Just Let Me Wipe Your Nose!

Baby girl, I know you aren’t feeling your best. I know you aren’t in the greatest of moods. I know the fact that right now you have to choose between breathing and being able to suck your fingers enrages you, but please just let me wipe your nose! There is snot running down your face and all over your onesie. I promise, if you let me do it, you’ll feel better. It may even help you breathe. Then you can suck your fingers a little bit before your nose stuffs up and you once again become a ball of frustrated baby rage.

Please don’t arch your back and turn your head away every time I get near your nose with the wet wipe. I will wipe your nose. It is going to happen. You’re just prolonging the excruciating experience and delaying the inevitable. This ain’t Mama’s first rodeo. I had to do this to your older sisters, too. Mama always triumphed in the end.

Poor baby girl. I need to do the saline spray. It will help get the snot out of your nose. You hate this more than having your nose wiped, I know. Baby, despite your screams of protest, I can assure you this does not qualify as torture. Just like with the wipes, please, don’t keep turning your head away. See, I just squirted you in the eye.

Great, now you’re even more pissed.

I have to wipe your nose again. The saline spray finally went up your nose where it is supposed to go and now more snot is running down your face. Just one last wipe. Let me get that booger stuck on your nose.  Don’t give me that look. This is not the single most painful betrayal in your life, I just wiped your nose. How about a nice nurse and some cuddles to sweeten your disposition. Maybe you’ll even drift off for a nap. And wake up with a stuffy nose and snot running down your face. And we’ll do this all over again.

The day you learn to blow your own nose will be a wonderful, glorious day.

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The Great Bed Swap (Or How My Husband Proved I Drive a Tank)

We’re in the midst of a rather big transition here. We’re preparing to move the Niblet out of our room and into a crib in a room she will be sharing with Little Bit. This move means obviously Little Bit can’t sleep in the crib anymore. Since we didn’t want Little Bit to be moved out of the crib and it immediately have a new occupant, we’ve initiated the switch prior to Niblet moving. Here’s the big swap: Big Bit was moved out of her toddler bed and into a standard double, her “grown up, big girl bed.” She tends to splay out when she sleeps, so she takes up more space than one would think possible, making a double a rather good size for her. Little Bit has thus inherited the toddler bed. To make it exciting and fun, I found her a new sheet set, just for her, with owls on it. Owls are her favorite animal, so she was beyond happy when she saw her new bed. This means the crib is empty and once we are sure that Niblet is on a schedule conducive to going to bed and waking up around the same time as Little Bit, we’ll be good to go. The main reason we’ve been delaying on this is that Niblet tends to still be ready for bed about an hour before Little Bit, and every so often is waking up for a 2 or 3am feed. Not exactly an ideal situation for trying to get Little Bit to keep to her sleep schedule. Hopefully though, we’ll be ready to finish the switch in the next few weeks since I’m currently working on shifting Niblet’s bedtime schedule.

So how does this prove I drive a tank? Well we needed a double mattress for Big Bit’s new bed. We had the frame sitting in our garage (it was mine back in my college days), but had gotten rid of the original mattress years ago. I sent my husband to go check out the local mattress store since I had seen they were having a sale. He comes home and asks me how soon I want the mattress delivered, and whether that afternoon was acceptable. I told him, of course, I just needed to know what time the store was delivering so I could make sure and have the space cleared out in Big Bit’s room. He then laughs and tells me to come outside, at which point he shows me the mattress and box spring sitting in our car. Not tied on top, INSIDE. Now this did involve the folding of seats and some creative tetrising of car seats on my husband’s part, but yes, he managed to fit a standard double mattress and box spring in our car and get the trunk fully down and secured. And that is how he proved I drive a tank.

Christmas Traditions

 

I am definitely a Christmas person. I am lovingly referred to as “The Christmas Nazi,” by family and friends. Come hell or high water, you WILL have a merry Christmas!

Anyway, a big thing about Christmas for me is tradition, specifically having family Christmas traditions. I think they’re important. They are something we share as a family and hopefully add to our enjoyment of this season. I’m sharing some of our family traditions because I think they’re fun and maybe I can inspire some of you. Now, granted, these aren’t especially grand traditions, but you know what they say about life, it’s the little things that count.

