Saturday, November 28, 2009

happy thanksgiving

This is going to sound crazy, but it felt kind of funny to not be pregnant this Thanksgiving. I've been pregnant for two out of the last three holidays, and for a while yesterday and today it felt strange not to be anticipating a birth.

I'm thankful for so many things this year, not the least of which is my wonderful husband and beautiful children. I can't believe last year's belly contained this amazing little Josie who spent the last two days perfecting her walking skills. By the end of this week, I suspect she'll be running, at the rate we're going. I cannot believe the little boy playing with trains and drawing and helping his grandparents is my baby Gabe. I know I say this all the time, but what is with all the growing up? He is such a little boy! Barely a toddler! It is happy and heartbreaking all at the same time.

I'm thankful for healthy parents and that my children still have all of their grandparents healthy and happy. My father in law is one week out of hip replacement surgery, and nothing drives home how valuable our health is than a major surgery. My parents will be here in just two short weeks, and I cannot wait to see them. This is the longest we've gone without seeing them in years.

We have our health, broken toes excluded, and our happiness, and a new roof over our heads, and life is good.

We have much much much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and I wish all of you many blessings and joys for the rest of this year and in the year to come. Thank you for your support and comments and advice and for just listening. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

at least I got out of cooking tomorrow

What's that? You asked where I spent my morning? Oh... in the emergency room at our local hospital, of course!

First thing, bright and early this morning, I went down to our basement to get milk for Gabe's cereal, because if you'll recall, our fridge is in the basement so any time I need to get anything for anyone, I have to go down to the basement. Anyway, I went to grab something on one of the shelves in the basement and then who only knows what happened, but a massive glass jar fell ONTO MY TOE. I immediately started SCREAMING with poor Gabe standing right in front of me, doubled over with my eyes closed, and after just a couple of seconds opened my eyes and blood. Blood EVERYWHERE. An actual, honest to goodness, puddle of blood. Also, excruciating pain, but also lots of blood.

I did what any logical person would do- I sat on the basement floor, and somewhat calmly begged Gabe to go upstairs and get the phone and paper towels. And then I cried.

It took Gabe a while to get the paper towels and the phone because, well, two year olds have a hard time following directions occasionally, but he did get me the paper towels and the phone eventually. I called Josh to try to impress the seriousness of the situation on him, and his response was that he had a conference call and couldn't possibly leave work. Because of a CONFERENCE CALL. Did I mention the blood? And the excruciating pain?

Long story and 17 calls later, I finally convinced Josh that I really really needed him to come home, and we took a trip to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with one broken toe and a laceration that probably required a couple of stitches, but because of the placement and proximity to the bone and blah blah doctor speak, they decided to bandage instead of stitch. I'm also on an antibiotic because of that proximity to the bone and the risk of a bone infection. I couldn't really tell you what they said because when they came into the room with the big needles I passed out.

So I'm at home now with throbbing toe and screaming children and no husband and feeling just the teensiest bit sorry for myself.

The good news, though, I don't have to unpack anymore, right?

Friday, November 20, 2009

hopefully no poltergeists either

The cabbbiiiiiinnnneeettttssss, you guys. Let's get back to the cabinets, please. My children crawled around TOGETHER inside one of the cabinets. Shrieking and carrying on and climbing shelves and then getting down and passing each other from side to side. I think Josh and I could probably fit inside these kitchen cabinets. Tightly, but still. Now, don't get me wrong, the look is a bit dated (understatement of the year) but who cares?! All my stuff fits! I have drawers up the wazoo! I keep putting stuff away and then not being able to find it because there are so many possibilities for locations. I'm in lurve.

I feel like I'm living in the Amityville house, and every little creak or sigh I'm waiting for the ghosts to pop out and say, what? You thought you were getting a legitimate deal? There has to be a reason we could afford this house, and I'm just hoping it isn't because it is haunted by demons or something. I'm only half joking on this one. Have you been to see Paranormal Activity yet? You'd understand if you'd seen it.

Last night I was rocking Josie in her room for bed and kept hearing what sounded like footsteps, so I'd jump up and go into the hallway and then nothing. I'd sit back down, hear the footsteps, jump up again. Rinse and repeat. I called Josh at work and made him stay on the phone with me while I searched the house. Finally, I figured out that the sound of footsteps? Was the ROCKER. I'd get up and the rocker would keep rocking for a few more seconds and then stop.

