Friday, October 31, 2008

happy halloween!

Gabe is hoping to wish you a personal "Happy Halloween! " as soon as I charge the video camera, but in the meantime, we'll be monkeying around and enjoying the day.

We hope you have a day full of treats and fun, not too many tricks!

Happy Halloween!

The Halloweenlover family

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm still wondering if I might have been dreaming

I was just on the phone with my mother in law, complaining about a problem I'm having with a friend, and she effusively complimented my parenting style. MY PARENTING STYLE. Her daughter in law's parenting style. She went on and on for several minutes about how impressed she and my father in law are with the way Gabe behaves, and she swore up and down that he is better behaved than her own children were.

I swear, the whole time she was talking I thought maybe hell was freezing over. Funny how if they were to criticize us, I'd just ignore them, but the compliments? Clearly coming from the mouth of God. They couldn't be more right.

Baby 002 better not ruin my good name in parenting. I will be seriously pissed if this one comes out all screamy. Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, October 27, 2008

wild animal kingdom

Remember this? Well, we have new intruders in our house, and I'm starting to wonder if maybe our walls are made of swiss cheese or something. Every day, pretty much like clockwork, we find a bee flying around our house. Sometimes downstairs, sometimes upstairs, sometimes (randomly) inside the overhead light covers. Some days, if you can believe it, I've found up to 3 bees in different locations inside the house. Yesterday was one of those days. I found one dead in our living room, one alive and flying around the upstairs hallway, and one hanging out on the mail on the kitchen counter so that when I grabbed it to read it, it fell on the floor and started walking around like nothing happened.

The bees aren't totally 'with it' either. They seem kind of disoriented or sleepy or something strange like that, because lots of time I'll find them just sitting on a bookshelf, or in the bathroom sink, and it is relatively easy to smoosh them (sorry for you bug environmentalists out there, but I am all about killing the stinging animals that come within close proximity of my toddler). I assumed it was the weather, but this is the first time this has ever happened, and it doesn't seem to matter whether it is cold or hot outside. The bees still come in.

The kicker is that Josh has a serious phobia of bees. I actually think his fear would qualify as a medical phobia because as soon as a bee is nearby he freaks out. Completely freaks out and runs out of the room and harbors this irrational fear that the bee is coming straight for him and wants to sting him. Sadly, this means that he isn't much help in the bee killing department, because his solution to a lost bee is to shut the door on the bee and leave it for me to find.

I've started thinking that perhaps we have a hive hidden somewhere in the house because the bees are so persistent at getting in. The other night when I got up to pee at 2am, I heard a strange thunk in the medicine cabinet, and within a few seconds heard some buzzing and a bee crawled right out from behind the cabinet! There must be a hole- not that I would know because the person who needs to unscrew the medicine cabinet to look refuses to do so in case a swarm of bees attacks him. Yesterday, though, I called my neighbor to ask about the bees and they are also experiencing bees coming inside. Not as many as we are, but a good amount. A bee even crawled inside my neighbor's pajama top and stung him the other night when he was getting ready for bed (a story I did NOT share with Josh for obvious reasons).

So what's the deal with the bees? Is this normal? Tell me I don't need to hire an exterminator because pregnant and with a toddler, it's something I'd rather not do. I don't want Gabe to get stung, though, and Josh and I certainly don't want to get stung either. My current strategy is to inspect all the rooms before bedtimes and naptimes to make sure no bee is lurking around, but it isn't the most effective thing ever. Also? Maybe I should call someone to let them know that those supposedly disappearing bees may be busting into my house instead of returning to their hives. Help!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

this is getting a little excessive

The other day I stopped at the grocery store on my way to pick Gabe up at his toddler program. I had about an hour until pick-up time, so plenty of time to pick up the necessities and be there by 1pm. I took only my wallet, cell phone, and keys into the store, and moved expeditiously through the aisles to make sure I had plenty of time to leave and drive the couple of miles to Gabe's "school".

I got to the check out line, and the cashier asked me if I had my store discount card. I reached down to feel the keys in my pocket and realized that I only had the car key in my pocket, not the house keys where the discount card was attached (which were still in the car in the parking lot), so I said no and she punched in the store's number. I paid, loaded up the cart and walked out the store doors. And somewhere between the cashier's line and the front door of the store, I LOST THE CAR KEYS. Lost. Gone. Disappeared.

