Saturday, December 31, 2005
Apparently, the problem is not the skinny Barbie foot shoes - my feet are just wide. I bought new running shoes this summer (also wides) but I thought it was just a pregnant thing. NOPE. The marvelous Brooks shoes that I love are no good for me in the regular size anymore. Thankfully, the Fleet Feet (www.fleetfeetduluth.com) keeps wides in stock. I love them - so nice there.
Lest you think that this foot thing is all in my imagination or that my feet are just fat, my friend Natalie, the ultra svelte marathoner has the same problem with her running shoes. Who knew?
On the upside, I got to run this morning (2.8 miles around the block) and it was delightful. Doug put Toto's "Eye of the Tiger" on my i-pod, AND "All About the Benjamins" - gotta love that man.
Friday, December 30, 2005
So, after a delightful visit to the vet today (with both kids), we got a shot of steroids, antibiotics, eye ointment and extra-special prescription food. On the way to Mexican tonight (it is Friday, you know), we have to stop and get more Benadryl, benzoyl peroxide wash and pads for her face, chin, chest and ears. You are SO JEALOUS.
This poor dog is miserable, but the vet is making a killing off of us. So much so that they made me baby blankets (four of them) when Dagny was born. I'm glad that they are so nice, but I could really use all of this dough on something else.
Friday, December 23, 2005
"No", she replied, "I LIKE you" and kissed me again on the arm.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Because I'm the oldest child, it has been especially difficult for folks to grasp the idea that my husband and I and our kids are indeed a family unit and will be the ones to determine our attendance at (or absence from) any given event and it's not the end of the world if we don't make it to everything. One family member remarked, after I explained that we had a conflict with her event, "let me ask you a personal question. . . are you ever going to come?". Then, after the event in question (and my conflicting event) occurred, I asked another family member how it was. Her response, "next year, you really need to make the effort." So, I'm bad because I had a conflict and next year I should rearrange my life (and the lives of the 20 folks coming to my house) to comply with the events scheduled by someone else.
I guess it boils down to this - holiday traditions are very nice and everyone wants to be with their family at the holidays, but necessarily, the attendance at any specific event must ebb and flow depending on the age and family situations of those concerned. We all know this is the case -why create the season of guilting?
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Another time, we had folks over and I had made pot stickers. Pot stickers are not difficult, but they are a lot of work and you don't want them to dry out before cooking. So, I put them in the fridge covered with a damp towel to stay cool and not dry out. Unfortunately, the towel was too wet and the dumpling material turned to mushy goo. As I freaked out and said "fuck" over and over, a nice guy (Mark) handed me an apple martini and said that it would be fine. Then, after Mark insisted I drink some of the martini and my outlook improved, another guest (Tina) arrived and suggested that we bake the dumplings. We did and they were fine, just a bit ugly.
You gotta love the folks that can find the beer/wine/whatever and don't mind lending a hand when you are out (of hands, of sorts, of your mind). It's nice to find friends who are easy that way.
Monday, December 19, 2005
It's funny that no matter how many years pass, you can still enjoy hanging out with your friends with ease, even if you are living far apart (geographically, politically, career-ally).
Sunday, December 11, 2005
However, I got some beautiful photos of my sweet girls (as beautiful as my camera will take inside the house). This is my favorite and not the one that will appear on the card. Doug thought it would be nicer to send the card with a photo in which you could actually see the girls' faces. Annika thought it was super that she could make Dagny smile. I thought it was pretty super myself.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
And the two hours of allowable crying? Not even close. She usually fusses for less than 20 minutes, but even then it isn't screaming (like when we get out of the tub). I haven't even gotten to try the Oatmeal Chocolate Stout that I bought at Harry's last week.
It wasn't far and it certainly wasn't fast, but I am so happy that I was able to go around the block (2.8 miles) without stopping or walking. I got to watch the sun come up and listen to some funky Prince music. What a feeling!