Funny, but I really am waiting for the other shoe to drop. The house isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination and needs tons of cosmetic work and I haven't even shown you pictures of my hideously pink on pink tiled bathroom, but on the whole, it is amazing and perfect for us. I'll get sick of talking about it soon, I promise. Just give me a few more days of rolling around naked in the laundry room.

In other news, big day for us today! I found my hairbrush! For the first time in 6 days! Also, the silverware! You don't appreciate spoons until you live without them for a week! Let's hear it for spoons! And brushed hair!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

parking his cars

I want to buy Gabe a parking garage for his birthday, and I don't know where to start. Does anyone know of a good one?

These are the ones I've been perusing as possibilities:

1. Alex Parking Garage

2. Plan City Parking Garage

3. Le Toy Van Parking Garage

4. KidKraft Garage Set

5. Garage and Crane Train Set

Anyone have any other suggestions? Gabe will be very grateful, come December!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

preschool spells relief

My preschool hunt is OVER, thank goodness! We were accepted this morning into my top top top choice! The school was refusing to even give me an application until January and wouldn't be giving an answer until the spring, but after begging and pleading and cajoling and telling them that they were forcing me to pay a hefty sum in unnecessary deposits at another preschool to which I don't want to send Gabe, they agreed to give him a spot. HURRAY!

I felt a little awkward when I sat down with the director and she asked me to tell her about my child, because I hate being put on the spot, and really, how do you quantify your child? I sort of hemmed and hawed and said that he was great, but I wish I could have found a way to tell her how awesome he is, how funny and sweet and interesting he is, how we adore him and how he'll be a wonderful addition to her school. Oh well, at least she took him anyway, even with my bad description. HURRAY AGAIN!

The question now, however, is whether I send him to morning or afternoon preschool. Chatty Cricket is going to laugh at this, because I was adamant about not sending him to afternoon preschool, but the director gave me food for thought.

The advantage of morning preschool is obvious, I guess. We start the day early, he gets into the routine of attending school in the mornings the way he will for the rest of his life, he gets to continue his routine of napping (or barring napping), of resting in the afternoon. I can run errands in the morning, Josie's afternoon nap won't be interrupted. He'll be on the same schedule as his friends.

The director feels that although everyone wants mornings, the afternoon children are more focused, better rested, more ready to come to the table and work. She said they are able to have a leisurely morning, eat a good breakfast, go to the park or play or whatever, and then get to school ready to pay attention and do good work. Of course, if Gabe wants to nap or rest or whatever, which he might since he STILL takes a 3 hour nap every day, then his resting or napping time will be totally screwed. And I won't get that quiet time for myself, although I guess he'll be at school so there's that.

Additionally, truth be told, I am the furthest thing from a morning person, and afternoon preschool will be more convenient and less stressful for me and what is less stressful for me is less stressful for everyone. UNLESS, he still takes a nap in September, and then it'll be super stressful for me.

Oh, what must life be like when you have real problems, huh? No time to agonize over inconsequential items like this. So help me with my silly decisions- morning or afternoon for Gabe? At Dream Preschool! HURRAY INDEED!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


So much for Nablopomo. That whole moving out, closing on one house, then closing on another house, then moving the same afternoon, then starting to unpack, then shopping for appliances (because did I mention the new house has no appliances? NONE!), then dealing with sick kids, and then breathing, kept me from blogging. It has been... well... an interesting weekend. That is the mild way to describe it.

We're here, though, and the new house is fabulous. Except for the no appliances situation, which is fine, albeit stressful because I have no garbage disposal, no oven, no cooktop, no fridge (because our fridge didn't fit despite Josh measuring the opening 3 times). Yes, with two children this has been challenging. The no appliances thing also makes unpacking challenging because I have to spend a good amount of time out shopping for new appliances. You'd think that wouldn't take that long, but you would be wrong. We have very specific measurements for the new appliances, and it is darn near impossible to find appliances to fit those sizes. It'll work out, though, it is just taking longer than we'd anticipated. We'll all be sick of microwave cooking and takeout by the time our kitchen is suitably dressed.

