Thursday, December 31, 2009

T & A

Dear Body,

Not sure if you realized but the baby is long gone from my body. Yep. It has been over five months now. You can let go now. I don't need these boobs or hips. I don't need the wide shoulders for childbirth. All done. See you later. Move along.

Not sure if you realized but I have been working out. I have even been running. Yeah, I know it was shocking to you. Joining Weight Watchers is helping but I just wanted to remind you that you can let go of the fat now. I am not breast feeding so I don't need it anymore.

I know I packed it on for my pregnancy. The chocolate chip ice cream was so good with all of the extra peanut butter I ate every night for a snack. I really enjoyed myself. I don't regret it all. It was my last pregnancy and it was a tough one. It was the one of the benefits of carrying this child.

Tomorrow is a big day in the world. A lot of people will be resolving to lose weight and eat healthy. I don't need to write that down on my resolution list. I have been working on it for months now.

Just wanted to remind you to let it all go. I miss my old clothes. I have even received new ones that I can't squeeze the boobs into. A friend of mine reminded me of the old "nine months on and nine months off. " So easy to say when you are done having babies and wearing your small jeans. When you are still 35 lbs overweight, it is painfully slow and frustrating. Getting dressed is a nightmare!

Consider this a friendly reminder that we are heading into month 6 now.

Faithfully yours,

Indy
P.S. The zits can stop too. I am 38 years old.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Only 364 More Days

On Facebook, I almost wrote that I barely pulled it together this year for Christmas. I deleted it. Who wants to read about that on Christmas Day on Facebook? Everyone else is writing warm wishes, posting cute pictures and bragging about their new presents.

As a mom, I am just happy to be given a second chance at getting my act together. I swear that next year I will do it all better. Most years I do. This year, I was a mess. I always wonder why at Halloween I don't start getting everything ready for Christmas. This year in October, I paid attention. I WAS BUSY DOING HALLOWEEN STUFF! That's why I can't start early. I am a busy mom each and every week of the year.

It wasn't a perfect Christmas. The stockings weren't so great. I was pretty disappointed in my collection of items for them. The presents were pretty good. Nothing too exciting and no one was disappointed. I just felt a week behind all month and was in a constant state of chaos.

Now before you get all excited and start writing comments about how it is OK that I am a mess, I hear you. LOUD AND CLEAR. I totally get it. Just need to Talk About It and Say It.

I will be as bold as to say I am glad it is over. I survived the first year since my mom passed away. I survived another newborn. I survived. That's not how I like to live and I love Christmas. But, I am a mess. I look forward to cleaning it all up and starting fresh in 2010. That's not me either. This Christmas isn't me. And I look forward to next year and getting my spirit right. My heart will find Christmas next year. I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My New Favorite Website (Sorry Facebook)

Top 10 reasons I love Paperbackswap.com

10. It is free. Free.

9. I hate old stamps. You can use old 41 cent postage that is in your junk drawer.

8. You can clean out all of your old books and get something new in return.

7. You can check out the bestsellers lists and make your own wish list.

6. You can mail the books FROM HOME and never go to the post office.

5. No post office. Really! You print out a sheet for the cover of the book. You don't even need packing materials other than tape.

4. Not a big fan of post offices. You mail from home. This fact sold me.

3. With kids, I never have time to look at my section of the library. And I always have to reserve books at the library. They never have them on the shelf. And who can finish them before the due date? With Paperbackswap.com, I can keep them until I am done and want to exchange them.

2. It just might keep me away from Borders but I can't be sure.

1. Did I say FREE? And in this economy, you can't beat that!

*Nothing was received for this post. Just love the site!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just Breathe

I never used my Lamaze classes when I had my babies. But, I have gotten my money's worth out of the classes. I use the deep breathing to get through tough moments. This past month, I have used this technique for certain Christmas songs, memories and thoughts that remind me of my mom. It has been a year since she passed away.

I have thought a lot over the year as to how this post would shape up. I thought I would know exactly how to write it. But, certain thoughts are too personal for the world to read. Some thoughts are too personal to even admit to yourself.

So, instead of trying to weep through this, I am going to just throw out some thoughts.

Where did the year go?
I keep expecting my mom to call.
Some days, I think that she is just sick and I will see her soon.
I don't feel her around me like I would have imagined that I would.
I cry very hard every time I hear of someone's mom passing away.
I am jealous of mothers and daughters shopping or eating in a restaurant. It breaks my heart.
I remember my mom missing her mom and crying. I feel bad for judging her.
I am so glad that I forgave my mother a few years ago. She was the best mom she could be.
I wish my mom had better self esteem. I wish she would have had more friends.
Whenever I am sick or my kids have a medical issue, I almost pick up the phone to ask for her help. She was a nurse. I miss her advice.
When I play "Patty Cake" with Elle, I can hear my mom in my voice.
I wish I had more of her recipes.
I don't want my kids to forget her.
I wish Elle knew her.
I hate seeing my Dad sad.
I miss my mom.

A friend of mine lost her mother a few weeks ago. She asked me how to get through it. You just do. There is no magical way. We both agreed that you always hear that life is short, blah, blah, blah. You don't understand how powerful the words are until it is too late. I get it. As horrible as it is to have lost my mom, I am grateful for the chance to fully grasp the "life is too short" concept. I linger with my dad, I call my sisters more often and I say yes to family outings just in case it is my last chance. And I breathe in as much as I can of those around me and try to create memories in my mind.

So tomorrow, as I reach the one year anniversary of my mom's death, I will do a lot of breathing. I am sure there will be tears on my way home to Alliance. And I know there will be lots of lingering at the dinner table with my kids, dad, sisters and nieces and nephew. Breathe in. Breathe out. Just breathe.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ran Away From Nike

I went shoe shopping today. My workout shoes were killing me. So, off I went to DSW. As I attempted to try on as many pairs as possible before Elle started screaming, I stopped right in front of the Nike section. Hmmm. I am too pissed off at Tiger to even try them on. Weird. I knew that with each woman (up to #9 now) coming forward, I was disgusted. But, I never expected the gut wrenching reaction that I had when I was looking at shoes.



So what will the companies that use Tiger's image do? If most men don't care, they won't react. But, the only thing that would get me to try a Nike product or buy Gilette would be an Oprah endorsement and that ain't happening any time soon. As the weeks unfold and more tales are told, what will the sponsors do? I know that many people say it is Tiger and his wife's business. It is if you are a private person. When you start trying to sell me products and I am buying into your image, it becomes more complicated. I found that out as I bought my new Saucony running shoes.


And in case you are wondering, I beat my husband in the last two months of our weight loss competition. I am down about 15 lbs. from September 20. Yahooooo!!!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Joanne, Come on Down!



We have a winner! Joanne is the winner of the funky bracelet. Joanne, please email me at nottalkingjustsaying@yahoo.com with your contact information and we'll get the bracelet right out to you. Congrats! And thank you to Lara for donating her bracelet to help out her sister's blog. If you ever decide to order anything from Lara's Etsy site, please be sure to mention this blog to get your discount.



Random.org was used to generate the number.


Monday, November 23, 2009

No Malls: Priceless

Is there anything worse than shopping with children? I find it a form of torture.

Thank goodness for the internet. I was talking with friends yesterday over tea about Etsy.com. Have you heard about it? I was shocked that they hadn't. I love Etsy. Have you been there? Check out Etsy.com (click here). There is also a link on the right hand side of this page. My sister makes jewelry and custom mommy/grandma bracelets. They are beautiful.

I have bought jewelry for myself and gifts for my family. And check out the area where you can buy items for pennies. Go to the jewelry section and click on "items priced lower to higher" It is called "Pay it forward." People are giving away their jewelry. Really!!! And in this economy, you can't beat the prices on Etsy. You can find items at every price point.

So, go pour yourself some coffee or tea and settle in for some shopping. You will make some artist's day, support a small business and make someone's holiday a little more unique. And shopping without hearing "Mom, I have to go to the bathroom." Priceless.