My exercise list got erased from our i-tunes when Doug's computer died, so we will have to work on starting a new one. Any suggestions for good running music are welcomed.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Anyway, the answer was 2 hours. He suggested that I verify that she is fed and is clean, then put on my i-pod. We did a variation of this strategy with Annika, where I fed her, bathed her, then did laundry and showered while she "worked it out" and napped, but I was worried about doing it so soon with Dagny. The doctor said that I should have already done it and that it should take about 4 days.
In the meantime, I may have to get more adult beverages to get through the 4 days, but stay tuned for the update.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Doug has remarked that I, too, have the life of Saturdays. I guess that is one way to look at it since I don't go to an office or a jobsite every day. However, if a "Saturday" is defined by a rest from work responsibilities, then I'd have to say that I (and all other stay-at-home parents) live the life of Mondays . . . not that I would change a thing. Soon enough, the kids will be in school and if I don't get an outside-the-family-business job, I really will lead the life of Saturdays - at least from 8-2.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
In other news, my mom came over today and fed Dagny her first bottle. After many loud complaints, she ate about 4 ounces (of formula, since I don't have the hang of the pumping throughout the day) and I pumped about 3.5 ounces for the freezer. Victory! I forgot how nice it was to be able to go out alone - not that I'm going anywhere.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Those jeans, the ones that fit, are definitely too big for the "real life" Steph. An exhaustive survey of my closet revealed exactly zero other pants that come close to buttoning. Doug was right, Doug was right, Doug was right. Damnit.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Granted, they are larger than all of my other jeans - the ones that make Doug say "Steph - those are too big for you" and they are not riding exactly right, but I'm wearing them. You forget how cool it is to wear pants without elastic in the waistband.
The weight loss appears to be continuing, though way slower than Anne's - way to go Anne! I'm attributing the recent loss to (1) no pretzels in my house, (2) no time for snacks, and (3) illness-related water retention going away.
Monday, November 21, 2005
I don't know how it works for everyone else, but if I don't get moving (profuse sweating and showering afterwards required), I get depressed. With the lack of sleep here, it is hard to get any exercise in since I need the sleep more, but when Dagny starts sleeping more, I'm right back onto those silly workout videos.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Because Dagny is so small, we were worried about her getting sick so Doug took total charge of Annika. He made her a bed on the floor, gave her a bowl to throw up in, turned on her shows, cleaned her up again and again and again, and slept with her in her room. He is good at throwing up (not scared to do it, like me), but it really makes him sick if someone else does it. I'm the opposite, but I'm breast-feeding the baby so we didn't want throw-up virus germs on me. He was a saint. Then, late that night, I got a fever. Not the throw-up virus, but mastitis. Fever and chills plus the sweating.
Naturally, we have PILES of laundry because of the vomiting and Dagny's propensity to do her business so it escapes her diaper. I was trying very hard to get the house together, do some laundry and pay the bills (Thursday is bill-paying day, because the subs in Doug's business get paid on Friday), plus the two kids and the fever. Unfortunately, there were several meltdowns. Last night when Dagny wouldn't go to bed until midnight and insisted on nursing continuously from 6pm-12pm, I was at my wit's end.
Today, however, when we woke up this morning, Doug had left breakfast out for Annika. Then, Katie called and said she would pick up Annika to play and for lunch AND my Mom insisted on coming over to bring me a heating pad. She made me lunch and folded/put away 3 loads of laundry. My drugs finally started working (with much help from Jen) so my fever is gone and hopefully the other symptoms will go away soon.
I'm so very lucky to have such a great family (despite the complaining I do about them).
Friday, November 18, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
I just finished a book about a woman who fell in love with a monk (who was, obviously, not her husband) the first time she saw him. Apart from the whole infidelity thing (which also bothered me), I had a hard time believing that the man and woman fell in love after meeting each other only once. I can understand if they had spent an afternoon together or an evening, but one meeting? Seems to me that love at first sight is really just lust. Nothing wrong with some good old-fashioned lust, though.