The best thing about the house (and there are a lot of wonderful things) is the CABINET SPACE. Oh lordy, the cabinet space. What a glorious pleasure it is to have more than enough cabinets to hold all of your shit. It is enough to make me lie down on the kitchen floor among my gaping non-appliance holes and weep. Also, separate bathrooms for adults and children. Another amazingly selfish and decadent feature of the house. Also, a walk-in closet for me! Well, Josh and me together. Still! Walk-in closet!

We're finally home. And it feels great. We are so lucky.

Friday, November 13, 2009

the horrible threes

I think it is funny that everyone talks about the terrible twos, when I definitely think the threes, or at least the almost threes, are much worse. Gabe is his normal sweet, funny, happy self most of the time, until... (picture creepy music) the monster within comes out. The almost three year old monster within has been pushing his sister, screams bloody murder when she touches his stuff, lays on top of her while she also screams bloody murder, and demands to do everything "all by himself" even when it is clear that he CANNOT DO IT. Like microwaving food, or getting dressed, or buckling himself into the car seat, or paying for items in stores. He is adamant that he does NOT need me, even though we all know he does.

I have to say, though, this new stage is teaching me to have endless stores of patience. I definitely value independence in my children, and I am all about him learning to use the bathroom all by himself, and get dressed all by himself, and put his coat and shoes on all by himself, so I'm finding it inside of me to let him keep trying and trying and TRYING even if it takes us forever to get out of the house.

I know this is totally typical. Any tips for me?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

move out day!

I was just informed that our internet provider won't be able to come to the new house until next Tuesday to set up the Internet!!! This is going to make Nablopomo very difficult, I can tell.

Anyway, I'll do my best.

Today is move-out day on the old house, and I am stressed and sad and sick as a dog. An ugly combination for sure. I feel fairly certain that I have a sinus infection and possibly an ear infection and no time to go to the doctor. Additionally, I'm also fairly certain Josie's ear infection is not getting better, since she threw up, had a fever, and has been uber-fussy since yesterday. Sigh. I feel like all I ever do these days is bitch and moan!

Forgive me. I promise it'll get better next week.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

sexy shoes

The theme of my wedding shower was "Sex in the Kitchen", and my friends asked guests to bring something hot and heavy as well as kitchen appropriate as a gift. Consequently, I have an indecent (tee hee) number of sex books in my collection. This gifts were hilarious, and it remains the best wedding shower theme I've ever heard (in my unbiased opinion).

I just packed a box full of shoes and sex books, and for some reason that combination seemed totally fitting. Don't you think so? Both can be passionate, I guess.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Packing is a strange thing, I think.

The first pass was fine- I pulled out clothes and books and videos and small appliances and other items and packed them away. The first pass covered our most used and most needed things. The second pass was also pretty much fine, although I started to touch on some of those strange parts of packing, where you come across all that stuff you have that isn't essential to your day to day life. The old letters and cards, the clothing you haven't worn in months or years, the old school books and papers left over from college, Josh's snowboard and rollerblades. Many of these things are sentimental, or are used rarely, but we're still unwilling to get rid of them.

And then there are those items in perfect condition, gifts or something that cost a legitimate amount of money. I don't need them, but how could I possibly get rid of them? I need a professional packer who would come over and point out what is junk and what isn't, and what I'm holding onto for the wrong reasons.

I'm trying my best to weed out the unnecessaries now, rather than move them AGAIN, but it is hard hard hard. I'm sure I won't miss whatever I give away, and that is my mantra as we near the final stretch.

Monday, November 09, 2009

always looking forward

My mother in law is coming this afternoon to help and I may fling myself at her feet in gratitude when she walks in the door. I'll be doing the packing, but she has agreed to watch the children and also to patch up all the holes left by paintings and drapery rods. I also talked her into raking all the leaves that we are never going to have time to rake before the move on Thursday.

This is crazy! We're so close!

I took a book out of the library for Gabe about moving called "Goodbye, Hello" and it tells the story of a little girl's move from her old apartment into a new house. I sat down and was reading it to him while the little girl said goodbye to her old room and her old walls and her old friends and her old neighborhood and on and on, and then she moves and is very sad.

