An irreverent look at motherhood and family life in a new state of normal.

Monday, November 30, 2009


My dad bought me a rosemary bush. I'm not sure what he was thinking. Actually, I do know what he was thinking - "Callie likes rosemary. Andy makes bread. Maybe these to can get it together and make some rosemary bread. Or even if that never happens, maybe they can use the rosemary in some butter for a nice loaf of Panera bread. Those two are going to love this!"

I love the smell of rosemary in the house. Problem: I can't even keep a cactus alive. I tried. I don't know what possessed me to purchase a dog (and from the previous posts, we can all see how wonderfully that is working out). I noticed today that there is a set of care instructions attached to a branch (kinda like dry clean only clothing which is also not working out well). We have had the bush for a week and I just remembered that it was there. The instructions say, "If kept in pot, water daily." Oops.

The great thing about this rosemary bush is that it looks just like a little Christmas tree and that is exactly what it is going to be this year.

I can't wait to decorate it and put little presents around it for Abby to open on Christmas day. It's going to be a blast. Now, if I can just keep it alive until then... stay tuned for more updates on the little tree that is GOING to make it until Christmas.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Dog Dilemma

The dilemma is: should the dog stay or go?

We got Aslan when he was 5 weeks old and raised him but then we got pregnant and his walks got to be less and less and then when Abby came along, they got to me more and more but he became an outdoor dog because of all the hair. Now we have new couches and he's not even allowed in the house at all and I'm pregnant again so his walks are almost nill.

Should we send him off to someone who can take care of him better?

After this little incident we had where he fell down the stairs and we were worried that he was really hurt and realized we didn't have the money to do anything about it if he was hurt, I am wondering if it is responsible to keep him. Maybe he needs rich, childless parents to take care of him... Academy life with infants and toddlers is just not conducive to having a pet like a dog who needs attention.

Try Try Again

So I'm shopping and the inevitable question keeps getting asked at every store. "When are you due?"


"Wow. Do you know what it is?"


They see Abby. "Well, guess you'll just have to keep trying."

Really? For what? A lizard?

I know. I get it. I do think about playing the lottery and seeing if the next time we have a boy. It's an interesting thought. I just think its funny how many people assumed that we would keep having babies until we had a boy.

If I have learned anything from my friend Regina (who has 5 girls), it's that the baby lottery doesn't pay out like that. You just have kids and whether they are boys or girls, you love them the same.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I know. Talk to the hand.

I'm sort of reposting something that I want to reiterate - again.

I know I'm fat. I don't need anyone telling me what I cry about every morning. I AM HUGE. I'm 25 weeks pregnant and I look like I could go at any moment.

Yesterday, I had pictures taken for the new church directory. The photographer asked when I was due and I told her with rolling eyes, "March."

She took a second look at my huge belly and asked the inevitable question they all ask, "Are you having twins?" I almost said something to the effect that she better be glad I had such a nice maternity wardrobe as I could pass it off to her later. Let me just say that she was obviously not pregnant.

I have been asked that question so many times, when I state my due date, I just hold up my hand and say, "I know, I'm huge," and walk away. I'm so sick of everyone telling me what a big belly I have. No pregnant woman wants to be told how huge she is. Once again, I will tell you all that no matter how "cute" we are (thank you, Beth), we don't want to be fat. Baby's are cute. Pudgy puppies are cute. Fat pregnant women are just tired and their ankles look like tree trunks. If they aren't as pregnant as you think they are, they are depressed as well. We aren't allowed to be anorexic like the rest of you because it could endanger the baby so SHUT IT!

I will tell you right now - Abby was 9 lbs 3 oz and I'm betting heavily on a 10 lb baby this time.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I'm on Skype with my mom and she's like, "How's my Susanna Banana?" Meaning the fetus.