Granted, I am biased. I met Doug at the first Lollapolooza concert, when he came walking by our blanket with his friend Mike, who was also my friend Mike. I don't remember anything special about the meeting except that I met Mike's nice friend and hung out with them on their blanket for a while during the afternoon. It was only through repeated exposure over the next year or so (same friends, same concerts, same parties, he liked my scar) that I realized that Doug was as great as he is.
I just don't think you can realize the fullness of someone else at first sight.
Friday, November 11, 2005
2. Chocolate milk is a good excuse to stop for Starbucks
3. It's easier and more fun to take the kid(s) on an outing than to stay home
4. There is no reason not to run screaming in circles around the kitchen or dance to the music (yeah, yeah, yeah)
5. Hot chocolate CAN be called latte if it makes the kid happy
6. Sometimes, you just gotta stop for ice cream - it's full of calcium and calories, you know
7. Is is OK to run through the sprinkler with your clothes on
8. A sand trap is pretty close to a sand box
9. No one wants to sit in the crying chair
10. A two year old doesn't know there is any other answer to "who is in charge?" except "Daddy" (or Mommy)
Thursday, November 10, 2005
So, I am breaking the "no alcoholic beverages before 5pm unless there is another adult in the house" rule RIGHT NOW. There is no reason for the lovely Guinness that I am now enjoying, except that it looked yummy and I thought it would be better than corn chips for my snack as I pay bills this afternoon. I justified the rule-breaking by the following: (1) there was only 1 can in my fridge, (2) I'm hydrating, (3) Annika is up in her room screaming because she doesn't want to nap, (4) only a woman far wussier (I know it isn't really a word) than me will get drunk on one Guiness, and (5) it's full of B-vitamins for the nursing, don't you know.
My friend Kevin went to Ireland years ago and donated blood while he was there. After you give your pint, they give you a pint - of Guinness. Gotta love that about the Irish. I think I'll stick with juice and Nutter-Butters after blood-donation, though.
Once we finish the Pigglewiggle books, I'm looking forward to "Encyclopedia Brown" but it may be too advanced yet.
I discovered two marvelous things this week: (1) I can listen to Doug's Audible.com selections on the i-pod while nursing at night instead of just sitting in the dark, and (2) Dagny prefers to be swayed to the beat of actual music rather than the music in my head (thank you Dwight Yokum!). I listened to "Who's Your Caddy" by Rick Reilly this week and will have to wait for Doug's computer to be repaired before I can add other books to the i-pod. Stupid laptop and crappy Best Buy warranty. The Reilly book was fun, though, and now I know what the guys are laughing about when they talk about not "putting your mouth on my ball". In the meantime, the tunes are keeping me happy.
Monday, November 07, 2005
1. All bra, all the time.
2. Hormones give you hot flashes.
3. Pregnancy weight doesn't come off until you stop nursing.
4. Full, porn-star looking breasts are actually hard as rocks and hurt.
5. Larger breasts get in the way of life.
6. Even if you are covered up, some people will avoid you like the plague when you are nursing. Others will want to examine the baby - up close.
7. Leaking is the rule, not the exception.
8. Your shirt is always covered in milk or spit-up.
9. Shirt = burp cloth for baby. High fashion is out. Heck, low fashion is out.
10. Nursing shirts don't work because it is harder than you would imagine to thread your breast through the flaps and slits which are supposed to cover it up - especially with one hand while holding a squirmy, crying baby.
11. The nursing holds they teach you in class only work if your breast extends a certain distance away from your body.
12. While eating, the baby will unconsciously rub your side with her hand.
OK, that last one was a good thing, but the rest - not so much.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Granted, the second one was from 2-5am, with another hour tacked on from 5-6am after she had some fussing (she didn't start the hungry cry, though, so I went back to bed), but that means 8 hours of sleep for me! I feel like a whole new woman. She won't do this reliably, but it sure was nice last night after having her feed from 5:30pm until 9 without stopping except to cry and spit up on me.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Later, with several years of hindsight, I realized that though this woman was dumb and un-dependable (and a liar) she was not the horror I had made her out to be - she was simply the lightning rod for my stress. Doug and I continue to call anyone who is the lightning rod for our stress "Pat".