The Shows

It seems every year there is yet another slew of Christmas specials on, some better than others. Frankly, in my opinion, most of the new ones don’t hold a candle to the classics. In our house, there are three that are a staple of our Christmas viewing: A Charlie Brown Christmas, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original 1966 animated version), and Mickey’s Christmas Carol. We watch them together every year. As the girls get older, I’ll probably start adding one of the live-action versions of A Christmas Carol (the 1951 version with Alastair Sim is the one I watched with my mom growing up), but for now we’ll stick to animation. Still, one of my favorite things to do during Christmas time is sit on the couch with my girls and watch one of these shows. Big Bit is becoming especially fond of Charlie Brown.

The “Santa” Paper

I know not everyone does the whole Santa thing, but we do. This is a tradition started by my mom and which I am continuing because I think it’s pretty fun. Now keep in mind, if you want to do something like this yourself, it takes some forethought and a rather large upfront purchase of wrapping paper. In our house, there is special wrapping paper that only Santa uses. He uses the same paper every year and it is only seen on Christmas morning. Obviously, in order to do something like this, you need to find a wrapping paper you like and enough to last you however many years you will do Santa presents times the number of kids you have. Also, the Santa paper needs to be stored separately from your regular wrapping paper. It wouldn’t do for someone to inadvertently discover it. I was always excited to see the presents wrapped in the special Santa paper as a child, and I hope my girls enjoy it, too.

The Yearly Ornament

This is a tradition I’ve started in our family. Every year I buy the girls one ornament each to go on our tree. I try to buy them one that reflects who they are for that particular year, whether it’s an ornament based on a favorite character or movie, or some other interest which they developed that year. This year Big Bit received a pink Superman “S,” since she loves superheroes and her favorite color is pink. Little Bit received an Elvis Blue Hawaii ornament. Why Elvis? Well this year one of her favorite movies to watch was Lilo and Stitch and a big part of that was because she loved the music, which, if you haven’t seen the movie, is very heavy on Elvis songs. So rather than get her a Lilo and Stitch ornament, which given that the movie is ten years old makes finding such an item a little more difficult, I got her Elvis. I also think it’ll make for a fun story when she’s older. Niblet, being only a few months old, can’t really be said to have any interests outside of eating, sleeping, and pooping (in various orders), so she got the traditional “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament. Next year, hopefully, she’ll get something a little more interesting.

My goal with this tradition is that the ornaments will tell some of the story of who the girls were as they were growing up. Each year a new ornament, trying to record part of what made them them that year. Eventually, each girl will get to take her ornaments as she establishes her own household. I’m hoping each girl will end up with a starting set of at least 20. I try to keep each one in the original packaging, labeled with each girl’s name and the year it was purchased. I realize that right now, this tradition is more for me than for them, but I hope as they grow older they can appreciate the thought behind it.

There you have it, some of the traditions that make it Christmas for us here in our house. Like I said, nothing grandiose, but we enjoy them. Merry Christmas!

Our Christmas Tree

Oh and I know I didn’t mention it specifically, but watching the yearly Doctor Who Christmas Special goes without saying. See if you can spot the TARDIS on our tree!

 

The Big Update

I’ve been kind of quiet the past few weeks in regards to blogging and social networking, but I have good reason for my little hiatus. Drumroll please! I am very happy (very,very happy) to report that I am (finally) not pregnant anymore. Niblet arrived safely and with considerable flair. (If there’s any interest in such things, I’ll write a more detailed account of her delivery at a later date. It is a rather funny story, as childbirth stories go.)
Anyway, we’ve been adjusting to being a family of 5 and the new normal. There won’t really be a set routine for a few more weeks, but that will develop in time as Niblet gets a little older. My main wish is to synchronize nap time so both she and Little Bit are napping after lunch, before we go get Big Bit from school. I figure that time then becomes prime housework/KP time, since I won’t have little people underfoot and needing attention. Fingers crossed I can make it happen.
Overall though, this adjustment from two kids to three kids seems to be going more smoothly than the transition from one to two. To me, at least, it has seemed pretty straight forward: Add Niblet to the fold and away we go. Granted, I have to say Big Bit being in school is helping quite a bit. She gets to go do “big girl stuff” and I can focus more on Little Bit and Niblet during the time Big Bit is away. I’m hopeful that everything will continue to go smoothly. So far Big Bit and Little Bit are completely in love with their baby sister and one of the new highlights of my day is watching them all together. Three girls. I would never have imagined it.
So there you have it. I finally had the baby and I’m getting back in the swing of things. Hopefully this next week or so I can start doing my New Pinterest Recipe of the Week again, as well as give some updates on our garden. See you soon!

