Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What is influencing my kids?

Up until the day before Early Bird was born, I worked full-time outside the home. And my kids were in daycare 45+ hours a week. They spent the bulk of their "awake" time with other people. I got about 2 hours each evening and an hour in the morning, and weekends. That's not a lot of time. It was hard on me, everyday talking them into "going to school". And my mother heartstrings were pulled taut and tight often. I worried about all other kids and adults influencing/impressing my little "blank slate" kids. Now I'm a stay at home mom. I get to be with my kids all day, every day. Bug, of course, goes to kindergarten now and Mealyworm has preschool for 2.5 hrs every day. But I get so much more time with my kids. Now I worry about how I am influencing/impressing them. I am so not a great role model for my kids. The theory out there is that being home with your kids is such a great thing for them...well, I'm not convinced. Their old daycare center seemed way more on top of teaching everyday life skills.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

One Week Boutique

I just found out, in case you've been wondering...The Fall One Week Boutique will be happening...here's the scoop: Public shopping dates will be November 13-15 (Fri-Sun). The sale will be held in Mahomet at 201 N. Prairieview Road (just off Rt. 150 & I-74). It was the former D&D grocery store. Along with a new email system is a new barcode tagging system. This system is going to make for much speedier checkout lines at the sale -Yeah!

If you wish to consign:

You need to go to the Registration page at www.oneweekboutique.com and click on "Register to be a Consignor". Everyone is getting a new number in the new system. Even if you have consigned in the past, you must register to get a new number (your old number will not work).

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Super Lucky or Super Cool

Recently, I had the unexpected, but much appreciated honor of attending a CU Parent Bloggers gathering at B. Lime. B. Lime, A Green Store, is a great store that I'd love to buy presents for everybody I know at. I was super lucky and got to meet a bunch of super cool bloggers. Check out these CU blogs:
Multi-minding Mom
Little Blog on the Prairie
Midwest Moms
Mommy, Queen of Everything
Sulking in Illinois
Midwest Neurotica
Chicken and Cheese
Larkin's Place
Rayne of Terror
Looseyfur's Midwest Adventures
2 Kids, 3 Cats and a blog
The Fabulous Follies of a Freaky Family

And we got to nibble on great treats from Cakes on Walnut and Boltini's....mmmmm.

And when all was said and done for the evening...we went home with our hands full of goodies. Thank you, thank you to the generous givers of stuff including, but not limited to:
Johnson & Johnson

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hall Pass

I asked my husband the other day, "Honey, do you think its weird that your wife is completely tuckered out at 9 pm and goes to bed?" His response, "Yes, I think its weird." So I laughed and in my head decided I should try to make an effort to stay up later...So last night, after Biggest Loser, when T-Dad said, "Let's watch W. , we just got it from Netflix." I said, "Sure, sounds good."
Flash forward to this morning...
Early Bird wakes up early for a feeding. T-Dad's alarm goes off at some ungodly, still dark outside hour, baby starts crying. Finally baby is back to sleep in my bed, how can such a little baby take up sooooo much space in a queen size bed. I manage to nod off for another half an hour, hitting snooze twice and then completely turning the alarm off. Only to wake 10 minutes before I need to get all three kids out the door to get everyone to school on time! Aaargh!
Bug was late to school for the first time today. He had to go in to the office and get a pass and everything. Poor kid.

Moral of the story: Staying up late when you're tired, gets tomorrow off to a bad start.


Mommy gets to go to bed whenever she wants to.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Am I Blogger or a woman with thoughts that need to be dumped somewhere?

When I was in 6th grade, I subscribed to Thrasher magazine and bought a used Powell & Peralta skateboard. I lived in the country. Surrounded by farmhouses and fields of corn/beans/cows/horses. I rode my skull & sword skateboard with my blue "cons" on, up and down that country road...but was I really a skater? I mean, come on, you can say it...I was a poser. I didn't beg my mom to drive me into the city skateparks so I could learn new tricks or meet up with some other sk8 dudes. I just rolled back & forth on my board in front of my gravel driveway.

So the question I'm pondering now is if I blog on the Internet am I a blogger? Blogs can be so many different things...daily journals, homework lists, recipe reviews, weather analysis, etc. All those blogs have a clear purpose. Some postings may be short and sweet, others rambling and drawn out. But they all tie into a specific theme. But what about me...I'm a "fair/sour weather friend" blogger...when I've got something in my life I want to pour into words or cute pictures of my kids, I blog. But many a day go by without a blog post because I'm too busy, not feeling literary, too mad, too sad, too happy, plain old lazy. Am I a poser blogger? Is there a "true blogger" community? If there is, are the criteria things like: write in complete sentences, spell correctly, write in complete thoughts, have a clear point to your writing, include world events and philosophy, clearly state opinions and observations, etc. Boy, by that definition, I'm so not a true blogger. I can barely get the words on the screen, let alone have them mean something half the time. But hey, a book is still a book even if the author just scribbles on the pages and no one ever reads it right...

