Sunday, January 31, 2010

Prophetic Strangers?

Today, while in line at Fuddruckers, a woman I did not know started talking to me about my pregnancy. This is not an uncommon experience, but the things she had to say were a little different. Apparently, she had super short labors (think: under an hour), and only made it to the hospital because she said she knew beforehand that it was the day for her to give birth. Sounded a little weird, but hey. She made several predictions about my birth:

-Baby will arrive Feb 14
-My labor will be 5 hours (please let THAT be true)
-The Beast will weigh 7 pounds, 6 ounces

I'm pretty sure that none of those will come true, but time will tell! The one interesting thing that she said was that when the contractions come, for every one, I just need to say YES! She said that will just help open me up and move things along. Even if I have to shout it, I should shout YES! Considering that I am trying to focus on surrendering to the work my body is doing instead of fighting, I think that this was some good advice and a neat way to look at it. Definitely not the normal conversation with a stranger about being pregnant!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Just Because It's Not New Doesn't Mean It's Not News

After we had a large tropical storm hit Houston that put much of the city underwater, I realized how quickly the news moves on. We did relief efforts with our church some five months after, and people were still living in filth and mold. But you never heard about this, not even in Houston. It's even easier to move on when you're not nearby, and though the news is still talking somewhat about Haiti, it's very easy to forget that the relief efforts are really still just beginning. Here's a link if you want to help via World Vision, a great organization that is working all the time in countries around the world. You can sponsor a child in Haiti or simply donate to the efforts.

Drive-By Eater

Did I mention that Rob coined a phrase for Sawyer's eating habits? It's perfect--he's a drive-by eater. Which means, basically, that he's too busy to be confined in a chair to really eat, so if you leave things where he can reach them, he'll run by while playing and grab a bite, then go back to play. Then stop by for another bite, then back to play. It makes much more of a mess and means meal times are kind of a long graze, but you know, if that's how he works, that's how he works. Currently he's grabbing bites of egg and fig newton and puffs while playing with trains and copters. My wild, busy little man.

Thankful Morning

Today's just kind of a nice, normal Saturday morning. Except that it's cold, which is making me want to build a fire in the center of my living room and curl up next to it. Other than that, Rob is here working on his talk for tomorrow night's youth group. I've been drinking coffee, reading, and watching Sawyer play. Sawyer is playing with trains and copters and barns by himself nearby--stopping every so often to take a bite of eggs that I've left for him on the table.

It's just a normal morning, nothing extraordinary, but I'm feeling just so thankful for our little life. I'm content. With the things we have and the comforts of warm house and food and coffee. But more with the relationships--with my fun and wonderful husband and fun and wonderful son. Even our dog is great. Some days it's easy to enjoy without really thinking much about it, but this morning, I'm aware and watchful and thinking about how grateful I am for the great and wonderful small life God has given us.

Friday, January 29, 2010

You Call That a Pan?

The other week, while perusing Target's bargain bins, I came across these silicone pans. One is a heart-shaped cake pan and the one below is a muffin pan. They were $2.50 each, and I thought that was pretty fantastic. I had never used this kind of pan, and think they're really weird, since they're basically floppy soft stuff. But $2.50! And I'm all about the themed stuff, like the heart cake. I tried out the muffin pan (pan seems like such the wrong word for these smushy things!) this morning and loved it! The muffins were perfect, and unlike my stupid metal muffin pans, easy to clean. You can turn it inside out and really scrub it--amazing! The only odd part was getting it in the oven when there was liquid-y batter and the whole thing basically folds in on itself. It was also a little weird getting it out, and then for whatever reason, I assumed since it wasn't metal it wouldn't be hot, and burned my finger. Just a little! Nothing like my other pregnancy burns. Overall, I give it an A. Did I mention that they were $2.50? I'm excited about making some kind of Valentines Cake and maybe cookies, since the bargain bins also had super cheap decorative sets of sprinkles and things for V-Day. I'm not really into that holiday, but I love making cookies and holidays always give you an excuse. If anyone is looking for fun ideas or neat, cheap pans, head over to Target and check that bargain area near the front of the store!

Weird Blog World

Are you aware that there is a crazy blogging world out there? My blog is fairly normal. It's mostly about being a parent. Our life, and sometimes the larger world outside. There are a lot of these "mommy" blogs. There are also craft blogs, spiritual blogs, fashion blogs, entertainment blogs, sports blogs, etc etc. Lately, though, I've been loving the random blogs. Here are a few that I just think are weird or hilarious or just plain WHAT?

Sleep Talkin Man: I already posted about this one. Basically just what this one British dude says at night, as transcribed by his wife.

Putting Weird Things in Coffee: Exactly what it sounds like. This person puts odd stuff in coffee and then tries it. Like eggs. And salmon cream cheese.

Overheard in New York: This one is stuff people send in that they've overheard in New York. I love things out of context.

Postcards from Yo Momma: People send in random correspondences from their mothers. I once submitted something and it made it up there. It was awesome. But my Mom didn't like it when I told her.

Passive Aggressive Notes: This is a bunch of photos people compile of passive aggressive or just ridiculous notes and signs. Having seen many such notes in my real life (and maybe having left a few), I love this.

Awkward Family Photos: The title says it all.

The Oatmeal: One guy making odd cartoons to illustrate things like the appeal of Twilight, or the most commonly misspelled words. Odd and very funny.

There are tons more that I enjoy and look at when I need a laugh or just a break from reality. Feel free to share your favorite blogs, whether serious, random, or hilarious. I'm always up for new ways to waste time--er, I mean, have down time.

Ham and Cheese Saw-which


This is what Sawyer said and did when I whipped out a camera yesterday. Can I say ham and cheese?

Movie Date

Here are my boys! Sawyer has branched out from Wallace and Gromit to watching movies like Shrek. This morning, Rob and Saw hung out on the couch and watched Shrek 3. I'm pretty sure Sawyer doesn't "get" it, but he definitely likes to laugh when Robbie does. :)

Baby Announcements

With Sawyer, we never sent out baby announcements. I meant to, but was planning on kind of putting them together myself with some neat watercolor backgrounds I made ahead of time. Of course, once we had Sawyer and had photos of him, I realized that without a program like photoshop or illustrator, putting it together was going to be next to impossible. Instead we sent Christmas cards, which we almost never do, and kind of let that double, even though Sawyer was 7 months old by then.

This time, I definitely want to send announcements. I've been advised that getting this in order (or at least figuring out what you want) before baby helps ensure that you actually send them out once you have baby and have photos. I've done a little online searching but thought I'd ask for suggestions if anyone has a good, AFFORDABLE company to get these cards printed. So far, the best I've found is vistaprint, which offers 10 cards for something like $5. Not too shabby, and the cards are cute. The real start of the show is not the card, but the baby, so I'm okay if they're not the most amazing or original things ever. I just want to actually DO it this time! Let me know if you've good experiences with any particular company!

Just Plain Bad Sleeping

Last week I chalked Sawyer's night wakings up to him not being 100%. Now, I think he's just in the habit, and it's making me nuts. It's hard to go from having a kid who sleeps all night for 12-13 hours to one that wakes up 1-3 times a night and wants to wake up at like 6am. What happened? And how do we get back to where we were? Mommy's tired and about to have to wake up every few hours to feed a baby...I don't want to be waking up for my big boy, too!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Like The Oatmeal. Oh, and the Breakfast Is Pretty Good, Too.

Twice today I found random people linking to this site called The Oatmeal. It's totally random and weird and hilarious, and I think you should go check it out if you need a laugh and want to see cartoon dolphins getting punched in the face.

The Runner Cruises

video
I've posted a few pictures of Sawyer using his new bicycle that Rob got for him. It's pretty nifty, and Sawyer has enjoyed it, even though he's so short we had to take off the seat. The point of the bike, called a runner, is to help kids learn balance so that they can learn to ride a real bike easier, and without training wheels. It's also a nice step up from a big wheel in that time period before the big boy bike. He took to it really well, but in the last day, really figured it out. The point is for them to push off with their feet, and then to lift their feet and kind of cruise, which is what really helps give them the balance for a real bicycle. Today, to both Rob's and my shock, he totally figured it out. Even without a bicycle seat, even though he's still not even two years old, Sawyer has begun to master the art of bike riding. You only get to see a few seconds of it here, because I was also holding the dog and his leash clotheslined Sawyer just after the video stopped. I saw it coming and was trying to stop it, hence the shortness of the video. Don't worry, he didn't fall off and just kept on going after I untangled him.

