’m doin’ my best, lady” sort of look. Because I was doing my best!! Ok?!!?

I wish I could keep my cool all the time. Even if I’m a little irritated on the inside, I wish I could deal with my kids without yelling. And I really try not to. Maybe it’s being pregnant, or maybe it’s just a waning level of patience in general, but it’s hard not to feel like I’m always losing my shit. It’s usually in response to Adam. Most of the time it’s just me raising my voice more than I want to, I calm down while he’s in timeout, and it’s not a huge deal. But other times, I really feel like an asshole. Most recently, the boys were playing on the couch. And by playing, I mean throwing all the pillows on the ground and jumping off the couch, into the huge pile of pillows. Sometimes, part of this process involves Adam trying to climb up to the very top of the couch. Basically so he’s lying flat, resting like a cat. As you might imagine, I’m not a fan, so I communicated this to him when he tried it the other day. He did it again, I asked him not to. He did it again, I told him he’d get a timeout if he did it again. He started to do it again, and I jumped up and grabbed him to pull him down myself. Looking back, I should’ve just calmly sent him to timeout the first time he did. Yes, I know. I’m too lazy to be consistent. But instead, I let myself get so flustered that I aggressively pulled him down, accidentally catching his chin with my thumbnail. He immediately started crying. I immediately felt like the worst parent in the world. And he starts cry/yelling, “Wh-hhyy ddd-iii—dd you sccrr-aaat-chhhh meeeeeee?!” Not my best moment. But somehow we all survived.

IMG_7360Both boys continue to change in interesting, unique ways as they grow into their own personalities. Nick is definitely a sensitive soul. It doesn’t take a lot for him to get upset. For example, today he was very distraught by the carwash. (Although, I think I was too as a neurotic, anxious child). He also gets really upset about half the time you give him his milk. He has 2 cups he likes to drink out of, the “cars” cup, and the “balls” cup. And you don’t always know which one he’s going to want. I never thought I would be the type of parent who would pour milk from one cup, into another clean cup, just because my toddler decides he prefers that particular design on the outside of the cup. But, I am that fucking parent you guys. It’s not worth the drama. And even if you do choose the right cup from the beginning, sometimes he loses it when you try to physically hand him the cup. I still haven’t figured out what he’s hoping for in this scenario. I’ve tried putting the cup on the counter or on a shelf or on the floor for him to grab. And he just cries and walks over to the cup and tips it over…like the video of those asshole cats who knock things off of tables. WHY?!?! Nick had a surprising emotional response when we were reading a book a couple weeks ago. It’s a pop-up book about the Arizona desert and has lots of cool visuals of animals that can wiggle and move. One of these visuals depicts a pretty large tarantula. You pull a tab and his long legs move around. While we were reading that page, Nick gets a terrified look on his face and starts crying and backing up, as if the spider was real and going to walk off the page. We had read this book several times before with no issues, but I guess this time my tab-pulling skills were just too realistic for him. I tried to console him and show him it wasn’t real by touching the visual and closing the page, etc. And then…as he continued to get more upset…I slowly started feeling scared that the spider was real. That’s how easy it is to get me to have an irrational fear. For my toddler to have one. And I think I know whose personality Nick has inherited….

IMG_7190Although I give Adam his fair share of timeouts most days, he really is getting better. He asks lots of questions, but also seems to understand more and more. He has started giving compliments, which I’m not going to complain about. But he’s smart about it. For example, when he’s having “resting time” (aka he doesn’t nap but I still need a mental break so I make him sit still for as long as he’ll tolerate), he starts dishing out the compliments. I usually tell him that I’m not going to talk to him during resting time, it’s time to lie still and be quiet. So the other day he gently interrupts with, “can I talk to you for just a little second?” And when I look at him he says, “I like your pants”. Which I know isn’t true because I was wearing 1 of 3 pairs of leggings I rotate through regularly!! It was still pretty cute, though J He also has some very clear preferences for different things, people, or activities. He really likes listening to musicals, specifically “Waitress”, “Hamilton”, and “Book of Mormon” (yup, parent of the year). He loves his friends Annabelle and Felix from school. And he LOVES listening to this audio book while we’re in the car. It’s a narration of “Carnival of the Animals” with the classical pieces played throughout and John Lithgow narrating. It’s really cute and the music is great, but we listen to it all. the. time. Adam has asked lots of questions about this recording, specifically the voice telling the story. We tell him that voice is the narrator, someone who tells the story, and this particular narrator is John Lithgow. I’m not sure if that makes sense to him, but he does try to put things into context. Like when we were at the St. Patrick’s Day parade, there were cars with local politicians going by. Adam asked about the people and seemed to be taking it all in when he asked, “Where does John Lithgow live?” ….what? I’m not sure if he thinks that a narrator is a politician or what, but I don’t know where the fuck John Lithgow lives.

IMG_7254

As far as pregnancy goes, 2nd trimester is the bee’s knees. I’m not nauseated anymore, I feel lots of baby movement, and I love eating more than anything in the whole world. All of the food. All of the time. The more cheese and/or sugar, the better. The only time this isn’t awesome, is when I allow myself to wait too long to make a choice about food, so I’m starving and full of rage and can’t find the energy to make a decision or pick up take-out. It’s a rough life, you guys. I have more energy. I have a more obvious bump. And I get to imagine my life with a little lady thrown into the mix. Let’s just hope she gets a good mix of our genetics…943986_10102824592091771_634860435543193069_n

15 weeks: Caring about caring

This week is a big week. It’s my birthday this week. I find out about a job this week. And I get to find out the gender of my baby this week. Eek!!!

In my previous pregnancies, I didn’t have the option to do this early blood test, so I don’t quite know what to think about it all. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to find out the gender with this one, but Andy does, and fuck if I’m gonna let Andy know and not know!! Plus, everyone’s natural reaction to finding out I’m pregnant is, “Oh, you hopin’ for that girl?” “Do you think it’s a girl?” “Trying for that girl, huh?” And it’s such a benign thing to say. It’s an instinctual thing to say. But it drives me absolutely crazy. And I think a big reason it drives me crazy is that it’s partially true. No, we did not get pregnant to try to have a girl. I don’t know anybody who gets pregnant to try for a specific gender. That seems a little ridiculous. However…I do want a girl. I grew up around girls. My sisters are my best friends. I’m really close with my mom. It would be fun to experience what a relationship with a daughter would be like. But then I immediately get defensive of my boys. I love my boys more than anything in the universe. I think being a “mom of boys” suits me. So I would love to have another one. But it will be nice to know the gender early this time so I can just tell people before they ask any questions. Although I can already anticipate, “Oh, so will you try for another one to get a girl?” or “So are you done now that you’re having a girl?” Grrrrrr. Hormones make me hate people.

