Tuesday, July 31, 2012

This is why

"She's like that because you don't take her outside." I hear that all the time about my daughter. And I'm really just so sick of it- it's certainly not like I lock her up in a dungeon 24 hours a day. She is a 3 year old that enjoys her electronics and toys.. a product of two parents that also like their electronics, so what did you expect?

I hate summer weather. Hate it. I'd rather take my children outside in a blizzard than on a "nice" summer day.

Going outside in the summer wasn't so bad when it was just one child.. and she wasn't 3 yet. She listened to me most of the time, stayed near me, and was fairly content playing in the yard. Now there are two children- one of whom is nearly 4 (and would rather get bitten by a shark than listen to mommy) and the other is either strapped to my body or strapped into a stroller/carseat. What do you think going outside in the heat and humidity of the summer is like for me now?

Yesterday we almost got outside. Almost. SO close. It was at least four o'clock by the time we got to a point in the day where both children were awake and no one was going to need to eat in the upcoming 20 to 30 minutes. Or need to pee. Or have their diaper changed. Or whatever else. AND Lily finally let me brush her teeth. AND then she even got dressed. But I was having some trouble with the strapping-baby-to-your-body device.. and Lily refused to use the potty. I had to change my clothes because I was sweating having to wear semi-real-otherwise-a-news-crew-will-definitely-drive-into-your-neighborhood-wanting-to-interview-you clothes. Another half an hour went by.. and we never made it outside.

Today was take 2.

I was already sort of dressed from having physical therapy this morning, so we were off to a good start. Plus it was only like 79/80 degrees out. Win. For like a second.

Lily was super sluggish about using the potty. About putting her clothes back on. About socks. About shoes. OhmaGod!- through gritted teeth. I got out the strapping-baby-to-your body device (that I had pre-adjusted the day before thankyouverymuch) and put Noah half into it..

..when he poked me in the eye with one of his baby dagger fingers. And saying "poked" isn't even what it was. It was more like he pulled down my eye lid with one hand and stabbed one of the fingers on the other hand deep, deep into my eyeball. I screamed and clutched my eyeball with one hand while trying to hold up the half strapped in child with the other. The pain was so awful in that one eye, that not only could I not open that one.. I couldn't open the other one either. Completely blind, I felt for the straps to secure Noah to me so I could use both hands to hold my eyeball in my head. Then I sank into the couch behind me and squirmed in agony. And swore. And screamed that it felt like my eyeball was bleeding. Which Lily kindly repeated over and over for me.. "your eye is bleeding! your eye is bleeding!"

I made her get me an ice pack from the freezer (the only time I was ever glad our freezer is on the bottom of the fridge unit), wrapped it in the closest cloth thing I could feel around for, and held it up to my eye. Which actually made that eye hurt even more, but it did finally allow me to open the non-stabbed eye. And I could see that during the chaos, Lily had put my sunglasses on. Wow. If only I had thought to do that (for me) before I had tried to strap a baby to my body.. none of this would have happened. Shoulda known.

I iced and moaned about my eye for a few more minutes. Until I could open it about halfway. And I was not to be deterred. Outside here we come! Wait. What's that? I look outside. It's raining?!


Whatever. We're going outside anyway.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Put a too small hat on Lily. Think she has a raincoat? No, I'm a terrible mother that locks her children in a dungeon 24 hours a day so I can watch tv and eat bon-bons in peace. I told her to put a sweatshirt on instead. She tries to take her shirt off to do it. Because 24 hour a day dungeon dwellers don't really know the rules of outerwear I guess. Fix that. Get umbrella. Explain the rules of going outside in the rain. It's going to be minutes. Minutes. She seems to understand. Then she runs to take her sneakers off and put her rain boots on instead. Starting to doubt that she understood the rules.

Somehow we made it downstairs and outside. I got my umbrella open. Noah and I are safe. Lily and her sweatshirt and too-small hat are safe. While I'm outside I decided to bring the garbage barrels back up from the street (that had been sitting there empty for 24 hours). And that I watched one of my in-laws walk within a couple of feet of this morning and still not bring back to the house. Six able-bodied adults .. and the one that goes to physical therapy, is trying to keep a 3 year old from getting run over by a car, and has a baby strapped to her is the one that stacks up the barrels and drags them back to the house. In the rain. While holding an umbrella.

