Saturday, December 31, 2011

Amateur Night

I have not really liked New Year's Eve for awhile now.  In fact, I got so sick of scrambling to find a party that I stopped celebrating before I even met Stephen.  It was the year I turned thirty, and I was working really  hard to be happy just being SINGLE and just ENJOY MY LIFE.  As part of that?  I was not going to spend $100 to go to a bar and drink watery beer and stand around wishing I had a place to sit or put my jacket.  So I stayed in that night, made pizza, ate half a gallon of ice cream, watched a marathon about illegal drugs on the History channel, and went to bed early.

It.  Was.  AWESOME.  You do not even know.  (unless you've also done it, in which case, wasn't it AWESOME????)

So, even though I have plenty of things on my list of Stuff I Miss Since I Had Kids, New Year's Eve is soooo not one of them.

Instead, I go out to dinner with another cop's wife and all our kids (and this year, the husbands were able to join us!), come home, put on my pajamas, and sit on the couch with the tv and the internet and an early bedtime.  I could joke about my glamorous lifestyle, but I also secretly know that it's a damn good way to spend an evening.

So long, 2011.  You were a real asshole to a lot of people, but you were pretty good to me.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Geriatric Baby

Look at this gorgeous girl.

Guess what?  SHE NEVER SLEEPS OMFG.  She USED to sleep, she was even sleeping through the night!  Routinely!  Her naps sucked eggs, and that is annoying, to be sure, but nothing new.  I have PRACTICE with this, I know what to do!  And then she got the Virus That Ate Cleveland, and as soon as she lost the boogery coating on her nose (sorry, gross, I know, but it was really impressive), she finally, finally, finally started to get her two bottom teeth.  And so she wakes up before 5am every day and barely naps at all and anyway, even if she DID take good naps, it's been so dang busy around here I couldn't take advantage of it anyway.  Today she woke up from her afternoon nap after just an hour (after waking at 4:45 and taking a twenty minute morning nap).  I knew she needed to sleep, but I couldn't nap with her on the couch today because we had Christmas celebrations to attend, so I sat with her in the glider while she napped with her favorite pacifier (moi).  I passed out cold sitting upright in the glider with my mouth hanging open.  It was really hott.  Anyway.  No sleep.

But teeth!  FINALLY!  Way to go, baby.

There was also the matter of Baby's First Christmas, which was as impressive to her as it ever is to any baby.  Her sister had fun, though, and I had fun dressing them in matching pajamas and feeding them too much candy.

We only have two months left with a Baby, before she becomes a Toddler.  And I could go on and on about "ZOMG WHERE DOES THE TIME GO", but I think that all goes without saying.  On the plus side: only two more months of pumping!  Because seriously, sooo sick of feeling like a dairy cow.  On the minus side: weaning is going to be a seeeerious bitch.  I had a hard enough time the last time I weaned a baby (seriously, wtf, , why does nobody talk about weaning hormones?  holy suck, they are HORRIBLE and nobody warns you!  at all!  so you feel like you're probably going crazy but you're totally not it's just the world's biggest SECRET that they let you find out all on your own!), but this baby?  I cannot possibly explain to you clearly enough how much she loves the bewbs.  And before you even tell me I don't have to wean at a year, I do know that people don't have to wean at a year.  However, *I* have to wean at a year.  So.  It is going to be difficult and sucky and within a five minute span, I rapidly cycle between being TOTALLY THRILLED to have my body entirely to myself a little bit and TOTALLY ANXIOUS about how much the whole process is going to suck eggs.

Friday, December 23, 2011

This had fail written all over it.

Sometimes, I do things because I think I want to, even though, if I really thought about it, I would know that I actually did not.  Some other times, I do things that I KNOW I do not want to do, but I feel obligated to do because I'm worried I'll regret it if I do NOT.

Going to the mall to see Santa less than a week before Christmas with a three year old and a baby?  That would be the latter.  Especially after last year, which I apparently didn't blog about!  When I risked a car nap to drive to the mall, only to find a totally creepy, silent Santa, and a douchebag photographer who was so busy talking to his friend, he never took ANY picture at ALL.  (I ended up getting the Gabs an egg roll and apple juice for lunch in the food court, so she was just fine with the way things turned out, but me, not so much). 

So yeah, this year I was not so excited.  Gracie is old enough to understand Santa, though, and I just felt like I would regret it if I didn't have that picture so FINE, I'll go I'll go I'll go.  Maureen told me there was a really great-looking Santa with no wait at this mall, so FINE. 

The thing is, that mall has the worst, most obnoxious, stupidly engineered parking lot EVER.  So when I pulled in and could barely even make it to a parking spot, I was nervous.  When I finally parked and saw the hordes of people walking in to the mall, I started sending out whiny texts about how much it was going to suck.  When I had to strap Katie to my chest and push Gracie the length of the mall in a crappy umbrella stroller, I was DONE. 

So.  I mean.  SOMETIMES I'm wrong.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

grown-up birthdays

Inititally I used the word adult in the title here, but that made it sound way too p0rn-y, so I changed it.  Anyway.

Stephen and I were talking yesterday, about how birthdays when you're a grown-up don't have that same "special day" feeling they do when you're younger, and how much that stinks.  All day yesterday, I kept forgetting it was even my birthday at all.

It was, however, all worth it when Stephen stuck a candle in a cupcake and he and Gracie sang happy birthday to me.  Gracie isn't big on singing happy birthday to other people, and kind of tends to lose her mind when it happens, so it was really cool to have her sing to me.  Also?  She pronounces it birpday.  Which, if you're me, means she's singing Happy Burp-day to you, which is pretty freaking awesome.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I know this is where I'm supposed to weep and gnash my teeth and ask where the last three years have gone.

But...sorry.  Three seems totally, totally right.

She looks like a three-year-old, right?  And she really acts like one, which is awesome and infuriating and hilarious and have I mentioned potty training lately?  Yeah, well, let's just keep not mentioning that business. 

Not to beat a dead horse here, but I'm pretty sure she's the world's awesomest big sister.

 She loves to match colors (and has to announce it to you- "See?  It's a match!")  She walks up the stairs one at a time, instead of putting both feet on each step at the same time.  She is starting to fight me on napping (we are not even going to discuss this right now.  Carry on nothing to see here lalaLALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU.)  She is not the eater she used to be, but as three year olds go, she's a freaking gourmand.  At the very least, I have no worries about her developing scurvy, which puts her ahead of most of her peers.

And, like I said, I feel like I'm supposed to be shocked that she's old enough to operate a remote control car (and serve as a human tunnel for it to drive through), but, I don't know.  It seems exactly right.


 This song was on an LL Bean commercial that seemed to be running on continuous loop the whole month of December 2008.  I think it must have played a lot in the evenings, when she was screaming a lot and I *swear* I was doing some kind of freaky post-partum sundowning (well, except substitute anxiety/borderline panic for confusion), because after awhile, that commercial would come on and I would instantly taste bile.  After awhile though, it started to remind me of the (admittedly rare) good moments in those early days.  And after that, it just reminded me of becoming a mom.  I listened to it a lot after Katie was born, too, which kind of cemented the association.  And I try not to listen to it too often (in spite of being a really awesome sun about the suckitude of winter), because I don't ever want that association to wear off.  Because now it makes me happy, in a weird way.  I didn't think I would ever want to dwell on those early days, and I didn't think I would ever want to have any kind of detailed memories.  But now that I really DON'T?  Now that it's all fuzzy and distant?  All I remember is that one day I wasn't a mom, and then the next day I was, and I got this awesome little girl as part of the deal.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Katie: A Play in One Act

Katie: I've decided to give up sleep for Advent.