Gabe was paying attention, but really could have cared less because all he can talk about is his new playroom and his new room and his new big rock in the front yard and the swing set I promised him. Anyway, I'm reading through all the goodbyes and then... I started BAWLING. I'm totally crying through the book and trying to hide it and Gabe is looking at me like, what is your problem lady?

It turns out that amidst all of this excitement is a lot of sadness too. I can't wait to move, but this is the house where I brought home my babies! This was my first home with Josh! Gabe and Josie both took their first steps here! I love it! It is a lovely, wonderful, happy home, and I'll be so sad to leave it. I'm consoled by the fact that my friends have told me that once I move, I'll never look back, but still. For now, I'm sad.

So I'll be putting the "Goodbye, Hello" book away for now, not because of Gabe, but because clearly it is too traumatizing for ME. He's not the looking back type anyway, like soooo many other moments in life, Gabe is ready before I am.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

like college, only more stressful

Back to the preschool drama for a moment, if you all don't mind.

No, nothing new has happened, but I've been surprised at how many of you think I should switch him from this toddler program. In theory, I'd love to grab him and run since I have a burning hatred of confrontation, but I also have been feeling guilty because I can't teach him that running away is the right answer to a problem.

Yes, I'm upset, and yes, I think the director acted inappropriately, and yes, I'm uncomfortable with what may be taking place going forward. I am relatively confident, however, that his teachers are okay with Gabe. They said repeatedly that his behavior is typical for a 2 year 10 month old, and every day when I come they are adamant that he had a great day. He seems happy with the program and I've been inquiring more often lately about whether he likes his teachers, does he have friends, what does he do, how does he feel. I'm treading lightly here, since I don't want to give him a complex, but I also want to make sure I am actually hearing what is going on.

We aren't moving far away from our current town, just a few miles down the road. It will be a bit of a trek to keep him here at his school, but I think continuity is probably a good thing with all of these other changes. The drive will probably be 20-25 minutes in traffic, as opposed to 5-10 where we are now. Not ideal, but doable.

I'm going to think about other schools, in the meantime, and once we've made the move and I've seen what is going on at the toddler program over the next few weeks, I can always make a switch after the holidays, if it seems warranted. What do you think about that plan? Any thoughts?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

packing is my nemesis

OH MY GOODNESS, the packing, you guys. The packing is going to KILL ME. I have been nonstop packing for weeks, or at least that is how it feels, and there is no end in sight. I guess I can see that some progress has been made, but holy smokes, why do we have so much shit? I'm considering packing a little more and then calling the new owners and telling them we'll throw the rest in for free. They'll totally want all our junk, right?

Plus, Josh is wandering around the house and starting boxes left and right and then wandering away, and is currently outside the house looking in the shed doing God knows what, and I can't even yell at him because he has threatened to stop packing because I am too critical. I didn't know that asking someone to finish a box was critical. I also didn't know that asking someone not to dump out all their drawers on the bed and leave was critical. For your information, it is also critical to ask someone not to take all the pictures and mirrors off the walls until we have some boxes and/or open space in which to put them. FYI. All critical and not to be tolerated.

Oh lordy. This is going to be a loooonnnggg week.

Friday, November 06, 2009

I'm kind of laughing, but kind of not

Gabe loves dinosaurs.

Loves dinosaurs, as in knows all the names of all the different dinosaurs and talks about them all the time and tells me how he wants to visit them and asks for stories about them and we often ride the "dinosaur train" through the "time tunnel" to meet different dinosaurs and have picnics. These picnics often include Frosty the Snowman, because didn't you know? Frosty also loves dinosaurs. According to Gabe, I mean.

Anyway, yesterday I'm flipping through channels and come across Jurassic Park (the movie) and said to Gabe, "Oh look! Dinosaurs!" Are you cringing yet? I didn't completely remember the movie, but it started off great with beautiful big dinosaurs off in the distance and then a triceratops up close (which he loved) and then... the jeep breaks down in the movie right in front of the Tyrannosaurus Rex pen and... yeah. Do you remember this part? This is the part where the Tyrannosaurus EATS A GOAT and FLINGS BODY PARTS from the goat over the fence, and then busts out of the fence and starts trying to EAT THE HUMANS and then ACTUALLY EATS A MAN and there are screaming kids and screaming adults and... oh geez. This may have been a bad decision.

