Friday, November 18, 2011

She's a mover & a shaker (but a bit of a crier)

She can't crawl. She can't walk. But, she managed to scoot over to the dog's waterbowl (which is in desperate need of a cleaning).

The days this week have been filled with her getting in position to crawl with one troublesome leg caught under her. Then, she cries. If you push the leg out to crawling position, she cries. If you put her back to sitting upright, she cries and then repeats. If you leave her to figure it out, she cries. I hate to make predictions. Well, actually, I just hate to be wrong about predictions. But, daresay, I think she might crawl soon.

I should be used to this, but dang, they seem to just grown up so fast. Today she clapped at Claire's school fair when other kids were clapping. It was so cute. Earlier this week I was raking with her in the Beco, and I thought "this will be easier when I can carry her on my back." Then, I remembered ,she isn't a baby and she has contentedly been in the back carry position all week. Sniff.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

"I win!"

(Claire and Macy's standard exclamation after walking down the stairs/getting dressed/finishing a meal)

"It's not a contest!"

(my standard response especially to a meal-eating race)

I had been wondering, where do they get this competitiveness from? Is it because Claire's in school now? I certainly don't pit them against one another. And Bob might be the least competitive person I know.

I remember being so competitive with my brother. I thought it was because he was so into sports and had a competitive personality and that we were 14 months apart in age.

I am beginning to think it's some genetic survival mechanism. We are just competitive people, and I created more competitive babies.

I came to this last night when I stepped out for a quick run and was walking with this internal dialogue:

"None of my music is suitable for running"

"Just run. Nicole, you're stalling!"

"I can't start to Jack Johnson. It will just set the tone for a slow run"

"There's not enough daylight left to be so picky, you have already skipped 10 songs"

"Why is this song even on here? It is offering me every slow, sucky song on here"

[Lady runs across the block perpendicular to me]

"You could run faster to Cat Stevens than that lady. And she's skinnier than you, unfair."

"Cat Stevens it is!"

Then, I ran to catch and pass the lady. She had headphones on and didn't hear me coming. There were cars on the street, so I couldn't cross to the other side or get around her. I was stuck behind her going slower than I wanted and thinking this was so not good for my karma. She probably just started running or had a baby. I eventually was able to cross the street and run off ahead. Then, I thought, geez, that lady didn't even hear or see me. I could have been a mugger or a rapist. So, then I was paranoid I should be on high alert for muggers and rapists (though, there's probably no black market for cracked iPods). Or, in the very least, being competitive makes you less aware of what's going on around you and is a bit obsessive.

And that, most certainly, the girls get their competitiveness from me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Great Expectations?

Claire's teacher sends home a newsletter on Fridays. Recently, she reminded parents to let their kids do stuff themselves like put on their clothes, shoes, jackets and winter clothes. My guess is this is a reminder for parents of only children or children further apart in age. Or, I am a major meanie with Michelle Duggar like expectations for my eldest. Sure, I have to help with zippers, but she does all that and when Macy's cooperative, she even helps Macy do it.

I was a bit relieved to read the teacher said that because when Claire was at the doctor with UTI symptoms, the doctor said 4 was pretty young to be wiping herself... I was like, sheesh, I am trying to get the 2 1/2 year old to wipe herself, and you want me to wipe the 4 year old? Plus, it's pretty hard to convince her she can't do it anymore. I am not lazy. I would prefer my more hygienic wiping to theirs, but Macy loves to use the bathroom the second I have a sleepy baby teetering on the edge of going down for a nap.

The teacher probably has an idea Claire's putting on her own winter things since even a not-very-fashionable 33 year old would chose the hat/mitten combos she does...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Over their heads

This morning in a exasperation and sheer annoyance at watching Claire chase Macy with an imaginary needle, I dove into a talk waaaay above the heads of my 4 and 2 1/2 year olds (albeit smart ones).

Despite spending the vast majority of my time with these shorties, I am not a big baby talker. Half for my own sanity, and half for their language acquisition, I talk to the kids in a semi-adult like manner. (You know, trying to avoid the really bad profanities but not over-the-top goo-goo-ga-ga). Claire talks in third person, so I am trying to get out of the "Mama will do that for you," "Bring that to Mama" habit I have going on.

In our extended family we're exposed to talk from all ends of the spectrum. Ga-ma likes to employ cutesy euphemisms like "potty wotty" and "tinkle winkle". I remember reading some of this motherese is good for kids. Like if you say "doggy" or "kitty" it emphasizes the "G" and "T", and hearing it twice will help kids learn those sounds at the end of word rather than dropping them off. Or, slowing your words per minute helps the kids. However, it's confusing, and this is a total Ga-ma thing, too, to call you toes pigs (because there's nothing porcine about those digits!) . So, we got the baby talk on the Ga-Ma end of things, and the girls think Ga-ma's little phrases are hilarious.

This summer we went to the Wisconsin Historical Society where my brother-in-law and sister-in-law work. The girls' aunt was talking about the fur trader's shack exhibit. She was telling them about the various hats, pelts, and tools. I was having a hard time following, and I think the girls were just wondering if the fur on the wall was a live or dead animal. My thought was, does she remember they're under four?

Back to me this morning, I had the Aunt Beth problem. I dove into an explanation of "informed consent" for medicine. They are always playing doctor. All day. I am usually holding Piper while Claire operates on my foot and takes my blood pressure. So, I'm all, "You can't give a shot unless your patient wants you to and you tell her the risks (like it might hurt), it's called informed consent." Granted sometimes people don't kids enough credit for being able to understand things. This wasn't really the case, it was more of me trying to think of a way not to scream "QUIT CHASING YOUR SISTER WITH THAT DAMN TOY SYRINGE!!!!"

As one might guess, this was over their heads. Bored, they wandered out of the bathroom (yeah!) and went into Claire's room where they established a rule where the doctor would poke the patient and then the patient got to poke the doctor. So, basically, the 1-2-3 poking just doubled, but at least I got my hair did.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


They were fighting over chocolate milk. Not real chocolate milk, mind you. Imaginary chocolate milk, and it was before real breakfast. They were at early this morning. Macy had a dish of the imaginary good stuff, and Claire claimed to drink it all. We really can't be sure since imaginary milk is hard to see.

Then, they both took toys from the immobile baby who proceeded to cry and look towards me to get it back. So that's how it's going to be, Piper? You're not going to learn to crawl or walk? You're going to wait for your Mom to swoop in retrieve your treasured items? You know if we go that route, they aren't going to like you. They're going to think you're getting preferential treatment. They might just gang up on you.

They're already ganging up on me. Claire and Macy were continuing to bicker over the coveted (imaginary) chocolate milk dish at breakfast and reaching over their place mats. I was desperately trying to get some coffee made and spilled the coffee beans all over the floor (near the baby who likes to put leaves in her mouth). Claire said, "Ha! WE don't have to help you with that! Me and Macy didn't spill it, you did! So, YOU have to clean it up, WE don't." So now they're buddies all of a sudden?

I suppose, despite how different my brother and I are, we sure like to talk about the antics of our parents...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Seriously, how do lesser women do this? (or people with jobs or no husbands)

Claire's school seems to be operating on the premise that if they give me too much advance notice for anything I will forget. But, I actually would like some heads up. I am a bit of a planner, and I don't even have that much going on.

For Donuts for Dads day they send a note asking everyone to send in a canister of frosting by the next day (or the day after). I don't consider frosting a staple in every home, and I really don't consider a trip to the store warranted for frosting. Heck, I wouldn't even take all three kids to the store after 11:00am for any food. I improvise! When I do shop, I make lists; I coordinate the girls'' happy times. I wondered if I could make frosting and send it in a Ziploc container. But, I can always come up with a few things I need from the store. So, I went and got the damn frosting like a good parent.

