Wednesday, November 17, 2010

sick, sick, sick

I know it's inevitable, with two kids and a hubby who works outside in all kinds of weather. But I can't help but cringe as one of us starts to get sick. Daniel had a slight cough Saturday night which has morphed into the whole tribe of us sneezing and coughing at all hours. A random fever moves through the house occasionally, but only seems to strike at night.

This is on top of my feeling fairly certain that Ethan has started teething. The kid is gnawing on anything he can get his hands on - and even just his hands if nothing else is available. He's normally so even-tempered and smiley that the crying jag we just had tonight tears at my heart. We have a regularly scheduled doctor's appointment tomorrow, so hopefully I can get some advice. I'm pretty sure I blocked Daniel's teething from my memory...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Numbers Game

Ever have special numbers that just keep popping into your life? I'm amazed by the ones I've been noticing that crop up around birthdays. My husband H's family has a rash of birthdays all on the first of various months. He also shares his birthday - April 1st - with his oldest sister. There is the Ohio baby girl who was born on 8/9/10 at 11:12pm. And for the next few years we will have the possibility of kids born on 10/10/10, 11/11/11 and 12/12/12...

I've taken to calling my boys "The 13 brothers" as they were born on August 13th and July 13th respectively.

What about you? Maybe we should be considering some lottery tickets... I'm putting in a bid for Lucky Number 13!

Friday, November 05, 2010


Okay, where did October go? Some days I'm a rockstar Mama and I feel as though I've got this two-kid thing down. And then other days it's just not working and I'm looking for a do-over.

Remember when you were little and summer seemed to last forever? Days of racing out the back door to go ride bikes through the neighborhood, or go swim in the lake. Freeze tag and cookouts, and one lazy afternoon a friend and I read books in the crook of a couple of tree branches with the breeze filtering through the leaves and our hair. The arrival of Fall and school was always a little bit of a surprise.

Now, I blinked, and suddenly H and I were celebrating our 10th Anniversary at the end of last month. I blinked and here I am, Mom of two blond, blue-eyed boys. One is a 5 year old and the other is a 4 month old cherub - who fill my life with more energy and mischief than I would have thought possible. I guess I'm keenly feeling the passage of time, of late. This was probably helped along by the discovery of some video of Daniel at the approximate age Ethan is now. All adorable, all good stuff... concrete evidence of the march of time. It leaves me a bit tender, and so as I struggle with the time to sit and write at my blog I also fumble for the words.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just a Jab

How do you help your little ones handle shots? We had Daniel's 5 year appointment yesterday and I spent the whole time fielding the question over and over: Is this just a checkup, or am I going to get a shot? This was compounded by the fact that his pediatrician was running late and the poor kid was sitting in the exam room, on the table in his underwear.

I didn't know whether we were caught up on shots or not, and we certainly have the flu shot coming up... so the best I could do was to say I don't know. Lying would have been comforting in the moment, but would have caught up with me in the end. I tried several other tactics, such as shots are meant to keep us healthy... it's really quick, and it's done... and the capper: Poor Ethan will have to get a lot of shots coming up, you're just getting one.

No shots yesterday, although Daniel now knows that the flu shot is coming. I'm hoping it will be alleviated by the fact that Mommy has to get one too. Daniel is voting that I should go first.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Tag Team Parenting

Long before Ethan arrived, I sort of wondered how it would go this going from one to two kids. It's felt a little odd. I mean, I've been blessed to be able to stay home with my children and for so long my focus has just been Daniel. Suddenly I'm back to the beginning with diapers and feedings and that special kind of attentiveness that comes from a little one needing you so much.

At five years old, Daniel is Mr. Independent and I can ask him to help me, or do things for himself like getting dressed. And that's a definite relief. Yet by the end of the day I'm so very grateful for H's arrival home from work. He can wrangle the five year old, and help him burn off some of that boy-energy while I take care of the little one. A side effect of this tag team method, however is that H complains that he needs more time with Ethan, while I often feel like I am neglecting Daniel. Still working to find that balance, I guess.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Attending a kid's birthday party today, we all had a bit of a scare when one of the preschoolers had a piece of candy lodge in his throat. One of the Dads is a cop with emergency training - he flew into action with the heimlich maneuver, and all is OK thank God.