I backtracked, talked to the cashier, walked the whole way again. Nothing. I spoke to the store's customer service, we walked the way out together. Nothing. They dispatched two store employees to help me, we searched the whole store. Nothing. Searched the parking lot. Nothing. Made announcements, took every item out of the bags. Searched through each individual carrot and potato and yogurt container. Nothing. I literally crawled on my pregnant hands and knees from the cashier's line to the door outside peering under everything. Nothing.

At this point, I started to get frantic because I'm definitely going to be late. I called the toddler program, left multiple messages for the director of the program, called Josh and told him what was going on. In the meantime, we're still looking through the store and someone else is searching my bags, security is standing in the parking lot to make sure no one steals the car, and I am losing my shit. After an hour and a half of looking, I finally gave up and Josh had to leave work to go home and pick up a spare key, bring it to me at the store, the toddler program had to keep him for the whole time, and I went home to wallow in my misery.

That night, I called the store back and they shockingly found the keys, but didn't provide any kind of explanation as to where they were found or what might have happened to them.

Fast forward to today. Gabe is still sick, but we desperately needed an outing, so I decide we should walk to our neighborhood pharmacy and pick up a gallon of milk. The walk is about a mile each way, but I figure it'll be good exercise and Gabe should be fine if I bundle him up. We walk there, buy our milk and a carton of tissues, and head home. About 3 blocks into the walk home, I realize that I am exhausted. Pooped. I'm not sure I can make it the whole mile home, but since I don't have a choice, I suck it up and keep pushing the stroller.

We make it all the way home, and I go to get the keys out of the diaper bag, and POOF, they're gone. No where to be found. I call the pharmacy and surprise! I forgot the keys there. Oh, and I also left my wallet at the pharmacy. My wallet! And keys! And now I have to walk all the way back to the store, another 2 miles to pick everything up. I racked my brain to come up with an alternative to my walking there and back, and I remember that the neighbor has a babysitter for the afternoons, so at least I could leave Gabe at her house for 20 minutes so that I can walk to the store and back without pushing the stroller.

I've never met this woman, though, so I'm a little weirded out about leaving him with her, but beggars can't be choosers, right? She seems totally fine with me leaving him with her, and because she is a saint, she even offers to let me borrow her car. I would never say yes in regular life, but seriously, at this point I was so tired that I didn't even have the strength to have pride about the situation. I borrowed her car, drove to the pharmacy, endured the strange looks about having left my keys and wallet at the store, and made it home in one piece.

I put him down for a nap and collapsed on the couch in a heap. This is getting a little ridiculous, though. I know the whole 'pregnancy brain' thing is normal, but how much is normal? Aren't I taking this a little far? I'm afraid I might forget Gabe at home and go shopping one of these days! Or maybe forget him at the park. I'm surprised I haven't forgotten that I'm married at this point.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I should have known better

And then a day like yesterday came around, and I forgot all my self-professed gratitude and spent much of the afternoon sobbing on the floor in a puddle.

It started out as one of those days where everything Josh and I said to each other turned into an argument, and because we can't leave well enough alone, one of us would call the other one back after the argument and escalate it by saying stupid things we don't really mean.

Then Gabe started acting up and whining over every little thing and demanding to be carried by my poor aching sciatica-ed back. Seriously, whining over every little thing. He wants to eat, he doesn't want to eat. He wants to play with his train, he doesn't want to play with the train. Oh my God, you can't possibly want me to walk the 10 feet into the kitchen without being carried- no, no, no, no, noooooooooooo and let me throw myself on the floor crying to get my point across. To make matters worse, he sat in his crib for 2 and a half hours and refused to nap for the entire time for the first time ever in his life and I couldn't relax because all I did was sit there and watch him on the monitor and listen to him whine and will him to PLEASE SLEEP ALREADY.

So at 4:30pm I decided that we absolutely had to leave the house, so we went to Blockbuster to rent some movies and CVS to buy some Children's Tylenol that was on super sale (this Tylenol thing may have been ESP on my part). It was a disaster. He was running around Blockbuster like a crazy person and throwing movies all over the place and it was impossible to pick a movie while simultaneously yelling at him to STOP RUNNING AWAY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. CVS was just as terrible because the cart was small enough that he could reach the things I put in there and he would toss them out while we were walking the aisles.