Which reminds me…I’ve recently had to have several chats with Adam about words/sounds that aren’t very nice. For example, he makes some kind of “pew pew” sound when he’s playing that, to me, sounds like a gun. And we all know how I feel about guns. So I always ask him, “what does that sound mean?” And his response usually involves something about exploding fire at something else. And I try to explain that it’s not very nice to explode fire because that could be dangerous. And he obviously gives no shits about that. He’s a little boy. As we speak, he’s flying his toys through the air while wearing a batman cape. So I don’t think he means anything malicious by his “explosion” sounds. But it’s hard for me not to cringe when I hear it. And I’m sure it’s only going to get worse… One behavior that I’ve made more of an effort to stop is using the word “hate”. It doesn’t seem like it would be that big of a deal, but over the past couple of months, Adam started saying he “hates” certain things. And when he says it, it becomes apparent how harsh that word can sound. So we’ve emphasized that “hate” is a mean word and you can say that you don’t like something, but not that you hate something (or someone). This has actually worked pretty well, except, now I realize that I frequently use the word “hate”. Mine is usually used generically like, “ugh, I hate that” or “I hate when that happens”. But now, Adam points out every time I slip up and use this forbidden word. A couple weeks ago, he told me, “Next time you say ‘hate’, you will have to get a timeout.” Which I thought was a fair punishment. Although, after the fact, Andy pointed out that a “timeout” would actually be a reward for me. You mean, you want me to go to my room? By myself? For an extended period of time? Deal. I will be in timeout for the next 2 hours. Just learning my lesson.

IMG_7221Both boys continue to change and mature so fast. Though I can definitely see changes more drastically with Nick. He’s nearing what we called the “language explosion” phase with Adam. It seemed like at 2, all of sudden Adam was talking like a little person. Nick isn’t quite there yet, but it seems like every day he says 10 more words than the day before. Some of my favorites are “bussssss” (heavy emphasis on the “s” sound), “fawk” (supposed to be “fork” but toooootally sounds like “fuck”), “shht” (I think he’s trying to say “shirt”, but he might honestly mean “shit”), and “ouch” (which makes me think of E.T. every time). It’s really, really fun to watch him try out new sounds and words. He gets actively excited when he can make the connection between a word and the actual thing. For example, any time he hears an airplane sound, he points to the sky and shouts (yes, shouts), “PAAAAAAAANNNNNE!!” He did this repeatedly at the park the other day and I had to reaffirm, “Yes, plane. Yup, that’s a plane. Ya, I see it. Plane. PLANE!!” You would think he was warning us all of some impending alien invasion. He’s very, very concerned about that fucking plane.

IMG_7206Nick continues to be much sweeter than Adam…and much more dramatic. He demands to be held much of the day, which is only getting more and more difficult. But he will nestle his little head into the crook of my neck and pat my back. Which I find fucking adorable and worth carrying the extra weight. But it’s also becoming more apparent that we are approaching the 2’s. Nick can say “nnnno!” like a sass. a. frass. He will also get this pouty face that you can only partially see because he will turn halfway away from you. Not far enough around that he can’t see that you’re watching his little act, but far enough around that you know he’s making a point. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, his little fits will escalate to the point where he just lies flat on the floor. Completely flat. He doesn’t usually cry or kick or anything, he just flops down. Like a rug. Sometimes he will try to collapse like this while I’m picking him up to change him. So I have to do my best to not drop what feels like a 30lb noodle. It’s good times.

IMG_7198Adam’s fits have actually gotten a little better. I feel like now that he can communicate so well, he’s able to talk through stuff easier (and I’m able to bribe him more effectively). I think we’ve entered the “I’m going to ask you 30 million questions a day” phase. Which in some ways, I’m excited about. He can ask some really interesting and pertinent questions. However, other times, not only do I not have the energy to respond to his questions, but I don’t always know the answers! Adam has become really interested in Andy’s medical journals that come in the mail. By interested, I mean he looks at the pictures. So now he’ll ask me questions about medicines and bodily organs. And I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. One time he asked me what the baby in my tummy eats and I tried to explain how food breaks down in my stomach and nutrients are shared with the baby. And I quickly realized, I don’t know how the fuck food breaks down. I think I threw in words like “proteins” and “vitamins”? What? Many of my answers have become, “ask your dad”, “you’ll have to wait to til your dad gets home”, “dad will know”. One of Adam’s recent fascinations is with blood. (That doesn’t sound creepy or anything…). I think it’s hard for him to understand that bodies have lots of blood in them all the time and that’s a good thing…vs. when you get hurt and you bleed. One time he asked me, “what happens when the blood stops?” I had to consciously stop my anxiety-prone brain from thinking about all of my blood just spontaneously stopping all at once and me collapsing to the ground and dying!!! …”Ask your dad”

Now that Nick is able to communicate and interact more, he and Adam do a lot more playing together. I’d say 30% of the time, this is great. They will look at books together, Adam will make Nick laugh, they will chase each other around.IMG_7160

But then, the remaining 70% of the time, they are fighting. Adam is saying “no” to something Nick is trying to do and Nick is shrieking. That might seem like an exaggerated description, but I assure you, it’s a shriek. I’ve gotten to the point where, if it’s clear no one is getting hurt, I just yell, “figure it out!” Which never works. I don’t know what I’m expecting. That my 3.5 yr old and almost 2 yr old are going to engage in some kind of conflict-resolution meeting. That seems reasonable. Obviously, I’m just too lazy to deal with their shit. But I’ve never felt more like a mom than when I take away a toy they’re both fighting over and say, “if you can’t share, then NOBODY GETS IT!!” Ugh, I’m the worst.

Speaking of me being the worst, it never hurts to remind you that being a mom (especially a pregnant mom) involves constant self-judgment. I rarely think I’m doing the right thing. I feel like I yell too much. I’m on my phone too much. I let my kids watch too much TV. I give them too many fruit snacks. I even let them take sips of my diet soda, for crying out loud. PLUS, I’m pregnant and drinking diet soda. There are SO. MANY. THINGS. you can fuck up when you’re a parent. And pregnancy just seems to bring all of my insecurities out. Running is the most recent example of this. I’ve made the decision to run a half marathon in April. Which means I will be almost halfway through my pregnancy and attempting to run 13.1 miles. Here are some of the conflicting thoughts that go through my brain on a daily basis:

  • You’re running too fast and breathing too hard, your baby isn’t getting any oxygen to its brain. You’re the worst!
  • You are being healthy for yourself and your baby. Go you!
  • You’re going to hurt yourself or fall and then really hurt yourself and your baby. You’re the worst!
  • Exercising is so good for you and will make everything easier. Go you!
  • You’re heart rate is too high. I don’t even know why that’s really bad, but it’s really bad. You’re the worst!
  • Increased blood flow is a good thing. Go you!
  • You’re spending too much time worrying about this, why are you even risking it? You’re the worst!
  • Etc.
  • Etc.
  • Etc.