Her mother: You can't give up something you never really had to begin with, first of all, and secondly, you give stuff up for Lent, not Advent. Third, it's not even Advent yet.

Katie: Well then.  Bet you're really regretting not taking me to church more often, every day at 4:30, aren't you?


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Well, but with less pigs' blood.

You know, at the end of Carrie*, when she's killing the entire prom with her brain?  And in the back of her mind, she notices that some kids are escaping, but she's so busy dropping beams on everyone else and lighting them on fire that she decides she just can't address that, and so she just lets them go?

I think that is kind of what it's like to raise two kids.**

*- I wish I hadn't read that wikipedia article.  the part where he talks about the girl finally changing her outfit really, really breaks my heart.  Because that girl was TRYING.

**-without the massacre, I mean.  In case that isn't obvious.  Like, I"m too busy keeping one kid from eating coins to worry about the other one who's unfurled an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet, just so she can say it's plugged and use the plunger.  Because nobody ever died from using a plunger***.

***- maybe they did.  if they did, just...don't tell me, okay?

Friday, November 25, 2011


Nine months ago today, I was rudely awakened at 4:something by a baby who wanted to get born.  I left work early and when I came home, found Stephen had fallen asleep on the couch instead of going up to bed.

Today, I was rudely awakened at 4:something by a baby who wanted to get the day started.  I left work early and when I came home, found Stephen had fallen asleep on the couch instead of going up to bed.

Thankfully, that is where the similarities end, because I wasn't really in the mood to spend the day having a black hole open up just beneath my belly button.

Katie: loves eating (hates veggies, loves meat and beans and fruit), doesn't particularly care for sleeping, cruises, crawls, shrieks, squeals, squirms out of her tub ring and stands up in the tub all. tubby. long., screams with rage every time she has her diaper changed (woe be unto you if there are extensive crotch/leg snaps), hates her car seat, loves her sister, never naps, always smiles.

I think we shall keep her.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I am thankful for

so, so, so many things.  But especially:

Running, which keeps me sane and gives me something to obsess about besides my children, keeps me healthy and makes me feel accomplished in a way that I never, ever have.

Having two steady jobs in our household, especially these days.

my December mamas, who also keep me sane, make me laugh, make me feel like part of a huge family, and always, always, always know that I am never alone.

peanut butter-chocolate chip oatmeal.

my oldest friends, who are my other pretend-family, who will always be there and always be them.

my amazing, funny, all-around kickass husband.

my hilarious, kind, brilliant older daughter.

my happy, inquisitive, sweet younger daughter.

my FAMILY, my real actual family, who have all saved our lives a million times since Gabba was born, proving that there are no small families, only small actors.  Or, um, something like that.

my stupid smelly dog


and sunshine.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oh no she di-int.

So Gracie goes to a play group every tuesday morning- just kids, no parents/babysitters.  It's only an hour and a half, but gives her time with other kids her age.  She really loves it, has become so much more outgoing since it started, and her speech has absolutely exploded since she started going.  It's all-around awesome. 

The teachers have their work cut out for them- they've got a few criers, and a few spitfires, who seemingly spend half their time in time out.  So far, we've been really lucky with Gracie.  She's always been fine with me leaving, and the teachers always talk about how sweet she is with the other kids.  Apparently, she saves all her turdiness for home.

This week, I went to pick her up and found her playing with legos with another little boy.  I mean, kind of- he had his back to her.  This is important to the story.  Trust me.  She did not notice that I had walked in, as her back was to me.  She picked up a chunk of stuck-together Duplos, and whacked the little boy in the back of the head.


For no reason!  wtf?!

I actually jumped and gasped a little bit.  Her teacher did the same.  She almost spluttered, "I...wha?  Gracie!!!  We don't hit!  What do you say?!?!?"  and Gracie cheerfully said, "Sowwy!!"  I was still frozen.  I could not even react.  Where on earth did that even come from!? 

Yeah.  I still don't know.  Honestly, she wasn't mad or having a fit or anything.  I really think she just wanted to get his attention, or see what would happen.  Something similar happened when Katie was brand-new and we were playing at the park.  Suddenly she decided it would be fun to run up behind other kids and push them.  It was totally mortifying, but also completely bizarre. 

One of my friends joked that she's practicing for when she starts dating.  Like, "HELLO, are you LISTENING TO ME?!!" 

Yeah.  Works for me.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Return of the Car Nap.

This is my own fault.

A few weeks ago, Gracie woke up exceptionally early.  Katie was still sleeping and I was just flat-out not ready to face the day.  I pulled out a trick from my mom's repertoire, asking her "Would you like to come watch tv in my bed?!?!"  as if I were offering her the opportunity to color on the walls with Sharpies or eat an entire package of oreos.  She, of course, leaped at the chance, and snuggled under the covers with me, quietly watching tv while I half-slept for another twenty minutes.  Genius, I told myself.  I am a genius.  Surely there shall be no repercussions for this behavior because these things never backfire ever especially if you are me.

So of course, in a shocking and amazing development, she is now waking up every day at 5am, asking to watch tv in my bed.  (oh, and did I mention I also let her use my strawberry chapstick while we watched tv?  And so she also wakes up asking for red lips?  Yeah, look, I never said I was smart.)  Aside from the fact that there are few things I hate more than waking before 6am (I used to hate waking at 8am.  let's all pause a minute and laugh and then weep.), it also means she's exhausted by 10am.  And since her sister still needs a morning nap, we never leave the house before 11am.  Which means...THE RETURN OF THE CAR NAP OH MY GOD SUUUUCK.


This past week, we took my mom to lunch for her birthday.  Both girls fell asleep on the way there, and I thought, "How odd.  Of course, Gracie has a cold, surely that is why."  And since she was a little bit of a troll the whole morning, I decided to just let her sleep.  Of course, that meant she took no afternoon nap and if I thought she was a troll that morning I was sadly underestimating her abilities.

I figured it was an isolated incident, and so we attempted to go to Lincoln Square, about twenty minutes from our house, to pick up our packets for the Turkey Trot (and Gobble Gallop!) on saturday.  Traffic was light, we didn't have anything else to do, Lincoln Square is a cute neighborhood, I had high hopes.


We got about halfway there when I noticed the steady stream of jabbering had slowed and then disappeared. I peeked in the mirror and saw Grace with her head lolling off to one side.  No.  No!  No no no no NOOOOO!!!!!!  So I did what any rational person would do.  I aborted our mission, rolled down her window, and started screaming bloody murder.  You guys.  Oh my god.  I was screaming so freakishly, trying to wake this kid up.  I mean, the full, throaty kind of screaming you do when your dog chases a squirrel into four lanes of traffic.  And did I mention I rolled down the window?!  I seriously cannot even imagine what people were thinking as I weaved in and out of traffic on Irving Park Road on a saturday, screaming, "WAKE UP GRACIE NO SLEEPING NO SLEEPING NO SLEEPING WAKE UP!!!"

It....didn't work.  She slept all the way home.  I whipped the car into the garage, opened the door, and woke her up.  She started sobbing, which is pretty much what she does after a car nap, except she kept saying something, over and over.

Oh.  Did I mention?  I was a little nervous about how she'd act at packet pick up?  And I bribed her by telling her we'd go to Starbucks for cake pops if she was good?  And all she knew was that we were driving somewhere, and then we were back in the garage, and there was no cake pop?  WOOPS.