Today, I get a note requesting one red apple, one green apple, and one yellow apple by Thursday. Well, don't people usually like one kind and have that kind at home? Or, do other homes have apple buffets? Because I have red apples at present, sometimes green, but never yellow. When Claire gets home from school (when I got this letter), we eat lunch, and then Macy takes a nap. Oh, and the letter suggested I bring my 4 year old to the store to talk about apples. So, if I run out when Bob gets home or have Bob stop on his way home, I am slighting my daughter's education. This note gave me the advance of two evenings and one morning (since all afternoons are shot with naps) to get apples. I don't even care about the apples, I think it's cool. But, why can't they give me notice that next week they will be hitting me up for a rainbow's worth of apples.

How would someone who works like this? They wouldn't even find out about it until they were already home from work (suppertime?) Or a single mom? Or if I had a newborn I didn't want to take out? Seriously, I don't even have much to whine about, but I have to think other people like advance notice on this stuff to?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

7 months, 1 tooth

In honor of Piper's 7 months on the planet, she sprang a bottom tooth yesterday. Claire's so excited you'd think she's pulled it out of Piper's gums for her. The enthusiasm is pretty cute. In honor of her special anniversary, I am going to Happy Hour on Wednesday. Not really for that reason, it just ended up that way. Piper needs some Dada time, anyway. She was pulling that MaMa preference stuff the other day. I got a middle child that has a strong one of those, it loses its cuteness rather quickly. I prefer the I'll-take-whichever-of-you-has-a-free-hand-whenever-you-can-get-here over the MaMa-NOW crap. Hopefully, the tooth's arrival was the reason. More likely, it was her father being gone for too long buying something he doesn't need.

Poor Macy doesn't see, sure he still lives here. Saturday Macy surprisingly said to him, "oh, I didn't know you'd still be here" when we returned from the grocery store.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Get on the bus, Gus!

Early last week Claire missed her bus. This wasn't the morning she woke me up 10 minutes before pick-up time. No, I'd been up for about an hour nagging her to put on her previously selected outfit & shoes. It was perfect, I nagged her down to the front door in time for her to watch the bus pull off without her. I'm not sure she believed my, "you're going to miss your bus" until she saw those red lights through her tears.

I'm not saying I like to see her cry (and because the rest of us were actually dressed we walked to school and got there before school started anyway), but I feel like the incident was perfect for my street cred and her learning a natural consequence.

Now, I have her glued to the window 20 minutes before pick-up. This morning was Donuts with Dad (well, in Claire's case with Bumpa). Nothing is getting between this girl and her donut! When she had to turn away from the window she delegated bus watching to her sister.

Now, if I could just find a way to communicate to Piper I just clean her up because I don't want her neck to smell like a gym bag, not because I'm a jerk.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Grounds for divorce?

My most annoying patient (clearly the man of the house) had a quick little one day cold earlier this week. He thinks illness makes it acceptable for him to leave piles of used tissues in places like his daughters' night stands.

Remember when his friend donned him second-most-likely to get divorced because his wife seems like the type to just get fed up one day? Just sayin', reaching my tissue tossing threshold ....

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Red Hot Cinnamon Dot

Red Hot Cinnamon Dot is my nice title for a blog post titled in my mind "Fricking Livid" (but since my 4 year old said 'fricking' yesterday I'm trying to use nicer words until I'm sure one of them pisses me off). Plus, I'm not even livid anymore since I told my husband I was mad, and he apologized. It was all very civilized and adult of us.

Last weekend Piper had her 6 month photos taken. The big girls came along to get one quick Christmas card picture. Seeing as Macy was in some mood where she wanted to shut one eye to be funny, I wasn't very optimistic about the outcome. Plus, in telling a friend about the photographer I learned after the fact that her rates went up like 33%! I had taken the girls solo to the photographer since Bob was dirt biking. That wasn't a big deal since it was morning.

I was overjoyed when I got the pictures, because I loved them. I was pleasantly surprised that there was one picture where ALL THREE of my girls looked good, at the camera. I was trying to share my joy with my husband, but he didn't think they were real enough. (Next year, a picture of Claire picking her nose, Macy eating toast, and me washing dishes while holding a baby?). Then, he said that he wished there was at least one picture where Piper wasn't wearing "that flower thing" in her hair.

"That flower thing" ?!? The night before the pictures while Bob was running around in preparation for his dirt bike trip (to which he forgot to bring a change of warm clothes, some preparation). I engaged him in a conversation about "flower things." Did they distract from the baby? Would it be a good match for the picture of Macy on the wall where she has the crochet hat and a flower? I am not really a flower person; I really wasn't pushing one way or the other. I ended up going to the mall. I hate the mall. Since little girls tend to wear pink, finding a black and gold "flower thing" wasn't an easy feat. I had to go to multiple stores. It was a terrible way to spend kid-free time. I was in at least two kids store that sold bra-lettes to CHILDREN. It was depressing.

I was less than pleased when Bob commented disapprovingly of the "flower thing" because if he didn't like them, this should have been said before the shopping trip.

But, Bob apologized. He said all the right things. He said he needs to listen better, and I didn't say, "Damn right you do!" because I also need to work on being less bitchy. Plus, in the grand scheme, thank God my life is so good I'm worried about my husband's reaction to a flower. Some high school and college acquaintances recently have had three pound babies and have to go visit them at the hospital. A woman who lived down the hall in my dorm freshman year has cancer. I'm part of a 24/7 prayer vigil for her today (my kids have to be good from noon-one today!!) I truly have nothing to complain about.

Seriously, Piper is so stinking cute with or without a flower.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tale as old as time

Last night the girls started dancing in the middle of our game of catch. Claire says to Macy, "I'm Beauty, and you're the Beast."

This is where I thought the quality family time would quickly disintegrate into an endless volley of "No, I 'm the Beauty!" that would make me want to whip out my inner beast.

But, Macy paused, and said, "Ok, but I am a NICE beast!"

Didn't see that coming.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

You got a tick in your ear?

How is it that I can hear Piper crying from the main level when Bob sleeping in the same room about 3 feet from her snores through it? He is pretty tired from riding his little dirt bike around all weekend...

Friday, September 16, 2011

We ain't raising a bunch of Nancies

We keep journals for each of the girls to tell them of their antics and all the things we love about them and don't want to forget. Bob was basically complaining in Piper's that I make him hold her all the time, but that this loving approach served her sister's well, so he's fine with that. It is true, we love to cuddle them babies.

However, I pride myself on not being a whiner. If my kids turned out to be wusses, it would be sheer hell. I mean I would love them and all, but I wouldn't be happy about it. My running partner commented that her other running partner is kind of a complainer. That is like my favorite compliment. I might be slow and offer little in the way of conversation on pop culture due to my lack of TV, have limited knowledge on running gadgets, but at least I don't complain!

So, this is my bad momma confession, I am thrilled that signs are pointing to my kids being tough cookies. I don't squelch emotions and fear, but I say a little internal "sweet!" when they are brave - like when they take on the HUGE slide at Fritse park or jump in cold water (my big wussiness, brrrr).

Claire wanted her ears pierced. That meant Macy wanted hers pierced, too. I took them at separate times (more of a nap timing issue to take some baby stuff to Once Upon a Child). Claire watched two kids get their ears pierced first. When the infant cried Claire told me that she wasn't going to cry because she wasn't a baby. I told her it was ok to cry, and that it would hurt. But, true to her word, she did not even wince. She told her sister, "it's didn't even hurt!"

Back to the mall Claire and I went with Macy. Macy climbed up in the chair herself. Claire had sat in my lap, but Macy had it in her mind that she was going to sit on her own chair. So, up she climbed. She looked so little up there until she started talking. She was chatting with the woman like an adult. She even told her, unsolicited, that she wanted to start with the opposite ear. And the next day the earring came out, I basically re-pierced her ear with an earring from my jewelry box, and she cried then, too. She is still the town crier, so it's not like she doesn't cry, but she is also very brave when she puts her mind to it. I'm digging the tough girls.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cool under pressure

I have found the solution to my misty-eyed bus drop-offs and school pick-ups: parental incompetence! I still get a little choked up if all is well; I'm not a robot. However, if I show up to school 2 minutes late (seriously, two minutes and it was Claire and one other girl) or with a crying 2 year old, I am not overly emotional. I'm downright cool as a cuke.