Holding the little ones a bit tighter tonight.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Wild Ride


That didn't go how I imagined.

On Tuesday, July 13th we welcomed Ethan - the newest member of our little family. I also joined the ranks of those somewhat disappointed in their birth experience, but not for the reasons you might think.

Around 5pm I was lying down, #1 Son and I watching some cartoons together when I felt a distinct "pop." Checking out the situation, I couldn't decide that my water had broken or contractions had begun. I mean I had one or two, but that was not unusual at the 38-weeks stage of the game. Still puzzling, I called the hospital. Unfortunately for me - I got the OB on call rather than any of my doctors. Oh no, she insisted. You'd be leaking fluid or having timable contractions. Call if you have that. This is despite my relaying yet again that labor with my last child never had timable contractions to start. Waited awhile, H came home. Still didn't feel right, so we made the decision to have Daniel spend the night at his cousin's house for a sleepover. If it was nothing, so be it. But if we had to head to the hospital, then he was taken care of. H drove Daniel several towns over.

In the time it took him to make this trip, and start the return I was suddenly having knock you off your feet contractions extremely close together. All I could think was - even if H makes it back, how am I getting to the hospital like this???

I called 911. Embarrassingly, this of course means that the whole circus shows up: fire department, police and the EMTs. They loaded me up in the ambulance, just as H finally made it through traffic back to our place. We all took off for the hospital. The EMTs were asking me questions, while sticking an IV in my arm, and can I just say that their gurneys seem frighteningly small to a whale of a pregnant woman who is flailing around trying to get a handle on her pain? I kept grabbing for something to hold onto, and hitting the button that collapses the back of the gurney. At some point the guy in the back with me yelled, Hey! Pull over and come help me, we're having a baby! Now I am not a yeller, but my high-volume response was: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Pushing on that tiny gurney was going nowhere, so we continued to the hospital.

We came bombing into labor and delivery, and the only thought pitter-pattering through my tiny brain at that point was: Oh thank god, now they can give me something. I've had my eyes screwed shut the entire time, panting (nearly hyperventilating) against the pain. And then I hear from the nurse: Honey, you're fully dilated. It's time to push.

Nonononono. NO! This is the hospital! This is supposed to be where I get the drugs! After what seemed like an unimaginable amount of time, cajoling from the nurses, and a bit of what felt like browbeating from the doctor - who was most decidedly not my favorite person at this point - baby Ethan was born. It was only later that I cobbled together from bits of paperwork the information that they admitted me at 10:17pm and Ethan was born at 10:40pm. That's a grand total of 23 minutes in Labor & Delivery folks!

Eeks. Apparently I go from 0 to 60 in no time when it comes to having children. Daniel was around a 12 hour labor, and that makes Ethan around 5 or 6 hours. The important thing is we're all home, happy and healthy. I'm breastfeeding and short on sleep, but that's the way these early stages go. And IF there are any more children in my future? I think I'm announcing my pregnancy, and scheduling my C-section all at the same time.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Babywatch 2010

Ugh, and ugh again. Two non stress tests a week, plus an office visit. Baby is doing beautifully. Mommy not so much. My official due date is July 24th, but I am really hoping to not go so far at this point.

I am big. Maternity clothes are no longer fitting. The feet are finally puffy so shoes aren't fitting either. I've got the pregnancy waddle down pat. The stairs to the condo have turned into a struggle, and I can't get comfortable sitting or standing (or lying down) any one way for very long. This means that I am up several times a night, every night, as the hips start to ache and I need to change positions.

The belly has been exceptionally heavy and tight today. Nothing has felt "timeable" or like it was progressing anywhere other than making me uncomfortable, so I have been sort of riding it out. Usual non stress test tomorrow morning, and I will probably grab the doc and see what she says. We started discussing induction at the last appointment, but that would still be at least a week away, I think. Ack! Somebody find me some relief!