Maybe instead of just rolling past my gravel driveway on my skateboard I had actually spoken with some other skaters, I could have learned a thing or two about skateboarding and become an actually skateboarder...Maybe I should get out there and mingle with some other bloggers...hmmm.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mealyworm at Ballet

Doing her own thing...but loving every minute of it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Early Bird Milestones

Early Bird just passed the 7 month mark. Crazy, I know. We had her 6 month checkup (a month late) this week and she's doing great. She's 26 inches tall and 18.5 lbs. She's got 2 little teeth on the bottom. She's rolling front to back and then back to front. Any human being that comes within 5 ft of her receives a big open-mouthed grin, saying "Hey, look at me!". She can even sit up for about 15 seconds before rolling to the side and on her back (or face, oops.) She's eating rice cereal and oatmeal & bananas cereal like a champ. As far as other foods, so far she's had and liked for the most part...peas, squash, bananas, pears, and carrots. And didn't really enjoy avacado, which is weird I think. Maybe I didn't get it smooth enough. It is really cute to see her interacting with Bug and Mealy Worm. They love to talk in her "language" of random low & high pitched sounds. Car rides are a symphonic experience these days. It is really fun having a little one again. It is really hard and tiring, but totally worth it. I mean really, just one of those open-mouthed grins and all the tough stuff just melts away.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Grossest Thing Ever

From Desiderata...
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

So I've been thinking alot about how different families live. I'm an analyzer...and "my life" is most often the subject of my analysis. When I was growing up, I went to a friend's house after Kindergarten everyday. We rode the bus and I got off at her house and her mom watched me until my mom got off work. It was fun. She had a younger brother. He typically toddled around in just his diaper. Sometimes he took his diaper off. One day we were watching TV and he pooped on the rug. It was gross. But what was grosser...when my friend's mom saw it, she came right over and picked the poop up with her bare hands! At the time and for years after, I thought that was the grossest thing EVER. Funny how now that I have 3 kids and pets...that doesn't seem like the grossest thing ever anymore. I've never done that but I'm sure some things I've done have come pretty close on the "grossest thing ever" scale.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The first full week

Exhausted. That's me (almost) at the end of the first full week of Kindergarten for Bug and daily Preschool (2.5 hrs/day) for Mealyworm. I love being within walking distance of both schools, but man I'm beat. I drove to pick up Mealyworm a couple of times and T-Dad did drop off on Wednesday, but other than that...I've walked. Its been really good for me and fun.

Walk to the elementary school with Bug on his bike and the girls in the stroller.
Walk to preschool.
Walk home.
Kill 2.5 hrs.
Walk to preschool.
Walk home.
Kill 4.5 hrs.
Walk to elementary school.
Walk home.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

That feeling.

Ugh. Its happened again. I'm inadequate. My kids are awful. Their behavior is atrocious. And I just don't know what the fuck to do about it. I try to parent, punish, discipline, instill the right values, teach the good lessons, lead by good example, look both ways before I cross the street, hold hands in the parking lot, brush your teeth at bedtime AND in the morning, wash your hands before dinner, wipe your butt until there is no poop on the toilet paper, ask in a nice way, use your words, hands are not for hitting, etc. etc. etc. But it isn't always just screaming and running around in restaurants, or the skid marks in their underwear. Today, my kid decided he was curious if the neighbor's garage door was hard...so he repeatedly rammed his brand new scooter into it until the said neighbor poked his head out the door to see what the noise was. Mind you I was there, outside in the driveway watching him, but my huge, honking mini-van blocked my view of the top of my neighbor's driveway for this critical 15 seconds in time. And so wouldn't you know it...the brand-new scooter left several marks and small dents on the 1 day old paint job on the less than a year old garage door. And the neighbor wasn't too happy. And as I stood next to my neighbor looking at the damaged garage door, repeatedly saying I'm sorry, I couldn't see him for a minute and I'll repaint your garage door, and I'm really sorry...blah, blah, blah. I had "that feeling". That sinking feeling, that feeling that I know I did something wrong, but I don't know any way to fix it. And I never thought that feeling could get any worse...I've experienced it many times and hate it every time. But it does get worse...what's worse is when its something your kid did. How can I fix it? How can I return the world to the way it was 3 minutes ago? Why don't I know the right way to handle this? Why did I let this happen in the first place? Why did I get him a new scooter? Why doesn't he respect other people's property? Why aren't I stricter? I need to be stricter. I need more rules. I'm ephasizing the wrong rules. I need simpler rules. I need to watch him EVERY second. I need to keep him in the driveway. I need to keep him in the house. I have no business raising three children. I can't even keep the litter box clean. I'm stuck. I'm in this...I'm a parent...I want to do a good job...I want good kids...I'm so inadequate, but I don't have a choice. I'm it, I'm a parent and tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Boy Toys

I find myself buying toys for Bug all the time. I don't know if its because he's the oldest and his tastes are clearly defined or because he's a boy and boy toys are everywhere...or if this is some kind of subconscience favoritism. I'm trying to be more mindful of this...in case one of the girls starts to notice.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Its my blog, so I can bitch if I want to.

Since my last post, T-Dad and I established some daily chores that he does and daily chores that I do. The intent was to try REALLY hard to do them all once a day for 30 days to make them a habit...and then we could re-evaluate and see if they needed to be tweaked. These are the specific tasks we discussed and assigned to each person:
T-Dad's Daily Chore List included...
1. The Bathroom (spray/wipe the counter, around the toilet and shower with Clorox Go Anywhere)
2. Load the washing machine and move clothes to the dryer at least once a day.
3. Once a week mow the lawn.
4. Once a week take the trash to the curb.
(Work outside the home 40 hrs/wk, commute to work 1 hr roundtrip 5 days a week, random "odd jobs" around the house suited to his skills)

My Daily Chore List included...
1. Clear/wipe the table after meals and stay on top of the dishes.
2. Fold and put away all the laundry.
3. Keep the living room picked up.
4. Scoop the litter box as needed.
(And exclusively breastfeeding a small infant, being the sole caretaker of 3 young children most of every day, random odd jobs around the house suited to my skills)

As you can guess, we did pretty well for the first 5-7 days...and then things started to wane. I reminded T-Dad to do his chores once or twice. And I barely got any laundry folded and the living room was messy all week. But I did a decent job staying on top of the dishes.