This morning was Claire's picture day. I had hoped on the braid, but it's really hard. (That and I am not good at hair). We already got up 1/2 hour before the bus, and I had to abandon the braid after several attempts. At one point I asked Claire to stop moving. She said she wasn't moving just pretending to have a maraca, if that's an indication of the level of cooperation I was dealing with.

Claire didn't like that our preselected 3/4 length jacket- left her hands cold. I couldn't trust that Claire would take it off for pictures so I didn't want something too ugly that also matched her patterned dress. Then, she wanted to eat fruit leather at about 3 minutes before bus. Seeing as she ate an ENTIRE box of mac-n-cheese yesterday, I thought she probably could use it.

Regardless, guess who didn't have a tear in her eye as the bus pulled away, ME!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The apple, err banana, doesn't fall far from the tree

It's scary. I might be becoming my mother. I had some space to fill in the dehydrator, so I made some dried bananas like we used to eat (and complain about) as kids...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

River of tears, still flowing

This morning waiting for the bus for Claire's second day of school I still cried, but I think it was less than yesterday, YES! By the end of the week I just might be able to put Claire on the bus without crying.

Claire and Macy were fighting and refusing to eat their Cream of Wheat. I was so ready to put her on that bus. I didn't expect the tears. I am often in denial about my sappiness, though. I have said, "I don't think I am going to cry at this wedding" and been wrong more than once...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Power Horse

Claire recently abandoned her nap. I am actually ok with it because she goes to bed easily at bed time. The quiet time while I get Macy to sleep recharges her enough to be bearable to be in the room with her (unlike a few months ago.) Once in awhile she even falls asleep.

Friends have said that maybe with school she will go back to napping. I was skeptical about this. True, school is new & exciting, but it's hardly as adventurous as her summertime activites - swimming, boating, playing outside, repeat. She has biked 2 miles after swim lessons on occassion, seems arduous compared to the alphabet and watercolors. But, I am often wrong. I got to school today searching for signs of fatigue. Instead of tired eyes, she walked out the back door of the school and pulled her 30 pound sister the entire 1/3 mile walk home in the wagon. She walked my pace even.

The change I didn't anticipate was the food consumption. They have breakfast upon arrival at school, but Claire ate some oatmeal before she left, too. She got to school and ate an apple, white milk & a cereal bar. She came home, ate more carrots and dill dip than me and three helpings of penne and cheese.

The girl ate like a horse today.

Cry Baby

Screening for 4K last Spring. Cried.

Meet the teacher last week. Cried.

Bus pick-up this morning. Cried.

Picking her up from school. Cried.

My friend Tina is not wrong. I am "a bit of a sap". She blames our baby hormones (since her baby is 3 months older than Piper, I have a few months left with this rationale). More likely, we're both a bunch of saps...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My go-to

So, whenever I go grocery shopping, I ask Bob what he wants to eat. Every time, the answer includes Mexican (pretty broad), pizza and/or sloppy joe wraps. After my excitement about the awesome crock pot yogurt recipe, the last batch I made bombed. It's really runny. I've been pushing the smoothies (my kids are suckers). But, one recipe I can't remember ever f'ing up is the whole wheat pizza dough from my Weight Watcher's cookbook. Love it. I have done various combinations of wheat and regular flour from what I have on hand, and it has never failed me.

8 Servings - 117 cals each, 2 points (if you're into that)

2 tsp dry active yeast
1/4 c lukewarm water
1/4 flour

Pizza Dough
1/2 cup skim milk
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt

1. To prep sponge, in a large bowl sprinkle yeast over water. When yeast looks wet, add flour & stir hard. Cover with a damp towel and let stand with room temp for about 40 minutes. (This is a major "about" for me- I get side tracked, a lot)
2. To make dough, stir milk into sponge. In medium bowl, combine flour, ww flour and salt (seriously, I just dump this stuff in the large bowl). Add to sponge and blend.
3. Turn dough. I just use the dough hook on my Kitchen-Aide, but the recipe says knead it with your hands for 10-12 minutes.
4. Put back in bowl, cover with damp cloth and let sit til doubled in volume 45-60 minutes. (Again, I have left this for hours and it's been fine).
5. Roll out dough to 15 in circle and cook at 500 (did I mention preheat the oven??) for 10 minutes. I have stretched it to a bigger rectangle when there seems to be more dough (if it more than doubled it while I was off doing other stuff)

So yeah, cover it with what you like. (I like it with ricotta and zucchini /mozzarella and crushed red pepper, but then I wind up eating it all by myself and portion control is already an issue for me!)

Bob just found out I even have a blog. He's not such a good listener...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Facebook much?

So, twice a day you will find me on Facebook. Naptime & bedtime. After the books are read and the potty run is made, I sit on a comfy chair in Macy's room and say things like, "please, stop kicking the wall," "it's time to be quiet," and "please, get back in your bed." She thrashes around on her bed, I'm guessing, because she knows if she stops moving her body will succumb to sleep. This is all made more bearable by wireless internet. So, I see what the people who haven't annoyed me enough to be hidden are up to, and I read up on HuffPo. .

For something that's been around like 1/6 of my life, Facebook creeps into my thoughts often. Someone says something amusing in an e-mail to me, and I try to "like it. A friend's blog has a picture of my kids, and I want to tag it. I want to be able to comment on someone's so true post
about how easy one kid is, and I get flustered having to do the verification to leave a comment (I am really bad at that, it's like those 3D pictures at the mall in high school I could never see...)

Isn't it funny how if I told high school me all the things I could do online I might be pretty impressed (might, computers weren't really that cool to me...), but now if it is running slow, I am so annoyed I might not even go and read it. Technology is a funny thing. Almost as funny as the ridiculous positions Macy finally falls asleep in...

Monday, July 18, 2011

3 in 3

Claire's almost 4. Besides her going off to 4K (sniff, sniff), I will have stop saying my "I have three kids three & under" tagline, or will I?

At church this week a grandmotherly woman told me she had "6 kids in 6 years". Touche, old lady you have doubled me. I was thinking, I could start saying I had three kids in three years. Nice ring to it. I am not sure what this will get me, a medal, or say, a job when Piper's off to school? Probably not.

It got me thinking that mommy bragging seems to have no expiration date. I can't decide if it's really annoying (more likely), or if these bragging rights are justified. When I was in labor with Piper the woman admitting me told me she had some 4, 5, 6 children all natural births without meds. I didn't have much to respond because I wasn't really in the chatty mood and was about to have my third child sans epidural on her chair. (She was darn fast, though.) But after the fact I wondered if her colleagues in admission get sick of her telling every laboring woman that. I liked the you can do it attitude, but are her co-workers like, "your kids are 40, shut up!"

So in the spirit of bragging, I found a different yogurt recipe, and I rocked it. My kids love it more than Stonyfield (probably because they get to add honey...) Well, the recipe is from my friend Amy who pretty much has my family plus twins. So, maybe my fear with bragging should also be, there always some woman with more kids doing more!

Unless the girls turn out to be doctors like they say, then I will brag. But, I might be getting ahead of myself since Claire might be a farmer, life guard or a doctor.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Help

I have heard mothers complain about onlookers that make comments like, "you've got your hands full." I never really understood why that bothered them. People would say it to me, and I heartily agreed. Yep, lady, lots going on here.

But lately I kind of see how it's annoying. Maybe it insinuates that you aren't juggling it all, but you have an excuse because you have three kids three and under. The part I start to hear is, you are not handling this well.