Thursday, July 01, 2010


I feel horrible. Nurses don't believe it is labor (official due date July 24th). Their solution? Get off your feet and drink 3 quarts of water a day.

Yeah. I'll just be putting the preschooler in suspended animation.

And I guess I'm moving a cot into the bathroom any time now.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mostly Ghostly

I feel like I am haunting my own house these days. We've hit the 36th week mark for this pregnancy, and I lost my ability to sleep through the night quite some time ago. If it's not getting up to pee, it's due to the hip pain or just the uncomfortably huge belly that I'm trying to maneuver and carry around.

Restless nights, awake, asleep, awake at all hours and days spent trying to keep ahead of a four year old as well as get something done around this place. Riding in or driving a car is an adventure in fidgeting as I try to get comfortable. And this whole thing is fast becoming an exercise in frustration as I want to spend time with the people I care about, friends and family, and get prepared for this new little addition to our family. And all my body wants to do is have me flop on my side on a bed or a couch (at least until the hip pain kicks in again).

On the flip side, the last ultrasound showed everything is going wonderfully. Our little man is 6 pounds 9 ounces, and head down rather than trying to poke out my ribs as much. I'm trying to ride this out, knowing that this is all good in the end, and that the end (July 24th) is in sight. Updates here have been farther between as I don't like to hear myself complain, and wind up feeling like you'd like to hear about something else as well. Hope to be - no, know I will be in a better swing of things soon as we head into an exciting new chapter for our family.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Ready or Not?

Everybody in the pool!

My emotions are on a wild pendulum swing over here these days. I don't want to wish this time away, yet I'm ready for this little man to get out. I haven't slept through the night in months, whether due to trying to find a comfortable position for the belly or dealing with the aching hips. Some days there is so much abdominal pressure that all I feel like doing is flopping on my side on a couch or a bed to try and get some relief. This leaves me guiltily looking around for something for my four year old to do. Thank goodness we still have preschool for a week more! And I have been blessed with some Mommy friends who have willingly taken Daniel on his own for some playdates, giving me some R&R time.

Maybe what's contributing is the fact that the doctor appointments have been stepped up, as well as dropping into the hospital for some monitoring/non stress tests (mostly due to my being considered - ahem - an older mother). Every one is very nice, but you're there hanging out in those rooms where eventually you're going to deliver. I'm watching my little guy play hockey with the monitors strapped to my belly. And there are those hospital blanket covered baby warmers and bassinets. My mind wanders one second from: Is this really going to take until July? I'm just so tired. Let's get a move on, and then at least I get to put this kid down from time to time. To - holy crap, I am so not ready for this! Nothing is ready yet, other than some baby clothes that have been washed. I won't be able to take this kid home because the car seat isn't in, and where will he sleep? And - two kids?? I am so not ready for this!

I'm trying to be tender with myself and just take it moment by moment. Daniel has actually had a very sweet attitude about the whole thing. He talks about getting a baby brother, and how he's going to be gentle with him and help out. In the meantime we have a week left of preschool. We discovered that the town splash pad opened a few days ago, and he and some friends had a blast running through the spray on a hot day. TBall is ending, but I might sign him up for a summer program or two that will keep him busy with a couple of his friends. Some of my Mommy friends have already offered to take him to these programs along with their kids. And I'm trying to remind myself to Take the help. Mommy-does-it-all has to step back a little, allow her friends to help... there are already one or two who are due some big thank yous... and ease up on herself.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Suiting Up!

This second pregnancy has steamrollered me more than I like to admit. Anyone have any advice for conquering the joint/hip middle-of-the-night pain? The lack of sleep is getting tedious. (I know, I'm only in for loads more of it once the little guy arrives! But I'd at least like to be caught up a bit before that happens!) And every time I sit down to write, the current complaints come out - and I realize how very much I don't want to write about them... onward!