So then...I just returned from a visit to my parents. I left my house on Wednesday morning about 7am and returned on Monday at around 5pm. If you count it out, its about 5.5 days. That is 5.5 days that T-Dad had the house to himself. Mind you, he had to work on most of the days. And to just to be clear, being at anyone's house for 5.5 days isn't a walk in the park with 3 small children. I was the primary disciplinarian, food provider, comforter, etc. with help from my family.

So I returned to my house yesterday to find it a mess. There were still dishes with encrusted cereal (from before we left) on the counter, the living room/hallway was still littered with toys and crap and there were no groceries in the house. T-Dad did do things while we were gone...he folded a bunch of laundry and even put some of the kids' clothes in thier drawers, he did maybe 1 load of dishes, vacuumed by the table, he picked up the kids room enough so he could move thier beds into bunk beds (all by himself) and then last night while I went grocery shopping, he did another load of dishes.
So I come back from grocery shopping and he has the TV on and the chess board set up and want to play chess. How sweet. He said, "Do you want to play chess?" and I said, "No, I want to punch you in the face." But I sat down and made my fist move. And then he made a move. And he said, "I guess I could have gotten more done but I thought I did pretty well. " I said, "Look around you (piles of crap and toys everywhere)And he said, "I don't think you have any reason to be mad, you said you were going to pick up the living room last week and you haven't folded any laundry since we started out "new jobs"." I replied calmly, "You're right I haven't stayed with it like I should have. I was just hoping with 5 days by yourself, you might make some more progress on the house." His response, "I did about what I expected to get done and I think its enough. It was a pretty "even mix" between working and relaxing." I just stared blankly at him...and eventually got up and went to the car to bring in my suitcases and ignored him. Mostly I didn't say anything because...I think I say too much sometimes. He had some very good points and he had actually done a fair amount. But what pissed me off most...it became obvious that we don't share the same life view. I want the house to be picked up and nice looking because that's the way it should be, that's the way the kids like it, that's the way I like it, etc. He pickes up and does chores because...I put it on a list. WTF. Why doesn't he care about having a nice looking house? Why doesn't he think "Hey Lav Lem would really appreciate it if I picked up the house before she came home?"

Apparently T-Dad is pissed at me because I'm pissed at him. He slept on the couch downstairs last night. The reason I'm mad...I resent the fact that I have to change my lazy ways in order to give my children the house and life I feel they should have. My resentment is directed at him. I don't really know why...I guess I thought we were both "in this together" so what I suffered, he would also suffer through. But really...that's not the way it is. I know that I want my house to be a certain way, and honestly, we've got a long way to go before its there. But I am really trying to change my "messy ways" and I think T-Dad should too. But he's not, he's contentedly remaining lazy and messy and I have to do all the work. (Okay, that's not a true statement, I don't do ALL the work...just most of it.:)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sometimes I feel like Pond Scum

Okay, I'm the laziest person on the planet and in my infinite good fortune, I happened to find and marry the 2nd laziest person on the planet. Our courtship was unique, living in seperate cities we worked our jobs during the week and got together on weekends. The time together was spent lazing about the apartment (either his or mine) and we played games, watched movies, read books, took naps, dined out or ordered in, microwaved popcorn, etc. And we were content. We didn't nag each other or berate one another for not "trying harder". We were happy, it was fun. Fast forward and add a marriage license and three kids...we're still trying to live the lazy life and its not working out so well. Things need to get done, get washed, get dried, get picked up, get put away, get ordered, get mailed, get scheduled, get attended and so on. And things are not so content anymore. And there is a whole lot of nagging and berating going on. And things aren't going well. And I'm not happy, and it isn't fun. When I imagine the apparently well known, yet unpublished list of Essential Duties That Must Be Done Daily in a Home, I know we are behind on all of them. I suck and it sucks. I don't want to change but I have to. And it isn't easy changing. And it isn't fast. And its a painful. Because honestly if you take away our carefree and easy-going nature and replace it with a schedule and list of rules...what have you got? ...
I don't know. And I'm afraid to find out.

And its not equal anymore. I can't even use the "we" pronoun. Its "me". I'm the mother of these children. I'm suppose to make sure that the necessary things get done. If my new age husband agrees to help with any small or large aspect of the chore list, that's super. But ultimately, if there's cracker crumbs all over the carpet and the kids are wearing mismatched socks...who do people judge? The father...oh,no. Its the mother. Always the mother. Its a tall order to be a Mother, even if you don't count the actual "child-rearing duties". So many unwritten codes and policies that honestly I don't give a damn about...except...apparently I am being judged by them and failing. And that matters to me.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Wish i had some, no change that, wish I had approximately $30,000.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Where to begin?

Wow. I really don't know where to begin to catch up on this blog. But I feel like I need to. I feel like it helps me to write it down and let it go. It makes the "growing process" more official, more real. And ultimately that's what life is all about isn't it...growth. Some take it more seriously than others mind you...because we all know of people who seem totally and hopelessly stuck in their 2ND grade/high school/sorority girl stage.