And to kick off your holiday shopping, visit my sister's Etsy website. Let me know with a comment which item is your favorite. Each comment will be entered for MY favorite bracelet (hint, hint Lara). And if you mention this contest on Facebook and let me know, you will get two entries. Good luck and happy shopping! And if you'd like to see Lara's work in person, she will be at the SECPTA Holiday Shopping Spree on Tuesday, November 24 at the Solon Community Center from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be many, many tables set up with all types of vendors. They will also have a bake sale. Yummmm!!! It is a great night to cross some items off of your shopping list.

Don't forget to leave a comment to enter my contest for this gorgeous bracelet. Deadline to enter is December 5. Please make sure I know who you are and how to reach you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Babymoon

I have some smart relatives and some not so smart relatives.

One of my smart relatives is a financial planner for extremely wealthy people. He has said that the number one thing you can do to protect your wealth is to stay married. Really? Think about it.

Another smart relative said that taking trips with his wife is cheaper than divorce. Yep.

And my wonderful mother-in-law has encouraged us since our first baby to take a trip four months after the baby is born to reconnect. We've not always had extra money to take these trips (thank you Visa) but we feel that it is absolutely required that we get away and become husband and wife again. We are first husband and wife. If we take care of that, the rest falls into place.

So after Ryan, we went to Vegas.

After Kyle, we went to Miami.

And we just got back from Cancun.



We spend the first day sleeping and then napping some more. The stress falls away and we relax. It is the best. I am back and I am energized again. I can get through this baby stage. When I am near tears with a newborn, I count down the days until I can go on my little babymoon.

Not everyone can fly to Cancun or Vegas. I totally get that and count my blessings. But, you can BEG a friend to watch your kids for a whole night and return the favor. Send the kids away and spend the night in your house alone. It is magical for the marriage. Be a tourist in your own hometown. Eat alone without having to get up to get the ketchup. Finish a conversation. And remember why you said those two little words "I do" many years ago. You'll never regret the investment in your marriage and neither will your children.


Thank you, thank you, thank you to my sister and her husband, my aunt and my wonderful in-laws for watching the clan. And to the people worried about Elle not sleeping, she is sleeping like a baby. She gets up only once a night, maybe twice. She is sleeping better than my other two ever did. I am just tired. I am just ready to move on. I know she will sleep through the night someday. Just complaining...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Done

Sweet baby Elle, I am tired. So tired. You are four months old and am hitting the wall. I am begging you to sleep. Please. I am not sure I can go on.

Last week, I wrote a sappy post about how I will soon miss waking up every night for her bottle. Not sure what I was thinking because last night, I was ready to cry out of desperation. If you have had kids, you know how tired you can get after four months of not getting sleep. You are a walking zombie. Even if I nap, I can't feel normal.

So today, I am heading to the grocery store and purchasing cereal. It may not help but it cannot make it worse. I will feel better that somehow it may help the cause.

I'd write a longer post but I swear I can't think straight I am so tired. I am off to eat an English muffin and then I am taking a nap. I am sure I will miss having a newborn someday when I am well rested. That's why God gives you grandchildren, right? Night, night.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Eva


Dear Eva,

How do I begin to tell you how right you were? You encouraged me to have that third child. You told me it would balance out our family. You told me I'd never regret it. You were so right.

I wasn't the best new mom. It kicked my butt. I barely made it through the newborn stage with Ryan. I was in shock. I felt that it was torture. I cried through the late night feedings because I was so tired. I wasn't sure how I could keep going. And then I got pregnant quickly with Kyle and wondered how I could add another baby to my life. I was barely hanging on.

So when we talked that beautiful night and you told me that on your death bed, your last regret would be not having a third child, you sold me. My husband stood there and shook his head. He knew I was sold.

Elle wakes up every night around 3 a.m. I shuffle down the hall to her room. I pick her up and soak in her beautiful baby smell. And instead of crying out of desperation, I sometimes catch myself tearing up knowing that these days are almost over. She will soon eat cereal and baby food. She will soon sleep through the night most night. And I can't believe that I am the same mother who would have given anything to end the late night feedings for Ryan.

Elle has given me a new perspective as a mother. I now understand how sweet it all is. If I would have ended my journey with Kyle, I would not have such a soft, warm spot in my heart.

So, Eva, thank you. I am a better mother for being the mother of my beautiful baby Elle.

Forever grateful,
Indy

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Margaret

I walked into the Heights Parents Center knowing no one. One of the people that I first met was named Marcie. Her child, Harry, was the same age as my Ryan. As new mothers, we were eager to meet other mothers and survive this thing called motherhood. Weekly for years, we met as a playgroup in each other's homes and playgrounds. We became close friends. But a few years ago, Marcie's husband was offered a job and they moved away.

A few months ago, we heard the horrible news that Margaret, Marcie's middle child had cancer. She fought a courageous battle but passed away a couple of weeks ago. Marcie's husband wrote a beautiful piece for the funeral. I don't know how he go through it. I wanted to share it so that you may hug your babies a little tighter tonight. I also included the priest's message from the service because it offers hope for all of us. It is long to read but if you are dealing with grief it offers a beautiful message. Bless you little Margaret and the Ashford family.



Margaret, a Remembrance
October 23rd, 2009

Earlier in this service, there was a reading that included the lyrics of one of Margaret’s favorite songs. Hannah Montana is a somewhat non-traditional source for this church, and for those of you who may not be completely familiar with her recent movie, the song is about what she learned from her father as she grew up. This remembrance is about what I learned from Margaret over the last five months.


Lesson 1: How to live


We have all heard we worry too much and should live more in the moment. And we all know this to be true. But for me it took watching Margaret to make this idea more than a bumper sticker slogan, and show me what it can really mean. Here is Margaret’s approach.


Dance. All the time. Everywhere. And when the chemotherapy makes your nerves too slow for ballet, go to ballet anyway and dance badly. And when you are too sick to even go to ballet, dance at home to Hannah Montana.


Every meal is an opportunity for a party. Bananas Foster is always appropriate. And when the radiation makes it too painful to eat Bananas Foster, eat sour patch kids. And when you cannot eat at all, draw pictures of Bananas Foster in preparation for the next party.


Paint. Especially flowers. Collect and press flowers. And when your father tells you not to open the press yet, because the flowers haven’t been in long enough – don’t listen to him, Hannah Montana notwithstanding.


Lesson 2: When to stop living


This is why lesson 1 is so important. When your whole life before you is reduced to a summer, every moment becomes sweeter. But then the therapy works, and works well. Perhaps there is hope. Then an unexpected seizure – maybe an infection we can fight, or perhaps the cancer returned. Life expectancy swings from decades, to weeks, then back to months or years, and finally days. How do you live with this? How can you plan when you don’t know how much time you have? Margaret’s answer is it doesn’t make any difference. Life expectancy is how grown ups think. Refer to lesson 1.


Lesson 3: How to die


Many people have sent tributes to Margaret over the last week. So many of you have memories of her sweetness and kindness. But as a father, let me tell you Margaret knew a thing or two about stubborn resistance too. Whether you are confronted by a parent telling you it is bedtime or a nurse with a needle, or the final approach of death itself – the procedure is the same. Fight. Fight for more time. Negotiate. Don’t give in without a concession. The parent may give you five more minutes. The nurse will give you a treat from the hospital toy box. Death may give you one last summer.


But when at last the time comes, leave with grace. When the months finally became days, Margaret left so quietly and peacefully, that by the time I actually said goodbye, she had already gone, hours before. I was left wondering whether I had actually said goodbye while I had the chance.


Then I saw that in a way she had been saying goodbye all summer.


And finally I realized that Margaret hadn’t been saying goodbye at all. Just teaching me lesson 1, how to live, in the way only she could.

Written by Stephen Ashford




A sermon preached at the funeral of Margaret Helen Ashford,
Friday, October 23, 2009, in St. John’s Episcopal Church,
West Hartford, CT by the Rev’d Joseph L. Pace

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Several times in the last week or so Marcie has told me that today was supposed to be a wedding and that it should, of course, have been not today, but about 15-20 years off in the future. Way back in the spring -- which seems ages ago -- Marcie told me that visualizing Margaret’s wedding -- imagining Margaret walking down this aisle on Stephen’s arm -- was one of the ways she managed to get herself through the various tests, radiation and chemotherapy and the hours and days of uncertainty and waiting and fear that surrounded Margaret’s illness.