I finally gave up and came home and realized that we were past dinnertime and he was standing at my legs begging for a "nacks, pease, nacks" (otherwise known as snacks, please, snacks) while I was trying to cook at the stove so I served him a random piecing together of everything I could make in 3 minutes. Finally, FINALLY, I got him to bed and I breathed a sigh of relief and took the time to shoot Chatty Cricket an email telling her that this had been the most interminable day ever and I was about to curl up on the couch with a cup of Dr. Pepper and one of my favorite movies.

I did curl up on said couch, took a sip, and heard a strange mewling noise from upstairs and then that telltale awful cough that is followed by a gag, and you can imagine what happened next. Lots of vomiting. Lots and lots of vomiting, with lots of crying, and a child who busted out with full-blown croup like symptoms where he sounded like he couldn't breathe throughout the night and was up at 9:30, 10:45, 12:00, 1:00, 2:30, 4:30, and then 6:00 for the day. And in between those times, I was lying there wondering how serious this really was because it sounded like a barge was going through his lungs every time he took a breath.

Josh got home from work sometime after 11pm, and left sometime around 6:30am, so although he suffered through the nighttime wake-ups with me, he couldn't be much help.

And then today, I had to face the realization that he couldn't go to the toddler program this sick, as much as I really, really, really wanted him to.

So that's that. Today has been a tiny bit less miserable, mainly because I feel sorry for him so I'm trying to be more sympathetic, but when I stood in the hallway for 45 minutes while he screamed that he wanted to go back to sleep at naptime but then screamed louder if I tried to lie down with him in bed or put him down in his crib, it was tiring. I felt like screaming back, but kept it together, barely. We've watched a lot of television, and I have done a lot of sighing and eye-rolling.

Here's hoping tonight and tomorrow are better than today, and that I can get my upbeat vibe back.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

free stuff!

Check out my newest review and GIVEAWAY on the Pumpkin Products blog.

Anyone with kids ages 2 - 5, or anyone that is looking for a gift for someone ages 2 - 5 might be interested!

You can also check out Parent Bloggers for more information.

Monday, October 20, 2008

life life life

Today I was driving to my 31 and a half weeks OB appointment after dropping Gabe off at his toddler program, and as I was driving peacefully and listening to the radio and feeling the baby kick around inside my belly, and thinking about how adorable Gabe is these days, I realized something important.

This may well be the happiest time in my life. I mean, really, how much better than this can it get?

I'm happily married to a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful man. I have the most beautiful, amazing, awesome child that has ever walked the earth (except for yours, of course, yours is also equally amazing and awesome and unbelievable). I'm pregnant with this hopefully healthy, perfect baby, and our lives are filled with so much excitement and joy and good things and happiness.

Sure, we're stressed about money and organizing the house and finding space for all our stuff and guests and paying bills, but things are really good. Life is really good. Now I just have to remember that the next time I stress about the little things.

Friday, October 17, 2008

the poop has hit the fan

I'm at my wit's end.

Over the last few months, Murray has been peeing all over the house when we're not watching him. It started on the bathroom rugs, so I'd wash them, pour the pet smell removal stuff all over them, and put them back down. Less than a day would pass, he'd pee on them again. Rinse, repeat, pee again. So I went out and bought new bathroom rugs. Less than a day later, another pee on the rug. Some days it would be pee AND poop. The other day I realized that he'd been using one of our rugs repeatedly as his personal bathroom and the rug was drenched in urine and had been for weeks.

A couple of months ago, he started in on the kitchen mat and ruined it. I tried washing it and eventually threw it out and bought a new one. Today I walked in to the kitchen, started loading the dishwasher, and stepped on a very wet rug. A very wet rug that smells like urine.

Not only are we dealing with this, but he'll often start pooping on the pee pee pads where he is supposed to pee and poop, but start walking in the middle of pooping and deposit half of the poop in the middle of the kitchen or in the dining room. The other day Gabe brought me a piece of poop upstairs, and I had no idea where it had come from. I ended up finding more poop near Josh's side of the bed in our bedroom.