I've been home alone with the girls since Friday. It has been going better than even I expected. (and really, I think how I handle things is to keep expectations low, really low - like if one kid has a meltdown that's better than two kids having a meltdown, right?). My mom seems to be under the incorrect assumption that I need company (I am loving watching hulu and staying up late) and her assistance. Oh, I don't get me wrong, I do need her assistance. She took Claire & Macy on Saturday night, awesome, and she is coming over tomorrow. But I explicitly told her I did not need her to come today. She comes anyway. During. Naptime. Spoils Claire's nap by "checking on her." I know she is trying to be helpful. I know this makes me look ungrateful. Can she not give me the satisfaction of doing it alone one day? On Sunday she really fought to let me buy my dad lunch - on Father's Day!

That's the counter-intuitive thing, sometimes it's hard to receive help because kids are better alone with me. Help sometimes gets them too excited. Help sometimes lets them stay up longer and throws off the routine. Help is often convinced a hyper kid isn't a tired kid by a really tired kid.

But, my mom had a good point. You get what you pay for. And, the kids do love their ga-ma and bumpa. And, my parents do make the most delicious homemade ice cream...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Picture my husband with a lightbulb overhead

The only time the inability to breastfeed is handy is in the husband helping department. I have seen enough of my friend's husbands dump a crying baby on their wife's lap lamenting the baby must be hungry. If Bob thinks the baby is hungry, he can give her a bottle. (And seriously, there are other ways to soothe babies!)

When Claire was born, after my 12 weeks of maternity leave, Bob stayed home for 6 weeks with her. Plus, he had her during the summer while I worked. It made him way more comfortable around babies and appreciative.

I really like being home. My main gripe is the cleaning. It never ends. The dishes never end. I have been saying this all school year. And, when Bob's summer break started I was definitely feeling the need for cleaning skyrocketing. He's a slob.

This past week I have been leaving Bob with the girls a bit to prepare for the week of single motherhood while he is on vacation. He says to me, "you know, what I was doing the other day that isn't that even that annoying, dishes. All I ever do it dishes!" I was like, "Amen!"

It's kind of like a natural consequence. I can tell the girls, "you won't like it, it's spicy" until I am blue in the face, or I can let them try it and & tell me that it's too spicy and they don't like it.

Because if I had a quarter for every time I told Bob how the dishes never end and I spend my entire day in the kitchen serving snacks and meals, then we could pay some poor sucker to wash dishes and load the dishwasher! But hearing him say it was priceless.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

For the love of God, please be nice to your sister!

It's been a rough week for me at Chateau Lemke. I got a urinary tract infection. Yeah, too much information, I know. But seriously, haven't I been through enough? In the spirit of TMI, the hemorrhoids from pushing out the 9 pound 3 ounce baby haven't been healed long enough for this to be fair. On top of that, after 5 weeks on a 1,500 calorie diet I have lost one pound. They have ruled out a thyroid problem. The doctor recommended 1,200 calories a day. Someone needs to invent calorie-free beer.

But, the saddest thing of my week was when Claire was mean to her sister. Sure, they bicker over toys incessantly. I am used to this. But, Claire started summer school this week. Maybe that change is throwing her off a bit. I got a glimpse of her nastiness earlier in the week when she was playing with the Nursing Nina cat. Mama cat has magnetic nipples and three little kittens that latch on. Claire had a random orange cat not part of the set. She was telling me the Mama was the Mama, the baby was the baby, and she kind of wondered what the orange cat was. I suggested the orange cat was the older sister. She liked this idea. And then proceeded to have the big sister cat drink all the mama's milk and laugh & tease the baby that she drank all the milk. I don't think you need to be a psychologist to read into that a bit...

So later in the week it's bedtime. Our typical routine of late is Bob puts Claire to bed, and I put Macy to bed at the same time. Claire asked for me. So, I suggested, well, let's read our books together and then separate. Macy loved this idea; Claire not so much. By then, Claire decided she wanted just Bob to read to her and Macy was not invited. Macy was devastated. Sometimes, I think she cries about something when tired and forgets what she is crying about. Not this. She was inconsolable. She was sitting on the rug outside Claire's door crying, crying, crying. She could not be distracted or redirected. Finally, Bob talked Claire into letting Macy in
for the second book - probably because Claire couldn't hear the story over the wailing. Macy was so happy. She hopped into Claire's bed, was all smiles. After the book, she told Claire she loved her and kissed her. Claire didn't reciprocate. It broke my heart seeing Macy swoon all over Claire, and Claire be a jerk. I can't force her to be nice. I just need to keep being nice for an example, but, it's not easy when she acts like a major a-hole.

Macy will be ok. I don't think she noticed the cold shoulder treatment. She was just pumped to read one story with her big sister. And, I have a feeling a little someone will be looking up to Macy with the same reverence....

We're blowing her mind

The other day I went to a local babywear's group meeting. Piper is a big one, and she only likes to face outwards when awake. She will face in when sleeping, but she is sleeping less and less. I wanted to see what other options might be out there. I had heard bad things about the crotch dangler baby carriers, but I had thought it was all physical. (and seriously how much time would a kid be in a Bjorn to have such effects?). A woman told me there is some argument that babies shouldn't face out because it is too much stimuli. I felt like a freak (already a pariah with my bottle), but I swear Piper likes to look out at her sisters. Piper is smiling. I can't read minds, but she seems quite happy, I swear.

The woman equated facing outward (rather than at my sweaty cleavage) to a newborn watching television. The infant can't process the images. I wasn't sure I was buying it, but was I wrong? This hippy had a pretty mellow and happy baby... Surprisingly, Bob was the voice of reason on this when I reported back. He said something to the effect of, "it's not like your sprinting through a fun house, it's life she is looking at!"

Either way, I'm pretty sure she is too little to be pushed on her outside swing. That's probably blowing her mind, but, man, everyone got a kick out of it...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The only good thing about Claire telling me twice this morning in her megaphone voice that "Her is FAT!" is that it reminded me that my friend Katie's son said, "What's that fat chick's problem?" at McDonald's once.

Seriously, the word "fat" is not even in our lexicon!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Boo-hoo Cry Pants

Apparently, my body has not got the memo that I am not pregnant. Seems odd it wouldn't remember pushing out a 9 lb 3 ounce baby about 3 months ago....

But, my body insists on storing fat, especially in the front, and I have been crying over some dumb things (you know, occasions where only overly-emotional or pregnant women would tear up). At church on Sunday I was tearing up during confirmation. You know, the long church service where most non-hormonal people would be checking their watches annoyed at the extended service. I didn't know the name of a single kid up there, but I was wiping tears out of my eyes. Look them, all grown up, getting confirmed.

Yesterday, Claire started summer school. Open the floodgates.

At naptime, Macy was taking off her sandals to get into her bed. I was holding Piper above her. Piper puked on her hair and arm. I thought it was hilarious. I bust into Claire's room to tell Bob about it. He said it was not funny but rather gross. Apparently, I am a stark raving mad lunatic because I am laughing like a hyena. Bob is looking at me like I am certifiable for interrupting his story for that nugget.

Seriously, this can not be the new me. This emotional crap should wear off after 3 months, though, right?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Maslow, be damned!

The big girls have a definite problem distinguishing their needs from their wants.

I can't think of a scenario where a two year old actually needs a horse, dinosaur and a cat especially in a twin bed...

What's in their bag of tricks?

All of a sudden Claire can draw things that look like things! It started with an octopus with hair, then rainbows and, now, people!

I had no idea when to expect this. I pretty much don't know what sort of things older kids can do. The other day the neighbor boy who is 8-ish (yeah, can't gauge older kids' ages either) looked at me like I had two heads when I asked him if he could physically turn off the sprinkler. Apparently, that is something very easy for a child his age, but he still enjoys running through sprinklers with pre-schoolers, who knew?