So, I mean, yeah, ok.  We went back out for her cake pop.  But the closest Starbucks is on Irving Park Road, the same heavily-trafficked road we'd been on earlier.  And it was also the only place where we could find parking, a block from Starbucks.  Grace was SHOCKINGLY good, holding my hand, walking nicely up the street.  When we got there, she got her cake pop and even sat nicely on a chair while I waited for my latte.  And said hi to every. single. person. who walked in (and a LOT of people walked in.) Finally! Win.

By then it was gorgeous and sunny, so we went home and played in the backyard.  And everyone took a nap.  All's well that ends well.  (even if the same damn thing happened on the way home today and now we're gonna be back on house arrest DAMNIT.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Four Years Ago...and today

Stephen and I exchanged gifts when he got home this morning.  That was pretty much the extent of our celebration today, since we're celebrating over the weekend.  We were standing in the dining room, spacing out, kind of leaning into each other, and just as I looked over at the girls and thought, wow, who would've thought?  Stephen said, "That's what you wanted, right?"  And I thought, wow.  That's a little deep for 6 in the morning, and anyway, how did he know what I was thinking???  Then he said, "I mean, that's the link you sent..."

Oh.  Right.  The totally kick-ass running watch he gave me.  THAT was what he meant.  Heh. 

....but for the record, he was right on both counts.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Daytime TV

There's some real winner advertising on daytime tv.  Mostly ads for personal injury attorneys, OTC yeast treatments, and shady insurance companies, amiright?

And I just want to know one thing: that ad for correspondence school, with Shannen Doherty?  I'm wondering who they think they're fooling.  Because she talks about studying on the set, and I'm pretty sure nobody actually believes she's still working.  Unless she's referring to the actual commercial she's acting in when she talks about being on the set.  But that seems a little too meta for Brenda Walsh.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Home Sweet Home

We moved into our house three years ago yesterday.  I know I've covered this before, but it's a funny anniversary.

The move was brutal.  Long and grueling for a woman who was nine months pregnant and a man who had just had a huge surgery on his shoulder.  Had to wedge a doctor's appointment in there, amidst all the chaos.  Had to go to work the next day, bright and early, after being up all night because our bed and clothes had to be unpacked.  Exhausted, hungry, frustrated, I thought I was gonna DIE.

....except ho ho ho, I had no idea how EASY that day really was.  I mean, isn't it CUTE that I thought it was hard to MOVE STUFF and MISS MEALS and GO WITHOUT SLEEP ZOMG.  And every year when this anniversary rolls around, I think about the three weeks we lived in this house as a family of two, and it makes me happy and sad and most mortified for being so very naive about what I was getting into.  I think about standing in front of our washing machine and pre-washing all the baby clothes (after removing the eight million plastic tethers from all the carter's stuff- WHY do all their clothes have eight million plastic tethers?!  wtf?!  it's so annoying!) and friends coming over to help us paint and set up baby furniture and I just kind of can't believe our lives were ever, ever that easy. 

And as much as this house drives me crazy, it was our daughters' first home.  We became parents in this house.  Grace became a big sister in this house.  It's where we really became a family.  So no matter what, I'll always kind of love this house, too.  Even in spite of our uninvited guests.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

...which is weird, because I HATE the cold

I ran a 15k today.  I was, um, nervous, to say the least.

This past week completely kicked my ass.  Also, I had not run more than six miles since the half, two months ago.  Sooo, I was not going into things in particularly good form.

My friends and I decided to drive down, rather than deal with the El, which turned out to be more stressful than I expected, when we couldn't find parking.  We FINALLY managed to find parking (in a building with a view of what we called "the dead body field", because seriously, it was so desolate and creepy) and walked over to the start.  It. Was. FREEEEZING.  They also didn't have enough port-a-potties and they started the race twenty minutes late.  Things were not off to a great start.

But then?  We started running, and it felt...really, really good.  I forgot to take note of what time I started, so I wasn't sure how fast I ran my first mile, but it felt reasonably fast.  As the race went on, I thought, hmm, that's odd, I swear I'm running sub-10 minute miles.  Surely that can't be right.  I bet the clocks are wrong.

Then I missed the 7 mile marker.  I just kept looking and looking and never did see it.  When I finally saw the clock coming up for the 8 mile marker, all I could think was, if that is the 7-mile marker, I am in big trouble here, heh. 

When I crossed the finish line, I felt like a million bucks.  I wasn't sore, walking was easy, I chugged three cups of gatorade without feeling like I was going to be sick.  I even had a cup of post-race hot chocolate (and I basically NEVER indulge in post-race treats, I usually feel way too rotten for that).  I found my official results online and sure enough, I paced 9:35 minute miles.  That is pretty slow to most people, but NOT if you're me.  If you're me, that's AWESOME. That is kick. ass.

It's the weather.  It was cold and crisp and PERFECT for running.  I can't run in the heat.  It's why I haven't been able to PR a half marathon.  It only kind of makes sense, because I really, really, really hate being cold, but I also hate being hot, and when I'm running, I'm never really cold for very long.  The annoying thing, though?  Is that I thought to myself, I really wish there were a late fall half marathon in Chicago, THEN I could get my PR.  ....Of course, there IS, and I just missed it, because sit was the weekend before Halloween.

Next year.

Monday, October 31, 2011

oh god, it's EVERYWHERE

In an effort to catalog my every achievement of Maternal Awesomeness, I give you this:

The day was saturday.  The time was just before 9am.  Grace, Katie and I were playing in Gracie's room.  Katie started to fuss, so I told Gracie I was putting her down for her nap, and asked if she wanted to keep playing in her room.  Yes, she said.  I told her I was closing her door so the noise wouldn't bother Katie.  I settled into the glider with Katie, and of COURSE, just as her eyes got heavy, heard Gracie calling, "mama?  mama!  mama!"  I stage-whispered, "in a minute, Gracie!!!"  and as I got Katie into her crib a few minutes later, thought to myself, yes.  I will leave Gracie downstairs tomorrow at naptime like always, this was a tactical error.

I had NO IDEA.

I opened the door to G's room, and....poo.  EVERYWHERE.  Alllll over the floor.  See, because, the thing is, I FORGOT that when we put G in a bed, we put a childproof doorknob cover on the inside door knob, so she couldn't get up in the night and wander around looking for broken glass to eat or anvils to pull on top of her head.  So she had to go potty and she couldn't get out of her room.

Just let that sink in for a minute, how awesome I am.

I. Felt. AWFUL.  I kept saying, "I'm so sorry Gracie, I'm so sorry!!!"  which then led her to mimic me and say, "sowwy, mommy!!  Sowwy!"  so THEN I had to keep saying, "NO Gracie, don't be sorry!!!  it's okay!!!"  Then she said, "Mama, ees okay, I cleaned it up!"  And my eyes darted furiously around the room, and asked, "...wiiiiith what?"  "The diap-air!" (God I love how she says that word.)  Sure enough, we'd left an overnight dipe in her room, and she had used it to try to clean up a bit.  Which you know made me feel that much worse. 

Now the carpet is scrubbed clean and the childproof doorknob is off the door (we sold all our anvils) and seriously?  I would prefer to not repeat that little adventure.

And on a totally unrelated note, I need Halloween to be OVER already, because I cannot seem to stop eating candy, and aside from the fact that I am pretty sure I gained back every ounce of baby weight that I FINALLY lost (but don't know for sure because I cannot bring myself to check), I have a constant ice pick headache, upset stomach, and hideous mood swings.   So srsly. Why I can't just stop eating the damn candy is also beyond me, but since I CAN'T, I need the sugar out of the house.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What is this, the Ritz???