Dreaming of a wedding while sitting in a hospital room is a great dream, a grand and wonderful dream. Parents should of course always dream -- and dream big -- for their children, whether they be 5 or 12 or 35. Children need our dreams.

Dreams not only lift up, but they can also be a bit contagious, catching others up in their power, inspiring even greater dreams, carrying others along in their joy and hope. Dreaming sends the mind on wonderful journeys -- certainly much more satisfying than staring at the walls of a hospital room.

Dreams are among the greatest expressions and testimonies of love -- we dream for and we wish the best for those we love. In fact, we can often dream bigger for our children than they can dream on their own. We are the ones who teach them to dream. Parents should, of course, dream and dream big for their children -- in doing so, they open their children’s worlds to greater possibilities and brighter horizons.

Marcie and Stephen were absolutely right to spend time these past few months dreaming of a wedding -- dreaming of the absolute best for Margaret. Parents must dream -- and dream big --for their children.

Life has taken another path and the wedding of the future is today a funeral. But the dreams and the love behind those dreams are not in the least bit diminished by the funeral we celebrate today instead of the hoped-for wedding.

Life has changed and Margaret has gone -- in the words of our faith -- from life to life, from strength to strength. Life is not ended, but rather changed. In death Margaret continues to be held in the arms of Christ’s love as well as in her parents’ dreams.
And, that same love -- that also gives us the power to dream -- that same love holds Harry and Nell and Stephen and Marcie and Margaret all together as one in Christ’s love -- nothing can ever undo the power of that love.

Life is changed, not ended. And, today is not a day to set aside hope, nor is it a day to stop dreaming; rather, today is a time to cherish those wonderful dreams and hopes and wishes and be thankful for the strength they have given all of us through the awful times of the last six months. For, it is such memories that really give life to love and enliven even life itself with unimaginable richness and joy. Such dreams and memories will serve not only to keep Margaret alive in the hearts of those who loved her -- they’ll also serve to keep everyone going in the face of death.

Death’s pain is ferocious -- it stings and stuns and hurts; it tears up the heart and works mischief in the mind and with the emotions... But, death’s pain is not triumphant. It is, instead, the love of God that triumphs and continues to hold us all together when death appears to have won.

One of the passages from Scripture Stephen and Marcie chose for today pulls together in a beautiful image just exactly what it is we are meant to do here this morning. In his vision of the triumph of God’s love John the Divine sees the heavens opened wide and coming down out of heaven comes a gift from God, prepared as a bride for her husband, a new home -- the New Jerusalem -- together with the promise and assurance
that God’s desire above all else is always to be with God’s people, pulling us together as one, comforting us, wiping away tears and crying and pain, undoing the power of death...that we all may be securely together forever in the power of God’s love --
for God’s home is always with us.

It is one of the greatest of visions -- greatest of dreams -- in the whole of Scripture, God’s wonderful, glorious dream for us. God, our parent, dreaming nothing but the absolute best for us, just as any parents would do for his or her children. Amen..

May Margaret’s soul, together with all the departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Amen.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Who Needs the Vaccine?

There has been so much debate about whether to get the H1N1 vaccine. Luckily, most of us in our area will not have to make this decision. The flu is hitting Northeast Ohio hard.





I was sure we would get the vaccine to protect my newborn. I had to do something!


Little did I know that my sons would get it and cough all over my baby. They sneezed all over her too. Ryan, my oldest, was so sick and could not catch his breath. I took him to the pediatrician to try to get a super duper prescription cough medicine that would help him sleep. We didn't get one because my doctor was too focused on testing Ryan for the Swine flu. I had worried so much about it that I didn't think this could be it.


As I found out, he did have it! So, no vaccination for him.


My husband and I didn't get sick at all. So, we will try to get our shots. And our baby Elle, so far so good. We have Tamiflu just in case. I swear I check her head for a fever every hour.


As much as I feared the Swine Flu, it is a relief to have had a child have it, be tested for it and recover. Nothing rocks a family like having a sick child. I am feeling blessed to have had mine recover. And I am remembering the children and their families that haven't been as lucky.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

No Weigh!!!

Ugh!!!

We tied.

Really.

Doesn't that suck for me? We tied and we lost 4.8 lbs. in the past month. Great to lose the weight but it didn't feel like a victory. I knew it was close. I ate so perfectly the day before and didn't eat anything with a lot of salt in it to make sure that there wasn't any water weight. I think my hubby went to McDonalds the day before we weighed in.

Then two days later, I lost 1/2 a pound not really being that strict. Ugh. Who knows.

We split the winnings. I joined Weight Watchers yesterday. I will be attending my first meeting in the next few days. I am a little nervous but happy to have the support and great ideas.

In my last post, I promised that this would not become a weight loss and exercise blog. So, I will end this discussion for awhile. We weigh in again on November 17.

I promise to write more often. Things are falling into place with the baby and I am starting to feel more like myself. Stop back again soon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Losing My Hair Continues

Bad move. I encouraged my hubby to read my post about working out.

It has taken this competition to a new level. He jumped on the treadmill and ran.

Man. Weigh in is on October 20. So far, I am ahead. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Losing My Hair

It. Is. On.

My hubby and I are in a weight loss competition.

I can hear all of the women out there screaming "So not fair. Men lose weight faster..." Yes, you are all right. They do. But, I just had a baby weight and I lose weight pretty easily once my body realizes that we aren't pregnant anymore. My hair just started falling out so my body seems to have gotten the message that it is time to let it all go. Let's hope!

So, every month on the 20th, we are weighing in. In private! I will not let him see the number. I won't admit it to anyone. It is a man size weight. And no one but me will see this crazy number.

I am about five pounds down and I have one more week to go for the month. That's not too shabby. My husband is down about 4 pounds. He can not eat dessert one night and be down two pounds so I have to stick to it this week in order to win.

What do I win other than gloating rights and pants that fit? My husband received a little extra bonus money and he divided it up per month. So, it is a good amount and one that motivates me. The winner of the best out of three months wins a sizable amount of money from Coin Star that we just turned in. FUN!!!

And how am I doing it? For now, just cutting back on my addiction to sweets and walking each day on my treadmill. I will get more crazy when I need to if I hit a plateau. And what will I do with my money when I win this month (hear that husband?)? I might join Weight Watchers to ensure that I win each month after this. Sort of a reinvestment of my money. I won't drive you crazy with updates each day about my workouts and weight loss. There is nothing worse than reading that on blogs. But, I will keep you posted once in awhile. I may even post some pics if we ever get the computer and camera working together again.

Hubby- It. Is. On.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Believe

There has been a lot of talk about feeling good in our skin, self esteem and what we all do to feel beautiful. From Chris Rock's movie "Good Hair' to Glamour Magazine's November issue about real woman and their bodies, we all want to feel good about ourselves.

At my children's school, they are embarking on an "I believe" campaign for self-esteem. The children will wear special shirts and listen to song on special days. I think it is silly but I bought the shirts because I would never want my children to think that their mother didn't believe in them enough to buy the shirts to wear on the special "believe" days. I am sure this program makes certain administrators feel like they are covering this developmental area. I don't think it is so easy. One comment from a special teacher or administrator to a child would mean a lot more than a silly song.

How we develop our self-esteem starts with our parents. If we feel loved and cherished in an atmosphere without fear and anger, self-esteem can flourish. As a child, I told I was pretty and smart but when I got to high school, I wasn't sure anymore. Peers can take so much away from a teenage girl. I then went to college and had a great experience. People were smart around me and I loved learning. The parties weren't too bad either. My self-esteem flourished.

Fast forward ten years to motherhood. It rocks your world. Who you were and how you feel about yourself is torn apart and reconstructed. That is not a bad thing. For awhile, you lose yourself in your children. You become a mother. You then spend a couple of years trying to regain your mojo while taking care of your family.