Back to MY growth...

True fact: My children are an extension of me.
Analysis: People in the world see a child as a reflection/extension of the parent. Be it good or bad...what that child does, the parent played a hand. Honestly, right now this sucks for me. And its painful. I've always had a hard time with the whole "I married T-Dad so for some reason people think we "think" alike." Uh, no, that's not true. But now my children's behavior...aargh. I am looking forward to that time when my son graduates with honors OR is voted MVP for his lacrosse team and people congratulate "me" for raising such a fine lad.

True fact: A stay-at-home mom is responsible for the cleanliness of the home.
Analysis: Wow. That's a lot. And I admit, not my strong suit. But buckaroos...I can change. I am taking on a 30 day challenge to stay ON TOP OF the dishes and the laundry. Watch me fly.

True fact: T-Dad is wimpy when he's sick.
Analysis: I can't change this so I better get over it.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Illinois Marathon - belated

Bug and T-Dad participated in the Illinois Marathon Youth Run on April 11, 2009. I missed it. We were home celebrating my birthday with my aunt, her aunt in law, her fiance and my folks...and Mealyworm and Early Bird. :) The pictures are worth a thousand words though...(I'm a few months behind...but these were so cute.)

Stretching is very important before a big run.

They ran into Memorial Stadium.

T-Dad got to run with Bug the whole way.

Bug was really proud of his accomplishment...and so was T-Dad. :)

All the kids who participated got a really nice medal, t-shirt and shoulder sack.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Coolest Cat

We don't deserve the coolest cat in the world. Bug is harrassing her all the time. Hopefully she will continue to be cool and not get warped into some grouchy, recluse cat.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Perceptive Little Punk

So Mealyworm picks up my body language and I'm not happy about it. I can't be bitchy anymore. I can't be pissed off about nothing or irritated by typical toddler behavior. I can't roll my eyes at my own stupidity, curse my husband (under my breath) or groan with annoyance at the idiocy of drivers. She's all over me like a fly on poop. She says.."Are you happy, Mommy?" and I pause and wonder...do I tell the truth or do I lie. And then if her behavior in anyway has caused my "unhappiness" she asks "Do you want to be my friend, Mommy?" and depending on the severity of her infraction of the rules OR my own annoyance level...I find myself, again, wondering, do I tell the truth or do I lie?

I'm always tempted to be selfish and shout - "No, I am not happy. I am far from happy. There is nothing right now that is remotely happy. Thanks for asking, Mealyworm."
And as for "Do I want to be your friend?" - "No, I don't want to be friends with a little brat who won't leave her pacifier in her bed like I asked a million times, who eats her big brothers candy that he has hidden in his "secret" spot, who gets into my purse and chews 5 pieces of gum at one time, who hits the cat and pokes her baby sister in the eye. Really, that's not my idea of a "friend." But thanks for asking."

But (usually) I respond - "Yes, Mealyworm, I'm happy. Mommy is just frustrated right now because blah, blah, blah. But I'm happy."
And as for do I want to be your friend? "Yes, Mealyworm, I want to be your friend. I'm happy to be your mommy and I will always be your #1 fan. I am your friend in the truest sense...I'm your mom and will always love you."

I guess sometimes when I think I'm lying, its really the truth deep down.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


My mom is an awesome knitter. She learned to knit a long time ago, even knitted my dad a sweater in college ( that I wore all the time when I was in high school). But she was out of the knitting phase when I was growing (and totally into sewing...all our clothes). So I actuaaly learned how to knit when I was in Germany. My German exchange friend, Silke, taught me how to do it. And shortly there after, my mom picked up her needles again and has been knitting ever since. on her most recent visit she finished knitting a blanket for Mealyworm's baby dolls. Very cute. Here's Mealyworm giving it a whirl...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Early Bird

A little ditty I wrote when Early Bird was born...

10 fingers, 10 toes. A beating heart and a button nose. So small, and sleepy and honestly frail. But not a detail was missed, not even a fingernail.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Crying baby and a smile

What's been going on with Early Bird...

Colic. She cries all the time in the evening. She screams bloody murder and tightens every little muscle in her small body, fighting the pain in her tummy. She looks at me with this pissed off scowl and screams in high-pitched newborn caterwauling, with every ounce she's got -

What the &@%$ is going on! I'm in pain, something hurts. Why? WTF, mama?

On a good note...she naps alot during the day. AND...

The other day, she smiled at me. Such a precious reward.

My baby boy is 5

Yep, he's 5. He is totally ready. Five is what he is. He doesn't act like a 4 year old. In fact, I'd say he hasn't acting four for months now. He's officially a five-year-old now. He was born at 10:11 pm. Congratulations, Bug.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Week 4 - Calgon take me away.