Daddy's Magic Touch

While Sawyer and I definitely have a bond, there is something about Rob that I can't quite compete with.  (Not that it's a competition.)  Lately, Sawyer has been testing me with things, especially bedtime things.   Naps have been fine, but the last several nights, he has pitched tantrums when I've tried to put him down.  All seems to be going well...and then--BAM!  The same thing when he wakes up in the night, which he's been doing for a week or more since he wasn't quite 100%.

Last night, for example, he woke up at 3am.  I let him cry for a few minutes, and seeing as he wasn't going back down, I went in.  I gave him his bottle, told him I was there and to lie down, but he just got louder and more upset.  I finally went back for reinforcements, and literally (I do mean literally, by the way) within 10 seconds of Rob going in there, it was quiet.  He came back to bed about two minutes later and I asked, "What the heck did you do?"  His answer:  "I told him to lie down and that I was there."  Funny, that's the same thing I did, but it didn't work.

Tonight, another hissy fit at bedtime.  Rob happened to be out, and I felt like Sawyer just needed to cry, since he was being angry and rebellious.  He still wasn't asleep when Rob got home, and so Rob went in and started reading to him (he keeps the light off and uses a caving headlamp).  Within one minute, silence.  Again--didn't I just try that??  Yup.  And it didn't work.

Sometimes, there's just something about DADDY.

Cool New Carrier


While I'm looking forward to using my sling again with the Beast and Rob will don his beloved Bjorn, I thought the Cybex 2.Go Carrier looked really nifty.  It is different in that it distributes the weight to your hips, not shoulders, and can be backward-facing, forward-facing, or serve as a backpack.  I can't be sure, but it also looks like the part where baby's bottom rest forms more of a seat, which provides better spinal support and alignment than carriers like the Bjorn, which rest the child on his or her crotch.  Though I personally think the sling (particularly Sling-EZee) is perfection, I'm all about the baby-wearing in whatever form it takes!  If anyone has seen or tried this one, let me know how you liked it!

Help Me, Help You

Lately I've been trying to teach Sawyer to ask for help rather than just get frustrated and scream or cry if he can't get something to work the way he wants or can't reach something or otherwise needs a hand.  The funny thing is that I hadn't been paying much attention to HOW I was teaching him this...until he started asking for help like this:  "Help you?  Help you?"

Some of the time I will tell him, "Don't freak out.  Just say, 'mommy, help me.'"  But more frequently, I've been saying, "Do you need me to help you?"  Apparently enough that he's picked up just the last part of that, which is pretty funny.

The cool thing about him is that he's actually become quite the little helper.  Not always, but I've found that now he understands the concept of helping (even if he's still nailing down the vocab).  Yesterday, while I was picking up sidewalk chalk, he basically ignored me when I asked him to pick some up.  But, when I said, "Sawyer, help me!  Help me!"  he ran right over and picked up every bit of chalk.  Just one more thing to add to my Mommy bag of tricks.

Consignment Super Sale!

If you live in Houston, Young and Restless Consignment Boutique in the Heights is having a moving/garage sale this Saturday.  They have some great deals and also sell new and used cloth diapers.  Click here to visit their newly updated side!   I did not find the info on the site, though, so here you go:

Saturday, January 30
9am-4pm
2505 Ella Blvd



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Moon!


Unfortunately, the moon disappears from this photo, but Sawyer loves to try and find it.  He also now, thanks to Rob and Wallace & Gromit, thinks the moon is made of cheese.  Often, he'll say, "Moon!" and then, "Cheese.  Rocket."

Poop Is the Theme of Today

I don't know what was up with Sawyer's system today, but there were like five poops before noon.  Maybe that's why he slept so badly the night before?  Anyway.  It kind of made poop the theme for today.

First, he pooped in the bathtub with Rob, which resulted in draining the tub and then taking a SECOND bath to clean up.  Next he did a regular old cloth diaper poop with me, and since it was during breakfast and he was super messy from that, I let him bathe in the kitchen sink, where he pooped AGAIN.  He did try to warn me though, but I never know when he's saying "poop" if he means he's about to go, he did go, or if he just felt like saying it.  Now I know.

There were a few more regular kinds, and then one really gross poop-related moment near the end of the day.  I had shaken out the cloth diaper with poo in it into our bushes (the green people have to love that!) and stuck it in the bag that I keep the diapers in until washing.  It was hanging on the back of the doorknob, and before I realized what was happening, Sawyer had reached in (this one is drawstring, not zip--always go for the zip), taken out the insert, and was using it to wipe his nose.  GROSS! GROSS! GROSS!  Thankfully, the afternoon and evening were poop-free.  I really needed a break after that.

Outdoor Neighborly Fun

I really enjoy our street. We have four little girls that are three and under, one two-month old boy, and another little boy due right after our Beast. The last few afternoons have been lovely, and so we've had some impromptu play dates in the front yards.  Sawyer loves it, and things that put him in a good mood and get some of that energy out are also things that I love.  Here are a few photos from today.


Photo of the Day


That's just pretty.

My Buddy

Do you remember those creepy My Buddy dolls from the 80s?  I can still sing the whole song, so it must have been a darn good jingle.  We used to use my brother's My Buddy to sit in a chair in our TV room with the TV on when we went out at night, so that burglars might think someone was home.  I guess it worked, because we didn't get robbed.  Or else thieves thought families who left a My Buddy in a chair in front of the TV probably didn't have good stuff to steal.

But I digress.   I wanted to talk about Sawyer, and how much I am enjoying these last weeks with him before the Beast arrives.  Tonight, we snuggled on the couch with my super comfy Urban Outfitters zebra blanket that I've had for years, watching American Idol and eating Chex Mix out of the bag.  I know that he's not even two yet, but Sawyer really does have a personality that makes him someone I can hang out with.  We had fun, feeding each other Chex and yay-ing or boo-ing the singing hopefuls.  Mostly Sawyer boos, probably because he knows it makes me laugh.  

There are times where he makes me nuts, like bedtime tonight, which I won't even get into, or when he has to be busy-busy-busy at the times when I feel like collapsing on the couch.  But so much of the time, I actually enjoy him. We hang out.  We have fun.  (And please do not read into this that I am one of those parents that sees their kids as friends rather than children--I am very aware of the authority structure in our relationship and so is he.)  I don't know how all this will change with the Beast, or how the Beast will be compared to Sawyer in terms of personality.  I'm definitely looking forward to the expansion of our family, but I am also relishing every moment I get like tonight with Sawyer.

Trust Me, That's NOT Daddy

Though Sawyer is very aware of who Daddy is, and lights up whenever he gets home from work or we go meet him somewhere, every so often he refers to other men as Daddy.  Example:  The other morning while walking through a parking lot, Sawyer spotted a rather large hispanic man asleep in his car.  Sawyer pointed and said, "Daddy!"  Not so much.

Often this happens at the gym, where we do actually meet Rob sometimes.  But the funniest thing is the expression on men's faces when they hear Sawyer calling them Daddy.  There is this look of utter panic and denial, as though they want to fully assure me that there is no way they are the father.  As if I wouldn't know.  I'm not sure if this is just a paranoid thing, where they fear me somehow calling on them for child support, or if it's just embarrassing, but I personally find it hilarious to watch them freak out.  Maybe Sawyer does too, and that's why he keeps doing it.  :)

Sick Sleeping

Sawyer has been sleeping poorly for the last week or so, mainly due to some mild health things.  He had a little bit of a cough, and then threw up once a day (or twice) for five days with no other symptoms.  At night, he'd wake up one or two times screaming like he was really bothered or in pain.   The night before last, I thought we were on the mend, since he only woke up once, fairly early in the evening and then slept until almost 8am.  And then we hit last night.