What was I talking about? Oh..

Lily brought the recycling bin back up to the house. I stacked up the barrels and dragged them up the driveway. Of course, they fell over when I got them in place. Pff- whatever. Good for them. They got to stay fallen over.

And then the chaos continued. I went back to the street to get the mail. (One hand full of umbrella, one hand full of dragging garbage barrels remember.) Lily followed me and started jumping in puddles. In the street. I yelled at her to stop. To get out of the street. Or else. (Nevermind what I threatened her with.) The neighbor drives like she's in the Indy500- I don't want any flattened children. She didn't listen until I employed the last resort loud, quick inhaling gasp and yelling that a car was coming. (A car wasn't really coming.) And Lily ran back up the driveway.

And right under the gutters that were POURING rain down and soaking her. More yelling. More threatening. Couldn't use the car coming trick again, so she didn't listen. Tried to trick her into thinking I was going inside and leaving her outside. She didn't care. (Don't blame her.)

Then a (thank God) random loud noise from a nearby street startled her and she looked toward me. I gave her a horrified look right back and added a "quick! inside, hurry!"

She got about halfway up the inside stairs when I told her to take her boots off, as I was closing the front door. She did. And threw them at me. I yelled and she ran the rest of the way up. And up and down the hall. She grabbed the wet umbrella and swung it around as she ran. Screaming with glee. There was more yelling. And me ranting, to no one, about "THAT'S why I don't take her outside."

Sunday, July 29, 2012

what we did last week

 blue sky / giant fly / blue sky / sleepy sheepy / black sheep / night sky / a crayon kind of day / the last of the purple flowers / good luck grows

Monday, July 23, 2012

So you're about to have a baby..

So many of the blogs I read have been talking about what to pack for the "having a baby" hospital trip. And the lists are looong. Packing everything you'd need for like.. a vacation, not having a baby. I haven't commented on any of them yet (because.. I don't know.. there aren't words), but I swear, if I read ONE more like that..

I know everyone's experience is different, but for me.. Sigh. Honestly? When I went to the hospital to have my first child, it was scheduled- so we knew when we were going (even if they did only give me about 8 hours notice). They presented it like I would come in at night, they'd start the Pitocin, and then I'd just rest up, sleep, whatever.. and have a baby the next day. So I just brought a small bag in with me.. magazine, some cards, camera, and a muffin I had started eating on the drive to the hospital.

The first thing they did was wrap a monitor around my belly and said "oh, um, actually, you're already having contractions." Oops.

For the next 24 hours, one nurse or another was next to me the entire time. No one let me eat even a crumb- just ice chips and popsicles. So, snacks? Good luck with that.. hope you aren't going to the same hospital I did. Slippers? For what? Once I had laid down on that first bed, other than getting up to pee a couple of times pre-baby, they just slid me from bed to bed for about 36 hours. Computer? Funny. I was in so much pain.. and so exhausted (and unable to sleep) that I just spaced out to the tv on the wall. For about 23 hours- with contraction pain so unreal, I just wanted to leave my body. Then I had a c-section. Which I wasn't even awake for.

Afterwards? Snacks? There was so much food being shuttled into my room 3 times a day, I felt like I could barely finish one meal before I had to prepare for another one. Anything resembling entertainment? No no. No. When I wasn't caring for my new child, I was trying to sleep for 10 minutes.

Child #2 was a scheduled c-section. I walked into the hospital with my license, insurance card, and phone (no bag, no wallet, etc). My husband had a camera and his phone. I hadn't consumed anything since midnight, but thought surely once I got there I'd get to have some ice chips? Nope. Sip of water? Nope. At least rinse my mouth out so my tongue stops sticking to my teeth? Nope.

After that.. I had my clothes, paper & pen (in case I needed to write something down), and toiletries. No computer, no other entertainment. I never would have used it. I didn't even turn on the in-room tv. Not once.

The thing about having a baby is that there are people in and out of your room constantly. At least 3 or 4 times a day (especially with a c-section) someone brings you medication. Someone brings you food 3 times a day, someone else takes your food away 3 times a day. Your doctor checks on you every morning. Your pediatrician checks on your baby every morning. At least 4 times a day a nurse came in to take my blood pressure and temperature. Cleaning staff came in once a day to clean the bathroom and mop the floor. And then there's the actual BABY. Who, while sleeping quite a lot, also needs you nearly constantly.. to eat, to have its diaper changed, to just be held, etc. They also want you up and walking around the unit 3 or 4 times a day as well.