And just when you think you have figured out how to be OK in your skin, something surprises you. Maybe you hear from an old friend and the old memories come flooding back. Maybe you attend a class reunion. Maybe you talk to someone and they don't remember meeting you before. Maybe you aren't chosen for a project that you really wanted. Maybe someone says something negative about you. Maybe your child isn't invited to a party and they are disappointed. Maybe you aren't invited. You tell yourself that you are all grown-up and that it doesn't hurt. But, you know otherwise.

I have heard from older woman that the older you get, the more comfortable you feel in your skin. Nothing excites me more about getting older. And as I get older, I realize that self-esteem doesn't come from labels or money spent on things. Someone will always have more than you. I feel best when I help others and reach out to people. The love I get as a result makes me feel good. This has taken me years to learn.

So, I will dress my boys in their silly "I believe" t-shirts twice a month for school while teaching them at home that there is more to self-esteem. It is a journey and not a destination. I believe.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Gnat Funny

I worked my butt off this week. We had guests for the weekend. This would be tough without a newborn. But, it was nearly impossible to pull off with a baby. I can barely shower and eat during a normal day (and check Facebook and watch TV) let alone clean it from top to bottom.

But, with my fantastic husband's help, we got it done. He came home a little (a lot) early on Friday and we tag teamed it. We took turns cleaning and taking care of the baby. By the 6 p.m., I couldn't believe how much more we had to do. I had no idea my house was such a wreck.

Now, before I continue, I have to explain why I care. I know many of you would say that real friends shouldn't care how my house looks. I hear you. This is all about ME. I would be so annoyed if my house was trashed with people LIVING with me for the weekend. You can't just get away with cleaning the main floor.

OK. So, we got it done. I drank a glass of wine Friday night and nearly collapsed. Relieved to be done with the work. The basement was as clean as it gets. The guest bed was made. Towels were out. The only thing I didn't get to was my own bathroom or closet. I never thought they'd see it. In fact, I threw everything I had to get rid of into my closet. You know how that goes. In goes the clean clothes I can't get put away in time. In goes the clothes I need to return to Target. In goes the hermit crabs. The aquatic frogs. The crap.

I left the closet door is open.

"Can my girls take a bath?" My dear husband suggested to the guest that the girls take a bath in OUR bathroom. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In walked our guest.

I went white. I was stuck. I couldn't talk them out of our tub.

It was nasty. It was dirty. And she saw it all. All that I was hiding.

And wouldn't you know that the hermit crabs' tank had an outbreak of a million tiny gnats while in my closet? So, in my bathroom/bedroom they swarmed.

The weekend is over and I am happy to have a somewhat clean house. We had a great weekend with great friends. The gnats are still with me. Anyone wants some hermit crabs?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Shut Up

When Ted Kennedy passed away, I remember a Republican senator saying that when he once called Ted in the hospital, Ted immediately asked him how his sick grandson was doing. The senator said that Ted was always like that, asking how others were doing instead of talking about himself.


I wish I was more like that. Often times when I am talking to people, I am thinking of my experience and how it relates. Instead of being 100% there, I am in my own little world. In graduate school, my advisor would give me 100% of her attention. She was so attentive that I was distracted. I kept thinking "How does she do this?" She was a young mother of small children. And now that I have my own and I am so tired, I really admire that she was full time faculty, finishing her Ph.D., had children and cared what I had to say every week.


We all know bad listeners. The person that talk AT you not with you. The person that has to "one-up" you every time she talks to you. The person that talks too much and doesn't give others the chance to talk. The person that cuts you off mid-sentence. I do that to a good friend of mine every time we talk. I know I do it. I try not to. I am not sure why I do it to her more than to other friends. Maybe her stories are long. I don't know. I am working on keeping my mouth shut.


In Eckhart Tolle's book A New Earth, he talks about being present with others. Be with them when they speak. Be in the moment. It is my new goal. I will ask more questions and be engaged. I will talk less. I will be present. It is definitely a skill that I was born without. But one skill that I must learn.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wild Thing

I am good. I can procrastinate like no one I know. I fine tuned this skill in college. Who knew I would get so much use out of it as a stay at home mom. My latest project of procrastination? Baby gift thank you notes. Friends, if you are wondering where yours is, here is my REAL list of what I have done so I wouldn't have to finish this project.

Watched Dancing With the Stars It was pretty bad. What's up with Tom DeLay? So embarrassing.

I read an article in Oprah about crock pot cooking. Good article but only one recipe included. They got me all excited with nothing to do with it.

Googled my name and my maiden name. Who knew? A stripper and Target VP share my names.

Googled old friends who aren't on Facebook yet. What are they waiting for? Where are they? Are they looking for me?

Vacuumed my bedroom. It was bad. We had they baby two months ago. When I attempted sit-ups the other day, I couldn't believe how gross my floor was.

Organized my closet and got rid of as much maternity clothes as I could. So wish the jeans, underwear and a few shirts could have been packed away. Still working on the weight.

Ordered stamps from the post office website. It took tons of time because I can never remember my password and user name. Had to sign up again. Then I started looking at other websites from this site.

Checked Facebook a million times a day. Really. I know I am addicted. I had to use FB as a reward to bribe myself to finish the thank you cards. For every five finished, I could check FB.

So, two months later, there is a pile of thank you cards on my island in my kitchen. I am almost done. I have a few addresses that I have to find. It feels good to almost be done. Instead of writing a post about procrastination, I should be completing my thank you note project. But then, I wouldn't have a chance to watch the Tom Delay "Wild Thing" on Youtube that I just found...here I go again.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Third Time is a Charm


I am the third child. My name is Elle. I am seven weeks old. I am so different from my brothers. Today was the perfect example. Let me show you how. My words are in red. My brothers' are in blue.

I went to the OB today with mom.
I stayed with Grandma and was held the whole time.

I cried at the OB so the doc picked me up and gave me to my mom while she was having an internal exam. Yes, she held me while scooting down the exam table.
I have never been to the OB.

My mom only brought enough formula for one bottle and didn't even check the number of diapers in the diaper bag.
Mom always had plenty of food and diapers when I was a baby.

Mom keeps switching formula brands to save money. Bought the Target brand today.
Mom was too afraid because I was always fussy regardless of the type or brand.

At the doctor's office for me today, mom only had a newborn diaper in her bag. I haven't worn those in weeks. She could barely close the diaper in front of the nurse.
Mom never tried this with me.

I am sitting in the hallway asleep in my car seat right now. Mom must be in heaven. I can hear my brothers running by my car seat but I don't care. I just keep sleeping.
I like a quiet house.

Mom and Dad are both first born children. They find it fascinating how different three children can be. I can't wait to show them how patient and flexible I can be. I will know how to share. I will be a team player. And I will be tough. Boys, consider this your warning.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What is Today?

I am behind. I spent all of yesterday thinking it was the 24th. This is a problem because Ryan is turning 7 today on the 26th!

Everyone keeps asking how we are doing with baby #3. I would say we are doing as well as possible. A newborn is hard. Elle is a good baby. A good newborn is hard. And that's OK. We signed up for it and expected it. We are just behind. A lot.

I don't have time to finish much. I am concentrating on the important stuff like clean socks and underwear for the boys. I read a lot of blogs and things on the computer as I wait for Elle to sleep after a bottle. But, I can't write very well with one hand. So, my blog sits. And sits. And I then get distracted. And by the time she is asleep for the "night" I am too tired to write anything other than something on Facebook.

And school started last week so we are getting used to a new schedule, homework and sports on top of it all. We are running in and out and throwing everything all over the house. I sometimes wish that the boys could drive themselves to karate or soccer. What will become of my mind as I sit and watch them over and over again? Only 9 more years until Ryan can drive himself to soccer. (I know. I know. Big kid, big problems. I am just dreaming here).

So, as I sit, I can hear Elle grunting and making sweet baby noises. She is ready for me to wrap this up. We are off to meet the boys off of the bus. Every older woman I have ever met has to told me to cherish these days. I do. I do. But boy am I tired. Let this blog be a reminder that I did my best to cherish the days and maintain my sanity. I am trying. I'll be back when I catch my breath again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Smell Funny

I was running late to the pediatrician when I noticed that I had cabbage sticking out of my tank top. My cuppeth runneth over.

