Saturday, December 31, 2005

Big Foot

While I was pregnant, a shoe salesperson helped me realize that the problem with my golf shoes (toes crashing into the front, soreness in the side of my foot) was because my foot was wider than my shoe. I chalked this up to the fact that Nikes are made for ladies with skinny Barbie feet because I had a similar problem with Nike running shoes.

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

The Gold-Plated Dog

Annie, our chocolate lab, has skin allergies. We've been to the pet allergist, administered shots, given her steroids, tried new foods, doped her up with Benadryl, but eventually she just gets itchy again. So, this month I tried a new food - made just for skin problems. No dice. Now, Annie is itchy on her face and chest (instead of her tummy and bottom) and has scratched herself so much that she is bleeding and infected.

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

I lick you

All dressing, tooth-brushing, nose-blowing, hair-styling activites in our house are a group activity. As we were finishing up this morning (Dagny was napping), I velcroed Annika's watch on her wrist. She grabbed my arm and moved her mouth on it and said "I lick you". She is not a loud talker, so I said, "what?". She repeated - "I lick you" and I said, "don't lick me, that's disgusting".

"No", she replied, "I LIKE you" and kissed me again on the arm.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

License to Guilt

Every year it is the same - from October forward, the family members, friends, employers, etc. . . all jockey for position in our social calendar. There are entirely too many obligatory "events" and not nearly enough fun ones.

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

Easy Peasy

So, one of the guests at our party on Sunday asked for pepper for his soup, which caused me to remember that I had forgotten to do any salt/pepper seasoning at all after the intial measure. Especially with soups, this is essential - so I forgot, and this nice guy (John) took care of it for me. Then, it was time to eat while Dagny was nursing. So, my girlfriends found the tray with the kid food in the fridge and set the kids around the little tables and got them started. By the time I even remembered the kid food, the first wave of kids was done eating.

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

Old Friends

We had a party last night with a bunch of friends from Doug's high school who I met in college. Kat, Mike and James were in from the Netherlands so that was cause for joining in celebration. It was pretty cool to see the college friends all hanging out in my kitchen talking about babies. Who knew that those folks who we used to see at the Downstairs and the GA Bar would be such great adults and parents!

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

My Sweet Girls

We took the Christmas card photo yesterday. No, neither girl was wearing their Christmas finery and no, I didn't manage to get the tree or any Christmas decor in the picture. Maybe next year we will get on the ball with that stuff.

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

Crying it out update

Apparently, Dagny has been a pill in the evenings because she was tired. Her doctor said that she should be sleeping about 20 hours per day and I thought he was insane. However, since we've been doing the "cry it out" thing, she has been napping very regularly between all feeds (except after dinner because we do her bath or if a certain helpful toddler wakes her up by accident) and sleeping about 5-6 hours at night.

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.

I ran!

Doug was home this morning until almost nine, so he stayed with the girls while I went for a run. It was my first time away from Dagny ever, but she slept the whole time (we planned it that way) so I wasn't missed.

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

Crying it out?

At her 8 week checkup today, I asked our doctor how long I should let Dagny cry when trying to get her to nap independently. Until this point, I've been walking or rocking her to sleep in my arms and then putting her in the crib. We were worried she would have the horrible "no sleeping, therefore too tired to eat, therefore no sleeping" cycle that Annika had so we used any means necessary to get her to sleep.

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

Life of Saturdays

A post on Dogwood Girl's blog led me to think about something that my husband once told me. We have a friend who gave up his career to be a stay-at-home dad and to allow his wife to blossom in her career (which she has, and how!). Their children are getting older (one in college and two in high school) and need less of his time now than they once did. The other guys in dad's circle of friends joke about how he now has the life of Saturdays.

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

Objects in arms are smaller than they appear

Doug was holding Dagny the other day and I realized how small she is. She is growing fine, I think, so no worries there, but I just thought she was a lot . . . bigger. I guess the fact that she currently runs my life has given her mythical size (not to mention weight, strength and volume) in my head.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Feedback!

Dagny smiled yesterday. She has been smiling in her sleep the whole time, but yesterday she looked at me and smiled. Of course, my exclamation scared her smile away, but what a joy to see her smiling! The sleepy smiles always make me laugh (even at 3am), but I forgot how an actual smile makes the heart melt.

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

Doug was right

Allow me to commence the "Doug was right" dance. Nudity not required because I didn't actually disagree with him.

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

Back in Blue

On Monday, I put on my jeans!