"Gracie.  You HAVE to put underwear on before you eat lunch."


"GRACIE.  You don't have to wear pants, but you HAVE to wear underwear."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What? NO.

Eight months?????  I do not remember signing off on this.

Katie, on the other hand, is fully on board.

You guys, this kid.  OMG.  She is like a living, breathing ball of sunshine.  She is perpetually GIDDY about life in the world.

Especially when it involves cupcakes.
She learned a few new tricks this month.  She has always been crazy vocal, and FINALLY, we have consonant babbling.  She loves to practice and play around with pitch and volume and she's *pretty* sure she's saying something awfully important.  She's started throwing her hands in the air- but never when we ask how big she is.  Instead, she raises them above her head and looks at us expectantly, like, "Um, HELLO, waving my hands here, don't you have something to say?!"  And of course, the second I get the camera out, she's got her hands back in her lap like nothing ever happened.  Just tonight after dinner, I noticed her clasping her hands under her chin, like a little old lady. 

Oh yeah, and she did this, too:

and by "this", I mean, survived being dressed this way.
Her sleep seems to finally be getting back on track- the last few nights, she's only been up once, and she's actually learning how to take a nap, which is seriously nothing short of a miracle.  I really didn't think she'd EVER learn how to do that.  Of course, she'll get shots in a month and that'll all go to hell, but for now, I'll take it. 

She looooves to eat, and unlike her sister, this one is an omnivore.  Meatloaf, meat balls, sloppy joes, turkey and rice, you name it, she loves it.  

Oh yes, also bagels.
Her most favorite thing in the world, though, is still her big sister.  Grace walks into the room, and Katie's whole face lights up.  When Katie is crying and fussy and mad, Gracie can *instantly* make her laugh, just by sticking out her tongue and saying, "blablablablalbalba!!!"  (Um.  that's not doing it justice.  anyway.)  The feeling is moooostly mutual- if Katie's crying, Grace will say, "Ohhh, what happen-a Katie?!"  But then Katie will reach for one of her toys and it's all, "noooooo, KATIE."  So, I mean, they're normal, too. 

"Seriously Katie, if you wear those pants again, I WILL pretend I don't know you."

One of the games that seriously never gets old to me is the "X months ago at this very minute, ABC was happening" game.  I'm pretty sure I'm alone in that, heh.  ANYWAY, tonight we were all playing upstairs after tubbies, and when the clock ticked to 6:43, I said, "awww, eight months ago right now, I told my nurse I needed to push and she went to get dinner!"  Seven minutes later, I tickled Katie under her chin and smiled.  And maybe ten minutes after that, it was time for bed, and I was nursing her, all bundled up.  And I thought, wow.  Eight months ago right now, I was doing the exact same thing.

Oooh, hello, did someone say nursing?!
Happy eight months K-Mae.  It just keeps getting better and better:)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Klumsy Kate

I've been saying for awhile that Grace isn't particularly accurately named.  The poor kid can trip on thin air.  Her sister appears to be following in her footsteps.

Katie's weekend, in summary:

While scooting around on the bathroom floor, she lunged forward on her knees, headfirst, into the corner of the tile wall in the bathroom, cracking her forehead right on the browbone, leaving a red mark.

While crawling around at my parents' house, she somehow wedged herself under one of their chairs.  Said chair is also a recliner, and Gracie chose that moment to open the chair, leaving a big scratch on the back of her head.

While exploring in the pull-out pantry in the kitchen, she lost her balance and slammed down, face first, onto the bottom shelf, leaving a big swollen cut smack in the middle of her philtrum.  (Sorry.  Her philtrum)

Considering her rapidly increasing mobility, I'm guessing we're going to have to invest in a set of football pads for her.  Because just a few days ago, she got herself stuck like this:

Of course I took a picture before I rescued her.  Mother of the Year!

Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm Not Above Bribery

So I'm just gonna cut to the chase here: Grace totally refuses to pee anywhere other than home/Grammy's house/Grandma and Pop-Pop's house.  ONE TIME, we went out to dinner and she peed three times on the potty.  Then someone came in and went in the next stall and she damn near lost her mind.  When the person started making noise, she shrieked, "GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!"  And there has been no public bathroom utilization since. 

Not for lack of trying.  Ohhhh, I have tried.  And you know what?  She's tried too.  Her teacher at the Y said that, at the second class, Grace told her she had to go potty.  They got to the bathroom and Grace looked around and said, "There's no frog (frog potty)!!" and refused to go.  We've made it to the bathroom at Target multiple times, only to have her completely freak and refuse to go- and I can't blame her, since the last time we were there, someone started using the hand dryer and oh my GOD, it sounded like a 747 was taking off in the bathroom.

So I've changed gears.  My new goal is to have her hold it til we can get home.  Sometimes, I will offer incentives to achieve this. 

Whatever it takes, people.  Whatever it takes. 

If only I could bribe Katie to sleep, I'd be golden.  Particularly since she seems to alternate between waking three times a night and waking for the day at ungodly times.  She has been known to sleep until 6 or 7, waking only once, but that only happens when she forgets to wake up.  And she's too little for popcorn, so I am stumped here.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Add it to the list

As if it weren't bad enough when I started flagrantly disregarding allergy rules?

Today I let Katie eat tortilla chips off the floor.  At someone else's house.  And acknowledged she was doing it.  And when my friend offered to clean them up, I rolled my eyes and said, "Nah.  She's fine."

Dude.  I let her eat off the floor and didn't pretend to be horrified. 

(in my defense: I happen to know for a fact that the rug she was eating them off of was probably cleaner than any plate in my house.  if I'd wanted chips myself, I would have happily picked up a few and eaten them, too.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Saga of the Toenail


I've had this ongoing....issue.  With my toenail.  For, um, years now.  The fourth toenail on my left foot is...thick.  And it looks like there's something underneath it.  And while it never looked like any fungus I've ever seen, I couldn't imagine what else it could be.  Oddly, it resolved when I was pregnant with Grace, then returned with a vengeance after she was born.  Resolved a liiiitle bit when I was pregnant with Katie, again returned with a vengeance after she was born.  This makes ZERO immunologic sense, as you are immunosuppressed when pregnant and then have a surge of immunity following childbirth.  (This is why pregnant women always have colds.) (This is also documented by people with autoimmune disease, who typically feel fantastic while pregnant and then become extremely ill about a month to six weeks after their babies are born.) So, clearly, this is all very confounding.  Also, like I said, it just didn't look like any fungus I'd ever seen.  I even suspected warts for awhile (you can actually get warts under your nails), but it didn't look like that either.  I was STUMPED...and rather than deal with it, I ignored it.  For years, people.  YEARS.  Because although it bothered me, and although I greatly enjoyed the pedicures I had when I was pregnant with Grace, and sorely missed them when I had to stop, the foot shame was too great to overcome and actually make a podiatrist appointment.

Well, there was pride, and also the fact that if the podiatrist ever wanted to do anything to my feet, I was always either training for something or pregnant, so that wouldn't work.  And also because everything I read about toenail fungus said that it wouldn't respond to oral meds anyway, and here, try these home remedies.  Vicks vapo rub, soaking in apple cider vinegar- both of which I tried, both of which failed.  THEN?!  After the half marathon?  Oh man.  The second and fourth toenails on my right foot started looking...suspicious.  CLEARLY something needed to be done.