We have some friends who are having relationship problems. The husband has made the wife his "Pat" - the woman can do no right. Similarly, when I was crazy after I had Annika, I made Doug my "Pat". It's so easy to make someone your scapegoat. I have to fight it every day and focus on what I can do to make something better rather than blaming it all on "Pat". Do you have a Pat?
Someone had a super-terrific, extra-fabulous, marvelous time on Halloween. This is not necessarily the best photo of the night, but it accurately conveys the excitement. Doug took Annika trick or treating and he said that she ran from house to house, yelling "race me, race me" and that her cousins pooped out after only a few cul-de-sacs, but she was eager to keep going. She is adorable.
The reminder is - if you say "sure, you can have a sip of Mommy's water", you might get some peanut M & M the next time you sip said water. Just sharing, you know.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Dagny Taggart is the heroine of "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. I first read this book while I was in professional school and thought it was amazing and spooky at the same time. I pestered Doug to read it, but he was reluctant. Years later, he bought himself the tapes (abridged version) and listened to it while driving to and from work - voila, a changed man. Always a capitalist and a "producer" type of person, Doug adored the book and downloaded the unabridged version onto his i-pod as his first Audible selection. Now he listens again every few months to avoid being sucked in by the "looters". [Gotta love Audible.com and the i-pod when commuting from Roswell to Dacula!]
Annika is not a family name either. We found it because of the golfer, Annika Sorenstam, but did not name Annika after her. Annika was actually Lydia for about 3 hours until I had a hormone moment in the hospital after Doug fell asleep and changed it to Annika.
Oh, and Doug wanted our girls to have tough names so that it would be appropriate for a neighbor to call us to say that "Annika" or "Dagny" beat up his little boy at the bus stop. Lydia and my other girly name choices just didn't work. Svetlana would have been good but it seemed a bit over the top.
I was thinking about that game the other day and then about the things in my life that I swore I'd never do, and have done or am continuing to do:
1. Get married
2. Have kids
3. Run, for fun
4. Color my hair
5. Stay at home with kids
6. Play golf
7. Say "because I said so"
8. Live in the suburbs
9. Take a wine class
11. Get a dog and not have a cat
12. Send a photo Christmas card
13. Wear a jaw clip in my hair and consider it "done"
14. Get up at 5 am without an alarm
15. Have an entire load of pink laundry every week (or less)
16. Write a blog
Feel free to add your "I nevers"
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
After this woman and her kid had been standing and brushing all around Annika, the baby and me, I stood at the check-out counter while paying and listened to her tell the check-in nurse all about her daughter's vomiting and fever which kept them up all night.
Did the woman bother to use the sick child waiting room or even attempt to keep the child away from anyone else? No - the kid was still standing next to me. Why expose the world? No one wants the throw-up virus.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Dagny Anne was born on October 10 at 7:02 am. She weighed 7 lbs and was 20 inches long. We had our 2 week checkup today and she is already 7.8 lbs - hooray! Annika was still under her birthweight at this point, so we are thrilled with the weight gain.
We are trying to get into a routine, but wow - it is hard to take care of two kids at the same time. Thank goodness that Doug is cooking and picking up the slack with Annika and also with Dagny on the weekends. I would be crazy without him.
The birth was difficult - something in me makes my babies come out face-up, but Dagny hung in there (literally) and she is fine now. Annika loves being a big sister, but she is not so keen on the sharing part. Who wants to share anyway?
Annika had a breakthrough this weekend (I thought) when she went potty all by herself (including "wiping") while I was putting Dagny down for a nap. Doug didn't think this was as great as I did because she has apparently been doing this with him for a while! Wish I had known that when trying to sit my huge pregnant behind on her stool to wait for her to go!