Likewise, I have very little idea what sorts of tricks other people's kids can do even if they are at an age my kids have already been. I like to ask kids questions they can answer, not stump them. I was trying to get my nephew to do the animal noises he knew. Eventually, my sister-in-law said he knows wolf. That wouldn't be my first guess. I wouldn't expect an 18 month old to howl on demand until they have mastered all the barnyard animals. But, there's no order to this.

This week we visited my mom's school. To every question an adult posed to Macy, she would exuberantly respond, "I'm 2!" The girls talk about their age a lot. How old is MaMa? How old is DaDa? Seriously, I don't know how old my brother's girlfriend is. Do I guess? Ask my brother and get back to them? But, they aren't asked, "What's your name?" at home. (She eventually was able to tell them her name. Kinda freaky, though, two different people were "guessing" her name and said George.)

So apparently, this parenting gig doesn't provide one with many transferable skills. It basically is teaching me how to talk to my own kids. This is probably good since I couldn't handle more than the kids I got!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Is fat the new skinny?

I wish 33 year olds looked this cute with chubby arms. The next person who tells me how the weight just "fell off" due to breastfeeding, might see my not-so-cute chubby arms around their neck...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Piper Piggy

I typically avoid the pitfall of comparing my kids to other people's kids. Growth percentile charts, who cares? My bad-parent mistake is comparing them to each other (I am the dog-parent who used to declare a Dog of the Day, oh so tempting to have a Daughter of the Day, but those pesky parenting books say, no!)

Our Piper Piggy had her 2 month today and weighed in at 13 1/2 pounds (95th percentile for those who care). She has the fattest thighs. Adorable!

So, after writing it in her baby book, I did what I always do. I got out her sisters' baby books to see what they weighed, duh. Piper is 2 pounds heavier than Macy was and 2 1/4 bigger than Claire!

I gotta stop comparing them, but man, two pounds is like 15%. Seems a lot on a baby's 23 inch frame!! We also should stop calling her Piper Piggy at some point, too, probably...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Success Stories

You know what I want to hear when I tell someone my husband had a vasectomy? A story of all the people they know who had one and it worked.

"Oh, yeah, my cousin's husband had one of those about 5 years ago. Haven't had a baby since!"

"I knew a guy who had one and then had sex, a lot of sex, never slipped one past the goalie!"

Because lately everyone has been telling me the story of the vasectomy that didn't work. Are these stories true or getting exaggerated down the line? The nurse at my 6 week said she knew someone who had twins after her husband's vasectomy.

Are the birth horror stories you tell pregnant ladies now replaced with oops baby stories when you're done having kids?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Slowly, put down the baby....

I tend to forget things didn't work with one kid might work with the others. Last week as I was struggling to hang up the diapers with one hand with an unhappy Piper, I weighed it out in my head and figured I would be faster with two hands, and the less cruel option was to set her down for a short amount of time even if she was upset. The big girls weren't real fans of the swing, but I have it as my downstairs option. I set her down in the shade a voila, she was perfectly content watching the laundry in the wind (I'm sure my neighbors are less amused...)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Having worked in diversity & inclusion I can understand the importance of how words can hurt, but I always had a hard time not saying "crazy." The local NAMI chapter was a member of the multicultural center, and asserted that it was offensive to saying something or someone was "crazy." I get what they're saying. I don't call things "gay" or "retarded," but I used the word crazy like, well, crazy!

Now that I am home, political correctness has gone out the window, and Bob has gone so far as to calling the girls nutjobs. Many a mealtime conversation has centered around who is a bigger nutjob. "No, YOU'RE a nutjob."

Claire, in my opinion, is the biggest nutjob. Sleeping with notebooks with illegible scribbles in them = nutjob. Insisting on hauling a backpack full of underwear everywhere you go= nutjob. Insisting on going out in public wearing a hat over your hood and sunglasses= unabomber.

Macy does do some nutty things, too. Wearing two head bands? Her hilarious rooster impression? Wearing winter hats in the warm or bike helmets anyplace but on a bicycle? I live in the nuthouse. Their sense of humor is my favorite thing about them.

Michele, one "L"

I read in some parenting magazine the advice that in addition to friends with kids your kids' age to maintain friendships with friends without kids and friends with older kids you admire.

Well, despite the fact I live not too far from where I grew up, I have a whole whopping two friends I ever do things with regularly. And, now my friend Michele is moving away. So, I am feeling sorry for myself. So, now what I am supposed to do fancy parenting magazine advice-giver? I am officially down a friend without kids now. She isn't moving to the moon, but I have no shortage of friends that live over an hour away.

It's kind of a bummer. Not to be vain, but I have always had a lot of friends. I am kind of lazy to make new friends, and I feel kind of like an outsider. It seems like all the cloth-diapering, greenliving, AP mommas around here like to knit, homeschool/unschool and breastfeed (don't, won't, and can't respectively). Even though I seem kind of crunchy to my friends, I am not crunchy enough to fit into the crunchy crowd. And then I feel guilty about it.

My yogurt making attempts have failed; I buy it from the store. Then I feel guilty for spending money on yogurt.

I will probably put Frontline on my dog. Then, I feel bad about the chemicals.

Seriously, I don't even know what kefir is. So chances are we won't be eating it, drinking it, or making it at home anytime soon.

I barely have it together as it is. I was late dropping the girls off AND picking them up from their playschool today. I ran into the mayor (former boss) and looked about as unkempt as possible. There was dried spit up on the baby carrier which was hanging open while I held the baby with spit up coming out of her mouth. And, that's what I hope people were looking at versus my crazy hair and casual, dated outfit.

I didn't fit in at City Hall, either.

So, am I destined to be the weird-o at library story hour trying to make friends? Maybe it's for the best since I spend most of my time chasing kids that I don't have time for making new friends anyway. How sad is that?

Friday, May 13, 2011

See, Mom, people like me!

My mom does this thing where she acts all conspiratorial with Bob as if they both know how hard it is to put up with me. Like I am some hard-to-please diva that they walk on egg shells to please, but they do it because they love me. Mom will say some ridiculous thing like she had me for 20 years and now I am Bob's problem. I'm not sure this passing of the baton analogy is very accurate. It's not like my parents were taking care of me when we started dating. I hadn't even been in the same state as them for a decade. And, I'm rather independent.

But, has it escaped anybody's notice I'm rather tolerant of my husband's junk collecting? I had proposed a moratorium on buying any vehicles while he was home for three weeks on paternity leave. He rejected that idea ("Nicole, all the deals go on here while people are working"). He bought at a rate of more than once a week. He even bought a boat back we had previously owned. Too small for our family, parked in our tiny driveway, needing to be re-fininshed, nonetheless.

But, really, who cares? As long as he helps around the house and with the kids, he can have his hobbies.

So last week a co-worker of Bob's is over. I offer and bring him a beer. He says his wife never has brought him a drink in all their years of marriage. (I probably do that once a night!) Later, he says, "Bob, we should go on that show where they both trade wives, but we both get her!" I should have got him on the phone to share that accolade with my mother, but that'd be pretty weird, right?

Later in the week, this guy brings his wife over while I am gone. He wants to show her some of Bob's treasures. Bob says she is disinterested at best. I'm like, of course she is. Most women don't put up with your nonsense. They don't like the guys that give their husbands dumb ideas or encourage them to buy stuff. And they really don't like wives like me who let that crap fly.

See, mom, I am a catch!

Dumb Questions

Claire is really smart. Her memory is impressive. This week we drove by where we parked for the Appleton Christmas Parade, and she told me about the parade. We drove by the beach and she was telling me about the time she went there with my mom last summer. She has been to the beach a fair amount by boat, but just a few times by land. Plus, my mom got lost on her way there!

I told her she could wear a fancy dress for the baptism on Sunday. She requested the one she wore on her third birthday. She has a memory far superior to her father's!

That being said, the girl asks some dumb questions. All day long.

Whoever came up with the adage "there's no such thing as a dumb question" wasn't spending the bulk of their time with a three year old.