After a long, full day of school and playing with cousins, Rob put him down around 7:30 or 8pm.  By 11, he'd already woken up twice.  It's funny as a parent how you can sort of feel out the reasons, at least to some degree, or rule some things out.  He didn't want to get up and play and was still super tired, but at the same time, couldn't seem to stop crying, and when I picked him up, he really clung to me.  All signs of not feeling good.

So after the second time, I decided that rather than risk having to get up every hour, we'd bring him into bed with us.  He went to sleep really easily and stayed asleep all night, which was wonderful.  He definitely gets his sleep habits from Rob.  I was warned to watch out before I got married because he might accidentally maim me in the night with all his thrashing.  I feel I've gotten off lucky with only one punch to the face.  Sawyer slept mostly upside down, with his feet up on a pillow on and his head on Rob's legs.  But he shifted and moved and wiggled around maybe every hour.  So not the best sleep for me, but still preferable to getting up twenty times.  The biggest downside was that he woke up--and I mean WOKE UP--at 5am.  It's not Tuesday, and I'm not ashamed to confess I put on a movie and went to sleep on the couch while he watched and played.  Today is definitely a survival day, though we've had a nice morning, and Rob got up at 7 so I could have a brief nap.  Let's just hope that little man gets over this whatever so that he can sleep through the night again.  I miss that, and I know our time for that is really short...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday Confessions: I Hate These Confessions

Not really.  But kind of.  I have this sort of oh no feeling every time I realize it's Tuesday and I have installed this Tuesday Confessions feature.  I do hear from people each week, whether on comments or emails, that they appreciate me revealing my own weaknesses to help them feel better about their own.  So I guess I can be self-deprecating if it's encouraging to you...I guess?  The oh no feeling is more because Tuesday always rolls around and I don't know what to confess.  Hm.  Maybe it would help if you started confessing things to me in the comments on Tuesdays. Then I could feel encouraged to confess, and we could just keep going in the circle of life.

So.  Today's confession: At our house, we eat food off the floor.  Or the driveway.  Or, if it happens to fall there, a parking lot.  This should tell you a lot about my lack of germ fears.  Especially since I really don't clean my floors very often.  I kind of feel like it helps boost my immunity and Sawyer's.  We are not, after all, sick very much.

How much respect did I just lose?

Sawyer Quote of the Day

When we were leaving Rob's parent's house today, Lynn told Sawyer to say goodbye to his (much older) cousins.  His response, "Bye, kids!"

Labor Necklace




Here is a shot of the finished labor necklace that came out of my Baby Blessing.  Each woman brought a bead or a few that had special meaning, and Lynn strung them all together and added a ribbon and clasps.  I never though all the different beads would make something that looked like it fit together, and yet somehow, this turned out beautiful and looks intentional.  I love it!  During labor, the plan is to keep it near and be reminded of the various well-wishes, prayers, and meanings behind each bead.  Such a cool idea with a beautiful result!   Thanks everyone and thanks Lynn for making it all work together!

What I've Been Doing in the Real World

I haven't been blogging much, have I?  I suppose I owe you an explanation.  I've been away from the computer, doing real things, like watching Sawyer play with his cousins and walking outside in the super nice weather.  The real world!  It's kind of nice out there, actually.  Trumps the internet world, though I like this one too.  I will work on some pictures (or I know I'll be hearing from you, Mom!) and some fun posts. If you're bored, realize that in the next few weeks we'll be having a baby and you'll get to read all about it.  So forgive me if I'm a little boring now... :)

Sawyer's Midnight Requests

Sawyer's been waking up a lot this week during the night.  I find the things he says really amusing when I go in there to comfort him.  Here's what I'm likely to hear:

"Out?"
"Bottle?"
"Wallace?"
"Monkey?"
"Bus?"
"YES!"

I think that about summed up last night's requests.  What he got instead was Mommy holding him tight and rocking him back to sleep.  He didn't ask for anything else, so I guess Mommy trumps everything else?  YES!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Last Few Hours!

It's the last few hours of the Baby Drop Contest!  I will take your guesses until midnight, Texas time.  (Which I think is CST.  But whatever--Texas time sounds better.)  Click here to post your guess and enter to win 100 free digital prints!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Morning (and Evening) Sickness

I'm surprisingly not talking about myself here, as I am blessed with the ability to miss out on nausea during pregnancy.  I am speaking of Sawyer, who has thrown up the last three mornings and again tonight.  The crazy thing is that I really don't think he's sick.  I've discovered that he has a fairly easy-to-trigger gag reflex, which is exacerbated by any form of even mild cough or runny nose.  So if he's even the tiniest bit congested and cries, he's liable to puke everywhere.  That's my theory for what's going on with him this week, since he otherwise seems fine and is eating normally (well, for him).  But I will say that cleaning up stinky throw-up is not on my list of favorite things.  Thankfully, three of the four times, it's been on our tile floor and only once in his bed.  But I'm definitely ready to have him recover--for his sake and mine.

Coupon Classes for You Elitist Bargain Hunters

I will be the first to admit that I HATE coupons.  I throw away those inserts you get in your mailbox, and we don't get the paper.  I roll my eyes when someone in front of me pulls out a stack to hand to the checkout person.  It's just not my thing.

However.

I am cheap.  And since several friends of mine attended a coupon class in the fall, hearing about their constant savings of $50-100 each time they go to the grocery store has given me pause.  If I am as much of a bargain hunter as I claim, I cannot continue to ignore coupons.  Especially when I love food and constantly feel like the grocery bill is one place I cannot seem to save money or skimp, even if I'm buying only the sale items.

There is a trick to coupon-ing.  Or, maybe several.  I'm not sure.  But I am about to find out, as I plan to take a coupon class held by these same friends in Houston.  I wanted to post the information, so that if you're as intrigued as I am about how you can save bunches of money in some secret coupon fashion, then check out the info on these classes!  If you want to sign up, click here and check out the sidebar.  Here is the information, and I'll be sure to post my thoughts after I attend.  Each class is limited to 10 people, so sign up quickly!


Get ready to learn how to save your family thousands!
What: Couponing Class led by Ana Good and assisted by Kristen Albaugh
Where: Ana Good’s home (Memorial/West Chase area in Houston)
When: Saturday, February 6th or Saturday, March 20th
Time: 1-4pm (that’s right, 3 hours chocked full of information)
Cost: $25 (you can easily save MORE than this on your first grocery run – we did!)
Sign up on Ana's blog


I was skeptical but quickly realized this is real savings that puts real cash in your hand - in the first 3 shopping trips since she took the class, my wife saved over $200 and the food was normal stuff!!” – Freddie Albaugh


What the Last Month of Pregnancy Is Like: Realist Version

It's like your body is finally and completely not yours anymore, but held hostage by the little person inside. People stop talking about a glow and start talking about swelling, or twins, or how tired you look.  You are now the object of strangers' stares in the grocery stores.  You may frighten small children.  People look surprised to see you when you go out.  Men look mostly horrified.  You are not so unlike the bearded lady.

You are down to a handful of clothing items which actually fit.  You are really tired of these items, and of the constant laundry you must do to keep them clean.  Pajamas are your favorite friend.

Your skin has stretched so tightly that it feels like it may split.  You are itchy.  You begin to wonder how all of this is going to magically go back to where it was, or if it ever will.  Many movements are now pain-inducing, and getting in and out of bed is a small miracle each time.  You feel heavy and puffy and don't always recognize the face in the mirror.  The bathroom may be the most common room of the house in which you may be found.  Places you never knew you had now ache.  

With every kick, tightening, and movement, you wonder--is this it?  Mostly false alarms.  You continue to wait each day expectantly, though each day you may think you cannot possibly wait any longer.  You cannot wait to have the discomforts disperse and to meet the little person who has been bruising your ribs, but you also know that to do so, you must go through a process that will completely rock your body and bring you to your knees.  

You are unable to control most any of these things, and so...you wait.  

What the Last Month of Pregnancy Is Like: Metaphor Version

It's kind of like the anticipation of waiting for one of the most important and significant people in your life (whom you have not yet met properly) to arrive at an undisclosed time and date for an permanent stay.  When will they come?  What will they be like?  How will they feel about you and your family and your home?  What will they look like?  How will everything change forever in that instant they arrive?  What will their arrival be like?