I also smell funny.

Before I left, I put on a little perfume and used some smelly Aveda hair stuff so maybe the doctor wouldn't smell the cabbage rotting in my bra as she entered the small examination room.

If you have tried to stop breastfeeding, you know what I am talking about.

If you haven't, you probably think I am a weirdo.

Somehow, women through the ages have figured out that if you put cabbage leaves near your breasts that you will not feel pain as you wean yourself/child away from breastfeeding. (Go ahead and google this. I checked today to understand the science behind it. Pretty cool.) You can't just quit. It will kill you. It is best to do it slowly.

Or have your husband pick up cabbage. That's what I am doing. I am having trouble managing the baby, the house, kids activities and pumping. So, in a breakdown yesterday, I decided that I was done. I just can't do it anymore.

So, as I picked up Elle to run into her check-up, I noticed that I had cabbage falling out of my bra. I also didn't want to smell like rotting cabbage so I quickly picked it all out and threw it into my van (to be reused on the way home). I wondered if the Cleveland Clinic had cameras in the parking lot and if some guard was laughing at me. But, I didn't care. The GIRLS were hurting and cabbage is my best friend right now.

See the stuff you learn here at this blog? Yesterday, prostitutes. Today, cabbage for sore GIRLS. What will we learn about tomorrow? You never know.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cemeteries & Prostitutes

We have a weird tradition in our family. My dad makes us go to all of our family's cemeteries one Sunday every year for Father's Day. We call it Cemetery Sunday.

It sounds awful but it isn't really. As a teenager it was painful. But, with three kids at home, a day away with my sisters and dad is a good day, no matter what we are doing. We pack a cooler, a picnic and bring a camera. Each year, we take the same path through Ohio and down to West Virginia. We hear the same stories and try to understand how many "greats" each person is to us and how they are related. In between each cemetery, we catch up and share stories.

This year, we had to postpone our trip in June. I was pregnant and didn't want to bear a child in West Virginia and my dad was recovering from an outpatient surgery. So on Sunday, we packed ourselves into my Dad's little car and headed all around Ohio to visit our dead relatives. Our trip included my mom this time and it was just hard to believe that she is included on our Cemetery Sunday.

We finished our tour in West Virginia and noticed that our air conditioning wasn't working in our car. It was a HOT day in Ohio on Sunday. It was at least 93 degrees with extreme humidity. We headed over the bridge into Ohio and then the dummy lights started going off and on. Oh no! Our car was breaking down just by the Ohio River. We barely made it into town.

We called AAA and we sat and waited on a bench in the deserted sleepy town. Pick-up trucks passed us and we had a lot of people looking at us. We didn't look we came from the town and we thought they noticed. A couple of police cars came by too and caught our attention.

We took some pictures, called our aunt to pick us up and waited for the tow truck. Luckily, it came within fifteen minutes. What service! We were thrilled. We broke down next to a AAA office and they even let us wait for our aunt to pick us up inside in the air conditioning.

And you will never believe why everyone was staring at us waiting on the park bench in the middle of the city.The tow truck driver let my dad in on a little secret. The bench where we waited for the tow is where the city's prostitutes sit!!!

Cemetery Sunday will never be the same! What a memory. Our car! The bench! Prostitutes!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Stick To Jewelry

I took Elle to her first art show today. Usually I find cool jewelry at art shows but today, I bought my first girlie thing for Elle. I bought her a cute little hat. I just love it.

Throughout the day, women peeked into the stroller. I loved hearing their amazement. "Look at the small baby." "It must be a newborn." "Oh, she is so tiny." Some women were brave enough to ask how old she was.

I found that the older the woman, the more she was amazed that the baby was out. I heard an earful today from women that didn't feel that a newborn should be in public so young. I tried to reassure them that she has my antibodies and that she was safe in the carseat/stroller. A relative that shall remain nameless said that my mother would be upset that I had her out in public. I had to laugh- my mom would have not cared at all! My mom loved this art show and she would have loved strolling around showing Elle to friends.

Younger woman were amazed that I was out and about after a c-section. I tried to explain that my mental health depended on me getting out of the house and being with people. I can't drive for another week so I am was extremely grateful for my family for helping me get to and from the show.

I wonder what will annoy me with the younger generation when I am an old woman. What do we do today that will be considered old fashioned or not medically current? Will I be able to bite my tongue and not shower the younger generation with my opinions? Considering that I have a blog and share my opinions every few days or so about life, I doubt I will be able to keep my mouth shut. I just hope that when I am old woman attending an art show with my sisters that I just tell them and not mention it to the younger woman. I hope I can remember today and wish the mother well. My sisters and I will chat, eat lunch and people watch. And look for very cool jewelry.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Drum Roll Please...She's Here

She is here and she is beautiful. What mother doesn't think her babies are beautfiful? You will have to trust me here people. I am still in the hospital with no pics of her just yet to upload. They are on my camera but I have none downloaded.

Elle Morgan was born on Friday with a planned c-section. Everything went better than expected for the surgery. I was able to communicate and was more "with it" than with my first two. The whole experience was surreal. We both could not believe we were having another baby. We still are a little shocked. And she's a girl. Good thing we found out a little early because it is still sinking in. I have called her "he" countless times.

On the day Elle was born, our hospital was having a baby boom. There so many babies that c-section people did not get assigned rooms until late in the day. And then when I was assigned a room, it was a small room with a roommate. C-section people usually have their babies sleep in the nursery because you can't move for the first day. They bring the baby to you as needed. But, there were so many babies in the nursery that nurses recommended that Elle stay with me so she could rest. So, all four of us were in a tiny room for the night.

On the next day, I was reassigned to a single room. It is AWESOME! The nurse said it is the VIP room for local celebrities. They must have heard about Indy the blogger from Cleveland! LOL. So now, I am writing comfortably in my VIP room with Elle snoozing in her little bed. My recovery from the c-section is going well and every day, I feel stronger and in less pain.

So welcome little Elle. Mommy is so excited to get to know you. To smell you. To hold you. To cradle you. To feed you. To touch your tootsies. To stroke your soft face. And to even clean the poopie diapers. It is all so sweet. Little Ellie, your mama loves you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Loose Ends

The calls have started. The Facebook messages have started. My labor has not.

We are now in the home stretch here. I'm getting to the point in the pregnancy when I am done. Since I have done this two times before, I know the work involved with the next chapter. I know it is easier in than out. I am just physically DONE.

My scheduled c-section is next Friday, the 24th. I am a little nervous. When it was an emergency c-section, everything moves so fast that you have not a moment to spare or time to think. When you are scheduled for one, you literally walk into the operating room. Walk. Really. They wheel you to your car after the birth but before you go into major surgery, you walk. My legs were pretty shaky walking in last time. I am pretty tough but I remember almost throwing up from nerves the last time I did this. Getting a spinal is also a little different than when you are in labor. You are in no pain, no contractions and you have to have a needle put through your spine. It is a pain I will never forget.

All this aside, since I have had two boys before, I can't wait to see what our little girl will look like. I can't even imagine. I feel so blessed and cannot wait to see her. When Ryan was born, his personality is similar to what it is now. He needs affection but doesn't seek it out. Kyle on the other hand was so lovey in the hospital. He curled into me and couldn't get enough. He is just that way now. So, I can't wait to have quiet time in the hospital with my little girl and get to know her. I cherish the time when no nurses come in, there are no visitors, it is just the baby and me getting to know one another.

Today is probably my last OB appointment. Wow! So far, I have not been dilated, effaced or anything. The baby is high near my lungs and also breech. So, we'll see what the doc has to say.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Lost Boys


The Lost Boys found my boys today at the creek.

I took my kids to a nearby stream and walkway for a day outdoors. We packed a lunch and as every good suburban mom knows, you pack sunscreen. I even remembered water so I was so proud of myself.

As we walked to the stream, three rough and tumble kids found my kids. I took our lunch to the table and by the time I turned around, one of the boys had my five year old near an opening to the stream and the other had my older son into a thick brush near fast moving water. Panic is the only word I can find to use. I quickly saved each child and explained that I would not want to go swimming at nine months pregnant into this fast moving stream of water.