We joined TBall this season, and boy is it a hoot! At this age they don't keep score, and just have the kids bat through the lineup. Good thing it's only three innings or us parents would be there awhile. But to see the little ones figuring out batting, when to run (or not!) catching the ball, trying different positions has been great fun. One inning, I heard the coaches hollering Daniel's name and I turned around to find him looking like this attached photo!

Now if I could only find some Mommy protective gear to get me through the next few preggo months...

Friday, April 30, 2010

With a Capital S

We talk in various ways with Daniel about the baby brother soon to be joining our family. In yet another view on a preschooler's concept of "time" - every time I head to the doctor's office for an appointment, he asks if I'm coming home with the baby. I smile, and explain that it will be summer, and warm, and practically his birthday before he gets here. (If only it were so easy!) He will also randomly tell me about how he will help with the baby when he gets here. This includes things like changing his diaper, and pouring milk into his cup. Hmmm. Breastfeeding may take a little explaining... And when we were coasting through the kid's department of a store yesterday he picked an outfit off the rack and asked if it would be good for the baby. The clothes were a near-fit for Daniel, so I explained that his little brother would need to grow into something like that. It's all been very sweet.

Moments above alternate with the days that I have to hold onto my patience with both hands as my independent-minded four year old and I butt heads over every. Little. Thing. Clothes to wear for the day are not right, by virtue of the fact that Mommy picked them out. We can't leave the house while he struggles with his coat zipper. He appears to be living on tortillas and string cheese lately. And once, this past winter, he was determined to help me move a pile of snow out of our driveway. To the point that he moved my pile of snow back into the driveway so that he could move it out himself.

And we've been in a potty-training conundrum for quite some time. Daniel has peed on the potty like a champ for awhile now. Wears underwear to preschool, doesn't have accidents... but when it came to the inevitable poop on the potty, he requested a pullup and to go do it in his room. Nothing, not even outright bribery of every kind could dissuade him. He'd proclaim to one and all that he would get this or that prize if he pooped on the potty, but when it came to the moment there was so much fussing and crying over it all that I would give in and it would be a pullup in his room for the deed.

Grandma and Grandpa came to visit last week. There was some cajoling, and fussing, and one missed day of "going." The next day he agreed to sit on the potty. I could hear him chattering away to himself, flipping the pages of a book while he sat. And then. I could almost hear a catch in his little voice as he said: I did it! Daddy took him to Target, to pick out a grand potty prize. And while there's some work to be done regarding the logistics of such things as wiping, we've been going on the potty ever since.

I feel slightly silly, and maybe it's just pregnancy hormones, but I found myself tearing up at the jubilation in his voice at his accomplishment. Here's to my stubborn-sweet son, who does it all "My way!"

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Complaint Closet

If I'd known that a whole lotta my maternity clothes wouldn't fit me anyway the second time around, I might not have held onto so much. My top half is covered pretty well, but I have yet to find bottoms of any kind that aren't annoying the heck out of me (binding, sagging, just not fitting or uncomfortable in general...). Since the weather has flipped from pretty nice to 40s and wet, I'm lucky I'm able to leave the house.

On the plus side, I'm counting my blessings that H made it out of Scotland before the Iceland volcano went kablooey. What a mess. I feel for those poor travelers, and I'd really be outta my mind if H were still stuck overseas.

I did find some only mildly uncomfortable maternity pants to wear, and got out of the house with some of my local Mom friends last night. Unknown to me and to Melissa, another preggo Mom due around the same time, the ladies had conspired to make this our "baby shower." They wouldn't let us pay for dinner, and we each got a Target gift card to look out for some baby things... Yummy appetizers and dinner, lots of laughs and conversation - I have the best friends.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Unfortunately it ain't just the ice cream