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

Endorphins

Whew - endorphins are low here, but I got to walk around the block (plus some extra cul de sacs) last week and it was great. Dagny and I got many funny looks since I had her in the double stroller, but it was lovely anyway.

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

Dark Days

This week has sucked. Don't get me wrong, it started out fine. Annika went to school on Monday while Dagny and I went to Sams Club and I got to have lunch with Doug, then Doug's Mom picked Annika up for an evening away after her sports class on Tuesday. Dagny and I even went for a walk around the block AND Doug and I were going to watch a movie that night (like real adults!). Then we got a call from Doug's Mom - Annika was throwing up and they were on the way.

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

Wisdom from Annika

As I was helping Annika out of the car at Target today, she turned to me and said "Mommy, be happy". Just like Doug, this one - keeping me in line.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Love at First Sight?

Do you believe in love at first sight?

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

Stuff my husband has taught me about parenting

1. A biscotti is a good teether
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

Mmmmmm . . .



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.

Books

Last week I took the girls (HA - the girls!) to the library and we checked out Annika's 5 books and the first "Mrs. Pigglewiggle" book (author is MacDonald - I had to ask a librarian for help). My sister suggested revisiting this series as Annika's introduction to chapter books. So far, we've read "The Show-Off Cure" and it is going well. Apparently, the droning of my voice is relaxing because Annika has fallen asleep with minimal distress after both installments. She does not appear to be retaining anything from the story, but I'm hoping that eventually the morality messages will seep in without her noticing. Today - "The CryBaby Cure". Boy, could I ever use a crybaby cure! It is temper tantrum city over here.

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

I'm too sexy

Little-known facts about breast-feeding:

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

A New Woman

Dagny slept for two 4 hour blocks last night.

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

Pat

There is a woman with whom I used to work who was pleasant, cheerful and nice, but thoroughly incompetent. This woman (we will call her Pat - not her real name) was the bane of my existence. She was the reason I took the cardio-kickboxing class and started running again. I used to dread the moment she walked into the office. She eventually got fired because she lied to the boss as she had been lying to the rest of us all along, and she went away. Interestingly, though, my stress level did not decrease - in fact, it increased.

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?

Reminder



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

Origin of Dagny

No, Dagny is not a family name. However, I have discovered (1) many Grandmothers from ladies on my due date forum named Dagny, and (2) that some folks pronounce it "Downy" instead of "Dagnee".

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 never . . .

Remember that drinking game called "I never" where you had to say something that you had done and then everyone else in the group who had done it had to drink?

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
10. Breastfeed
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

Thoughtless People

So, at the doctor's visit yesterday, a woman was there with her daughter (3 or 4 years old). They were loitering at the check-out area and generally getting in the way. Finally, they talked to the check-out lady and were redirected to the check-in area, which is at the other end of the counter.

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


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

Drive-By Parenting

So, we went to watch the GA/TENN game during dinner at our neighborhood family sports bar yesterday. Annika asked me to take her to the potty, so off we went. It was, as I suspected, a ploy to get out of her chair (not to use the potty), but that is OK. However, while we were in the bathroom stall, this little kid (I estimate his age at 5) kept peeking under the door of the stall and talking to us. Kids do this sometimes, but this boy was (1) unattended, (2) clearly older than a potty-trainer, and (3) did it more than three times. After the kid started banging the door and the changing table in the adjacent stall, I escorted him out of the bathroom (we were still waiting for Annika to use the potty - very difficult if there are any distractions).

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

Justification

Why is it that we (people, generally, but stay-at-home-moms in particular and me, especially) feel it necessary to identify ourselves by our jobs?

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

ETA

Went for my regularly scheduled doctor appointment today to learn that, no - I'm not in labor. No big surprise there, but my doctor said that we can induce me if I'd like to. I don't really know if I'd like to - wouldn't it be better to wait for my body to do what it is supposed to do? Then again, wouldn't it be nice to know when the baby is coming so I can have "things" well in hand?

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

The Uncomfortable Zone

Baby sister is due a week from tomorrow and I've officially entered "The Uncomfortable Zone", in which sitting, lying down, sleeping, etc are all very uncomfortable and/or painful. Many of the ladies on my mommies' forum are going into labor early or on time, but not here.

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

The Princess


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

No way . . . .

On Friday, I asked Annika what she wanted to name baby sister whenever she gets here. Her answer is usually "I don't know yet", but that day it was "Jose".