Okay...it should be easier. We should be in a "routine" of some kind. My house should be cleaner than ever with my being off work for like 2 months. But uh...no. None of the above. Aaargh!
Its terrible when you really try to force your 2 year old to sit and watch TV. I find myself wishing she would get fixated on the television, like her older brother...so that I could accomplish something...anything! But who am I kidding...if she and her older brother were both sitting transfixed to the TV...the newborn would be wailing or the cat would be puking or the washing maching overflowing, etc. I need to be better about just getting stuff done despite the circumstances...hmpf.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A Revelation

Ooooohhh, I get it now. Being a stay at home mother means you have to do EVERYTHING. Cook, clean, plan activities, take kids to doctor appts, grocery shop, get things fixed, etc. At least when I worked, my husband chipped in a little. But now that I have all this time at home...I have to do everything. Well, at least now I know.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Wit's end

Okay, so she did it again! Mealyworm opened the window and screen in her room and threw toys out! Mind you this is a 2nd floor window...with a concrete patio underneath! Aargh! Mealyworm will be 3 in about 5 wks. And its like talking to a puppy...she just doesn't listen. She doesn't care what toy I take away, what "treat" she's not going to get, blah, blah, blah. Mind you she is sad when mommy is mad, but it doesn't stop her from doing it the next time...I swear, she's going to push me over the edge of insanity.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I'm gonna' smoke the whole world

Necessary Background Info: Bug gets tired in the afternoons, but its hard work to get him to take a nap. So since I've been staying home with him, to make it easier on him...and me...we've (I've) decided that Tues/Thurs are napping days and M/W/F are "quiet time" days. He can play quietly in his room for an hour by himself.
Setting: After lunch on Monday. Mealyworm has brought in the "Dora Van" from the living room to play with in her bed. (I'm fine with this because she falls asleep in like 5 min every day regardless of what toy she has in her bed.) Once Bug has discovered she has the van, of course he wants it. And a temper tantrum begins, but I hold my ground and even after Mealyworm falls asleep, I refuse to go in there and get the damn van for him. Its the principle. I'm trying to nurse Miranda or something and Bug keeps coming out of his room issuing demands...

Sooooo...the following discussion occurs, I'll say he was persistant:

Disturbance #1
Bug: I want the Dora van! Waaaa, boo hooo. (much yelling and gnashing of teeth)
Me: Bug, please go in your room for quiet time. Mealyworm asked to play with the van first, so she gets the van. (I essentially say this same thing repeatedly for the next 5 disturbances, amazingly enough, I was pretty calm and not screaming hardly at all.)

Distrubance #2
Bug: I want the Dora van! If you give me the van, I'll clean my whole room! (he amazingly enough likes to clean his room during "quiet time" who knows how I gave birth to a neat freak, but its wonderful)
Me: see above

Disturbance #3
Bug: I want the Dora van! If you give me the van, I'll clean the whole house! (if I actually thought he would follow through with it, I totally would have caved at this point.)
Me: see above

Distrubance #4
Bug: I want the Dora van! If you don't give me the van, I'll make a big mess of my room, of the WHOLE house! (clever little brat, switching it up like that.)
Me: see above

Disturbance #5
Bug: I want the Dora van! If you don't give me the van, I'm going to smoke. I'm going to smoke when I grow bigger. I'm gonna' smoke all day. I'm gonna' smoke the whole world! (I have no idea why he chose this moment in time to pull out this topic from a very brief discussion we had on smoking from like a year ago. I'm quite happy he's still a little fuzzy on the details of "smoking".)
Me: see above (trying to hide my shock and a little smile)

You never can guess what these crazy kids will say next.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fast food, oops.

So I'm torn...being a stay-at-home mom is a balance...you've got to find out the right amount of getting out of the house and chillin' at home for your pack of hoodlums. It isn't an easy formula to just apply to your life...you've got to test it out and unfortunately, it probably changes depending on various other life factors (teething, getting sick, not sleeping well, etc.). So I'm working that out. I'm a better mom if I'm out of the house some. But I'm more laid back and "fun" if we're just hanging out at home. The kids get cabin fever if we stay home too much, but they get over-stimulated, exhausted, cranky, "out of whack" if we go out too much. So we'll see if we ever find the right balance.
Today, Wednesday...
1. Marshmallow Mateys for bfast
2. Lots of morning PBS on TV
3. At the suggestion of my awesome neighbor, we went to the library for Toddler Time story hour - today's theme, Birthdays. It went surprisingly well. Thank goodness Early Bird slept the entire time.
4. I rewarded myself for surviving a trip to the library with all 3 kids - we went to the Taco Bell drive thru...and I enjoyed the entire 10 minutes I had to wait in the drive thru lane, relative peace and quiet.
5. Eating the tacos at home.
6. Rest Time for Mealyworm. Quiet Time for Bug. Nursing/burping/crying time for Early Bird. (This part of the day is the worst. I really wanted to lay down with Mealyworm and take a rest, but EB wouldn't have it.)
7. Watched about 1/2 of AirBud, played with LEGOs, colored w/ markers.
8. Played outside in the front of the house.
9. Went to the park behind our house.
10. Watched the rest of AirBud until T-Dad got home.