I'm not totally paying attention to the movie at this point because super stellar parenting going on here, and Gabe starts saying, "Mommy? I don't want to watch the scary movie, Mommy. Please no scary movie Mommy." I change the channel quickly and say, "Oh, it's just a movie, just pretend, don't worry." and leave it at that.

So today, we meet up with friends and decide to go to the pet store nearby to check out the turtles and cats and birds and bunnies and all that. I'm excitedly telling Gabe about how we're going to see some animals, and doesn't that sound great, and we're going to have so much fun, and then he says, in a small small sad voice from the backseat, "I don't want to go see the animals, Mommy. When the animals come, the T Rex comes. No animals, please."

Mmm hmm. Mother of the year, right here. Damage control, please.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I made an appointment with the director of Gabe's preschool on Monday because I wanted to get her thoughts on the tangled mess of preschools for next year. Before we even got on the topic of preschools, she asked me how I thought Gabe was doing at school. Umm, fine? According to her, apparently not. Despite my asking every single day how his day has been when I pick him up, she went into a laundry list of complaints, including "wandering nonstop, beats to his own drummer, doesn't want to participate with set activities, doesn't sit still for circle time, doesn't want to do art projects, has trouble transitioning, etc".

I was... stunned. I couldn't even really respond, for a number of reasons, I guess. First, I don't do well with confrontation. Second, I was totally unprepared for this to turn into a parent-teacher conference. Third, this is ABSOLUTELY not the message I'd been receiving from his actual teachers. I left the meeting feeling totally upset and shocked and thrown off and not understanding what I was supposed to do about all of this information.

She didn't give me any tips of preschools, and now I had a whole list of "problems" I needed to address. She also went into a long discussion about how he wasn't getting enough discipline from me, and I needed to be stricter and more disciplined and the preschool I choose next year needs to be VERY disciplined to control him. Umm, okay.

I stressed nonstop about this for the whole morning until it was pick-up time at his TODDLER PROGRAM, need I remind you. As I was getting his stuff ready, I told the two teachers about my conference with the director and about how I was stressed and confused since this wasn't the message I'd been receiving from them. They looked at each other strangely, and then told me they had no idea what I was talking about. According to them, he is perfectly fine. Developmentally appropriate, doesn't wander, doesn't have trouble with transitions, has plenty of lovely skills and strengths (none of which were mentioned in my earlier conference), and yes, he doesn't want to sit for circle time, but he's two. He isn't the only one.

Sigh. I felt relieved, albeit confused, and decided to just forget about it. As long as the teachers were assuring me he was fine, I would push it out of my mind for the interim, at least until we move, and hope it all blows over.


Today, I came to drop him off and the director asked to speak to me and laid into me about how she was "sorry I was angry with her, but she has been a director for XX number of years and she isn't going to lie to me about my child and she has been receiving horrible reports from the teachers, and she thinks I need to know about the problems." Imagine yourself a huge mess, a startled and upset me, and you have yourself our morning scene. She insisted on showing me the notebook on Gabe, which I read through and by the way, said NONE of the things she kept going on about, and she says it is because the other teachers haven't "caught these behaviors".

I finally started crying in the hallway and asking what her point was. Was she saying he had a problem? Did he have ADHD? Did he need help? WHAT? She looked visibly stunned and softened a little and said no, not at all. He was perfectly normal. Definitely didn't have ADD or ADHD and he was a typical and normal 2 year old and she didn't mean for it to come out so harsh. She just thought I needed to know these things so I'd have something to work on. I continued crying while she apologized and said that from now on she was going to make the teachers write a daily progress report on Gabe (which I don't want) and we would have an accurate picture of what he was doing every day. And that was that.

I left crying, and dreaded pick-up and seeing the progress report all day and have been sad about this all day long. I don't know what to think- is there a problem or isn't there? If he is typically developing, then what is the big deal? If he isn't, then why isn't everyone on the same page? The director certainly isn't going to back down on her stance at this point. She is adamant that Gabe is doing all of those things she mentioned and his teachers just haven't noticed it.