"Does Ariel have teeth?"

"Yes, mermaids have teeth just like people."

"How big?"

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Are lists no longer vogue?

You know, I don't get e-mail forwards anymore. Are they no longer circulating? Has it lost its allure now that the sender can't send questionable material to a "work" e-mail? There is no shortage of Facebook garbage, but it doesn't seem to be the lists anymore. I don't think I would go so far as to say I miss it. Just nostalgic for the:


So, I am making my own list of ways my family messes with me:

1. Babies pooping right after a bath. C'mon, Piper, I just cleaned out all those crevices, must you fill it with runny baby poo? Usually, it is a as Bob would say an "ass-plosion."
2. Pooping right after I changed the garbage can or cleaned the diaper pail.
3. Forgetting how to swallow, right after I have changed your clothes. Do you like milk in your neck, Piper? Does a damp spot on your sleeper remind you of the wet womb?
4. Showing interest in sitting on the toilet only at nap and bedtime. Guilty, Macy. Yeah, you're cute, but this is not cute.
5. Deciding you want in the house at inopportune times. Kids in bathtub? Settling down for a nap? Bark, Bark, that sounds like Lincoln's bark. Crap.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My daughter is sleeping with a 90s country star...

If we can't be in the room with her, at nap and bed time, Claire requests we play her Toby Keith CD. Fat good all those classical music CDs and my live piano music during her infancy did for her...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Loss for words

So Piper & I just went to the store. I forgot the Beco at home so I was carrying her on my arm facing out like she likes (someone needs to invent a carrier that sticks a baby to your forearm). This apparently is the universal hold for "hey, you, come talk to me and touch my baby!" I didn't have my older girls to ward people off or distract me ! Apparently, my haircut isn't conveying bitchy, anymore...

This is a snippet of a conversation we had with our first admirer:

Stranger: "What's her name?"
Me: "Piper"
Stranger [incredulous voice]: "Is that her given name?!?"
Me: "ummm, yeah"
[pregnant, awkward pause]
Me: "Well, her middle name is Jane. So, she can use that, if she wants something more traditional."
Stranger: "Yeah, Piper can be her nickname. Piper [chuckle, chuckle as if to insinuate that is the strangest combination of letters anyone has ever thrown together]

It doesn't happen often, but I was at a loss for words. What does one say to someone who has the gall to suggest you use your child's name as their nickname?

Friday, May 6, 2011

You gotta keep 'em separated

Yesterday at Play School Macy cried because she couldn't find Claire. Those two are thick as thieves. Right now they are fishing each other in the yard (chasing one another with sticks).

But, I never would have thought the best times happen when the girls are playing quietly in different rooms. Like earlier this morning:

Thursday, April 28, 2011


We're at the weird stage where I can't decide if time is going quickly or slowly. I can't believe Piper's already 4 1/2 weeks old, but, on the other hand ,it feels like she's been part of our family forever - more than 4 1/2 weeks!

Are you smarter than a 3 year old?

I have followed the advice of a parenting book I had read that advised that parents not engage any child over 3 years old in an argument. The other day we were heading to the library story hour and preparing snacks. Macy wanted the grapes on the kitchen table which was easy enough. I asked Claire if she, too, would eat grapes. She disagreed and asserted that instead she wanted raisins and water. Who am I to argue?

Especially with a smart little 3 1/2 year old who likes to wear dresses and her new toolbelt....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The rewards of parenting, appreciation is not one of them!

Sometimes the girls lack of appreciation is rather comical.

Like in January when we took them to Bob's friend's family farm the weekend of the town's Ice Fishing Jamboree, we thought, "Oh, they will love to see the people pulling fish out of the water. If not, they will get a kick out of his dad's cows!" They found no amusement seeing the ice or fish. Macy even complained she was cold. The cows were scary. Claire wouldn't even come in the barn. In the past they have loved seeing our old neighbor's calves, but I think the big cows are a bit intimidating. Macy liked this nasty old barn cat. The farmer even said she wasn't a very nice cat.

Do we learn? Not really. This weekend we headed about the same distance from home to a different friend's farmette to meet their lambs. Sheep are docile and small. Seemed more up the girls' alley...

What animal did Macy spend most of her time admiring? Their barn cats. She told me she didn't like their chickens because "they kept saying cock-a-doodle-doo" (she has a point, they were kinda loud).

What did Claire like about the trip? (Mind you, Claire's professed future-vocation is farming.) She liked the Family Restaurant we stopped at on the way home. She had pancakes for the second time that day to eat.

I think it's cute they get a kick out of the small things, like barn cats and silver dollar pancakes. Or this luggage cart when there all sorts of fancy dancy water slides in Wisconsin Dells...

I am less a fan of when we seem to raise their expectations by doing fun things with the girls. We spent a night at a hotel with a pool last week when we had no power. The next day Claire asked, err demanded, we go to a pool again. As if we go to pools everyday.

Last night we went to Shiocton to see the sturgeon roll. Granted we didn't spend any money, but it's pretty neat to take your kids to basically see dinosaurs. We weren't looking for a "gee, folks, thanks for exposing us to these cool old fish bigger than us," but we certainly could have done without Claire asking, errr demanding, we take her to a restaurant. She didn't care we went to one yesterday or that there was some food in the slowcooker. That was a time her lack of appreciation was not funny.

Plus, I don't remember anything from being three! She won't even remember how good she had it. Or will she? When Bob was preparing Claire to go see the sturgeon she asked if it was in Iowa. She actually remembered going to a trout fish hatchery there last Fall. That's as close as we get to appreciation at our house, a memory of having fun. We'll take it!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dashed hopes

Today I got excited that my post-pregnancy belly had quickly diminished over the few days since I had worn my maternity jeans because they were so baggy in the front. Turns out, I just had my pants on backwards...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You're not that bad, Dr. D-Bag

This pregnancy I had really wanted to use a midwife. I had selected one (of the two practices in our area), and we even had an appointment with her. But, our insurance wouldn't cover a birth outside a hospital. We just couldn't justify paying entirely out of pocket for the birth versus nothing for a hospital birth. I like the family practice doctor who delivered the older girls, but she wasn't delivering anymore. She has been my doctor since I was a kid. A nurse at the hospital even lamented they missed having her deliver. The nurse said, "everyone likes her. She's kinda midwifey." I know! That's why I liked her! So, I ended up going with another family practice doctor in her practice since he said he likes to interfere as little as possible and just catch babies. And in the end, that's just what he did. But, I think I held it against him the entire time that he wasn't at all midwifey. I didn't like his shiny ties. I laughed when my husband would inquire about his curly locks and how well coiffed they were when I came back from appointments. I complained about his penchants for shaking my hand at the beginning AND the end of my appointments. I was mortified when he told me what "most women want". I even nicknamed him Dr. Douchebag because he seemed so stereotypical young doctor. I bet he golfs. I think I was a little hard on the old (frat) boy... By those weekly appointments he remembered I was his patient who had no interest in being induced. He did operate with that trust in your body midwifey mantra. He didn't have some number of contractions per number of time rule for me, he said, "you've done this before, when you know it's real, go then." When Piper threw us the curve ball of pooping up the amniotic sac, he knew that would mix up the delayed cord cutting and immediately handing her to me. He prepped me for it & made his case for letting the peds guy check her out, and he still gave her to me for a minute before Bob went with her to be examined by the pediatrician. He didn't do anything he said he wouldn't. He didn't interfere, he just caught a baby. And, he really did haul it to the hospital. He complained I made an old guy run. I think he & I are the same age. He even helped me carry stuff when I bumped into him in the waiting room to see my family doctor. He is a nice guy! I guess, I really shouldn't call him a D-bag. Upon realizing this, I told my husband our insurance guy is probably more of a douchebag than the doctor. Bob said, "yeah, who cares? I just need him to sell me insurance!" He is right. I daresay, despite the handshaking and talking in thirdperson, I would even recommend my doctor for someone looking for a doctor. He's no midwife, but he's no douchebag either...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sister, Sister

Having three kids in the past three and a half years is a bit crazy. Part of my thinking on this was closeness in age might help them get along with each other. Time might just prove me quite wrong on that experiment, but with Claire and Macy only 19 months apart, I didn't want #3 to be so left out just due to her age.