You want to have your house clean and ready, for things to be in order.  You want to have what this new little person will need and want, and you can only really make guesses as to what those things are.  You want to have your heart prepared for their imminent arrival, and also to enjoy every moment of the time before they come.  You want everything to be perfect.  You want to be ready.

You can't wait.

Two More Days of Baby Dropping!

If you haven't already entered, I'm running a Baby Drop Contest with 100 digital prints from Snapfish as a prize.  Click here to read the rules and enter.   It closes Monday, so you have today and tomorrow!

Things to Do When You're Awake All Night

-post on your blog
-play Wordscraper on facebook
-eat a breadbowl (without the soup in it)
-listen to fun, new music
-write in your pregnancy journal
-respond to emails long overdue
-read back through what you were doing at this time in your LAST pregnancy
-re-read your birth story
-go back to bed

What I'm Listening to Now


It's been forever since I've bought new music, kind of for the same reason I don't buy new glasses and never go to the dentist.  Also, I'm cheap.  Which is really a shame, since I love music.  Recently, while exploring iTunes, I came across this fantastic album:  "Still Crooked" by Crooked Still.  It takes me back to our days in North Carolina, where great bluegrass and folk was all around us.  Not that I can't find that here, but in Greensboro, there were smaller venues with loads of this type of music with easy access.  Plus Merlefest, which is amazing.  In any case, Crooked Still has been around for some time, though it seems they went through some big changes before this album, so I'll have to see how I like the earlier ones.  They remind me of The Wailing Jennys, whom I also hold dear.  Some original songs and some traditional ones they've found and made their own.  Great instrumentation, lovely ethereal vocals.  Plus, I love that they recorded it in a big room with everyone playing, which I think is a really authentic way to record this genre.  If you want to check out more about the band, you'll find their site here.

New Specs!

On Friday I received a long-awaited package in the mail--a new pair of eyeglasses! I almost never wear glasses, this mostly because the one pair I have is the wrong prescription and I also kind of sat on them, so they're crooked and don't really fit. Kind of annoying. I'd been wanting new ones forever and just hadn't done anything about it, sort of the same way I never go to the dentist when I should. It's on my list of to-do-but-never-gets-done.

If any of you are in that same boat and in the market for new prescription glasses, definitely check out GlassesUSA. That's where these super-cute and super-affordable specs I'm sporting came from. I like them so much that I haven't been wanting to wear my contacts. I keep asking Rob, "Aren't these glasses great? Don't I look, like, really cute?" I'm pretty sure he agrees not just because I'm backing him into a corner with my loaded questions--everyone knows that you smile and nod at whatever the pregnant lady says, and reassure her at any cost about how she looks. But honestly, I'm a huge fan. And they are super affordable, but don't feel or seem any cheaper than the fairly pricey old glasses that I have.

The site has tons of eyeglass frames to choose from. The only downside to ordering online is not being able to actually try on the glasses, but you can select and compare a few frames to get a general idea. Plus, whenever I do that trying-on thing in person, I just get confused because they all start to look the same after a while. This was my first online pair, and I have no regrets! The company is great too--any returned glasses are donated to organizations that provide eyeglasses to people who can't afford vision care around the world. Pretty nifty. If you're interested in ordering, you can click any of the links in this post and use the code Mommy5 for 5% off the already affordable prices.

Speaking of Not Sleeping...

I am awake here at 3:09, and have been for oh, two hours. I was in bed for most of them, then got tired of being awake but too huge and uncomfortable to really toss and turn the way normal people do when you can't sleep. Sawyer woke up for a few minutes but conked right back out, thankfully. This hasn't been his best week of sleep. I have heartburn, contractions, and a baby that is doing weird, slow stretches in there. Plus cats in heat in the backyard. What else could I possibly hope for??

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Creatures

The term "creatures" always makes me think of my friend Lydie and freshman year of college, when our dorm had flying roaches. This was in Virginia, but they were very similar to Texas roaches. Gross and huge. Lately, we've been infested in our house with various creatures and it's making me nuts. We've had rats off and on in the attic, and can't figure out how they get in. I realized a few weeks ago we had them, as they had come down and eaten through my bag of whole wheat flour, which promptly when into the garbage. We put out traps up and downstairs and I even talked Rob into the expensive electronic trap. The weird thing is that I've heard them up there once or twice, but they haven't been back downstairs (trust me, you KNOW when rats have been in your kitchen), but they have eaten nothing from the traps anywhere so we can't figure out if they left again, or we just can't catch them.

Now we have moths in our pantry, which someone told me are breeding in our old flour or somewhere. But I cleaned the pantry this week and couldn't find any sign of them--grr. So I kill about five a day and can't find the source. I'm am so OVER having creatures in my house. Especially with a new baby coming--it would nice to be creature-free. Sigh.

Now, THAT'S a Nap.

Sawyer has been waking up super early for him the last two days (think: 6am rather than his old 8am), which has made for some long naps. He's got a bit of a cough, and whenever he gets a cough, he tends to throw up. Stinking mucous! This morning, unfortunately, it was in his bed. When I put him down this afternoon, something woke him up only an hour into the nap, and I knew he needed more, so I brought him into my bed, as I meant to take a nap and hadn't yet. He slept for an hour with me, and then I thought it was all over when he sat up and opened his eyes. He looked at me, looked at Tex, and then crashed like this. Aw! And no worries--we took our bed off the frame this week to make it easier for pregnant me and post-labor me, so it's very low. How cute is this?

A Baby Blessing for Me!

Today, Denise threw a baby blessing for me and the Beast. If you have never been to one, a baby blessing celebrates the mother and baby in a way that is a little different than a simple shower with gifts. I really didn't want a baby shower per se, as they're usually focused on gifts, and we don't NEED anything. This was a really neat time, and intentionally very small. I wish my mom and aunts, sisters in law, and best friends from out of town could have been here (and you, Kelly, with the flu!), but I was glad to have it at a time where Rob's sister Sandi and her daughter Katelynn could be here from Costa Rica. Everyone gave me a bead with special meaning from spiritual to things I love which will go on a labor necklace I can wear or keep nearby during labor. There were also gifts, focused both on pampering me, the mommy, and on the little one to come. We ate delicious food (pictured are Denise's chicken and shrimp wraps--yum!) and everyone prayed for the Beast's health, safe arrival, and for family adjustments. We talked about labor and baby stories and had a really special time. Thanks, everyone!

The Safety Dance

I'm at 36 weeks today, so will be dancing to "The Safety Dance" all day, since I'm now in the clear with my midwife for home birth. Now watch me have to wait a full four more weeks after this week's labor scares...

Rocket Ship! I Mean, Shirt.

Last night, I had some groceries and random birthing supplies to buy (think: bread and gauze squares), so I headed over to Walmart. Walking by the kids' section, I found these adorable shirts for $3.50. Sawyer is sporting this one with his favorite new thing--a rocket! I also bought one with a submarine. For $3.50, I'll buy about anything, and now that it's getting warmer, his short-sleeved shirts from the fall and last summer are a little small. In other news, I don't think Sawyer will make it as a male model, since this is the face he makes whenever I whip out the camera.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Savoring the Moments

My friend Molly and I were emailing this week, which is always a treat, and moreso because she's due like a week before me. This will be her first and is a little boy, and I couldn't be happier for them. One of the things we talked about was how we're both trying to savor these last weeks or days as things are. She's in the place that Rob and I were in before Saw--cherishing those last moments of total freedom as parents without kids. Not that you're suddenly tied down by having a child, but things like bedtimes, the volume of music, dates nights, or random road trips must necessarily change. It definitely was a change, and hard at times to see those things go, but I remember how close I felt to Rob in a new way in those first few weeks with Sawyer. It was totally new and amazing and definitely changed our relationship for the better. The first time we took a real baby-free vacation, I kept looking in the backseat for Sawyer. Yes, it was great to have that alone time again, but it was like there was something--someone--missing. And always will be.