Our First “First Day”

Monday was a big day here. It was Big Bit’s FIRST First Day of School. She was so excited. She loves having a lunch box and a little backpack (even though at this point she doesn’t really need one, since she’s not quite to books and homework yet). However, it is definitely a big adjustment for us. Some things about being on a school schedule are quite nice. Others, well, they’ll take some more getting used to.

One the good side:

  • We have a definite schedule. I now have to be up at a certain time and have to get showered and dressed in the morning. It’s nice to start the day feeling like something got accomplished, even if that something was just being able to put on a real pair of pants and having hair that doesn’t suffer from perpetual bedhead.
  • I’m able to get so much more done at home. Chores that took most of the day now are done by noon, if not earlier. Not having to constantly check that a certain oldest child isn’t managing to get into things she shouldn’t in the two minutes I’m taking laundry from the dryer upstairs to be put away or bringing another load down, makes such things proceed much faster. Even with Little Bit running around, I still find myself being much more efficient.
  • Speaking of Little Bit, she LOVES being the big girl of the house while Big Bit is in school. She plays, gets plenty of one on one mama time, doesn’t have to worry about being bossed around by a big sister…life is good.

And on the “It’ll take some more getting used to side,”:

  • We are not morning people, and the early wake up time is definitely contrary to Big Bit’s natural inclinations. Mine too, to be honest. We’ll survive, but hopefully naps will become a more regular occurrence again, for her and for me.
  • It’s quiet…almost TOO quiet. This house, even with Little Bit running around, is almost quiet to the point of being disconcertingly so. Big Bit is such a ball of energy, it’s strange not to have that in the house. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying it all the same, especially since things will be significantly less quiet once Niblet decides to finally make her entrance (yes, I’m STILL pregnant *grumble*), but it is taking some getting used to. I think part of it is just mommy senses that go on high alert when it gets quiet. The only time small children are quiet is when they are unconscious or getting into trouble. At least, that’s the case with this house.

But yeah, another milestone reached. I know that it’ll be special when each of the girls starts school for the first time, but this time is my first time, too, which seems to make it an even bigger deal, if only in my own head. Granted it also makes me feel old (“I have a kid in SCHOOL. When did that happen?!?”), but it’s a good thing. Big Bit gets to reach another step in her journey and I get to enjoy watching her grow. And I’ll have a way cleaner house to boot! Huzzah!

Miserable Pregnant

It’s almost the end of the line, but that doesn’t change the fact that now, and until Niblet decides to make her grand entrance, I am miserable pregnant. Miserable pregnant is the point when it doesn’t matter what you do, you spend a chunk of the day (or all day) feeling physically miserable and drained. You just want it to be over, but you know you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) rush this sort of thing. (And to the mamas who spend their ENTIRE pregnancies miserable for one reason or another: I salute you.)

I would say my definition of “miserable pregnant” is that you’ve hit your wall (see my previous post on hitting “The Wall” here) and then it seems like the wall just keeps getting taller and thicker. What used to be a minor annoyance, or at least something you could live with, gets compounded with more and more other pregnancy irritations until you just throw up your hands and say, “Fine! Misery it is!”

Now those of you who have not “been there, done that,” may be wondering what could be so bad. Hahaha! You’ll see. For those reading who are pregnant, but haven’t reached miserable pregnancy, this is your warning. If you don’t want to know what’s ahead, stop reading now. For the rest of you, reminisce, have a laugh, enjoy.