Oh, and .. visitors?

[The second time around I also got sent around the hospital for testing- which kept me busy for a few hours. (I also learned there are people whose sole job it is to ferry patients around to different places in the hospital- at alarming speeds.)]

When are the giant spans of time you're going to need something to entertain yourself? I'm not sure. Any "extra" time I had I spent trying to sleep or.. just being still for a moment.

Here's my advice- walk into the hospital with as little as possible.
- Your ID and whatever official info the hospital will need from you.
- Your phone (if you have an iPhone or similar.. you're all set for email, internet, music, taking pictures, video, etc).
- A camera (most decent cameras can take video as well).
Done. If you can sleep- do it. It will be the last time you can for the next 20 years. Otherwise, focus on what's happening to you, have some ice chips. Watch tv and talk to the friends/family that are there with you- it will probably be the last time you can for the next 20 years. If you think I'm kidding.. just wait.

If your hospital has separate labor and maternity units, everything else can stay in the car for your "person" to bring in later.
- Bring your own toiletries if you want, but the hospital will have a lot of what you need.. soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.
- Medication, if applicable.
- T-shirts/tank tops, stretchy pants, sports bras, and underwear. (Or just wear the hospital gowns). And a robe/cardigan/sweatshirt to cover up or if you get cold. (I wouldn't bother with pads.. maternity units have a never ending supply)
- Pen & paper. Something will happen one way or another.. and you're going to want to write it down.
- Weather appropriate clothes to bring baby home in. Don't waste time/suitcase space bringing clothes for their hospital stay. Newborns spit up so much/often, and need to be changed, that it's silly to dress them in anything other than the hospital shirts, blankets, and diapers.
- Car seat. Obviously. But that can stay in the car until baby is ready to leave.
- An extra bag or plenty of room in your suitcase (I recommend one with wheels)- a good hospital will load you up with diapers, formula, etc.

The cool thing about maternity units and their staff (in a decent hospital, anyway), is that they will do and get just about anything for you- from the housekeepers up to the head nurses. Especially if you are hooked up to things or bedridden.
- For my first post-baby meal, I hadn't been able to fill out a dinner request, so they brought me a general meal- which happened to be fish. As a vegetarian, I couldn't eat it. The woman took it right away and 5 minutes later had brought me something else the kitchen staff put together on the spot for me.
- The morning after Noah was born there were 3 or 4 nurses in my room at the same time. Taking my temperature, my blood pressure. Dosing out medication. Fetching liquids and apple sauce to take medications with. Changing my c-section (and otherwise) dressings. Even helping me wash up and putting toothpaste on my toothbrush. Whirlwind.
- When I was finally able to take a shower, and my husband was nowhere to be found, the head nurse on duty, took my baby up to the unit's front desk to watch him for me while she did paperwork.
- In the middle of the night, when Noah had pooped and then peed all over me while I was trying to change him.. I called for a nurse. She came immediately, picked him up, changed him, cleaned him up, and then helped clean me up.

To review.. 1) pack as light as possible, 2) even a half-way decent hospital while treat you like you're at a spa, and 3) enjoy it while you can, because all those nurses and aides don't go home with you..

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What we did this week

 indoor picnic / 80 degrees with air conditioning / Lily's depiction of Noah crying / daylilies / Noah sleeping / storm / purple flower / new shoes / Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Double helping of too f-ing bad

Our electric meter is scheduled for a reading very soon- I can't wait. Honestly. Which is actually.. what's the word.. I don't know.. masochistic? Because it's going to be high. We just don't know how high yet.

Yes, we put up an air conditioner in the living room, but I try to use it as very little as possible. A few hours on a couple of days, never at night, etc. We even waited until this week to put up another one in the bedroom. But brother-in-law is another story. The air conditioner in his room has been on.. 24 hours a day.. 7 days a week.. for the last month or so. You'd think we'd have some kind of say in that. But, no..

It's on when he's home- which rare now that he has a girlfriend again I guess. And on when he's not home- for his rabbit. I wish I was lying right now.