The Lost Boys would not get lost.

They then hung out with us as we looked for frogs and turtles. They started climbing on the outside of the water lookout and we were ready to fall into the water. Again, I tried to explain how as the only adult here, I would have to jump in and save them if they fell. I needed a way to lose the Lost Boys.

The only problem, my boys LOVED the Lost Boys.

They were wild.
They were cool.
They had no mom trying to put suncreen on them.
They didn't tie their shoes.
Their mom was at home.
They did whatever they want.
They caught cool animals and took them home.
They looked for adventure.
They knew where everything was in this park.
They knew everything.

Mom did not.

I didn't know what to do. I am always yelling at them to get outdoors. Meet friends. Play. But when they did and I couldn't control the situation, I nearly lost it.

Two hours at the park today really challenged me and how my kids are raised. The Lost Boys were very different from my boys. The whole time I am thinking "Where is their mother?" I was judging. Anyone could have taken these kids and no one would have a clue. They live nearby. They said they come here all the time. I am sure, alone. I realized how overprotective I am. Our parents growing up would have been at a stream like the boys today, all alone. They were probably more normal than my boys. My boys are so pampered. The boys reminded me of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. So ready for an adventure. My boys can barely find adventure in our backyard. I don't know what the answer is. Times are different and we really watch out for every possible danger for our children. Is it a good thing? I don't know. What are they missing? They are safe but at what cost? I just don't know.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Baby, Could You Come Tonight?

Dear Baby,

Would you mind coming a little early? I kept your brothers up way passed their bedtime. They are going to be awful tomorrow. So, so tired. I would rather have my stomach cut open and go through surgery tomorrow than deal with your brothers. Daddy is busy tomorrow so I will have to take care of them all day. I don't have much energy left so I wouldn't mind recovering in a hospital all day tomorrow. So, if you wouldn't mind coming two weeks early, that would be great. Looking forward to meeting you! Any idea on a name you'd like? We don't know either! See you soon- good luck!

I love you!

Mommy

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Squeeze Those Cheeks

A few weeks ago we were driving down to Cincinnati to visit some friends. We passed a rest stop and I made the usual announcement "Rest stop coming up. Who needs to go? We won't be stopping again so if you need to go, you need to tell me now." You know how this story ends. Of course I have no takers and no one needs to go the restroom.

One mile later...

"Mom, I need to poop." No. We had just passed the rest stop one second to hearing it.

So now, we are in the middle of nowhere with the next rest stop 45 miles away.

I start looking for McDonalds.

None.

Miles pass. Kyle is squirming. He starts yelling. We start yelling back.

"Squeeze your cheeks. You can hold it! You can do it Kyle. We will find a place. Keep squeezing Kyle! Keep Squeezing Kyle."

We spy a Target. I have never been so happy to see a Target! We pull in and I jump out to pull him out of the van ASAP.

As I open the sliding door, I see Kyle squeezing his face and his cheeks as hard as he can.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Warning: Talking Nipples Here People

As the due date approaches, I find myself freaking out. This is my third time around the block. You'd think I would be a pro. I don't feel like one. If my babies were born in the old days without formula and we weren't rich enough to have a wet nurse, my babies would have died. I am awful at breast feeding. We're not talking that I just haven't mastered the skill, we are talking awful. My parts just aren't made like the normal woman. Without sharing too much, let's just say that I didn't realize that bottles and binkies were made to look like nipples. When I saw my first nipples of breast feeding woman I almost gasped in front of my breast feeding class. I had no idea that they were "normal" and I was not.

When I met my first lactation consultant, she looked at one breast and said let's see the other. Both were so bad that she just picked one to try. They all met me, looked at the goods and just tried to calm me down. It wasn't going to be easy and they knew it.

I tried really, really hard with Ryan. I even pumped for months to make sure he had breast milk. With Kyle, I didn't do as well. We didn't know it then but Kyle had a very week tongue that would cause many other feeding problems later as he moved onto solid foods. So, I tried to breast feed, pump and take care of Ryan, 19 months at the time. My husband begged me to stop pumping and to give in. I did and felt so relieved.

So now with Baby Noname, I have been wrestling with the whole issue. I know how good it is for the baby and for me. It also saves so much money and wouldn't that be great? This is also my last chance at getting it right.

I will give it another shot. I'll drive all of the nurses and lactation consultants crazy like I did the last time. Who knows, maybe Baby Noname will be a pro. She'll latch on and go to town. I am hoping. I will try again and give it my all. That's all I can do.

Monday, July 6, 2009

"Bear"ly News

Stork Watch: Still pregnant. Bigger than ever. Still no name. Done with it.

My husband found this a few days ago. If you open it, you will laugh your butt off and have something to show your significant other. If you choose not to, you are missing out. I wouldn't write about it if it wasn't one of the funniest, most pathetic news report I have ever seen. Fox 8 Cleveland should be ashamed. I feel for the poor intern. Now please, take the two minutes to watch. Seriously, it is that funny.

Click here for the one of the funniest things you have seen in a long time. Don't miss the bear going up the tree.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Love the Cravings

I love to eat. I NEVER miss a meal. Ever. One of my dear friends always says she forgets to eat. I don't understand at all. It is like breathing. I could never forget or get too busy. Ever.

A benefit to being pregnant is eating. I am not one to even worry a tiny bit about how much I have gained. I will lose it. I gained and lost it all before. I'll do it again.

So, what have I enjoyed the most? (Health freaks, please just stop reading now. Or get ready to feel superior. This isn't pretty.)


My biggest breakfast cravings have been:

Lucky Charms (I have bought boxes and boxes)

Pop Tarts

Raisin Bran


Lunch-

Taco Bell

or eggs (I have no idea where this comes from)


Dinner-
Not loving dinner or real food. Went through a salad phase. So unlike me. More into chicken than beef. Can't do any seafood.

Snacks:

Due to horrible heartburn, I can't eat much peanut butter at night. So, I have switched to a Klondike bar every night for a snack. Yes, I am going to miss this once I have the baby and have to cut it out.


My cravings have been completely different than when I was pregnant with my two boys. I could have guessed that I was having a girl. For those of you who have had children, what do you crave? Did you crave different things with each child? For my readers without kiddos, when you PMS, any cravings?
Bon appetit, readers!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Side Effect: Sensitivity

I tried on six different shirts, a few dresses and nothing looked good. So, I put a few back on and decided on the best of the worst. I pulled myself together, put on some super cute earrings and my favorite lip gloss. I sprayed some hairspray and thought "Not bad for eight months pregnant." I got it together for a dinner party with friends. Mission accomplished.

The night was lovely. One of those nights with friends that you just don't want to end. We sat on the hosts' beautiful deck as the day turned to night. The wine flowed for (almost) everyone and stories entertained us all. The talk eventually turned to pregnancy stories. Each woman's story ended the same way. "I didn't know I was so big at the end of my pregnancy until I saw the photos." Each story. Each woman. I sat eating my homemade apple pie with homemade ice cream and just kept my chubby face quiet.

Fast forward to last night. I was at a meeting with about six other women. Once again, the conversation turned to the pregnancy. One friend said that she was guessing that I was having a girl. She hadn't heard my news and I told her yes, we were in fact having a girl. We are so excited. With two boys 19 months apart, it would be nice to have a change. A little girl. At least it will be different. Then the conversation shifted. Each woman turned it into a warning for me. "Oh just you wait. Girls are different. Wait until she gets...lippy, whinny, an attitude, bratty." I sipped my ice water and said a little prayer to God. "Oh please let her be sweet. I am sure she will someday turn into a teenager with an attitude but for a few years, can she be a sweet little girl? Please?"

I am sure that freaking out and being a little sensitive is a side effect of pregnancy. We have about 25 days until my c-section. We'll keep you posted!

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails
And puppy-dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And all things nice,
That's what little girls are made of.

Let's hope!