Miserable Pregnancy: A Field Guide

  • Those sweet, soft, little kicks and flutters you felt 2nd trimester? Yeah, those days are gone. What’s inside you now is big enough to pack some serious punch. There are feet lodged in your ribs, elbows sticking out at odd angles, you name it. Any serious shift in baby’s position makes you feel like there is an alien about to burst forth from your body. Heaven forbid they do a full flip. Anyway, baby is getting bigger every day, which means YOU’RE getting bigger every day so…
  • You feel like a beached whale or some other blubbery, lumbering sea mammal. You’re carting around 20,30,40 lbs. (maybe more) of extra weight. You feel slow, awkward, and clumsy. Plus, all the extra weight does not help your energy levels, which are already low because…
  • You can’t get a good night’s sleep. No position seems comfortable, and a body pillow only does so much. You toss, you turn, you finally find the one position vaguely resembling comfort and then you have to get back up because…
  • You’re back to peeing ALL THE TIME. Did you have a sip of water? Maybe to wash down that horse pill of a prenatal vitamin? Well give it a few minutes and you’ll have to pee. And it’s not like you can NOT drink, because dehydration is bad, especially if it’s hot due to summer weather. Speaking of summer…
  • Being miserable pregnant is even worse when it’s summer and there is any kind of heat. Add humidity and you are doubly screwed. You’re sweating like a pig, despite the air conditioning being set on arctic blast and there being multiple additional fans going. With all that sweating going on, you may think a nice, cool shower is just what you need, but that just reveals yet another annoyance…
  • You are so big that certain aspects of personal hygiene become impossible without resorting to contortionism. Shaving your legs can be managed, but not without constantly maneuvering your belly out of the way. And don’t even think of trying to do any maintenance “down there.” You can’t see what your doing (even with a mirror, visibility is limited), everything is swollen, and it’s just not worth the nicks and razor burn. Anyway, if they need to, you’ll get a quick shave at delivery, so just don’t worry about it.
  • And since we’re being slightly vain, you’ve discovered that even some of your maternity clothes don’t fit and you can only comfortably wear flip flops. This, of course, does nothing to help the aforementioned beached whale feeling.

And there you have it. Miserable pregnant. I take comfort in the fact that hopefully I only have 4 weeks to go (and maybe a little less).

Hitting “The Wall”

I think I’m at that point. The point in pregnancy where you hit your wall. I’m at the point where I have transitioned from happy, energetic, dare I say sometimes even cute pregnant, to big, awkward, uncomfortable, waddling at all times pregnant. I’m not exactly miserable pregnant yet, though I’m sure I’ll get there sooner than I’d like, but I’m definitely starting my “How Much Longer Until It’s Over?” countdown. (For the record, there are about 9 weeks to go.)

I guess what’s getting to me is I’m hitting my wall about a month ahead of my last two pregnancies. With my first, even though I was pregnant in summer, in Texas, I didn’t really hit my wall until into my eighth month. My second was about the same, partially because I spent my last trimester in fall/winter weather, so heat or humidity wasn’t such an issue. This time around, I’m in my last trimester in summer again, and even though the humidity is not nearly as bad here, the heat is still starting to get to me. It definitely isn’t helping the general discomfort issue, which makes it hard enough to sleep as it is. Add to that to the fact that being pregnant is like having a space heater inside you, and yeah, a good night’s sleep is hard to come by, especially in summer.

The other thing bugging me is I feel like I’m bigger now than I was with either of the girls at this point in my previous pregnancies. The whole feeling bigger earlier also means I’m feeling slow and awkward earlier, which is definitely not convenient with two very active girls at home. I know, I know, third pregnancy and this sort of thing is sort of to be expected. While there are definite benefits to this not being my first rodeo, this is not one of them. So there you have it. I have hit my wall. Oh well, only about 9 more weeks to go, right?