Now it's less the relationship with Rob that will change, though it will too, but the one with Sawyer. He's had almost two years as the only child, getting all of our love and attention. He hasn't had to share, except with cousins and friends for temporary periods of times. That applies to toys and also things like Mommy's lap. We've had a great time with him, and now every time I put him to bed, I relish it, knowing that it may be one of the last times I put him to bed as my only child. I know it will be a hard adjustment for him at firs,t and I feel for him, since he won't fully understand. But I do believe that it will be a blessing and a change that will ultimately be a great thing--in the same way that having him changed Rob and I for the better. I know these last times are precious, but the first ones will be, too.

The Logs


The Logs, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Recently, as we were cleaning out things in our house, we found my old Lincoln Logs. They are true children of the 80s. (I'm a child of 1977--the year of Jaws and Star Wars, which explains a lot about me.) Sawyer and Rob sat down in little chairs at the train table for some play time. Sawyer thought they were drumsticks, but Rob taught him the ways of log-cabin-building. Sawyer still preferred the drumsticks.

Watering the Dog


IMG_7970, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

The weather outside is FINALLY back to Texas weather. 70 or so degrees, sunny. Lovely. The hard part is that I need to be kind of taking it easy for the next day or so, and it's otherwise very hard to keep up with my little man outside. Thankfully Robbie was home, so after he took the boys around the whole block with the bicycle ("Our speed was 1/2 mile per hour," he said), we all hung out in the front yard putting leaves into bags and playing. (Thanks Sandi and Kevin and Colin for raking!) I even got to use the blower! Lots of fun.

You'll Know When You KNOW

I have reached that point now where it's way too easy to have every little thing make you think you're going into labor. I'm pretty sure I never really questioned whether I was going into labor early with Sawyer, so this is kind of new for me. With him, the day I went into labor, I had a huge, grumpy tantrum and basically ticked off or hurt the feelings of everyone around me, that they all just left me alone. And I had a nice, quiet afternoon planting stuff (which all just died in this latest frost, thank you) and laying around the pool. I had a kind of odd feeling, and kept wondering, and by dinnertime, was pretty sure that it was labor. Not sure enough to call the midwife, but enough to charge the camera batteries. When I lost my mucous plug and was having contractions less than every five minutes, I was sure. So it started with an odd feeling, and then time made it clear.

This week I have not felt like myself. I don't know if I'm just tired in the third-trimester woes, or a little under the weather, but I have felt super grumpy and tired and just kind of eh. And after Cathy checked me, I'm aware of the fact that I have progressed. Yes, I could stay this way for another month. But I also could be moving towards meeting the Beast. That's the thing with labor--you just don't know until you KNOW. Which involves waiting.

Yesterday I felt icky all day--tired and grumpy and needing a nap. The fact that I needed a nap tells you something--I hate naps. Contractions actually woke me up from the nap, and I was feeling crampy and headachey too. I skipped out on my niece's birthday party because of this, and took a hot lavender bath with a small glass of wine because I was having a lot of contractions. That was relaxing, but here's my contraction count later that night:

9:07
9:12
9:14
9:18
9:21
9:24
9:26

See? That's a lot. None were hard enough that I had to stop what I was doing or anything and they were hard to pay attention to because they were just tightenings, really. But when you really want a home birth and are a few days away from the date you need, it gives you pause. Especially since I wasn't doing anything at this point, just sitting or lying down, and it was AFTER the relaxing bath. The problem, again, is that you just don't KNOW until you KNOW. So it was a matter of waiting.

I left a message with my midwife letting her know what was going on and that I hoped they would fizzle out. I warned my parents, since they're not here and would have to jump on a plane. I washed baby clothes, just in case, so that now they're all ready and folded under the bassinet we're borrowing from our friendly neighbor. (Okay, they're halfway folded and I'll put them away when I post this.) We watched Conan and went to bed. I didn't sleep well--dreams and needing to pee and contractions kept waking me, and I felt pretty nauseous all night. A heating pad on my back helped me sleep, at least until Sawyer, who has a sudden cough (and threw up in the kitchen floor this morning), woke me up at 6ish. Groan.

So I made it through the night and still don't feel like myself, but am not having any stronger contractions, so am just trying to take it easy and wait it out. It gets so hard at this point--I could have the baby tomorrow or in a month. You just don't know. Until you DO. Isn't that the deepest of deep thoughts? I feel very peaceful, but this is when the waiting really sets in and let's be honest--who's really good at waiting??

India Midwives and Medics Help Out Haiti

My friend Stacy is in India right now, volunteering at Yayasan Bumi Sehat, which is a non-profit, village-based organization of dedicated families, midwives, doctors, nurses, teachers, construction builders and volunteers from countries around the world. With preparation from previous work with tsunami and earthquake victims in Indonesia, Bumi Sehat has sent a team to Haiti to aid with short-term needs, with the long-term goal of establishing a clinic for women. If you want to read more, check their blog!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Note to Corporate Packagers

Dear Sir or Madam,
When you add those annoying little plastic tabs that anchor socks together in a pack, it is very difficult for the consumer to remove these without damaging the product. For example, the baby socks that I unwrapped to wash for the first time today are now unravelling. You may consider saving yourself the cost, the environment the waste, and me the headache of trying to undo these plastic tab things. I do not like them.
Thank you.

If You Need a Good Guffaw

Thanks to Ginny for sending me the link to a new hilarious site. Basically, Sleep Talking Man is one woman's record of the things her husband says every night when he talks in his sleep. Jenna, you should really appreciate this. It's random and very funny.

**Not super family friendly, so be aware if language bothers you. But hey, he can't help it--he's asleep!

Alfalfa, Evening Primrose Oil, and Gentle Birth

One of the benefits of having a midwife is the holistic care that you receive. I know that my friends who are using doctors do get some advice about diet and prenatal care, but there are so many more helpful things that I feel like I'm learning and doing because of my midwife. Did you know, for example, that eating a healthy diet can help prevent pre-eclampsia or toxemia? Or that taking loads of alfalfa pills towards the end of pregnancy can help prevent hemorrhaging?

Currently, I'm taking prenatals, alfalfa, should start evening primrose oil, and this week started on a new supplement called Gentle Birth. ****According to the company, do NOT take primrose oil orally with Gentle Birth! See the comments.***The last of these is really interesting. It's a liquid that you add to water a few times a day and drink, and is supposed to result in less pain during labor and delivery, shorter and easier labor, lessen blood loss, and shorten recovery time post-partum. Sounds too good to be true, right? And what the heck IS it?

You can check out their website here, but according to the little flyer that I have, it contains things like organic red raspberry leaf, organic blessed thistle herb, responsibly wildcrafted squawvine herb, organic motherwart herb, and organic ginger root. Among other things. I don't even know what most of those things are. But I know that Cathy has seen a great result in her clients who have used it. Not everyone saw results, she said, but in the vast majority, there were many things that definitely seem to have direct correlation to this supplement. One client who had a hard first labor, ended up thinking she might be in her second labor because contractions were getting harder only to find she was already dilated to a 6 or 7. Others reported shorter labors that were easier and less painful. When I saw her yesterday, Cathy said one reason I could be progressing so nicely is because I started taking the Gentle Birth this week.

There's probably no scientific way to track exactly how much of an effect it has, but I'm pretty sure I'd rather take something three times a day that could potentially give me a shorter, easier, safer labor. Wouldn't you? If you're interested, check their site to order! Know that you should NOT start taking this until you're at least five weeks from your due date!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

When the Crib Your Child Is Sleeping in Right NOW Gets Recalled

Yes, that has happened to us. Or, IS happening. I just happened to see a post about a crib recall and would have skimmed through it since most of the recent recalls involve drop side cribs--except that there was a giant picture of Sawyer's crib with the article. It took me about ten minutes to locate the actual name of the crib to verify that it had, in fact, been recalled. Yup. Houston, we have a recall.

Here's the thing: the main reason for the recall is that the drop side cribs from this company have caused an actual death. The problem with our crib is that there have been some cases of slats breaking and children getting bruised. I understand the need to be overly careful with recalls, especially with cases that have resulted in serious injury or death. But Rob and I are thinking that our crib was lumped in there to be super careful, not because Sawyer is in real danger.