I'm recovering well from the birth and will hopefully be able to resume normal activities at or before the 6 week checkup. Oh, the situps that await me, though - UGH. My tennis team made it to playoffs and my friend Natalie is training for a marathon so those are some nice things to think about while I'm mending.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Granted, I am totally hormonal and in need of a cold, frosty, adult beverage, but I really wish that I had said something to the kid's parents. I watched him for the rest of our meal and when he wasn't eating, the kid was going in and out of both restrooms while his parents thought he was playing video games (conveniently located on the way to the restrooms). Is he going to be a big weirdo because he is obsessed with going in the bathrooms or is he just lonely?
You never want to be "that parent", though, the one who thinks she knows it all and tells you about it.
Friday, October 07, 2005
I made a title for this blog, with my profession and current job on it, but after some thought have deleted it. Who cares what my profession is and whether I'm doing it right now? What difference does it make if I'm doing work for our family business while I'm home with the kid(s)? Staying home with my girl is a good thing and I don't need to justify this by reciting a resume of what I did/do in addition to it. I just wonder, why do I feel the need to do it?
Theories: (1) guilt because the burden of supporting our behinds falls on Doug, (2) desire to go back to work at some point, but maybe it just boils down to (3) a misplaced need for approval or desire to be "important". I dunno.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
After consultation with Doug, we decided that Monday is fine with us. I was induced with Annika because I went past my due date anyway (which, in this case is Wednesday) so what difference would the two days really make? Also consulted with my sister (the OB/Gyn) and she said that it was OK so Sunday night we are going in for the cervadil and then pitocin on Monday. I know that many practices are "non-interventionist" and would let me go past my date, but as I obsess with the kick-counting and whether the baby is moving enough and grow more and more uncomfortable, I think that I don't mind the intervening so long as there is a healthy baby at the end.
It's much easier for me to check if the baby is breathing if I can see her.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
I can't complain, though, because when I had Annika, the whole last month was the uncomfortable zone. At least this delay is giving me time to get my work done and get ready for the baby (and procrastinate by visiting the internet).
Monday, October 03, 2005
So, she looks scared, but in fact, Annika is THRILLED with the Cinderella outfit, furry/shiny/tinsely crown, wand and "glass slippers" that Doug bought for Halloween. We've had to hide all of these things to prevent her wanting to wear them daily. The shoes are too small but we can't keep her from putting them on anyway and strutting around the house.
There is a part of me that didn't want her to get caught up in the princess hype - I was much more comfortable with her liking the sports activities, but it seems like all 2/3/4 year olds are into the princesses so maybe it's just normal.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Where did she get "Jose"? Probably the same place she got "Dogarita". With apologies to Dwight Yoakam: "Dogarita, hold me tighter, I think I'm going down. I'm all strung out on doggie bones, on the lonely side of town." Annika loves that song - she sings along.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Monday, September 26, 2005
After writing the above, I thought to myself that someone without a toddler would not be so interested in all of this potty talk. Too bad, that is what happens when a person has a toddler - potty talk and compulsive s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g of the n-a-s-t-y-w-o-r-d-s.
No baby yet. The doc doesn't think it will be soon, either. In other news, I kicked ass in our tennis match yesterday - I guess that is a good trade for not being done with pregnancy yet.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Annika's baby sister is due in 3 weeks. The doc was worried that she is small, so we had to evaluate her size on the ultrasound yesterday. She looks "unremarkable" and is within the growth curve so she can stay in a bit longer. Lucky for me since Doug is golfing this weekend. The ultrasound tech thinks she will have a tiny pug nose - as if anyone related to Doug or me could possibly have a small nose.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Given my increasing bulk and disappearing patience, I think we are going to wait on potty training until after the baby comes. I just can't deal with it right now. Yes, our friend's child is potty trained and he will be 2 in October. Yes, I probably should have tried to get Annika trained before she got negative at 2. Yes, I should be able to deal with the nasty public restroom visits, continual hand-washing, picking up the 28 lb child and wet/poopy underpants. But, no, I just can't. The train has left the station. Who knows when it will be back - I didn't get a schedule.