Don't get me wrong - I am super-excited to meet our new little guy! But at just over halfway there (23 weeks), my reactions swing wildly from Wow, where did the time go? one minute to Holy Sh*t, where did the time go? the next. I think it is most often correlated to the physicality of a moment. I'm five years older than the last time I did this preggo thing, and the bod is complaining! I'm also chasing the four year old, who is really a pretty good kid. It's just that his normal energy level could drain me when I wasn't pregnant, let alone now... thank goodness for the Mommy-break of preschool. Mix in a liberal dose of recent spousal stress, and whew! Lately I'm - not sure if a mess is the right word. I'll settle for stressed. And this conjures up worries for when I will need to do more than just carry kid #2 around. I've developed a healthy respect in recent years for my friend Kim - who does it all, with 5 children. I hope I'm as good a Mommy with two.

And on that note, I'm off to search out some ice cream, some chocolate, something...

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Daniel has always been a kid who liked participating in crafts. We've recently seen an explosion in drawing around our place. Sweeping crayons, vibrant colors - and even some figures emerging. Some are helped along by the "draw a dinosaur" video we recently found at the library. I'm loving it - only thing is, I think I am going to have to hide the computer paper. Mr. Observant kept his eye on where I get the stash for the printer, and has started helping himself every time there is a new creation in the works.

I may be fooling myself, but with my first pregnancy I seem to remember more of a - call it a gradual expansion of my figure. This time around, I'm feeling like I rolled over one day and poof! Clothes don't fit, and I'm starting to lumber a bit. Add to that, I'm experiencing the hip pains sooner as well which is making for some interesting late nights as I try to get comfortable and get some sleep.

We've had several days now in the 50s, which has led to park visits. It's glorious to get outside! As I drive Daniel to preschool, there are people out and about who are tending to their yards and doing various out-of-doors projects without having to be bundled to the gills. It's a very anticipatory - Spring feeling, which feels wonderful!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Frakkin' Bureaucracy

I am so angry, I haven't known what to do with myself. I really don't like paperwork. And every year, despite my best intentions I wait until April 14th to file our taxes. (There's no excuse really. In the grand scheme of things, our taxes are relatively uncomplicated, we usually receive a refund...)

This year, I thought I'll be on top of this. E-file your taxes! Less paper! Get your refund in 8-14 days! Who can argue with that? The taxes were bounced. Immediately. The reason? My birthday on the form didn't match what the Social Security office had on file for me.

Excuse me?

Come to find out, during the stretch of time that I got married and had to change my name on every piece of identification I owned, somebody down at Social Security made a boo-boo and entered my wrong date of birth. Never mind that I've been working and paying taxes since I was sixteen, including for five years with the new name before stepping away from the paid workforce to raise my son. And their mistake comes back to bite me hard now?

They freely admit it is their mistake. They can actually look in their records and say that up until 2001 they had it correct. Well for cripes sakes, change it back!

No. Instead I have to drive a 40 mile round trip, take a number and wait an interminable amount of time in an office to present my birth certificate and prove who I am. I tried to do so this morning while the little man was in preschool, so I could at least spare him the aggravation. I had to leave, as I ran out of time to wait. This means I get to do this tomorrow with Daniel. This also means that the Social Security Administration's error will cost me 80 miles on my car, gas money, an unknown number of hours and a mountain of aggravation for me and my kid.

Frakkin' bureaucracy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Next Stop - The Baby Zone

We waited awhile to start really talking to Daniel about this whole new baby business. I mean, if I mention that a friend of his is having a birthday party next week he's ready to put on his shoes and go now.

But now after all kinds of good doctor visits, and being able to confirm that it is going to be a baby brother the discussions have begun in earnest. His reactions, and those of some of his friends have been priceless.

We attended a new playgroup yesterday with one of his best friends. At one point, Marisa whispered to her Mom who indicated that she should ask me. She shyly looked up and asked: "How is the baby doing? Does he kick you alot?" Apparently she had also asked her mother if I was bringing the baby to playgroup that day!

I had made plans to visit my doctor once again that same day because of the increasing sinus infection I was dealing with... When he discovered we were headed to the doctor, Daniel asked if they were going to take the baby out. I had to explain to both that he's small yet, and won't be arriving until it's warm and practically their birthdays!