It's hard with these recalls. I know a few months ago when Maclaren had their big recall, I kept seeing (and maybe, just a little, judging) women I'd see at the zoo and mall walking recalled strollers. But there are times where you have to make a judgment call. When it's not something that will definitely harm your child, or only has the potential to harm your child if you're not supervising them correctly. I remember reading blog posts where women said they loved their strollers and weren't getting rid of them, despite the loss of children's fingers in the joints, because if they were being careful, their children's fingers weren't near the stroller when it was being folded.

We may order the free replacement kit for our crib, but honestly, I have no idea what that will actually mean, since there's nothing wrong with our crib right now. I don't know what it would replace. Frankly, I'm glad this recall is happening, as I saw a special about several families whose babies were suffocated in drop side crib mishaps--something needs to be done to bring awareness if there is a danger. So, are we being dumb by keeping Saw in a recalled crib, even though it's just for a few kids who have been bruised??

Here is the link if you need to read up on this recall.

The Labor Chain of Communication

When I went into labor with Sawyer, I had a whole phone and email list of people to update. The only problem was that I never really gave anyone the job of calling or emailing. I guess I thought I'd just do it somehow. What happened instead is that I posted that I was in labor on the blog, and then no one heard from me for over 24 hours. So, people were definitely freaking out and didn't know who to call or how to get in touch with anyone.

This time around, I have a plan. Forget calling and emailing--this time around, my good friend Kelly is going to update via Facebook and the blog as she gets updates from the home front. Hopefully this will keep you all apprised of what's happening as the Beast decides to make his or her appearance. If you want to make sure you don't miss anything, you can subscribe to my feed here, which will email you when I post here. Or, just keep checking back in fifty times a day for the next unknown number of weeks! :)

Surprise Midwife Visit

So, this might have been better timed BEFORE the Baby Drop Contest, but I had a sort of sudden check-in with my midwife today. I'd been feeling kind of crampy the last two days, with contractions continuing, and also feeling a little bit of pressure. Since I'm not quite to the 36 week safe mark, she and I both wanted to just make sure that things weren't really moving too quickly.

The good news is that in three days I'll be at the 36 week mark, when Cathy can safely deliver at home, and she doesn't think that I'll go into labor before that. The other good news is that things are progressing! I'm very soft, effaced around 75%, dilated to maybe a 1 or just under, and the Beast is at a station zero.

What does this mean? It doesn't really predict when the Beast is going to arrive, as you can be dilated and effaced for quite some time without delivering. But things are progressing in a way that Cathy is happy with, and she did tell me to lay off of exercise and things for the next few days until I hit that 36-week mark. I don't want to hope for early baby and then feel time drag on, but it's nice to know that I'm probably not going to be two weeks late this time.

Last Trimester Cravings


MMMmmmeat, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

I feel like pregnancy comes for me with a milder case of all the normal symptoms. I don't really get morning sickness--only slight nausea if I don't eat every 2-3 hours. I have migraines sometimes, but this pregnancy I think the number was only three, which is very manageable. No heartburn or acid reflux. Pubic bone issues, sure, but I'd take those over throwing up every day for five months like some women I know.

Even the cravings are less. I mean, sure, there are times where I really want things, but I love food, so I kind of really want things a lot when I'm NOT pregnant too. Feeling like a carton of ice cream is not unusual for me in general. So most of the things I've wanted up until now are just normal ME things, I think.

But now we're in the third trimester. I remember with Sawyer, I went crazy for red meat. I ate hamburgers maybe every day or every other day for the last two or three weeks. For some people this might be normal. But Rob and I always joke (but it's not a joke) that I only eat one hamburger a year. Most of the time I think they're gross. And if I DO eat them, they must be GOOD. Rob makes the best homemade hamburgers in the world, and I loved them topped with things like sauteed mushrooms and avocados. I ate a few from Sweet Mesquite, which is very close, but would never have considered ordering something from a fast food place--that's not real meat.

The weird cravings have started to set in! Definitely red meat, as I bought a five pound tube of it the other week and cooked tons of things for now and for freezing. No burgers, though, and I'm regretting that, so I foresee burgers in the near future. Last week I cooked and ate an entire BAG of frozen broccoli for dinner. And I've been on a fresh green bean kick--mmm! I've also been gaga over fruit. Normal I like fruit, but I almost never think to buy it at the store because I don't miss it if it's not here. This week at HEB I had a love affair in the produce aisle. There were green things I saw that I couldn't even identify that I wanted to pick up and eat raw. And I really had to stop myself from cleaning out the fruit--the price of fresh fruit stopped me.

Forget cake and ice cream--bring on the red meat and produce!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nesting Overdrive

I am definitely in that home stretch before baby when I see everything possible in my house that needs to be done. Today, in addition to getting some great editing work in, I cleaned out two (or three) closets. The closet in what is now the nursery where Saw sleeps was full of storage and my art supplies. Since he can now climb out of the crib, things like superglue and paint aren't great for little men who eat things they shouldn't. All of those things are now neatly organized in the closet that's in the TV room. The empty space in the nursery now holds all the things for new baby: Saw's old clothes (in case we have a boy), pack and play, crib bumpers, baby toys, changing table pad, and my birth kit. Plus those itty bitty newborn diapers which, if the Beast is anything like Saw, will only fit for the first few days. :)

The closet in what will be Sawyer's big boy room now has a lot of empty space in it, ready for his clothes and whatever else. Now we just need a rug in that room and something to block him from climbing up to the top bunk (he can do this even without the ladder) and we'll be all set for that to be a play room! Next room up: the guest room. The room itself is okay (except for my bookshelves which I will happily ignore for now) but the closet has become a place where we throw things that we don't know what else to do with. So next chance I get, I'll be climbing in there and figuring out what all that stuff is, if we need to keep it, and how it can be stored in a better way.

Meanwhile, Rob has been doing a fantastic job organizing all of the stuff from our outside room as he preps to tile the floor and finish the walls. There is a bonus of storage space above that room in the garage, so I helped organize things into tubs so that he could hoist them up there. We are really starting to be organized and it's such a great feeling!

Baby Drop Prize!

If you missed it, I posted last night that I am holding a contest for the Beast's arrival date and time. The contest will be open until next Monday, and you can click here to see the rules and enter.

Now, as for the prize...The winner will receive 100 free 4X6 digital prints from Snapfish, redeemable via gift card. If you haven't used Snapfish, it's another online site like Flickr or Shutterfly where you can upload your photos and have them printed, or do otherwise fun things with them. You win the Baby Drop, and you will have 100 free prints--yippee! So go enter already!

Tuesday Confessions: Driving and Multi-Tasking

It's hard to find something to confess that doesn't fall into a category I've already talked about: the internet, TV, food, cleaning, parenting. But I found a new one! And this one may actually get me some serious flack...

Today's confession: I almost always drive while on the phone. (Peter, I'm sure you'll be the first one to call or comment on this.) I know I've read and heard statistics about how horrible this is. As bad as driving drunk, according to some study. Apparently. And maybe I'm on planet crazy, but I feel like sometimes I drive better when I'm on the phone, because I'm aware of the fact that I'm on the phone. So I check my mirrors more, I look around more carefully, because I know it's supposed to make me LESS aware. I overcompensate. Of course, I may think that's how I'm driving while in reality I am driving like a maniac, but I honestly don't think that's the case. It's just so easy to use that time in the car (which is a lot in a city like Houston) to get something else done, like a phone call to catch up with a friend.

I know I'm not alone, but I'm also fully prepared to be reprimanded. Go ahead. Tell me I'm being naive to think that other people are worse drivers while on the phone, but I'm the exception.

Foods to Collect Before Beast

As I'm reading through the different birthing materials tonight, I was thinking about things to have ready at home. Food is one of those things. I already baked lasagna and a mexican casserole, which are freezing, and my next-door-neighbor brought over frozen chicken-noodle soup. So, three cheers for post-Beast meals! Now, as for things to start collecting in case of labor...