I hosted playgroup at our house yesterday morning/lunch. It was great fun and lovely to see everyone but I guess it was too hot and I got too tired. After I finished cleaning up, got Annika in bed for her nap, showered and put my feet up, Annika woke up (only a 1 1/2 hour nap). The "let's rest on Mommy's bed" plan did NOT work. My patience was gone so even with Mexican for dinner (my favorite night of the week), I snapped at everything Annika did. Granted, she did request the (none too clean) potty three times with no actual USE of the potty, and did stick her hand in the potty on one trip and put this hand in her mouth after I told her not to touch anything with it. When Doug finally told me to relax on the way home when I raised my voice about not throwing Dogarita out the window, I lost it.
I don't know how people have more than two kids. This does not bode well for me post-partum. Oh well, at least this time I won't be so resistant to drugs if the doc suggests them.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
I persuaded her to give me a kiss and went to play golf in the beautiful weather. Nothing like 4 hours of alone time to rejuvenate the soul.
Monday, September 05, 2005
We visited many churches and decided that the Methodist Church in our town was the place for us. I joined up (Doug was already a member) and we did our version of the church-going lifestyle. Recently, however, we've been discussing Annika's education and how we'd like her to go to a private school. There are many good private schools in our area, but there is one Catholic one that we particularly like (where my sister went). Doug's not been going to church anyway, so we decided that it wouldn't be any big deal to join up with the Catholic Church and go there while continuing to expose Annika to the Methodist Church when we go with Doug's folks. Then, when she (and baby sister) are older, they can decide whether they want to be Catholic or Methodist.
We joined the Catholic Church in our neighborhood, which is a very nice place. It's very interesting to attend mass after having been exposed to protestant services on a regular basis - provides much food for thought. Anyway, I went to church this weekend for mass and to see what donations we could bring/do for the hurricane victims and who should be there but the Deacon who performed our wedding ceremony.
To wed in the Catholic Church, you must promise to raise your children in the faith, which I did promise. I was not going to do it (having decided that it was better for us to be of one faith in the family), but now we are doing it. I think God was just keeping an eye on us the whole time.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
So, after procuring lunch and visiting the pool, we got back in the car and went to the "good" post office (if there is such a thing) and got our errand completed, but Annika kept asking me about the stupid people and where they were. I think it was God's way of telling me to keep my trap shut in times of frustration.
Monday, August 29, 2005
I was very understanding and calm and cleaned it up without a big production. We talked about paying attention to the poop and how to use the potty. I think this will help avoid the fear of underpants we've been experiencing in the past weeks. Am I right about this or am I just a sucker being manipulated by a smart 2-year old?
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Anyway, after we finished and cleaned up our area, she turns to me and says "Thank you for the great meal, Mommy". She is our sweet girl.
Friday, August 19, 2005
The dog peed in our closet this morning. Again. She had a urinary tract infection, but the vet says it is resolved but her inability to hold it has remained. I've washed the clean-up towels twice and I've cleaned the carpet, but the room still reeks. This would be small potatoes if not for the fact that I washed two sets of sheets yesterday because (1) Annika's pull-up leaked on the first set and (2) Annika was sitting on another bed when she forgot she was wearing underpants and let loose. HARUMPH! Fear not - order will be restored with a trip to Home Depot for deodorizing cleaner and some elbow grease.
In other pee news, we are holding off on the potty training for now and Annika is back in pull-ups because we realized that we were putting too much pressure on her to perform. Each trip to the bathroom had become a test of wills - mainly because we scared her by getting angry and yelling after she had a series of accidents. Granted, she had been on the potty immediately prior to each of said accidents and insisted that she was done and did not need to poop or pee, but we think she might cooperate better if she thinks using the potty is her idea and that having an accident is not that big a deal. Even if it is a big deal - a big smelly one.