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shiny Happy People

I have been quiet here in Indyworld for people that have stopped by. I apologize. I am getting to the point in my pregnancy where I realize I am obsessed and the rest of the world isn't. I also wonder what I have to say. So many people I know are struggling with some big life issues that everything I am thinking about seems to be non-blogworthy. I have a friend who's four year old just got diagnosed with a rare cancer. Friends have very sick relatives. North Korea is ready to blow us off of the map and then there's Kate minus John plus Eight. (I really don't care about that one. ) I have been too busy to sit for longer than 5 minutes to write. I love summer and I am squeezing as much fun into our summer while we still can get out. There is nothing better than a day at the pool.

My sisters and Dad decided that they were going to paint my baby's room. One of my sisters didn't care for the kelly green that Kyle picked out when he was the room's owner. I don't really mind the green and didn't want my husband to have to paint while he was studying for the New Jersey bar. He is swamped! My sisters and dad decided to rescue me. Until...I was shopping at Target while talking to my other sister on the phone. She helped encourage me to pick out some items that will work. I found a wild, beautiful rug that works with my green. Suddenly, my baby's room is transformed. Her name may be traditional but her room will be a little on the wild side. I will post pics once my husband figures out why my camera and computer are still not getting along.

So, that's what I am doing here. We'll spend another day at the pool. Cool water, a bright shiny sun and my tootsies resting in the pool sounds like a perfect day for me. What's your idea of a perfect summer day?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wendy: Part 2

"So have you guys thought of a name?"

I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked. I know it is because people care and that they just want me to know that they are interested in what is going on in my life. But, I have to say, most times, I lie.

Why?

Because no one likes my girl names. NO ONE!

Usually, I just say we have no idea. When I am worn down or the person begs, I then go through the short list. When I get to my #1 name, the person just nods or says something close to "Hmmm." They then go with another name right after my first choice that they like better.

I used to really not like people that kept their names secret. I didn't understand it. I get it now. We're not keeping it a secret. My husband is working hard on a trial. We really haven't discussed it in weeks. Shocking, I know. We have a list and we'll get to it in the month or so. I promise. And if the baby comes early, a little extra pressure will help us to get this done.

I like traditional and kind of boring names. I can't imagine being Kaitlin, Neveah, Addison, Aaliyah, Rehanna or even Sabrina's mom. Not that there is anything wrong with the names. They are just not my boring style. We all have our own style.

I haven't written all week because I am in a sort of freak out stage of pregnancy. I have no name for my baby. My baby's room looks pretty crummy. I have stuff everywhere. I am having trouble making decisions about whether to paint or not. I am too tired to make any sort of decision and I am scatterbrained. This is the third child. I know she will survive on love, cuddles and God willing, her mother's milk (or a very good formula. Another post about this later). With the first baby, all was done. With the third, I am doing my best but running on fumes. At the most, I have about a month to go. I am hoping nesting kicks in and I get myself in gear. So for this weekend, with my husband home from a very long business trip, I hope to cross some things off of my large to-do list. We'll share the name once we have her. I think we will head into the delivery room with two choices. And then decide. There. I at least made one decision today. Done.

Bye Bye Bob. Hello Wendy!

I looked over the nurse's shoulder and reread the amnio results. She was checking my information on her computer. I was facing the screen and her back was to me. I wanted to be sure. I had to see it with my own eyes. I wanted to read what the doctor wrote about my baby's test for Down's Syndrome. So, I looked hard and read the results. It said "Negative" for Down's Syndrome. And then it said "Female." Gulp. What? Really?

"Nurse, am I reading that correctly under the amnio section? Does it read that I am having a girl? "She was a bit confused and pulled up the actual amnio results. "Yes, it is a girl." Pause. I smiled and could barely contain myself. "Oh no. You weren't supposed to know?" Wow. She left the room and I could hear the doctor and nurse talking in the hall. There were some giggles and she explained the situation to my doctor.

As I waited to see my doctor, a flood of emotions flooded in. Tears came to my eyes. I don't know how to be a mom to a girl. I have boy toys. I have boys stuff everywhere. My mind was racing. I wish I could call my mom. She would be so excited. A girl! A girl! I am really having a girl! I was giddy.

We have spent the weekend talking about names and planning to clean out our house of everything we've saved for the past five years that we can now donate. Goodbye Bob the Builder. Goodbye bulldozer and construction toys. Goodbye newborn baby blue outfits. My neutral baby's room that is ready to go is suddenly too boyish for me to call a baby girl's room. I am almost too stunned to even do anything. Me, a mother to a girl? Good thing I have eight more weeks to think of myself as a mother to a little baby girl. Wow!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Should be Required for All

My legs are swollen and I am feeling exhausted. So, I grabbed a Klondike bar, a blanket, my laptop and my remote. I tuned into a new show on MTV that is getting a lot of buzz. It's called 16 & Pregnant. Have you seen it yet?


When I first heard about it I thought it would be light hearted and might encourage teenagers to want to be parents. I thought oh great, that's just what we need in the United States. But, I started to see some ads and realized that it is a different kind of reality program. It. Is. Real. So real, that even though I am a mom of two, I am starting to freak out seeing how much work a newborn really is for the young mom. I have been there but this show brings it all back.


This weekend, my family was laughing about Lamaze and what a joke the child birth and preparation classes are. They should skip the breathing instructions and just ask who is planning on getting an epidural. That would save a lot of time. They could really skip the BS and focus on what you really need to know.


They should say:

You will get no sleep. You will learn to function on such a small amount of sleep that you'll be amazed. You will find out why sleep deprivation is a form of torture. You will soon not be able to eat at restaurants for a few years. Go out now and eat while you can take your time. Go to movies that are not rated G. Go to a mall or a bookstore and take your time. Browse. You will soon wonder where you spent your time.


They should also add:

You will learn how tough you are. You will amaze yourself. You will learn how to love unconditionally. You thought you could multitask before you had kids. You are now the MASTER of multitasking. You will be a great planner. You will soon run a tight ship. You will learn to laugh and enjoy your children. They will teach you. You will enjoy holidays more and experience your own childhood again. It will be the toughest job you have ever had but you will love it.


MTV's 16 & Pregnant should be required viewing for all new parents whether they are 16 or not. It is real. I once heard Will Smith say in an interview that once you have a baby you have to realize that you can't go back to your old life. Once you understand that, you can move on and enjoy being a parent. This program may help people better choices and prevent pregnancy. It may also help educate people so that they realize that parenting is hard work and continuous. And on top of that, 16 & Pregnant it is pretty entertaining. Set your DVR's and catch at least one episode for yourself.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thought That Counts?

It is your child's birthday party. As the children gather and you scramble for your note pad to try to convince yourself that this time you will write thank you notes, your child opens the gift and squeals with delight. You are silently planning on how to either return the gift or hide it before your little darling opens the package:

Here are the top 7 most horrible gifts to receive:

(My sincere apologies to dear friends who may have given me the toys. You know who you are.)

1. Moon Sand. Is there anything worse? First of all, who thought to bring sand indoors? Color it? And make it available year round in the toy aisle? Damn you Moon Sand.


2. Complicated games. I know the box says 6 and up but I hate learning new games. I am not good at it and I am pretty lazy. Just stick to the classics. Please?


3. Whistles or other music equipment. I am a lover of all things music. But this has to be left to the parents to buy so they can only blame themselves. I gave out little whistles in treat bags to toddlers a few years ago. I am so ashamed.

4. Legos before you are ready. When I was first given Legos, I thought my friends hated me and wanted me to go crazy. I do not want a box with 200 parts in it. I will be the cleaner upper. No thanks! (We now love Legos and the boys usually pick them up themselves. But at age 5, ugh!)

5. Any sort of puzzle, game or figurine that you have to put together that does not come with a box. We are not good at keeping toys together. More work for me.

6. Water guns are pretty annoying. Until the kids are old enough, you are stuck helping them fill them up. Once they are old enough, you become the target.

7. Stuffed animals. My kids LOVE Webkinz. Other than that, stuffed animals are quickly donated to Project Night Night. A few have made it through to their beds. A few. The rest are donated, given to the dog or are used as in house footballs.