I start to freak out as we were planning to surprise my mom with the fact that we are naming this girl Susanna Catherine (to be called Cate). I had told my dad and specifically said, "Don't tell Mom." Dad is terrible at keep secrets. Not because he likes to gossip but because he doesn't remember that something is a secret until after he has already said something... sometimes.

He's in the background of the video call and I yell, "Dad!? Did you say something to her?"

A panicked look comes over his face. "About what?"

Mom - "Yeah. About what?"

And that's when I knew she had me. She is the master at extracting information. When I was a teenager, I would walk in the house and she'd say something like, "Well, looks like you had a REALLY good time at the movies," all cryptically like she was in the theater, hanging over my shoulder, waiting for me to hold hands with whatever unsuspecting male may have taken me out that night.

Then I would spill my guts, "Mom, I don't know what undercover agent you have following me but we were JUST holding hands!"

"HA! I knew it." She had me.

So back to the baby names. Right, I'm terrible at keeping secrets too. I think I got that from a family member but... we are naming the baby Susanna Catherine and we would like everyone to refer to her as Cate until she stands up and speaks her mind about what she wants to be called.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Maternity Clothes

I was watching Project Runway (one of my guilty pleasures) and they had a maternity clothes challenge (which seemed appropriate as Heidi Klum is poppin' out kids left and right). I was amazed that even those talented designers couldn't come up with a really good maternity outfit.

I was walking in the mall the other day and saw a pregnant lady with a short shirt on that showed her belly. As much as I believe our pregnancy is a badge of honor, courage, and crazy-lady-what-were-you-thinking, I'm not sure that a flippy, blingy belly button ring on the front and a butterfly tattoo on the back (all hanging out for the world to see along with your stretch marks) are the way to go when launching into motherhood.

But what choice do we have really? There are only two places that aren't department stores that sell even a small selection of maternity clothes in our mall and they are both outrageously expensive. With the plethora of celebrities gracing the red carpet with protruding stomachs, you would think there would be more of a dash for the maternity niche but I am reduced to wearing my husbands sweats all day, every day until I loose the weight 3 or 4 years from now.

My biggest hurdle with this whole dilemma is getting to work in something decent. I have a limited budget and buying comfy pants for home and something appropriate for the classroom is quite a stretch on my already maxed out credit card. My sister and I have been sharing a maternity wardrobe and have timed our pregnancies so that we are never pregnant at the same time but we are always pushing right up against the weight loss deadline of the other person. It gives us a financial incentive to get the weight off as we really can't afford to buy a whole new wardrobe when required to give up the maternity boxes. (Sorry, Casey, I kept a sweater because it's GREAT and I wear it all the time, pregnant or not.)

Well, here's to hopin' my birthday presents include new additions to the wardrobe and or a great massage from somewhere they don't allow toddlers. *hint* *hint* *wink* *wink*

Monday, November 9, 2009

Daddy at the Gym

Took Andy to the Little Gym this morning. He had the morning off and I needed a break so I told him he was going to spend some quality time with Abby. Notice, I told him it was going to happen.

Thank goodness there was another dad there because usually it's all mom's and he would have felt way out of place. He was great. He tried all the activities. When it came time to play with bouncy balls, he bounced the ball so high and hard and close to Abby, she got a little scared but he recovered and did a great job.

It's hard to find time when Daddy's can do activities with their children. If they are primary bread winner and the Mommy is the primary care giver, it can be a little harder for kids to bond with Daddy. I have noticed that I have to ask Abby to give her Daddy a kiss and ask her to go and sit with him and hand her over and then leave the room to get her to spend a good amount of time with him.

This morning, we were all up lazing around for a few minutes. Abby was on my lap and he put his arm around me and she got jealous, trying to push him away. Is that a foreshadowing of what's to come with new baby? I need to find a way to spend good time with just her. I'm not sure how that's going to happen but we are going to make that time.