I’m sure part of this is related to my predisposition for anxiety. If I didn’t freak out about exercise in pregnancy, I’d be freaking out about something else. But there is also judgment that people impose on one another. The fucking CDC just suggested that anyone of childbearing age who isn’t on birth control should completely abstain from drinking. Meanwhile, I celebrated entering my 2nd trimester by having a small glass of wine with dinner the other night. (Also, dinner included salmon and goat cheese. So go ahead and chew on that one). Don’t get me wrong. I know there are reasons for guidelines and restrictions. What’s frustrating is when I educate myself on all of these issues but still feel judged for my informed choices. And all of you are my friends. You are nice people. I’m sure you aren’t concerned about my soft cheese intake. But I worry about it. Just like I worry about reacting a certain way when I find out if I’m having a boy or a girl. I know it doesn’t matter. I should feel lucky to have a healthy baby. But I’m also human. So, if I act disappointed, or excited, or ambivalent, or whatever…try to cut me some slack.

And if it’s a boy and you ever tell him I wanted a girl, I will tell him you sit on a throne of lies. LIES!bf834d10d2a8d3cc8839c7eb3aa14c24

10.5 weeks: A series of apologies

I will be honest with you. I have started and stopped this blog post several times. After reading through the first few drafts, all I could think was, “OMG stop fucking complaining. You are pregnant. You are lucky to be pregnant. Be grateful and shut up about it.” And this is true. I am pregnant. And I am extremely lucky that I get to be pregnant for a third time. It’s amazing. It’s magical. And while I truly am grateful, right now it feels like the fucking worst. But, instead of simply complaining about all the ways in which it is the worst, I’m going to issue a series of apologies (that are really just creative ways for me to continue complaining).

Let’s start with the things that really matter the most…

Dear boobs,

I’m really sorry you aren’t benefiting from this pregnancy yet. I mean, I thought you, at the very least, would start to perk up a little bit from all the raging hormones coursing through my body. You did that when I was pregnant with Adam. Do you remember? Yes, you were incredibly sore, but you looked so fantastic. And besides being weirdly bloated, I don’t look too fat yet, so you could REALLY make an impact on my body image. But, no. You continue to look sad and tired. Right boob, as usual, you remain slightly “larger” than left boob. But let me clarify, “larger” doesn’t mean bigger in the positive sense. It mostly means you take up more space. I’m not talking about the space coming off of my body. I just mean overall space. Like, circumference. It’s such a strange phenomenon. So I’m sorry, boobs, that you can’t get your shit together.

 

Dear children,

I’m genuinely sorry that I have been the absolute worst lately. My patience is fried and I feel like I am constantly yelling. I don’t have the energy to take you places to play or think of fun activities to do at home. I mostly want to lie on the couch and let you watch TV all day and feed yourself chocolate milk and fruit snacks. That’s where my level of parenting is. IMG_7086Nick, I’m sorry I act annoyed when you bring me “Are You My Mother?” to read for the 50th time in a day. I don’t know how many times I have to tell you. Only the bird is his mother. Nobody else is his fucking mother. How in the world could a car be a bird’s mother? I mean, think about it. It makes no sense. I know you enjoy pointing out all the animals and yelling, “CAH! CAH! CAH! CAH!” incessantly until I acknowledge the cow on the page. It’s really exciting that you are putting more and more words together (even if only I understand what you’re actually saying), but I just need a break from that book. You should start getting really into those 10 page cardboard Mickey Mouse books that take less than a minute to read. I think those would really expand your intellectual capacity. Let’s make this happen. Adam, I’m sorry I get impatient when you ask me 1500 questions a day. All of which begin with, “Mom. Moooooooom. Mom? MOM!” I need you to know, I am right here. I know that it’s me you’re talking to. I always know. You probably never have to address me directly, because I fucking know. However, I do find it pretty adorable that you’re interested in what’s going on with my “bebe.” I know you love looking at the pictures on my phone app that tell you how big my baby is and what exciting things are happening week by week. You’ve already raised some very interesting questions, such as, “How does your baby come out? Does it explode out your BUTT!?” I know I answered “no” to that question, but if I’m being real with you, a more accurate answer would be “kind of.” It’s also nice that you want to share our exciting news with the world. Specifically the check-out cashier at CostCo. I’m sure he appreciated knowing I have a baby in my tummy (only 6 weeks at the time). I know that I should’ve learned by now that you listen to every single word I say and will repeat it to strangers, but let’s work on keeping secrets. Except from me. You have to tell me everything all of the time. Forever.

 

Dear Andy,

I’m sorry that there are saltine and/or animal cracker crumbs all over our bed because I have to eat them before I get up in the morning. I like to think they provide some natural exfoliation as you sleep. The pores on your back are going to be so smooth. Just you wait. Also, crumbs are an excellent alternative to vomit. So maybe, I should say, “you’re welcome.” I would apologize for going to sleep by 8pm every night, but I honestly think getting that much sleep is a dream come true for you, so “you’re welcome” again, for giving you an excuse to sleep even more. Sorry I’m NOT sorry for making you get up when I do on the weekends. Every morning I feel like I had 2 full bottles of wine the night before and I do not care that you worked all week I need your help or I will DIE! Seriously. Die. Finally, I’m sorry that I’ve generally been the worst. Everyone knows that I’m not nearly as fun when I can’t drink and that I’m actually difficult to be around when I don’t feel well. Hopefully I only have a few more weeks of being a ginormous grump, but I’m going to go ahead and apologize for the full 9 months, because you never know.

 

Dear family and friends,

I’m sorry that I haven’t been much fun to be around. Everyone knows that person who, when you ask, “how are you?” (expecting the generic “fine” or “good”), he/she responds, “ugh, not good.” Then you’re forced to follow up on your question and ask what’s going on and console the person and try to listen and give advice or sympathy. (Feelings. Gross.) I need you to know that I am aware that I have become that person. I know that I should just suck it up and say I’m doing fine, but I have to be honest, I just want everyone to feel sorry for me. I do. I hate nausea more than any other kind of pain, and I just want someone to tell me that I’m doing great or that I’m almost there. Ha! I’m still in my first trimester and I already want to be able to see the finish line. I do think that I’ll be more tolerable throughout the 2nd trimester. If you bring me cheese and carbs, I’m sure I will be a fucking delight. I promise.