So as you can see, it is all about ME! Even if these toys bring hours of enjoyment to my children, I rate them on how much work it takes for me to maintain. So, please skip the Moon Sand, the complicated games and the whistles. With a little girl on the way, I am sure I will be able to add to this list. Please, oh please, no Bratz dolls or make-up for my toddler/preschooler. So, what would you add? I am sure every mom has her favorites.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What Happens In Ohio Stays in Ohio


My sister and her husband are in Vegas. Lucky dogs. I am here in Ohio watching her three kids.

When my sister left, she said her baby (17 months) was a little cranky. Just alternate between Tylenol and Advil as needed. OK. I can do that.

So my sis left for the airport and the baby slept for hours. So many that I started to worry and wonder if she'd ever sleep at night. So, I woke her up. Fed her dinner, Tylenol and gave her a bottle (even though she is almost weaned) and put her to bed early at 7:15 p.m. She was so cranky. Nothing else worked. She then slept until 10:15 a.m. I have never had that happen before. I was afraid she was unconscious. So, I woke her up. I have never done that before as a parent and have done it twice so far this week!

So today, she is a mess. Cranky and nothing is making her happy. She has slept a lot and has hardly eaten. I gave her a bath tonight and put her right back to bed. And away she sleeps.

So what do I say when they call? Luckily I missed their first call today. I know they will call again tonight. Do I go with the "little cranky" or the honest truth? I just don't know. When you are a four hour flight away and you never get to enjoy yourself, do you really want to know that your baby isn't feeling so hot? Do you want the truth or a gentle little lie? The baby isn't sick enough to go to a pediatrician but not well enough to just play and hang out.

I think I will try the gentle truth approach. She's cranky but sleeping a lot. That doesn't sound to bad does it? That doesn't ruin your vacation does it? It is truthful enough, right? We'll see. I hope the right words come out to not worry my sister. Instead of the usual what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, I am going with the what happens in Ohio, stays in Ohio. Mums the word, people.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Little Pink Houses For You & Me

This a true story. I don't think I would believe it if I didn't see it with my own eyes.

We went to the Walleye Festival in Port Clinton near Sandusky, Ohio. Yes, there is such a thing. I could be judgemental about the type of folks that we saw but I am not talking about it. This was America at its finest. As I looked out at the crowd, I felt for the American school teacher. What a job! To educate our children. To teach these people to read and write. To create miracles, that is what they do. Anyway, we walked along the festival admiring the people and the food.



My husband was the first to visit the port-a-potties with Kyle. Bless him for not making me go. When he came back he said that the port-a-potty had an attendant. I thought that maybe he meant someone to tell you which one was open. I have seen that at art shows. No, a real attendant. I shrugged it off.


When I could hold it no longer I visited the facilities myself. And guess what I saw? I swear I did. A. Real. Attendant. Really. Like the one I wrote about here. She had hand sanitizer, tampons, candy and paper towels. AND SHE HAD A TIP JAR! At a fair! I couldn't believe my eyes and couldn't stop talking about it. Here are pics to prove I am not lying. Be sure to check out the sign suggesting that you tip.



The tips sign says "Tips are appreciated. Thank you. The attendant."

This has to be the most ridiculous thing I have seen in a long time. One of my relatives (who shall remain nameless to protect her identity, ADW, thought that it was a good idea.) Really? There is nothing that an attendant can do to make my visit any better. They are disgusting. They smell and I am grossed out by them. But, I am also thankful that I have place to go to do it in private. No attendant can enhance my visit. No way. So sorry attendant. I will not give you a dollar so that I may pee. Ain't that America, for you and me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Borderline


I heard Madonna's song "Borderline" today on the radio. Can you believe the song is 25 years old? I can't. It was released in 1984. Feeling old yet?

Anyway, yesterday my sister asked me if I would write about a friend online in my blog. I told her no. There has to be a line that you don't cross. If you cross it, you lose friends and relatives will stay away. You can't break that trust. I never want someone to be afraid to be real with me because they are afraid it will end up here. There are times when I am so tempted. I am missing out on some very good blogging material. You can't even begin to imagine some stories about relatives I could share. Some of them probably can't read so I should be safe. But, I won't cross that line.

There is also an activity that one of my sons is involved in that would provide at least one blog a week but I can't go there either. Maybe some day but for now, the secret is safe with me. If you read Facebook and you are a friend, you could probably figure out what I am talking about here.

And anything to do with my husband is pretty much off limits. I never want an employer to read something about him that may impact his career. It is a line I don't have trouble not crossing. I just don't go there.

This whole Jon & Kate debate got me thinking that we all have our own lines that we won't cross. Some people use fake names for their children in their blogs. I use my children's names but not my own. I don't share my city but I do mention my area. I use real pictures and stories. My stories about my children aren't too embarrassing but are cute memories that I never want to forget. I share my own feelings and find it easier to write than talk sometimes about how I am feeling. I am usually more embarrassed to find out a friend is reading this than a stranger. I am usually shocked that I get as many readers as I do.

So no, dear sister, I won't be writing about my friend. I won't be writing about your little darlings that I am babysitting for four days next week while you go to Vegas. I won't be writing about how green with envy I am and how I am stuck at home pregnant and with five children. I won't take their pics if you don't want me to and share them online. I won't write about it all. But I will be so tempted. But I won't cross that line.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Free Water Does a Body Good

Don't you love when people surprise you in a good way?

This weekend, we went to Kings Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. The kids had a ball. And so did we. Being seven plus months pregnant made it a little challenging. It was also very hot there. So, in an effort to stay hydrated, I told my husband that no matter what the cost, I had to buy water and keep hydrated for my health and the baby's.

So, I grabbed his wallet and headed to the nearest drink stand. While waiting, a Kings Island worker came up to me. He mumbled something and I had no idea what he was saying. I looked at him confused and he repeated his original sentence. He said "You can get free ice water at any of the places that sell food." My jaw dropped open. "Wow. Thanks, that's great to know." I was thrilled. This is going to save me a ton of money! As he walked away, I thought what great customer service this is. Wow. I am impressed by the level of customer service at Kings Island.

I was also impressed by the cleanliness of the park. The bathrooms were very clean and the I swear I never saw one piece of trash in the entire park on the ground. I didn't feel gross like I sometimes do at amusement parks. The children's section has quality rides and the kids loved the characters that were always around. Kyle ran up and hugged Patrick, Dora, Spongebob, Sandy and even Scoobie Do. The workers were very patient with the children and so polite.

I can't say enough good thing about our trip to Kings Island. My only complaint is that they don't allow pregnant ladies to ride roller coasters. Picky. Picky. I can't wait to go back when I can ride their amazing roller coasters.
So if you don't live near this park, don't forget to use this Indy tip at YOUR local amusement park. Don't buy bottled water. Ask for ice water for FREE! You'll be doing something good for the environment, your wallet and your body.

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Indy's camera and computer are involved in a lovers' spat. They are temporary separated. We are busy working on a compromise. Last week, it was very bad and the only posts written required some photos that went with the post. So, I apologize for the lack of posts. You probably thought I was out shopping for girl's clothes! Hopefully, we will get the computer and camera working together soon. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

She Lost Her Sheep?

I did the unthinkable for a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM). I willingly went on a preschool field trip. Now, some SAHM's will go if is their baby's last field trip. Maybe they will sign-up if their child begs. Or maybe they will sign-up if they feel guilty. Most of the time, they don't go because they hate to lose precious free time to get things done.

I went today to the Cleveland Metropark Zoo and we had a great time. I really did. It was an absolutely perfect, gorgeous Ohio day. Being pregnant made me more aware of my size, my swollen feet and my thirst. But, the kids were great and I enjoyed spending time with Kyle and his class.

Jokingly, I told OHmommy on my way onto the school bus that I needed blogging material so I was going on the trip. As I ate lunch, nothing seemed to be blog worthy.

But then, bingo. I found it.

We saw a woman/man dressed up like Little Bo Peep. We were at the zoo. There were no story telling programs for fairy tales going on. She was with her family. It was a hot day. She/he was wearing a wig, long ruffled socks and a HUGE bow on her head. This is the best picture I could take without getting beat up.



Anyone have a guess why he/she was dressed like this? Not talking, just saying...weird.

I'm Not Talking About It, I'm Just Saying...

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