What are your suggestions of how to spend time with just one kid? How do you find child care for the baby while you get out with the toddler? Do you feel guilty if you find child care and then just take your toddler home and do a project together or something?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Forward for the Book

I don’t know why they call it the “glow” of pregnancy unless “they” are your friends who are trying to explain away the acne that has returned from your adolescence and attacked your face just because you are having hormonal changes, knowing that you can’t use ProActiv while you are pregnant. “They” could be your husband trying to make himself feel better after you have gotten so angry about the smell of the trash that he hasn’t emptied in the last hour that your face has turned red and is about to split open. (Then he proceeds to blame all smells on your pregnancy “super sniffer”…) Perhaps “they” is your mother-in-law who has forgotten her glasses and prefers to assume that your rotund figure and pudgy appendages are due to her fuzzy eyesight and not that you are retaining water and you are only in the 22nd week.

It is equally as astounding to me that “they” have dubbed childbirth a miracle. As a devout Christian, I have studied this miracle and its origins and I’m pretty sure it was a curse bestowed on Eve (for which every woman in the world will “get” her in Heaven) after she ate of the forbidden fruit and led her husband to do the same. The miracle is that we, the women of this day and age, after knowing all the ins an outs (unless you are a crazy person who thought you were invincible and had sex without a condom) of this so called miracle, choose to do it once and then, if we are really crazy, over and over (Hello! 19 Kids and Counting, you are nuts!) What I do hear over and over is, “No one told me that was going to happen!” That being a variety of different curse like things that occur. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not writing all of this to scare away those who want to get pregnant and have their kids the old fashioned way, or any other way. I just want to share with those who are going through pregnancy, or have gone through it, or are considering going through it. We are a sisterhood that loves to gab about our experiences and I know that there are many women out there who are all holding back a Jerry Springer moment when someone comments to them (after only 9 weeks of pregnancy), “How are your ankles holding up?”

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Judge Not

I have posted a similar blog earlier on in my parenting experience but this thought continues to ring true regardless. Therefore, I'm reiterating a point: Judge NOT! Lest ye be judged.

It amazes me the idealistic manner I used to look at parenting:
"I'm never going to let my kids watch TV. I'm sure that makes them stupid."

"What the crud is that woman doing? She's yelling at her kid in the middle of the store? Can't she take him out and do that somewhere we don't have to hear it?"

"Is that parent crazy?! If it was me, why I'd...?"

My sister called the other day and asked me what I thought she should do about her little stubborn boy... (I just had to stop typing to go find out what all the crying was about and apparently, Abby's hamper had "eaten" her arm. She wouldn't pull it out although she is perfectly capable and just sat there crying as though she was going to die. I loosed the appendage, let her sit on my lap and wail. She literally stopped screaming mid-cry just to finish chewing and swallowing a goldfish and then continued as though she had never stopped. She was finally comforted by me putting on her princess crown and saying she looked pretty. So I'm back... where was I? Oh, yeah, the stubborn kid...)

So I'm talking to my sister and she is telling me that I'm the genius who said I wasn't going to spank my kids (yes, I did say that) and what did I think she could do because she was going nuts and spanking seemed like the only option. Apparently, he literally runs from her every time she tells him to come over to her. Sounds remarkably like my dog. Seriously, I have no idea.

That whole thing about never letting my kid watch TV... Abby is addicted to Mickey Mouse Playhouse and I don't care. It helps me keep her still while I braid her hair (and the only reason I do that is because you all compliment me so much and it boosts my ego). It helps me get a few extra winks in the morning when the pregnancy is sucking the life out of me.

I might not YELL yet in the middle of the store but there are certainly stern words along the lines of "put that back," "stop touching that," "do you want Mommy to go nuts?"

There is a mite bit of arm grabbing and taking away of toys and pens and SHARPIES!!!