So, my mom told me to go see her podiatrist, I made an appointment, she babysat, I went.  The medical assistant who did the preliminary assessment kept asking all kinds of questions about my running habits.  At first I thought she was making conversation, and felt awfully silly about halfway through when I realized she was actually taking a bit of a history.  The podiatrist came in the room, took one look at my feet, and told me I have runner's toes.

RUNNER'S TOES.  I spent all that time avoiding pedicures and applying various ridiculous home remedies to my toes for RUNNER'S TOES (I already told you about the fungus cures.  I have not discussed the wart treatments I attempted, thinking I had one of THOSE).

Runner's toes?  WELL.  Apparently, toenail fungus in young people is unheard of.  Thickened toenails are not the result of any fungal infection, they're the result of trauma.  Whether that trauma occurs from infection, running, or something else, the thickening is just hyperkeratosis (piles upon piles of keratin getting churned out by the nailbed.)  Only 50% of thick toe nails are caused by fungus, and all that fungus is seen in old people.  The rest of us?  RUNNER'S TOES.  But, but, what about the nasty toenails people sometimes get after pedicures?  I started to ask, and realized the answer as I asked the question.  Ever had an aggressive pedicure?  It really hurts.  And it is TRAUMATIC.  You do the math.

But!  It turns out there's something I can do!  He prescribed a keratinolytic that I can apply to the toenails which will cause them to thin out and flake off, and a new, normal nail will grown in.  If it keeps happening, he said I can go up half a shoe size and get a special insert to keep my toes from knocking into the front of my shoes, preventing the trauma altogether.  Yay!!  Pedicures!  ....Boo.  Not sure if it's safe for breastfeeding.  But, you know, I've been dealing with this for, like, ninety years, so I guess I can wait five more months.

And this is all kind of disgusting, I know.  But?  This entry?  Gets like eleventy bajillion Google hits each week, and I think maybe this information would be really helpful to some runners out there, too.  I'm trying to think of the right combo of key words to bring people here and let them know they probably DON'T HAVE FUNGUS.  Like, runner thick toenails?  Runner you don't have fungus?  I dunno. 

(and in case you are here trying to figure out what's wrong with your toes: I will not be posting pictures.  I'm sorry.  I do still have some pride, and seriously: NASTY.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

(Un)Lucky Number Seven

Although you would not guess it from this picture, Katie is SICK.

Ok, maybe not SICK.  But she's sick.  She has her sister's totally gross cold, which means her head is filled with viscous goo.  I know it doesn't sound like the worst thing in the world, but think of it this way: imagine your most favorite activity in the entire world.  Is it sitting on a beach?  Reading a book?  Running?  Sleeping?  Now imagine that every time you start that activity, someone puts duct tape over your nose and mouth.  Not so fun, is it?  Yeah.  Katie's favorite thing in the whoooole wide world is nursing.  When you are suddenly an obligate mouth-breather, that makes it a bit challenging.  It makes it go a bit like this "Ahhhh, heaven...nurse nurse nurse...GASP!  Scream!  WTF?!?!?!  Ok....nurse nurse nurse....GASP!!! OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!?!?"  etc.  ad infinitum.

Poor baby:(  Being suffocated by your favorite past time is no way to spend a birthdate.

Current viral invaders aside, it's been a quiet month.  Overnight sleep was on the mend recently (though I'm guessing that's set to change until she can breathe thru her nose again), naps are still for the birds.  Food is still pretty cool, according to every part of Katie except her gut, which is still on strike in response to increased demands.  Oh!  But she did start crawling and sitting up pretty well independently.  So I guess there's that.  But you know, it's still mostly army-crawling (although she gets up on her knees and rocks furiously, trying to figure out how to propel herself on those knees), and she still falls over a lot, so let's pretend I didn't almost forget that. 

oh!  and after weeks of Gracie crawling into her tubby and crawling all over her, I finally got her a tub seat so they can take baths together.  It is insane and hysterical and delicious to watch the two of them splash together, but I have no pictures because we just did it tonight for the first time.  Instead you get a picture of Katie after another bath, wrapped in a duckie towel.  Equally delicious.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Differences part I STOPPED COUNTING

When we started giving Gracie solids, I was really careful.  New foods, every three days.  Because seriously, if you've read any medical journal in the last decade: your child WILL have a food allergy.  And that food will sneak into their bed at night and smother them.

Stephen took this picture last night:

That would be soup she's eating. 

Meh, whatever.  Gracie is a super good eater, and I would love to have two of those.  It's a lot less annoying than dealing with a picky eater.  Plus, as Gracie will tell you, soup gives you muscles!

Also: although they appear to nearly be twins, they have very different eye colors.  In person, you can also see Katie's hair getting lighter, and our Sorta Rican daughter is looking a bit lighter in general.  Observe:

Yeah, ok, I really just wanted to post both of those pictures.  Got a problem with that?  You better not.  Gracie will crush you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

K-K-K-Kaaatie, Sleeeepless Kaaatie


Katie used to sleep.  For realz.  She was only waking up once a night, at roughly the same time every night.  It was so clearly habit, I even thought, ok, if I CARE to break this habit (which I did NOT, because I don't want her to wake up at 4:30 every day like another baby I once knew), I bet I could.  Well, maybe.  Katie does not, at this stage, appear to be a tension reliever, she appears to be an escalator, and so I am unsure how we will go about breaking this habit, but my POINT is that it was clearly just habit and not hunger or immature sleep.  Her naps still sucked rocks, but beggars can't be choosers.

And then?!?!?!


This child of mine, with her impeccable timing, chose to stop doing this the night before the half marathon.  Awesome, no?  Awake every two hours.  SUCK.  The next night?  The night AFTER the half marathon?  The same.  Again.  (Meanwhile, next door, her father was working to get her big sister back to sleep, as she had also chosen this week to stop sleeping entirely.) (What could possibly be going on in our house?  I cannot imagine...)  And the next night.  And the next.  She did have one night when I made her fuss it out and she slept until 4:45 the next morning, but the next night she promptly resumed her dastardly ways.

I'm gonna make you wake up alllll night long as punishment for putting me in this laundry basket.

I have a few ideas about what might be up with her.  She got shots last thursday, and after a few really solid nights' sleep, I can see it being rebound.  I think a tooth might be breaking thru her gums- I have zero experience with difficult teethers, with Grace, it was always a shock when we saw a new white little nugget poking thru her gums, so totally nonplussed was she by the entire process. 

Whatever it is, I want her to sleep again.  Please.  Dear God.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Half Marathon Thoughts

I went in to today with mixed emotions.  On the one hand, I missed a lot of training time this summer, with the hideous weather.  I also tore the heck out of my feet yesterday, picking up my race packet.  (who the hell thought it was a good idea to make us pick up our packets at Navy Pier on a saturday?  That's like making people pick up race packets in Times Square on New Years Eve.  Except more annoying.)  On the other hand, my long training runs went well.  Like, REALLY well.  I was probably as well-prepared as I'd never been for a half marathon.

I had butterflies as I walked to the car.  My feet really hurt, I was nervous about getting there and finding parking, not getting lost.  I followed the traffic and got swept up in the current that was parking at the  museum.  I thought that was a really sweet score until I got out to walk to the start line and realized they'd entirely remapped the course since the last time I ran this race, and I was close to a mile from the start line.  FAIL.

It was foggy and chilly, just like they'd said it would be.  The green flag was flying, meaning weather was ideal.  I felt a little lonely, being there to run by myself, but mostly I felt really happy about it, because it left me free to run at whatever pace I chose, weaving in and out of the crowds and not worrying about losing a race buddy.