I fully expected Macy to react very negatively at Piper's arrival. Granted, Piper just joined us less than a week and a half ago, but I am THRILLED at the girls' reaction to and treatment of Piper.

When Macy was born, Claire was apathetic to the whole situation. Quite seriously, she was more interested in the helium balloon she and Ga-Ma brought to the hospital. She would want to hold her for about 10 seconds and pretend to eat her the whole time. Then, Claire would push her off her lap.

So, this time around I expected that apathy from Macy. I thought Claire would like Piper at first, but I thought the excitement would go away pretty quickly.

Imagine my elation when, with me all hopped up on just-had-a-baby-hormones, Claire and Macy came to meet Piper and were just enamoured with her. Macy burst in and exclaimed, "she's beautiful!". (Comic sidebar, Macy did keep telling people Piper was a boy, though...) The nurse commented that they were both big sisters now, and Claire and Macy simultaneously thrust both arms in the air for the universal symbol for BIG.

Claire wants to hold Piper for as long as we will let her. I even folded laundry while Claire held her! Any peep out of Piper elicits an "it's ok, baby" from Macy. If Piper isn't being held or worn, the girls are very concerned about where she is. They comment about how soft her hair is. They are sharing my new baby bliss. I am even being careful to give them attention (or probably more honestly, have Bob give them lots of attention).

I was holding Piper putting Macy to sleep, and Macy wanted me to lay next to her. I had Piper between us, and Macy fell asleep. I couldn't believe she didn't feel slighted. And, Piper is a replica of Macy as an infant so it was pretty funny to check out their similarities while they slept.

I know this won't last, but I am just pretty pumped to have given them all something I didn't have - a sister!

In the very least, I can read this and laugh at my naivete while they spend the next 15 years bickering...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My garbage man is infallible, the stork not so much

There are a handful of things that should have me worked up this week. For example:

  • The state governor's "budget repair" bill besides sucking is not great news for teacher-is-the sole-breadwinner-in-our-family situation.
  • Said teacher already has his layoff notice for technical education.
  • Said teacher's special education seniority and license is pretty sure, but there is not contract in his hot little hands until May.
  • Said special education teacher's student has scabies. Ewwwwwww. I am already pregnant and itchy, and I had to deal with a couple days worth of paranoid itchiness, too.
  • The baby like to take long naps in the morning where you feel no baby movement for 3 hour spells. I went to the hospital for a non-stress test earlier this week. My discharge papers said to contact them if I didn't feel 10 movements an hour. Ha! I'd be there every morning.
  • There is some jackass running for City Council in Appleton who is a part of some Preserving White Heritage and White Vision group. What a gem!

However, most of these things haven't really phased me. I have been able to say to myself, "we're having a baby, all is good." Maybe they are all out of my control, and there is no one person (besides Scott Walker) to blame. BUT. SOMEONE. HAS. MY. WRATH. I hope my garbage man likes mommy blogs and stumbles upon this. He is a jack ass.

We only have monthly recycling pick-up. With the composting and the cloth diapers, we really have very little garbage. My garbage is usually less than half full. However, my recycling container is packed to the gills. I don't know why we have so much recycling - Bob's 2L of Diet coke, whiskey bottles and milk gallons? But, we often have too much for the container. A couple months ago I found out the correct process for additional recycling. I had the requisite container and went to the City garage to pick up the requisite stickers. The first month, they picked it up. The second month, I didn't have a need for overflow. This month, I put it out half full, and they didn't pick it up. So, I called them to make sure I didn't make some mistake or this wasn't some new cost savings plan. I feel like my work experience in local government probably made me more eager to follow their rules than most residents.

I assured the woman on the phone the bucket was less than half full. No, it wasn't plum full of papers. It wasn't too heavy. It was mixed. Yes, it has the stickers - on both sides! My husband put it out before he went to work, probably around 6 AM. She places me on hold to call the driver with my address. When she gets back on the phone she tells me that the driver doesn't believe me that my bin was out there.

Yes, it's a scam. I have so much to gain by this scam. I am 39 1/2 weeks pregnant, and I find this to be a good use of my time, pulling one over on the man.

What kind of crap customer service from both of them?! I can't believe she didn't cover for the driver. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones, but I was irate. It doesn't cost them anything to have good customer service. They could have even been sly and said, "Oh, something must have been missed." I would have even held onto it for a month, but by then I was just mad. Sure, yeah, you better make another run and get it.

I have been composing letters in my head to the Director of Public Works. "I didn't realize that these fine public servants are perfect. Give them a raise! They never make mistakes?!?"

Next pick-up date should I stand outside with my "shame" posters?

Even typing it, I feel a bit ridiculous.

So, yeah, don't be jealous, my followers, but the dude who picks up my garbage is in-fucking-fallible.

But, you know who you can't trust? My doctor. He told me he was pretty sure I would have this baby before my next appointment. Well, appointment is 4:15 on Monday and I don't see any baby. Just sayin'.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I'm a Rockstar Mom (one time, for about 3 hours)

When I quit work people would comment that was great and now I could volunteer with some of the organizations I collaborated with at City Hall. That sounds great in theory, but I am not going to hire someone to watch my kids to volunteer during the day, and I kinda like to hang out with my husband at night. And, remember now, we have even less money than before!

But, one day this week, I took my kids to a protest at Senator Ellis' office, took them to storyhour, AND I baked and decorated cookies for a GSA convention. Yeah, and I did it all pregnant. Now, I am exhausted, and my mom has the girls for a night. I couldn't keep up that got-it-together mom routine for more than a day, sheesh...

I should have had babies a decade ago...

My mom seems to have all these expectations of me doing things with the girls. Maybe she just thinks I am fairly active at getting them out of the house (basically trying to tire them out or have other people entertain them) and is trying to be supportive, but I feel like she has some super mom expectations at times.
Earlier this week she called while the girls were napping to tell Claire it was perfect snowman making weather. All sorts of excuses came to my mind... I am 38 1/2 weeks pregnant, it's so annoying putting on snowpants, mittens, hats, boots, and coats on kids (and on a 38 1/2 week pregnant woman!), it's a weekday, etc.

BUT, I did it. I bundled up Claire, and we made a snowman. The snow was heavy, but the ball making was pretty easy. I had to get the neighbor over to help me lift the midsection up. The first thing he said to me was, "You're as big as a house." Wow, and he has a doctorate in psychology...

I decided either time has dulled my mom's memory OR having kids in your early 20's, like my mom did, is a heck of a lot easier than in your earlier 30s.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My girl wants to party all the time...

I am patting myself on the back for a well-delegated 2nd Birthday Party. I was hesitant to ask my mom to host Macy's birthday party because she tends to go overboard, but showing up to a decorated, clean house for an awesome brunch followed by no clean-up was definitely the way to go when 38 weeks pregnant!

The girls were chanting "party" on the way over, and when we got home they were talking about how much fun they had at that "ball."

While I was brushing my teeth the girls were sitting on the step into the shower (because, Lord knows, I am in a bathroom, they must follow). This was their post-party rehash:

Macy: "I'm sad"

Me: "Why are you sad, because your birthday party is over?"

Macy: "Yeah, I am sad 'cause my birthday is over."

Claire: "Oh, don't worry, we'll get you another one."