But mostly, there is a giggle that goes through my brain every time I think of how I was going to parent my child and what a crazy person I was to think I could do a better job than "that" woman.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fish Crackers are the Devil

The other day, Abby's friend was here for babysitting and I had a bout of nesting syndrome. I went a bit crazy sweeping mopping and vacuuming. I came out from vacuuming the hallway, my last bit, and found Josh and Abby, each with a bunch of crackers, throwing them to the ground and squashing them into the carpet. This must have been a fun activity as they were stomping and laughing and stomping and laughing. I breathed in deeply and went back to the hallway. Pregnancy can make you crazy and the hallway is a great place to get out that crazy before you deal with two very happy kiddos. Pregnancy nesting is WAY harder when you already have a toddler, or sometimes two, and sometimes three. Best to let it wait until they are asleep.

Andy, being the wonderful, caring husband he is, decided to rub my feet last night. He got out the lotion and just went to town. Very relaxing... until he says in his calm, never excited or worried voice, "Have your ankles started to swell?"

WHAT THE MESS?! I'm only in the 22nd week. You heard me rant and rave last pregnancy about how I was getting sick of all the fat comments. I deal with that enough when I'm not pregnant. This is the one time I get to be fat and no one gets to say anything unless I start it!

Anyway, I know he didn't mean anything by it and therefore, we are still married.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bring on the Holidays

Today I went grocery shopping. For those that don't know, teachers only get paid once a month so we do this thing where we buy a ton of groceries ($200) and then, as we eat ourselves down, we get down to nubbins like Raman Noodles and peanut butter sandwiches until we get paid again. Well, today was the day of the big grocery shop. I'm proud to say I didn't break the $200 mark today but what did happen was EGG NOG!!! I love egg nog and when it comes to be the day after Halloween, they stock it on the shelves and I'm a happy person for 2 whole months. As soon as New Years passes, there is no more egg nog until the next season. So sad.

I only bought a quarter gallon today but if you had walked into the kitchen at just the right time, you may have seen me sneaking a little swig here and there behind the refrigerator door. I don't know if Abby likes egg nog or not but Andy does not for which I am ecstatic. I can buy egg nog and know that no one will drink it but me. It's all mine. No sharing. I love the holidays.

The Mother's Cell

Whoever built our church was a man. Oh, shut it! Men just don't think like mom's do. We have had to convert a side room off the platform into the mother's room. Now, every couple of years there is an influx of baby making in the church and this room (as well as the cradle roll class) get's REALLY crowded.

This time it started with Dawn and I. We were the first breastfeeding moms that needed the room. We used to make all these comments about how we needed privacy and all that. We did get that when we put up a curtain. We were also very tired of having to be in the cell-like atmosphere and Dawn went out and put up a great lamp that you step on to turn on and Ollie (head elder) put up a privacy screen so we didn't have to worry about the congregation getting a flash of nipple during the sermon. All this after we made a bit of fuss. Now we have toddlers, there are MANY toddlers and three more infants who are all BREASTFEEDING. This means that our little 12 X 12 cell has about 14 people in it every Sabbath and let me tell you, it is all but a calming atmosphere.

So here are my proposals:

1. Children's Church. I want Abby to learn how to sit through a program but I understand that the congregational prayer and sermon can be tedious for a 2 year old. So we could do our own program that starts after the children's story and they just file out and come into our program during the "boring part." We could have a sign out and sign in system so people could actually leave their toddlers there and participate in the adult service if they wanted. We could get some of the academy students to help. There could be puppets sometimes, drama sometimes, stories and veggie tales sometimes. It could just be 45 minutes of our toddler program.

2. There is a video feed into the Primary 2 room and we could just turn that into a transition mother's room where only kids between the ages of whenever they start walking and 5 can come with their parents to scream and do whatever they do. This would require less work but yield less learning.

So, what to do? I will be calling local moms but my big thing is to leave that room for those mom's that are breastfeeding and need privacy but also provide a chaos free place for those that have toddlers. Now, I know that chaos free is a stretch but at least that room would be BIGGER and be less crazy.