I'm tempted to pull him out of the school and go to a school closer to our new house, but I don't want to go down that road, and I also don't think this warrants a change of school, sad though I may be. Ugh, what a mess. I'm just praying it doesn't affect him, and hopefully none of the teachers take their annoyance out on him.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

because I needed something else to freak out about

I got a letter late last week for jury duty. Jury duty.

For this coming Monday. As in, the Monday of the week I am moving out of this house, closing on this house, closing on the new house, and moving into the new house. Mmm hmm.

You're permitted one postponement for jury duty, but unfortunately, I've already submitted my postponement, because I was supposed to do jury duty about 2 weeks after Josie was born. That wasn't going to happen, and I could never have imagined this was the week I'd be moving.

I started scrambling to find a babysitter, trying to figure out how I could afford to take an entire day off from packing, and worst of all, how Josie was going to make it through an entire day without me, because she STILL won't take a bottle. The other day I left her with Josh for an afternoon while I attended a baby shower and she sobbed for two hours until I finally came home.

I didn't let myself contemplate the possibility of actually being PLACED on a jury, because I assumed between the moving and the breastfeeding, I'd be getting excused.

Thankfully, I called to ask about the process of getting excused, and how long I'd need to plan on being at the actual courthouse, and the kind, sweet, blessed woman with whom I spoke told me to get a letter from my pediatrician and fax it into the office explaining the breastfeeding situation. She said I didn't need to show up at the courthouse with the breastpump in hand, as I'd originally planned. I could get a medical exemption ahead of time, and it would be good for 3 years.

I got my letter, faxed it in, and I'm waiting to hear back, but my stress level has gone down 200%. Can you say "phew"?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I have a death wish

It is totally insane to even consider doing this NaBloPowhatever, right? RIGHT? I can't even ponder the thought. Tell me not to even think about it please.

The last time I attempted this was when I was 8 months pregnant with Gabe and I almost succeeded, except for that one pesky night when I tripped and fell in the Home Depot parking lot and ended up in the hospital for 2 days with contractions. Stinking Home Depot. I don't know why they didn't anticipate that a gigantically pregnant woman would trip in the middle of the parking lot with nothing around her to trip on. I should totally sue them.

Anyway, I'm considering doing it. Even with packing up the house, and moving, and sick kids, and ear infections, and husbands working around the clock. Maybe. Perhaps what I'll do is do my best to post every day, and not ever say I'm officially doing it, so if I can't do it, I don't have to feel like I failed.

I think that is what I'll do. I'll do the daily posting thing, but I'm not officially doing the daily posting thing, and let's all hope for the best. Anyone else on board?

Monday, November 02, 2009

priceless satisfaction



Not eating


Not sleeping


Not wanting to be put down


Tugging at ear


5:15pm rush over to the pediatrician's office


You guessed it... another ear infection!

A good one too! Every nurse and doctor I've talked to has insisted that ear tugging is NOT a sign of an ear infection, but it turns out you should trust yourself because if your baby is nonstop tugging at her ear and screaming, it just might be an ear infection!

After being chastised by the doctor for bringing her after hours without calling in advance, I found myself hoping he would find an ear infection, even though I felt guilty for wishing it on Josie. Is it terrible that I felt overwhelming satisfaction when he admitted that I was right to bring her because her ear looked horrible? I'm a totally mean mommy, right?

The poor little monster is having a rough time tonight, and I'm just praying the combination of baby Motrin and Amoxicillin will knock her out for the night, because she was a mess- all goopy eyes and runny nose and tons of sobbing. I'm just going to throw as many things as I can into boxes for the short period she is sleeping! Off I go!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

happy happy happy halloween!

What's that, you ask? How could I possibly forget to post on FREAKING HALLOWEEN? Yes, I am wondering the same thing. I blame it on the moving and packing, the crazy children, the multiple colds, and the absentminded me. Don't bother telling me anything these days, because I know I looked like I heard you, but I wasn't really listening. 30 seconds after we talk, I will have no idea what you said because my brain is fried with all of our to-dos.

All of this to say, Happy Halloween! Gabe and Josie send you an abracadabra, a little hocus pocus, and a magical day!