Our bedtime routine consists of us double and triple checking that all the upstairs doors are closed because Murray will pee in any of the bedrooms if they are made available to him. In the morning, Josh has to make sure to pick up the bathroom rug before he leaves the bathroom because Murray will definitely pee on it. He cannot be left unattended within reach of Gabe's rug or the guest room rugs because he will try to pee on them.

This. Has. To. Stop.

It's gross. It's unsanitary. I have one child and another on the way, and I simply do not have this kind of emotional time and energy to waste on Murray's behavior. I've spent the last 45 minutes crying alternately to Josh (who has no patience either and has reached the end of his rope), my mom (who is sympathetic but doesn't have answers), and finally the vet's office who put a behavioral consultant on the phone with me while I sobbed.

She was helpful, firm, and had good ideas. I kept offering up suggestions for why he was doing this, and her answer was that she just didn't care WHY he was doing what he was doing. It is simply unacceptable, and I cannot continue living like this. If Murray can't behave the way he is supposed to, then he doesn't get to be a functional member of this family. Our new plan of action is that Murray is confined in a crate when we can't watch him until he can be trusted not to pee. He is going to go back to sleeping in a crate at night (something we haven't done in years), and we are getting rid of the pee pee pads completely. Although it is more convenient for us to not have to take them outside in the winter, the existent of these rug-like products inside the house, where they are encouraged to pee, may be too confusing to him and the behavioral consultant thinks it may help.

And we're starting from square one. It'll be like having a puppy again, but I'm hoping this will resolve our problems. I never never never thought I would ever fathom giving away a dog, but crying every day and/or screaming at him is not working either. I feel frustrated and guilty and insanely furious multiple times during the day. I'm not being a good dog owner when I'm so angry I want to scream, and I hate showing that kind of behavior in front of Gabe, but I'm so ridiculously frustrated, I can't help it.

I love my dogs, Gabe loves our dogs, Josh loves the dogs. They love us too. We like having them around, they are sweet and good-natured and kind. I can't imagine life without them, but I also can't imagine living like this indefinitely. I can't imagine having to clean up pee and poop throughout my house for the next 10 years. I have enough of the peeing and pooping from the little person I live with, I don't need it from the dogs too.

Wish me luck over the next few weeks, I'm sure I'll need it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

everything on my brain

First of all, there are 65 days left until my due date. SIXTY-FIVE DAYS. How exactly did this happen? I'm 30 weeks and 3 days and I am in a bit of disbelief that in approximately two months I will have two children. Two. As in, most of my waking hours I will be outnumbered by little people. If I even consider the possibility that the baby could come before his or her due date, well then my head basically explodes, so I don't consider that possibility much. My friend who went two weeks late with her first just went two weeks early with her second, and OH MY GOD let's not talk about it.

That being said, I have also achieved a state of great peace and excitement about this baby. I cannot wait to meet him or her, and to find out finally whether this is a him or her. I'm sure it'll be an adjustment and a challenge, but I'm confident that we'll all be fine and that everyone will survive. People have two kids all the time, right? Plus, I really really want to meet this little person. I don't know if you recall, but I was the pregnant woman last time who cried in the hospital delivery room because she wasn't yet ready to give birth. Post due date even. At 40 weeks and 3 days, I still wasn't ready to have my baby. So for me to say that I'm excited to give birth this time around is a huge step in the right direction.

Nobody around here wants the baby any time in the next 7 weeks, though, so he or she should definitely stay put for now.

There are days when I am so tired or frustrated by the end of the day that I threaten to sell Gabe on Ebay to the highest bidder. Then there are whole weekends like this past weekend, where I would like to bottle him up and save him forever and get down on my knees and kiss the ground in thanks for such an amazing little boy. This may or may not have anything to do with being excited for baby 002. I'll let you decide.

This weekend, Gabe decided to bring out his angelic side. He spent the whole weekend being totally agreeable. Smiling all the time, talking up a storm, answering all our questions clearly and quickly with a sweet 'yesh' or 'no'. No whining, no tantrums, no sleeping problems. We went out to the Berkshires while my inlaws were out of town, and had the loveliest weekend. We went pumpkin picking, petted animals at a petting zoo, played at playgrounds, took drives through the countryside, stopped into the outlets, ate good food, walked around the cute town centers, and even made it to an antique fire truck show.