 

Dear Internet,

I would really like to say that you owe me an apology, for being the fucking worst. Because you have to admit, you are the fucking worst most of the time. However, I have to take some responsibility in this. I want to apologize for still using you to Google things about pregnancy. This is my 3rd time around. I should really know better. Any kind of pregnancy website or blog or (god forbid) comments section should really be named, “Do you feel shitty for fucking up your unborn child? Read on and you will….” For some reason, I’ve continued this masochism in this pregnancy. Before I knew I was pregnant, I signed up for a half marathon in April. Perhaps a little too ambitious, I know. I’ve started training, which means I’ve already convinced myself that I’m depriving my fetus’s brain of oxygen. I have a very cool Garmin watch that Andy got me, which (unfortunately) can tell me a whole bunch of stats including heart rate. So even though I am running much slower than I normally do, my heart rate gets pretty high. Which is FINE. But the Internet makes me 2nd guess everything. They all talk about how good exercise is for you in pregnancy. But don’t work TOO hard. One website said to stop exercising if you feel tired. Are you kidding? Have you ever exercised and not felt tired? What a ridiculous thing to say. Internet, you are the worst. I tried to Google stuff about morning sickness, which did help a little in that it made me realize lots of other people have it WAY worse than I do. But most of the generic tips just piss me off. “Eat healthy snacks throughout the day.” Oh, by healthy snacks do you mean cheese enchiladas? Because that’s what sounds good and that’s what I’m eating. One article was from a woman who experienced terrible nausea and vomiting and she suggested to simply “eat through the nausea and vomiting.” What? Are you fucking serious? When I’m trying not to gag, I’m not going to just force apple slices down my throat. I’m going to lie on the couch, turn on Netflix, and sip on soda, because it’s cold and bubbly, it makes me burp, and it’s DELICIOUS! Speaking of soda. As I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook the other day (another dangerous place), some “recommended site” popped up with an article titled, “The dangers of diet soda.” I think I may have been drinking a Diet Coke when I actually saw this. Really, Internet? The dangers of diet soda? Is diet soda good for you? No. We all know it’s filled with terrible secrets. But do you have to be so goddamn dramatic? I’m not drinking 15 sodas a day. Mostly, what I’m trying to say is, I’m sure everything in our homes and in our food and drinks is going to give us all cancer. Just stop telling me about it. At least until I’m done being pregnant. I really don’t need millions of anonymous strangers making me feel more guilty/anxious/unhealthy/worried than I already do. Go get a job, Internet.

 

Dear kumquat-sized little fetus baby,

IMG_7119

I’m really sorry that I haven’t acted very excited about you. I know it seems like I’ve only been complaining, but I am really, really excited about you. I do have some distractions from 2 small humans that I already have to take care of, so it may seem like I don’t have a lot of time to sit and think about you. But please don’t think I’m not excited. We got to see your heartbeat today, which made everything seem a little more real. To be honest, the beginning of pregnancy is kind of survival mode. You feel bloated and sick and gassy and emotional, so it can be hard to bask in the glow of it all. It can really be hard to feel like there’s anything magical going on at all. I promise I will pay more attention to you the farther along I am. Trust me, I will use you as an excuse to eat so much. All of the things. All of the time. I feel like people are nicer to pregnant people. They feel like they need to help us or nurture us. And I totally dig it. But at this early stage, nobody can tell, so they just wonder why you’re so grumpy and sleepy all the time. And technically, kumquat-sized little fetus baby, it is your fault. I mean, you are the reason all of this stuff is happening. And as much as I complain (and will continue to complain) about all the icky parts of pregnancy, it is all so worth it.

Crazy awesome.

This summer was crazy. Mostly good crazy. But crazy, nonetheless. It felt like there wasn’t ever a time I could sit down and relax. Or if there was, I chose Netflix and wine over ALL THE OTHER THINGS! (duh) So here I am, finally ready to update you on my life. Or at least update you as much as I can while my child is asleep in the stroller that I rolled inside the house because I am NOT about to wake him up and try to move him to his bed.

Here is a quick rundown of all the things that happened this summer:

  1. I was in a musical. Oh, yes. Be impressed. You are reading the words of an ensemble member of “The Secret Garden” at Theatre in the Park. Ooooooo. Aaaaaaaa. Though my role was small, I had a really awesome time. I learned a lot and got my “music for me” fix. I even got to waltz. That’s right, bitches. Waltz. It was a pretty big time commitment. Rehearsals were Sun-Thurs from 6:30-10 some nights. Basically, Andy would leave work early to get home so I could leave and get home when he was already in bed. It was kind of intense, but it was a good chance for Andy to be in charge of the boys on his own for awhile. I also met some really fun people who happen to be crazy talented. I’m really excited about the possibility of another show sometime in the future (as evidenced by the following picture):     IMG_5661
  2. We went to Seattle. It’s always fun going back to see family and friends. The weather was gorgeous and we spent most of our time eating and drinking and catching up. It was my favorite type of vacation. Also, we stayed with my in-laws who want nothing more than to play with our children all of the time. So we totally let them do that. It was fantastic. The flight back to KC wasn’t so bad, but the flight out there was a bit of a challenge. And the worst part is that it was our own fault. Since we were flying to stay with family, we were much more laid back about how much we packed and how many diapers we brought. Because we were going to have access to a washer and dryer and my in-laws already had lots of “supplies” at their house. However, we somehow overlooked the 4 long hours we would be up in the air in a tiny space with a toddler and a baby who wants nothing more than to arch his back and find his way down to the ground and crawl away. Plus, we didn’t bring extra milk. What kind of parents don’t bring extra milk? The shitty kind, that’s who. And they don’t have milk on their beverage carts, so we asked for hot chocolate and cooled it down with ice cubes to pour into Nick’s bottle and shove into his mouth. It kind of did the job, but mostly he was pissed that we weren’t like normal, responsible, thinking-ahead parents. IMG_5733Either way, we survived. Instead of getting drunk like I usually do on planes, I took medication (that was prescribed to me by my primary care physician, by the way…totes legit). I’m here to report that I still prefer getting drunk. So that shall be my anxiety coping mechanism from here on out. Seems totally normal to me.
  3. I had my gallbladder taken out. I didn’t even know this was a possibility. It seemed impossible that someone my age would have to have their gallbladder taken out. But, turns out I’m old as fuck. And my babies shoved my insides around enough when they were in my belly that things got fussy. (I believe that’s the official medical description). After Adam was born I started having terrible heartburn. I never, ever had heartburn before, so naturally, I thought I was dying. It was the most extreme after I would eat Chipotle. I would have the worst burning at the top of my stomach that I had to curl up in the fetal position and just wait for it to pass. You’d think that I would just stop going to Chipotle. But, are you kidding me? It’s Chipotle. What’s a little “writhing on the floor in pain” when compared to a delicious, fat burrito, overflowing with cheese and sour cream? Worth it. Except, it started to not be worth it. I would try different combinations of burritos and try to eliminate anything acidic or spicy, and it would still happen. Finally, I realized I hadn’t tried my burrito without guacamole. That’s right. The most delicious part of the entire burrito. And turns out, that’s what was causing it. WORST NEWS EVER!!! Well, long story short, I kept having symptoms on and off and tried heartburn meds that should have been helping and they weren’t, so they did some tests and found out my gallbladder didn’t work well. So, I had that shit taken out! And I am happy to report that I can eat the shit out of guacamole again. Omg it’s so wonderful. You guys should really all have your gallbladders taken out. I think that makes sense.
  4. I MET SARA BAREILLES!!!!!!! And I’m just a little bit excited about it. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Any of you that know me, know that I love Sara Bareilles. I love her even more than I love John Mayer. So you KNOW that’s a shit ton of love. I just think she is wonderful and her music speaks to my soul and she enjoys cursing and drinking and I LOVE HER! So, she wrote a musical. And it looked like it was going to be awesome. And Andy and I had been planning on taking a vacation in August. We were actually hoping to go to California so I could run a marathon in Napa Valley. But, my knees were like, “oh heeeeeeelllllllll no”, so training stopped. My parents were already planning on watching the boys so they said we should just find somewhere else to go. I’ve always wanted to go to Boston and then, when I found out Sara B’s musical was premiering there and would be playing that weekend, we absolutely had to go. The day of the show, we were walking around and drinking. We stopped by CVS to pick something up before getting ready to head to Cambridge. While we were in there, Andy was like, “You should get Sara B a card. To tell her congrats on the show.” And in my buzzed mind I was like, “YES I should get Sara B a card. That makes total sense. I mean, she’s not IN the musical and I don’t even know if she will be there, but somehow, this is the right decision.” So I got the card and proceeded to pour my heart out in it. Like, borderline creepy, but whatevs. Here is me in the cab to Cambridge with my card: IMG_5944So we get to the venue and grab a drink and start chatting with the bartender, telling him where we were from and how we heard about the show. And he was telling us how awesome Sara B was and how he talked to her one time and she was super down to earth, but that he didn’t think she was at the show that night. So I came to terms with that and tried not to be disappointed. We sat in the front row for the show and it was absolutely amazing. If you have a chance to look up the music or see “Waitress”, I highly recommend it. So good. So after the show, I was perusing my phone, and saw a pic posted by Sara B of her backstage at the show. As in, THE SAME BUILDING AS ME! We waited around a bit to see if we could catch her leaving, but everyone seemed to be gone, so we walked up the street to a bar. Andy, being the straightforward person he is, asked the person checking IDs if Sara Bareilles was there. The guy said no, but that theatre people would probably go to a bar just down the street. So of course, we walk down to that bar, go down the stairs, and as my eyes were adjusting to the dim lights, I start to see cast member after cast member from the show. I am freaking out. I see Sara Bareilles standing next to a booth and I almost pee my pants. We take a seat at the bar and Andy keeps telling me I just need to go give her the card. But it looks like she’s with family and I don’t want to be weird, so I just wait…and drink all of the beer. I get up to go to the bathroom and as I’m in the stall, someone else comes in to pee next to me. For a second I think it could be her, but I was doubtful. I walked out, didn’t see Sara where she had been standing, so I quickly walk back in to the bathroom to awkwardly wash my hands again… As I turn on the water, she walks up to the sink next to me. I look at her, and quietly/creepily just say, “Oh my god”. Not like an excited “OMG!!” But just a weird, under my breath sound. She turns an looks at me, fairly confused, and I go on to say I saw the show and it was amazing, bla bla. I’m from Kansas City and came to see the show, bla bla….. She was super nice and very appreciative and was like, “wow, you came all the way from Kansas City, bla bla”. And we slowly walked out of the bathroom and I went back to the bar. I told Andy what happened and was a crazy mixture of ecstatic and embarrassed because I thought I sounded so stupid. And all Andy wanted me to do was give her the card. But it would’ve been even weirder after my stupid bathroom encounter. So we just hung out and got drunk and existed in the same room as all those fabulous people. Finally, as people were starting to leave, I saw a woman that looked like she could be Sara’s mom. I tell Andy, and of course, as she walked by he asks, “Are you Sara B’s mom?” And she stops and says, “I AM Sara B’s mom” and starts chatting with us. She was the cutest, sweetest lady and just went on and on about how Sara’s still the same old Sara and how she’s so proud, etc. I tell her I’m a huge fan and she gives me a hug. It was awesome. And then more awesome when Sara walked up to us. Her mom was like, “These are Kansas City people” and she was like, “ya, I know” (which really meant “ya that weird girl muttered stuff to me in the bathroom when she walked back in after being done going to the bathroom”). Luckily, I was good and drunk at this point so I told her I was awkward in the bathroom and she was like, “nooooo” (“yesss”), and then Andy goes, “She wrote you a card”. And I say, “I’m a grown woman and I wrote you a congrats card.” And she was like, “Give me that card, girl!” And I continue to die as Andy searches in my purse for the card. He tells her, “You are making her life right now” and then she says we should take a picture and this happened: IMG_5983I squeezed her with all my might. It was so amazing. And she got my card, which she either thought was sweet or stalker-ish. Either way, it was about as perfect as I could’ve expected that experience to be. I will remember it foreva!!
  5. We went to Denver to celebrate my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s marriage! We were much better prepared on this flight, plus it was a much shorter flight. Though, landing in Denver is always the balls. They’re always like, “Flight attendants, go ahead and take your seats, we’re expecting a few light bumps on the way down.” Light bumps? Are you fucking kidding me. I needed one of those railings that comes down in front of you when you ride on roller coasters that go upside down (which I don’t go on, by the way). Luckily, I had reverted back to my drunken ways, so I was able to tolerate the turbulence. We spent the week at this beautiful house up in the mountains. The ceremony was beautiful. We got to meet lots of new people and hang out with our family. I even got to sing during the ceremony. They wanted to use a recorded version of “I Choose You” (by Sara Bareilles) when the bridal party processed in. I was already playing guitar for the procession of the bride, so I was like, “I meaaaaan, I’ve met Sara Bareilles personally, so I feel like I’m definitely qualified to play that one, too” haha. Luckily, my sister-in-law and her fam are the bomb.com so they let me fulfill my dreams. It was so much fun🙂

And now that you’ve been forced to listen to my life story these past several months, I will tell you what you really want to hear: the new and ridiculous things my children are saying and doing. As Adam becomes more and more verbal and curious, he has so. many. questions. I know everyone warns you about that. But it can be the absolute worst sometimes. “Why is it Wednesday?” I don’t know, Adam. I really don’t know. And the concept of time is a struggle for him as well. If I say we will do something later, he always responds with, “later today?” And usually it is later that day, but sometimes it isn’t. And also, anything that happens in the past, he refers to as yesterday. “I went on an airplane yesterday.” No, you didn’t Adam, you goddamn liar. He also struggles with the linear progression of time. He will say things like, “When I am a baby, I will wear Nick’s jacket.” Nooooooo! Adam. Unless you are Marty McFly, you will not be a baby again. But sometimes it’s easier to just say, “ok.” “Cool.” “That’s interesting.” (aka “I give up!!”)