The Home Stretch

As of tomorrow, we’re in the home stretch: Third Trimester! On the one hand, part of me feels like this pregnancy has flown by, but on the other, hitting the 28 week mark reminds me that I get to spend pretty much the whole summer getting bigger and feeling more uncomfortable. Thank God for air conditioning!

Now there is one downside to hitting this milestone. It also means tomorrow I face my least favorite part of pregnancy. To me this one thing is worse than morning sickness and even childbirth. I speak of the dreaded glucose test. (*Shudder*) I despise it. The drink (“glucola”) is absolutely vile. To me it tastes like very sweet, flat, watered down soda. It takes all my skills learned at college social events to be able to hold my nose and chug the stuff as quickly as possible and then not throw up immediately afterward. Add the fact that my prior experiences have involved the drink being orange flavored (a flavor I cannot stand) and my having to be on an empty stomach to take the test (I’m bad enough hungry when I’m not pregnant. When I am, the hanger is even more irrational.), and hopefully you can understand why I dread this so.

However, I am hopeful that tomorrow will be an improvement. I actually got a choice of flavors this time, so I was able to pick lemon-lime instead of orange. I’m not hoping for any marked improvement in taste. I’m sure the lemon-lime flavor is just as overly sweet, flat, and watered down as the orange, but at least it’s not orange. Also, this time around I don’t have to fast, so hopefully I won’t be desperately digging in my purse for a granola bar as soon as the blood draw is over. I’ll still probably take a snack to have afterwards, but I won’t be as frantic to find it.

So there you have it. The home stretch and my least favorite part of pregnancy. I know in the grander scheme of things it is a minor, silly sort of thing to dislike so much, but honestly, to me, my least pleasant memories of pregnancy have been the two prior glucose tests. Oh well, bottoms up!

The Unexpected Housewife

Back in my introduction I referred to myself as an, “unexpected housewife,” and promised to expand on that later. Well, I find myself unable to sleep (typical pregnancy insomnia: can’t get comfortable, feel too hot, etc.), so here goes.

If you asked anyone back in the day, they would probably have said I was one of the last people they would have expected to end up a housewife and stay at home mom. In high school and a good chunk of college, my big goal was law school and being a hot shot attorney. So what changed? Well, I met my now husband my sophomore year of college and as things got more serious with us, my priorities started changing. We wanted to get married after we graduated, and adding the stress that comes from adjusting to marriage to the stresses of law school, to me at least, seemed like asking for trouble. Add to that other factors, such as the cost of going to a decent law school (Hello, student loan debt!) and the fact that even after law school a work/home balance is a tightrope walk, and it seemed to me that law school wasn’t really the direction I wanted to go anymore.

Anyway, we graduated, got married, and, despite the recession, were both able to find employment. Nothing even remotely related to our fields of study, but a job was a job, and even though no one was calling it a recession yet, we went into our job search with the attitude of, “take what you can get, you can still keep looking for something better.” Thank God, too, since some of my pickier classmates took 6 months to a year to find work.

Life probably would have continued on that way, both of us working, enjoying being a young, married couple, except six months after we got married we found out we were expecting our first child. That totally changed things. Crunching numbers, we realized that even though my wages were decent for our lifestyle without a child, once we had a baby, daycare alone would eat up most, if not all, of my paycheck. To me it seemed silly to work simply to pay for someone to watch my child for the day so I could go to the job that just barely paid for the daycare. That whole scenario seemed a little too “hamster spinning her wheel” for me. I also felt very strongly about wanting to nurse, and so the decision to become a stay at home mom and housewife was made.

Was it easy? Absolutely not. Things were tight, but we made it. Hubs decided to join the military, which is probably the best decision he (and us as a family) could have made. Entering life as a military family also reaffirmed my choice. My staying at home with our kids and handling the domestic side of our lives, for us, just makes things run more smoothly. He gets to focus on the mission and can be confident in my ability to manage things at home. I get to enjoy watching my girls grow and know that what I do really matters to those most important to me.

Is this where I thought I’d be if you’d asked me 10 years ago? Not at all! Am I expecting to get some looks and questions at my high school reunion? Honestly, yes, but I’m happy with my life, unexpected though it may be.