Gabe ate when he was supposed to eat, slept in the car when we needed him to, played nicely with friends when we were at home, and gave hugs and kisses liberally. I could eat him up, seriously. Whatever this stage is, it is truly lovely. He snuggles up to us and brings his toys over to us excitedly to share. I need to whip out the video camera so that I don't forget how stinking cute he is, honestly. He makes me want to swallow him whole.

Remember this? Coincidentally, the car started making this strange sloshing sound whenever I would turn corners. At first it sounded like I was running over a puddle, but when the noise was consistent, I realized that there were no puddles and it was the actual tire that was making the sound of running water. I just had a tune-up done at the dealership around the time when the noise started, so I made another appointment and took it in this morning.

The smell in the car hasn't been getting any better, despite my efforts at cleaning the car, spraying scent removing spray everywhere, and even putting in a pumpkin spice air freshener. This weekend, Josh refused to drive in the car and told me that "it smells like a pumpkin took a shit inside the car". He's a master of words, my husband is.

Anyway, Josh has been insistent that I did something to the car like spill milk, or leave fruit rotting or something, and refuses to believe that an animal might have crawled in there and died. Over the last few days, I even started trying to convince him that maybe the strange running water sound we've been hearing has something to do with this dead animal (an idea at which he clearly scoffs).

Turns out, the air conditioner had a clog in it, and the sound I was hearing was the sound of water backing up inside the radiator. The more I used the air conditioner, the worse it sounded. The smell was the water ROTTING inside that same radiator. The smell kept getting worse because the backed up water was growing and rotting more and more. Fabulous, huh? But I am sooooo stinking relieved to have an answer, especially an answer that has nothing to do with me being at fault. Yay!

We've made the decision that Gabe is moving to a big boy room and the baby is keeping the nursery as is. We are turning the guest room into Gabe's room and living without a guest room for the foreseeable future, a fact which made my inlaws very unhappy, but I'm hoping they'll eventually understand. I had a talk with our pediatrician, who told me that until this in utero baby is consistently sleeping through the night, it'll be much easier on me if we don't have them share a room. If we didn't have another choice, I'd just live with it, but given the fact that we have a lovely large room available to us, I'm screwing the guests and erring on the side of more sleep.

In the meantime, I've been anxiously hunting for a good bedding set for Gabe. I have a long list of requirements. It has to be something he likes, something bright and fun, something that isn't outrageously priced, and something cute. You'd be surprised at how hard it is to satisfy those requirements. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. I think I've found something that works on Ebay, and I'm keeping close tabs on this auction because I NEED to win this bedding so that we can pick a wall color and finally get started on room decorating.

I got super lucky and found someone who was selling an almost new bunk bed and dresser set from Pottery Barn Kids for dirt cheap, so we bought that and we're going to only set up one bed in the meantime until Gabe is old enough not to fling himself off of the top bunk. I suspect that will be a long time from now. This planning and executing of a big boy bedroom plan is tremendously fun for this nesting mom, though!

Monday, October 06, 2008

I may never wash my hand again

This weekend was my 5th law school reunion, which seems impossible to believe. It feels like just yesterday that I was studying in the library, running around to classes, looking for a job, making outlines and writing papers. Walking around the campus with a fully pregnant belly, hand in hand with Josh, while my son was home with my inlaws was surreal. Fun and comfortable and exciting, but surreal all the same.

I happen to share my reunion year with my all time favorite ex-president, who graciously offered to give a talk at the law school this week since he was on campus for his own 35th law school reunion. My former classmates and I (and Josh) were buzzing with excitement at the opportunity to see President Clinton speak in such a small venue. We chatted over lunch about the possible topics- the election, the financial crisis, the war in Iraq, how would he cram it all into an hour talk? We were given the opportunity to submit questions to him beforehand, but no one knew what he would actually address.

His talk was great. Interesting, uplifting, reasonable, balanced. Clearly I'm biased, because I adore Bill Clinton, but even my conservative classmates agreed. He praised both McCain and Palin in his talk, and advocated for people to stop this atmosphere of hatred and vitriol against those candidates with whom they don't agree. We don't have to agree with someone, he insisted, but you can still acknowledge their accomplishments and good qualities. It was refreshing and ironic to hear him address this topic, since I'd just had two separate run-ins with friends when I said remotely kind things about the Republican ticket. There is no doubt that I am voting for Obama, but my only point was that all the candidates have some redeeming qualities, for sure.