Andy always gives the good advice of only answering the question your kid asks. Don’t elaborate on things that are complicated and don’t need to be elaborated on. Sometimes I follow this advice, and usually I don’t. For example, when Nick pulled all of the tampons out of the box in the cabinet in the bathroom (which is his favorite fucking game), Adam asked what the tampons were. And instead of just answering, “tampons.” The end. I start to try to explain periods and how it works, etc. WHY?!? Why would I go into that much detail? Unnecessary. And now I feel like Adam is misinformed. The other day, I heard him talking to Nick, as Nick pulled all the tampons out of the box again. And he goes, “No Nick, those are tampons for big people’s butts!” …I’m so glad I elaborated. I think I just get flustered when Adam asks questions about things that are potentially sexual. But I forget that they aren’t sexual to him, because he doesn’t know anything about that. So when he asks about nipples, like he did this morning, he doesn’t feel silly asking that question because he honestly wants to know. He told me today that when he got older and got a big tummy, he would have boobies so he could feed Nick. And I should’ve just said, “well that’s nice.” And instead I try to give some kind of gender neutral answer about how people who identify as girls usually have boobs and not boys, bla bla blawwwwwhhhhhhat am I doing?!? It’s complicated! And sometimes, it’s downright funny. Like when Adam was getting his diaper changed and he asked why his penis was “down”. And I was like, “whaaaaaat?” And he said, “ya, I ate too much so it went down but Vaseline will help it go way way up.” And I lost it. I think he asked how his penis could go up and I said, “well, it depends on the circumstance.” Like that makes any sense to him?!? Like that’s necessary?! At least we all know who will be responsible when he has to go to therapy as a young adult.

Nick is starting to look more and more like a little person. He started walking, so all he wants to do is follow Adam around at all times. He’s still not completely stable, so he kind of waddles. And he holds his hands up by his chest so he looks a little bit like a drunk dinosaur. It’s fairly entertaining. He has also started to take on some of the preferences Adam had at his age. For example, balls. All kinds of balls. Anything that looks like a ball. And he’ll point to it and say, in the same voice Adam would, “buh.” Nick is also really into identifying facial features. But there’s no real warning when it’s going to happen. So it’s usually when I’m holding him and he’s just looking around, and all of a sudden his finger is inside of my eyeball and he’s saying, “ah”. And then we have to go through the whole series. Right now, he identifies my nose ring separate from my nose. Like it’s 2 different parts of my face. So hopefully it’s not too devastating when he discovers not everyone has a nose ring in addition to a nose. He will also give me “kisses” by aggressively opening his mouth as wide as it will go and putting in on top of my mouth. It’s a combination of sweet and a little threatening. I mean, he just goes for it. But it’s so much fun watching him learn. I remember having that same feeling when Adam was this age. When kids can’t really talk, or at least not understandably, it’s easy to assume that they don’t understand a lot. But they understand EVERYTHING! I can tell Nick to go get something in a different room and he will do it. If he hears a song on the radio he likes, he will start dancing by aggressively rocking back and forth (we’re hoping this isn’t some kind of self-stim…I think it’s fine…). He will recognize animals and try to make animal sounds. He loooooves this semi-scary looking owl I bought to try to deter the squirrels from digging up my flowers. Which doesn’t work, by the way. Squirrels are such DICKS! Anyways, Nick LOOOOOVES this owl. Every time we walk outside he will say, “OW! OW! OW! OW!” And once you acknowledge, “yes, owl.” He will quietly say, “hoo, hoo, hoo.” It’s pretty cute. And maybe speaks to my judgment thinking that an owl my toddler finds endearing is going to scare an animal away. Fuckin’ squirrels.

Adam and Nick do a lot more interacting the older Nick gets. Some of it is cordial. A lot of it isn’t. Adam has entered some kind of “threenager” stage and it’s the worst. More than the defiance, it’s the sass. His tone of voice makes me want to scream. Our house has become some kind of ticking time bomb. We are constantly counting down or timing things. He HATES when we count, but somehow still doesn’t comply with whatever we are asking him to do. The hardest part is transitions. When it’s time to stop watching TV. When I pick him up from school. When it’s time to get out of the bath. So we set a timer, which seems to help sometimes. It’s also effective because he doesn’t know enough numbers to try to ask for a really long time. When we ask how many more minutes he thinks he should have, the max he usually says is 5. Which I can deal with. I feel like we are just constantly trying strategy after strategy, and 30% of the time I feel like it’s working. The other 70% of the time I become the one counting down…to when I can start drinking. They’re lucky they’re so cute.

IMG_6071

With each month that passes, I’m more convinced that everyone is right when they say 1. Time goes way too fast and 2. It only gets more fun. I love seeing the kinds of little people my boys are turning into. It’s so interesting to see how they can be so similar and so different at the same time. Each stage brings a new set of challenges but also a whole new level of awesome. I loved our crazy summer, but I’m excited for a more predictable fall. With time to just sit and watch my boys change and grow. And of course, ruin their adult life by allowing them to think tampons go in big people’s butts…

Oh, the things you will do…

Sooooo…it’s been awhile. I had every intention of posting something much earlier than this. I even knew what I was going to do. Sometimes, when I read a book that rhymes to Adam and Nick, my brain continues to think that way for the next several minutes. For example, if I put them to bed and am walking down the stairs, I might think, “Should I sweep the dirty floor? Or binge watch Netflix shows some more? I’d really like to have a beer, but noon is much too soon, I fear.” (You get the idea). Sometimes it will go on for a long time. So, I was totally going to write a blog post poem. Straight up Dr. Seuss style. But turns out, that shit is hard. Dr. Seuss is the master of his craft. He can rhyme anything and uses words like “zizzer zazzer zuzz.” How am I supposed to compete with that? Now, don’t get me wrong. It was going to be a bomb-ass poem. You were going to laugh and cry and tell all your friends about your super clever friend who writes the wittiest poems that rival Dr. Seuss! So, just imagine that that happened, so this “regular” post won’t be so disappointing…

I’ve been trying to think about the most significant things that have happened since the last time I blogged. Nick is crawling like crazy. No, seriously, he looks kind of like a demon when he crawls. It’s the same thing Adam did. One leg stays tucked under a little bit and then he uses his hands to drag his body forward. But it’s always surprisingly efficient. It doesn’t seem natural. He’s also pulling himself up on stuff, which is the worst! Things that were once safe are not anymore. I find him chewing on all kinds of terrible things. We were FaceTiming with my in-laws the other night, and all of a sudden Nick was bleeding because he was chewing on a plastic toothbrush container and cut himself. One time, Andy stopped him right before he was going to put the end of the phone charger in his mouth…while it was plugged in! As if it’s not bad enough that those things happen unintentionally, sometimes I straight up let him play with terrible things. Like…a plastic bag. He loves it! It makes the most fun sounds and changes shapes when you wave it around. It could entertain him for…minutes. (And sometimes you need those minutes!) Before you call child protective services, know that I do supervise plastic bag playtime. I’m not a monster. Though this next story might suggest otherwise…

A lot of my good friends are getting engaged and married and having babies and it’s a super exciting time. Filled with parties, and showers, and bachelorettes… The most recent bachelorette party happened to involve a blow-up male doll. Pretty life-size, I might add. (Some parts were a little larger than others…). So, I found this doll, named Peter by the way, to be pretty inappropriate and delightful. And who am I going to share funny, inappropriate things with? Why, the most inappropriate man I know…my husband. So I send Andy a picture of Peter on my phone. Tee hee hee. So funny. Marital banter back and forth (I think the convo ended with “you wish”). The end. NO!! It is NOT the end! Adam loves to look through pictures and videos on my phone. Because I’m a responsible mother who mostly has adorable pictures of her children on her phone. So several days after the bachelorette party, I did not expect to hear Adam ask, “who’s that guy?”, pointing to a picture of Peter… I told him it was “balloon man.” I still feel pretty bad about that one. But not as bad as the other day…