I've been wondering how news of the impending arrival would sit with Daniel, as he's been Mr.-One-And-Only for going on five years now. My mother once said that I was fine with the arrival of my little brother. Until he got mobile. And could get into my stuff. It's a process, right?

Monday, February 22, 2010

And then there were four....

We're thrilled to announce an addition to the Dirt Makes Fat household: Daniel will be getting a new baby brother this coming July! I've been lucky, in that my main symptom has been fatigue. Man, am I tired. By the end of the day it is a struggle to keep my eyes open. And if I sit down to watch a TV show, forget it. I've started advising H to put a tape in for most everything, because I invariably fall asleep and miss the end!

Unfortunately February has been the month of illnesses, beginning with a tummy bug for the whole family and progressing to a wicked, wicked cold for all. Mine seems to be morphing into a sinus infection of some sort so it isn't done with me yet. I'm short on sleep and long on germs, and every time I have considered sitting down to write at this blog I've had a list of complaints that bored me to no end. I've decided to share my news in an effort to push on into the fun and exciting stuff in store as we head into March and beyond.

Mom to two boys. Who would've thought?? What an adventure!

Friday, February 05, 2010


Over Daniel's increasingly busy four years we have run the spectrum of sleep issues. There was the waking every two hours early on, the sleep all day/play all night phase, and the I'll only sleep in the swing/bouncy chair/with you stages. After many tears on all our parts, we got him into his own bed and his own room, although the need to have "company" as he falls asleep has been a struggle.

Recently we have been getting more night-time visits from the little guy. In many ways, I don't mind too much. He's not crying, or being loud and obnoxious. I'm just suddenly aware of a little presence next to the bed. If I say softly: Do you want to come in? He doesn't do more than nod his head and clutch his blankie tighter. I flip back the covers and let him crawl between H and me, and all three of us drift off to sleep pretty quickly.

I'm torn, as I know that most recommendations are to take him by the hand and lead him back to bed. At three am, though, a peaceful family snooze holds lots of appeal. Early on, I read lots of baby books on sleep, and I have to say that after awhile I tossed them. They didn't serve a lot of purpose other than to make me as a new Mom feel horrible about everything I had done wrong since Day 1. And I remember blessing the Pedi who once told me: Sometimes you just do what you have to do, so that everyone can get some sleep.

If I ask Daniel why he comes to visit us, the usual response is: I was cold. My restless sleeper, he gets rid of any covers pretty quickly and doesn't really think to cover up again. That same restlessness means that I wake up with blond hairs tickling my ear, and H has Daniel's feet firmly planted in his kidneys come morning. Yet I am reluctant to give up a little cozy family time while I can get it.

Did you have sleep issues with your kids? How did you wind up handling them?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Aaand - I've just had nothin'

It's been a combination of things really. There's some stuff that I'm not prepared to talk about in this space yet. Couple that with several rounds of getting sick: the attack of the cough that keeps me from getting any sleep, and a stomach virus that swept through the family - and I've been very blog-neglectful lately.

There's a general winter funk that usually sets in around this time too. The holidays are over, and I just get caught up in dealing with a high-energy four year old who can't get outside as much as he would like and - enough with the cold already!

It's time to snap out of it.

I'm relishing the little things like warm cinnamon rolls on a Sunday morning, and Daniel's excitement over a new dinosaur video from the library. What are the little things that break you out - or even just warm and sustain you through these winter months?

Monday, January 04, 2010

Well, this doesn't feel new...

My cough is back. Sigh. Somehow every little bug winds up hitting me with a nasal drip/cough thing, and I spend the wee hours of the night - hacking. It feels as though I've tried every remedy over the years, and very little seems to have a calming effect on the cough allowing me to get some sleep.

Off to find something else to sip - hot chocolate? If there is one saving grace, Daniel listened to me cough so much in utero that it doesn't seem to faze him at all. He is currently sleeping away in the next room.