Whew, another day down. I have a hard time imagining my life like this for the next 5 years. I guess we just take it one day at a time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 2 - Much better

Okay so yesterday, my first day as a stay-at-home mom, went...not so well. I got some weird virus, from T-Dad who was violently vomiting Friday night, and felt like total crap. I asked T-Dad to leave work early and come home, in other words, I had to call in the reserves. But Day 2...much better.
1. French Toast for breakfast
(several hours of PBS cartoons...I'm working on that, I swear)
2. A trip (with all 3 children) to the new Meijer - Impressive, I know.
3. Lunch - Hot dogs, cottage cheese and grapes.
4. Naps - all around, I actually convinced Bug to nap, it took some work. But I am going to try to get him to actually sleep on Tues/Thurs so that he can stay up a little later. T-Dad works late on Tues.
5. Craft Time - painting (painting is a special treat because its such a pain...but today I used it as a reward for being so good at Meijer)
(and another 45 min of PBS cartoons)
6. Washing the LEGOs - 2 kids, double sink, warm soapy water, LOTS of sticky LEGOs
7. Trip to the Park behind our house
8. Dinner - Pasta, bananas and raw veggies w/ dip
9. Play with the clean LEGOs and watch AirBud, the movie

Finally T-Dad is home...7:30pm. Whew. I survived.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Early Bird Update

Everyone is enjoying the sunshine this week. :)

Big Yawn.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Life is Good

I love all the 'Life is Good' clothing, mugs, bags, etc. Combining a positive, non-religious, non-drug condemning/condoning message on comfortable,casual clothes. Perfect. I wish I would have thought of that idea because I'd be rich. The weather is warming up, I have one more week at home with just the baby and me...and then it gets even better...albeit a little more challenging...but then my "big kids" get to stay home too! I'm really excited and very nervous...I actually went to Mrs. B's School Supplies teacher store (the one by Yours, Mine & Ours) last week to buy some incentive charts and stickers, etc. And I want to come up with a daily schedule and try to stick with it (that's hard for me, I like to "switch things up regularly"). I'm thinking something like this might be good for starters...
Wake Up
Get out of bed, Make Bed
Put Clothes On.
Eat Breakfast
Play Outside/Craft Time
Eat Lunch
Nap/Quiet Time
Play Outside/Craft Time
Snack/Movie Time (while I make dinner)
um, okay..I don't know when to start the timeline. Do I let the kids sleep in as late as they want or do I wake them up at a certain time? Do we get clothes on right away or do we hang out in our pajamas for a few hours? Do I actually cook breakfast (because I'm home and all) or do we eat cold cereal and bananas? So many ways this could go...I just want it to be a positive experience for them and for me. Not an experience we all regret because Mommy turns into a screaming banshee and the small children become replicas of Dennis the Menace.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Life Goes On

While I've been busy...lots of things have been going on in the world...and in my friends' lives. I'm so behind. I hope that my friend has a good surgery today. And I hope that my other friend is perserving on her healthy eating plan. And I hope that my friend training for the half-marathon is staying on track. And I hope that I can get caught up with all my friends soon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Early Bird - Day 17

Here we are at Day 17...sorry its been so long since I posted. Its been more of the same the last week or so. Early Bird has 8 feedings a day and its "doctor's orders" that she "nipple 8 out of 8" so that means...at the appropriate feeding time (every 3 hours) the nurse/parent gives her a bottle (almost all the time containing breastmilk - woo-hoo, my milk has come all the way in.) and then its a numbers game...Early Bird drinks as much of the bottle as she wants (or can possibly stay awake for) and then the rest goes into her tummy through her feeding tube. And until she gets 75% of her total daily calories from those bottle feedings (not what goes in the tube) she can't bust out of the joint.

Its hard for premature babies to get the hang of "suck, swallow, breath". And that's what drinking a bottle is all about. In the womb, babies are developing that reflex right around 35-36 wks, while floating in a bath of amniotic fluid...but with EB having entered the world around 34 wks...she has to learn this skill in a different way (every 3 hours with a latex nipple and breastmilk) and at a different time (NOW!).

But the good news is...
Day 14 - 64% of her feedings from the bottle/breast
Day 15 - 72% of her feedings from the bottle/breast
Day 16 - 82% of her feedings from the bottle/breast

The end is in sight...they pulled out her feeding tube yesterday at the 6pm feeding and she's been keeping her numbers up. They are going to keep watching her for another 24-48 hours and if all goes well...she's going to be pushed out of the NICU nest and ready to fly on her own (at home with us). :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Our Family - Early Bird Day 8

Last night, we all visited Early Bird. We prepared the kids for double hand washing and quiet voices...and all went to NICU. Here's our first family portrait.

Early Bird is doing really well. She's getting the hang of the bottle/breast feeding, slowly but surely.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Early Bird report for Day 6

Today was a pretty good day. We spoke with one of the physician's assistant who was rounding this morning. She said Early Bird was doing well, but that she was at about 25% bottle feeding and before she goes home, she needs to be at 75% to get discharged. That really made it all set in...she will probably be in the NICU for at least another week. :{
I'm exhausted tonight.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Panda is Early Bird - Day 5

Well, we got some bad news overnight when I called her nurse to check on her at 3am. She had had several "residuals" overnight and they were kinda big. But when we got there at 8am, Early Bird was alert and ready to eat. So we bottle fed some bmilk and then she got to just lay on my chest snoozing. It was bliss. We got to talk to the Neonatologist when he came around to check on her. He was nice and said that her billirubin labs came back and that she could get out of the box and into a crib. Her billirubin count yesterday was 14.7 and today it was 7. So that is so wonderful. :) At the 11 o' clock feeding I got to try nursing. :) She did really well and took in 14 mL. Yeah. Then throughout the day she was very sleepy and took in her feedings with a bottle or straight into her gastric tube. She seemed pretty content sleeping the day away.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Panda/Early Bird - Day 4