(I realize this post is turning into an escalating series of terrible parenting moments. Turns out I’ve mostly been failing at motherhood since you last heard from me…). Adam has started to up his game when it comes to tantrums. People have recently been telling me, “oh, you think 2 is bad? 3 is worse.” Which, why would you tell me that? Sometimes I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread as it is, and you’re saying, “don’t worry, it’s going to get really bad soon.” Lovely. However, I’m starting to see their point. I don’t feel like Adam’s fits have involved so much shrieking in the past. Or overreactions. Or body flopping. Or the duration of crying that results in those weird hiccups. It’s getting a little ridiculous. A few days ago, Adam was in the midst of one of these fits and I was on the phone with my sister. It was apparent that things were a bit chaotic so she asked what was going on and I said “I’m so frustrated, I feel like I’m gonna kill him.” To which Adam, sobbing, replied, “No, mama, don’t. kill. meeeee.” I felt like the worst human in the world. Also, just to back track…I would never hurt my kids. You guys know that, right? I’m feeling super self-conscious now. The blog is a safe place. No judgment. Right? RIGHT???? Man, I can’t wait for things to get worse at 3…

The good news is that Adam is starting to pay more attention to Nick now. Never mind that it’s usually him trying to get his toys away from Nick, but I guess that’s a start. Sometimes he will try to be nice by “hugging” or “holding” Nick, which means he puts his arms around his neck or tries to actually lay on top of him. So, that’s good. Nick loves following Adam around more than anything. Now that they are sleeping in the same room, sometimes they will “talk” to each other. Yesterday morning, Adam was making Nick laugh, which was pretty adorable. I’m sure the fighting is only going to get worse, but hopefully those cute moments will just get even cuter.

I know I probably shouldn’t, but I can’t stop comparing Nick to how Adam was when he was that age. For the most part, they’ve done things at the same time. But in some ways, they could not be more different. For example, Adam has always been on the smaller/shorter end of the growth chart. He ate pretty well as a baby, but now it seems like he survives on nothing. He would rather have little snacks all day than an actual meal. Nick, however, is a big boy. Not too big, basically average weight and a little taller than average height. But, man, that kid can eat. Eating is all he wants to do. And he eats a lot! I’m not exaggerating when I say he can eat more than Adam eats now. It’s crazy. Also, when Adam was Nick’s age, he seemed so much older. Maybe because he was the only kid we had. Nick will turn 1 next month and when Adam was about to turn 1, we already knew that he loved fans and anything remotely resembling a ball. The only things I know Nick likes are smiles and carbs. He’s like the Jim Gaffigan of babies. Maybe we will just have a bread-themed birthday party for him. He would be the happiest, smiliest 1-yr-old in the world!!

It really is crazy how fast time flies. This past weekend, I was at a wedding reception. We got a babysitter for the kids and about halfway through the night, I went to check my phone and saw this picture on my home screen:

IMG_4839

And I thought, OMG, I have 2 kids. How did that happen? I’m going to be married for 5 years this year. How did THAT happen? I’m no longer in my 20’s. WHAAAAT??? Instead of going to movies, I watch Netflix for as long as I can when the boys are napping at the same time. Instead of being part of a sports team or fun volleyball leagues, I go to a gym that has a daycare and plan my workouts in between nap times. Instead of going out to dinner, I make frozen meals that require minimal planning and effort. I only shower on an “as-needed” basis. Instead of going out and drinking too much, I stay at home and drink too much (I guess that one’s kind of the same). Instead of lunch dates and adult conversations, my days are spent changing diapers, trying to get Nick to say, “mama,” and bribing my toddler by telling him that if he doesn’t throw away his trash, ants will come into the house and live in his ears. (I literally just did this).  Life is weird. It is fast and unpredictable. It isn’t always what you expect. But these 2 definitely make it a whole lot of fun.

IMG_4994 IMG_5005

Silent night…..JK LOL!

Everybody!! HOW have I not used pictures in my posts until now? HOW?!?! I will tell you how…it seemed like a lot of work when I thought about it in the past. Turns out, it isn’t, so get your butts ready for some pics, ya’ll!

10548213_664583902022_3483364405565773922_o

As is customary on our vacations, our children get sick. Thanksgiving was no exception. Adam decided to get sick a couple of days before we left, and then, got significantly worse the day we traveled to Colorado. Fevers and coughing and sadness. It wasn’t a good time. A bad enough time, in fact, that Andy thought a trip to the local urgent care was warranted (to rule out an ear infection). Amazingly enough, the doctor we saw was one of Andy’s classmates from KU Med! Crazy town! Anyways, when we got to the doctor’s office, we lucked out with our Tylenol/Ibuprofen timing because Adam was acting OK. As you can see in the fancy picture above, he enjoyed exploring his surroundings. Included in these surroundings was a big jar of tongue depressors, which we colloquially refer to as “sticks.” So, we really shouldn’t have been surprised when Adam said (what sounded like), “Ah-um want dick.” Ummmm, excuse me, what? “Ah-um want dick.” You want what? “DIIIIIICK!” Oh STICK! You want SSSSSSSStick! Sssss Ssss Ssssstick…. “dick.” Andy and I thought this was just a delight. Oh, the things that (we think we hear) kids say. And he didn’t have an ear infection. So…kaBOOM!

While I often misunderstand what Adam’s trying to say, sometimes it’s as clear as can be. He has certain words that he says perfectly and we get so excited. Especially when it’s a word that he’s had trouble with before and suddenly it makes sense. Learning! Development! So exciting! Sometimes I wish Adam didn’t know as much as he does. I like to think he’s a pretty smart kid, and sometimes he uses it to his advantage. For example, we have this “Memory” game. The one where there are pairs of pictures that you turn over and you have to remember where things are to accumulate matches. Adam…is really good at it. Like…it kind of weirds me out how good he is. Although, as far as translating those skills into something useful, I don’t know how exciting it is. “Hey listen, I’m looking for a pair of forks. If you find one, you have to hide it again until you find the other one, then you can have both and bring them to me.” Dumb. More than likely, his aptitude for memory probably just means he will remember every stupid, obscure detail he ever learns so he will demolish his friends (and future life-partner) in any type of trivia-related game. I’m sure you can’t possibly guess the person I’m comparing him to… Andy. It’s Andy. That stupid, “Oh that historical event that happened hundreds of years ago that I learned one time in a magazine, the editor of that magazine’s name is ________,” sonofabitch Andy. My fears about Adam becoming a smart ass like his dad aren’t completely unfounded, either. This “Memory” game has lots of pieces. Not surprisingly, these pieces fall on the floor and under couches, so while it’s a fun game to play, Adam has to help pick them up if he wants to play again. One afternoon, it came down to one piece on the floor and he would not budge. It was a card with a picture of a train on it and I telling him to, “Pick up the train. You need to pick up the train. If you want to play again, you need to pick up the train. Now. Pick up the train.” So eventually, he reaches across the table where (coincidentally) a Thomas the Train toy was resting. He picks up the toy train, looks at me, smiles and says, “train.” Ohhhhh, you little smart ass.