-Sobe LifeWater: I love this stuff! But man, do I hate their site. Basically, this is water pumped full of vitamins and minerals, and some nice fruity taste without all the sugar. Great to have along with plain old water.
-Quiche: I heart quiche. It's a great and quick meal for the birth team and for me, and can be breakfast, lunch or dinner. (At least in my book.)
-Zone bars: These are my favorite of the snack-type bars. The Zone diet tries to balance fats, proteins and carbs in the perfect proportion, and the bars taste great. Rob and I love the chocolate mint.
-Popsicles: During Sawyer's labor, I remember someone had to run out and get some of these, so I'll make sure we have them on hand this time. Easy to ingest and digest, they're good for just having some calories and adding hydration.

Last time I was not really wanting any food at all, but I want to be prepared in case. These are all things I think I'd like to have around, but we'll see what I actually want to eat, and if I do. Either way, I'd like to start stocking up. We're moving into nesting overdrive, people!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Don't Let the Great Exterior Fool You...


After Day 1 , originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.
Rob and his Dad started work today on our garage room, which we've talked about finishing off since we moved in. The previous owners began the work, which basically meant doing a poor job of putting in drywall without mudding or taping or floating, or any of those other terms that I don't really know the definitions of. I should have taken a before picture, but it would have been too frightening. This is bad enough, and this is AFTER they spent a day moving things out, taping and mudding. The plans are to texture and paint the walls, install ceiling fans, and tile the floor. Not necessarily in that order. I don't actually know what order things should happen. I just pick paint colors and ceiling fans.

Rob has deemed this the Man Room, and it will have his giant cuddlebag (think bean bag made with memory foam), our surround sound system, and a TV. I'm happy to get those things out of the house, and would love to also see it be a great space for doing things like crafts and for keeping things that I don't want in our actual house. Depending on how the weather is, it may also function as a guest room. The futon, which needs a new cover desperately, is actually a very comfortable sleeping space, as it has a very thick cushion closer to that of a real mattress. I applaud you, boys, for your hard work and can't wait to post finished pictures! Let's hope they can beat the Beast...

Mom Genes


Mommy Genes, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Not to be confused with Mom Jeans. Sawyer definitely got my tongue. He doesn't stick it out all the way very often, but when he does, it's a little scary. This is not fully all the way, just so you know. Yeah, he's my kid.

In Case You Missed It...

Here is a great little write-up of last night's Houston Roller Derby exhibition bout!

Baby Drop Contest!

I haven't had a contest in a while, so I thought I would institute one here. When I was in junior high and high school, our youth pastors had what they called a Baby Drop whenever their wives were pregnant. You had to guess the date, time, and sex of the baby's birth, and whoever was closest got some kind of prize. I think I actually won twice, and I remember less the prize and more the fact that I was a good guesser.

SO. Here's how this works! For the next week (until Monday, Jan 25), I will allow comments posted here on this entry for the Baby Drop. You must guess the date, time and sex of the baby. We'll go by the date and time moreso than the sex, but it will be interesting to see if someone gets ALL of them close. You can guess the same day as another person, and whoever is the closest time without going over (Price Is Right style) will be the winner. So read the comments before to make sure you're not duplicating. I don't know what the prize will be yet, but suffice to say, it will be good. Please make sure that there is an email address or link to your profile where I can contact you if you win.

Starting tonight! Post your guess here in the comments to win a great prize and the bragging rights!! My due date is officially (I think) the 21st of February. There are no signs that I am further along than I should be at this point, though the baby is low. The head is down, but not engaged, for whatever that's worth to your guess. Good luck to you all, and I will post reminders and the prize once I figure out what is deserving.

What? I'm Going to Have a BABY?

You'd think that nine (or ten) months would be preparation enough. But here I am, with something like four to six weeks to go, and I am suddenly freaking out with the realization that WE'RE GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER BABY. My friend Ginny and I were talking about this, and she asked what I was freaking out about. It's really everything--from the whole labor and birth aspect to the addition of a totally new family member who will totally change our world.

As far as labor and birth go, I am in the throes of reading tons of stuff, doing birth exercises, and taking all kinds of crazy supplements. (Probably all that can go in a post of its own...) I am realizing the worries and fears I have about this birth, based mostly on my last birth, and trying to wrestle with them in a way that's healthy. I think realizing the fears and confronting them is the best way to deal with them, rather than to ignore, so that's what I'm working on right now. I'm also taking time this week to read up and find new verses for labor that I can read or Rob can read to me as comfort and reminders. As for other books, I'm re-reading my Bradley course book and Birthing from Within, plus a book on back labor Cathy gave me, since Sawyer was posterior for most of labor and this baby is STILL posterior.

The after labor part is even harder to prepare for. You don't know what's going to happen in labor, so for me it's just kind of thinking through possibilities. There are many. But there are so many more possibilities as far as what this baby will be like and how things will change, that you really CAN'T hash it out in your mind. I feel freaked out that there is this great unknown lurking and waiting for us. And it happens so suddenly! Yes, pregnancy is a long time. Yes, labor and birth can take some time. But you still go from one minute not having a baby in your arms, to the next minute having one. That is just NUTS!

So I'm taking some quiet time tonight with a cup of coffee, some labor books, my journal, my Bible, and my computer, and trying to mentally sift through everything. It's a wild and weird time--and the clock is WINDING DOWN. We will soon be meeting our baby. That is NUTS!!!

Honey?


Honey?, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

While Rob is working just outside on finishing up our garage room, Sawyer can't get enough of watching. I needed a favor from Rob and called out, "Honey? Can you help me?" Here's Sawyer's response to that.

Photo of the Day


Mess Face Two, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Sawyer was really into yogurt today. And yogurt was really onto Sawyer. I showed him these pictures and he said, "Mess." Well put.

I Am LITERALLY on Fire

If you know what's wrong with that title, then you'll understand Rob's latest and greatest frustration: the literal v. the figurative. You'd think this would be my pet peeve, since I was the English major and he did some kind of crazy sports medicine thing. But no. I kind of like saying that I am LITERALLY going to kill you, even when I don't mean it.

In case you are unsure what the problem is, there has been a rash increase in the usage of the word "literally." When you say that something is literally true, you mean that it is realistically and actually true. Usually, when people employ this word, they mean figuratively--as in, it's LIKE I'm on fire; I'm not actually BURNING. But it sounds better to say, "I am about to drop dead, LITERALLY," than to say, "I am about to drop dead, FIGURATIVELY." With the first, you'll get head nods and holla's. With the second, people will wonder what weird, nerdy planet you LITERALLY just came from.

This post has nothing to do with babies or mommies or anything that is usually relevant to my blog. I just thought you needed to know. (Literally.)

Time for Quarantine?

Yesterday I was asked no less than four times if I was SURE that I wasn't having twins. Yeah, I think we're getting to that point where I stop leaving the house.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mess Face


Mess Face, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

While Sawyer doesn't like meals, he does like sweets. We don't really keep them in the house very much (or else I eat them ALL), so his treats are few and far between. When I do make cookies or goodies, as I did for tonight's Houston Roller Derby bout, he always gets a taste. As you can see here, the icing on the cookie was just a little too runny. But Sawyer didn't seem to mind. I love his icing goatee!

Feeding the Sauce

I don't know that I've mentioned this much on here, but lately I've really been kind of concerned or frustrated with Sawyer's eating. He is a great eater in that he'll try just about anything, and there are very few things he doesn't like. Sounds perfect, right? A kid who eats broccoli and likes it! The problem lies in the fact that he has better things to do than eat. He is WAY too busy, and eating is just not high on the priority list. In fact, I think for the most part, if we skipped all meals and just gave him milk, he might not notice.

I've been trying different methods, but there is nothing consistent I can do, it seems, to get him eating. A lot of times he'll eat more at other people's houses, even if it's the same thing we eat at home, and at restaurants--though that only really applies to beans and salsa at Los Cucos. He actually drank their salsa last time we were there. I've tried making the kinds of things he likes eating other places if they're different from home, but no luck. I've tried feeding him one type of item at a time, rather than loading his plate or high chair tray with a variety of things. Sometimes works, sometimes not. He often will want to eat what we're eating, but if I just try and fix him lasagna if that's what we're eating, it's a no go. It's only if we're eating it and he's not, apparently. Then there's the thing he does where he loves loves LOVES something one day and then the next won't touch it. It's like you need to wait three weeks after he eats something to serve it again. Not super practical. He also hates being confined, so the high chair really ticks him off, but he makes an enormous mess if I sit him in the little chair and table, so it's hard to want to scrub up after every meal. (This is why we're glad for you, Tex!!) Sometimes what works is basically throwing food at him while he's running by playing, but this isn't super practical either.