Today was kind of hard. I got a couple of updates from her night nurse throughout the night and she seemed to be doing pretty well. But when we arrived at the NICU she was "in the box". Her labs had come back and her biliruben count had jumped 1.75 points in a day, so they wanted her under the most intensive UV rays they have. Fortunately, they let me hold her for the 8 am feeding with a bottle of bmilk. And she did really well. But then she went right into the box and I didn't get to hold her again until the 8pm feeding. :( The lights were so bright it wasn't even much fun to sit by her beside and watch her. But we did a fair amount of that anyway. My milk has pretty much come in, so I'm getting more for her feedings. Hopefully soon she won't have any formula supplements. :) We'll hope for no Light Box tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Panda - Day 3

Yeah, we made it to the NICU in time for her feeding and I had enough breastmilk for a full feeding! Woo-hoo. It was a banner moment. :) She doesn't have any tubes in her nose this morning! They took out the forced oxygen and she's totally breathing and maintaining her oxygen levels on her own. Yeah. Unfortunately, she has to have her IV moved...again. Awful. I might get to feed her with a bottle at the next feeding. :) More later.

12:45 pm
Great News...they decided to keep her IV out and increase her feedings. So as long as her "residuals" (the stuff that doesn't get digested in her stomach) stay low, no more IV fluids. :) This is awesome news. And I got to feed her Bmilk with a bottle. :) She gobbled 22 mL down and then fell into such a deep sleep the rest went into her feeding tube. Which, by the way, they moved from her mouth to her nose, yeah! It annoyed her laying on her tongue and she'd gag on it occassionally. Not fun. And now...she is wearing clothes! She actually has on some of the NICU wardrobe...a cute pink sleeper. Yeah.

T-Dad and I just got back from the NICU. Fortunately, my sister flew in from PA on Sunday night to help us out. Its been so awesome to have her here and offering moral support, kid help, household help, "drink your water" help, etc. Now on to the important Panda News...
T-Dad feed her a bottle of bmilk, 34 mL, at the 2:00 pm feeding and she drank the whole bottle in 12 minutes! He says it was amazing. She is doing so well. Tonight, I fed her another bottle of bmilk and she drank all 34 mL. Unfortunately, her billirubin is high so she is having to wear a special blanket that has fiber optic UV lights to get rid of the billi rubin. Hopefully when I check in on her later..her billirupin counts will be down. Other than that she is doing really well. And she's opening her eyes more and more. They are still "newborn" blue.

Panda - Day 2

I visited the Premature Panda the NICU at 2:00 am this morning. The nurse had her on her belly in the isolette and she seemed so comfortable. I went down to the 9th floor to visit her at 6 am too. She gets fed every 3 hrs. She is still just wearing her diaper, with lots of wires and stickers all over her body. She has 2 wires with "button" stickers on her chest that monitor her heart rate and pulse. She has an IV in her left right hand that is giving her lipids and electrolytes. She has a oxygen monitor (shiny red light) taped to the bottom of her foot, and she has an oxygen tube pushing 5 ml(?) of oxygen constantly into her lungs, and she has a shiny gold heart stuck to her belly that monitors her temperature and keeps the warmer unit at the ready to heat her up when needed. We're going to go up and check up on her, the neo natalogist should have made rounds. We'll see what changed. :)

I'm Home, She's Not. :(
Boy, am I tired. Today Panda got an increase in her food intake...and at this point it is mostly formula, my milk is just now coming in. Yeah! :) And they are lowering the air pressure of the oxygen flow in her nose, which is a good sign. She had a rough morning...they had to draw blood from her foot for some blood tests...and then they had to put the IV in her foot because her hand IV was closing up. She got really upset the nurse said, I think it probably a good thing I wasn't there for that ordeal. Todd and I both held her for several hours today. I just love to feel the weight of her in my arms. Rebecca and I were present for "rounds" this afternoon and got to talk with the neonatologist. He recommended her formula change from the "high calorie" speciall blend to just a standard Good Start formula. Also we were able to ask questions and I asked..."because Miranda was born "big" for a preemie at 6 lbs 10 oz, does that make her any less of a high risk, preterm baby? ...and the answer - No, her ability to adjust and adapt to life outside the womb is mostly dependent upon the week of gestation...in her case 34 weeks and 1 day. He said her "weight percentile" has no real bearing on her preemie success. Very interesting. But it means she's still got a long haul...even with her extra padding. :) Tonight, right before I was discharged I brought 5 mL of milk (woo-hoo) and said good night to my baby girl. She seemed very content, burrito wrapped, and getting 14 mL of Good Start formula pumped directly into her stomach. At one point she even lifted her little arm out of her blankets and raised it up above her head. I got to tickle the tiniest little armpit I've ever seen. :) Good night, Miranda. Sleep well and we'll see you in the morning.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Wow, never thought I'd have a preemie.

So I'm not sure what it was...the trip to the new Meijer after work on Friday, or the crawling on my hands and knees picking up all the toys covering the floor in the the kids bedrooom, or then maybe it was the swim lessons on Saturday morning. But something, made the little baby in my belly want to jump ship...immediately. And now we've got a preemie. Mind you a good sized preemie, but a baby not internally ready yet. Definately not cooked through or well done. But she's a cutie and a keeper. Welcome to the world, baby girl.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

New Baby, New Me

There are big changes going on in my neck of the woods....
The new baby is knocking at the door just waiting until its time to come out. And we're furiously trying to get her room ready and ourselves ready. And we're going to be making a big change....drum roll please....MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT COMING...