I cannot even get into why things are like this. I will stab something.

I'm also just starting to get sick. BIL has been coughing for a week. I told Jason to take Airborne (which he didn't). And, well, neither did I. Probably because I've got about 900 other things on my mind- pouring powder into juice and drinking it didn't even make the top 100.

My nose has been running all day. And I'm a little scared. This will be the first time I've been sick with two kids. It was bad enough with one- I don't know what I'm going to do with two. Suffer more, I guess? Which somewhat brings me full circle doesn't it?

I'll be snuffling and sneezing on the couch this week.. while I reload the electric company page every hour to see what the bill is going to be. Then I'll go punch something. Twice.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

what we did this week

I hate cooking / Taco Bell's Can't Bowl / a flower grows anyway / Flap Your Wings / Lily's new school shoes / new sneakers waiting for Noah / Super Mario duck tape / wallet / Noah's first cereal try

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I feel better. Sort of. (Not really.)

I was going to write about how I'm no longer going to BlogHer'12.. that I sold my ticket 3 weeks ago, cancelled my hotel reservation today, and didn't win a contest that would have set me up there for free.. but I don't feel like it. I'm still a little too.. crushed. Crushed because I couldn't justify spending $1000 of my own money for whatever BlogHer is to everyone else.

Believe me, I went in 2010.. I know what it's like. And I'm sure it's going to be even more like that in 2012. I went to a BlogHer party. I went to private brand events. And I got swag. Lots and lots and lots of it- but not $1000 worth. But that was okay, because I went for free.

So whatever- this year I'm not going. Whatever. I'm not going to talk about it. (Even though I am.)

I took it out of my Google calendar today. After I cancelled my hotel reservation. And that was the end of it. I'll get over it. It's not even close to the end of the world. But.. I just wanted to go, ya know? I felt like I deserved to go. It's been a rough.. amount of time. It still is.

BlogHer surely wouldn't fix anything. But maybe I would've had fun. Even if I'd have been anxious. About everything. Leaving my car in a garage. Riding trains. Being in New York City. Elevators.

I used to like to travel. Then I had kids. And now the boogeyman is lurking behind every leaf. So it's just as well. There are enough leaves in my own city, I'm not going to be adding all the leaves in New York too.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

what we did this week

blue sky / daisies / more daisies / crayon scribbles / mac! / more blue sky / Target's back-to-school set up already / blue cheese veggie dog lunch / ice coffee k-cup sample packs

Thursday, July 5, 2012

To celebrate, we did.. nothing.

We did not watch fireworks yesterday. Not even on tv. Actually, scratch that..

Individually, over the course of the day/night, we all saw some fireworks out the windows of our house. Through the trees. I'm guessing there might be some more tonight, and definitely tomorrow, and the next night, and even the night after that (which is Sunday). That's what we get for living in the city. (Even though we still live "in the woods.")

In some ways it's nice- you don't even have to leave your house for a fireworks display. In some ways it's not nice- our neighbors used to set them off in their backyard. Every year we'd think 'okay, this is the year.. they are going to set the woods on fire. And we're going to have to call the fire department. Before our house goes up too.' But, thank God, it didn't happen. And the last two years.. they haven't set off anything. Maybe one of their other neighbors finally called the police (fireworks are a no-no in this state). Or maybe they moved away. Either way, it's better this way. Obviously. I like fireworks. A lot actually. Just not in my backyard.

We did nothing to celebrate our Independence Day. I did my "chores." And then I went to Target. To buy baby formula. Which was supposed to be on sale.. but it was not. So I bought a birthday present for Lily (3 months early), some bread, and milk instead. I'm living THE life, right? Quit being jealous.

I figured there would be lots of people out at Target.. and just shopping in general. But I forgot that most people are probably normal (hence the actual definition.. the usual, typical, etc).. and do things like hang out with their family, have cookouts, watch fireworks, etc. So it worked out well- July 4 is pretty much a ghost town at Target.

My mother-in-law was cooking out when I got home.. and we threw a couple extra things on for ourselves. And that was it. No big whoop, as they say. We are, apparently, not celebratory folks.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

what we did last week

saltwater sandals / noodles / exam room / babysitter made me late  / cobb salad inspired dinner layout / "gold" fish crackers / frog / Lily's pb&j / personal watermelon
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