Some days, I feel like he eats only 50 calories. I wonder how he survives, and how he doesn't look emaciated. I mean, he's got no fat on him, but I don't think he looks like he's starving either. I know other people whose kids were like this and they survived, but some days it's frustrating to feel like your child needs to eat more. You can only do so much! Any other creative ideas (though I bet we've tried most of them) are welcome!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bike-ickle, Bike-ickle! I Want to Ride My Bike-ickle!


, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Today Sawyer's early birthday/late Christmas present arrived. Rob found this really cool balance-riding bike, designed for those too young for pedals. It's called a balance bike and teaches kids (surprise!) balance and helps prepare them for real bikes. Sawyer's in love! Check out more pics on flickr and a cute video below.

See Sawyer Ride


Bike-icle Riding!, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Here is a quick video of Sawyer riding his new bike. I love the way he's changing his perfect pronunciation of "bicycle" to "bike-ickle."

Day Off

Day Off: n. What happens when someone who loves you very much sets you free for as long as you want to do whatever you want.

Thanks to Rob, I'm getting to experience this lovely idea firsthand. We had breakfast together and I stayed around for the putting-together of Sawyer's new bicycle (pictures and maybe video later today), and then hit the road. I went to Target to finally buy this set of Gilligan & O'Malley pajamas I've been thinking about for the last month. I am a bargain shopper deep within my bones, and the pajamas aren't over-priced, but they're out of my usual $5-10 range that I strive for. But, after seeing this great top/nightgown, I could not stop thinking about it. The fabric is what gets me--so soft and stretchy and heavenly. I could actually tell by feel the things that belonged to this line and the others in the pajama section. (And yes, I did touch EVERYTHING. I'm a consumer. It's my right.) If you want to see what I got, you can click here. I also got some super soft black pajama pants, but you don't need a link for that. I'm super excited. Have I mentioned that being pregnant and/or having a small baby means I wear lots of pjs?

Next it was off to my favorite sushi place, Sushi Hana in Katy. You won't find spam rolls on this menu, unlike the place I tried near me a month ago. For $15 including tip, I got tea, soup, vegetables tempura, and a crunchy snow crab roll. It was a lovely, lovely lunch. Now I'm at Borders and hope to get some writing done. But if I don't--this is my day off, so I will just browse around and look at books. Without feeling guilty at ALL.

All this may not sound too exciting to you, but this is like a dream day for me! At least, a dream day alone. I would love to be having a dream day alone with Robbie, but hopefully we'll get a few good dates in before the Beast. Know what else? I miss my boys and am looking forward to seeing them in a few hours. The benefits of the day off are already apparent.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Does Throwing a Plastic Plate Count as a Tantrum?

Me being the one that threw it, of course.

I'm sure this post will result in another phone call from my Dad who keeps calling to make sure that I'm not going over the edge. I think I've been complaining a bit too much about the weather and pregnancy? I am okay, Daddy, promise! (And I do appreciate the calls.) But there are a lot of things happening at once right now--I'm at that point of super discomfort in pregnancy, where in addition to my body being out of control, my hormones are surging. And Sawyer has been doing weird things this week--not sleeping long enough during naps, just generally being into things he shouldn't, or being needy at the exact moment when I have to get something out of the oven or something.

So today, after he dumped the entire dinner I made for him into his lap on purpose because he wasn't in the mood (I guess), I did throw a plate. A small, blue plastic one that still had a black bean on it. Thankfully, no one else was in the kitchen and had to be subject to this, save the microwave, which is stainless steel and will, I think, be okay. It wasn't as satisfying as hearing the crash of something breaking, but then--I wasn't all THAT upset. I just needed to vent a little. Maybe I'll do like a rating system of meltdowns: Plastic Plate being a small meltdown, Good China being a full-scale, crying in the floor meltdown.

Tomorrow Rob is giving me time off--as much as I need, he says. That may help refresh me a little. I'm okay. I will be okay. It's just not the easiest time right now. I think really, the way to sum it all up is said best by that girl-who-doesn't-even-go-here in Mean Girls: I just have a lot of feelings.

I Lost My Lap

I've been waiting to really notice my belly in the way with Sawyer in my lap, and surprisingly, just this week he's out of room! I was trying to read to him tonight (the monkey book, of course) and the only way to get him in my lap at all was to put my legs straight out on the footstool and thus make my lap bigger.

Other things are getting more difficult too:
-walking into my closet
-putting Sawyer in his crib
-driving (I have to move the seat back, but then it's hard to get my feet on the pedals)
-working out

We are so close though! I am moving into a weird period where I'm almost in denial. We're really having a baby? Really?? I just can't imagine it. It's crazy! I'm definitely tired of being pregnant, but I'm freaked out about actually having another baby. AAAAHHHHH!

Great Daddy Ideas


Fun Day 1/15, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Today was gross and rainy and ruined our plans to go to the dog track and beach. Sigh. I really am hating the weather this winter! At least it's not 30 degrees...but I digress. Rob had a great idea of heading over to the McDonalds with a giant play land for lunch and fun. I ate lunch at home and met them there, as I am just not a McDonalds lover. Sawyer and Rob had a great time in the giant play land and I enjoyed watching Daddy and son playtime, while stealing all the french fries no one else was eating. Oops! Click on the link under the picture to see more!

Wayne's World-Inspired Hair Fixings


Fun Day 1/15, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Anyone remember that scene, where Garth gets his hair sucked into some machine that resembles a vacuum but is intended for hair? This is an actual vacuum, but it worked pretty well with Sawyer's hair and definitely didn't rip any out, which is a good thing. There are a few more cute pics of Rob doing his vacuum hair-stylings, and I think you can see them if you click on the info below the photo.

Visual Changes

As you may have noticed with my photo sizes and sharper look, I'm working on uploading from Flickr, which means that I won't be totally out of space just using the uploader on blogger. I'm still figuring things out, like how in the world to upload more than one photo from Flickr into a blog post, so look for a lot of singletons. However, you can now click underneath the photo where it says "Uploaded by Kiki Mojo" and it should take you to a whole host of my photos. From Flickr, you can also buy prints, which is going to be amazing for my Mom and Dad! I also should be getting a whole blog overhaul in the upcoming months, so just get used to the changes slowly...

Need Something Fun to Do on Sunday??

Surviving Motherhood

This morning, I did my normal email and facebook checking while the coffee was brewing, and I saw at least four posts from Moms who were saying things like:

Letting the kids watch TV. Long night with the baby.

Everyone got up at 5:45. Hope I don't fall asleep on my date today.

Wishes my kid would go back to getting up at 7 instead of 5.


There are times where, as a mother, you feel like a real success. You're DOING something. You're pouring all you have into this little person (or people) and it's rewarding and fun and you are aware of how unique and wonderful this is. And then there are the times that you're just SURVIVING.

Sometimes it's about succeeding, and sometimes just surviving. Getting through that day, keeping everyone alive and trying to maintain your sanity. Keeping the kids fed and clothed and generally content and unharmed. I'm not sure what this balance is for other moms, but I think especially when you have very little ones, or one or two bigger and one very little one, there are many more days that feel like just making it through. The gift then, maybe, is those days (which sometimes seem more rare) where you really do feel like a success. There's the joy and the validation and the sense of accomplishment and purpose.

And sure, there are lots of days in between, that aren't so extreme as being really proud or just eking through. You're in the middle somewhere in the normal days, or maybe you survive a few moments and succeed the next. The thing is, though, that even the surviving IS succeeding. It just doesn't FEEL as good as the days where you can actually see the fruit of your labor. I think we'd all be a better off as moms if we realized that even the days that feel like just survival are actually successes in themselves. You kept your child alive--good job! And chances are, they're not going to remember that morning when you felt like death and plopped them in front of the TV with a donut so you could sleep on the couch or cry into your coffee.

So celebrate at the end of the day, Moms! No matter what kind of day you had. Because each day, you are DOING this thing called being a Mom.

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