It started out really well, my pace was dead-on, my breathing felt good, and although my hip was sore, it was nothing I couldn't handle.  My achilles, which have both been bothering me on and off since Katie was born, felt fine. 

Somewhere around mile five, I was suddenly sharing a pace with a man who was attempting to clear his throat/cough/shake out a loogie with every. goddamn. breath.  I thought I was going to lose my mind.  I couldn't run any faster, I didn't want to slow down, and he would not cut that shit out.  Eventually he stopped...and someone on the course started playing the macarena through a loudspeaker.  You cannot make this shit up.

Somewhere around mile seven, it went from warm to straight-up hot, with a glaring sun.  I wanted shade.  I wanted a cool breeze.  I wanted to WALK.  "I will not walk, I will not walk, I will not walk," I started chanting to myself.  I had managed seven miles without walking pleeeenty of times and there was no reason to walk.  I chugged along.  My hip gradually went from a dull ache to a nagging throb.  The sun was beating down with no shady spot to ease into.  I passed a gatorade station and it seemed like a good idea- maybe I needed some 'lytes and my hip would feel better.  I took one sip and felt my gorge rise.  Woops.  I dropped the cup on the ground, splattering the person next to me.  I feel pretty bad about that.

I made it to mile ten before the beating sun overcame my will power to keep running.  Well, that and the announcement on the loudspeaker that they were changing the flag from green to yellow- stay hydrated, it's HOT, in other words.  It was all the validation I needed to work my way to the curb and start walking.  I was disappointed and sad, but I just didn't have it in me to keep running.  The second I started walking, I knew it was a mistake.  The nagging throb in my hip escalated to a searing pain that radiated all the way down my leg.  I stepped onto the grass and tried to stretch.  It didn't help.  I was barely able to hobble at that point, and running seemed out of the question.  I tried, and it was not pretty.  I walked again, and by that time, could barely put any weight on the leg at all.  I decided there was just no way around it- I was not going to finish this race.  I needed to find an aide station.  I started to wonder if I had a stress fracture in my hip, the pain was so bad.  I hobbled along, cursing the lack of aide stations in this part of the course, and stepped off again to try to stretch. No help.  Started walking again.  I started wondering if they'd let me call Stephen, because I knew he would worry if someone else called.  Then I started thinking about the girls, waiting at the finish line.  I would have to explain to Gracie why I didn't come across with everyone else. And only finishers get medals.  I wouldn't have a medal to hang on her neck.

Fuck.  That.

And I started running again.  At first, hobbling and keeping as much of my weight as I could on my left leg, but eventually, it loosened up again and I actually felt better.  I tried to tell myself that I could run a 5k under any circumstances, and I should just keep running, but I knew I was going to be walking a lot, those last three miles.  My goal going into it was to make it in 2:15, but I swore I'd be okay as long as I made it under 2:30 (my real goal was to run the entire thing without walk breaks, but that ship had obviously already sailed).  I had been on track for a 2:10 finish, but that chance was gone.  The 2:20 pace runner came up over my right shoulder, and I thought, okay.  I can be totally happy with 2:20.  My new strategy was to get ahead of her, give myself a walk break, then start up again after she'd passed me. 

It worked.  My official finish time was 2:19:02.  Although it was not what I'd hoped for, it's still a personal record.  I can't decide how I feel about it.  I mean, yay and all.  My training went as well as it could.  I can't control the weather.  I couldn't stop my hip from hurting so much.  And I finished!  But not the way I wanted to.  And sometimes I think I'm never going to get my 2:10 PR.  I started running too late- if I'd started when I was 14, I could easily pull out a sub-2hour half marathon- I'm totally built to run.  But I didn't, I started when I was 28, so I'm never going to be as fast as I want to be.  But on the other hand?  When I was training for the full marathon, I KNOW I ran 13.1 in 2:10.  I know I did.  I just need the right weather.  I just need to be healthy.  I can do it.  And both perspectives annoy me, because I haven't done it yet, officially.

At the end of the day, I finished the race, in spite of some wicked pain. I got to hang the medal from Gracie's neck (special thanks to the stranger who let me borrow her cell phone to call Stephen so we could meet up after I finished) (also thanks to Michelob Ultra for their kick-ass refresher towels, washcloths soaked in lemony, cooling water, that were passed out at the end of the race).  And I get to say that I have run four half marathons.  And I still have a 15k coming up in November, another chance to set a personal record:)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Oh, just pee on the floor. See if I care.

Sooooo, I decided I needed to stop being so damn lazy/chicken and re-attempt potty training.  Grace is 100% reliable when she's nekkid, has started asking to be changed the second she's dirty, and frequently informs me when she pees (this last one is my favorite.  The other day we were lying in her bed looking at books and she SO nonchalantly said, without looking away from the page, "I pee in da bed.")

We started today.  She peed in the potty exactly twice- both when she was immediately out of the shower/tub.  The times when she would've peed there anyway.  She went all over the floor, all day long.

Oddly, she managed to drop the Browns off at the Superbowl twice.  The first time, I flushed it for her, and OH MY GOD STUPID.  This potty training business is just a big fat load of TMI, but omg, I stood there in a compete panic for a second, trying to figure out how to undo what I'd just done.

So anyway. We'll give it another day.  If it's as bad as today, we'll have to talk about quitting again, because I really don't know how long we can last at this.

Oh, but guess what she seems to be nearly ready to do?  Give up naps.  OF COURSE SHE IS.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Six Months (...and change)

Yeah, so I'm almost a week late here (more on that in a minute.)

It's been HALF A YEAR since I was rudely awakened from a blissful slumber by the first signs that Katie would not, in fact, be a March baby.

Six months is, I think, my favorite age.  It's when they finally start to DO stuff.  They're happier and calmer, but also more interested in and excited about their surroundings.

This is a chatty kid, right here.  Or maybe she's not.  Grace was very quiet and thoughtful at this stage, watching everything you did, serious as a heart attack.  Katie is jabbering constantly, sometimes quietly, sometimes yelling, but always chattering away.  It's completely hilarious.

She's getting super strong.  She pushes all the way up on her arms, rocks on her hands and knees, and is never, ever in the same spot where you put her down.

She likes to eat well enough, but it reeeally pisses her off if you do the feeding.  She's quite vexed by the digestive changes that food hath wrought.

She looooves her tubby.  She's really close to being ready for joint tubbies with her sister- though Grace begs to differ on the "really close" point, and has started climbing in with her every night.  It's all fun and games til Katie has the gall to reposition, at which point it turns from, "ohhhh, Katie!!!" to "NO KATIE STOP DAT."  *sigh*

And look, I don't want to jinx anything, but it's possible she's figuring out how to sleep.  She likes to stay up late and wake up early, which is some bullsnitch, but she usually only wakes up once, maybe twice.  Her naps stink like yogurt that's been left in the sun, but you know, you can't win 'em all and a six month old who only wakes up once overnight?  Yes, I will take that.

 And it might just be me, but I think that she might possibly kind of look a little bit like her sister.

HAHAHA, good night, I am so tired I almost forgot my "more on that in a minute" point, and it actually directly relates to the picture right above this one. 

I spend a lot of time feeling bad for Katie, because everything Gracie does is being done for the first time.  It seems like she gets the shaft.  But then I spend a lot of time feeling bad for Gracie, because Katie ha a much more relaxed, laidback mother, who's not constantly freaking out about every little thing.  Someone said to me, just today, "First children are lucky because they have their parents' constant attention.  Second children are lucky because they don't."  Yep.  That.  Exactly.

Life is sweet.  What more is there to say?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's an ANALOGY.