Although he can really drive me crazy, Adam continues to make me laugh. For example, when I walked into his play room and found him doing this…

(null)_1

Just…reading while standing on a stool.

Or the other day when he arranged his toys like this…

(null)_2

I need you to look closely at this picture, because there is a lot going on. The cars are lined up like a little parade. As are his colored blocks. The football and soccer ball both have toy spiders resting on top of them. Which frankly, looks terrifying when you first glance at it. His crayons are resting in the holes where the blocks are supposed to go. The animals are climbing on top of everything. And, perhaps most distressing, Rudolph looks like he has passed out in the training toilet. It’s just…so…complex…

Adam also has these associations he’s made about certain things and doesn’t really like when those change. For instance, we were at the doctor’s office for Nick’s 6-month appointment and I had to take Nick’s clothes off so they could check him out, get him weighed/measured, and give him his shots. Adam was VERY concerned about this process. He did not understand why Nick’s clothes had to be off. The whole time the pediatrician was in the room, he tried to hand me Nick’s clothes, saying, “Baby Nick’s pants ON!!” (The doctor thought it was hilarious). I tried to explain why Nick had to have his pants off, but Adam didn’t buy it. (Somewhat related, Nick is in the 75th percentile for height, 50th for weight. When Adam was 6 months I’m pretty sure he was 25th percentile for weight and 12th for height. I think that means that Nick is eventually going to grow into a monster and eat Adam…I’ll keep you posted…)

Another manifestation of Adam’s associations are the verbal phrases he remembers. Most of them are things that he has picked up from us. Luckily, much of the cursing we still do hasn’t stuck, although we’ve had a few slip-ups… In the past, I wrote about Adam yelling, “Andy!! Downstairs!!” like I would when I wanted Andy to come downstairs. That became Andy’s name, actually, when we asked what dada’s “real” name is, Adam says, “Andy downstairs”. Well, I guess I must tell Adam that Lola loves him a lot, because when I was trying to explain why Nick was reaching out to grab Adam, I said, “Baby Nick loves you.” To which Adam responded, very seriously, “No. Lola loves Adam.” Which, as you can see, she does…

(null)_3

I’ve recently been thinking about some of the milestones we are approaching with Adam. He still sleeps in his crib, only because he hasn’t figured out how to escape yet, and we aren’t telling him. He’s also not potty trained. Though he will look you in the eyes, red-faced, and grunt, “Ah-um poopin'” I try to explain to him that I won’t have to change his diapers anymore if he decides to go potty on the big boy potty. Because he HATES having his diaper changed. Screaming, crying, twisting his body in half, HATES it. And he tries to trick me into thinking he doesn’t need his diaper changed. He will wake up in the morning and his pajamas will be damp because he has peed so much. But when I go to change him, he will scream, “NO PEEEEE!!” But the best is when he has poop in his pants. And I check his diaper and see the poop. I smell the poop. I open up the diaper and say, “You have poop in there.” And Adam will respond, “No poop!!! …just farts.” It’s never just farts.

I realize, thus far, this post is very Adam-centric. It’s not that I mean to leave out stories about Nick, it’s just that…recently…Nick’s been kind of….a dick. And no, I don’t mean stick. To be fair, he is getting his top teeth, and it seems like the worst. Adam didn’t start getting teeth until 9 months, right when I decided to wean him. Nick decided to get teeth at 5 months, and let me tell you, nothing puts the fear of God into your soul more than getting bit by your child while breastfeeding. It. Is. Terrifying. Once I watched this movie called “Grace” in which the baby survived on blood so she would bite her mom to feed. It was reaaaaaal weird. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m afraid my child is a vampire who is trying to draw blood to gain power. He’s never even come close to drawing blood, by the way, but still. That shit hurts.

Nick is also trying to figure out a consistent nighttime schedule. For awhile, he was only getting up around 4 or 5am to eat, then he would go back to sleep for a couple of hours before getting up for the day. Brilliant! I can totally handle that. Then, about when we got back from Thanksgiving vacation, he decided that 3-4 times a night was more appropriate. Not always to eat. Sometimes just to say, “hi.” Sometimes to get his pacifier back in. Sometimes to have his back rubbed. Ummm….no thanks, baby Nick!!!!! We’ve tried to let him “cry it out” in the past week or so. (I feel you judging me, you assholes). It’s not that we completely ignore, it’s just that we mostly ignore him. I give him a 3am minimum time for getting up. If it’s after 3, I will get him up and feed him. Usually, this is all he needs and he goes right back to sleep for another 4 hours. But, Nick’s crib is still in our room, and trying to just let him cry can be fairly miserable. Andy and I intended on trying this technique earlier than we actually did. It would usually go like this:

– So, should we try to let him cry it out tonight?

– Um, we probably should, but I don’t really feel like being up all night because of a screaming baby, sooooooo…

I know I should probably have more patience with this process, but it can be terribly frustrating. The good news is, when baby Nick is awake for the day, he is still super smiley and sweet, so I can’t hold a grudge for too long. 1556450_664584356112_5995013261233532078_o

It’s also nice that the boys are starting to interact more and more. Adam pays more attention to Nick and Nick is delighted to have some love from his brother. If Nick is crying, Adam will bring him a toy or his pacifier and say, “Here you go, baby Nick.” He even asked to hold him recently, which was slightly terrifying…

(null)_4

The holidays seem a little more exciting this year, since Adam kind of understands the whole Santa concept and is suuuuuper pumped about all the gifts we already have under our tree. Yesterday he said, “We’re running out of room!” Nick mostly cares about the wrapping paper, so that’s basically all he’s getting for Christmas. Well, that, and the gift of LIFE!! It’s fun to vicariously experience the magic of Christmas through little kids’ eyes. And, if you can’t live through your children, why have them, am I right??

(null)

(Nick wants that beard so hard).

In completely unrelated news, I had a shocking revelation the other day. I’m reading Amy Poehler’s “Yes, Please!” which I would highly recommend. But, in one chapter, I saw a phrase that I’ve heard forever and used forever, but had never ever seen written out before: “make ends meet.” Now, I consider myself a fairly intelligent human being. I got a pretty decent ACT score. I got good grades. But, I have always thought that phrase was, “make ends’ meat.” Like, if a family is really poor and working to put food on the table, like the last meat, they are working to “make ends’ meat”….. I’m not proud of this, you guys. I just thought you needed to know…

Merry Christmas.