Hey, cow!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

We're in the home stretch

I never understood the hubbub about stretch marks. I thought it was more of a physical testimony to how much weight you lost. Like bulking up before you are a candidate on Biggest Loser so you can boast how much weight you shed and win the weigh-in. It seems better than the alternative of being as big as you once were! Granted, I already have bowed out of the midriff-bearing at about age 18. So, it wasn't like anyone would get to see any stretch marks anyway. Even when my husband informed me I had stretch marks under my belly that I couldn't see the first pregnancy it didn't really phase me. I was more surprised, you sneaky marks, I couldn't even see you there under my big belly.

But seriously, does each daughter need to make her own mark? Couldn't they just go in the stretched out section that Claire already carved out for them? I think this baby is starting to make stretch marks above the belly button. This is odd since she is so low compared to her sisters. Now I am like, wow, this is disgusting. No wonder all those skinny bitches complained about them, they are gross!

Guess I will have to take down the full-length mirror above our bed, ha!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sorry girls, but you're being raised by idiots...

I have long thought it is oddly easy to get married and have a baby (well, we are blessed to be uber-fertile folk). I think maybe to get a marriage license you should get a petition of 10 friends or family that think it's a good idea you marry your partner. If you can't find people, maybe you shouldn't get married. When we went to the county courthouse for our marriage license they just asked us about a dozen times if we were cousins. They asked Bob so many times about being married before or currently that I half-jokingly interrogated him afterwards if he had married his Albanian ex-girlfriend and failed to mention it. Then, with the pregnancy stuff the focus is all about pregnancy and labor and delivery. I am all about being educated and informed consent for labor and delivery, but in the grand scheme of child-rearing, that part is a pretty small window. I feel like they show you how to bathe a baby and use a car seat and send you off. I told Bob this time I filled out the birth plan that we'll be giving her her first bath rather than the nurses. If I can't stand up, it's all him. He thinks that I don't let us get our money's worth out of the hospital. He doesn't even want to cut the cord because that's somebody's job. I am sure they won't be laying off nurses for lack of stuff to do...

So, parenthood, yeah, it's like the one gig they can't fire you for gross incompetence. Bob & I are always proving that. Here are two recent entertaining (rather than my-kids-will-be-in-therapy-for-decades) examples:

  1. So today I am logging onto the computer which forced a new password upon us. Since our kids leave us little time to actually communicate with each other from 5-7PM I was guessing what the password was that Bob picked. The computer gave me the hint, "Number 3." I seriously was about to type "tres" thinking that was an odd selection for Bob, and then I remembered I am pregnant with number 3. How would I forget that for a millisecond? Duh. But I am pregnant, that's my excuse for now...
  2. What's Bob excuse? Last week we got Macy's 2-year old pictures taken. I was showing Bob what the photographer had posted on Facebook from the session. He says, "Wow, her eyes almost look blue in this picture!" Ummm, that's because her eyes ARE blue. They have been for the last two years. At least my husband knew babies were born with eyes open, unlike kittens...

But seriously, we may be morons, but do we not make the cutest kids?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pat, We Love him/her!

The girls have an American Girl doll, a Bitty Baby. The doll isn't displayed on a shelf, and we certainly didn't pay whatever the going rate is for it either. It's a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law's sister's grandchild. Because of the doll's rather androgynous look, my husband donned her Pat and continues to confuse the girls by mixing pronouns. I think I am the only one who consistently refers to Pat as a "she." (I tend to go with Pat's preference, and all her clothes are girly so I figure that's what Pat would want).

Because the girls prefer to sleep with the most uncomfortable of their toys (they would take, say, a backpack over a stuffed teddy bear any day), Pat is most coveted at nap and bedtime.

The other afternoon, Claire chose Pat for her naptime companion. I got Claire to sleep for her nap, Pat sleeping next to her with her requisite doll pillow and blanket. I am in Macy's room getting Macy to sleep. Macy decides that she must have a doll. I run around finding a doll to satisfy her. The preemie Cabbage Patch doll from my youth, LuLu, would not fit the bill. The suggestion of LuLu even set Macy into more of a tizzy. So, I ran into our room where Claire was quietly napping and took Pat. I snuggled LuLu in her place. Because everyone loves Pat, this did the trick for Macy, and she settled down and fell asleep. I felt mildly deceitful in a robbing-Peter- to-pay-Paul sort of way, but when I was in the living room eating my afternoon bowl of ice cream I was gloating in my maternal resourcefulness.

An hour and a half into Claire's nap I hear a thud upstairs. It wasn't an alarming, child-fell-out-of-bed thud, but it was enough to have me concerned that these antics might wake up Macy. I bounded (as much as a daily ice cream eating preggers does) upstairs. Claire had tossed LuLu out of the bed and was pretty distressed that Pat was missing. Seriously, for a child who has to be reminded every time to wipe, wash her hands, use soap and to put the towel on the bar when she's done, she's got a pretty good memory...

So, for the second time that afternoon I crept into a bedroom and took Pat away from an unsuspecting, sleeping child. I tiptoed out of Macy's room and gave Pat back to Claire.

Luckily, when Macy woke up she didn't inquire about Pat's whereabouts. Thank goodness, because I wasn't sure who would really have custodial rights on that one...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Is he trying to make me look good?

I was wary to start blogging because I thought it would just be an online complaint-fest about things my mom and husband do. They are hands down the two people on the planet that do the most for me, so it seemed like a jerk move to air my grievances about them, online or otherwise. I didn't want to appear ungrateful.

But, seriously, my husband seems to be on some covert mission to make my life more difficult. He puts the girls to bed some nights. I appreciate it. Bedtime is not a favorite task around here. I wish it was. I like reading books. I like snuggling, but it is a pretty drawn out process at our house. Macy had been bedsharing with us since birth. I was a little worried that the new baby would wake her up. I didn't want to make any changes in March. Plus, she is kicking me, and I am not sleeping great. So, we made the transition to her sleeping in the same bed with her sister. It sure is cute to see them snuggled in the same bed. Plus, just one person can put them to sleep since in a couple months the other one will be with the baby.

It's been going ok. Well, Claire fell out of the bed the other night:

It's about an hour and half from bedtime to sleeptime at our house. So, the parent getting them to bed usually is up in the girls' room from 7:30-9:00pm. There are books. There are songs. There are patient requests. There is the passing back and forth of water. AND (the big selling point for me wanting to get out of this duty) there is an adult on the bed between the girls on a not-so-comfortable full size bed.

So, I do enjoy it when my husband puts them to bed. Sometimes it's more work to have him do it, though. Macy comforts more quickly with me. I think she prefers me singing. Sometimes he doesn't hear what she is asking for (she's requesting Itsy Bitsy Spider and he'll break into Baa Baa Black Sheep). And last night he forgot to put a night diaper on Claire. Granted, the girl likes to put on underwear with her pj's at 6:30. So, it's something extra to remember (not Bob's forte) at bedtime. Anyway, at 11:30 she woke up crying and soaked. I got her out of her wet pj's and underwear. I got a night diaper on her while Macy slept a couple feet away. I took Claire into our bedroom and threw replacement pajamas at Bob to put on her while I got a wash cloth.

Let's put it this way, if there was a fire at night, I would be the one running around saving kids while Bob would be snoring. I had told him that he forgot to put a diaper on her and that he needed to get her dressed and calmed. Well, I came back he had taken off the diaper! This didn't calm Claire. Her crying had escalated and from a room away, they have woken up Macy. The girls' bed isn't any more comfortable if covered in urine, so the four of us jumped in our king. That was fine; that's why we got the king. But, Bob was seriously back to snoring before Macy fell asleep. I got the hot spot where both kids could kick me (as well as the in utero daughter who was kicking up the storm).

I would have rather just put them to bed than to have that commotion at 11:30 at night and changing sheets as my first-thing on the morning to-do list. I make lots of mistakes as a mother. My husband is a smart guy. Does he do these sorts of things as some sort of confidence builder for me? That way I am the more competent, organized person of the house? Does he do a kinda cruddy job so I don't want his help? Does he do it to remind me to take care of myself because their life would leave a lot to be desired he was widowed?

All I know is he has to step up his game for #3....