Running the marathon is one of my absolute proudest accomplishments.  I still kind of can't believe I even did it.  I never, ever thought I could do something like that, I thought it was something other, more athletic, dedicated people could do.  I wasn't tough enough, I lacked the concentration, I started running too late in life...but then I did it!  I actually did it!  And it was so amazing. 

I felt incredibly proud.  That pride didn't mean I looked down on other people who did not run marathons, that I thought less of people who didn't ever want to run a marathon, that there was anything wrong with not running marathons or that I thought anyone could run a marathon if only they tried hard enough.  I was proud for me and it wasn't about anyone else.

(....some of you see where this is going, right?)

Katie will be six months old tomorrow.  I have been back at work full-time for half of her life.  And yet? I have managed to provide her with every drop of breastmilk she has required.  (I can't say I've fed her exclusively since we already introduced solids, but I have been able to produce all the milk she needs.  We've had a nearly-flawless breastfeeding course so far, she had a great latch right from her first moments in the world, and with the exception of a brief (albeit incredibly stressful) strike and some diva-like behavior requiring that I be standing whilst nursing, it's been uneventful.  My body is also more than happy to produce milk, so even though she wasn't much of an eater for those first few weeks, we're keeping up just fine.   

And you know, I'm really glad for all that.  I'm very lucky in that sense, for all of those things.  I know what it's like to have a baby who can't seem to latch (and really, I was even lucky then, since the lactation consultant got Grace right on, she just needed someone who knew what they were doing to show her how, rather than the broke-ass "breastfeeding counselors" we had in the hospital).  I do NOT know what it's like to have supply issues, but as a working mom, I know what it's like to go several days on end watching the bottles fall ounces and ounces short of what the baby will need, leading to frantic water-chugging and calorie consumption.  So yes, I'm lucky...but I also kind of resent the word lucky here, because it's a helluva lot of work.  Pumping sucks ass.  I have repetitive motion stress in both hands and wrists from it.  I have to schedule my work day down to the nanosecond to be sure I can pump often enough to maintain a supply (not an easy task in a job where planning is nonexistent, as neurosurgical emergencies don't typically follow a schedule).  I feel limited in the amount of time I can spend away from Katie, because I don't want her to need too many bottles- in the first few months, that means essentially being attached 24/7, since new babies really like to eat frequently.  It means dealing with a public that still thinks of breastfeeding as somehow sexual/offensive/disgusting.  (like the woman at Target who sneered at me with disgust while I nursed Katie UNDER A COVER.  I glared right back bat her and defiantly raised my eyebrows.  Bitch kept walking.)

So, yes.  I'm lucky.  But I'm also working hard at it.  And I'm really, really proud of this accomplishment.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Switching Things Around


 Our swimming issues.

I was talking to a friend at work, who also has a daughter Grace, a few months older than my Grace.  She was gloating about the fact that her daughter was finally old enough to go to classes on her own.  I mentioned what was going on in our classes, and that I was thinking we should probably take a break...but also thought she might keep asking when we were going to swimming and I would regret skipping it.  My friend commented that it used to be Grace's favorite thing ever, and we talked about it a little more.  And then, I was AGAIN reminded that I am not always the sharpest knife in the drawer, when my friend wrinkled her nose and said, " you think maybe she's just bored?"

Bored?  After essentially taking the same class for the last year and half of her life?  What on EARTH are you talking about?  How could she possibly be bored with the same songs and drills that she's been doing since she was 13 months old?


We are skipping the next session of swimming.  We may or may not do one more parent/tot session before starting her in big girl classes.  I haven't decided yet.  She has to learn how to swim, so eventually she's going to have to go back, but I'm not sure when that will happen. 

I'm kind of surprised how sad I am about it.  I really hated swimming.  I mean, no, not as much as I hated gymnastics, which I inexplicably signed up for when I decided we weren't taking swimming (AGAIN, I did not ever say I was smart), but I really wasn't enjoying it.  There were other moms I looked forward to seeing (even when they weren't giving us cute dresses;), we knew all the teachers, and it was just something we did.  And now we don't.  And that should be fine!  But, yeah.

She's really looking forward to gymnastics, and that's what really matters.  What matters even more is that she's also taking a tuesday morning playdate class all by herself.  As in, no parents.  As in, TEH AWESOME. 

Yeah.  We're gonna be alright;)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Peek Inside My Head

(in case you had any doubts about the depths of my insanity)

So, after Grace was born, the postpartum period was reeeeally rough.  And honestly, not just because she was fussy and high-maintenance.  The hormones were awful.  I'm pretty sure I've covered this before.  And I'm also pretty sure I've covered the fact that I had the exact opposite experience with Katie- I was positively euphoric.  But I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned that although things got a lot better within a week or so of Grace being born, I continued to feel like a bit of a nutcase for a long time after Grace was born.  Like, pretty much until Katie was born.  And it's like the hormones snapped me back into being myself.  Which makes me think of that Sweet Valley High Book, where Elizabeth hits her head and turns from the good girl into the BAD girl, and is TOTALLY about to give it up when she falls and hits her head again and snaps back into being the good girl, and thus her virginity is preserved. 

And, see, this worries me, because I only want three kids.  And what if having the third kid snaps me back into being off-kilter, and I don't have another baby to snap me back into place????

Sunday, August 14, 2011

This Actually Happened.

So Grace woke up horribly from her nap the other day.  Stephen finally got her calmed down, and then we had the following conversation:

S: I know she's calm now, but it's not gonna be pretty when it's time for s-t-o-r-e.
S: remember, I told you, I'm going to the s-t-o-r-e!
me: what?!?!?!  What are you talking about with a story?!
S:...Oh my God.  Seriously???


Friday, August 12, 2011

Incoherent and Unrelated

You know how there's, like, a PERFECT amount of drunkenness for bowling?  You go out with friends, play a few frames, and you're doing fine, but nothing remarkable.  Then, a few beers later, suddenly everything is a strike, except the 7-10 split that you absolutely OWN.  And just as you're making your plans to join the pro circuit, you drink juuuuust one more beer, and suddenly you can barely get the ball out of the gutter. 

It's like that with being tired, too, I've found.  I go from my usual state, to just plain tired, at which point I become clever, charming, and generally hilarious.  Then I have one more bad night of sleep and the next thing I know, I'm hurtling down the expressway and it takes me a solid two minutes to remember where I'm going.  Then  I think, muuhhhhh.....maybe I should eat lots of food.  And next I think, "Sigh.  Now I am stupid AND I need new clothes." 

Guess which phase I'm in now?  Sigh, indeed.

Unrelated: yesterday at the produce market, I had Katie in the carrier and Gracie in the cart.  Gracie was helping me put red peppers in a bag when a rather loud woman walked up to us and started blathering about how wonderful it was that I was TALKING to my children instead of being on my CELL PHONE, and on and on.  And I felt really uncomfortable and kind of speechless.  Because on the one hand, it doesn't matter who they are or what they are saying, when someone compliments your parenting, it's really hard to have any reaction other than bashful, aw-shucks, drink-in-the-validation.  And so there was some of that.  But also?  Gah.  PET PEEVE.  Mothers are allowed to talk on the phone.  I know that before Katie, when I had more of a free hand, so to speak, I actually tried to make my phone calls in the store, because Gracie was mesmerized by the bright lights and people and displays, as opposed to at home, where she needed my constant entertainment.  Just because you see someone talking on their phone for the thirty seconds it takes to walk past them doesn't mean you know a thing about the way they spend their days.  And although I was chatting and playing with my daughter in the store, I also let her watch too much non-educational tv on many days when we're home, and that little nugget makes it way onto my application for Mother of the Year, too.