But for now, I'll leave you with this....I got my hair highlighted and cut...thanks to Miranda, Stylist Extraordinaire and to my awesome friends - you know who you are - who gave me a super-duper gift card to Hair Design and Day Spa at Knollwood.

Feast your eyes on the New Me:

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Wisconsin Dells 2008 with the Cousins

The Dells got lots of snow while we were there...unfortunately it wasn't snowman-snow AND our little crew wasn't up for skiing yet.

Bug and P LOVE playing legos, star wars, magnastix, anything! together

The multiple arcades provide hours of entertainment, even without any tokens!

Preparing Dinner with GramHarriet and Aunt Ecca (Mealyworm forgot how to smile temporarily)

The annual cousin pajama photograph...take 1

The annual cousin pajama photograph...take 37

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking...into the future

Wow, its hard to believe I need to start thinking about packing my hospital bag already. Bug has "graduated" into the next classroom at daycare...he's a Little Learner now. And Mealyworm is consistantly going peepee on the potty! We've moved the two of them into the larger bedroom so the new baby has a place to sleep of her very own. I will say, this time around some of those decisions are easier...i.e. new baby is not sleeping in our room, right next door is close enough. :)
Despite the fact that I feel huge and am exhausted all the time...except from 6am-7am...when I can't wait to get out of bed because I'm so sick of tossing and turning all night. This pregnancy has been a pretty smooth ride, let's hope to keep it up for a few more weeks.
The kids are excited. Mealyworm likes to look into my belly button and tell me what the new baby is up to in there. She also will gently rub my belly, rudely poke at my belly button, and shout the song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" directly at my belly. Bug is helpful and curious, not too "hands on" though. He often asks questions like "will the new baby know my name?" or "the new baby won't say her words right, will she?" Last week, we got out some of the video tapes from when the kids were babies, they enjoyed seeing themselves as crawlers and messy eaters. It was really funny to watch.
We've tried to involve them in a couple of doctor visits and honestly...that's been more of pain in the ass than helpful. For example, we took them to our lastest sonogram on Monday and...they really weren't interested and made it hard for T-Dad and I focus and enjoy any of it. Its easier if you just have one kid and are building them up to be THE big bro/sis...but with both of them...its like the misbehavior just multiplies exponentially and there's no reasoning with them. At least at this current stage/age...almost 5 and almost 3.
The new baby is definately a girl. And she's good sized...we'll see what that REALLY means when the big day finally arrives. The Ultrasound Tech said she could see hair...so this baby could be born with a full set of hair like Mealyworm. That was fun. Or it may all be gone and we'll have a little cue ball like Bug.
Well, time will tell all, I suppose. We've still got tons of stuff to do to get ready...preparing the nursery, 6 wks of swim lessons for Bug & Mealyworm (I might have been delusional when I signed them up for that at this stage), and planning who's home with who and for how long...stay tuned.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hmmm...tough question

Am I more irritable than usual because I'm pregnant...or am I truly surrounded by morons?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Sweetest Thing

Mealyworm likes to "silently" come into our bedroom around 5 or 6 am and stand by my side of the bed for a minute...of course her arms are full of all the animals, baby dolls and blankets she can possibly hold, then she proceeds to climb up on the bed and over me (mind you I'm hugely pregnant so that is NOT an easy task for a 2 yr old) to the middle of the bed. Then she crawls under the covers and just lies there. Sometimes falling asleep for a little bit, sometimes tossing and turning a bunch, and sometimes if I happen to be facing the middle she'll put her warm little hand right on my cheek and just trace the features of my face. Even though its the wee hours of the morning and I should be irritated...I can't help but think that is one of the sweetest things...ever.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Detassler from Camp Point

The summer after I graduated high school, I got a letter with my dorm assignment and the name and phone number of my roommate. It was a nervous phone call. I think I waited at least a week before I even tried the number. And when I finally did, I met Missy from Camp Point, IL. She was easy to talk to, she had a microwave and stereo. She was working as a corn detassler that summer. Her older brother went to our university too, he lived off campus at the frat house. She planned on bringing a loft for her bed...her computer and her car. Woo-hoo! Hmmm...maybe this wasn't going to be so bad. :) The fateful day came...we both moved into our little dorm room. With a brother in a frat house, Missy knew all about partying...and didn't miss a one. Missy and I roomed together for 2 years in the end. We weren't BFF, but we were friends who understood each other and gave each other space. I think that's why we were able to share such a small space with each other 2 years in a row. And we both loved playing sand volleyball. But all that is background...I'm really here to talk about a huge gift that Missy brought into my life. She introduced me to an entire genre of music that I love to this day...country music. Prior to my freshman year in college, the only country music song I knew was Garth Brooks - Friends in Low Places. And honestly, I didn't know that one that well except it got played to death at every dance I went to in high school. Missy liked to sleep with music on...and I thought that was okay...so we started going through our CDs and finding ones we could both tolerate...amazingly enough, the country music Missy played was the best stuff to fall asleep to. We would often put a CD on repeat and listen to it all night long. Night after night, we heard the same songs over and over...and it was comforting. It is so easy for me to get "sucked into" a country music song. I'd listen to the lyrics and love to hear the story. And still today, there are certain songs I just love and I'm proud to be a WIXY listener. :) I'm not as up on new artists and albums, I really like the stuff from back in my college days, but I still really enjoy a song with a good story. So thanks Missy, for broadening my horizons...in an unexpected way. I wonder what you're doing now.