President Clinton gave his own views about the new bailout plan, health care, and foreign relations, and talked a bit about his own time at the law school. The hour passed quickly, the question and answer session was brief, and soon he was being ushered down the aisle to leave the hall. A crowd gathered around him as he was leaving, and he took a few minutes to answer some questions from other alums. Most people left the hall, but Josh and I and a few friends sat around watching him field questions and charm the crowd.

Josh suggested we get closer to see if we could get a better picture of him while he was chatting, so we started squeezing our way through the aisle and around the crowd. I stood to the side, because I certainly didn't need to be squashed with my big pregnant belly, and I watched Josh finagle his way closer and closer. He waved me over as President Clinton's time drew to a close.

The crowd was smaller, and I was finally 5-6 people away from him, when he announced apologetically that he really did have to go because his classmates were waiting for him at his own reunion reception. He turned to leave, turned back for a moment, caught my eye, and REACHED OUT HIS HAND TO GRASP MINE AND PULL ME THROUGH THE CROWD. "When is your baby due?" he asked. And then I threw myself at him while professing my unending love.

Ok, not really, but I did almost die from excitement! He held my hand and leaned into me while Josh snapped a quick photo, just long enough for me to promise him that I'd name my little future Democrat William Jefferson if it turns out to be a boy. He laughed, gave my hand a little squeeze, and was quickly escorted out. I've been giddy with excitement ever since, and can't stop telling Josh how unbelievably soft Bill Clinton's hand was, and how grateful I am that he encouraged me to try to get closer for a picture.

The rest of the reunion was great. A casual reception in our law school's courtyard, quality time with some friends, a good dinner, and then it was over. Definitely, definitely, definitely, that minute and a half was the highlight of my day, though. Baby 002 will definitely have a good story to tell about how his or her pregnancy got me that picture.

Friday, October 03, 2008

and I smell some pretty stinky diapers, but this doesn't even compare

Something crawled into my car and died there.

I've cleaned the car two different times, including emptying the car of EVERYTHING this last time and scouring under every seat, in every crevice, and even crawling around sniffing each seat, seat belt, and rug to locate the impossibly disgusting stench that has permeated every surface.

I cleaned the car of every last shred of toy, clothing, paper, and food, and even removed the car seat to ensure that some noxious food hadn't fallen underneath or behind it. Then I sprayed the whole car with Febreeze and hung up a lovely pumpkin spice scented air freshener. This morning, I got in the car, and it smelled like rotting pumpkin flesh with perhaps a dead rodent inside. It was awful. Truly, truly disgusting.

What do I do? I searched the whole car already, I don't think the smell is coming from inside the automobile. Is it possible for an animal to have crawled inside the engine and died in there? Would it smell inside the car? What should I do? Being pregnant just makes the whole thing worse. Today I drove through the rain, gagging, with the windows rolled down because I couldn't tolerate breathing the car's air. Help!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I've created a monster

Why didn't any one of you tell me how totally, utterly, and completely creepy a certain televised children's train show is? I would never have turned it on in the first place. Someone told me that several of the shows were saved on our cable's "on demand", so on Thursday I turned it on for the first time and let Gabe watch the show. Big, big mistake.

Every morning and night since Thursday, Gabe has requested the "choo choo crain" repeatedly. Repeatedly. He's never asked for any kind of television show before, in fact he has pretty much ignored television except for brief viewings of everyone's favorite furry red monster. When my niece and nephew were visiting, the television was on quite a bit for cartoon viewing, and he barely looked up from his car and trucks to see what was on. So this newfound obsession with this oddly disturbing train show is throwing me for a loop. He really, really, REALLY likes Thomas, apparently, and he's been getting very upset when I say no, or when I insist that Thomas went to sleep for the night. Those are most definitely unsatisfactory answers to Gabe.

A warning would have been nice, people. Is there anything else you're holding out on me about? Should I avoid any particular foods? Channels? Stores? Anything else about which my child is going to become ridiculously obsessed? Now is the time to let me know. Spill it.