Also on my application: Grace has been waking HORRIBLY from her naps lately.  Yesterday was no exception.  Shortly after she woke up, Stephen went to get her dressed for swimming.  She. Lost. Her. Mind.  Went insaaaaane.  Stephen asked what I wanted to do, and I said we'd go anyway- she does that a lot and then rallies once we're out of the immediate situation.  (this is just like the moment in the horror movie where the people go upstairs to check out the funny noise, isn't it?)  So we got in the car, and yep, she was fine.  Ran around the locker room once we got there, laughing and having fun.  We went out to the pool, and she was acting...funny.  Normally she sits right on the edge of the pool, next to me, kicks in the water, and demands that I get in the water (she knows she's not allowed in the water until I get in).  Yesterday, all she wanted to do was play in the drinking fountain.  The teacher bribed her into the pool with a toy, and she started jumping in, standing in the water (she's just now tall enough to "touch bommom!"and thinks it's the coolest thing ever), throwing the toy so she could swim after it, etc.  And then it was circle time.

(cue ominous music)

Gracie did not want to do the circle time.  She didn't want to sing the songs, she didn't want to do the motions that went along with them, all she wanted to do was scream no and cling to me like a spider monkey.  I tried everything and she just kept escalating.  She was obnoxious and disruptive and we just could not stay.  So, we didn't.  I was utterly mortified, turned ten shades of purple, and carried her out of the pool and to the shower.  Continued to feel like a gigantic horse's ass the entire time we were getting showered and dressed.  She was told multiple times why we were leaving, apologized, and even said to me at one point, "mama, pwease be happy.  be happy, mama."  Sooo, message received? I  hope so, because minutes later, one of the moms we've known from previous classes came into the locker room and told us she had a present for us.  I had complimented her daughters on this dress before, and she was giving it to us, since her girls had outgrown it.  And that is only the second nicest thing she did, because when she heard what happened, she did my absolute favorite thing in the world: she told me a story about one of her daughter's tantrums.  I mean, seriously, is there a nicer thing one mom can do for another? 

I feel like this is the point where I should tie everything together, but I'm too tired.  (ooh!  that kind of ties it all together!  Go me.)

Thursday, August 4, 2011


So, we've been battling some seriously bad sleep in our house.  To anyone who's shocked: welcome to my blog!  I'm glad you've stopped by.  My interests include running and making babies that never sleep.  To the rest of you: sorry.  I know.  it's so tiresome.  but this one is interesting!  Because it's all about how stupid I can be!

Because, see, I do This Thing, where a piece of information enters my brain, and something flickers and tells me it's significant, but I choose to dismiss it.  I really think there should be a name for that phenomenon, because although my skillz are exceptional, I know everyone does this.  This happens to me allll the time at work, I figure stuff out and don't say anything, and then it turns out the thought I had was right and nobody believes me because I didn't say anything. Another, less flattering example: when Grace was about seven or eight months old, she woke up in the middle of the night, at a time when she'd mostly stopped waking.  I got her out of bed and it was like nursing a little chunk of asphalt.  Damn, I thought, I really need to turn on the air conditioning, it's hot in here!  The next day, I kept thinking, jeeeeez kid, what the heck?  Stop WHINING!  And then?  After I'd dragged her all over kingdom come, running errands, I took one look at her sitting in the shopping cart, with red-rimmed, glassy eyes, saw her let out a big heavy sigh, and thought, "oh my SHIT, she is SICK.  Mommy fail.  NURSE FAIL!!!! AUGH!"  And yes, she had, like, a 432 degree fever.  So my point is, I'm sometimes a little slow on the uptake.

...whiiich is important to the story.  Because for the last week or so, Katie developed the extremely (un)charming habit of waking upwards of six times a night, waking only a few times a night but staying awake for an hour or more (a true Gracie special), and generally sleeping horribly all-around.  Which did not exactly have a positive impact on her personality.  About a week ago, I scooped her and was nursing her when I thought, dang, her little legs are COLD.  Here, let me just warm them up on my warm belly.  And put her back to bed.  Lather, rinse, repeat, ad finitum. 

And then?  A few evenings ago, it occurred to me: PANTS.  Who the hell can sleep when they're cold?  Yeah.  So I put pants on the poor kid before she went to bed.  She woke up twice that night.  Since she slept well, her naps were also better (although that is another story for another day, right there).  Was it a fluke?  Nope.  Next two nights, same thing.

The secret is pants. 

(OK.  the secret is not freezing your baby.  But for a massively SIDS-paranoid person like me, I prefer to think of the secret as pants rather than warmth.)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Walt Disney Was a Sick, Sick Man.

This morning on the news, they were talking about sad movies*, which of course necessitated showing some of the most gut-wrenching clips in movie history.

And you know how, when you were little, it was really sad and kind of scary when Bambi's mom died?

Yeah.  Try watching it after you have kids, when he's wandering in the snow and calling for his mom, and you know she's not coming.  I DEFY you to sit through that without wanting to curl up in the fetal position and vomit for awhile.

*I don't actually know the point of the story, because before they could get to it, they started showing Debra Winger saying good bye to her sons, and I had a psychotic break.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Remember when I was pregnant, and every time I posted an update, I was all, "ZOMG, I know this will shock you, but this pregnancy is SO DIFFERENT from the first one!!"  And eventually, you were all like, "yeah, DUH, you've mentioned that before"?? 

The new theme is "WTF, how has it been X many months already?!?!?"  Because, seriously, wtf, this kid's first year is flying by at the speed of light.  And I know I keep saying this, but how on EARTH has it been five months?  That's almost half a year!

We had another big month around here.  Katie started eating peas, along with her cereal (and her secret watermelon), which she seems to like so far.  Our girls are eaters, what can I say?  She's starting to tripod sit, although she still refuses to roll from her back to her tummy.  She's started doing That Thing Gracie used to do with towels, blankets, random you-name-it fabrics, where she pores over them as if they hold the secrets of the universe.

She took her first trip to the beach!  She did not like Lake Michigan.  Maybe she shares my utter disgust with natural bodies of water?  Smart girl.

She does not sleep.  Ever.  Well, ok, no.  She does okay overnight.  She wakes up two or three times, and at least once a night pulls a total Gracie and stays awake for an hour, hour and a half, like it's time to party.  She will occasionally sleep past 6, which is awfully nice.  She does not, however, nap.  This weekend she took no naps at all, unless you count sleeping in the car or the twenty minutes on my chest (which I do not).  A typical nap is half an hour long.  Forty five minutes is great.  An hour is unheard of anymore.  But eh, we don't make babies that sleep, and once they hit toddlerhood, they generally do okay.  It's more frustrating when she's crabby as a result- for the last few days, she's been so overtired, it's like having a colicky newborn all over again, with the constant walking, the screaming every time we sit down, needing to be singing and playing with her and giving her 100% of our attention.  But this, too, shall pass.  Right?  Yeah.  it's all good.

The thing is, I don't have that much to say that's terribly interesting.  She's adorable and dimply and she likes to eat and play with her feet and doesn't like to sleep or play by herself and her big sister loves her like crazy and she's just awesome and even though it's only been five months, she must have always been here somehow, because I don't know what we ever did without her.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gratuitious Gracie Shots

it's the damndest thing, she covers her face and she's GONE.


"NO, Mama.  I not want say cheese anymore."

CHEESE!! (just seconds after the previous picture.  She's a waffler, that one.)