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

Sweet Girl

So, I've got two filing cabinets in my car. I got them at the scratch and dent sale to (hopefully) tame the disasterous filing mess at our house/office. Anyway, when I picked Annika up from school yesterday, we talked about the filing cabinets as they are the largest thing in the car (even larger than pregnant mommy!) and hard to miss. I explained that Dad would need to help me get them out because they are too heavy for me to move by myself. Annika thought for a moment and said "Mommy, I can help you move them, please can I help you?"

Monday, September 26, 2005

Savoring

Annika has had clean underpants all day today (it's 1:36pm) AND has told me that she needed to use the potty. Then, she proceeded to actually USE THE POTTY. Commence the dancing now! We've also completed our errands for the day (Staples, Hallmark, Home Depot, dr visit) so we can both nap this afternoon. What more could a person ask for?

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

Happiness is . . .

sitting on the front porch with your sweet girl eating popsicles after a busy day.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Haircut


Annika had her first haircut today. She sat on my lap in the chair while Miss Jeni wet her hair and trimmed the ends. It was not a big style change, but more of a "clean-up" and introduction to the hair place.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Baby Sister


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

Jealous

My friend Natalie posted on our mommies' forum about an upcoming race in which she is running. There is a 10K race also but Natalie is running the half marathon. I'm so jealous - can't wait until this baby is born and big enough so that I can run again!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Potty Train

The potty train derailed this week. Annika wanted to wear underpants to school on Wednesday, so I let her. We talked at length about telling her teachers if she needed to use the potty or if her bottom needed to make pee-pee or poo-poo. I got her to repeat the directions back to me. Once at school, she resisted the teacher's attempts to put her on the potty and wet/pooped on BOTH sets of underpants and was in a pull-up when I showed up early to get her.

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.

Hormone Central

Yesterday I had a meltdown. I was really thinking that without the stress of the move and first-time parenthood this time, I would be less prone to the post-partum issues that I had with Annika. Wrong - they are already here.

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

The Belly


Here is a photo of me and my friend Michele feeding my belly at my party this weekend. At 36 weeks pregnant and up 20.5 lbs so far, it feels like the belly is taking over.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Testing the photos


Here is a photo of Annika from last summer - she is showing me the ball. Very proud of having found it.

If this works, more photos to come soon.

surprise

On Monday night, Doug took Annika and the dog outside while I cleaned up after dinner. I heard screaming outside and went to make sure that everything was OK. When I got to the door, I found the three of them plus two neighbor girls running screaming through the sprinklers. Priceless.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Taking a moment

Sometimes the best moments in parenting are when you aren't with your kids. Annika started school today. She was very excited, got dressed up, had her picture taken and ran into her new room without a backward glance.

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

God's Eyes

I was raised in the Catholic faith but my husband and I were married in the Methodist Church. We had a Deacon from the Catholic Church come and bless the wedding so it is a "real" marriage in the eyes of the Catholic Church, and we did the preparation activities of both faiths. We are not big church-goers and did not really have a "church home" until we decided (I decided) it was time for kids.

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

God's Ears

After a difficult morning yesterday (child and dog peed on the floor and post office and Staples near the house were incredibly unhelpful), I vented a bit to Annika as I took our packages to the car in a huff. I told her how we would have to go to the other post office because these people were stupid. Granted, they were stupid - and unhelpful and SLOW, but I was out of line to say that to my kid.

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

Murphy's Law

If you buy the toddler the cool new shoes for school, she will step in dog poop before you make it inside the house with them.

Sucker?

After a disasterous outing with my mother in which Annika peed in her underpants while my mother yelled "SHAAAMMMME!!! SHAAAAAAMMMME!!!", we've had a good couple of days with the potty-training. The "potty in your diaper at the pool means it is time to go home" rule has worked very well and proven that Annika can use the potty and remember to tell us when she needs to go. Today she was very good about making pee pee in the potty all morning, but this afternoon she pooped in her underpants.

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

The Sweet Girl

Last week I took our daughter for a walk at the greenway with a friend. She was remarkably well-behaved, especially for being restrained in the stroller in the hot and steamy jungle. As a reward, and because I needed a snack, we went to the local Starbucks for a beverage. Iced mocha for me and chocolate milk for her. We also had yummy snacks. She was quite the lady for most of the time - sitting up on the bench and eating her snack regally. She wanted to lay on the bench, but I nipped that in the bud.

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

Adventures in Pee

Since I'm very pregnant, bad odors bother me. OK, bad odors always bother me more than the average bear, but the hormones from pregnancy make everything smell a lot worse and I'm far crabbier than usual so . . .

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.